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I'm an Asshole About Other People's Opinions

At one point in time I was considering posting a long, whiny rant about what I call "bandwagon criticism," but after many attempts to rewrite it, I've given up.  It turns out that I keep reaching the same conclusion: I'm kind of an asshole.

I don't mean to be.  I'd like to think that I'm growing wiser and more patient each year.  But I keep finding myself to be intolerant of certain opinions.  At times I feel like I'm singling out "the mainstream" and distancing myself from it like some snotty thirteen year-old.  What gives?

It's hard to express what I'm talking about without specifically giving myself away as a dickhead, but here's an example.  Somebody watches Artificial Intelligence for the first time.  Then a week passes and we end up talking about it.  "I loved that movie!" I'll say.  And then they'll shrug and say, "Yeah, I dunno... I think it would've been better if it ended with David looking at the Blue Fairy statue."

And my gut reaction is: "What'd you do, read that on the IMDb forums somewhere?  Do you have any original criticism?"

Sometimes I'll follow it up with my long spiel about how the final act with the future robots was the culmination of various narrative and thematic arcs and how getting rid of it would completely ruin anything meaningful the movie had to say.  But most of the time I just feel annoyed and I don't want to go on.  I have this knee-jerk idea that the person saying "it should have ended there" just thinks it sounds like a smart thing to say.  Like they heard people talking about ambiguity once and they decided that any ambiguous ending is necessarily a good one.

So I just pigeonhole them as not being worth talking to about that particular movie and I try to change the subject.  "Nice criticism, asshole.  Did your mom pick it out for you?"

I know, I know.... It's incredibly condescending and more than a little elitist to assume that other people are incapable of forming these opinions on their own.  I recognize that.  I'd like to accept people for who they are and what they believe.  I'd like to be a better person.  But I'm not.

I just hate it when I'm talking about a horror movie to somebody and then they say, "It was okay, but they screwed up by showing the monster.  I agree with Hitchcock: you should never show the monster...."

I want to punch somebody when we talk about The Incredibles and they explain how well it portrayed Objectivism.  (I mainly just sneer if they talk about how the people who talk about Objectivism are wrong; it's better, but if it's all the same, I'd rather just not talk about Objectivism at all because it's easier to talk to people when their esophaguses aren't full of their own dicks.)

And let's not even get into Sharknado.  Somebody thinks they're introducing that to me by starting with, "You know how some movies are so bad, they're good?" and they smile a Dreamworks douche-face like they're the first goddamn person on the planet to ever come up with irony?  Just keep it to yourself.  You don't think Goethius III of Athens was hanging out with Li'l Socrates at the Parthenon and cracking wise at the shitty lute skills of some incompetent proto-busker?  You don't think every 17 year-old jerk-off in history has had the same theory you're working on?  Are you proud of yourself for having come up with the brilliance of a witticism as clever as "so bad, it's good?"  And are you doubly proud that the feature film you chose to associate with the unveiling of your masterful brand of film criticism was that fucking anti-fun Sharknado?  Do you really want to have this conversation with me?

I'm sorry, guys.  That's not me.  I swear I'm not an angry person.

Here's a picture of a fat pug.

I need to go work on my meditation or something.