Oxymorons always fascinated my paradoxal brain. Words that immediately contradicted each other, reminded of most dining conversations with family. My English teacher in high school, made it his mission that all students would understand the parts of speech we used every day. Metaphors, Similies,( Like I was going to remember that) denouements, homonyms, synonyms and antonyms, were intrical parts of every 55 minute lesson. But it was the oxymorons that stuck with me. Jumbo Shrimp, Little Big Man and Military Intelligence were always the examples used to drive the concept home. As Covid-19 drags into month 6, the contradiction of living “Alone Together” seeing only “Small Crowds” where “Negative Income” prevails.
The title of today’s offering is one of life’s oxymorons . I will use simple observational evidence and not statistical support to make a point. Using cherry picked data can often manipulate information. For example: Statistically speaking, 6 out of seven dwarfs, are not Happy, and this observational data is supported by people like Snow White and the Handsome Prince.
Pretty Ugly is a phrase I hear far too often as people gently describe my clothes, my face and my golf swing. I choose to interpret this as people’s attempt keep my motivation to improve alive without whispering moron without oxi.
Generally Specific leads me to my lazy approach to address my current stereotypes versus the individual impressions. When I say stereotypes, I am not talking to my high school friends, who competed for the best stereo type in their basement. Quadrophonic sound, subwoofers from Yamaha, Pioneer, Panasonic or Sony amplifiers, elevated the Jethro Tull experience. No I am talking about family bias, that shaped children’s assessment of all types of people you had never met, but felt compelled to offer your opinion, because that is something you learned to get good at, to avoid awkward pauses in conversation.
To be more generally specific, this is what I mean.
General: Accountants are dull, boring people.
Specific: I have worked in multiple global organzations and have found most accountants, to be engaging, intelligent people, who wreak with credibility with every conversation they have. Also some of the funniest people I have had the pleasure to debate are accountants.
General: Police are ego driven corrupt power mongers who crave authority.
Specific: I had the pleasure of playing slow pitch on the Barrie OPP team for years. I found every one of these weekend athletes to be caring, kind and deeply respectable officers of the law. Never felt intimidated , and humanity overrode their authority with every interaction.
General: All Families are dysfunctional
Specific: As the joke goes, we put the “fun” in dis”fun”ctional, and one must accept that every family has its drama and marginal conflicts. I might underestimate the issues within my family dynamics, but when I think of my brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, matriarchs, patriarchs, and parents and grandparents who have passed, my initial response is a smile. I have been blessed with family roots that never destroy the occasional ugly weed in the family garden. Covid19 has reminded me what is and what is not important in lifes’s journey. My family hovers at the top of things I miss. For the skeptics who have met my family, and suggest many of us suffer from severe mental illness, my response is we don’t suffer from it, we enjoy it.
General: Teachers are going through the motions, uncommitted to teaching to all student’s needs and remember they get the summers off.
Specific: I have two aunts who were teachers, and reflecting on my schooling, I would have to confess, most of my teachers were exceptional people, who took their jobs as a vocation. Now perhaps the students were not as dedicated to the learning, but attending the occasional high school reunion changed my opinion. Not only were these teachers good at their job, they were also very decent people. As students we may not have viewed them as human beings, but as adults, they seemed to transform into good, decent people.
General: Doctors are cheap uncaring professionals who never see you on time, and waiting rooms are always over crowded with 30 year old National Geographics as only reading material.
Specific: Now I may have got lucky on this one. My childhood memories of Dr. Wilf Anderson, making house calls to check my 5 year old tonsils, were filled with fond kindness and care. 30 years in the Pharmaceutical industry did not change my impression of these dedicated caregivers. Even during Covid19 they adjusted to full 10 hour days with phone appointments to ensure patient care responsibly did not wane in spite of inability for proper physical diagnosis.
General: All musicians are weird, unorganized, ethereal, attention grabbing show offs.
Specific: As a musician hard to argue that one.
General: Americans are boastful, loud people with a superiority complex.
Specific: I purposely refrained from addressing religious, cultural, racial or national stereo types as that would be blog suicide in today’s current environment, with this one exception. I have had the fortunate experience through work or vacations, to have traveled to 41 of the 50 states, and without exception, each one on one interaction has been engaging, entertaining and comfortable experiences. Avoiding political or legal topics was key, however I still found the people of my neighbouring country, interesting, compassionate and even humble in all topics discussed.
I have discussed the 90 \ 10 reverse formula in previous offerings. For the few of you who do not memorize every word I write, let me recap. 90% of all people are decent kind human beings. 10% of people are absolute idiots. Unfortunately those 10% cause 90% of the problems, drama and conflict in your life. I repeat this as a gentle warning to avoid the one story syndrome. If the first athlete you meet is an @#*hole, it does not mean all athletes are that way. We tend to be influenced far too much by the one and not the many. I will try to be more generally specific as time goes one.
Let me end with two final oxymorons. As with all of my blogs, the response to this one will echo with Deafening Silence. And allow me to invent a new one based on our current news… Politically Scientific.
Cue the Blong. One more contradiction…