This posting, or at least the essence of it, is actually one that stuck in my head enough to convince me to start up another blog. Not only is this something I am hoping will set the example of what I am looking to type up here, as well as, honestly, being kind of a reflection of an attitude change I have had over the past couple years not only when it comes to my media consumption habits, but my life in general. I don't mean that as an allusion to this blog getting "personal", lord help me I did enough of that seven, eight years ago, but obviously our personalities reflect our consumption habits and vice versa. And, in that regard, the world affects our personalities and the cycle continues. More to that...
Things are becoming more... "radicalized" is the word I think is the appropriate word. Not just in the world in general, but even down to something as insignificant in the grand scheme as what we consume. Let me put it this way, anyone who follows politics right now (and no, I won't do politics here, been there done that too) knows things are fucked. There's people on both ends that are so determined to bury their heads in the sand of their own crapulence the middle ground might as well be a chasm they don't bother looking into. And when two forces so strongly opposed to each other clash, all that results is their licking their wounds on a farther end of the spectrum while preparing to come at one another even harder. All that results in is less and less, well, results.
I look around and see a lot of that same "push and pull" when it come entertainment. There's so much vitriol that tends to fly around at stuff meant to distract, it's almost bordering on the absurd. And yes, I'm willing to address right now the "hypocrisy" of my doing freelance work for a group that calls themselves the @$$holes and tends to lay into comics we deem to be of very low standard. Herein lies the difference, it is rare that I think one of our crew writes something insulting at anyone involved in the process and, despite some material heavy on the "snark" as the kids put it, almost everything we do comes with either humor or a critical nature. I, for one, don't think I've even posted more than an average of a negative review a year over the past three, and that plays to the overall arc of what I want this post to be about.
Who cares? Really, why should you? Yes, I want to see quality product out there, stuff that I find pleasing to myself and think pushes the mediums I enjoy further. I want to see comics rise out of the funk they are in, see even movies that are designated "summer fun" play more to the Inception's and District 9's of the season than the Transformers of them, and the fiery death of reality TV. But, y'know what, my continuing to rail against the stuff I do not like is not going to get us anywhere. I hate the mindless drivel that is Twilight that has been sparkling its way into the theaters every year for the past three, but y'know what? I have better things to do and consume. I even regret using the word 'hate' just two lines ago, I'd much rather remain apathetic. I don't post bad reviews because I like to think I have honed my tastes to know what comic book I like, what is doing what I believe comic books should, and material that I believe deserves a chance. I put my critical hat on and hope that if for some reason that the creative crew catches wind of what I wrote, they take it heart if they think I have a point or, well, shake it off and continue to produce work if they disagree with me.
I used to be one of those "clever boys" who thought of something terrible to say about a piece of media just because it made me feel all big man to do so. Stupid. Why should I even care that the stuff exists? I don't like it, some people do, so whatever, I have better things to do. What I've realized is, much like the political arena, if you start to push on something holds dear, even if it's just a movie or a book or music type and, hell, even if that person admits its not the best of things but a guilty pleasure, they'll eventually push back. The problem is, everything has become so very fanboy. I despised that mentality back when it applied only to comics, now that it applies to computers and video game consoles and movie brands within genres it's gone too far. Should you care that I prefer the Playstation brand for my own reasons as opposed to your preference of the XBox if we both have valid reason? No. Maybe we don't agree with each other's preferences, but we should at least remain brothers in enjoying video games and work from there.
I simply say "Let it go" because it really is easier that it seems to simply disavow this stuff. Why waste time and effort on being drawn into discussing stuff you do not enjoy, even if you really do feel it is that insultingly terrible, when there is so much material out there worth the time and your consumerist dollars? Why should disdain for Twilight or The Jersey Shore or Lady Gaga preoccupy you when you can be putting down money at the theater for Captain America or counting down the days (like I am) for the new season of Breaking Bad or downloading some Mumford and Sons? You want to know how you "win" this? You let people have their media, whatever it is, and instead of being drawn into a "How much Twilight is fucking terrible" argument when someone mentions they like it, why don't you recommend they try True Blood instead? Or that there's this comic book series about vampires call AMERICAN VAMPIRE that is really keen? Bringing the hate is just going to make someone hole up in their opinion more and ensure they resist efforts to be brought to try and enjoy stuff they may like better. There's so much material out there to both build on and, failing that, drown out the "offensive" objects, there's no reason to let the hate roll. It's just counterproductive.
And now, after having just spent six paragraphs discussing understanding and fairness, I'm going to spend my entire day watching The Lord of the Rings Trilogy on Blu-Ray, and you go to hell if you don't love those films...