You know what’s annoying? When you’re watching something on TV and whoever is in the room with you can’t stop commenting about how it’s stupid and doesn’t make sense. Aside from “Shh, that’s why it’s called fantasy” you will likely reply something along the lines of “Please, just let me enjoy this”, and rightfully so. But recently, things that seemed innocuous are becoming more and more political. Or really, they were political all along, but people have been picking up and commenting on that more and more.
So now we don’t just have stuff we don’t like because we think it’s stupid, now we have stuff we don’t like because we feel it’s offensive. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, because there are definitely a lot of older movies that make me very glad we live in a more ~politically correct~ era now. The downside, however – at least to me – is that people have become a lot more justified in their bitterness. Not that I think you have to like something that you feel disregards certain people for the sake of positivity, but sometimes I feel like we’ve come to a point where people almost enjoy being unhappy about relatively minor things. This usually results in passive-aggressive comments that honestly make me very, very tired.
Take for example Game of Thrones. After two seasons of pretty much following the books, during season 3 and 4 some plotlines started to diverge, and at the same time fans noted some increased sexism in the show. Then, in season 5, one of those changed plotlines resulted in a violent scene involving a female character that many people felt was done in a way that was distasteful and purely for shock value. Some people quit the show, others changed their minds definitively towards it (many also kept on watching normally, but that’s not what this post is about). I kept on watching to keep up with the story and because I always watched it with a friend, which was a nice tradition to keep. But I couldn’t feel a lot of enthusiasm for it anymore, and I rarely talk or think about it. Other people, however, had started to dislike the show a lot, but had also kept on watching, and kept on writing articles about how awful the show was in every way, and making passive aggressive remarks about it. Now, to each their own way of expressing frustration, sure. And you might say that it’s important to show people how flawed and offensive this incredibly popular show is. But is this really a good way to spend your time?
Maybe I should just stop reading everything that I deem too negative and let people express themselves however they want. But something doesn’t sit quite right with me; something about the way people keep engaging with things they clearly do not like, only to talk about how bad they are. Is that really productive? Does that help anyone? While I acknowledge the importance of drawing attention to uncomfortable truths, I don’t think that personal attacks and a passive-aggressive approach will draw many people to a cause. If you retweet opinions you don’t agree with simply to call that person out in a fairly rude manner (and no, I’m not talking about really horrible oppressive opinions here, just.. opinions), will that person see the light and change their ways? I doubt it. And honestly, I think it’s better for ourselves to let go of our negative attitude every now and then as well. Pick your battles, you know. It’s okay to celebrate the small victories without immediately talking about all the stuff that’s still horrible. It’s okay to let mildly offensive things go for the sake of having a quiet evening. Finding a balance is hard, but I think it’s worth it.