Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A little hypocrisy is a healthy thing

I hate to admit it, but "One in a Million" is a great rock and roll song. It's also racist, xenophobic, and fairly nasty. I've been struggling to reconcile this, but I've come to the ultimate conclusion that I can't. It's a great song, and it's a nasty, disgusting one at the same time. Sometimes consistency must sacrifice truth to remain intact, and given the choice, I'll ditch consistency in favour of truth.

I'm sick and tired of idealogues who, having nothing concrete to say against their opponents' arguments, attack them on the basis of hypocrisy, as if that were tantamount to proving them wrong. It's the worst sort of ad-hominem attack, if you ask me-- it in effect concedes the argument, or at best avoids it in favour of pointing out how bad the person making it is.

And the worst is that the accuser isn't even doing that, oh no! Why, that would be absolutist, and wrong. It is, after all, just as morally valid to mutilate women's genitalia as it is to educate women and raise them to be independent, critical thinkers. No, we're just pointing out how our opponent is being inconsistent.

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by
little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

- R.W. Emerson

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes

- W. Whitman

Little minds are consistent amongst foolish hobgoblins

- My Favourite Misquote of Emerson


Andrew Lias said...

I know ho wyou feel. I find that I really like Eminem songs. I don't really like any other rappers. Not only am I forced to reconcile myself to the fact that I like a number of his songs that have some rather unpleasant themes, but I also have to ask myself if the fact that I enjoy Eminem (as opposed to, say, Dr. Dre) has something to do with the fact that he's white.

Mr. Burns said...

Same here. From my point of view the problem has to do with the music. The music draws you in and then suddenly you realize you're listening to someone say things like: "So what about the bitch who got shot, f*ck her" (NWA).

Eric said...

It's not just the music sucking you in, though. If it were that simple, I could just write off Axl Rose as an egotistical racist maniac (well, I'll go with egotistical-- he is, or was, a rock and roll singer after all). I like to think we're all a bit more complex than that.