Dec 9 2012, 7:21pm
(let me restate my subject line for those of you who don't read subject lines: unfair of me or not...)
I chalk a lot of the aggressive reaction to or excessive worry about what critics are saying to being young. I think this worry that one's own opinion is 'right' or 'popular' or needs validation is something people tend to outgrow. In my mental space, I always picture someone who is overly fussing about this (which would include 'attacking' in some way a negative review) to be under 30. Among my peer group (which is considerably older than 30) we might discuss or comment on a negative review for something we liked. But we wouldn't get emotionally upset or feel that we had to attack it. We might find somethings worthy in such a review. Or we might decide it was rubbish and dismiss it from our attention. But we wouldn't have a highly emotional reaction to it.
By mentally viewing most fussing over reviews as young (and 28 is young, in a relative way, to a 60 year old), I put their reaction into context in a way that lets me accept them. Kind of. I still don't like the melodrama and hyperbole and this insistence that everyone love what we love. But in the same way I let my own kids - at 16 and 26 - have their own way of looking at things, I try to let others have their way, too.
Also, I feel I harp on this too much but.... remember that the "high incidence of posters who eschew critical analysis and attack even the most civil of negative reviews regarding the movies" is derived not from an actual, scientific sampling of the full body of people who comment here on the message boards. It's derived from the number who post - and post frequently - here on The Hobbit board. There are plenty of people like me who are not fussed and not attacking and eschewing. We are doing that by 'not posting'. So if one is judging (and I use that term in a non-judgmental way) the boards by what one reads, then one is getting a mistaken impression of the full body of current visitors and posters on TORn.
Remember (this is thrown out to the world and not you, Morothon) that when you form an opinion about PEOPLE AT TORn - you include everyone who visits TORn. I kind of wish people wouldn't do that until they had a really good sense of who the people at TORn are (is that person who just ticked you off a regular poster or someone who just posted their 10th post and they're here and gone within a week). What the culture is like on each board (the people who frequent The Hobbit board is, overall, a different group than frequents the Reading Room, which is a different group than frequents LOTR movies, which is a different group than hangs out on Off Topic and posts in Fiesta Friday threads, which is a different group than volunteers for message board events and celebrations). And what TORn is like over a reasonable time period. When The Hobbit got hot, a new wave of people moved in that changed the culture. That was a valid culture and it was part of TORn. But it wasn't all of what TORn was like. That new type didn't erase what the current culture was like when it moved in. But, in many people's heads, it did. It was as if all that existed on TORn was that new, fast moving, highly charged culture. It was not all that existed. And, whether it seems like it or not, it is not all that exists on TORn to this day.
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