Thursday, August 11, 2011

Consider the Cantaloupe

Do you like cantaloupe? I do, though only if it's a bit soft. And I don't always eat down to the rind. Sometimes the bit near the rind is too hard. And it has to be cut thin?

What's that? You like the rind? Go what myself? And you'd rather have hard, crisp cantaloupe? Well I never!

I bet you and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, too. And I'll tell you that I'm largely indifferent to gun control and for the death penalty (with a big healthy asterisk next to it). So now you know all you need to know about me, and if you're a Democrat we likely have nothing to say to one another, right? But hang on, I'm also pro-choice and all for marriage equality and disgusted by the Tea Party lunatics. Where does that leave us? Now if you're a Republican you know all there is to know about me, right?

The internet seems to be pushing this sort of behavior. Twenty years ago if you thought of dressing up in a panda costume and spanking your neighbor, you kept it to yourself. Maybe the urge went away eventually, or maybe you just kept it locked up and never acted on it. With the advent of easy communication and anonymity, you can panda yourself up and spank until your palms are sore. Or discuss it at least. It must be great to find so many like-minded friends, even if none are in your area.

But, now the people in your local, physical community are less important, aren't they? Previously you had to compromise: you'd only put on the panda suit when the wife was out of town on weekends, and never in front of anyone. And you'd never in a million years talk to anyone about it. Now you don't need to compromise.

If you enjoy deep sea fishing, well, fuck the trout fishermen quit frankly. You can find other marlin enthusiasts. If you like the Portland Sea Dogs you can tell the rest of the country to go to hell if they don't because now you have a place to talk about them. And if mustard is your thing there's no problem tucking yourself away from those who'd rather have ketchup.

There are forums out there dedicated to just about anything, and it makes me think that we're losing our ability to compromise and that extreme behaviors are being brought into sharper contrast.

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