Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Little Thing Called “Perception”

Think about it: it is impossible for two people to experience things in the exact same way. If you take a walk late at night in a safe neighborhood and, knock on wood, are mugged, aren’t you going to be more cautious in the future? But someone who never even heard of the danger won’t think twice about a midnight walk to the convenience store on the corner.

And sometimes, you physically perceive things differently. A painting can be made up of the deepest red and sharpest green, but if you’re color blind, it’s going to look like a red/green screen.

The same goes for everything else in life, including books, movies and television. So don’t presume to tell anyone why his or her judgment is wrong. Shoving someone’s head into a toilet would not be a good way to get your point across about, say, water conservation. Although it might be fun.

One day, I visited a blog where the writer posted his feelings about a book I happen to like. This person didn’t like it. Okay. Fine. Not everyone has to like the same things. I’m not going to blame you for it no more than I’d blame you for not liking chocolate. We all have our tastes. It just would have been nice if he showed me the same courtesy.

He berated the book most harshly, and in some places, I think unfairly. But it was made worse by the fact that he acted critical of anyone who didn’t see the same flaws he did. They were so obvious only an idiot would miss them, there was no reasonable explanation for them, the writing was bad and the only way the book could have been sold was because of heavy marketing (basically, a conspiracy by the publisher to make a hit).

Entertainment is, by nature, subjective. We will all like different things, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That being said, please remember that if something is flawed, crude, or even offensive, you have no right to insinuate the people who enjoy it are stupid, nor that they are incorrect in their perceptions of it.


  1. VERY good point. We all really need to remember that. Reading is so subjective, and we all like diff things. Same with movies, people we date/marry, foods, etc. Being different is being human! (but being narrow-minded doesn't have to be)

  2. Well said, as ever. And it sounds like the blogger in question was engaging in bad rhetoric, which should be a punishable offence. ;)

  3. I know what you mean. Some people can't understand how anyone could have a different opinion than them. Sigh.

    I have the opposite problem. I am way too aware of how other people might disagree with my opinions. That's why I avoid the always right people. We won't agree.

  4. Agree with you on this. An annoying person once commented on the "chunder Twilight books" on my book shelf (in case anyone hasn't come across the term before, chunder = vomit). Now, while the Twilight series isn't my favourite, I do still enjoy the stories, and I was quite offended. What makes her opinion superior to mine?

  5. Excellent point! And mom's advice never gets old...if you can't say something nice, say nothing at all. :D

  6. I hate it when people will not hear your POV, but love to shove theirs down everyone's throat. Gah!


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