I’ve gone from defending things that need absolutely no defense as everybody loves them already, to defending things I probably shouldn’t be defending at all. Not sure which is better to be perfectly honest.
Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about (and from) “Haters”. You may be thinking to yourself right about now – welcome to the internet Irina, glad you could join the rest of us in the present. But see, I’m still a little confused by the entire phenomena. Not the internet – well ok the internet too. In this case though, I want to talk about haters and also hatin’ on haters.
First I see the label being bandied around left and right pretty gosh darn liberally. Just because someone doesn’t like your favorite show and says so on their blog, doesn’t make them a hater. They have zero taste and we should feel sorry for them but that’s not necessarily a hater. Same goes for someone that disagrees with you in your comments.
I can say pretty confidently that most of my favorite people disagree with roughly 90% of my tastes in anime. That’s fine. Their wrong and…I mean you know the drill, but they’re still lovely people. Being mad at a real live person because they don’t like and imaginary one seems silly.
However, I think the word applies more to those individuals who hate EVERYTHING. Or who hate things by default before even giving them a chance. The *I assume it’s bad* because it’s of a certain genre, studio, year…crowd. People that never like your posts and only comment to say something negative or contradictory about what you wrote. The ones who always seem to be rolling their eyes when they’re typing.
Yeah those guys and gals. We just hate them don’t we? But why?
Anyone that bothers to put together and maintain a blog about anime is bound to have some thoughts on the subject. It’s not that any of us deserve medals but let’s face it, there is some work involved in the exercise. Admittedly more for some than others. And finding positive or fairly neutral reviews of any given show is usually easy. The aniblogging community is chock full of sweet uber positive little souls that feel bad about hurting even imaginary people. I love you guys so much!
When we consider this, it seems that an alternative generally negative blog would have its place as it provides a counterpoint. It’s not like we can’t take bad reviews. All of us have come across a show we weren’t crazy about and have written about it. If you consider all the blogs out there, there are dozens of negative reviews posted each day and no one is particularly bothered by it.
Naturally, we may get prickly when certain beloved shows become the target of one of these bad write ups but most of us can leave a generally constructive comment and get on with our day. We aren’t going to be holding a grudge against that particular blogger for weeks on end. Yet, as soon as someone is identified as a hater, there’s a certain stigma to goes with it.
So if it’s not the actual hating itself that’s rubbing us the wrong way, what is it? Why do I hear about it so much more in the context of blogging and Instagram than anything else? How can I avoid accidentally becoming a “hater”? Should I always soften my critiques or avoid writing anything less than a glowing approval?
For no reason whatsoever, ok, actually because I don’t want to bother moderating my own opinions, I have decided that the answer is NO. See I think part of the issue is a certain sense of disingeniousness (possibly not a word, in which case: copyright). I think most of us believe that it’s simply not possible for a normal person to not like anything at all. It’s just as unlikely as the opposite expect much more so.
You see, we are usually wired to seek out things we enjoy. This is doubly true for something like anime, which is a leisure activity and therefore entirely in our control. After a few tries, a normal person will figure out what elements they like and dislike in a show and chose what to watch accordingly. In order to just watch shows you dislike, you have to put a pretty big effort into doing so. Which also means that you start off with a considerable bias.
All of these things may make a reviewer sound less than genuine, simply bashing shows for the sake of their “brand” and so the review can longer be trusted as such. Some readers may feel cheated or lied to.
But I like to think of it as little pieces of creative writing. Little thought exercises, where a writer who has no strong feelings about a show tries to come up with reasons to hate it for the exercise of it. At this point, you have to divorce the actual source material from the post itself. It’s more like that friend you have that can make any story sound kind of dirty. Well haters can make any show, essay, comment, sound kinda mean.
Why do this? As I mentioned, it can be in fact useful to offer a counterpoint. Any of you who have done debate know what I mean. You often have to argue passionately for points you do not believe in at all. Some people also have a little spark of rebellion in them, they get a sense of individuality from disliking shows everyone else liked (I seem to go the exact opposite route).
As for the comments. I’m going to bet sometimes it’s just people being awkward. I know I have a though time wording my thoughts occasionally. If any of you have ever had the dubious pleasure of one of my comments, you know what I mean. So some of them may just be coming off much more negative than they mean to be. This in fact happens in posts as well.
I still probably wouldn’t be up for having a show I liked torn apart but I don’t mind reading a rant once in a while and I’m ok with having blogs dedicated to it. What do you guys think? Is life too short to be complaining about every little things or is nitpicking and over analyzing the reason we spend our free time writing about our hobbies instead of enjoying them?