Maybe You’re Just an Idiot

by wearerofhats

Why must we agree with the standards laid down by society?  Can’t we just take a step back and appreciate things for what they are, not what other people rate them as being?

I speak not of anything truly important in life but mainly of media in all its forms.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that I enjoyed the new album by Band X.  I liked it because it was complex and showcased the band’s talent and was genuinely fun to listen to.

Let us also say that Music Reviewer Y called the album a worthless pile of crap, using all sorts of colorful terms to pick apart every tiny flaw in each track.  They nitpicked and split hairs and overanalyzed every little detail to the point where it was no longer a review – it was a massacre.

Do you know how much impact that review, hypothetically speaking, had on the enjoyment I get out of the album?

It increased it.

Every time I listen to Pendulum’s In Silico I am struck by how much fun the whole thing is.  When I hear the theremin in the chorus of “Granite” I smile, remembering how one reviewer called it something out a Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” episode.  When I skip past “9000 Miles” I chuckle, recalling how another reviewer called it the album’s only bright point.  When the guitar riffs kick in halfway through “The Tempest” I grin outright, struck by the silliness of the whole thing.

It is always like this.  If the critics hadn’t dumped on Speed Racer as badly as they did, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much.  Sure, it’s not a great film – I’d even go so far as to call it a poor film.  But bad?  Of course not!  It delivers everything it promised, even if it does so at the expense of little things like a coherent plot or camera shots lasting more than 1.8 seconds.

We’re so determined to have people tell us what to enjoy that we so often forget to enjoy anything at all.

If I watch a bad movie, and no one tells me that it’s a bad movie, I might not even notice.  Hell, I saw The Spirit a while back and had a fantastic time – it was so blatantly over the top that I couldn’t help but enjoy myself, and I think that’s what those sorts of movies are all about.  I’ll watch a critically acclaimed movie and think “yeah, the acting was pretty good, and the plot had something to it,” but I would never rave about the brilliance of No Country for Old Men when I can exclaim about the astounding special effects or incredible action of Starship Troopers.

Sure, I’m elitist.  Yeah, I look down on the culture of the masses.  But I’m only human, and no matter how cynical I am I can never completely quash the foolish preferences and tastes of the common man.

Except for Disney pop and romantic comedies, of course.  The people who make them should be rounded up and stabbed.  Repeatedly.  With a salad fork.

Incidentally, if you aren’t already reading Cat and Girl, you may as well go bankrupt yourself on loans for grad school so that you’ll starve to death before you get your degree.  Or, y’know, you could just start reading it from the beginning, but where’s the fun in that?