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Kumbaya, *Insert Expletive Here*s

Disagreeing with me doesn't necessarily mean that you're either wrong or right.

It can just mean that you disagree.

If you're the sum of your experiences, and I'm the sum of my experiences, and our experiences are different... it's mathematically impossible that we are going to agree all the time.

How much more love would there be in the world if we understood that a different perspective often translates to just that... a different perspective?

Not a moral cause.  Not a plan for world domination.  Not a cause for war.  Not an immoveable ideology.


I've never eaten ham.  Nor will I intentionally ever eat ham.  The thought of eating ham makes me feel physically ill.  The smell of it, too.

You have probably eaten ham. You may love ham.

You like ham.

I do not like it, Sam-I-am.

Who is better?


I'm not of the mindset that the hamophobe holds intellectual, digestive or moral superiority over the hamophile.

Not eating ham is a choice based on a set of values and experiences specific to me.  Whether you eat ham or not?  That's your business.

(But it is gross).


The beauty of living in a world of diverse human beings (who are allowed to be themselves) is that we each have the opportunity to show how graceful and loving humans can be towards one another.

You're a good person.  I know this.

Please know that I'm a good person, too.

Our perspectives, however different they may be, are borne of good intentions.  At the very least, we both desire to be good.

It's fine if you disagree.  It's good.  It adds to me.

I appreciate it when a person of merit, substance and good intentions disagrees with me.

And not "appreciate" as in, "Oh thanks for disagreeing with me. "  Because that's just neurotic and pseudo-hippie.

But like, "I appreciate the value that your dissenting opinion brings to the table.  The magnifying glass that you force me to hold up to my own beliefs is both useful and necessary."

A perspective like that makes it easier for us to meet halfway, if that's at all possible.


So.  Anyway.

I feel like everybody should just hug, now.

Reader Comments (30)

Oh, man, do I miss ham. There are a lot of fake pork products out there that are pretty good. Turkey bacon, chicken sausage... Nothing even comes close to impersonating ham.....

April 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTheGoriWife

As soon as you said you don't eat ham the following scene from Pulp Fiction played itself out in my head.

Vincent: Want some bacon?
Jules: No man, I don't eat pork.
Vincent: Are you Jewish?
Jules: Nah, I ain't Jewish, I just don't dig on swine, that's all.
Vincent: Why not?
Jules: Pigs are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals.
Vincent: Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood.
Jules: Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfucker. Pigs sleep and root in shit. That's a filthy animal. I ain't eat nothin' that ain't got enough sense enough to disregard its own feces.
Vincent: How about a dog? Dogs eats its own feces.
Jules: I don't eat dog either.
Vincent: Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?
Jules: I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy but they're definitely dirty. But, a dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way.
Vincent: Ah, so by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filthy animal. Is that true?
Jules: Well we'd have to be talkin' about one charming motherfuckin' pig. I mean he'd have to be ten times more charmin' than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I'm sayin'?

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterB.E. Earl

My new goal in life is to get you to eat ham in some incarnation and admit that you enjoyed it.

And I think that people with different perspectives should just shut up because I'm obviously right and they're not. :D

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

But you still eat bacon, right? I mean, EVERYONE eats bacon.

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSciFi Dad

Completely tangential question: You and I both have religious reasons for not partaking of that wonderful, tasty ham.

Does Islam have any prohibition on shellfish the way Judaism does? Just curious...

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershiny

ever think about the first guy to eat ham? He had to look at this ugly beast, probably wallowing in his own swill and say "MMMMM! I'll bet THAT tastes good~!"

Kinda weird.

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKiefer and Emo

Wait a minute... you ate the shit out of those Bacos.

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Britt

I like turkey bacon.

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFinn

I think there is a difference between someone's opinion based on their perspective and an allegation of wrong doing that may or may not be false.

But ok, I'll bite.


How would you know if ham is gross unless you have tasted it? Are you alleging ham to be gross???


April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNYCWD

The fact that every single one of you skipped over my message which addressed a universal human truth in favor of discussion of HAM notwithstanding...

@TheGoriWife: Thank od for turkey, or I would have to add pepperoni and sausage to that list, too.

@B.E. Earl: THAT WAS AWESOME!!! MBTD and I used to quote that to each other all during high school. "Bacon tastes goooood."

@Avitable: This only proves my theory that you are, n fact, the devil.

@SciFi Dad: Turkey bacon.

@shiny: We can eat anything from the sea that does not cause us "harm". There's a lot of discussion on that last part of what can "cause you harm." Most people take that to mean just eat anything from the sea. We cannot eat crocodiles, though (because they are flesh eating land animals). BTW, in addition to pork, we can't eat any land animal that's an omnivore (lions, monkeys, etc). However, there are some Islamic jurists (mostly Pakistani and Indian) who consider the eating of shellfish "Makruh" which means strongly discouraged. Makruh is a middle place between Halal and haraam. Annnd, now? You have to make me and my family dinner.

@Kiefer and Emo: He was, clearly, insane.


@Finn: Me, too.

@NYCWD: Yes. Boycott ham. That's really what the intent of this post was.

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

My preferred, inserted expletive was, "motherfuckers", 'cause I am all klassy like that.
Kumbaya, indeed.
Hug it out, bitches!

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSybil Law

Actually, that phrase, "Kumbaya MFers" is from one of the Die Hards. Or some 90s Brice Willis flick... so that is exactly the expletive I was thinking of! And DAMN, I can't believe I didn't say "hug it out, bitches" instead.

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

Actually, it's "Yippi ki yay", not "Kumbaya."

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

@Avitable I believe they edited the movie for basic cable from "Yippee Ki Yay MFers" to "Kumbaya MFers" to clean the language up for the censors. :)

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershiny

@Avitable: Oh, well, in that case I'm very clever.

@shiny: LOL

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

I'm reminded of this exchange between Lisa and Homer Simpson:

Homer: Wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute. Lisa honey, are you
saying you're *never* going to eat any animal again? What about
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad! Those all come from the same animal!
Homer: [Chuckles] Yeah, right Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRen

Hey Faiqa:

I’ve found two very highly unlikely sources that will blow the so-called “Gay” gene theory right out of the water! And, you will not believe where they come from? From the gay community! Dr. Camille Paglia, a well-known Atheist, Lesbian, Scholar and Author has said homosexuality is not inborn, but indeed an adaptation! Here’s the statement:

“Homosexuality is not normal. On the contrary it is a challenge to the norm…Nature exists whether academics like it or not. And in nature, procreation is the single relentless rule. That is the norm. Our sexual bodies were designed for reproduction…No one is born gay. The idea is ridiculous…Homosexuality is an adaptation, not an inborn trait.” (Vamps & Tramps, 1994)

Second, one of the leading Geneticists on human sexual orientation, Dr. Simon Levay from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, had this to say about the so-called “Gay” gene theory:

NAH3 research

In 1991, LeVay published “A difference in hypothalamic structure between heterosexual and homosexual men” in Science. This article reported a difference in average size between the third Interstitial Nucleus of the Anterior Hypothalamus (INAH3) in the brains of heterosexual men and homosexual men: INAH3 was more than twice as large in heterosexual men as in homosexual men. The INAH3 size of homosexual men was the same as that of women. LeVay wrote that “This finding indicates that INAH is dimorphic with sexual orientation, at least in men, and suggests that sexual orientation has a biological substrate.” LeVay added, “The existence of ‘exceptions’ in the present sample (that is, presumed heterosexual men with small INAH 3 nuclei, and homosexual men with large ones, hints at the possibility that sexual orientation, although an important variable, may not be the sole determinant of INAH 3 size. It is also possible, however, that these exceptions are due to technical shortcomings or to misassignment of subjects to their subject groups.”[1]

LeVay’s finding was widely reported in the media.[2] LeVay cautioned against misinterpreting his findings in a 1994 interview: “It’s important to stress what I didn’t find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn’t show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain. The INAH3 is less likely to be the sole gay nucleus of the brain than a part of a chain of nuclei engaged in men and women’s sexual behavior.”[3] Some critics of LeVay questioned the accuracy and appropriateness of his measurements, saying that the structures are difficult to see in tissue slices and that he measured in volume rather than cell count.[4] Nancy Ordover wrote in her 2003 book American Eugenics that LeVay has been criticized for “his small sample size and for compiling inadequate sexual histories.

Wow! Two homosexuals admitting there is no gay gene! Since the gay community loves to use so-called “Scientific” findings about these kinds of things, then this will no doubt hurt your cause. However, I didn’t need to read these findings to come to that conclusion; I already knew that no one is born gay, it is a choice that one makes! Perhaps this will cause to start your journey back towards heterosexuality! By the way, Dr. Levay is himself Gay and lost a lover to AIDS!


April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMandy

I'm comfortable boycotting ham. It already makes me angry that it's served at all family gatherings. Maybe I should become one of those high maintenance people who needs special dishes prepared for them.
I'm cool with that.

i was all set to tell you that i thought your differences made you unique and interesting. that your opinions are so well thought out and researched that i wholeheartedly enjoy listening to you discuss issues you are passionate about.

then i read the comments.

mmmmmmmmmmmmm, bacon. this weekend i ate pounds of it. my tater tots were even wrapped around bacon. it was fanfuckingtastic. wish you knew the heaven of bacon wrapped tots.

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

@Ren: Classic Simpson's reference... I know it well.

@Mandy: Ummm, yeah. I'M STRAIGHT. AND MARRIED. WITH A KID. AND PREGNANT. BY MY HETEROSEXUAL HUSBAND. I know it's hard for you to believe that there are people in this world who care about other people who they have nothing in common with. And oh yeah, if you're a long time reader, you'll know the weight that this bears since I don't curse on my blog: You're a fucking idiot. ::Hugs::

@Princess of the Universe: Yaaay... one for the dark side.

@hello haha narf: I can have turkey bacon on tater tots.

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

Sheeeesh...I'm exhausted!

April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSaima

@Saima: ?? From my post?? Or.. from the comments. If you read my last response, don't tell anyone we know that I used the "f" word. Haha.

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

MY GOD...the twists and turns, the lack of focus...WTH! Let's just have a discussion about a topic of interest!! this is what exhausted me!! the comments!! you know, most relationships fail because of the inability to understand that another individual's opinion is neither necessary to be right nor is it wrong--


Most conversations end up becoming arguments because people get OFF TRACK--they lose focus of the subject for which a person has an opinion in the first place. I mean if we all just kept our opinions to ourselves, we might as all be hermits and retire from society and live in solitude!!

But learning to empathize with others is the true art of CONVERSATION--seeing another perspective--respecting another "judgment"... all these are qualities which are neither taught to our children, nor are we capable of learning as adults.

Okay, this is what I got out of your post , what I think your intent was-- a couple of very simple points in fact:
1. One has a right to have an opinion on a subject regardless of the relationship to the subject and not to be abused for having that opinion. Your opinion on the treatment of gay/lesbian matters is YOUR OPINION.
2. One has the right to have a belief, regardless of the label it is given. YOUR belief about not eating pig is based on your religion; and you do not have to justify your religion -- you do not eat pig, "BECAUSE GOD SAID SO" --this is a BELIEF; it is not an opinion!
...and lastly,
3. Why CAN"T we all just get along...and hug...and make up?

FYI: defines:
Opinion: "a personal view, attitude, or appraisal"
Belief: "confidence, faith, and trust"

OH ... and BTW I am a huge fan of the "F" word--there is no other word that works quite as hard as the F-word--I mean, this word covers so much --it is so rewarding emotionally and physically when used appropriately!!! (MY OPINION). In my home, it has affectionaly been known as a "mommy-word" and to this day, my husband and children have not used it (in front of me, anyway), yet it is the one word that I have not been able to "bargain" out of my life. So, I have to say you took the words right out of my mouth in response to Mandy!!! WTF!!!

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSaima

I'll ignore the ham tangents and get to what you were addressing (I think).

At what point do you define a [difference] becoming intolerable to the point where you must take action to prevent it? (where difference is difference of experience, opinion, "morals" or whatever).

Manson and Dahmer's differences were enough for us to lock them away.

Yesterday, the state of Texas executed 35 yr old Michael Rosales because his differences where outside of society's accepted norms.

You mention that "at the very least, we both desire to be good." However, that very definition of "good" is what commonly fails to lock in and be agreed upon. I don't think many people argue that if someone intentionally hurts someone else, they're not trying to "do good." We can probably agree that evil could be defined by someone who intentionally does the opposite of what they already know to be good.

But what if someone's definition of "good" is in stark contrast of your own?

Hitler thought he was doing good. Right? He believed it within himself. There are countless examples of tragedies in mankind's past where an individual or group was doing exactly what THEY thought was "good" or "right" and it appalls, horrifies or bothers the rest of us enough to forcibly make them stop doing "their good."

So how do we objectively define right and wrong, or morals, or intelligence? Majority rules? Impact on others? Might makes right? A feeling? A deity? A book?

Each person must decide what gives the authority (society, religion, self, nothing) and live within the constraints given. It has been demonstrated that humans generally go along with the powers that be until their conscience or greed overpowers their compulsion for status quo and survival.

There's also one other commonly missed item: A) thinking that something is wrong and B) forcing someone to stop doing it. It's one thing to choose not to eat ham, but it's another to force others to stop. Many think that one automatically goes with another. "A" requires "B". Why is it that people see you choose to not eat ham and NOT think you're trying to force them to stop, but they might see someone have the opinion that homosexuality is wrong and assume that person wants to force everyone to stop?

WRT your appreciation of differences, I agree that there are plenty of cases where dissention or debate can act as a whet stone against one's beliefs, and the result is a stronger, more sharpened set of beliefs. Besides, who wants beliefs that can be shaken so easily?

But there are differences that cannot be hugged away or calmly debated. And that's when the definition of "good" differs so greatly between two entities.

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwhall

@Saima: :) Just for the record, nobody took me to task for eating ham and I'm pretty sure everyone in the comments were kidding... Also, the dictionary definition aside, I, personally, approach religion as an opinion, as well. I'm one of those many roads, one destination kind of people. The whole "ham" thing was used to illustrate my approach. I don't eat ham because my internal moral code is averse to it, HOWEVER, I, personally, do not believe that someone who does eat ham is immoral. I feel like this needs clarification because the lens with which most people view religion points in the other direction. In other news, YAAAY, long live the F word!!

@whall: What a well thought out comment... and, yes, my definitions do depend on a unanimous decision as to what is "good." Simplistic as it may seem, I believe people that do not harm others intentionally are good. That said, this belief reflects my PERSONAL approach to life, and I recognize that it's wholly impractical as applied to society, civilization and law. With respect to those things, I think our thinking is completely aligned.

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

Ummm, well, not so much "wholly" impractical as "sorta" impractical.

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

i couldnt agree more. I have some friends who always insist on having political discussions, and it always starts out calmly, but since half of them are repubs and some are dems it ALWAYS turns into an argument... why cant people just agree to disagree?

April 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterslyde

You're actually *friends* with Republicans? Heh. KIDDING.

April 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

Yes, yes, hugs all around! I will say, though, that while I do not like ham by itself, it's very tasty when chopped up in soups.

April 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Gah - I got mentally exhausted during the second half of the comment exchange.

ANYWAY, I think you're pretty freakin' awesome Faiqa, even if you are intellectually superior, don't eat ham, don't cuss like a trucker and are a democrat.

See? We're different as night and day and that is a-okay.

And I'm not sure that this comment even addresses the situation at hand because I got sidetracked when you mentioned you didn't like ham.

But seriously, you should try the bacon wrapped shrimp (slathered in Jack Daniels barbecue sauce) at TGIFridays. Seriously. It's all that is right with this world all on a wooden skewer....and a total party in your mouth.

P.S. NYCWD is pretty much a total badass.

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