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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Opinions Matter: An Excerpt from Gareth Cliff on Everything

Gareth Cliff on EverythingIn this excerpt from his book Gareth Cliff on Everything, Gareth Cliff explains why people expressing their opinions is so important to him. He says that, “The best way to exercise your freedom is to decide how you feel about the things you care about, and let other people know” and that this requires you to have an opinion:

Wow, you’re very opinionated!, she said in a disgusted tone, walking away in a hurry in case I gave her one more. I don’t know why, but some people think it a very bad thing to have an opinion about anything. Blend in, don’t make too much noise, just be happy with what you know and do. That seems to be their motto. I couldn’t do that. The woman in question was a conservative, middle-aged mother of two who probably worked for a bank, was out of love with her husband, watched a lot of TV soap operas and drove, at best, a Volvo. People like that consider people with opinions dangerous for the common good. But that’s just my opinion. From the bold to the beautiful: I met a really pretty girl in 2004. She was sexy, vivacious, educated and talented, and even had a great sense of humour. Everything seemed to be just about perfect.

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