ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

No Opinions, No Negatives, Never Again

Updated on July 27, 2019
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU 1963. Worked in NYC in public relations 2 years then as reporter/news editor 32 years at The Hour newspapers. Retired in 2000.

Billy Eckstine Passes My Test Easily!

Singer Billy Eckstine -- a positively good singer!
Singer Billy Eckstine -- a positively good singer!

My Cousin Michael Torpey Passes My Test, Too!

Michael Torpey, Classical Tenor -- also a positively good singer!
Michael Torpey, Classical Tenor -- also a positively good singer!

I am often accused of being opinionated. Heaven forefend!

Worse, I am frequently castigated for being negative. I'm not!

To defend oneself against such vicious attacks at the time that they're leveled against you is often difficult; there's generally precious little time because you're in the midst of doing other things and the occasion is rarely an opportune one.

Until recently, when told, "My, you're opinionated," or "Boy, you're negative," I would just let sleeping dogs lie; say nothing, let the remarks go by uncontested.

But I think I learned something from the Bush-Dukakis presidential campaign (You remember that one!) as well as the Clinton-Bush clash. I learned what the candidates learned: If you don't respond to criticism when it comes people somehow tend to believe whatever allegations are made against you -- whether or not they have merit.

False Charges Require Response

The fact is you have to defend yourself against false charges -- or take the significant risk that they will be believed. The more significant the charge, the more likely it will be believed -- you know, the Big Lie theory.

So, just to keep the record straight, I hereby declare that the allegations that I am opinionated and negative are patently untrue! The trial is over; I am not guilty of any such misdemeanors!

I do plead guilty, however, to the charge of ignorance. I was truly unaware of the motives of my accusers.

But, happily, my ignorance has subsided. Now I understand what I did not understand before: What people who accuse you of being opinionated really mean is that the opinions you express do not coincide with theirs (that is, they don't agree with you.)

I'm Never Negative

Similarly, I am not negative. Never!

But at least now, finally, I understand what I didn't comprehend then: People who accuse you of being negative do so because they have difficulty facing reality. They don't want to know the truth!

As my friends and associates know -- because I've told them so often -- I rarely offer opinions, but I often make observations about myriad topics.

Lo! There is a difference.

How so, you ask?

Let me explain.

Try the Radio Test

When I say that rock 'n roll is noise, I am simply making an observation, not issuing an opinion. And it certainly isn't negative! It's simply a matter of definitions. All you have to do is turn a radio on and move the dial; when you hear Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine, et al, you're listening to music! When your ears are barraged with loud disjointed noise, you've hit another rock 'n roll station.

And is it negative when you make the simple observation that the Boston Red Sox have no chance, again, of making it to the American League championships? Certainly not!

Nor is it positive to observe that the New York Yankees have an excellent chance of winning the pennant, and the World Series. No, it's not positive -- it's simply the way things are.

Henceforth, do not look for opinions from me. I have none. And look only for positives; nothing negative will ever pass my lips -- never again.

I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on Aug. 28, 1993.

Have You Ever Been Falsely Accused?

See results

Michael Torpey As Frank Sinatra -- 'My Way'

Your Words And Thoughts Have Physical Power -- Will Smith


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)