Which topics? They tend to be issues that have little or no middle ground. You can’t remain neutral while discussing them because the topic doesn’t offer that option, or the folks on either side don’t offer that option. That’s why they send panties screaming up the asses of all involved. They’re topics where you’ve gotta choose a side. If you refuse, you’re simply blasted by both sides for being a pussy. It’s one of those “no win” situations.
This cannot be discussed in a calm and rational manner apparently. For example, for some people, homosexuality is acceptable, but for far too many others being a homosexual is like lighting a baby on fire and then eating its charred remains. Discussing your sexual preference in mixed company (or more often someone else’s preference) lights a fire under almost everyone’s ass. We hear all kinds of arguments for and against any and all sexual orientations. It’s genetic. It’s a choice. It’s an illness. You can be cured. You can’t be cured. No matter what your personal position in all of it, it is extremely rare for there to be any middle ground. If you’re a live and let live kind of person who claims to have no real opinion either way, you’re usually perceived as “accepting” and thus attacked accordingly by those defending the helpless babies from the flames. I think what makes sexuality an explosive topic is that the idea of same-sex relationships and bisexuality is so much more mainstream now than it used to be. While for most intelligent folks, that’s a really good thing, to many, many others the increase in supporters of such things is a sign the apocalypse is surely coming and we’re all going to Hell. If you don’t want to get burned online, do not bring up or answer questions about sexuality. No matter what you say, you’re going to be considered an asshole by someone. Me? I think you all gotta do who you gotta do. It’s not my vagina you’re doing it with, so it’s not my business. Carry on.
Whether or not he really is the son of God isn’t the point here. I think the point is that this guy is possibly the most discussed man in all of history. And the mere mention of his name seems to divide folks quite decisively. Some say he was a good man and a wise man but nothing else. Others argue he was God in the flesh. Some suggest he never existed. Others wonder if perhaps he is the original vampire that started all vampires. Okay, so those discussions are possibly drug-induced. The thing I like about Jesus is that no matter what your opinion on him and his existence, no one seems to be able to discuss said opinion in a rational manner. All discussion devolves into name calling and nastiness once Jesus joins the party. You add his old man into the mix, and you get a two-for. Jesus or God = Shit-storm. Every goddamn time.
No, we can’t all just get along. Why? Because while things are better than they were years ago, people are still fiercely defensive about their race. It’s probably because race is such an integral part of our self-identity, and because the world is full of idiots who can’t just view humans as humans. Trying to talk about race or racism reasonably is nearly impossible online because with the mask of anonymity comes asshattery. The logical, calm voices are usually drowned out no matter what discussion you enter into. Sadly, even today, in this time when knowledge is so easily obtained, we have those ignorant fucktards who believe one race can be superior to another. You can’t explain to these guys that when you examine the issue organically, race is a mythical concept. We have ethnicities, but race is an artificial concept based almost entirely on the color of one’s skin, which is really just the amount of melanin in a person’s skin, and on the size and arrangement of the bones and musculature. No one is a single “pure” race of any kind. Of course, you can argue with me on that, and I respect your views, but knowing what we know about ancestry and such, we have to admit, the odds of anyone being a truly pure race are pretty slim. The problem is, when we start discussing this (as I am), discussion disintegrates into cries of discrimination and hatred from all sides and we know how it ends. The discussion is essentially over at this point.
Pro-Choice. Pro-Life. Anti-choice. Baby. Fetus. Apples. Oranges. Jesus shit guys, whatever happened to “personal?” A civil discussion of abortion is hard enough in person, but online, it’s positively unheard of. That protective barrier we have between us and the other people make us bolder, more willing to sling shit at the other side. The reasons are obvious I think. Abortion is a topic that is naturally polarizing because it pits men against women, religion against religion, life against death, and freedom against oppression, victims against abusers. The most divisive part of it is that we tend to try to apply a black and white way of thinking to a subject that has way too many gray areas to fit comfortably in the pigeonholes we make for it. There is no right answer for you or me, unless we have to make the decision. Even then, right or wrong is so hard to define. I won’t get into my thoughts on the government’s involvement in this, because I really don’t want to debate this issue. Why? Rational people go from zero to batshit in less than a second, myself included, when we combine abortion and politics. It’s like banging a couple of bombs together. I think if you want to avoid shit-storms, abortion is a topic you should leave alone at all costs. Keep it the personal choice it should be. Yeah, I know I’m just asking for it. *takes cover*
I live in redneck country, and let me tell you, mentioning gun control is like…firing off a gun in the middle of church. There’s a lot of politics involved in gun control, but there’s also a lot of fear and passion. All three make a shit-storm stew of epic proportions. Even those who live in countries with very strict gun control or no gun control weigh in on these discussions. This is because it often boils down to one thing: civil rights. Do we have the RIGHT to own a gun? Sure we do. Do we have the RIGHT to use it? That’s where it gets all mucky and angry. I know you all think I enjoy a good argument, and sometimes I do, but even I avoid this topic in my real life. Folks bring it up all the time and I simply change the subject or bow out of the discussion because you cannot have an intelligent and rational exchange of ideas. It might start that way, but it spirals down into a nasty circle of meaningless jabs and insults. And if someone owns a gun…bad things.
Ah, politics. I truly have no opinion on this topic, and folks still want to climb inside my ass and rip shit apart. Why? How could I possibly not have an opinion? That’s why. Of all the topics I’ve mentioned, I think no matter where you live, or what political party you support, politics inspire the most rage. I’ve seen people get physically ill when their candidate loses an election. Just look at the recent American hoopla. The Republicans and the Democrats have literally polarized a country. Now, the US isn’t the only country to be so politically divided. Folks start wars over this shit. The saddest part of this polarization is the deadlock it creates in governments and getting shit done. Politicians are crafty fuckers, and they pull out all the stops to add steam to their camp. While these other issues are ones I can be pushed to discuss, I purposely and very intensely try to NEVER discuss politics. No, I’m not discussing it here. I’m just pointing out how we probably should just not discuss it at all.
I wouldn’t have believed this if I hadn’t witnessed it this past week. The discussions over evolutionary theories and the origins of man are downright nasty sometimes. Perfectly logical folks, sci-fi writers in fact, essentially lose their shit and start calling each other names and behaving in a very non-intelligent manner, for daring to entertain an idea that is anything other than the popular one. Curious, I looked around the Internet and found no matter where you go, no matter the educational background, social group, or culture folks come from, this topic makes them all spitting mad. Where did we come from? Was it evolution or creation? Big bang or cosmic fart? The books written on this topic could fill a library or two. Each side has butt-loads of facts, support, and data to support their position. The bottom line, and the reason it’s such a touchy issue, is that nobody knows the real answer. It’s all theory. All of it. Mix in religion versus science, because it does play a significant role in the side you choose, and you’ve got shit-storm soup with a side of blind rage pie. The worst part is, again, there’s no middle ground. If you try to work out a position that agrees with all sides, they’ll rip you to shreds buddy. No joke. However, I do enjoy bringing this one up simply because the topic fascinates me. I’ll discuss it even if I get a new asshole or two. Hey, you can never have too many of those.
More people have died in the name of their god than any other possible reason combined. Whether you’re Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, Jewish, Scientologist, or whatever, bringing up religion is going to set some fires. The reason is really very plain. No matter what you believe, whether you have a religion or not, spirituality is the most intensely personal part of anyone’s being. This includes those who reject religion and spirituality altogether. It’s a very subjective thing too. You could have 100 people in a room, and all of these folks would have a set of beliefs unique to them, and not one of them would be technically right or wrong. This ambiguity opens the floor to a lot of shit piling. To make matters worse, some religions have as an integral part of their “structure” a command to proselytize. Those that don’t just seem to feel the need to “spread the word.” Then your intensely personal beliefs start colliding with someone else’s and there you have it: shit-storm. I’m telling you, folks come knocking on my door preaching “The Good Word” and I get all kinds of mean, and I believe they have a right to their beliefs. I just don’t want them trying to convince me mine are wrong. However, they’ve got the right to free speech. But on the other hand, I’ve got the right to sit in my home and not have strangers ring the doorbell with their pamphlets and whatnot. But how else will they spread the “Word?” I don’t care. And here is why this topic is so very delicate.
Want to piss someone off beyond all reasonable proportions? Bring up parenting, or more specifically, discipline. Oh. My. Shit. You cannot even imagine the online brew-ha-ha I’ve seen when someone brings up parenting. I’ve even gotten caught up in it a time or two. The thing is, nothing is more precious to a “good” parent than their children, and nothing will set you off faster than someone implying you’re doing anything other than your best. Why? Because we all secretly fear we’re fucking it all up. Someone saying that we are is like, tossing a guilt grenade in our laps. Sure we can discuss parenting tips and whatnot, but the minute someone tosses a don’t, never, or should not in there, or anything that sounds the least bit critical, you got yourself a war.