Yes, they are. And yes, I am late to the party.
My short answer should be the end of the story. But, I can’t help myself from ranting and letting cretins ruining my days.
Yes, it is “days”. Plural.
On Facebook, a land where intelligent discourses thrive, I made posts on multiple pages and groups on why I disagree with Scorsese, Coppola and their defenders.
Surprisingly, my comments were more well-received than I expected. It feels nice to know I am not alone with my frustration.
Unsurprisingly, I also encountered detractors -two to be exact- and their overall counter argument is something I have seen read and heard before. Yet, it still manages to ruffle my feathers.
Basically, they told me that instead of being “unfairly dismissive”, I should eat the “humble pie” (one of them said that exact term), acknowledge that my taste is shit, acknowledge that my opinions regarding cinema are and will always be inherently less worthy than the ones regurgitated by award-winning directors and acknowledge that I am being pretentious for thinking mine can be better than theirs.
Five reasons why it is a bullshit argument.
Awards are not always what we think they are.
They do not always indicate appreciation of merits. They can also be used as indicators of how much certain individuals and their creations are beloved by the establishment.
You cannot expect me to believe they are always about merits when James Cameron’s Avatar, a film which success was entirely dependent on special effects and 3D theatre presentations, was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
It advocates status-worshipping.
Surely, if one wants to determine the merit of an opinion, the most important thing is to analyse the reasoning and evidences being used instead getting fixated on how much the establishment loves the opinion maker.
It is not anti-intellectual to simply question the so-called experts. If anything, it ensures they are being held to the highest standard.
Oh, and if you encounter the “Marvel films are not cinema” remark online and you don’t know who said it, you would not assume it was made by intellectual adults hardened by life experiences.
No, you would assume it was made by immature and pretentious snot-nosed teenagers who think their tastes are the most sophisticated ones.
In fact, it is way less understandable when a adult does that. You would think life experiences will make her/him more mature and reasonable.
Speaking about pretentiousness…
Those two snobs don’t know what pretension is.
I don’t have my own personal definition of what cinema is as I choose to stick with the most objective one available: the production and distribution of films.
As much as I despise films like Michael Bay’s and Batman vs Superman, I have to acknowledge them as parts of the cinema, just like my favourite films are.
It is arrogant for anyone -Scorsese and Coppola included- to think their subjective definitions of certain words are the only right ones.
They are trying to convince us that their unsound and petulant remarks are more profound than they really are. They are trying to convince us that among billions of human beings living right now, people like them are the only ones who “get” cinema.
In short, they are fucking pretentious.
I, on other hand, try my best to be as objective as possible by not letting my hatred of certain works hinder my judgement and by not pretending my taste is best.
One of my detractors also nitpicked about my wording. He said it was pretentious of me to use the word “one” as a pronoun.
When one realises one does not have any good comebacks, one can simply retaliated by splitting hair in front of one’s opponent.
They insist on thinking in boxes.
It has been ingrained in their minds that loving films like Marvel’s is an absolute sign of mediocre taste. As I can enjoy them, they perceive me as thoroughly unsophisticated.
But, I also told them about my love of Andrei Tarkovsky, Ingmar Bergman and Stanley Kubrick, three directors who are frequently considered as among the best by film snobs.
So, if one takes their words as the truth, it means I have a really good taste in cinema.
Well, not to my detractors.
Even with my repeated claims that I love those directors, my detractors kept pretending I could only love Marvel and Marvel only.
Their black and white mindset cannot comprehend how one’s taste in anything can be difficult or even impossible to pigeonhole.
If they immediately acknowledged my love of those directors, they would have to accept that tastes can be complex. But, as they insisted on thinking in boxes, they ignored my statement and kept claiming their non-existing aesthetic superiority.
One of them eventually did acknowledge that I am a fan of those directors. But, even then, it did not stop him from using the condescending tone.
For him, it does not matter if most of my favourite films are arthouse. Love just one Marvel film and I will ruin the whole batch.
He probably thinks taste is literally measurable… like a literal, physically-embodied chemical which can literally be poisonous.
They actually make me proud of myself for having unpredictable and relatively complex taste.
Yes, I used the word “complex” to describe myself.
Where is the fucking humble pie?
If they wanted me to eat the bad-tasting yet nutritious humble pies, they had to painstakingly make one for me.
Instead, they took a huge dump on the dining table and claimed their faeces is the humble pie; the refusal to consume is a sign of one’s infantility.
When I kept refusing to do, they started shoving their faeces into my mouth. Unsurprisingly (and ideally), I retaliated by throwing their shit back to their faces.
When they showed no signs of stopping, I started to take a dump myself and do the same thing.
Interestingly, when I said the arrogance of snobs put off others from even considering to try something highbrow, my detractors dismissed it.
They said it never happens and I am just making excuses for people to be comfortable with their aesthetic mediocrity.
Except, it does happen all the time.
I have seen people defecating on certain works even though they have yet to experience them. The behaviours of the fans are considered more than enough to determine the quality of those works.
I have seen people hating on Harry Potter, Steven Universe and anime solely because of their toxic fandoms. And yes, I have seen people hating on fine arts and quality entertainment because of the exact same reason.
Yes, what I just said are anecdotes. But, at least, I tried to make my claims sound more believable.
My detractors, on the other hand, didn’t make the efforts. Instead of trying to give me evidences to counter my claim, they simply dismissed it.
If anything, the (thankfully not literal) excrement fight I just described above actually supports my claim. The evidence that is against them was displayed right on their screens.
Their arrogance begets my arrogance.
How can they expect me to eat humble pie when they have never eaten one themselves?
Yes, I know I should not let their snobbery ruined my days. I also hate that I ended up resorting to arrogance as well. Even though I am way more reasonable than those two, I believe there is no winner in this fight.
But, cultural snobbery has been frustrating me for years because of the disservice they have committed against the masses.
I would love for films like Andrei Tarkovsky and Ingmar Bergman’s to be even more popular. I would love them to greatly influence film industries in the incoming years.
I would love if the creative industries of the incoming years allow idealism, artistry and experimentation to thrive more.
I would love if the masses are starting to think more critically about the entertainment they enjoy and stop associating popularity with quality.
But, thanks to those snobs, my desires will always be make-believes.
Thanks to them, the masses will keep on associating mindless escapism with “humility of the ordinary people” and intellectually-inclined admiration with “vanity of the elites”.
Those beliefs are obviously not true. The presence of humility and vanity does not correlate with one’s standing in a society. But, as those snobs prioritise their egos over actually enlightening others, they unwittingly perpetuate those falsehoods.
They shoot my feet, accuse me of committing self-harm, shoot their own feet and accuse others of violence.
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