Arguing Men 8/23/22

Thoughts with Richard Bleil

My post yesterday seemed to have really gotten under my boss’ skin.  Honestly, he’s a nice guy and I think we have the potential (he and his wife) to become actual factual friends, but politically, we’re on opposite ends of the spectrum.  On his social media page, he reposted a meme that inspired yesterday’s post.  I honestly didn’t intentionally direct it at him, but he seemed to have taken it as such.  So on the meme that inspired my blog, he replied to me, calling me by name, and whether or not he did so intentionally, I personally found his words very insulting.  So, on his meme, I told him so. 

Now, my little blog doesn’t have a lot of common readers, and perhaps with the exception of his wife (who I don’t think reads my blog, at least not as regularly as he does, although I could be wrong), the Venn diagram of people who read his social media page and my blogs are very small.  Because our argument was on his social media page, I did include a link to the blog for anybody interested so they can make up their own mind as to whether or not I’m a jerk, but had I not done so, I truly doubt anybody would have realized that it was his meme for my inspiration. 

But, as I said, he’s a nice guy.  He did text me directly and apologized to me.  Yes, he was the bigger man (I admit it), but I’m not above apologizing, so I did so as well.  And we got to chatting.  The reality as I see it, and I think he agreed with me, although our approaches to politics are worlds apart, our beliefs are a lot closer to each other’s than might be otherwise expected.  And I think that we agreed that it would be better to have a political discussion over a game of pool, which, honestly, I would really like.  When I post my left-sided memes, he will periodically comment (I try not to comment directly on his memes as it’s a forum that far too public and way too pointless).  However, unlike so many people who will get hot under the collar and start throwing insults, when we “argue” on one of my memes, it’s usually an interesting “conversation”.  I’ll try to express my view rationally, and he replies with his well-constructed argument.  It’s actually kind of cool, and this is how we argue.

Men fight in very strange ways, for those who are not aware as they have the last leg of that one chromosome.  Working the bar at the Shrine one day, our club (the Highlanders Pipe and Drum club) were hosting a wedding.  The Shriner’s Bar is one of the ways that we raise money (to support the Shrine and the Shriner’s Hospital for Children…always) and our leader got into a very heated argument with the leader of another club.  The argument, if I’m recalling correctly, was about how to handle left-over bottles of alcohol, that is, do we tap new ones or finish the previous first.  I don’t remember the sides, but I think one of them was arguing that all of the bottles belong to the Shrine as a whole meaning that you use the tapped bottles first, while the other took the side that the bottles belonged to the club that tapped them and therefore should not be used by another club.

What is significant about this argument in relationship to this post is not who was right or who was wrong.  As the two argued, the discussion became so heated (over what I felt was a trivial matter) that it felt to me as an outsider that it nearly came to blows.  But, after about ninety-seconds of this excessively angry argument, it ended.  I don’t even recall who one, but just as it started, it was over.  What’s more, the two men went on, in a friendly fashion, as if the argument never took place at all.  Some kind of decision was made (or, perhaps more appropriately a kind of détente), life went on, and the world kept spinning. 

I’ll never be able to convince my friend to change his stance, and he’ll never be able to change mine.  And that’s okay.  If I said something in yesterday’s blog that was wrong, then I do apologize for that, but it’s not his reposting the meme that I intended to target.  My point was that so many of these memes (yes, it happens on the left side as well) are too manipulative and based on half-truths.  So, he was wrong.  But so was I.  The world keeps spinning.


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