September 9, 2012

I just realised why I have a distinct aversion to politics.

I went to a cafe this afternoon with my parents. In the cafe function-room was a bit of an exhibition on 9-11, conspiracy theory convention ahoy. I went down to have a look around, as did my dad. He’s a bit of a conspiracy theory nut, to be honest, and he loves politics of all kinds, so he knows all this extra 9-11 fuss already. And on the way home, he got very enthusiastic about the whole thing.

I’m a skeptic; I’m always a skeptic. But arguing with my dad is futile and ends up in full-scale blow-up knock-down verbally-drag-you-around-by-the-hair fights, no matter what you argue about; he’s very passionate about everything he believes and is Very Certain He’s Right, so if you disagree, You’re Wrong And Must Be Convinced Until You Agree Fully. Any disagreement is steamrollered and hammered and attacked until it or you are obliterated, usually with personal comments worked in the more worked up he gets. He takes differing viewpoints as a personal affront.

I was a contentious child. I have my own opinions. I have always had my own opinions. The confrontations we had- over anything and everything, from showers to religion to bedtimes to politics to clean dishes to philosophy to theories of any kind- were markedly and distinctly unpleasant. If I expressed any form of contrary opinion, I was bludgeoned until I gave in or until he gave up. And I don’t give in. And I wouldn’t pretend to. So he would have to give up eventually, which is why a significant period of my habituation under his roof was also markedly and distinctly unpleasant. And this is why I dislike confrontations. And this is why I don’t live at home anymore.

I love my dad. There are so many good things about him and he cares so much about things, and he cares deeply about me. Which is why he tries so hard to convince me of the truth as he sees it. But we’re both stubborn, opinionated people. I really, really don’t talk to him about controversial subjects.

This afternoon in the car, he began on the 9-11 topic. I expressed cautious disagreement. He waxed enthusiastic and loquacious and began to get a little aggressive. So I subsided straight into, “you know I’m not interested in politics. Not my thing. don’t like talking about it, don’t care. Let’s talk about something else.”

We talked about something else. And this is why I don’t like politics- because my dad does.

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