As my dear old dad was fond of saying, "Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one and they all stink." This colorful turn of phrase has been circulating in my mind recently and it's made me wonder...
When did opinion get elevated to the level of fact?
Watch the news. Everyone from an actor to a hairdresser to a senator is spouting their opinion on national television, and more often then not, their opinion is taken as gospel.
Now, I'm not saying all opinions are wrong. I'm certainly not implying that having opinions is wrong. Lord knows I'm one of the most opinionated people I know. (If not the most. Thinking about it now, I can't think of anyone... okay maybe my ex-boyfriend... he made me look whiffley.) In fact, I'd say holding an opinion of your own is important. It shows you can make determinations about things.
The problem comes when an opinion isn't based on any kind of facts. For instance, I don't like Martha Stewart. I don't have any basis in fact for that feeling. She just irritates me. My not liking her doesn't make her evil, though. And my not liking her shouldn't have any weight in someone else forming an opinion about her. (And for the record, even though I don't like her, I still admire her ingenuity. And don't get me started about how wrong I think her prosecution was. See? I said I was opinionated.)
Most of the things I say on this blog are my opinions - although some are more opinion than others and are labeled as such. I figure most of you know that, but there may be lurkers who think otherwise. Occasionally, if the opinion is strong enough, I'll post links to the facts I used to form my opinion. After that, it's up to you to form your own opinion.
Even if I make it to the big time best-selling author realm, though, my opinions will still just be opinions. Being famous doesn't make someone right. Sure, I'd like it if you shared my opinions. What I'd love even more is for you to think about my opinions, investigate them, and if you think I have a basis in fact for my opinion, join me in that opinion.
And if you think I'm dead wrong - and can support your opinion with facts - disagree with me. I'm open to changing my mind. Sometimes. ;o)