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If you hate someting because of how hyped it is... read this!

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8/8/2009 9:19:17   
Legendary Loremaster

Warning: The following post may offend you slightly. If it does be sure to read the follow up post below!

If you hate someting because of how hyped it is... You are a big fat hyporcrite!

Well if you hate it JUST for that reason alone you are a hypocrite anyway.

Think about it... if you are making a concious choice to dislike something JUST because people arround you like it. Then you are just as guilty of feeling without thinking. As the individual who automatically likes things because they are popular.

Why is it that individuals are unwilling to assess things on their merit alone and not based on whether its TOO DAMN Popular or THE BOMB OMG!!!11!!!...

Why because our culture is lazy... and does not like to use their minds.

If you are guilty of judging something based on expectation. Have decided to hate something based on the raving fanbois. THen I urge you to use your brain... Violate your vows to yourself and enjoy something you chose to hate....

Likewise if you are guilty of liking something without thinking. I urge you to find the critical flaws in the peice you love so much....

We need people who think critically and for themselves. Not who follow a herd mentality (and both groups here... are doing so).

< Message edited by Falerin -- 8/9/2009 0:26:54 >
Post #: 1
8/8/2009 15:47:35   

Hear, hear. I agree completely Fal. People who evaluate something due to external forces and do not judge it for its actual content are doing themselves a huge disservice.

*wonders if starting a Falerin Fan Club would only create "haters" for our esteemed Loremaster* =P
AQ  Post #: 2
8/8/2009 16:52:26   

Falerin, it depends on which "culture" you mean... Like the new Harry Potter movie for your example, the papers disliked it but the die hard fans found it fantastic even if it was hyped up.


AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 3
8/8/2009 17:57:56   
 Strange World

The issue regarding non-conformity seems to be a bit more subtle than the hypothesis. Someone bombarded with an advertising campaign or extensive coverage for a music band or a pro athlete may naturally have (more or less) neutral appeal normally but can develop a growing disapproval through attrition. Sure, I like to eat hamburgers, and I really enjoy them if I eat them once a week. If I eat them three times a week, they are still okay, but they aren't as special any more. If I eat them daily, I will get sick of them fairly quickly.

In the case of the music, the hamburger analogy may be applicable. There are some people who can enjoy a daily hamburger ("pop fans"), but most who like hamburgers do not. Anti-pop fans often commit the sin of confusing "I hate this band" with "I hate how much this band has permeated my life." It is perhaps adaptive that such people try to disengage themselves from said coverage as much as possible, because there is a chance they will get at least their fill anyway. Pop fans tend to not face a comparable hurdle, especially if they can acquire sufficient music that they can play endlessly. While some parallels do exist between pop fans and anti-pop fans (both failing to articulate themselves), the fact that pop fans are more able to get what they want (unlike anti-pop fans) tips the scales a little bit, so equivalency does not seem to exist.

Still, there is something to be added to Fal's concern. If we look at pro athletes (let's focus on Kobe Bryant), we can see that media can sometimes exploit the anti-pop fans. Certainly pop fans who like this player will be likely to watch games he plays in, and they hope he plays well. However, there is also a contingency of anti-pop fans that will sometimes watch the games he plays in, and they will hope he performs poorly. If media coverage is sufficient to instill emotions into potential basketball fans (whether it drives them into the pro- camp or the anti- camp), it can generate a fairly high interest in games involving that player. Granted, pro- fans are more likely to tune in than anti- fans, but the anti- fans are probably more likely to watch than people who are neutral. Kobe Bryant even had an ad campaign based on "you love me or you hate me." It is out of some necessity that sports fans be able to tell the difference between "I hate [X]" and "I hate how much [X] is covered," because people that incorrectly believe the first one (when they are neutral) may find themselves duped into consuming entertainment when it truly is not in their best interest. Forget hypocrisy -- this type of example shows that correctly identifying the "problem" is a matter of self-defense.

< Message edited by Kaelin -- 8/8/2009 18:12:09 >
AQ  Post #: 4
8/9/2009 0:20:22   
Legendary Loremaster

Apparently there are some individuals who were quite taken aback by the tenor of this thread. In a sense that is the point. It can be equally shocking and upseting to see people denigrate something another cares for not based on coherent argument but rather based on the idea that I hate it because you like it.

Think carefully about this... when you make a statement like that you are not only making a negative statement about the author. You are making a strong statement about anyone who likes the work as well.

Mind you there can be unthinking fanbois. I note that myself in the first post. However unthinking dislike is just as bad as unthinking love.

In fact, I think unthinking dislike is far worse.

Please note... that this thread was not directed and is not directed at individuals whatsoever. While there are two threads discussing why people hate or dislike works that are popular in LD right now. In both cases those threads actually express coherent arguments in favor of their points of view. However much we may agree or disagree with the points asserted the points are made as valid criticism.

IMNAHO (in my not at all humble opinion) hating based on popularism alone is NOT a valid criticism.

I do not advocate being a follower. I advocate being a thinker. Acting antiestablishment by just hating what the establishment likes is just being a follower in reverse. You are still having your tastes dictated by external forces.

It is absolutely true that some individuals gain experience, prestige, and popularity via luck, money, and good marketing rather then talent. In these cases, however, we can come up with much better reasons for criticism of the work then "It is popular so I hate it".

Again this is NOT directed to any in L&L it is directed toward a trend in literary and indeed social criticism...

If however you were offended by it and though I was talking about or too you or if your conscience felt guilty. You might want to consider why...

I eagerly await further debate and discussion on the matter.

Post #: 5
8/9/2009 0:49:41   
The Extinguisher

I didn't really read what you said, but I agree/disagree with it completely.
Well said/you suck :D

I tend not to take anything at face value when it comes to my taste in things, and I've been known to play devil's advocate when no one else is. Because discussions where to whole course of the conversation is in the tone of: "Look at how this sucks." "I agree completely. It does suck." "Well then we agree that it sucks. I posit, that it is also stupid." "I can agree to that as well." "Jolly good." just leads you nowhere fast.

I also don't like the startling trend of "if the person doesn't post on the boards and is famous/popular than it's okay to make fun of them." If people were talking about a written work on the forums the way they do about Twilight and the like, heads would roll.
Post #: 6
8/9/2009 0:50:16   

I'm certainly guilty of that mindset. 'Specially when it comes to music. I'm so open-minded, I'm closed-minded, if that makes any sense. I go far out-there, listen to music that won't make an ounce of sense to average Joe, and then refuse to put up with arguably the most simplistic form of music: pop. I think, especially with people like us here in L&L, the problem is less that we follow a herd mentality of not following the herd (nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity), but that we're annoyed that people aren't willing to see our own, "better" mindsets of seeing things with a more critical eye.

I've gotten into pointless arguments about pop music for that very reason. By arguing against what I believed was a closed-minded viewpoint, I was being closed-minded myself.

As Firefly would put it, "literary snobbery". Nothing wrong with pop music - I have to accept that music's first and foremost purpose should be to entertain, and if what I find entertaining is different than what other people find entertaining, meh, so be it.

Of course, it could always be what Kaelin mentioned. One of the reasons Twilight annoys me is because I have a younger sister who practically idolized Edward for a solid month. And this is one of the reasons I don't listen to the radio anymore. Nothing kills a good song more than hearing it day in and day out (I know that if I had a steak every day, my taste for meat would die faster than a fish in the desert).

< Message edited by Coyote -- 8/9/2009 0:51:37 >
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 7
8/9/2009 8:38:09   
Legendary Loremaster

In your defense Coyote I feel much the same about most american pop. There are exceptions certainy catchy songs that grow on one. I tend to like Jpop and some other imports though.

I can articulate good reasons for my dislike of most pop songs though. Tepid and Uninspired and horribly overplayed often comes to mind.

The overplayed angle works with music becuase you actually are made to consume it untill you become sick of it. It does not work with books. You may be forced to consume others adulation of a work till it makes you vomit but you really need to consume to he product to make a fair and critical assessment.

Unfortunately 8 out of 10 times we go in expecting to hate something we come out with confirmation of our hatred. Movies like books oten match this trend in fact. There are execptions of course. The exceptions tend to be so fantastic there is no escaping their greatness however.

Most teeny bopper fanboism actually favors moderately good to mediocre material.
Post #: 8
8/9/2009 10:11:00   

I understand what everyone in the thread is saying, but still... It's kind of a losing battle to tell people just to judge a work for only its content/merit. People can't help but to be influenced by the context of the way a book is presented to them. For example, if everyone in the thread adviced me to read a certain book, and that this was an *amazing* book, even if it's only mediocre I'll probably think it's good, or I'll forgive a bad beginning and keep reading on in spite of that. However, if I was told that you thought a book I was about to read was terrible, I might think it's slightly worse than it is, or I won't keep reading on if it has a bad beginning.

So yes... Although I agree with you that it's annoying to completely hate or love a work based solely on factors other than content/merit, I highly doubt anyone is able to escape the influence of the context that the work is presented in.
AQ  Post #: 9
8/9/2009 12:05:55   

I think it's human nature to be influenced into reading or not reading (or even being slightly harsher or more lenient towards) something due to others' opinions. But note that being influenced by a friend saying "I really enjoyed that book. The characters had true depth." is very different from counting the number of fanboys and deciding if that number is too high or low for you to try something. In other words, being influenced by another's /arguments/ is perfectly justified, but being influenced by a general hype that doesn't even point out specifics is another matter entirely. Also, if someone confuses hate for the hype with hate for the object, or if someone allows others' views to dictate what they think--that is very much a problem.

And for that matter, I think it's very sad how many people would think less of someone because they liked or disliked a particular book. A large factor of why many boys often refuse to read books starring female protagonists or books centering around romance is because they are afraid of how others think of them. To that, I say: Stick to your guns, and if you can't, then you're no less sexist than the people who look down on you.

...Of course, it's not like I always follow my own advice. To date, I have not named the only ongoing series I enjoyed, and I stopped reading it due to the bad stuff I heard about the later books (said "bad stuff" happens to be a general criticism that the plot was replaced by porn, so I daresay I did have some valid reason in not reading further...).

Bottom line is, I have little patience for people who cannot even /try/ to evaluate a work on its content. It's okay if they don't succeed, but if they're making hate threads without even reading it, or if they go forth to read it with a mindset of, "Let's see how much I'll hate this...", then of course they're not going to enjoy it--and nor will their opinion be worth more than dirt. And I agree that mindless hate is worse than mindless love, because hate happens to be a negative emotion that is unhealthy to exercise.

I, personally, thought the "tenor" of your post was quite valid, Fal. Maybe because I agree with you completely, but some things really need saying, and maybe a punch is what can get those "mindless haters" to rethink their attitude.

< Message edited by Firefly -- 8/9/2009 12:06:23 >
AQ  Post #: 10
8/10/2009 1:45:20   
Fleur Du Mal

I have to strongly disagree that mindless loving would be any "better" than mindless hating. From a logical point of view, a mindless decision is a mindless decision, period. Being totally blind to the flaws of one's favourite book and stubbornly refusing to acknowledge any other opinion is as bad as stubbornly refusing to believe there's anything good in a work someone else likes. Both options walk all over someone else's opinions, which is pretty different from "just" disagreeing, imo.

I have to say that I have a tendency to put off reading popular works when the hype is at its peak. This is because I prefer forming my own opinion of the work in peace and quiet. I don't like to fight and the chance to get into one is existent with (over-)hyped books everyone seems to have a solid opinion about. How do you discuss the literary merit or the entertainment value of a book if the other one is highly defensive about their opinions to begin with, after having to put up with haters/lovers 24/7? Or how do you discuss a book in a group if more than half the time goes into arguing whether a character was "cool" or "total wimp" according to plain hear-say? (And, yes, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone by participating in the Twilight thread.)

I rather avoid getting into these raging arguments based solely on emotions and leading to forced choosing of sides. (not saying that the LD-thread would be like this) Imo, it's sad that after any work of art receives the stigma of having both hysterical fanbois/girls and maniacal haters, it gets really hard to dig through all that and weigh the value of the piece as objectively as it's subjectively possible. (gosh what a sentence =P)
DF  Post #: 11
8/13/2009 12:24:52   

I have to say my conscience is clear on this point. I never form an opinion about a book (or a movie, or a video game, or a song) until I've experienced it. I listen or read many people's opinions, even the "OMG THIS SUKS!!!1, but I don't support any until I've read that book or seen that movie.

To take a few examples already mentioned here...

The latest Harry Potter movie wasn't that bad. I had fun watching it and think it's the best on in the series so far. However, I would disagree with anyone who says it's the BEST MOVIE EVAR!!! And taking Twilight, which is probably the victim of many haters, I enjoyed the books as far as they went, despite their flaws. I won't read them again, of course, but they were fun while they lasted. (My more detailed personal opinion is immersed in posts somewhere in the Twilight thread.)
AQ DF  Post #: 12
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