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Haters: A conclusion

I’ve been reading a fair few reviews about Watchmen, because I’m trying to get a feel for if I should see it or not. My feeling is that if they didn’t get the spirit of the book, I’ll know in the first 5 minutes and if they didn’t get the spirit then I don’t want to sit there for 163 more minutes just getting angrier. I wouldn’t mind the removal of the squid, if the replacement makes sense on the same level that the squid does. But if the naturalistic style of the book was removed, if the characters weren’t true, I would be displeased.

So I’ve been reading reviews and I’ve been looking at comments and I keep seeing something that bothers me and has been bothering me for a while now. The distinction of “Haters” to people who don’t like something. There have been a lot of calls of haters from people because someone complained about one aspect or another of the movie. Of course, once someone is a “hater” then you can just ignore any complaint they have, no matter how valid the complaint, no matter how sincere the concern. Nope, they’re a hater and you can just shove turnips in your ears because they’re just hating to hate.

I’ve noticed that “Haters” is like the movie equivalent of Godwin’s Law. Once you call someone a Nazi, then reasonable discussion is over right? Well, once you call someone a hater, you’ve pretty much waved the same white flag and admitted you’re too stupid to carry on any kind of meaningful discussion. Once that word comes out, I stop reading and ignore anything else the writer has to say. It’s obvious at that point that they don’t want to discuss, they just want to insult and why should anyone listen to someone like that?

I feel there is a huge difference between hating and being disgusted with crap. I hate on Franklin Day Planners and I hate on vodka. My hatred for Day Planners and vodka is just that, a hate. I just plain hate that crap and no argument will help sway me. They’re irrational, stupid, have no reason to exist… and now that I think about it, the justification for my not liking them isn’t that strong either.

However, being pissed off that Aragorn commits not only murder but the cold blooded murder of an emissary in Return of the King when in the book he outright decries such actions? That scene went to the very heart of the character and took him from the noble king of ancient line and turned him into Rambo in a tunic. The movie was also badly paced and there comes a point where you should either deviate from the text or be true to it, but dilly-dallying only annoys. Now you can try to say I’m just being a hater, but all the people who walked out of King because they thought it was never going to end will argue that the pacing was terrible.

With either of those examples, if you call me a hater then you’re going to kill your own argument. Okay, maybe not so much with the day planners or the turpentine that the Russians convinced people they drink as a joke, but you get my point. Actually, with the day planners and the vodka I’ve already ended the discussion myself by self professing my hate status. I’ve admitted that there is no real point in trying to argue their finer points (if such thing actually do exist you understand) because I’ve already shoved the turnips in my ears on those issues and am currently performing an extended Bronx Cheer on the matter. Of course, since it’s very possible I’m only doing it for comic effect anyway, discussion is truly pointless.

I know there are people who just hate to hate, but in my experience there aren’t really that many. People who stop giving George Lucas the benefit of the doubt (for example) only did so after a very long view of how he hurt his own legacy and damaged their hold on simple nostalgic love of childhood things. Most these people didn’t start hating him, they had to suffer through the tortures of their own minds, and had an introspective moment, during the pod race, and realized that things between them and George could never be the same, and it was time to break up. Once you put it in relationship terms, George is that shitty ex who you know you shouldn’t sleep with, because they’ll only hurt you again, but you can’t forget the good times so you give it another try.

My point is that in my view “Hater” is a pointless ad hominem attack that does no good to any discussion and only really proves the person using it has nothing meaningful to say. That’s a shame because I’m sure some of the defenders of the movie do have answers for the criticisms, but I’ll never read any of it because they use that one little word that made me dismiss their comments utterly.

March 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment