FolkWords Writes

Debate and dissention

(October 15, 2016)

There is something deeply satisfying when an e-mail or comment delivers pithy discussion, informed opinion or reasoned argument. For certain, there's plenty of unreasoned argument ... some of it verging on childish, pointless abuse. There are also a goodly number of views from minds that make Fort Knox look wide open.

Recently however, I've been exalted to receive intelligent opinion and join in thoughtful debate. And for that good people, I thank you. I may not agree with you but that's where discussion wins over conflict. We may wander off the subject indulging in an exchange of opinions just because we enjoy the experience. We may even strike a mutual chord ... at least it's the chance to open our minds and see how far they can extend that reach.

A few weeks back I invited a fellow 'commentator' to wander around FolkWords to see the many comments and observations pointing out the potential for all facets of folk music and any number of folkies to suffer from a narrow-minded outlook. That's one point I've enjoyed debating over the years. That, and where the heck this thing called folk is heading ... and those views are wide and varied too. My latest exchange led us both to agree that whatever music you appreciate and however you classify your personal preference lacking tolerance, flexibility or breadth of view does nothing to help understanding or expression. It suffocates music. It marginalises and constrains and creates a tribal reaction.

When such approaches remain unattended and unexplored the polarisation and tribal fragmentation that holds music in its grip continues to restrict growth and wider appreciation. So in my view the more people that try to open the discussion the better. Which if you're reading this, probably means I'm sharing my views with a fully-functioning human adult, or perhaps I'm in for another round of name-calling. No problem. Water off a duck's back. My psychological shoulders are pretty damn wide.

As I said during the discussion, the issue that remains however, is those that rigidly adhere to a particular dogma or doctrine are a). Unlikely to join this debate (or any other) or b). Be receptive my views or anyone else's for that matter. 

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