November 30: indifferent and superior

If you watch the TV programme ‘Gogglebox’ where you see families reacting to what they see on the telly, you rarely witness indifference. You see shock, fear, disgust, outrage, joy but no indifference. The programme makers must think that cool indifference is not what the viewers of the viewers want to see. And yet, indifference, dispassionate and controlled, is such a rare and therefore attractive commodity in daily life. Passion has had its day. People being passionate about stuff is tiresome. We cannot be interested in everything, have an opinion about everything. The intelligent reaction to information most of the time is to say ‘I don’t know enough about this. I have no opinion.’ The next time you are in a passionate argument, be indifferent, have no opinion. As the argument grows heated and ramped-up to boiling point, with rhetoric overblown, the endless reuctio ad absurdums, the evocation of Nazi Germany as best paradigm and all tempers frayed, you are delicately sipping your green tea, above it all, secure in what you know and what you don’t know. You are superior.

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