Thursday, February 24, 2005

Subtlety and Bullshit

I have been criticized for not being subtle. For being too direct, too blunt, too aggressive and what have you.

Damn Skippy Bubba.

I can be quite subtle if I choose to be. I grew up in a family environment that required subtlety and manipulation skills par excellence just to survive.

In my work, I am often required to be subtle, and especially to be discrete. If I feel that is warranted, I certainly do so. For one, it's polite, and it only makes sense financially; If you are paying me to be nice to you, I'm going to be nice to you.

I CHOOSE to not be subtle. I choose to be direct, and blunt, and sometimes aggressive, because that's how I want to be. If that bothers you, I don't particularly care. My purpose in life is not to avoid bothering you.

I am a very confident person. I know my abilities, I know my limitations, I am absolutely certain about what I can or cannot do, and I make no bones about it.

When you combine these factors, I am often thought to be arrogant or "superior". GOOD.

I'm a damn smart cookie, and I know it. I'm physically strong and capable. I have a very broad base of experience, and a deep and useful education (both formal and personal). I have a right to be confident, and if my confidence makes you uncomfortable, that's your problem.

I don't think I'm better than everyone, but I damn well know I'm smarter, stronger, and more knowledgeable than a hell of a lot of people; If I wasn't I wouldn't be able to do my job. Why should I let the fact that you are emotionally incapable of being challenged without your fragile ego being coddled all the time cripple the way I work?

I love talking with people, exchanging ideas, debating, arguing, etc... I'll listen to you on almost anything if you are civil, or good looking. Just because I disagree with you, or know you are wrong, doesn't mean I didn't listen; It means I know you are wrong, or it isn't a matter of right or wrong, it's a matter of opinion, and my opinion is different from yours. We could have a nice debate or friendly argument about it, and maybe you'll change my mind, or I'll change yours, and hell, just the argument alone will be fun (I'm not a guy who takes other people having ideas other than mine personally) but don't expect be to respect your ideas just by virtue of you having them. If you have an idea, you damned well better be ready to vigorously defend it.

How is this arrogance? Have we completely lost the ability to distinguish arrogance from confidence and competence? Are we supposed to be unsure of ourselves at all times?

Well if you look at liberal reactions to anyone who shows any sort of certitude, that answer is apparently, yes. Some people seem to believe that NO-ONE should ever be sure they are right, and if they are they are either arrogant, evil, or stupid.

To those people I say, I'm right, you're wrong, life sucks, get a fucking helmet.