Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Last word narrow minded - precisely the opposite

I was recently told that I liked to have the last word. In some cases, yes, when I'm arguing about matters of personal perception. But mostly I just realise that we won't agree and ask to be left alone. Perhaps that is trying to have the last word but then who's the one trying to change the other's mind?

But in so much else - in matters of fact - my "smart assed" behaviour is actually a sign of a willingness to learn. It's just that I've done the research, got the answer and moved on.

A lady on the radio saying "why don't we cease live exports? Just get Muslims to kill the animals here, according to the correct rites, Cryovac the meat into packs the size they want, and send it over there. It doesn't even need tobe refrigerated"

Wrong in so many ways. And not wrong on matters of opinion, but matters of fact:

Halal export has been de rigeur for at last 20 years. In fact, ever major abattoir in Australia has blessed and bled the animals before processing. Her suggestion is what is already happening. Cryovac meat needs to be refrigerated, you fool. Silliest thing I've ever heard. Only one method, retorting, makes the product shelf stable, like a steel can. It's what Dover Fisheries do with Abalone. Almost nobody else retorts their flexible packaging in Australia for things like meat, chicken or fish.

Now, if that's me needing to have the last word, then it's not the sign of a closed mind. In fact I know all this stuff because I've had a very open mind, been willing to learn, and already have the answer. That is possible when it comes to matters of fact.

It's worse when the newcomer thinks they've found some wrinkle in the fabric of reality, yet they are faced with another fact. Unfortunately it's often me who has to make the disconfirming fact apparent to them, and it makes me look like I want to have the last word.

And I am delighted when somebody uncovers something I had missed.

Live export was exactly one of those things. I was vocal against live export, once. I believed they should just buy the meat in Cryovac. A clever guy, Nathan Gray, pointed out that buying beef on the hoof is the only way many Indonesians can keep beef at all. Correct, they have no refrigeration so need to hold the animals, breathing, for a number of months.

I didn't get the last word on that one. New facts. The last word was Nathan's.

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