My Inner Battle with Kevin O’Leary

I am trying something new.  New for me.  I am trying, when I comment online, to only direct my comments to actions and statements, rather than to the people making them. Huh?

What I mean is, if I don’t like something someone has said or done, instead of saying: “he or she is an Ass$%^#” – as I have done many times – I am trying to say “he or she said or did something Ass$%^$ly”
 
It was when I got hit with a personal attack myself that I realized how lacking in style and substance and how non-conducive to interesting discussion and debate these kind of attacks can be.  They aren’t worthy of smart.  So I am trying something new.  Not that I am claiming to be smart but  hope springs eternal, right?
 
And in some cases, I miss the mark.  By a wide margin.
 
Like the other evening when I watched Erica Ehm from the YummyMummyClub.ca deal with Kevin O’Leary on the Lang & O’Leary Exchange.  I tweeted a few comments directed at Kevin.  Not at what he said, but at him.  He is an example of a person that I would not want to know in real life and I find it difficult to restrict my remarks to his comments.  If his attitude is part of a TV persona and not his real personality, then he has done a REMARKABLE job at branding that persona.  Like Don Cherry but without the ugly jackets.  So I find it difficult to separate the man from the words.  But I tried.  I deleted the tweets that were directed at him personally.  And I also would like to say that Amanda Lang, and anyone who sits in her seat when she is away, deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for not going rogue on him.  But that’s another story.
 
Anyway, while we are nowhere near New Year’s Eve, I’m making this resolution: comment on the words, not the person.  Who wants to bet as to how long I can last?
 
Hashtag #HMG (Higher Moral Ground)
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6 thoughts on “My Inner Battle with Kevin O’Leary

  1. Criticizing a person, rather than the substance of their argument, is called an ‘ad hominem’ attack. It’s generally thought to be an example of faulty reasoning, but in today’s raucous multimedia world, where the loudest voice gets the most attention, I’m not so sure that the classification is valid anymore. Few people would blame you for attacking Donald Trump as an attention-craving right-wing buffoon, and I think that Kevin O’Leary is trying to stake out the same territory up here. In my opinion he’s trying to be the Don Cherry of the business world. Besides, without ad hominem attacks the vast majority of cultural analysis and criticism would be unreadable. I love to read Christopher Hitchens’ abuse of public figures (though I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end). The Canadian government is working at freeing up the libel laws, and if that happens, Canadian journalism is going to be a lot more exciting.

    • I just feel that this kind of personal attack does not raise the level of discussion in any way and the ‘discussion’ (read: most any discussion) has sunk to such a low level that ANY attempt to clean it up is better than nothing. Maybe I’m wrong or naive to attempt it but attempt I shall 😉

  2. But Kevin O’Leary, I think, makes deliberately provocative statements to enhance his public profile. He said that if a couple have a child, the one who earns less should stay home and take care of the child full time – otherwise, it’s not Canadian. There are many families who can’t afford to have either parent take time off their employment. We have to stop giving wealthy bigots and blowhards the benefit of a doubt. They should be called out for the assholes they are.

    • What we also need to do is stop giving them National Platforms to spew it all out. Do you hear me, CBC? I know so many who could benefit from Amanda Lang and what she talks about, who would enjoy the show but who do not watch because of him. Sad.

  3. You know what I always stop and take a breathe before commenting online. Not that i keep it just to the comments everytime either. I try. And I find even if what you say can in your mind not be skewed. Someone will manage to skew it. Sometimes I’m not sure if I read/saw the same thing they did with some comments I’ve seen.

  4. Yes, you’re right Heather-Lynn. Sometimes answering in haste is a bad idea, and sometimes I’m guilty of it myself. I heard about the issue only after the fact, when they said on CFRB that people were calling for him to be fired. That’s when he said that the notion of couples continuing to work when they have an infant is un-Canadian. So now, because he’s a wealthy celebrity, we’re supposed to take him as an expert on family dynamics? I get annoyed when people think that because somebody is wealthy or a celebrity, or both, that they are to be consulted on subjects that have nothing to do with their source of wealth and/or celebrity. He made a silly, sweeping judgment. To seriously debate the issue would require getting all the viewpoints, hearing the many different reasons people may have for working while their child is very young. But when the debate is conducted on what is essentially an entertainment medium, resolving the issue is not the aim; entertaining (and sometimes infuriating) viewers takes precedence. Following the rules of serious debate and showing respect for a fellow debater would drive many viewers away.

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