The Correctness has shared a LOT of opinions about pretty much everything we’ve ever discussed. In the pop culture internet world, it’s easy to both find something to have an opinion on, and also to share it. It’s also very, very easy to be lulled in to thinking that the more vocal someone is, the better their opinion is. In a world with Twitter, a thought can be retweeted and parroted instantly around the world, long before it’s thought through or reflected on. Sites with message boards can quickly form a “line” on subjects and excoriate any one who strays from it.
So, I’ve been pondering the nature of the dissenting opinion: The opinion that disagrees with the hive mind or commonly accepted opinion. It takes many forms, but examples are easy: “The Godfather was a terrible movie”. Easy to say, hard to believe. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more with that statement. But it’s possible someone feels that way, and it doesn’t make them wrong. Movies, TV, and especially music are subject to taste. Even if 99 critics agree that a particular band or album is the best ever, you might think it’s terrible.
The internet gives the dissenter both a stage to voice their opinion from, and also a tool for the masses to beat them down it. Example from recent days: I recently posted on a message board my confusion about why The Infinity Gauntlet was such an anticipated storyline (as it had been mentioned a number of times in that thread.) My comment was something to the effect of “I was around when it came out, I read it, and it was pretty damn terrible”.
For that, I was called a “DC apologist”. Baffling. I had been instantly categorized based on not liking a pretty terrible crossover event. It’s not possible, in internet parlance, for me to be someone who just didn’t care for that story, I immediately was a Marvel hater, which must mean I’m a DC fan only.
Now, none of that is true of course. I like Marvel stuff and DC stuff alike. I suppose it might be possible that one of the posters had seen me posting about Man Of Steel, and thus added that to the Infinity Gauntlet, and came up with 4.
That brings me to another example. The Internet decided that Man of Steel was not a Marvel film, and Superman killed someone and therefore it’s the worst movie in the history of ever. I found it to be a beautifully made film, with some interesting themes and concepts. But no, I’m not allowed to like it, because the hivemind says otherwise.
It’s too easy to be beaten down for having a dissenting opinion, but without them, you’re pretty much just parroting the opinion of others, and really, lying to yourself. The best case scenario is that you can find someone who will take you at face value and engage you about what you liked or didn’t like.
This summer in particular, the fanboy armies are excited and gearing up for Guardians of the Galaxy. I’ve seen the trailers, and it didn’t look particularly exciting or interesting to me. So I’m not lining up to see it, or super excited about it. Towards the end of the summer, we have Doctor Who returning. Again, I’m feeling a bit “meh” about the whole thing. It certainly doesn’t seem like the most anticipated TV event of our era, and the fact that they’re showing it in cinemas is puzzling to me, but hey, wave that flag, get excited if you like. I’m not gonna be there.
Didn’t want to end on a negative note, so know there’s lots of stuff out there that I’m excited about, and whether that’s the mass opinion or not, I plan to continue to be excited about. Stick to your guns people, stick to your guns.