Thursday, August 2, 2007

Satisfaction Mandatory

Upon my journeys of the pointless places of the internet, I spend a lot
of time reading what others have to say about entertainment.
Fictions. Pop Culture.
In recent days, I have noticed a strange trend.

As far as stereotypes go, discussions on the internet - especially
in realms of "fandom" - tend to be negative and deconstructive,
obliterating any given given piece of media on the basis of small,
whimsical details and nitpicks. So far the cliche.

But lately, I've come to notice a big, even dominating movement
that seems to be the opposite and yet the same. Allow me to

Nowadays, when somebody (let's call this exemplary person
Billy Starter) starts a forum topic to voice their dissatisfaction
with .. let's say.. a movie, people are quick to jump all over
that person, discounting all complains and defending that
movie with the ferocity of a mother Grizzly defending her
young against invaders from outer space. These people make
sure to tell poor Billy to grow up and to pull the preverbial stick
out of his rectum. They generally seem convinced that anyone
who doesn't love a movie must be a virtual clone of the Simp-
sons' own Comic Book guy - Only less socially adept.

Now, Billy might not be one to back down easily. He might be
convinced that he's right, and he might want to defend his own
opinion. If he does, he's doomed.
For then, the defense squad jumps into action. If you actually
use forums, you might have witnessed this spontaneously-
forming, cult-like mob in action. Hellbent on refuting the very
idea that something about a movie (/music/book/comic/game)
might be anything less than great entertainment, they rip apart
any and every point of criticism. Should they run out of argu-
ments of their own, they bring out their secret weapon of
ultimate doom.
"It's just _______, grow up and enjoy it".

You see, it doesn't matter if there are plot holes. It doesn't
matter if basic story elements make no sense. It doesn't
matter if a musical composition is tired and boring. It doesn't
matter if dialogue is stupid. It doesn't matter, it doesn't matter,
it doesn't matter. All that matters it that you, as a good
consumer sit down and ENJOY things no matter how
bad they are. Because if you can't, it's you who failed
- Not the ones who made the the stupid crap you're watching.

That's right. Apparently, it's not longer the job of someone who
comes up with a story to make it enjoyable. It's up to the con-
sumer to make himself believe that he enjoys it. And if you
don't... Yep, you instantly regain your virginity and teleport
into your parents' basement.

I've seriously seen people claim that it doesn't matter if actors
suck... because "IT'S JUST A MOVIE !" And that it doesn't
matter if the writing on a comic is bad because "IT'S JUST
". These are literal quotes, mind you.

So what happened here ?
Is this some kind of bizarre counter-movement to the negativity
of years past ? Is it a desperate attempt to appear mature and
worldly ? Could it be the seeds of the industrial plants ?

Whatever it might be, I know for sure that it is one thing:
Hilariously stupid.


Anonymous said...

i don't run in those circles so i haven't seen that, really. i spend a lot of time critiquing, at length, books and writing, and sometimes movies. in fact, it's hard to get me out to see a movie. i have to REALLLLLLLY want to see it and be pretty well assured that it's going to be worth my time. i might be perhaps a little too negative at the outset, honestly.

Anonymous said...

I remember you talking with me about this before and I agree with you whole-heartedly. It is for this reason that I go out of my way to avoid forums of any kind. I think it has a lot to do with the general public's misconception that anything new must be good therefore anyone who disses a new movie is dissing a GOOD movie and therefore must be a complete dork and doesn't know what the hell they're talking about. Also people have this annoying inability to tell the difference between someone stating their opinion as opposed to someone putting them down because they have a different opinion. I mean look at the cheesey crap I watch, "The Killer Shrews"? Come on! I know it's crap and I can't tell you how many times I've heard people call it crap! However, you won't see me jumping down their throats about it. Why? Because, IT'S JUST A MOVIE, remember? It's not someone's newborn child for Christ sakes! It doesn't have feelings so it doesn't actually care if you like it or not. I really don't care myself, if anyone likes the same movies I like. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion!