Tuesday, October 16, 2012


It annoys me when something (particularly something I like, although not exclusively) is deemed “bad” by someone who then hides behind the claim of objectivity. They point out the flaws, true or not, and insist they are correct and because they are being “objective”, opinions to the contrary are tolerated but not considered. The book/television show/movie was bad and those who disagree are either not being objective like them or are simply wrong. But, they continue, it’s okay to like bad things! They can still be fun. They’re still bad, though.

I think that’s pretty dang unfair. Not that there’s not things that are bad by any standard—those are the shows that get cancelled, the movies that are panned, the books that are ignored, all of which drop into nothingness. But then there’s those that inexplicably don’t and become bestsellers against all reason. Well, all your reason anyway.

TWILIGHT, for example, is not something I like. I marvel at its popularity, its appeal, when so many deserving books languish as fallbacks when the book club forgot to pick this month’s selection. Part of me wants to tear out my hair and yell “This is awful and you have to agree or you’re an idiot!”

And that part is dead wrong. I don’t like it, I don’t see anything redeemable in it, but that’s because I don’t understand the attraction. Although are quite a few flaws I could point out to bolster my argument, people who like it might ignore them or just not care, as is their right. My cousin certainly swoons over it (hey, she’s a teenager), but I think I’d be a pretty big jerkass if I told her her favorite book series was bad and it doesn’t matter what she thinks because objectivity. It dismisses her feelings. Worse, it invalidates them, like only I can be right, and as life has showed me repeatedly, I’m wrong all the time. Maybe even about TWILIGHT.

You have no idea how hard it was to type that.

Damn it. There I go again…


  1. Great point! I personally think 50 Shades of Gray is the worst thing written in the last million years, but TONS of people love it. I liked twilight when I first read it, if nothing else, Meyer knows how to create tension and I totally get why it's slammed so much, but I can't say it's bad.

    It not really objectivity if it's just an opinion. Of course, you could say the writing's terrible and that is objectivity, but bad writing doesn't necessarily equal a bad story. If you have an opinion about a story at all then that's subjectivity and can't bash that.

    Anyway I've now put in my two cents. Have a great day!

  2. It's not about objectivity, it's about how the brain interprets what it reads and some brains are going to like the romantic (shudder) part of the series and other brains are going to look past that and not see the appeal. I've never understood the romantic aspects of a vampire.

  3. Remember the movie Ratatouille? When it came out, I read one of the reviews. The critic panned it. Then I saw the thing, and I understood. The whole movie is a comment on criticism, and the reviewer probably felt like she had been attacked. In a sense she had. So, she panned the movie. (She didn't attack the bit about critics. She found other things to comment on.)

    When I read criticism, I think of that.

  4. I still don't get what makes one thing super popular and another...not so much. LOL!

  5. Some things get a gut response out of us that'll be very negative. On the flip side of quality (Twilight and 50 Shades being low quality) I get why the Godfather trilogy (well, the first two) are so acclaimed... personally, though I have problems with the films that bring out a deep dislike.


Please validate me.