Game Of Thrones. The Super Bowl. The Oscars. The GRAMMYs. The Walking Dead. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony. The Avengers: Endgame.
All of the above are events that have excited large groups of folks in recent memory. And whenever a bunch of people are enthusiastic about something, there is an inevitable backlash from others who don't share that enthusiasm.
"This is me not caring about NCAA March Madness." "This is me not caring about Bohemian Rhapsody." "This is me not caring about Doctor Who." Yeah, like that. The memes aren't intrinsically grating, I guess, though I get tired of them pretty quickly. And it's good that we don't all see things the same way. Lord knows there've been tons of pop cultural manias that haven't appealed to me, from wrestling to reality TV to some (not all) of the events listed above. And I've also been guilty of snarky dismissals of such things (particularly regarding the music of Bob Seger, whose popular hits I abhor, a situation which blinded me for far too long to the rockin' splendor of some of his '60s and early '70s sides. Seger's "2 + 2 = ?" is The Greatest Record Ever Made.)
So, having kinda learned my lesson, I try not to do that as much, or at least I try to prevent my natural smartass persona from taking over completely. Why? Because, honestly, it just seems rude.
On his blog News From ME, writer Mark Evanier has begun a series he's calling "A Cranky, Rambling Rant." Part 1 discusses Mark's long-standing lack of interest in Star Trek (in spite of friends insisting for decades that he has to love Star Trek, he has to!), and Part 2 discusses his fondness of the film It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (in spite of punters insisting he'd have to be batshit crazy to enjoy something as utterly lacking in redeeming quality as [shudder]...that).
Evanier is not guilty of the offenses I complain about; he's on the receiving end of people insisting that he needs to agree with them on their likes and dislikes.
I saw the new Avengers movie on Friday, and I absolutely loved it. I also love DC Comics, Marvel Comics, The Ramones, The Monkees, Syracuse University basketball and football, and various other TV shows, films, musical acts, books, comic books, plays, and foods. I like KISS. I hope that someday I'll have an opportunity to see Hamilton on stage. I watch The Tony Awards, speed through The GRAMMYs, and I'm unlikely to ever watch another Oscars telecast. I'll watch the Super Bowl when The Buffalo Bills participate, which probably ain't happening anytime soon. I watch The Voice. I like what I like, and I often tell folks about what I like right here on this blog, a forum dedicated exclusively to my opinion. We can disagree on specifics, but we should remain polite. We can joke about our differences, and we can bust stones mutually. That's fair, and it can be a characteristic of friendly banter, of friendship.
We can (and should) voice opinions; nothing wrong with that. My forthcoming short story "Guitars Vs Rayguns"--a story which everyone will adore without reservation or exception--includes a throwaway line dissing a popular TV show and its utter worthlessness, but it's a joke, and it's funny! I think there's a difference between expressing preferences (especially via silly riffing) and a recent online exchange I read about the Gotham TV series: 1) Nobody likes Gotham, right? We can all agree that it's awful; 2) I kinda like Gotham, it's entertaining and fun; 3) Sorry that you like garbage.
That's not being cool, or edgy, or hip, or discerning; that's just being an asshole.
Opinions are fine. Likes and dislikes are what make us...us. But neither you nor I can force a viewpoint on the other. We can attempt to persuade. We shouldn't be dicks about it.
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