Hey there, friends! In this week’s MULTIVERSE, I’m gonna do something a little different. There will be no review here this week. No reminiscence of some bit of amazing nerdity from days gone by. No, today I would like to speak directly to the Internet about something that has been bothering me for a little while now. An open letter to the web, if you will.
Ever since Man of Steel was released and proved to be far more divisive than I think any of us anticipated, a disturbing trend that has always been bubbling in the darkest recesses of Nerddom’s comments sections for some time has come rocketing to the forefront of Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and personal blogs everywhere with all of the subtlety of a diaper-less, diarrhea-stricken baby with a rocket launcher that shoots vomit.
No, I’m not talking about the “geeks” who look for anything and everything to complain about, as they’ve existed for time immemorial, and at least they’re using their brains. Seriously, I’m sure Hannibal caught shit from his more wienery subjects for not putting the right gods on his war elephants’ armour even as said elephants impressively flattened copious dudes. That type of feedback can be extremely annoying at times, to be sure, but at least there’s some thought going into the criticisms, and I can respect that.
Rather, I’d like to address the folks who lose their shit when someone else’s view of a piece of entertainment doesn’t line up with their own and more specifically, the darkest subset of that group that wants us all to “Stop complaining and just enjoy the movie!”. The assholes who put Mark Waid on blast for writing a well-thought-out, and heartfelt criticism of a film based on a character he loves and has personally written to perfection in the past. The douches who can’t take it when the obvious flaws in Iron Man 3 are pointed out. The folks who threatened to MURDER CRITICS when the reviews for Dark Knight Rises were less than glowing.
That said, before I go any further I’d like to clarify who I’m not talking about. I’m not talking about you and your group of friends who like to endlessly debate the minutiae of geek culture when you get together. The folks who engage in the classic intellectual give and take that goes hand in hand with being passionate about the nerdy bunch of awesome that we love. That shit is glorious, and kind of what makes us what we are as a community. So, if that’s you, you’re safe, but, please, do read on.
I think, in the real world, most rational people can understand why close-mindedness is a bad attitude to have. But in the digital age, where everyone has gigantic web-based balls bolstered by internet anonymity, it apparently is a stance that needs to have its negatives explained.
The problem with the aforementioned position is that it’s a slippery slope. If you turn off your brain for a flick like Man of Steel that, while not perfect, is still pretty good, that means you have to turn it off for everything just to remain consistent. That means the off-switch gets flipped for Gigli, Jaws 4, Disaster Movie, motherfucking Battlefield Earth, and even a piece of shit like Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star.
Oh, you didn’t like Bucky Larson? Well, shut the fuck up, stop finding things to complain about and just enjoy the cinematic masterpiece that is Born to be a Star, asshole!
Kinda bullshit, right?
It’s also just about the most hypocritical stance you can possibly have in life. You’re basically saying, you can like what you like and dislike what you dislike but no one else is allowed that same privilege. Are we really becoming that entitled a society that that has become an acceptable mindset? If so, we obviously need to get someone on fixing that.
Everyone has things they don’t like, and most thinking people that walk upright without pieces of pavement embedded in their knuckles have reasons for feeling or thinking the way they do. I shouldn’t have to explain this, but when you say you don’t like something, should someone just immediately tell you to shut the fuck up and stop complaining? No, or course not. So stop being a entitled little turd and try to see someone else’s perspective for once. You may develop a deeper appreciation for the things you enjoy, and, sometimes, even the things you don’t.
Remember when you guys didn’t like Prometheus? Neither did I, but remember when you didn’t like it? Because you most likely didn’t, and you probably had some rather insightful reasons why. Why don’t you just shut the fuck up about it and enjoy the movie, yeah?
See how this works? It freaking SUUUUUUCKS.
In time, such a position will reduce our arguments, discussions, and debates on film, comics, video games, etc. to pablum like “It was good”, “It was stupid”, “It was cool”, or “It stunk”. Basically limiting us to “I liked it because I liked it” or “I didn’t like it because I didn’t like it”, which, I think we can all agree, would make things pretty fucking boring.
Now legitimately, there are some folks out there who hate everything. Those contrarian douches should be bound, gagged, and thrown in a ditch somewhere with all the other trolls and contrarian douches so as not to harsh our collective buzz. They’re being dicks just to be dicks. They know they’re being dicks. They’re trying to be dicks and that’s not what we’re addressing here. They’re entitled to that dickishness but they should be segregated from those of us who want to have a serious discussion.
There are also fanboys and fangirls who nitpick the shit out of everything, which can also be annoying but at least their unpleasantness comes, in a weird way, from a place of love. As tough as it may be at times, we need to grow up and accept that everyone is allowed to have an opinion, Internet.
Personally, I work hard every day to see the perspectives of others, especially when I’m involved in a debate or discussion or what have you. Sometimes I fail terribly, but the effort is there. I’d like to see our online community make that same effort as well. You don’t need to succeed at not being an asshole, but at least give her a whirl, y’know?
In closing, I’d just like to state that I did not write this column from a place of hate or anger, but rather frustration and disappointment. In the real world, there’s little I like more than getting together with buddies, having a few drinks, and dissecting the shit out of what I loved about something or sometimes what I didn’t. On the internet, I avoid those discussions like the plague outside of my Facebook wall. Why? Because of all of the things I’ve written about in this column. My real world debates, even the heated ones, usually involve a lot of laughs and leave me creatively energized. Internet debates? Make me want to punch a kitten. And I fucking love kittens.
What I’m saying is, no mutual accord was ever reached through talking at someone or shutting them down. You want to prove you’re right? Argue the points, not the person. And for the love of Beetlejuice, please stop threatening to murder people. Especially Mark Waid. He’s a nice dude. We can and should be better, Internet. Be better.
You’re so WEIRD, Multiverse!
…and that’s why I love you.
Remember, if you’re gonna GEEK OUT, GEEK HARD!
To See Kris’ comic work, visit www.bizarrecomicsonline.com
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