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Popularity ≠ Good

June 20, 2015

I don’t like Metallica. Or Nirvana. Or Pearl Jam. Orrr Alice In Chains. There. Burn me as a heretic. I grew up in the 90’s and was told to like these things, but…I really didn’t. Their songs just never resonated with me in the way that they did for a lot of people and for years I felt as if I had to be silent on this fact that I think they’re, at best, highly mediocre bands and way overrated. Sure, I like some of their songs, but whenever 98 Rock plays one of these bands I invariably have to change the channel. In fact, I love Spotify because it never means I have to suffer through ‘Mandatory Metallica’ or ‘Smelly Gym Socks Nirvana’ or whatever gimmick that’s peddled for the others. And you know what? That’s okay.

The world isn’t going to end on my liking or disliking certain bands. But it was the creed of my friends during these years that I was a loser for not liking them or had no taste in music, etc. In fact, I still get that. Shit, I got that just for admitting I do not enjoy Alice In Chains on facebook. What do I like and what did I like then? Radiohead, Stabbing Westward, Green Jelly, etc. Also really dug Weird Al. Still do. He can still make a great parody song, but a lot of the ones of his that I like are his originals like This Is The Life and Remember Larry.

But I’ve seen people agree to opinions they don’t agree with just because the person saying them states their opinion…ahem…rather forcefully. Or they’re afraid of being alienated and to those people: stand up against things you don’t like. If you think something is truly bad then say it and be okay with the outcome. If a friend will no longer be a friend due to your taste in music, clothes, movies, games, etc…fuck it. And this seems like very trivial advice, but it does still happen to everyone. Even in my 30’s you’d be surprised at how much grief you can be given for not liking a certain thing. And it’s a rather juvenile mentality that should’ve stayed in childhood, but people still perpetuate it all the way into adulthood.

For those that don’t follow politics or the like…yeah, your beliefs can get you alienated and blacklisted from your friends. That’s mostly where this mentality oozes into. If you disagree with anyone’s dogma you will find yourself shit out of luck with a lot of your friends and family. Religion’s the same way. In fact, that’s the worst area of this…mentality that says if you’re different you’re fucked. And that’s just…wrong. I heard it once on a program, “Nature loves variety, but society doesn’t.” And I can’t help but agree with that sentiment. We sacrifice our individuality in favor of just not making waves. I can never find it in myself to go back to that mentality ever again. If you know it’s something that will provoke violence then, yeah, go ahead and stay silent until the danger passes.

However, you should never sacrifice what you like and what you dislike just to make someone else more comfortable with you. If you hate whatever is popular at the moment then great! But don’t be afraid to say so just because I or anyone else enjoys it. Just don’t try to make us feel awful for liking that thing, either and we’re good. I know many a people that love Lost and will defend it to death, but it’s just not my cup of tea. I find it too long and plodding and the story was too convoluted to be coherent. I will never say that someone’s an idiot for liking it or that they don’t know good tv or anything of the like. That’s just stupid, but my non-enjoyment should not detract from your enjoyment and if it ever does, then the fault is on you.

Again: You’ll sense a theme in these kind of entries: just be yourself, like what you like, do what you enjoy, and let other people do the same. That’s why I write these. I hope some day, somewhere that we can move beyond the attitude that to like something you need to trash someone else. It’s stupid. It’s childish. And yet I still see it everywhere.

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