Humans are social creatures, and as social creatures we feel the need to be validated by other people. This is true whether we want to admit it or not, and I know plenty of people definitely don't want to concede any such thing. We build our own internalized mythologies about the way the world around us functions, so that we can place our ideas and opinions on a pedestal and pretend that they are facts. We depend on the people around us to confirm these facts by agreeing with us about everything.
Every now and then, though, somebody will have the audacity to disagree with us. They might step forward and claim that our beloved book, movie, band, food, or other favored item is not to their liking. What then are we to do? Such an assault upon the very fabric of our reality cannot possibly be tolerated. Instead we must return fire. Clearly this fool has no intelligence, no credibility, no knowledge of the subject, and no right to their violent and dangerous opinion. The only explanation for their failure to recognize reality is that they must be a fat, ugly, bald, lazy, stupid, uninformed Nazi without the slightest idea what they are actually saying. If they saw the truth like we do, they could never utter such horrible things as "Avatar was overrated" or "I don't like coffee". It is our duty to inform them of their failings, and in so doing, we can rebuild the protective wall around our own delicate sense of self.
At least, I can only assume this is the type of thought process that goes through the minds of many people. We've all seen the strings of comments to that effect on YouTube music videos. If somebody disagrees with you, they have to be a moron. It's not possible that they are just as intelligent and informed as you but simply have a different opinion. If that were the case, then our word would no longer be absolute law. What a horrifying idea!
I write this post because of an interesting turn of events which just recently occurred relating to this blog. The other day I posted a negative review of Fister's new album. They were quite cool about it, and even posted it to their band Facebook page. They don't seem at all bothered by getting some negative press, which I take as a sign that they are secure enough to act like adults when somebody disagrees with them. Their fans, on the other hand, have been losing their shit.
Some of my favorite remarks:
(M****** H******) WTF kind of review was that? He didn't even sound like he knew what the fuck he was talking about.
A message to Patrick, the "26 year old return college student currently living in Ohio." Shave your fucking beard, because you clearly don't deserve it.
(C***** A** F*****) mwahah this is such a ridiculous review.. what, did you guys light a bag of shit on this guys front porch in highschool or something?
(C****** G***) also - terribly reviewing digital tracks that one receives FOR FREE = kill yourself.
I can't help but stare in wonderment at this monumental display of insecurity. Somebody doesn't like the same band as them? Oh no! What ever shall they do? Such a vile human being cannot be allowed to live or he might go on to disagree with more of their opinions in the future!
Yes, we all like validation. We all depend on it to a certain degree. Learn where to draw a line though. Your world won't crash and burn just because you like something and some random person on the internet doesn't.
I mean seriously people, if you like something then like it. Who gives a shit what anybody else thinks about it? Is your sense of self really so fragile that you need everybody around you to validate your opinions by always agreeing with you? I thought Violence was a boring album, so that's what I said. If you can't handle having your opinions challenged, then don't read reviews. And if you just assume that everybody who disagrees with you is an idiot, then you need to grow up. Your opinion is not the law, get over yourself.
Also, I'm perfectly aware that you could accuse me of the same behavior I'm condemning. After all, I did just write this whole big post because a few random people I never met insulted me on the internet. It's true, I'm guilty too. That doesn't mean I'm wrong, though.