I'm open to discussing topics with somebody who has a different viewpoint. Sometimes I even enjoy a full-blooded argument. I like to think that lots of people are capable of learning and moving beyond their existing mindset. But some people are just fucked. Utterly beyond hope of redemption. I've decided it's important to know when to give up on people.
Witness the asinine display I had to put up with at work today. The substance of the disagreement isn't important, what matters is there was a disagreement. The other party was female, not something I thought was important to the argument but she seemed to find it progressively more and more important.
The argument had reached a stalemate, the discussion was going around and around, showing no signs of moving anywhere near a resolution. It hadn't become heated yet but I was detecting a bit of an edge creeping in and decided discretion was the better part of valour. In short, I didn't need this sort of shit at work and was going to let it go. This led to the following exchange:
ME: How about we agree to disagree and leave it at that.
SHE: That is such a typical thing for a man to do! Trying to shut me up in such a condescending way.
ME: How is that condescending? I'm respecting the fact you have a different opinion and I'm choosing not to force my opinion on you.
SHE: What you mean is you think I'm wrong. You think you're right and I'm wrong.
ME: Well, yeah. I think my opinion is right. Isn't that the definition of an opinion?
SHE: It's the definition of a typical arrogant male, thinking you're always right and women are always wrong.
ME: In this particular case I think I, as an individual, am right and you, as an individual, are wrong. I hadn't framed that in any gender-specific way.
SHE: Why can't you admit you're wrong.
ME: Well, you haven't convinced me I'm wrong.
SHE: I bet you don't think any of your opinions are wrong!
ME: It may surprise you to learn that I hold very few opinions that I think are wrong. How many of your opinions do you think are wrong? Why would anybody cling to an opinion that they think is wrong? That's crazy!
SHE: So now you're think I'm crazy?
ME: I didn't think that before, although I'm getting there now. (OK, I know I shouldn't have said that but at this point my mental censor had gotten sick of this crap, packed his bags and gone away.)
SHE: Why did I even think I'd be able to get you to see any sense? Men are always this way.
ME: When were you planning to talk sense? If I'm going to see any sense you'll have to show some first.
And then the shrieking started. If only I'd given up five minutes earlier I would have gone home with my eardrums intact. Lesson learned. Pick your battles people. The way these morons cluster together I've started to think their stupidity might be a contagious disease. So don't waste your time grappling with morons.
You might catch stupid.