Unpopular opinions are the spice of life. And who doesn’t like spice? Besides people living with irritable bowel syndrome, of course. And the English.
But let’s ignore those contingencies for now. If everyone feels the exact same way about something, it fades out of our active attention. No one spends much time talking about how awesome “blue” is or how much they just love oxygen, for example.
Now, if someone piped up with a hot take on the uselessness of O2, they’d stand out against the backdrop. When a talking plant has an opinion, after all, we instinctively listen. (Source: Little Shop of Horrors).
In a brazen attempt to prove myself worthy of your attention, I’ve compiled a short list of a few of my opinions that run counter to those of the culture at large. This is not an exhaustive list, rest assured. I know you were concerned about that, and I’m happy I was able to assuage your fears in re: this list’s exhaustiveness.
If you disagree with me about any of these opinions, or perhaps have some equally bold contrarian thoughts, I encourage you to let me know in the spiciest manner possible. My constant announcement of my opinions and my IBS have left me lonely and in need of banter.
1. Cold weather is superior to hot weather.
Everyone’s always so excited for summer to arrive. That’s because everyone is stupid, except me. Summer is only good in places without humidity, which significantly narrows your choices in our lush, green nation.
As much as I enjoy the all-day feeling of having freshly wet my pants, I prefer the parts of the year where I can walk outside without immediately getting that not-so-fresh feeling. I’m willing to wear multiple layers in exchange for not sweating my balls off.
You can always put on more clothes if you’re cold. But according to my building’s management team, it’s “against the rules” to walk around the property in your birthday suit. And my cries of, “but it’s hot!” don’t persuade the Arlington Police when they’re cuffing me. Typical law enforcement, always enforcing laws and shit.
2. Raising the minimum wage is more difficult than it seems.
Before you get out of sorts, understand: this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t raise the minimum wage. We should. It just means raising wages is tougher on Mom and Pop than it is on MegaLoMart.
One popular argument for raising the minimum wage relies on the idea that CEOs and executives take home obscene compensation. Their salaries have ballooned while minimum wage has stayed the same for years. How fair is it that we, the taxpayers, have to pick up the slack to support Walmart’s impoverished employees while their fat cat bosses are doubling their own paychecks? Why shouldn’t we just force the rich decision makers to pay themselves slightly less and bump all their employees’ salaries by a buck or two?
I’m convinced. Fuck ‘em.
That argument (i.e., “fuck ‘em”) falters, however, when we’re talking about your neighborhood fictional pizzeria, Mama’s. Mama makes less than minimum wage herself and covers bad months on her personal Capital One Quicksilver card at 24.99% APR.
“But she can just raise prices!” Sure. And Papa John’s can hold run a half-price pizza special for the next seven months, while our neighborhood pizzaiolo simply cannot. Papa will just raise his prices once Mama goes belly up. Mama and all her employees lose their jobs, and the neighborhood is left with less choice. Higher prices. Lower quality. Papa John’s.
Again, hiking the minimum wage is still necessary. It just has to coincide with other policy changes to make sure it doesn’t wind up solely benefiting big business.
3. Grammar is often classist and racist.
This is coming from someone who greatly values grammar.
When you tout the rules of grammar over efficacy of communication, you’re limiting who gets to participate in the discussion. Disparities in educational access coincide with racial differences, too. So, when you’re limiting whose opinions you will acknowledge based on their adherence to academic sentence structure rules, there’s a strong chance you’re engaging in just a wee touch of racism.
If I’m correcting someone’s grammar, I can tell myself it’s innocuous or even helpful. But deep down inside, we all know why I’m doing it: to delegitimize that person’s opinion, and to do so by casting them as less intelligent or educated than I am. That’s because I, like most of you, am an asshole. Usually unintentionally, sure, but an asshole nonetheless.
Being a stickler for grammar is unnecessary, counterproductive, and often mean-spirited. And maybe a bit racist. I am going to be on guard against it going forward. And you should be, two.
4. All drugs should be legal.
American drug laws, like grammar, are racist and classist. And America is plenty racist and classist without adding unfair, unnecessary laws to the mix.
Longstanding gaps in income and opportunities lead marginalized people to participate in fringe economic activity, such as selling drugs. We have turned historically low-income areas into hotbeds of criminal activity by criminalizing one of the only available economic activities.
And worse, the “business” of drug selling is wildly profitable (and wildly violent) precisely because it is illegal. So, we send in cops, guns drawn, to break up an activity that’s only illicit, lucrative, and violent because we made it that way.
I know what you’re thinking: “Drugs are bad!” I know you’re thinking that because I’m presently on mind-expanding drugs, and can literally see your thoughts.
Sure, drugs are bad. Plenty of things are bad, and as such we draw bright lines as to who can use those things, how much users can buy, and how the bad stuff can be distributed. And if someone has a life-disrupting addiction to a legal but controlled substance, we view it as a medical and psychological problem in need of therapeutic intervention. Being addicted to alcohol, for example, is not a crime in need of punishment.
So, if we arbitrarily decided which substances are legal or illegal, why shouldn’t we have the same approach to all substances? Or more to the point, can’t we move that arbitrary line to ensure better outcomes across demographic lines?
But most importantly, I want to do my drugs in peace without the cops busting down my door. Is that too much to ask? I thought this was America.
5. Apples are gross.
The ratio of bad apples to good ones is approximately five to one. Just like in police departments! #ohsnap
But back to literal apples; you have to go through five mealy apples to get to the good one. And there’s not much worse than a mealy apple. Not to mention by the time you suffer through the gross apples out of economic sensibility, the good one has since become mushy.
Apple juice smells gross. It looks like pee and smells like a baby. A baby who just peed its diaper.
Two exceptions to this otherwise hard and fast rule: apple fritters and applesauce on latkes. Apple fritters are essentially just apple pie flavored donuts. Fried dough always gets a pass. And latkes are best with sour cream and applesauce. Fried potatoes also always get a pass. Essentially frying things supersedes the rest of my negative opinions herein.
I assume fried drugs are better that raw drugs, too. I’ll report back.
6. Free college and trade school for all would destroy military recruiting.
The military relies on a steady stream of 18-year-olds who aren’t sure what they want to do with their lives. Often, they’re not sure because while they’d like to go to a four-year party at Directional State University, college is expensive and their family doesn’t have the money to send them.
Along comes Staff Sergeant Worksin D. Mall, who knows that out-of-reach secondary education plays right into achieving his recruiting quota. He offers the poor boy or girl a comparatively outstanding choice:
“To heck with college. You can join the military! You’ll get to travel, get paid, get in great shape, have a guaranteed job for four years, get a signing bonus, and if you still want to go to college after that, you’ll gain access to the GI Bill’s tuition assistance when you’re done!”
SSgt Mall leaves out certain parts of the equation, like “you’re going to get sent to war and come home with crippling PTSD,” “the signing bonus is paid in 48 tiny installments,” and “we reserve the right to station you on Diego Garcia, conveniently located in the middle of the Indian Ocean.”
Still, it’s tempting. It’s even more so if your only alternative is to deliver pizzas in your hometown while all your friends go off to college.
That temptation becomes a lot less attractive if you can go to college or trade school for the low, low price of zero dollars. Suddenly, when combined with the lowered odds of getting killed, double majoring in communications and binge drinking is at least worth a look.
“I wish we could hear more of this guy’s unsolicited opinions!” is a sentence that has never been uttered. Still, as an American with an internet domain and a computer, it’s my obligation to share my thoughts with all of you. It’s in the Constitution.
If you agree with my opinions, you should keep that to yourself. Agreeing with me makes my opinions less unpopular, and robs me of my oblivious feeling of specialness. But if you disagree, you should probably share this article with all of your friends to tell them how wrong I am. And be sure to tag me.
My aim in all my writing is threefold: (1) to make you laugh, first and foremost, (2) to make you think, and (3) to become exceedingly, embarrassingly rich. I think the first two are going pretty well. The “becoming rich” part is what we call a “lagging indicator” of my ability to turn your attention into dollars. And it is presently lagging several decades behind the others.
So, if I’ve ever made you laugh or think, share that opinion with me. “In all honesty, that’s better than money,” I keep telling my landlord, who vehemently disagrees with that unpopular opinion.
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