By now I’m sure you’re familiar with the Princeton mom, the woman who wrote a letter addressed to Princeton’s female college students encouraging them to find a man to marry while they were still in college. Pretty much everyone in the world has commented on it by now, and most of those comments have included some desire to see her get deported. A few news outlets shared some of the more grammatically-correct opinions, and I read as many as I could stomach, which I’m pretty sure was about three. Because if the blind, inchoate anger in those opinions represented the cream of the crop, I can only imagine what horrors would have awaited me in all the online discussion threads.
And to help make sure you are able to craft the kind of semi-literate opinion that others are sure to ignore, here are a few simple tricks you can use:
Don’t Bother Reading the Source Material! Nevermind that it takes two seconds to link to the original article, and that those links will be posted in every opinion about that article that you’ll ever read. And nevermind that source material is pretty much the only way to get a clear understanding of what started all the comments in the first place. (Side note: this is the reason that my recent book, My Interpretation of What God Really Wants Based on a Lot of Chat Room Discussions I’ve Participated In, hasn’t sold quite as well as the Bible.) The point is, forming an opinion without reading the thing that you’re forming your opinion on is a great way to have the kind of opinion no one cares to hear about. Although that, of course ,is just my opinion.
Spend the Majority of Your Argument Attacking the Other Person! In debate terms, this is called an ad hominem attack, but you can just call it the “you’re wrong because you’re ugly” line of reasoning. Doing this will allow you to completely ignore the issue you’re addressing and pick away at completely irrelevant personal information about the person you disagree with. For example, I think we would have a much better country if Maria Sotomayor would defend her position on a particular court case by saying, “Well, Scalia voted in favor, and he’s a turdbag, so I’m voting against.” Besides, debating the merits of an argument would require you to have a fully articulated opinion of your own, and that much thinking is like really hard.
Defend the Idea that There is ONLY ONE RIGHT ANSWER TO THE QUESTION YOU’RE DEBATING! There are times, I suppose, where there really is only one right answer to something. Illegally downloading movies without paying for them is stealing, which is why we’ve created laws that no one listens to. But in cases like the Princeton mom, there are actually a lot of right answers. Some women want a career, others want to raise a family; some men want to work, others want to be stay-at-home dads – and there is an enormous difference between saying “I disagree with your way of thinking” and “Your way of thinking is entirely invalid.” To suggest that one of those philosophies is categorically wrong is categorically stupid, and it’s a great way to demonstrate that your understanding of the world is limited to only your personal experience.
So next time to care to share your thoughts with the world, make sure to use one or more of these techniques. Because if you don’t do what I’m suggesting here, then you’re obviously a sad and lonely person with bad hair and a dismal credit score. And people like you don’t even deserve to have opinions.