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Judgement Day

21 June 2013

Not this one.

There’s a general theme on this blog of being positive and not trashing anyone else’s work if I can avoid it. That overall theme kind of gives the impression that I don’t have strong opinions about books or movies or music, or that I like pretty much everything.

This is pretty far from the truth. I consume a lot of the above — I try to read a couple of books a week (sometimes I even succeed), I watch a fair amount of TV and movies, and I listen to about 5-6 hours of music a day. With the sheer volume of stuff I take in, there’s obviously going to be a certain percentage of it that I just don’t like. In honestly, there’s a percentage of the media I consume that I think is just plain shit.

But here’s the thing — that’s an opinion. Opinions are subjective. What I think is crappy filmmaking, another person might have based their whole life philosophy on. A song that I think is just awful might be the song that was playing when someone met their significant other for the first time. Just because I have an opinion doesn’t mean I need to share it, and it certainly doesn’t mean I think it in any way applies to anyone but me.

We’re all going to have different takes on things. Christopher and I, while doing the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast, will find that we have the same opinion on something and have completely different reasons for that opinion. It’s a podcast where we agree a lot, but take a series of wildly different paths to arrive at the consensus.

And that’s why I don’t really judge things out in public, or at least not on this blog. Art is subjective, and I in no way think that my opinion on it is anything more than that; an opinion. I might share things I think are cool for other like-minded folks out there, but something pretty much has to murder a close friend before I’ll come out and say “yeah, that sucks.”

It’s the opposite of the way the Internet works at large, which in a lot of cases seems to be “I think this sucks, and therefore it DOES suck, and here’s why you should all think it sucks too.” And you know what? Maybe it’s my problem with authority (which is, if you know me, pretty massive), but I like going the other way with things. I like saying “here’s this thing I dig, and maybe you’ll dig it too; if not, that’s cool.”

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you like what I like. It doesn’t taint my opinion of you if you think Firefly is the worst show ever. If you’re not kicking a basket of puppies in front of a bus full of nuns just to see if they’ll swerve, chances are we’re cool with each other.

So, a positive note on Friday — what’s the best book you’ve read recently? The best film you’ve seen? The best TV on the air right now? (The answer to that last one, of course, is Game of Thrones.)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 22 June 2013 0929

    I’ve come out of movies I didn’t like with people who loved the movie…and I’ve feigned enthusiasm because I don’t want to kill it for them. I won’t lie and be like, “Best. Movie. Evah!” but if someone is having a moment, I definitely won’t be the guy at that very moment who says, “It sucked!” I’ll let them have their fun.

    The way many people use the Internet is weird. I would have never known that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had a baby, let alone named the baby North, were it not for a bunch of angry adults who claim they are nobodies fuming about them breeding and naming the kid what they named the kid. It goes back to something very basic: if you claim something doesn’t matter to you, then why give it attention. I have never seen a person in any of my social media feeds say they liked Kim Kardashian. But I see people spending a lot of time giving her attention. Granted, she would have fans regardless, I’m sure, but she seems to exist, at least in part, because the mere mention of her and her actions riles people who claim to not give a shit about her dedicating time to her. If all those people ignored her, she wouldn’t have as much sway. By fuming, they give the very thing they say they hate power.

    The times I’ve given any time to knocking something, it’s been with a friend I know who feels the same way I do about something…and it’s done, in a way, to expose what didn’t work for us so we don’t make the same mistakes. And it’s done in the quiet of the moment because I wouldn’t even want to rage on something within the earshot of others for the same reason I sometimes read or watch something others like and not deflate the moment for them.

    I have an irrational dislike for Eric Clapton, but I’m not going to go online and fume about how much I dislike Eric Clapton. I have a lot of friends who love the guy and his music and I’m not gonna rip on something they love. If I’m around and they talk about him, I will mention that I see his talents and other more positive things. I will freely admit that my dislike for him is not rational and that it’s my issue. And I’m open to the day I find out what a great person he is and warm up to what he does because so many times the thing you dislike and rage about turns out to not be nearly as bad as you make it out to be.

    IF I’m going to make the effort to go online and talk about something, it’s better to talk about how much I like the writing of Jim Lynch vs. slamming writers I don’t like. When I see people slam on certain writers, it’s like seeing people who claim to not give a shit about Kim Kardashian dedicating a morning to how much they can’t stand her. For me, when I hear that, it tells me that a person is most likely not happy with who they are.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to “Layla” on repeat…

    • 23 June 2013 0838

      That’s the thing — why not just talk about stuff I dig? If I didn’t care for something, there’s no reason for me to shit on it publicly. The rest of the Internet has that covered. It might make for some repetitive reading, but I might also help someone find their New Favorite Thing ™, and that’s pretty cool.

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