Go back where you came from, unless you agree with me

Would you rather watch SBS or play THIS game?
I was home alone the other night and randomly flicking through the TV guide and discovered a dilemma.

On one hand, SBS was showing series two of its award-winning documentary/drama series “Go back where you came from”.  I didn’t watch series one but I heard it was excellent, plus it had won a bunch of awards.

It was tempting to watch this show but, over on good ol’ ABC2, I found out that Good Game was going to review the new Transformers game coming out on PS3.

As you can see, this was quite the diemma. 

The obvious choice was choosing a review of a computer game about transforming robots over an investigation into refugees.  After all, how awesome are Transformers!

Answer: This awesome.

So, I decided to watch the first part of Go Back which started at 8:30pm and then flick over to Good Game when it started at 8:37pm.

It seemed like a fool proof plan… until I started watching Go Back.

In short, the show was exceptionally interesting.  The contestants all had particular political axes to grind (everything from “No refugees ever” to “Every refugee ever”) and the contrived situations into which they were sent were very well put together.

So, I didn’t get around to watching the Transformers review1.  I did, however, make the mistake of going online and checking out the Twitter feed for the show: #gobacksbs

It’s a mistake I always make; viewing the Twitter feed.  But within the usual torrent of vitriol, arrogance, sarcasm, swearing and insults was this remark:

“The tragedy of #gobacksbs is that no-one who needs to watch this, is going to watch this”

Well, aside from the unnecessary use of the second comma, that tweet is the best example of why I don’t like shows like “Go Back”, Q & A, or the Insiders and subsequently viewing the tendentious Twitter feed.

Why?  Because, I reckon it’s one of the most arrogant statements you could possibly make.

To paraphrase the tweet: “I’m so smart.  My opinion on refugees and asylum seekers is the right one.  Anyone who disagrees with me is totally wrong and an idiot.  What a pity they’re too low-brow to watch this show because, were they to do so, they’d finally realise that their opinion is wrong, mine is right, and the entire world would be a better place.”

As you can tell, I find this to be a little frustrating.  And it’s something I’m noticing more and more these days.  People are quite happy for others to hold an opinion, just as long as that opinion is the same as their own.

I blogged on this last year as well but it’s still frustrating me.  It frustrated me so much that I came up with three perspectives on people’s reaction to the opinions of others.

1: Tolerance.  You’re happy for others to hold their own opinions, most likely because they’re exactly the same as your own.

2: Intolerance: You have no time for people with different opinions to yourself.  “Can’t they see the error in their ways?  How stupid they must be!”

3: Tolerant intolerance: You have your own opinions, which means that people will disagree with you.  But you’re happy for them to disagree with you because they’re quite entitled to have a different opinion to you.

I reckon society is low in the stocks of tolerant intolerance, especially online.  As Alan Kohler from the ABC recently put it:

“I have no patience with people who buy all their opinions in the same store, or who think the other one has nothing good in it at all.”


People of Earth, I have no problem with you holding strong opinions on things.  But next time someone vocalises their own opinion which may differ from yours, how about you take a moment to consider their argument and try and understand how they reached that opinion.

Because if you reach straight for your pistol and start trying to shoot down their opinion, you’ll likely look like a muppet.

And if you disagree with this article?  You’re welcome.


1: I ended up watching the review online.  I looks pretty awesome!


Ben A said…
Nice one mate! Transformers. Love 'em!

Maybe tolerance in a society like ours should be like a soccer match. We might fundamentally disagree - I might think the ball should be in the back of their net, they might think it should be in the back of mine. It's generally healthy to disagree. So long as we play the ball, not the man. And afterwards, we can all go share a drink at the pub, and leave the game on the field where it belongs!
Dylan Malloch said…
Good call - well put Ben!
Unknown said…
And when our team loses, we'll start a riot and burn the stadium down.