Monday, November 23, 2009

Why Can't Everyone Be More Like Me?
On Verbal Responsibility Part Two

What makes a book, movie, song, painting or poem good? You liked it? when you don't like a movie, song, etcetera, is it then bad? When you read a book, do you proclaim it bad or good? Or do you just say whether you liked it or not? I do. Who am I to decide for anyone else what's good or bad? As my garage sale addict Grammy always says, "One person's junk is another person's treasure."
So who am I to say a book or movie or art exhibit or song is good or bad? All I can tell you is whether I fancied it. I know many critics make their living telling us which movies to see or books to read, but really, aren't they just telling us why they loved it or didn't? How many times has a movie you've been looking forward to been given bad reviews and you went anyway? You had to see for yourself. How many of you have some secret pleasure you don't talk about because that movie, or television show or book has been deemed "bad"and you don't want to look like an idiot for loving it. Hey, loving Howard The Duck does not make you an idiot. And loving The English Patient doesn't make you smart. Lots of people hated The English Patient. It's subjective. We like what we like.
Do you , like me, have a friend who tells you how terrible, how bad, a movie is ... and hasn't even seen it? And then, when you defend the film, because you have seen it, does she shake here head and roll her eyes like she's talking to a moron?
Along these lines, why does liking something someone doesn't, make you stupid? Are you afraid to admit you loved that Rosemary Rogers romance more than you did Tolstoy's War And Peace? Don't be. You're not ignorant, you have your likes and dislikes, just like everyone else. I'll bet even Eienstein liked the occasional Marx Brothers movie, which I never cared for. So, according to me, then, that Eienstein was such a stupnik.
Now a quick word about Buts. No, not that kind. The word we use often when "and" would be better. For instance, the other day my friend was describing a person she'd met. She said, "the girl was really tall, but she was so sweet." So, what I find issue with is, what does being tall have to do with being sweet or not sweet? The "but" implies an "in spite of that", as in he's chubby, but, in spite of that, he's cute. Being chubby does not mean one can't be cute as well. What my friend should have said was "The girl was really tall and so sweet." "That boy was chubby and cute."
"Those kids are smart and geeky but they're cool." Why "but"? All those things describe those kids: smart, geeky, and cool. "He was short and round but smart." So, usually short, round men are not smart? Are you getting my point here? I know this seems petty and small. I'm just promoting thinking a bit before you speak. All I'm asking for is verbal responsibility.
Really, if everyone was more like me, the world would be a better place.

No comments: