I have learned alot from my mother, not the least on which is my sense of humor. Unfortunately, I also learned the snobbish attitude that my opinion being the only right opinion. One of her favorite expressions was a variation on the heading which – roughly – means There is no accounting for taste. Almost always, with my Mother, it meant My taste is right and yours is wrong but I will not argue about it.
I thought I had moved past that attitude. OK, not much, but a little. I once took a photography class – actually a spectacular trip down the Grand Canyon, actually, two spectacular trips down the Grand Canyon – with Dewitt Jones. At the end of each class – trip – we played show and tell while Dewitt critiqued. Every once in a while, Dewitt would ask what the photographer was trying to show and make a suggestion or two, but – usually – the critique would go What a great picture or What a great solution and then another – totally different – picture would be shown by the next guy and Dewitt would say Another great solution.
It was the photographic parallel to really listening to somebody and being open to their point of view. I was very impressed.
A couple of days ago, I saw an ad for the new HBO series Game of Thrones and I thought it sounded very interesting. Then I saw the first 15 minutes as a promo piece on HBO and was pretty sure I would not like it. Then I read a question answer piece with the director Tom McCarthy in which they asked him what he thought the best science fiction / fantasy movies were. He named ten movies and put Aliens by James Cameron higher than Alien by Ridley Scott. All my snobbery came up. What – impossible! Now I know I won’t like Game of Thrones.