The U of Living Imperfectly: Unorthodoxy In Conservatism #atozchallenge

The true aim of politeness, is to make those with whom you associate as well satisfied with themselves as possible. It does not, by any means, encourage an impudent self-importance in them, but it does whatever it can to accommodate their feelings and wishes in social intercourse. Politeness is a sort of social benevolence, which avoids wounding the pride, or shocking the prejudices of those around you. Martine’s Handbook to Etiquette and Guide to True Politeness, Arthur Martine, Dick & Fitzgerald Publishers, 1866.

U Challenge LetterI tend to always mark the progress of the Challenge through the passing of the vowels and here it is, the last one. As they often say, and then there was U.

There is a fair bit of discussion going on in Australia at the moment about the re-introduction of a late night variety show. We do not have a locally produced version at the moment and have not had one for a while, so the TV executives must be thinking the time is now ripe. For my American friends, we do get your late night versions – Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show, but clearly the populace is crying out for some home grown talent.

There is much speculation as to who the host might be. One former late night host interviewed today confirmed that being a late night host was not an easy gig and that the show’s success or failure depended on choosing the right front man. No number of international celebrities could account for the lack of a fun host and according to Mr Former this meant that the host had to be quirky but conventional.

So that got me to thinking whether this was possible. Because my initial thought was that quirky is the opposite to conventional.

But then I reminded myself that I always thought of myself as conservative but unorthodox which is seems to be equally as anomalous. The way I see it, I’m conservative in the big things like security, job, finances etc. but when it comes to the detail within those frames I tend to carry them out unconventionally.  I’m not ashamed to admit there is a bit of maverick in the old Curtain Raiser because it simply wouldn’t do to be so boring as to be totally predictable or without a sense of humour.

My kids would probably argue about the latter, but it’s nice to see them developing their wit with a few chips from the old block.

Of course one does not wish to wound the pride nor shock the prejudices of those around one, but strongly held notions should occasionally be challenged and rattled. I certainly appreciate it when someone gets me thinking and challenging conventions. It’s called an open mind.

There some great U words which describe all of us who are brave enough do our own thing at times. Here’s a celebration to all of us for being:



     unorthodoxcool duck






For we are the ones who share a glimpse of our authenticity with the world.





About the curtain raiserhttp://raisingthecurtain.netI have spent my life in offices. For now I am putting that behind me and preparing for the second act. Middle age didn't come with acceptable signposts so I am making my own through my writing. A journey shared is more fun than going it solo.

22 thoughts on “The U of Living Imperfectly: Unorthodoxy In Conservatism #atozchallenge

  1. Perhaps quirky but conventional is describing someone who is, in modern parlance, ‘out there’, but in a relatively comfortable, non-threatening way. We should all be happy to have our beliefs, prejudices etc. challenged – it gives us the opportunity to defend them – but not to have them belittled or ridiculed, nor ourselves for holding them.
    It may be that conservative and unorthodox are not natural bed-fellows, but as soon as one accepts that we are none of us unique, yet we all are, anything is possible.

    • You’ve hit the nail on the head by talking about challenging beliefs and not the person. The boundaries seem to have blurred on this one with the Internet. Anything truly is possible if we respect one other as human beings. Love the last paragraph of your comment, its scathingly clever.

  2. Great post. Judy, as you know I treasure eclectic and unorthodox people. We should try to be true to ourselves. Yet, sometimes it is better not to voice every opinion as it can be offputting. It is like your post of the other day about choosing the times to correct people. In advocating for causes or issues, it seems I am more heard when I focus on the issue and not the politics. This has proven quite difficult in the US, when we have such a polarized climate. The dilemma is the reasonable debate around issues which invariably are grey or subtle, gets lost when you mention politics. Oddly, it has become unorthodox to advocate for issues in an apolitical way. I have digressed, so please forgive. BTG

    • I think politics tends does tend to obscure the debate on issues, because the focus gets side tracked to personalities and party ideology rather than the issue at hand. This is particulary annoying when you know someone can contribute to a debate on the issue but is constrained by party lines. Not sure if this also happens in the US, it certainly does over here.

      • Definitely happens here. Easy example. If you polled GOP legislators “off the record” there is support about doing something about climate change. Yet, since the fossil fuel industry funds the GOP so heavily, the legislators cannot openly debate their funding sources. Same could be said for the NRA.

  3. “strongly held notions should occasionally be challenged and rattled.”—Very true. Like you, I enjoy having someone challenge my long-held beliefs. Even if I don’t change my mind–and there’s a good chance I won’t–I see other ways of looking at an issue which makes it much easier to empathize and step into someone else’s shoes. Helps keep the judgment at bay.

  4. Great post, and love the quirky duck pic! If more of us in US could utilize unortodox thinking, we might come closer to workable solutions. The demonization of those with opposing views has become a juggernaut (thanks to immediate press coverage if every single utterance) that, I fear, cannot be overcome.

  5. A kindred spirit!! I’ve always questioned how I could be both relatively conservation but at the same time, kind of “out there”. It always left me feeling like I didn’t quite ‘belong’ and an outsider to both camps. Your description was perfect – conventional in the broad strokes but unorthodox in the details. Thanks! I feel validated 🙂

  6. Sometimes I feel that nowadays so many people try to hard to be “unconventional” (whatever that means) that conventional has become the new unconventional.

    • Sort of like twisting inside itself :)? Many who say they are unconventional are not, it’s sort of like the claim about being “leading” this or that. Relatively meaningless from overuse.

I would really love to hear what you have to say. C'mon.. you know you want to!

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