Dec 17, 2012

My opinion on Opinions

This was something I started writing several months ago and for some reason it never got posted. For the few of you who still read blogs and the fewer still who still read mine, here's a bit on my opinion of opinions of one who my opinion of is smaller than his opinion of me. Opinion.

I overheard a conversation at school recently from my least favorite teacher ever to some of my fellow students.

This teacher was commenting on a student who had written a paper about an artist who the student didn't like and thought their work to be rubbish. The teacher's response was something to the effect of "once you become a rich artist who sells their paintings for millions of dollars, then you can talk."

So, in other words, you can write the paper with integrity or fail. 

To me, that's a huge load of donkey crap, as well as indicative of some of the things wrong at that school, or at least in that department. What they're saying is your worth isn't based on your arguments, or your intelligence but on your future success. (Success they have no way of knowing, naturally). Not only that, but basically, the teacher is saying you're not allowed to have an opinion unless yours agrees with me. That's pretty much par for the course as far as that teacher is concerned, but it irked me more than usual.

Some of you with insanely good memories may know I had a similar rundown with another teacher in the past. I think that event was much different, and I'll get to why in a minute.

College is supposed to be somewhere that you learn. Ideally, where you learn what you intend to do for a large percentage of your life. It's also where you acquire skills that are supposed to assist you no matter what you choose. One is having a difference of opinion and then supporting why. If you're not free to present a dissenting opinion, and give reason for it, then a large part of college and in some ways one of the most important parts, is null and void.

But what does it matter, as I haven't sold paintings for millions of dollars, and therefore my opinion is worthless. Never mind the fact that artists like Van Gogh never sold or only sold one painting in their life, who cares, he didn't make millions.

If money is used to value a person or their artistic integrity or worth, you'll find that we'll all be in debt. How dare you try to ascribe someone's worth or even opinions on what they make. I'm being careful not to mention that as a college professor, many graduating students are getting better paying jobs than you have, so you just made your own opinion invalid. But I would never say a thing like that.

Though my opinions of this teacher are less than glowing, I understand my low opinion of his opinion may stem from my loathing towards him. As Oscar Wilde put it, "Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike." It's true, I dislike this teacher immensely. My one redeeming thought is I'll soon be free forever.

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