ellen mcbee

She's always up to something…

Things I Like That Other People Hate

on November 18, 2014

When I opened my e-mail today I had a banner ad telling me that Nickelback tickets are on sale now.  And I got to thinking about how some things have inexplicably bad reputations but that I still enjoy.

Some of these things end up on lists of “guilty pleasures.” I don’t really know how I feel about that; would you feel differently about me if I said that I listen to Nickelback sometimes?  What if I said I play it when I’m writing about a fraternity party or spring break or something?

Someday I might have to post about getting inspiration from other media, especially music.

Or what about the movie Cutthroat Island?  People had serious criticisms about that.  As far as I can figure out, the problem was that it was very expensive to make.  But I loved the idea of a movie about a girl pirate–and more than that, the movie itself was engaging and fun.  I wasn’t expecting it to be scenes from Shakespeare or anything.  Why are we all so quick to criticize other people’s art?

I love Glee, too.  But I think that too many people don’t understand what it’s really about.  It isn’t about a high school show choir; it’s about how we write and think about young people in this country.  Every character on the show starts out as a stereotype; Sue Sylvester (surely one of the best TV characters in the history of ever) even says in one of the early episodes, “You see, that’s the problem with your generation.  You’re obsessed with labels.” Do the kids choose their own labels, or do peers (and by extension viewers) choose for you?  Honestly, they are making Art right on my TV.  The unfortunate loss of Cory Monteith removed the moral center of the show; it meant they had to find a new center, not that they quit.  How inspiring is that?

Now, there are things people hate that are legitimately awful (I’m looking at you, Waterworld).  And there are some kinds of art that make me want to take a shower, like movies made by Terry Gilliam. But I do think we all throw our criticism around too easily. It’s hard to remember that everything started out as somebody’s dream project (even Waterworld).

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