argumentative sod

15 Dec

My dad was an argumentative sod. He’d sit at the dinner table with a bunch of friends my mum had carefully invited, and be purposefully provocative. Take the most extreme view on something just to get a reaction and kick start a heated debate. Quite understandably my mum was frequently mortified, vowing never to have guests over again.

Once, he ordered a pink gin from a very camp waiter at his local restaurant. I could see the glint in his eye. He wanted to see what might happen. To anyone else looking in he’d have looked like a rude, misogynistic pig. But if you knew him, however rude it might have been, you knew what he was up to, and you couldn’t help but smile.

With this blogging thing, i’ve started to realise i’ve got a bit of the argumentative sod about me too. Not that i would ever deliberately say anything that might hurt someone else, and i’m certainly not about to order a dirty white mother at a pub in Toxteth. But i certainly like a debate. And I’ll usually try to provoke one.

Yet I find good banter really difficult to find in blogger world. I’ll often deliberately make my posts a little provocative, and my tweets are often cheeky. But sadly someone rarely picks up the bait and runs with it.

You see, opinion isn’t fixed. Just beause I might blog about something one way one day, doesn’t mean I won’t change my mind the next week and take the other side. That’s what life is all about, surely? You learn through experience, so your views can only ever be supported by the experience or the coversations you’ve already had. There is nothing more humbling than to go from one point of view to the opposite extreme simply because someone has so convincingly argued their case.

So i long for someone to come along and disagree with me. Feel so passionately that we can have a good old chat about it. I’m not saying i like a slanging match. In fact there’s nothing I hate more than unnecessary aggression. The way forward is always through intelligent and respectful debate.

So if that makes me an argumentative sod then so be it. At least I won’t have a sore arse from sitting on too many fences.

28 Responses to “argumentative sod”

  1. Lucy December 15, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    Errrr. Are you my sister? You are describing my (late) father perfectly. I was always torn between the utmost admiration and teen embarassment…

    In terms of debates, I have done my time (over and over again) on the maternity/parenting debates. I’m knackered by it all, to be honest. And realise that I’ve expended far too much emotional energy shouting at a monitor.

    I may come back round to it.

    In which case, I shall be over here to bicker pleasantly with you.

    (And I did the voting thing too, by the way.)

    • marketingtomilk December 15, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

      sounds like we’d have a lot to talk about. i have many stories.ooh and thanks kindly for the vote x

  2. jfb57 December 15, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Now about that arse of yours….!

    • marketingtomilk December 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

      just found two tweets of yours stuck in my spam box. what have you been doing Ms Julia? naughty spamming…

  3. Muddling Along December 15, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    I’ve discovered there are some people I can banter and chip away with – takes a while to make sure they aren’t going to go postal if you disagree though

    I find when I post the most contentious stuff it disappears without a trace – perhaps people are less argumentative at the moment?

    • marketingtomilk December 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

      “go postal” not heard that one before!
      i agree, sometimes you write a provocative piece and it gets no attention. Then you write something you consider pretty mundane and boring, and it seems to have universal appeal. Makes you realise it’s often just you who has any kind of interest in the stuff that goes on inside your head!

      • Itsamummyslife December 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

        I love ‘go postal’ I think it stems from an event in an Australian post office, but I’m woefully ill informed so it was probably something far worse. Anyway I get really pissed off when people fail to realise that opinion isn’t fixed. There’s nothing more irritating that being shoved in a box because you happened to voice something at some point. We are human beings, we have emotions, they can change as can our minds. Oh and we’re women so it happens more often. Haven’t been here for a while, been very busy with all the other crap but glad I visited, I like your honest approach. Well done on the nomination too!

  4. kelloggsville December 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    I agree with you completely, I love a good banter. The problem is tone doesn’t carry well in text and what may seem like a ‘banter’ is sometimes taken offense too and then all hell ensues, so to be honest I often try not to say anything to far of the mark in comments I leave in case I offend. Perhaps there should be some sort of smiley symbol that represents ‘am being serious but am open to a discussion and healthy debate on the topic’ !

    • marketingtomilk December 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

      This is very true and i have found this out, to my cost. But i also love it when people get to know me well enough they know exactly how to take me. Others seem to get me from the off. Perhaps these are my special blogging buddies…

  5. Harriet December 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    Interesting. I’ve found that when I’ve tried to say something provocative, people have taken offence and I’ve then got upset because I don’t like being shouted at, whether in type or real life… So I find that I try and justify everything I say, or acknowledge the other point of view, every time, which inevitably takes away from the force of the argument. It’s tricky though because there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground between bland and bl00dy unpleasant…!

    • marketingtomilk December 18, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

      yes, it’s a shame really isn’t it….i suppose the virtual medium is no replacement for a good old natter round the dinner table, where you can gauge facial expressions and body langugage. Not that that stopped my Dad causing major offense.

  6. Knackered Mother December 15, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    I love that you love a fight, I mean debate. I can sometimes almost feel the glint in your eye with some of your posts.

    • marketingtomilk December 18, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

      my favourite comment ever. That’s my dad coming out in me, and i love that, i miss him so much. x

  7. Jemma December 15, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    You’re wrong, you’re just so wrong. Debate on the internet is futile and boring for everyone else to read. Noone ever changes their minds, everyone gets offended and then moves on without resolving anything. Infuriating!

    Do I need to add a 😉 ? Possibly – I don’t think I’ve commented on your blog before! Couldn’t resist this time – ironically to say something that my Dad would say! (Is that ironic? Who knows? Argue with me!)

    Hi by the way.

    • marketingtomilk December 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

      Oh Jemma you’re brilliant. Very pleased to meet you. R u on twitter? There’s nothing like fast paced banter….

  8. TheMadHouse December 16, 2010 at 12:50 am #

    I think I have been around too long. I used to get wound up and all get up about things, but found to my chargin that people took it personally. I am less inclined to get involved now, I just can not do with all the bitterness that thee things sometimes provoke.

  9. Mwa (Lost in Translation) December 16, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    Yeah – people don’t dare disagree with me either. Or they do it oh so politely. They’re probably scared of me. Which they should be. HAHAHA!

  10. Rosie Scribble December 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    I disagree.

    I’m joking! It can be hard to have a good banter/discussion online without picking up on verbal cues I think. So much can get misinterpreted.

    I’ve voted for you by the way!

  11. Anna December 17, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    I am totally with you – nothing like a good argument to get the blood racing (on the cheesy American series Brothers & Sisters they call it brain sex – so true). It is hard over the web though as people take umbridge when you try to start a debate – maybe there should be a flag system? Green for ‘ready for you to take me down on this one’! Have just found your blog but will return in order to disagree vehemently.

    • marketingtomilk December 18, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

      Brain sex – that is bloody brilliant. That is exactly what it is. I’m a brain sex addict, he he.

  12. Hughie The Buck December 18, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    I love a good feckin argument and liked your post but having read the comments here and your replies I feel very sad indeed. You have reached out looking for an argument and all of your sycophants reply with affirmation ! Has the world gone truly feckin mad !!!

    I leave you with the words of John Wayne from True Grit :
    “Young fella, if you’re lookin for trouble, I’ll accomadate ya.”


    P.S. I voted for you in the brilliance in blogging malarkey

    • marketingtomilk December 18, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

      A warm welcome to my world Hughie, very nice to have you here.
      I agree, some of these comments made me sad too – but for me it was because it sounds like the bloggy fight has gone out of a lot of us. Maybe i should kick start the “Bring back the bloggy debate” campaign….

  13. Helloitsgemma December 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    I’ve just starting following. I read this post with interest. I think there is an element of community which keeps things polite. In debate the physical cues and tone of voices impact hugely on interpretation and meaning. That’s missing with the written word and hence people can react in a way that was not intended, I think generally people want to avoid confrontation or fallings out. Look at all the squabbling a few months ago wasn’t pleasant – one person debate, like your dad – mortifies others! As for twitter – I think it’s great for humour but often later worry if I’ve offended, as for debate i think it’s rubbish. I was affronted by a tweet yesterday but then realised I couldn’t debate/responded articulately in 140 characters to a what was a complex issue so backed off (I did consider tweeting Your wrong in capitals obviously I was completely right!) anyhow. That’s what i think!

    • marketingtomilk December 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

      Twitter’s great for fast paced banter and rubbish for debate. I want people to debate on my posts. If you say something that is taken the wrong way, apologise. Only if you go really too far can someone take permanent affrontage. Great to see you here Gemma.


  1. over-tweeting « - December 18, 2010

    […] You’re probably thinking “she can talk” having come fresh from a post about loving a debate. But the point is i rarely say anything online i wouldn’t say in real life, given the right […]

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