Today: a rant. If there is one thing that I'm intolerant of, it's close-mindedness. (Yes, I understand the irony of that sentence.) Let me begin by clearing up a couple of things. I do believe in absolute truths. I do believe that convictions are something that everyone should have. Relativistic truth is as ridiculous as many people's beliefs.
For the moment, I will keep from hyper-specifics, but someday I'm sure I'll lose it and spill it all. Two examples of close-mindedness that drive me crazy:
1. If someone believes something different than you, be it a religious belief or a differing scientific theory of sorts, don't automatically dismiss the other person as crazy or their views as preposterous without fully hearing them out. While I said that I believe in absolute truths, I don't claim that I know every exact truth (I could very well be wrong about many things) and it would be foolish of me to shun someone and shut them up without trying to understand their points of view. After hearing them out, I should then be able to make a sounder judgement, and if I still believe they are wrong I will have points from their argument to use against them. IT IS THE ULTIMATE FOOLISHNESS AND SELFISHNESS TO NOT LISTEN TO OTHERS.
2. In art (music, film, paintings, performance, sculpture, literature), how dare someone dismiss a movement or a technique or work as a whole without trying understand it's place in history and culture, and the artist's motivation. To completely dismiss Jackson Pollock's action painting as talentless trash is an uneducated statement. You don't have to like it. I'm not saying that you have to appreciate (as in enjoy) everything, but you should appreciate (as in respect) everything in its place. Certainly, you can critique technique when comparing to something similar. You can't compare Lady Gaga to Led Zeppelin, because they aren't trying to do the same thing. You can't compare Pollock's paintings to van Gogh's for the same reason.
Oh, and don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you are sensitive to language or sex or violence in movies, don't dismiss a well-made film like "Crazy Heart" as terrible because a character has a drinking problem. Just because a piece of art, book, or movie involves and incorporates human immorality does not mean that it is condoning it (yes, I do know that some do condone, but be careful and respect the context).
There. Glad I got that off of my chest. I could go on, but I won't. Feel free to disagree. I love a good debate.