Celtic Riverside – The Online Journal of James Keenan

Pure Opinion

Trying something different here. This is a short piece of pure opinion. It’s what I honestly think, and I don’t care what others think about what I think about these things – I simply do not share these thoughts because I worry about upsetting or offending others.

Yes, upsetting or offending – with thoughts like some of the ones that follow. Some are about more polarising subjects, but some are 100% pure unadulterated personal preference. In no particular order:

  • I like Brie Larson. I like Captain Marvel. I like Brie Larson as Captain Marvel and the means by which many people state they do not like these things irritates me. I think that’s mostly because,
  • As much as I dislike the ‘dudebros,’ the muscle-bound idiots with their warped, archaic sense of masculinity, the toxicity of nerd culture is far worse. Perhaps that is because while the dudebros think they can pummel problems into agreement, the nerds think their are intellectually superior enough that their opinions matter more. They don’t – it’s rooted in the same misogyny and toxic masculinity.
  • The Republican party is not wrong in some of its ideas, but as a party they have been awful since Barry Goldwater and continue to get worse with each new administration. The Democrats lack a collective backbone (and generally individual ones), so while I appreciate people who will not sacrifice principle for the sake of “winning”, a person does need to stand up against those who would. The Dems have allowed the GOP to exploit them time and again.
  • I like Harris, Warren, Gillibrand, and, to a lesser extent, Buttigieg, O’Rourke, and Castro in the Democratic primary. I will not be supporting Biden or Sanders in the primary, but would support either of them over Trump in the general. I would be gravely disappointed with “choosing the lesser of two evils” though.
  • My Democratic position on 2020 is not a partisan matter. Trump will be the Republican nominee and the man lacks character. I do not do “winning at all costs”. Winning by cheating, without principle, or at the expense of innocent people is unacceptable to me, so argue all you want about good things he’s done. The “Hitler did good things for Germany” argument falls on deaf ears with me. Nominate someone else and I might consider it.
  • The designated hitter rule is bad and the American League should abandon it. The unwritten rules of baseball are stupid, as are the altercations that result from violating them. Awarding home field advantage to the winner of the All-Star game is a terrible practice.
  • Fighting is bad in hockey and they should clamp down on permissible hitting. The point of checking is to separate body from puck, to impede an opponent’s progress in a respectful manner that reflects good sportsmanship. Attempting to hurt people or “send a message” is nonsense that leads to injuries. The players would not have to police themselves if those hits did not occur. Kick repeat offenders out of the league.
  • Watch women’s sports if you are a fan of the sport. If you are an ice hockey fan, for example, and support the NHL but not the NWHL, you are missing a lot of wonderful hockey.
  • Men and women can be friends. At least, the ones who are not impulsive can. One can be attracted, sexually even, to a member of the opposite sex and maintain a platonic relationship (that does not involve harassing or assaulting the other person). There’s a difference between feeling and action. One cannot control the former, but can control the latter. Be respectful, treat them as an equal, and express that love in a platonic way.
  • Audiences today have more precedent, but they are not more sophisticated. Reading a lot of critiques of books and films only shows to me that audiences have lost the ability to appreciate work. Specifically, I am referring to the way that people dissect fiction for implausible elements that make the story “less believable”. It’s fiction. It does not have to be believable.
  • Capitalism has actually destroyed everything. It’s why we cannot have nice things. Well, not capitalism itself, which from an academic perspective is an ideal economic system that would benefit the masses, but the perverse version of it that we employed. A handful of greedy, exploitative, and opportunistic individuals rigged the system to profit themselves. They do not necessarily want to hurt others, but they do. People who do not see/believe this are buying into the fantasy of American exceptionalism that promises “It could be you!” It’s literally a lottery. You can be the most productive worker ever – it does not matter. In fact, it may work against you.
  • Opinions themselves – especially depending on the subject of the opinion, some people need to be mindful about how they share them. For example, yes, I do have a personal opinion about every single person I see about how attractive I think they are and what I think they are like. I also think it’s incredibly rude to impose those opinions on others (and potentially harassment). It blows me away how many people offer these unsolicited opinions to others. It doesn’t matter if one thinks it’s a compliment as the other person may not see it that way. If one is truly interested in complimenting the other person, considering that person’s perspective is the first step.
  • You know, I guess the short-hand for a lot of this is “people are slaves to their psychology”. This helped me with my anxiety. While I still have a great deal of anxiety in my life, it no longer qualifies as a disorder because it does not interfere with my life. I learned to cope with most of it, largely by observing how many people are unable (or unwilling) to cope with their psychology. No, I do not mean those with diagnosed mental health issues – I mean everyone. Like the person who automatically escalates every minor thing into a conflict. It’s become a feedback cycle like the one we see with the climate – people do not check their impulses, and that creates stress for others until those people feel they cannot check their impulses, so more and more people go with their first, cognitively biased reaction to what happened. That’s the simplified version of all the vitriol and BS we see in the world right now, and exactly how an “intelligent, civilised society” can support autocratic people and policies.
  • Avocado is bland and has a weird texture.
  • I hate trying new things because I feel they require a greater investment than I would like to give. I mean that in the sense of providing something an honest assessment. For example, I might try something once, but, as I have never tried it before, I lack the means to make an assessment of it. The first time I tried Greek food I hated it, thought it was bland. The conclusion could be, “Greek food is bland and I hate it,” or, “That particular Greek food was bland.” That means I have to try it again, perhaps a couple of times, to know for sure, I much prefer what is already tested and familiar.
  • Virtue signalling is fine. It’s a virtue. It should be signalled. What is wrong would be pretending to possess a virtue that one does not in order to appeal to others, only to betray them with the reality of one’s character later. Even a person who does not possess a particular virtue calling out that virtue as something admirable is a good thing though.
  • Standing up for teammates who have done wrong is stupid. Hold them accountable. It’s possible to be supportive and demand accountability at the same time. If a person repeatedly puts you in the position of having to stand by them as they do something wrong, find a new friend – do not simply excuse the behaviour on the basis of your relationship.
  • 90% of conflicts between a customer and an employee are the result of the customer being an entitled jerk. There may be a valid issue, but the argument with the employee is the result of the jerkiness. Do not abuse staff.
  • Seeing children as the future is a poor attitude that excuses current behaviour. Expect the current population to improve the world so that it’s ready for the children when they come of age, not that the children will improve it later.


Of course I have way more opinions bouncing around in my head, but these are the ones that came to me in the course of writing. It’s literally just a dump of ideas because I hate the constant feel of a hurricane in my mind as I try to keep silent any idea I feel will upset someone else.

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