By Zaxley Nash
Opinions. The internet is just dripping in them, and nothing seems to be so enshrined in our own minds as them. As we scroll our respective social medias we see people say things that contradict our opinions and we just HAVE to chime in and let the world know that they are wrong, we are right, and that they should feel bad for having an opinion contrary to our own despite that we have never met. We are all entitled to our opinions, but that does not mean we are right, and moreover that does not mean that everyone will share the same outlook.
“All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.”
― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt
In a couple of recent blogs I have spoken about keeping one’s shitty opinion to oneself. This was of course met with anger, the internet showed up outside my house with digital pitchforks and LED torches. In my “The 2005 Hitchhiker’s Guide Movie Was Fine, You’re Just a Jerk” I admittedly used a bombastic title to grab attention, which I wouldn’t do if it did not always work by the way, but you would be surprised how many people responded to the title alone without even trying to discuss the article itself. This is quite common, I assure you, hence again why semi-inflammatory titles are commonly used across the net. I went a step deeper on the use of such tactics in another blog, “Fuck Toxic Fandoms.”
In both of these bits the point was not to convince anyone that these things were great, or that their opinions are right, wrong, or green; rather I tried to express that I am gorram tired of people ruining the fun of others because they just can’t resist spouting off how dumb they think something is. Point and case example: In “The 2005 Hitchhiker’s Guide Movie Was Fine, You’re Just a Jerk” I said that my only regret about the 2005 film was that I was broke at the time, and had missed out on buying all the toys I could, namely lamenting not getting a 10” light up Marvin. The other day in our community at Galactic Hitchhikers I posted and expressed my delight in finding one on eBay for a fairly reasonable price.
In the thread where I expressed my joy for a thing there were still ample amounts of people telling me that it wasn’t the “real” Marvin, and that the 2005 Guide movie sucked. Are people so devoid of joy in their lives that they feel compelled to try to ruin the happiness of others? Seriously folks, it is as if I said “I am happy,” and the internet says “idiot.” I know we have all seen this more times than we can count.
The point of both blogs mentioned was not to convince anyone that something is good, great, or that they should change their opinions. Hell, the title says that the 2005 movie is “fine,” not great. The take away was intended to petition to just let us have our enjoyment without someone having to let us in on how dumb we are for thinking so.
Most of our mothers have probably told us that if we don’t have something nice to say that we should say nothing at all. Maybe it’s time we all remember that. Not everything you see on the internet is an invitation to an argument. Especially when our opinions, strong, and mighty, and just, are applied to silly things like how we feel about a film. It’s not like we are talking about our climate crisis, or the Vogons controlling our governments that may require us to type in all caps; How we feel as individuals about entertainment is by nature always going to be subjective.
This emphatically does not mean I think we should not have conversations about these things, no, I think we should be conversing far more. So much of the time opinions are expressed it is not to discuss ideas on a thing rather it is to denounce, degrade, or deride. We ARE all entitled to our opinions, but there is a time and place for everything, and if that time and place is taking away from the happiness of others you are in fact a jerk, a real kneebiter.
If you are one of the people who reads this and thinks “Hey my opinion is different, why are you calling me a jerk?” It’s because you are a jerk, with low reading comprehension. Be nice, or fuck off, that’s easy to understand yeah? Again and again, having an opinion is fine. Sticking it where it isn’t asked for is not. Disagreeing is fine, the wisdom to agree to disagree and just keep scrolling doubly so.
I dare say this should apply to the rest of the internet, but I can’t make it so on my own. As far as in Galactic Hitchhikers I can say that we insist on kindness to our fellow froods. In this community we do not abide jerks. Like it or leave it, be nice or get out. We stand to leave people with a smile on their faces, and unite our fandom under the things we love, not bitching about what we find wrong. If you can’t abide this, you are not one of us, and frankly we don’t need you.
Well said, I think people are more augmentative and rude when posting on social media. I think they have some degree of anonymity and free as thought there are no direct consequences of their comments. I also think people are less likely to make the same comments in a face to face setting. I don’t understand why people are always so damn rude though.