There’s a disconnect in today’s world that I’ve noticed happening over the past few years. I’ve always known that people believe that their opinion is the best opinion (because it’s in our nature to want to be on the right side of what’s just and good). We don’t like to be told we’re wrong. That’s just human nature. And maybe this isn’t a new thing, maybe I’m just seeing it more clearly as I get older, but it seems to me that not only do people as a whole think that their opinion is the right opinion, but it is the only opinion. And anyone who has a different opinion is not only wrong, but deserves to be punished for their wrongness in being wrong. No one is allowed to have a different opinion, and it falls back to the old, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” mentality which kind of sucks, because a lot of what people get themselves worked up over is not even that important. To anyone but themselves that is.
What brought this on is this “article” that came across my Facebook yesterday. It’s entitled 23 Hilarious Things You Notice When You Rewatch “The Princess Bride” Now, The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies of all time, and it’s one of my kids’ favorite movies too. It’s over 25 years old, and is one of the best selling movies on DVD and most rented on Netflix. It has a steady following on Facebook and nearly everyone I know can quote at least a dozen lines from it in casual conversation. What I’m saying is that it’s well known and well loved. That being said, I know that there are people out there who don’t like it. It’s not their thing. They don’t get the hype, they think it’s a bunch of fluff, stuff, and bad acting. I get that. I understand that. You don’t have to like The Princess Bride to be a friend of mine. It’s not required. Seriously, I understand that not everyone has the same tastes.
But this “article” was posted on the Facebook fan page for The Princess Bride, which was so weird because I, and nearly everyone else who clicked on it from that page expected it to be, I dunno, an article about things people might have missed watching The Princess Bride. Like easter eggs hidden in the background we might have missed this past quarter century. Something along those lines. What we got instead was a list of childish finger-pointing, things that this person thought was “lol” worthy. The writing was obviously immature the author appears to be new to writing. But they gave their opinion about this movie in a fashion. It wasn’t a fashion I agreed with, and it wasn’t really an “article”… more like a laundry list and the “things” may have been “hysterical” to the author, but they weren’t to me. Like I said, they were childish, and immature. The “article” was basically a list of “OMG, this is old, outdated stuff is funny! Amirite?” And I was, “No, it’s not.” I appear to be in the majority there.
But here’s the thing. The fans of The Princess Bride are allowed to be a little taken aback and even a little angry that this, in my opinion, immature person posted an “article” on our page that was basically a “lol @ this movie” — that was literally the tagline. We can feel free to disagree with this person’s opinion of our beloved movie. What we, I think, should not do, and many of the of the people commenting on the Facebook have done, is personally attack this person by insulting them, calling them stupid, an idiot, and an illiterate who obviously has never read the book, (um news flash, not everyone who’s watched the movie has read the book. I’ve never read the book, and have no desire to). Some have gone as far to wish them harm (deleted by the moderators) and what blows me away are those that just insult the article writer’s entire generation because this one person has a different opinion. Granted, the article was poorly written, it was basically as insightful as the “article” X [I forgot the number] Reasons Why Girls Don’t like to watch “Game of Thrones” which basically boiled down to “Boobs, butts, blood… OMG! gross!” I’m a person of the female gender — call me a girl, call me a woman, just don’t call me late for dinner. I don’t care. I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but not for any of the reasons listed in that article. I just couldn’t get into it. That’s okay. My friends still like me.
But seriously, the “authors” of these “articles” can have their opinions, and they can write about them. They can even get paid to put them online for their drivel. That’s their right. And we can feel free to disagree with them, and even get a little miffed that they’re dissing our movie. I think that’s perfectly reasonable, because no one likes to be told that something we love is “stupid” and laughable. But I think people cross the line when they personally insult them, wish them harm, and basically insult their entire generation for the audacity of voicing their opinion. My kids are probably this person’s age, and they — most of them — love The Princess Bride. By insulting the writer of the article’s age and generation, the people commenting are also insulting fellow fans. That just doesn’t make sense. And seriously guys, for all intents and purposes, it’s just a movie. Why would someone wish someone dead or harmed by having a different opinion about it? That’s just wrong. But sadly, it’s prevalent these days.
I guess what I’m saying is, it’s okay to have an opinion. It’s your natural born right to voice that opinion. It’s perfectly reasonable to even disagree with someone else’s voiced opinion – out loud even. That’s how conversations happen. What’s not okay or reasonable (in my humble opinion) is to cross that line into “you’re either with me or against me” territory. Or to call for harm to befall someone because of their expressed opinion. That’s how mobs start. And, sadly, that’s how lives are ruined (remember the Cecil the Lion debacle? Sad. Just sad.) It doesn’t take much at all to work people into a frenzy these days over the difference of opinion, and it’s not a pretty picture. But at the end of the day, it’s just an opinion. And as the old saying goes, “Opinions are like assholes. Everyone’s got one, and they all stink.” No one comes out of the WC smelling like a rose.