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The Shallowest of Conterarguments by TheDrifterWithin

Sometime ago, I went to Maracanã with my family to watch a football match of my team, Flamengo. If this name sounds familiar to foreigners, it's because Flamengo is the most popular football club in Brazil, and also the world. With 33 million supporters, Flamengo is a force to be foreknown, and it has supporters wherever there are Brazilians. The club itself is living in a drought in these last years: with a title here and a title there, its glories now days are far away from matching the achievements that leaded to such a massive fandom - and this is an appropriated word. Nevertheless, as massive as it is, there naturally are a lot of haters: people who contest the club's very history and glories, who hate the team and its fans, who despite anything that is so much so associated with Flamengo. They don't seem to have this hatred for any other team in Brazil, not even to other closest rivals. In fact, there is even a saying that those who don't love Flamengo hate it. A saying that isn't so far away from the truth.

As you can see, there is a reason for this: visibility. The more visual something is, the bigger are the chances of this something being hated. It's a logical conclusion: something that is big will have its share of haters, and this happens a lot here in DA. One of my compensations for not being awfully popular is that in being unpopular - and I won't sugar-coat what I am here -, I also avoid the share of haters that the popular deviants have to deal with. People say it's one of the prices to pay when you are popular, even if it isn't fair: to deal with the haters, to deal with that minority that can't stand you or your popularity. Some would dismiss these haters as "trolls", as people who need to be ignored like scum. But the point I want to make here is that it's very easy to be part of this vocal minority, and that sometimes, we do it without even knowing so.

Let me give you a basic example: "Family Guy". It's a big, massively popular cartoon for Fox, and like "The Simpsons", it's a serial that maintains its popularity despite its decrease in quality. Its approach to audacious comedy may be indeed hard hitting, but not necessarily funny: I've always liked to imagine that there are jokes Seth MacFarlane and his team adopt much more to pass an image of boldness than to actually hit our funny bones. Naturally, for its popularity, it has many fans, but there is this minority that hates it with all their straight. Many would be ready to dismiss these people as "haters", "sissies that can't take a joke" or even "jealous". But when you see the nature of "Family Guy", it seems logical that there would be haters. In that sense, this minority is justified. But what I went to discover is that any minority can be justified: we are all in our rights to hate, love or hold indifference towards anything. It's just that something like "Family Guy" being hated makes more sense to the popular consciousness than someone like Gandhi being hated.

Let's talk about sports again: the "football" that I talk about here is what Americans refer to as "soccer". Brazilians - and other demographics around the world - can't stand Americans referring to it this way, and I always found that disapproval to be stupid: people can call sports the way they want. As it's being known, soccer is becoming more popular in USA... and while this visibility in America is bringing more fans, it's also bringing more haters. I've seen this: some Americans can't stand that soccer is becoming part of American culture. They see this as a foreigner interference in their country (and this is the impression I get from the television and from the internet: I'm not pulling any actual data here). Some used simply not to like it, but now there seems to be a genuine repulsion from some Americans, like one guy who wrote for The Guardian that "soccer is a virus slowly destroying his country", with some even believing this is a loss for American Culture, rather than an addition.

Let's talk about something just as big as football in the world: religion. In my last post, I talked about it and, naturally, its opposition. You have to understand the nature of religion: it is, in most of its cases, about introducing a set of morals and answers that cannot be contested, with the promise that there is a loving figure waiting for you in the other side. You can't say a word, because those are the words by God. And God - as the most powerful figure in the universe - can't be contested in any way. This leaded to an intellectual revolt, and some people started to go on their own ways. Some would be "nominal religious", having their own ideas about humanity and the universe without opening hand of their faith, which is ultimately important to them. But some others are radical: their non-religion is actually sacred for them. They are proud for their situation, and they look to religion with indifference... or hatred. Probably nothing in our contemporaneous world is more visual than organized religions, and the hate that they get is based on how such religions became business, opposing to rationality and pandering to easy answers, avoiding intellectual evolution. But one thing that I have noticed is that some religions - like Catholicism - are evolving with modern times, becoming closer with modern mindsets. Bill Maher just loves Pope Francis: he may get mad with him from time to time, but ultimately Bill just goes back to the arms of Frank, specially when he speaks against Global Warming and people's indifference towards it. Attitudes like such help to bring religions closer to the 21st century societies, but to some people, religions will away be the enemy, no matter how sugar-coated with modern concepts they are.

Let's talk about pop culture: it's very easy to hate those popular musicians of our day and age who are famous basically for being products, rather than for their talents. Clear examples of that are the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. Those are celebrities from the pop world who are more famous for, well, being famous than for their sound. So much so that we don't even talk about their music when we talk about them: we talk about their appeal. However, I've always imagined myself to be indifferent in relation to such acts: if I like good music and other people don't, why to waste my time telling others what to like? Most of these people are just going to grow out of such musicians, like internet memes that got old. However, this power to ignore seems to be beyond some emotive people, who engage in quests in YouTube to shame fans of such acts. In their minds, they are making a favour to the world of music, like righteous (keyboard) warriors in a quest to get the world free of smut. But what these bravest warriors don't seem to understand is that music is not going to die because of some mediocre acts. This is something that I've been saying for a long time: to suggest music is going to succumb because of such artists is to suggest music is weak in the first place, and it needs such defensors... which is a ridiculous line of thought. Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd are not going to be erased because of the Pussycat Dolls... if anything, one's awfulness will only point out the greatness of the other.

I've also been saying this of Michael Bay: the ultimate target to those who want to hate someone in order to prove something about themselves. A long time ago - 2012 to be precise -, I've said that if we all understand what people like Bay does, cinema will never be in danger. It will be if people start to perceive what Bay - and the Jonas Brothers, and Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber - does is good, instead of just pleasant (and people should learn the goddamn difference!). Once we have our general concept of good distorted, we can considerer that a threat to culture. Nevertheless, the outspoken hate that Bay gets, although covered with a coat of righteousness, feels silly to say the least, since these people do not take facts into full consideration before pushing their opinions, such as the difference between "good" and "enjoyment". They can't accept his movies are so popular, even if (again) "Revenge of the Fallen" is not going to destroy "Lawrence of Arabia".

But make no mistakes: "Lawrence of Arabia", Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd also have their haters. I have seen them actually. I'm a "Blade Runner" fan, so you can know I've seen a lot of hate and disapproval towards that too, like someone saying it's overrated, and someone else replying "oh, thank you!". The idea behind this particular kind of hate - the "it's overrated!" kind of hate - is that everyone is wrong, that everybody got it wrong. They profess their hate or disapproval like some sort of badge of bravery, imagining themselves not as trolls, but people who "don't blindly follow conventions and can think for themselves": a genuine right of theirs. The thing however is that generally speaking, when you have classic acts that endure through time, it's because they reached a level of reference that spawns from generations. This can be a certificate of genuine greatness, a proof this is indeed deserving of being referenced. It's not like the movies and bands from our day and age that win tons of awards and are soon forgotten to make way for the next big thing, as we live in a time when genuinely great and enduring arts only come forwards sporadically. But that is not to say perennial approval is an infallible synonymous of greatness, as some great acts can be forgotten for not getting the promotion they deserved, for being too much associated with one hit (Australian band The Church and Swiss duos Double and Yello) or due to their humble beginnings (I immediately think of Thin Lizzy). Also, some classic movies or bands may get more praise than what their merits are, and history can be forgiving to their flaws due to their general values (I think of the good-but-not-great "The Godfather Part II").

I'll finish this essay where I began: we all are in our right to hate or love anything, and things that are popular are decidedly more prone to be hated than anything that is not so popular. And some times, we are part of a group of haters without realizing it: we may even picture ourselves as "truthers", as people who are now perceived as wrong or even jealous, but that will be taken into serious consideration in the future, like the people who were opposing "Ordinary People" winning Best Picture over "Raging Bull" back in 1980. But we rarely picture ourselves as "haters" in the internet sense of the world, for this would be a prejudicial, bad, and impolite word, even if accurate. Some people like to go for the word "ranters", for this is a less loaded word, when it's basically the same. I cannot tell you how many things I held as overrated and even stupid... but that's not petty trolling, for it is just my opinion: it is people's sincere way of expressing themselves. Of course there will be trolls and envious people, since I'm not denying their presence in the internet. And I'm quite aware of horrible things like harassment and troll raids. But "hating" truly is a umbrella term, and not all ramifications of hate are bad: these are just "extremist" haters. And for some people, this hate is not so urgent once the target in question is not so big - and therefore influential - in the first place.

Hating is freedom of expression. Hating is part of human nature.


I'm a graduate in Cinema and I enjoy writing screenplays, editing and taking pictures of unique moments. I also do some mediocre drawings. I like studding economical and political subjects, drifting across my city, and keeping up with my football team Flamengo.

My favourite visual artists
Norman Rockwell; M.C. Escher; Roy Lichtenstein; Andy Warhol; Stephen Wiltshire; Bob Ross; S. Neil Fujita; Maitena Burundarena; Shepard Fairey; Will Eisner; Scott Adams; Bill Watterson; Frank Miller; Charles Schulz; Robert Crumb; Marjane Satrapi; Banksy; Lauren Child; Jamie Hewlett; Eddie Campbell; Philippe Chappuis; Hergé.

My favourite films
Blade Runner; Midnight Cowboy; Brazil; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Apocalypse Now; Spirited Away; Akira; Toy Story; Babe; Das Boot; All About My Mother; Y Tu Mama Tambien; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; The Sting; The Matrix; Taxi Driver; Manhattan; Reservoir Dogs; The Wild Bunch; Lawrence of Arabia; Koyaanisqatsi; The Big Lebowski; Chariots of Fire; The Bear; Gandhi; Raiders of the Lost Ark; Three Colours: Blue; Moonstruck; Mad Max 2; The Exorcist.

My favourite albums
-2Pacalypse Now - 2Pac
-Angel Dust - Faith No More
-Autobahn - Kraftwerk
-Avalon - Roxy Music
-Black Widow - Lalo Schifrin
-Billion Dollar Babies - Alice Cooper
-Blade Runner Trilogy: 25th Anniversary - Vangelis
-Breakfast in America - Supertramp
-A Charlie Brown Christmas - Vince Guaraldi Trio
-Chill Out - Black Uhuru
-Combat Rock - The Clash
-Debut - Björk
-Dirty Mind - Prince
-Discipline - King Crimson
-Discovery - Daft Punk
-The Doors - The Doors
-From Chaos - 311
-From Here to Eternity - Giorgio Moroder
-Give Me The Night - George Benson
-Heyday - The Church
-The Hurting - Tears For Fears
-I'm Your Man - Leonard Cohen
-Incesticide - Nirvana
-Innervisions - Stevie Wonder
-Jailbreak - Thin Lizzy
-Kill 'Em All - Metallica
-Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin
-Let My Children Hear Music - Charles Mingus
-Look Sharp! - Joe Jackson
-Marquee Moon - Television
-Moon Safari - Air
-The Music From Peter Gunn - Henry Mancini
-Natty Dread - Bob Marley & The Whalers
-Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols - The Sex Pistols
-Nouvelle Vague - Nouvelle Vague
-Off The Wall - Michael Jackson
-Offramp - Pat Metheny Group
-Oxygène - Jean Michel Jarre
-Paranoid - Black Sabbath
-The Piper at The Gates of Dawn - Pink Floyd
-Play Deep - The Outfield
-Please Please Me - The Beatles
-Porgy and Bess - Miles Davis
-Pretty Hate Machine - Nine Inch Nails
-Pyromania - Def Leppard
-Rage Against The Machine - Rage Against The Machine
-Ramones - Ramones
-Rocks - Aerosmith
-Selected Ambient Works 85-92 - Aphex Twin
-Stink - The Replacements
-Street Songs - Rick James
-Super Trouper - ABBA
-Swordfishtrombones - Tom Waits
-Tango in The Night - Fleetwood Mac
-Taxi Driver - Bernard Hermann
-Ten - Pearl Jam
-Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division
-Violator - Depeche Mode
-The Voice - Bobby McFerrin
-You're Never Alone With a Schizophrenic - Ian Hunter
-Zenyatta Mondatta - The Police

My favourite TV shows
Married With Children; Spitting Image; Step by Step; Full House; South Park; Courage, The Cowardly Dog; Regular Show; Gravity Falls; Top Gear; True Detective; Seinfeld; Oz; The Wire; Real Time With Bill Maher; Cosmos: A Personal Voyage; The Decalogue; Boston Public; Moonlighting; Will & Grace; Fraiser; El Chavo del Ocho; Punky Brewster.

My favourite books
The Little Prince; Animal Farm; 1984; The Lord of The Rings; The Jungle; The Jungle Book; From Hell; Watchmen; Fight Club; In Cold Blood; Sex, Drugs & Magick.

My favourite authors
George Orwell; Rudyard Kipling; J.R.R. Tolkien; Robert Anton Wilson; Humberto Fontova; Sam Harris; Truman Capote; Philip K. Dick; Eric Hobsbawm; George Bernard Shaw; Alan Moore.

My favourite games
Team Fortress 2; SimCity 4; Hotline Miami; Half-Life; Max Payne; Grand Thief Auto: San Andreas; Limbo; Flight Simulator X; Borderlands 2; Forza Horizon 2; Need For Speed Underground 2; L.A. Noire; BioShock Infinite; Dead Space; Banjo-Tooie; Mirror's Edge; Euro Truck Simulator 2; Brothers; Batman: Arkham City.

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amanda4quah Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015  Student General Artist
Thank you for joining the Top Gear Fan Club :) We look forward to seeing your works!
TheDrifterWithin Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015
Don't mention it: you're welcome.
FitzOblong Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2014
Thanks for the :+fav: . :icondweebdanceplz:
TheDrifterWithin Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2014
You're welcome, Fitz.
AllentownDarkWater Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014
There is a God in Heaven after all! Sorry, I wanted to leave a comment on your journal entry, but the comments were disabled. I HATE the Nostalgia Critic too. He's so annoying and more than half of what he bashes doesn't deserve it! And another thing I hate is when people who do like him read my posts about how I don't like him and attack me and say shit like I have no right to say negative things about him. I hate Spoony and Linkara too. You sir are okay in my book! :)
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