Oct 28, 2009

A man of no opinions

Since I started blogging I've found I have opinions on many more things than I would have thought possible. Who would be the best presenter for the Oscars. Why we cant get out of Afghanistan fast enough. Whether Obama is over-exposed. Which Shirley MacLaine movie I like the best. It's always nice to know what you think, of course, but I wonder if it is healthy in the long run. You have an opinion and suddenly you have one more thing to be wrong about. You have more territory to defend and fret over. It's actually quite worrisome having opinions. I wonder what would happen if set myself the task of reducing the number of my opinions to zero. Not in one go of course. Like all de-escalations, it would have to be undertaken with great care. Let's say I have somewhere in the region of half a million opinions, ranging from the big (we can't get out of Afghanistan fast enough) to the infinitesimal (I like the smell of suntan lotion). Say I get that down to a few hundred thousand, and from there get it down to maybe a few thousand. I bet you I wouldn't be any dumber. I'd just be a man if fewer words, who people called up about only the most important things, like a mixture of Hegel and Clint Eastwood. Then say I got it down to a few hundred, or even a few dozen. A few dozen opinions. It gives me the chills just thinking about it. I wonder what the opinions would be about? They'd probably be quite basic things, verging on the instinctive and old-timerish, like "thank God for reduced fat milk," or "that's not going to end well." And there I'd get it down to just the one. One opinion. What would that be? The quintessence of a lifetime of opinionating. My most stubborn thought. The last to go. I wonder. "Celebrities who adopt African children mistake the passing thrill of charity for a lifetime commitment to raising a child," maybe. Or, "I hope nobody asks me about Sarah Palin."

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