The Devil's Advocate
I'm the kind of person who likes to play Devil's Advocate a lot. I like to challenge. and look at both sides (or the many sides) of any controversial subject matter. I feel like it's a way to really tap into the various ideas floating around and suss out all the feelings on all them.
Here's the thing. I've known about the film The Devil's Advocate for a long time. I actually only saw it for the first time last year, and I have to say - as far as Keanu performances go - it is WAY up there for me. I understood immediately why he chose to forego some of his pay so that he could work with Al Pacino. He seemed to really up his game by having Al as a scene partner. And Charlize Theron is just as spectacular as ever.
If you haven't seen it - here's a summary - and it has some spoilers so be warned. Keanu plays an extremely skilled criminal defence lawyer who gets recruited by Al Pacino's law firm, so he and his wife (Charlize Theron) make their way to the big city so Keanu can represent on a high profile case. Guess what? Al Pacino is the Devil. The movie gets a bit weird, but suffice it to say that it does NOT end well for Keanu - the Devi's Advocate.
Even after seeing the movie, and knowing that by playing Devil's Advocate I am voluntarily siding with the wrong party - I still enjoy the nature of conversation that comes from taking on this role. ... Until recently.
Yesterday I was reminded of a time when I played Devil's Advocate in an online conversation about reverse racism and trying to use semantics to discuss how it could possibly be a thing. Thinking back on that time made me shudder with disgust, because of how poorly I behaved and how wrong I was at the time. Yes it was years ago, but it was not that long ago. I should have known better and I should have stopped it.
While I'm not sure my desire to open up dialogue to discuss various viewpoints on any discussion will probably not disappear anytime soon, I do sincerely intend to end my need to be the Devil's Advocate in these conversations. I might provide extra questions to get more viewpoints if my opinion is requested, but otherwise I'm going to do my best to shut up when others are talking and just listen. I'm taking my cue from Keanu - don't advocate for the devil. He's already well covered.