I think what’s happening when someone asks for an *objective opinion is an untethering of you, the asked, from the protection and safety of polite social niceties. You’ll notice I said “protection and safety”,not “crushing niceness” or whatever. Maybe this is key in how I think about this. Whether or not we claim to like them, polite social norms often protect us from saying what we really think in situations where it doesn’t matter what we really think.
When a friend asks for an objective opinion, they are asking to cut you free to possibly hurt them. They are cutting you free from safety to tell them that their paper isn’t up to standards, that their wardrobe could use improving, that their kid is a shit, that they are going bald, or maybe they are really codependent. They’re setting you loose to give an honest opinion from your heart, and they are not saying that nothing you say will be held against you.
They’re not giving you permission to be cruel.
This isn’t coming out of anywhere in particular. Occasionally I just spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about word usage and why we think the things that we mean, may not mean exactly what we think they do. (could I have said that more confusingly? V unlikely)
I love you. Be nice to each other.
* I don’t really think there’s such a thing as a genuinely objective opinion.
Enjoy these here 🍌 🦆
My hair curls up too much for convention on one side of my face while the other hangs straight, as if its decided to represent differing parts of my genetic make-up. It is yet to be seen how business will go today, so I’m writing this behind the bar. I’m feeling nostalgic and thinking about my cousin with her, long straight blonde hairs, always dyed an extraordinary colour ( long before galaxy hair entered the pop-culture zeitgeist) and the tattoos of gentle things up and down her arms and chest. I wonder if she ever got a “bake cake” knuckle tattoo, but all my Instagram stalking won’t reveal that, TBH.
We didn’t make good friends after childhood. We didn’t make good friends as children. Family forced us together, and as adults it was me who forced us apart.
I still love you ,Jasmine, and when I find your name on those stupid name-license-plates, laughter comes up.
Also and more aggressively present in my mind is that it’s been 4 years since the man who taught me about Bukowski, made me love Radiohead and forced me (against my will, sometimes) to love myself passed. Memories come up out of nowhere and beat the dust off forgotten parts of my soul every year, about a month before this date. I feel dread when the radio plays, and a thousand little things that’d mean nothing to anyone else rip at me. My worry sometimes is that I’d turned the man the may have been one of the most militant of Atheists into an Idol in my one mind, some sort of Sacred Sad Boy. He left a Tribe of us sad kids behind, missing him and (in my case) consumed with the fear that we could’ve stopped something, but did not.
I hope he was wrong sometimes, about everything ending in nothing.
(we all hope for what we need)
I hope he’s somewhere happily scattered around the universe so that he can see that when lights explode in the American night sky in the beginning of the summer heat, His tribe (all scattered ) look up , and see him though all the smoke and dust and brilliance.
Happy July Fourth.