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agree to disagree
why is that so hard?
by katherine l (aka clevertitania) (@CleverTitania)
8.27.10
pop culture

What the hell is going on today? Can someone explain to me why we’re now arguing over things we don’t have even have a reason to argue about? Sure, politically this country may be more divided than it’s ever been. But why is that now translating to everything and anything we do? The prevailing theme on any news articles comments section seems to be, “Well I don’t like that, and I’m a very smart person, so clearly anyone who likes that is a moron.” You can say that elitism has been around for a while, but I really doubt that there were droves of intellectuals telling the world that I Love Lucy was dumbing down the country. But every day we hear it. This show, this movie, this book, this music; it’s all crap and only beloved by the masses because they are a bunch of tasteless sheep. Furthermore, those same stupid masses refuse to develop the good taste of their superiors, so are worthy of contempt and scorn.

What happened to the good old days, when we accepted that there were love “them or hate them” things in the world? For instance, take the movie A Christmas Story. Every single one of us knows people who love that movie with a grand passion, and people who hate that movie with unmitigated disgust. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a person with a lukewarm reaction. I’m in the hate category. Sure, it’s no Wild Wild West, but it’s close. But never in my life has anyone questioned my taste or intelligence because they loved A Christmas Story and I didn’t. Now sure, I’ve been told I just don’t get the humor, and maybe to some degree that’s true. I just think I don’t like the humor. I also didn’t like the humor of Seinfeld, but I never called anyone else a twit for finding it entertaining.

Tastes are tastes. They are subjective and impacted by tons of things. Another good example; I am a lover of the written word. Dialog is particularly intriguing to me. I like story telling. So when it comes to music, I am generally more moved by music with lyrics than strictly instrumental music. I don’t think straight instrumental music is bad, or boring, or that people who enjoy it are limited in their understanding of what music should be. But I’ve actually been told my preferences are pedestrian. And known I’ve grown adults say that any music that is popular is garbage, no matter what it is or who created it.

Tonight I read an article on the reflection of public opinion that Twitter is providing researchers. (Is Twitter a national mood ring?) The article appeared to be accurate and had some interesting things to say. But are the comments about how this research could benefit people, or what better ways we should be evaluating the data? Nope, they are all about how Twitter users are idiots for thinking the world cares what they ate for lunch.

Seriously, considering the number of people on Twitter, does anyone really think we’re all just using this as a dietary diary? Of course they do, because anything they don’t like is automatically the domain of Neanderthals and narcissists. But honestly, isn’t the narcissism really thinking that only little old you, who you maintain no one in their right mind wants to hear from, knows what other people want to read? Highly intellectual people ignoring the entire point of the article you’re commenting on, you are the person who knows what people want to do. You know that people don’t want to read the thoughts and opinions of hundreds or thousands of others. You know that no one feels like sharing their thoughts, their creative endeavors, their achievements and their disappointments with acquaintances across the world. Nope; since you don’t find that appealing, no one with any sense would.

Or maybe, just maybe, you don’t know jack.

Maybe the fact that you don’t like something just means you don’t like it. And maybe the popularity of something doesn’t mean everyone else is right about its quality or usefulness, anymore than it indicates something is trash appealing to the lowest common denominator. It just means a lot of people like it, and not necessarily that everyone else should.

So you’re sick of reading about Twitter when it sounds like a bore to you. Guess what, I’m sick of hearing about Jersey Shore, but you don’t see me going around yelling on every article about it, telling its fans they are a bunch of morons. There’s an old adage on the internet; don’t feed the trolls. But do you know what’s happening while we’re leaving the trolls alone, ignoring their obnoxious tirades? They are multiplying. Hatred of anything you don’t like, and abuse of its fans, is becoming the most popular form of communication on the internet. And why is that? Because on the internet, anonymity makes you a god; or so some seem to think. If we can’t feed the trolls, can we at least send them a collective STFU?

Isn’t it interesting though, that most of the active accounts on Twitter are people who don’t hide their full names? I guess what these people really don’t like is a place on the internet where most individuals don’t have to play a part, or hide behind their usernames; they can just be themselves.


ABOUT KATHERINE L (AKA CLEVERTITANIA)

When I grow up, I want to be; whoever Joss Whedon wants to be, when he grows up. I am a writer because it's the first thing I want to do when I wake up in the morning; aside from eating and using the lavatory of course. My work includes screenplays, short stories, film/TV/music reviews and socio-political commentary. The last one is a fancy way of saying I like to shoot my mouth off on many topics. I excel at using $1.50 words. They gone up, thanks to inflation. Isn't our economy awesome?

more about katherine l (aka clevertitania)

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COMMENTS

adam kraemer
8.27.10 @ 12:14p

As a fan of irony, I think what I appreciate most is that the hubris that spurs Twitter users to post about what they had for lunch is the exact same hubris that spurs people to comment on how stupid those Twitter users are. Why would anyone think I value their thoughts on a random CNN article any more than I value someone else's thoughts on whether pesto ruins an Italian hoagie?

That said, to address the first part of this column, the problem with "live and let live" arises when you believe God is on your side. Politically speaking, especially.

And lastly, I am not questioning your intellect, but I am questioning your taste for hating A Christmas Story. But not Wild Wild West. That was a piece of crap.

katherine (aka clevertitania)
8.27.10 @ 3:38p

If only the idiots in question could craft a nonsensical non-sequitor like Adam, I'd probably like them more. :)

I will maintain my position on ACS though. I sometimes wonder if the reaction people have to that movie is based on how much/little the family in the movie is like them. I have no frame of reference for a single moment in that movie, so I don't really find any of the situations comical.



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