"Am I out of touch?"... "No. It is the children who are wrong."
If you don't recognise that quote, it is from Principal Skinner on The Simpsons.
It has certainly been on my mind this week. I certainly coped some heat last week for my weekly article. Firstly, I'd just like to highlight that this is MY weekly article. I started "Glass Half-Full" at the start of 2018 as a weekly space for me to articulate my thoughts. It's meant to be somewhat of a diary entry of what has been on my mind. I generally try to tie it in with local events and topics, but it is my space. At Mirage we are constantly trying to be mindful of allowing a diversity of voice, especially focusing on groups that might not otherwise have a voice and promoting the little guy/girl that might not otherwise get attention in the media. But I am still a 30-something white heteronormative male and unfortunately, that can't be fixed.
Here is a story I think goes a long way to articulating what went wrong last week. A friend of mine shared a story from her weekend last week out with some girlfriends for a party, she commented to one of the girls that she loved her skirt and was planning to wear it as well but that the shop was still waiting on her size. The rest of the night this other woman spent the night giving her negative glances (think death stares) and such until the end of the night when she confronted her and was told: "I can't believe you tried to fat shame me".
To me, this really highlights the perspective we place over everything, even seemingly innocuous comments can become construed as rude or attacking.
That does not mean I am trying to discount or brush away any of the criticism or comments I've been given this past week. I have been blown away by how many people bothered to reach out to me and tell me their story as a result. While the public comments were probably 98% anti-Kian it was way more balanced in private as people articulated why they either agreed or disagreed with me. As usual, the people I'd consider smarter than I, were able to articulate clearly how they could see both sides.
Without starting a fresh argument, I'll try to articulate what I was edging at but did a bad job at last week by talking about another topic close to my heart: Live Music. If you talk to a range of people they will all give you a different reason why live music is dying in our city or in many locations across the country. It could be: liquor restrictions, licensing issues, venue closures because of sound restrictions, venues turning into apartments, baby-boomers, the talent pool, government funding for music, festivals... you get the picture, there is plenty of potential reasons.
I'd say that none of these reasons is necessarily wrong.
My point is simply that one topic spills into others. That my life experience is different to yours and from that my hierarchy of what is important is going to be different. That if you want to fix one issue in society sometimes you actually need to take a few more steps back and try to see what issues intersect with that and how you might need to work on several tasks at once to solve an issue.
For those of you that have read this far and haven't decided to boycott Mirage as a product of my view on one topic, I'd like to highlight this with you. More people commented, reacted to or shared my piece last week because they disagreed than did any of the 3 for the past 30 articles published almost combined. Honestly, I do not expect everyone to agree with me on every topic, like the song, life would be pretty boring if everybody looked (thought) the same we'd get tired of looking at each other. Our failure as humans is often how much quicker we are attack than we are to celebrate.
I am sorry feelings were hurt, that was never my intention.