It’s embarrassing but true:
I often hate popular things just out of spite.
I get so tired of hearing about how awesome something is, that if I haven’t gotten into it yet, I’ll avoid it on purpose just for the petty pleasure of rolling my eyes. I’ve never gone so far as to be one of those snotty “I don’t own a TV and I never would” types, but still, I can be a bit obnoxious.
Sometimes this turns out to be good for me. Case in point: Game of Thrones. It got to where I wore it like a badge of honor that I’d never seen an episode. I’d tried reading the first book long, long ago and it was definitely not my style, but the hype surrounding the show made me irrationally angry, so I made a point of being one of the People Who Don’t Watch GoT. Now, I’ve seen a few episodes and I don’t hate it necessarily, but it’s far too gory and rapey and just overall…much, I guess? for me. I might actually have liked it better ten years ago or whenever it first came out and I was less aware of how much I don’t like the whole “Wait, we have a female character who hasn’t been raped? How else will she grow?” thing in TV and movies these days.
(Speaking as someone who has used that trope and since realized there are much better ways to go about things, I feel I have some authority to say it’s a shitty trope and we need to lay off it. I wrote QoS the way I did for a reason, because I wanted it to be a survivor’s story, but looking back I would have handled it differently or possibly changed it entirely. But again this was ten years ago and I knew almost nothing about the urban fantasy or paranormal romance genres, so I was just writing the story I wanted to write without considering the social context. Needless to say social context is a much bigger deal to me now.)
In other instances, I screw myself over. Case in point: Harry Potter. I wanted so badly to hate the hell out of that series because I was SO SICK OF HEARING ABOUT IT. Right around the time the Goblet of Fire hype had hit a fever pitch I decided I was never, ever, EVER going anywhere near those books…and then for some reason I changed my mind (I don’t really remember why, but it was just about the time the first movie was coming out.). I missed the build-up around half the series, and I would have really enjoyed the fandom back then, so I’m kind of sad I didn’t try it sooner. But it ended up okay; I’m firmly entrenched in my Potterhead-dom and quite glad to be.
I really do try not do this anymore, and if I catch myself doing it I try to at least dip a toe into the series or show or whatever to make sure my feelings are justified, if for no other reason than so I don’t miss out on something great. (I read the first Twilight book and saw the movie – that’s the kind of sacrifice I was willing to make to know whereof I bitched!) (shudder)
Being a fan and a writer at the same time can be emotionally fraught, especially when you have rampant jealousy issues and a good deal of bitterness just as a built-in part of your personality. But I try not to blindly eyeroll things…usually. Sometimes it’s just so fun to be an asshole about things.
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