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We the human race have the most ridiculous tendency: we zero in on our differences, enlarge them to epic proportions, and harp upon them--pick-pick-pick, lecture-lecture-lecture, obsess-obsess-obsess--until bringing about an argument, freeze-out, or war. And we usually don't stop after that, either. We just lather, rinse, and repeat. It's part of the need to belong to a group, a tribe; and I know it will never go away. But I also think it's taken way too far, way down to laughably small details--or rather, they would be laughable, if they didn't result in tears, blood, and death.

Religious schisms are the obvious example. There's the famous joke where two people exchange views, agreeing on everything at first--"I'm a Christian." "Me too!" "Protestant." "Me too!" "Baptist." "Me too!" "Second Baptist Church of Christ of Louisiana." "Oh. I'm First Baptist of Missouri. Die, sacrilegious scum!" I don't have to point to specific instances regarding the Catholic Church right now. You've seen it on your own f-list.

And it goes all the way down to personal relationship level, which is really where I think it's idiotic. People who have 99% of everything in common, and know each other extremely well, will spend 50% of their time arguing about that 1% difference. I'm getting tired of it. It's extraordinarily stupid, and predictable, and nothing exasperates me faster than predictable stupidity. No, we'll never find someone who's 100% perfect in our eyes. It's a sad fact--but then again, 99%, or even 90%, is pretty good. People's quirks and preferences, ones you may never quite understand, are what make them individuals, and are part of what drew you to them. Radio host Chris, in one of his thoughtful rambles on "Northern Exposure," observed with regret, "When we win the woman of our dreams, the first thing we do is try to change her." It's true (for both sexes), and it should not be that way--not for lovers, and not for friends either.

Oh, I've done it too. I know I have. "I thought I liked you until I found out you didn't care for the LOTR movie. There is no trust between us now." "You prefer sweet pickles to dill? Get out of this house; out!"

But I'm trying not to. Call it part of my New Year's resolution, which was to stay out of internet debates; or call it an attempt to keep my stress level down (because stress ages you unnaturally fast, and I want to hang onto my girlish looks).

So. Comment below if you want me to name something I like about you, despite it not being a feature I'm interested in having myself.

And me? Is there anything you admire or like about me even though it's different from the way you'll ever be? (No biological traits, now. That's silly.) Speak up. Get over here onto this common ground.

We'll crush the infidels later this afternoon, when we've had some tea and a few good laughs.

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
darthbeckman
Apr. 20th, 2005 10:34 am (UTC)
What's so good about me?
mollyringle
Apr. 20th, 2005 10:40 am (UTC)
Oh, several things. :) But one of my favorites, even though I personally avoid confrontation everywhere, is your willingness to walk into the halls of academia and *not* sit quietly while the professors proclaim stuff that isn't true. I guess that goes somewhat against my theme of seeking common ground with all, but then so do their indoctrinations (and lying is never fair).
darthbeckman
Apr. 20th, 2005 10:42 am (UTC)
There was one small disappointment yesterday. While the whole world was celebrating the white smoke and church bells, I had to be in class being told how much America sucks. Oh well. Not even Professor Pants can bring me down now :p
mollyringle
Apr. 20th, 2005 10:50 am (UTC)
*stoner voice* See, man, it's like I said...people just want to bring you down, man. */stoner*

At least thinking of him as "Professor Pants" must help. "Pants" is an inherent comedy word. Especially since it means "underpants" in British English.
darthbeckman
Apr. 20th, 2005 11:03 am (UTC)
Do you remember how I gave him that nickname? He bears a striking resemblance to actor Joe Pantoliano (You be the judge). The professor's real name - Palermo - isn't that far off from it either, heh.
mollyringle
Apr. 20th, 2005 11:56 am (UTC)
Heh! He does somewhat. Wonder if Pantoliano's friends call him "Pants".
noyen
Apr. 20th, 2005 10:50 am (UTC)
i like that you write. and that you constantly self-question. and question. and you like the cure. and long walks on the beach.
mollyringle
Apr. 20th, 2005 10:53 am (UTC)
Hee hee. Thank you.

I like that you brave the loud chaos of clubs, and the financial insecurity of record labels, in order to pursue a love of music. And I also like that you're one of the few people from #thecure that I haven't had some weird personal argument with at some point in history. (Or have we, and I just forgot?) :)
celli
Apr. 20th, 2005 10:55 am (UTC)
I have no understanding of perfume at all; If I own some, I can't find it. But I enjoyed your last couple of posts about perfume, the "Grace Kelly" perfume and the synopsis of the perfume book you were reading. You make me want to hit the local perfume counter. :)
mollyringle
Apr. 20th, 2005 11:02 am (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, I'm pretty obsessive about that...
And I guess I don't know you well at all, but I'm certainly glad there are people like you who understand income taxes; and also that you took the time to write a page on how to help people write better fanfic. I never feel like mentoring people much...
trilliah
Apr. 20th, 2005 11:22 am (UTC)
Something I've actually always found interesting about the both of us: we are so very opposite on the political spectrum, but neither of us lets it get in the way of anything important. And quite honestly, despite the fact that I will never hold the same points of view as most republicans, I think it's good for me to have friends like you: people who are there to remind me that not only does it not really MATTER, but that I cannot categorize people into nice, neat little columns, because rarely will they ever fit. You're snarky and funny and clever and extremely intelligent and I admire you in every way; I admire you MORE for being the Republican who attempts to remind everyone else that Republican or Democrat, we're all of the same race, and fighting over it is letting it get out of hand.
mollyringle
Apr. 20th, 2005 12:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Lately I've tried to view politics as: "Do you want to lose friends because of differing opinions on people you'll never meet [i.e., politicians]?" Logical answer is, of course, no. Anyway, some days, with the flack I get for being such a social libertine (at least in the eyes of more conservative people), I wonder if I'm not "really" a libertarian instead of a conservative. Depends on my mood.

So, aside from the obvious things I admire about you, like artistic talent (written and graphic both) and general good humor and trustworthiness, I really admire that you are willing to take on a medical-type career--something I know I couldn't stomach. Your courage is inspiring!
sopdetly
Apr. 20th, 2005 11:39 am (UTC)
I admire your willingness to tell everyone to stop and shut the hell up, especially when things start to get personal. I'm too fond of either arguing back, or just letting people go and tire themselves up.

What do you like about moi? *bats eyelashes*
mollyringle
Apr. 20th, 2005 12:08 pm (UTC)
*grins at the icon*
Thank you - I sometimes suspect that my habit of asking for a cease-fire is just cowardly, rather than admirable. But hey, my blood pressure must be preserved.

I like so MANY things about you. :D The hard part is coming up with ones that I don't share or "get", since we have an uncommon amount in common, one might say. So I guess one random thing is that I love your zeal for fandom, extending to the fandoms I don't share, such as sports. If I were going to care about baseball, I guess I would be a Mariners fan (or maybe Cubs, to go for a more classic underdog), but I think it's cool of you to be a Take-No-Prisoners NY fan and stand up proud about it.
sopdetly
Apr. 20th, 2005 12:42 pm (UTC)
That was my problem, too, finding something I like about you that I'm not so down with and that wasn't the perfume thing since it was already mentioned :P So I had to dig into that 1% that we're always quibbling over ;)

As for the Yankee love, I think it's easier being a Yankee fan knowing that I can, at any point, prove that it's not just the wins that I'm a fan of because, dude, I'm a NY Rangers fan, too. They suck. But I love them. ;)
bluesound
Apr. 20th, 2005 01:24 pm (UTC)
Oddly someone else posted something similar only yesterday.
modmerseygirl
Apr. 20th, 2005 11:27 pm (UTC)
*applauds* Marvelous post, Miss M. :-) You know I love ya! *hugs*

Well, I'd love to have my ego boosted this evening, so if there's anything you'd like to say, I'd enjoy reading it. ;-)

I think you're an amazing writer, a terrific music-recommender and an even better LJ buddy. I'm so thankful that our paths crossed! You're a marvelous lady and a real blessing to know. Hopefully we'll get to meet in person someday and chat for hours over coffee.

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Molly}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} <3
mollyringle
Apr. 21st, 2005 07:39 am (UTC)
Thank you, Miz K. :)

Well, aside from all your great music recommendations and fandom discussions, which are interests we *do* have in common, I really admire your positive attitude and sweetness. Me, I'm so sarcastic that it's become second nature, and I tend to offend people without even meaning to. Heh. So though I don't know how you do it, I think it's awesome that you keep such an upbeat attitude--even if it's just a front. ;) Also, even though I've been lazy about getting a religion, I admire that you are so secure and happy in yours. Your friends and family are lucky to know you. Wish I were closer for coffee! (And I'd like to have a look at that Starbucks guy...)
modmerseygirl
Apr. 21st, 2005 09:28 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you so much, Molly! *sniffles* You're a gem. :-) I feel undeserving of those words, but thank you! You really made my day brighter.

Love yas!
mollyringle
Apr. 21st, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
Silly girl, of course you're worthy. :) But I'm glad you had a brighter day, all the same!
elycia
Apr. 21st, 2005 12:41 am (UTC)
And me? Is there anything you admire or like about me even though it's different from the way you'll ever be?

Of course, I adore your deliciously warped sense of humor, and the way you manage to wield it so effectively in your parodies. But I think what I most admire is that you have the balls to post your real, unvarnished opinions on things, actual photographs of yourself, and other details of your Real Life without being ashamed or reserved or afraid of repercussions.

I'm far more cautious. Some people know me by my real name; others by my LJ name. Damn few people know both. And I'd probably rather strip naked in front of a crowd than admit my strong political or personal opinions publicly in most cases. I don't think my own mother knows for whom I voted in the last election.

So in short, I admire your courage and your spirit. Bravo!
mollyringle
Apr. 21st, 2005 07:43 am (UTC)
Thank you! I seldom think of myself as anything resembling courageous. It's good, if surprising, to hear.

You don't post nearly often enough for me to know you extremely well, ;) ...but from what I've seen so far, you are wondrously level-headed. That's especially rare and valuable in fandom, where the wank level runs high. I have let myself get sucked into online drama way too many times, and probably will do so again despite my best efforts. Keeping quiet about personal details is something I ought to do more often for my own peace of mind, I think.

The fandom is richer for having you in it! Stay sane. Rock on. :)
(Anonymous)
Apr. 22nd, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
What I like about you (music insert here)
I like that you can write about any subject, from perfume, to linguistics, to politics, and make it entertaining. I like that you are unafraid to be a proud conservative American.
mollyringle
Apr. 23rd, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
Re: What I like about you (music insert here)
Thank you--I don't feel "unafraid," but I always like to be considered entertaining! I'd return the favor, but uh... what I like about you is that you will compliment people in completely anonymous fashion and therefore make it impossible for them to think you were fishing for compliments yourself. :)
ainu_laire
Apr. 23rd, 2005 12:28 am (UTC)
Marvelous post. I like how you are not afraid to speak your mind. And I admire your intelligence. I like how you aren't afraid to show that you are a conservative LOTR fan. I greatly admire you for that.
mollyringle
Apr. 23rd, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I was pleased to find there were more conservative LOTR fans than expected out there. I think you're extremely cool for getting interested in politics, and being so smart, at such a young age. I was pretty darn apathetic back then myself.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )