Monday, April 15, 2013

Arthur’s Law

In yesterday’s Weekend Diversion post, I mentioned what I call Arthur’s Law about pop culture. It states:
Everything you love, someone else hates; everything you hate, someone else loves. So, relax and like what you like and forget about everyone else.
I started calling it “Arthur’s Law” because it’s frankly catchier than what I used to call it: “My Pop Culture Mantra”. Besides, calling it a “law” makes it a little more forceful, I think, and I’ve become a bit more assertive about using it.

I came up with it because of Twitter. I noticed that people were posting Tweets trashing a song, movie or TV show—the very same things that other people posted adoring Tweets about. I also noticed that some people became a bit offended or hurt when they saw people trashing what they liked or, especially, what they loved.

Then, I noticed comments on some gay blogs that were especially nasty about pop music (and sometimes even more so about songs that younger gay men liked). I was going to blog about it at the time, and wrote a rough draft in which I referred to the commenters as “grumpy old men”. I never published that post, though I referred to the commenters in a post two years ago.

I reached a point where the obvious suddenly dawned on me, and that was what I now call “Arthur’s Law”. Because of it, I never trash TV shows, movies or songs, though I’ll sometimes say if I don’t like something. But saying that I don’t like a song or whatever doesn’t require me to be a jerk about it! I guess social media—Twitter, Facebook, blogs—taught me something useful. I wish more people learned that lesson, too.

You’d think we’d all know this, though. When I was a kid and started buying records, I realised right away that other people didn’t necessarily like what I did. Everyone else must realise this, too. Because of it, I learned to keep my likes largely to myself, and to avoid trashing something that another person might like—I knew what it felt like when people did that to me. That caution continued when the social network age began, so maybe it made me more likely to notice other people’s assertiveness about declaring what was good, or, more likely, awful, in pop culture.

There’s so much negativity in the world, I just don’t see the point of adding to it by being unnecessarily negative over something in pop culture which—let’s be honest—probably won’t endure very long.

So, I just relax and like what I like and forget about everyone else. Law or not, it’s the most sensible thing to do.

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