This is a strong opinion. It may do one of several things: shock you and make you think, anger you and make you revolt or, it may further stiffen your confidence in your own choices (other than that choice you made to subscribe to Apple Music… like seriously, why did you do that?) Whatever your reaction to my opinion, you’ll probably keep reading and in the course of this opinion piece I hope to persuade you to my way of thinking. But if I don’t, that’s ok; you’ll be mad enough to share it with a long facebook post about why you disagree or perhaps just throw abuse at me via a faceless twitter account- which is the twitter equivalent of cutting out letters from a magazine, sticking them to a piece of card and mailing it to the family. Just without the arts and craft skills.
I go on to explain my headline opinion in further detail, using a metaphor the way a deer might attempt to drive a train (badly) leaving you as confused as a person in Nando’s for the first time. But I continue, resolute in my belief that I am right in what I say and can even quote someone who agrees with me: “I think that it’s about time someone said that, things have gone on this way for too long.” Of course, this is said by my good mate David who works at Ladbrokes. David is experienced lending quotes to things that are objectively bad; he’s the reason the poster for the film Avatar had any quotes on it at all.
Now, my opinion is based wholly on fact and here’s why. I’ve googled this topic more than once. However, when you google the word opinion it says clearly it is "a vegetable that’s the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium” so you then you try again spelling the word correctly. The body of research into my opinion can fit into not one, but two sides of a napkin. Not just any napkin; a quirky one from a popular but terrible restaurant that has things like ‘here to clean up the delicious mess’ stamped on one side of them.
Another important factor in this issue is real life knowledge and I have experience in this area. The people around me at the time I formed this belief helped me understand it and the emotional connection that I formed with it. Although I’ve long held this as a belief, I’ve waited until now to tell you that I thought it, because it’s topical now. That act in itself proving that opinions aren’t as important as beliefs, because I think people will only care about my opinion when it’s relevant.
Now there are those out there who will disagree and say that my opinion is not the way to go about solving this problem or reacting to this tragedy. I say I’ve seen your argument and I haven’t taken the time to understand it fully. I do not intend to see things from your position or background, and although I have to reference the obvious argument against my opinion, I will not attempt to show it any credence or respect. I’ll just shrug it off like a world leader shrugs off sexual assault allegations: quickly and without shame.
Is the problem perhaps opinion pieces themselves? Opening a paragraph with a question does make it seem like I’ve questioned and attempted to challenge the way I think but, I have not. But by pretending that I have and rebutting my own self interrogation, I further persuade you to my way of thinking. Come on, you have to admit, you started disagreeing with my opinion and now you’re slightly more sympathetic.
While I write this with my tongue buried in my cheek and my opinion still vague, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I hate opinion articles or "op-ed’s” as they are known; I don’t. In fact, I like them. They are a traditional and an important part of the journalistic cannon that can help provide context and analysis to the news agenda. However we shouldn’t confuses op-ed’s for news in the same way we shouldn’t confuse opinions for facts. Particularly in a time when the former can have more currency than the latter.