Opinion is the ultimate expression of subjectivity, its what makes social interaction interesting, its a way for us to define ourselves as people, and every day we consciously and subconsciously use our opinions as a type of ‘social divining rod’ to seek out like minded others to form relationships with. Its hard to deny you are naturally drawn to people who share your interests and passions.
So what is it about Opinions that gets people so fired up? And why is it that the individual will hold their own opinion as truth and feel they must defend it so passionately? I could talk about the kind of Opinions that polarise Society: Pro Life vs Pro Choice, Liberal vs Conservative, People who Like Ricky Gervais’ Masterpiece: “The Office” vs the socially retarded Fuckwits who dont. But I won’t delve into anything too heavy for my first blog as I don’t want to scare anyone off… So here goes…
Let me lay it all out for you from the start, when it comes to the realm of media appreciation, (that is; Music, Movies, Video Games, TV Shows, books etc) I can be an arrogant bastard… Its not that I would ever be overtly rude to you about your tastes, but I may well be silently judging you when you ask me if I saw the latest episode of “The Mentalist” or “Gary Unmarried” in fact I would rather get my junk caught in a chain digger than ever watch either show.
I have very specific tastes in what I enjoy, I feel my appreciation of Media Sits nicely in the cut between, Alternative and Mainstream (if I have to specify), with allowances being made on both sides, for example I have for a long time been a hip hop fan (shaky ground for a middle class white guy) and I enjoy artists in the genre most people would probably never have heard of, while on the other hand I also guiltily partake in the odd smattering of Michael Buble, or John Mayer from time to time.
Most Australians love Good News Week, Host Paul Macdermott was recently nominated for a gold logie (Australia’s equivalent of an Emmy) but there’s something about Macdermott’s smarmy, stunted delivery and Mikey Robbins desperate lame uncle humour that makes me want to chew bile soaked tinfoil everytime I see it.
I love a well made Indy film, whereas I firmly believe David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” is an exercise in Pretense and ‘Emperors New Clothes’ Style Wankery, where fans can go: “Well you obviously didn’t get it, the old Jewish man eating skunk shit out of the Chinese takeaway box while putting on the doctor Quinn medicine woman DVD signifies the struggle for pay parity amongst female Eskimo gas station attendants, the last two thirds was the future nightmare of the narrators unborn child… It’s not hard to understand if you look beneath the surface… Would you like another chamomile cigarello?
but I digress.
One thing I do know is this: if I like or dislike something, I’ll always be able to give the reason behind why I feel a certain way, I attempt to not be cynical about something until I’ve given it a fair shot, likewise, I won’t just blindly buy into the hype about something until I’ve experienced it & digested it myself.
Which brings me to my first question… Are you believing the hype? See also: Are you falling for bullshit?
I always wonder, what makes something popular? Is it the fact that the human race tend to follow one another like sheep? Have you ever stopped to wonder, why Ed Hardy T-Shirts are $175 a piece? The Ed Hardy Brand has only been around about 5 years, they aren’t as established as other expensive fashion brands like Gucci or Louis Vuitton, their designs aren’t anything special, and their shirts are no more well tailored than several other brands a third of the price.
So what’s the attraction? it’s the wankery of it all… at least in the beginning, the brand decides to back itself, release the tshirt at a price 300% higher than it’s competitors, Tools with more dollars than sense buy one as a conscious or unconscious status symbol, and the whole horrible game starts, humanity’s bleating hivemind kicks in and furiously buys anything with the words Ed Hardy emblazened on the front, Gold Coast Steroided muscle men start wearing shirts with pink roses covered in sequins and everyone is caught up in one great big multimillion dollar practical joke… Until of course, the Thai counterfeiters get ahold of a few screen prints and start selling them at the markets for $2.20 each and suddenly once again another brand goes the way of Von Dutch (Ed hardy money man Christian Audigier’s last project, I fucking shit you not) and it becomes impossible to tell what is “genuine Ed Hardy” and what was screened and sewn by a one eyed Taiwanese lemur smoking a cigarette.
The point I’m trying to make here is, is your opinion really your opinion? Or are you falling hard for every little marketing gimmick, that comes around batting it’s colourful eyelashes at you?
(gimme a sec I just have to plug this iPhone back in)
With all of that being said, it is always important to keep things in perspective, if one looks too often into the maw of the gigantic neon marketing clown that currently rules our society, it is easy to drive yourself into a feverish rage of cynicism, firing scathing quips and biting sarcastic remarks at any new romantic comedy or middle-of-the-road Fiction Peddlar scrambling their way out of the Marketing ooze clawing madly for it’s 15 minutes of fame.
No friends, I have come to realise, being a critic of everything that doesn’t meet your standards can be fun, (especially for one such as myself with overly developed sarcasm glands) but slowly but surely will turn everyone you love against you. Thus it is important to remember that everyone is different, we all have a unique banks of experiences and tastes that help dictate what we enjoy and don’t enjoy, and this is what makes our world exciting and surprising.
And if having shitty sitcoms like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Rules of Engagement’ around to make shows like ‘Eastbound and Down’ and ‘Curb your Enthusiasm’ seem that much sweeter, then I can live with that.
And if I have to keep my mouth shut about how horribly contrived and shamelessly overacted Greys Anatomy is to save myself from the ire of my female coworkers, hell! I can do that as well, and I’ll do it with a smile on my face.
Thanks for reading this babbling, incoherent rant, the first of many I hope I will write over the coming months, I thought it would be important to start with the subject of opinion to give myself a small disclaimer so that when I do express my opinions on this type of forum, if they differ from your own you can see that opinions are just our OWN truths, but that no one has to agree on any one thing, that’s what living in a democratic free thinking society is all about…
Unless you’re a fan of either Bono or David Spade, if you like either of them there’s no hope for you. (in my humble opinion of course)