Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

You Call The Tune, You Gotta Pay The Piper...

Well, I've been dancing around this all weekend, but I can't in good conscience avoid it. My friend Andy went to a great deal of time and trouble to put together a series of counter-arguments to my post on torture. He speaks a lot of truth, pulls no punches, but ultimately I think he read too much into what I was saying.

I don't want to start a back & forth debate about what I meant. After all, I wrote it, and I know exactly what I meant. However, errors in communication come in either translation, transmission or perception. IMHO, Andy got torqued off at something he perceived was directed at him. This was not the intention, but saying so after the fact is usually a case of 'too little too late'. The damage has usually been done at that point.

This brings me back to a point I made when I first started this blog. How long can you disagree with a friend before the fundamental differences aired in publishing your viewpoints begin to tear at the relationship? Even though my comment at the professional whining class regarding Nancy-boys and growing a pair of balls grated on Andy, it's not enough, I hope, to fundamentally affect our friendship. Neither is his comment about me last week where I am called a gun nut.

Still, what's said has been said. He won't forget it, and I won't forget it. It's just a thin veneer of red/blue apartheid-flavored varnish that would ordinarily be chipped off in the day-to-day contact we had 10 years ago. With 200 miles in between us, though, and little contact other than the blogs, it's likely to just remain. It's just as likely to get added to.

How much is a blog worth? Is it worth a friendship? After all, there's plenty of reasons to quit doing it. I'm not as constant in my posting as I'd like. I catch myself stretching the lunch hour to get another post in. I'm mentioning my job.
I'm not ready to consider quitting, though. Hell, I haven't even had a troll yet.

I'll stand by what I posted, over-generalizations, unlikely premises, cherry-picked arguments and all. The whole point of this blog was not to sugarcoat things. I will agree with a lot of what Andy had to say. He speaks from the heart and the intellect, and his points are logical and rational. Still, there are fundamental differences in what's going to constitute torture. He's willing to cut the line much finer than I am.

I guess, for arguments sake, I'll go with Penn & Teller's NPD principle as to what I define torture as. NPD means "No Permanent Damage". I'll refine that to say No Permanent Physical Damage. I don't discount the ability to inflict mental damage, but the Professional Whining Class has interpreted the causes of psychic trauma to mean anything short of giving a person their slightest whim for their entire lives will result in irreparable mental damage. Being that... liberal (for lack of a better word) in your interpretations makes drawing that thin line much more difficult when you really need to.

If anything, we've learned that if room for interpretation exists, then room for disagreement expands exponentially. Perhaps it's best to keep marking our positions with a finer and finer edge until we reach some form of common ground. The alternative is to retreat further into our separate ideological camps until our neighbors are as unrecognizable as people from across the globe.