Do you think controversy is a good thing or a bad thing? I looked up the definition in my huge old American Heritage Dictionary, 2,134 pages. It weighs more than I do, I think. It’s beginning to look its age. It’s been rained on, sat on, bent. It’s seen better days, but so have I. I’d be lost without it. It’s a good friend. With any luck, we’ll go together when we go.
The first definition reads, 1. A dispute, especially a public one, between sides holding opposing views. See synonyms at ARGUMENT. 2. The art or practice of engaging in such disputes: writers skilled in controversy.
That’ll do. I love to argue. Do you? I think I’m more a practitioner than an artist. I doubt there will be much debate about that.
As all of us know, on Kauai-and perhaps the world-controversy holds center stage. Today on Kauai we see and hear it all the time. People love cats. People hate cats. People love roosters. People hate roosters. We’re vocal and often contentious. It’s when people resort to name-calling and fisticuffs the going gets rough.
But wouldn’t it be a dreadful bore if we all agreed?
Hot topics are always fun. Think of taxes. This is an easy one. Those that are being taxed oppose. Those collecting taxes concur. There ain’t no middle ground. Odd that, in truth, all of us are being taxed, even those who agree. But those of us who oppose outnumber them. How does that work? I think that would be a discussion, not a debate. But we could Dux that out.
The best I can come up with is: if I managed my house as badly as they managed my taxes I’d have gone broke years ago. They seem to spend more money destroying the house than killing the varmints that infest and attack it.
Well, maintenance and repair are not a favorite American pastime. Is that debatable?
I don’t think so.
But if there’s someone out there who wants to come in and debate it, I’m game. I may not be an artist but I’m feisty.
There also seems to be an entire vocal community who thinks we should avoid any arguments. Think positive thoughts. Pray. Get spiritual. Jog. Chop down a tree. Take up knitting. Release the conflicts in silent sainthood.
Unfortunately, I’m not the saintly silent type. I roll up my sleeves and get to work. Nasty letters, columns, comments and deathless prose are my style.That’ll start a fight. Line starts on the right.
I guess a lot depends on how you were raised. I came from a very argumentative family. My father and I loved to argue. My mother, as long as she could stand it, would referee. She preferred to groom the dogs and the dogs preferred to sleep through it.
So, is controversy good or bad? You tell me.
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