Okay, so, here’s a thing that bugs me. I should say beforehand that I don’t really know how this whole blog thing works. I mean I could be doing it all wrong, look at what I’ve written just recently for Pete’s sake, I don’t know what I’m doing here. Is it just to rant about stuff, is it to talk about stuff I think is cute, am I supposed to talk about my philosophy of a happy life? I have no idea. I’m just gonna go ahead, nobody’s reading this crap anyway.
So here’s a thing that bugs me. I am not a sheep, and so many others are. I could be referring to a lot of things with a statement like that, but in this case I’m talking about daring to not like something the majority does. Whether this is a series of books, or a television show, or a famous person, you name it. I usually get the same response, which is indicative of an unwillingness to accept that I have a different opinion. Here is an example of the response I’ve received multiple times from multiple people over the years on this one issue. I’ll say to my friends that no, I haven’t seen the new Harry Potter movie because I don’t like Harry Potter (yeah it’s true, deal with it). What’s the response? “Oh, which movies have you seen? Have you read the books?” These are trick questions; it doesn’t matter what I’ve seen or what I’ve read. Invariably, unless I say I have seen them ALL or read them ALL it’s not good enough. I need to see one more movie, read one more book. This pisses me off.
One reason I say I’m not a sheep is not just because I give myself permission to like or dislike things that are not in accord with the majority, but that I can accept when others do the same. BTW I usually handle this personal assault with more restraint than what I want to say. I will tell folks that I root for Harry’s death in every movie just to jab em, but I don’t tell them what I really feel, which is that I wish Voldemort would take his wand, shove it so far up Harry’s ass that he’s screaming in pain and then hit the nuke button. See how nice I am? 🙂 I did like the character of Snape though, he had the most depth.
I absolutely love Dante’s Divine Comedy trilogy. Didn’t know they were making trilogies in the early 1300’s did ya? They were making trilogies way before that, but that’s a different blog entry. Anyway I have scarcely had a better reading experience in my life, and that’s a significant statement for someone who’s as big a reader as I am. But when I tell others about it excitedly and they say they tried but didn’t like it, do I encourage them to read even more? No. Why? Because I’m an adult! I have the ability to distinguish between wanting to give someone the opportunity to enjoy something I have enjoyed, and browbeating someone into doing something they are definitely not interested in. Other people don’t seem to have this ability. One more example. I have a good friend who absolutely hates Liam Neeson. Hates him. He doesn’t want him to die in a plane crash or anything, but I don’t think he’d shed a lot of tears if Mr. Neeson did. Anyway, when I see an enjoyable movie with him in it, I don’t go and encourage my friend to watch it. See how easy that is?
Why am I writing about this? It happened today. There’s a very well-known anime series that I don’t care for, Rurouni Kenshin. I don’t care specifically for the main character. It’s a pretty long series that went on for 95 episodes and spawned an animated movie or two. I watched every single episode of the series anyway, and the movies. Why? Because I knew someday I would run into folks who love it, and when I said I didn’t they would encourage me to “watch more, just watch more, you’ll get into it!” With great satisfaction I informed him that I had seen every single episode of the show, and the movies, and I didn’t like it. This might sound a bit strange to you, that I would go to that much trouble, but–yeah ok, it is a bit strange. To his credit he handled it well (of course did he have much choice?), and said something like we all have our tastes.
So here’s the essence of this post. Folks, if you are telling someone about something you do like and you hear that they don’t, drop it. You don’t need to reassert that you like that thing and the reasons why. They already know that, and as likely as not they’ll just reassert that they don’t. Especially don’t try to convince them they will enjoy something just because you do. It’s insulting to the person, and it makes you sound self-centered and frankly immature. It’s okay for you to have different tastes than even your closest friends and family, in fact it’s healthy. Take it from a licensed therapist. Or not. 🙂