by B.J. on 6/11/2003 08:46:00 AM 0 comments Print this post

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[Edited, mulled over, and clarified on 11/07/03]

What Constitutes 'Interesting' ?

Here I am on the last night at SC listening to my home-dogs Wibs,, 'Well, and Stehvenson Chris or "Chris" as he likes to be called talk about how they were such Civil War nuts from 5th grade. Personally, I could never get interested in that. I also could not get interested in politics news like my Oakland friend 'Yell unless I was posting it up somewhere. I also did not mesh well with most of the music of choice here. I'm still sort of indifferent to Led Zeppelin and A Perfect Circle (hey at least I know about them now) and sad and bitter music ala Chelle and Hane. Reason I'm thinking about all these interests is because I felt looked down upon by the random acquaintences just for not liking the same things 'Well, Yell, and Wibs liked, that I was just some unsophisticated basketball playing asshole. Of course, I don't feel too good about that.

Those acquaintences were just being humans liking certain things over others because it has more meaning to them. Coming from an immigrant-turned US Citizen family, I'm pretty sure I grew up much more differently and exposed to other things from which I gained an interest in. So we all have different interests, but what I'm wondering about is: What makes an 'interesting' person ?

My AP US History and European teacher kept talking about becoming an 'interesting man' by knowing a lot of shit. I also interpreted 'interesting' as 'sophisticated.' My contemporary religion teacher said that 'sophistication' consisted of knowing a little of a variety of things. So, I've established that 'interesting' is about knowing a lot of things. Knowing things makes people unique. And everyone has a story to tell. Why wouldn't they ? But then people tend to hierarchize (or determine which interest is better or worse) whatever and whoever is 'interesting' unconsciously thinking that it is a universal shared interest. There are some things that are considered more important and more useful by the upper crust of Western society, and it's where knowing one thing becomes better than knowing another thing. So the most interesting people know about things that are much more relative to society. The question becomes: Are some things people know truly better than others ?

I think a resounding Ali-like "Hayl naw." Whatever people know and become interested goes in accordance with their society and genes. [Note: There are universalities, but the ways in which those universalities are expressed are very different. For example, some societies will actually enjoy painful rituals like clitorodectomy.] Knowledge spaces (or what people know as fact in different societies and circles) all have their strengths. A tribal person from Sudan can pick out the poisonous berries better than a field scientist in America because that tribal person is around the berries more, but the more credible person is considered to be the scientist. The scientist has just taken a lot of factual information constructed by a variety of other people. He doesn't have the intrinsic info the tribal person has. Closer to home, a dude interested in racing would probably know more about mechanics than any other random college student. People become good at different things, and the interests differ a helluva lot.

There is no 'better' thing to like and there are a lot of things to like. 'Interesting' is whatever piques at you.



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