Ramblings and Confusion

September 7, 2006 at 7:08 pm 5 comments

Alex and I had dinner out on our balcony and had an interesting talk. It was about discussions and the way people would interject statements that cut the discussion dead. It all started when we were talking about children. Alex had put on her blog 10 things she wanted to accomplish before she died. One of the items (since changed) was adopting a child. I asked her if she would prefer to adopt rather than have her own. I won’t repeat her answer but the conversation threaded its way to the way some people perceive childless couples. One response to such couples is that they are selfish. This response seems to terminate any further talk about the subject and places the childless couple in a negative situation. It reminded me of another discussion a few years ago where I had simply mentioned that I thought parents were too overprotective today. One woman who was present simply mentioned that she prefered her children alive than dead. This woman redefined the concept of being overprotective but that single statement brought the discussion to an end. Maybe I lack the wit or spontaneity to respond. This summer, in Spanish class, we were discussing President Bush. There is valid criticism in his policies and the way American liberties are being eroded but the response from an american terminated that discussion. All he said was that we were anti-american and that ended it. Why do these statements end further discussion?

How does one counter these statements ? I sure wish I could be quick enough to come back with an answer that would make the person think beyond her/his own perception of things. I’m sure Ester could bounce back an answer. (See Ester’s blog for some interesting comments)
Anyhow, I’m out on our balcony in Barcelona, sipping Licor de Hierbas. I love this liquor and have it after dinner almost every night. I sure hope we can get it in Canada.

Have a great week everyone and please leave some comments and advice on this one.

Entry filed under: academic, Alan's Blog, Alex's Blog, Barcelona, Blog, Day to Day, Philosophy.

Chatting at the archives Newfie accent

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dana  |  September 7, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    Well perhaps maybe ask why these particular topics are perceived in this manner? Why did the American feel people were making anti-American statements? Why does society characterize childless couples as selfish? This might be a way to explore how different perceptions create different interpretations of certain subjects.

  • 2. Alan  |  September 7, 2006 at 8:41 pm

    Hola Dana
    I don’t know why criticism is perceived as an attack. I thought it was supposed to generate discussion. The American was so aggressive in his repsonse he actually frightened the swiss woman who made the statement.The individuals who respond seem to take an aggressive stance. No sey por que>

  • 3. william beauvais  |  September 7, 2006 at 11:39 pm

    in improvised theatre this is known as saying yes or no to something. when improvising it is imperative to say yes no matter what in order to keep things going. as you can imagine, with no time stopping things is pretty embarrasing. saying no usually means someoine is afraid or getting outside the boundaries of thier percieved safety. of course if we always stayed ther, we would never do anything new.

    there is also a linguistic component, since the republican thinkers have been actively creating a language to support htat point of view. tax relief is one expression – try to say no to that and it seems that you are trying to hurt people. therfore, you have to ask what someone means by the stoppong comment. by forcing them to define a term carefully, conversation can resume – i think.

  • 4. Ester  |  September 24, 2006 at 2:24 am

    I think sometimes we just get caught off guard, and need sometime to get our minds around what was said and how to respond, by which time it is usually to late to continue the conversation.

    I thought it really funny you refer to me to knowing how to respond, because I always feel so slow and reactionless, and then hours later I’ll go “oh, I wish I had thought of this right then”. But “right then” I hadn’t had time to do all the thinking and brewing. Maybe it is easier to do it by writing than talking, more time to think, to reread, to retype something silly. With the spoken word there is no editing…

  • 5. Alan  |  September 24, 2006 at 7:45 am

    Ester is too humble. I have seen conversations where she is very quick with responses. I have never seen her at a loss for words. It may be that after thinking of the conversation for a while that she can come up with a “better” contribution but the initial response is not far off the mark.


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