Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Internet Arguing=Futility

Like any geek I'm legally required to be active on at least one message board. I choose to frequent some of the boards on IMDb. In doing so I've discovered some things.

If you like something, do not go to the board for that thing. For example, are you a fan of SNL? On its board you will find many posts like this: "This show hasn't been funny since (insert year in which user turned 17). They should just cancel it." Or better yet, "yo this show totlly suxxx cept when jt hosts he is so fine i like madtv better." Posts like these are often followed by replies of fans, who make some attempt to explain why they think the show is funny. Remember the first time someone showed you a Monty Python skit, and when it was over and you hadn't laughed they explained why you should have? And even though you understood them perfectly, you still didn't laugh? Yeah. Comedy doesn't really work that way.

Similar arguments can be found on the board for There Will Be Blood, which I happen to think is an excellent film. Many people come to complain that they thought it was boring, too long, didn't like the ending, etc (statements I'm sure you can find for most films). I don't understand what these people are hoping to accomplish. Only worse are those fans that respond by saying, "You just don't get it." Not only does this enforce the stereotype of the film snob, but it just pushes the objector further away.

Another common argument you can find is related to IMDb's Top 250 list, based on a film's weighted ranking. People live and die by this list like it's the fifth Gospel. And god forbid some young brigand (ahem, Dark Knight) should just jump up on the list like he owns the place. Hell hath no fury like a film geek scorned.

I am a reasonable, logical person, probably to a fault. If I encounter someone I disagree with, I usually explain my reason for thinking as I do, which is then met with something along the lines of accusing me and those that think like me of being responsible for the slow decline of the country. Or "u r teh ghey."

As a reasonable, logical person, the first and last act of physical aggression in which I was involved was in 7th grade (hint: I won, but I still cried). However, on multiple occasions, my interactions with people online have left me wanting nothing more than to smash their head in a car door repeatedly, or to enter the Thunderdome with them (hint: I'd use that bigass hammer).

Trying to convince someone of a film's worth, or a TV show's hilarity, is like trying to tell Pat Robertson that maybe homosexuals weren't responsible for 9/11. You mostly just get a blank stare in return.

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