Antagonist: (n.) a person who opposes someone or something; an adversary.
I guess I should rate this particular column PG-13.
I am not the type who likes to use colloquial or street language just to be colorful, yet sometimes there is no word that communicates quite as clearly as one that threatens to dribble off into the gutter.
Here are the facts, at least as far as I know them:
Some people are antagonists for a good reason, and some folks are just assholes.
The difficulty lies in knowing the difference.
Because certainly, to over half of the U. S. in 1861, Abraham Lincoln was an asshole. He was making a stand against an institution that had cemented itself into the Southern culture, and even into the minds of many Northern politicians. It seemed like he was urinating on apple pie and had slapped Mom and America in the face.
Yet by the same token, in the 1960’s, Dr. Timothy Leary introduced LSD to our culture, insisting that it was equally as mind-expanding as the Emancipation Proclamation. But really, he ended up just being a weirdo and bringing grief to a lot of unfortunate, gullible souls.
There are many antagonists in our world today. With whom should we side?
- Supposedly if you take into consideration the feelings of the Palestinians, you’re against Israel.
- If you express your empathy for the state of Israel, you become a Zionist pig.
- If you have misgivings about the gay lifestyle, you’re a homophobe.
- Yet if you promote an entirely liberal, open-minded agenda, history may place you in the “leary” category.
Is there any way of knowing what is truly being motivated by an asshole and what is the necessary work of an antagonist, who’s come along to prophetically shake up our world and better mankind?
I have three ideas. (They are no better than yours, but since I have you reading, I guess you’re stuck with me for the time being:)
1. Great ideas don’t make us more dependent. They cause us to declare our independence from things that are not necessary.
2. Great ideas have a sense of the common good without making fun or humiliating the adversary.
3. Great ideas have appeared in history before. Even if they’ve been shoved to the rear, they still have a lineage in truth.
For instance, slaves being freed has always been a positive throughout mankind’s journey.
Drugs actually expanding our minds and making us more intensely involved have not proven to be such.
I believe this: we must question everything with gentleness, allowing the truth to come to the forefront, instead of just reading aloud, in unison, the press release.
I, myself, am an antagonist.
Will history find me on the right side–or a mental dinosaur?
We shall see.
Of course, I won’t really care … because I won’t be here.
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix