Monday, November 21, 2005

People are Such Whiny Retards

You know what really gets my goat? I mean, other than the other stuff? It's that people can't accept it when someone has an opinion that differs from their own.

Okay. I'm trained as a critic. I was told early on not to present my opinions as, well, opinions. Because if you're a reviewer, you can't say, "This game is complete crap, but that's just my opinion, YMMV, LOL." You have to be an authority. No one will trust the opinions of a reviewer who says, "I think, and this is just my opinion, so take it for what you will, that this game might be just a little bit on the crap side. But hey, that's just my two cents, your mileage may vary." No. I want to kick that reviewer in the balls. It's bad enough that most reviews end with, "If you like games that are good, then you'll hate this game. But those of you who like games that pretty much suck may have just found your game of the goddamn year."

So when I give my opinions on things, I generally don't put in significant disclaimers everywhere. I'll say, "I think that's dumb," imagining that we live in a perfect world in which the words "I think" are enough to indicate an oncoming opinion. But not so! Apparently the fragile egos on the Internet cannot handle that sort of elaborate linguistic code.

I recently posted on a message board to announce that I thought the new Legion of Superheroes series was good. I noted that I always thought the Legion was dumb, what with the Element Lads and the Cosmic Boys and the Light Lass and what not. The new series is good even with all that, and I was surprised, so I posted away. Little did I know that I was about to stir up deeply held emotions in one guy who would respond.

He said, "I'm glad you like the new "dumb" series. He explained why he hates the new version, calling it "morose" and "cliched" and so on. A few people posted back, going, "I dunno, I think I like the new series better, academic literary reason why complete with examples from Melville." Then he said, "Yes. At least you're not just calling it dumb."

Dude. Me saying, "I think it's dumb" is not the same as saying, "I think you're dumb for liking it." And even if it was, how fragile is your self-image that you are insulted by me, someone you don't even know, saying, "This thing you like is stupid"? So insulted were you that you carried on this "It's dumb" grudge for three posts. And now I think you are dumb.

It's not the first time. People are so damn insecure online that they can't handle someone disliking whatever stupid thing they like this week. If you dare say, "I think maybe Joss Whedon is not the second coming of Jesus," people will get all upset at you and accuse you of threadcrapping or being insulting. You have to have a list of IMHOs and YMMVs that make it look like your opinion ought to be speaking at someone's college graduation. At that point, you begin to acknowledge that your opinion has no value besides just getting out there so people can look at it. And then people say, "That's just your opinion," failing to realize that ALL THINGS ARE SOMEONE'S GODDAMN OPINION.

People need to grow up. If my saying Serenity had a bad ending is a grave insult that affects your self-image but can be wiped away by me saying, "But that's just my opinion, LOL," then there's something seriously wrong with you. Don't make me dog-tag my generally harmless pop-culture opinions just to keep your fragile self-esteem from breaking into pieces.

Of course, that's just my opinion.