I don’t want to rant about this, because that won’t accomplish anything, but let me just state a couple “rules” that I think ought to be obvious but apparently are not:
- If you haven’t read it, watched it, listened to it, or partaken of it in some way, DO NOT JUDGE.
- Just because women like something does not mean it’s stupid.
- It’s okay not to like something that is popular. You don’t have to drink the Kool-Aid. Rock on!
- It’s not okay not to like something just because it is popular. That’s called ignorance. Or narrow-minded-ness. Take your pick. (Believe me, I know, because I used to do this all the time.)
- Stories that revolve around ethnic characters are not automatically Quality Literature, despite what some publications would have you believe. You still need an actual STORY.
- Stories that revolve around upper/middle class White People are not automatically lacking in value. Upper/middle class White People are STILL PEOPLE.
There are several things that spurred these all-caps thoughts of mine, but I’ll give you one recent example: Eat, Pray, Love.
People are all up in arms because this “rich” white woman who gets to “discover herself in brown countries.” They call her book self-centered and self-indulgent. They say Julia Roberts is a sh*tty actress and the movie sucks.
Hey guess what, folks? It’s a MEMOIR; of course it’s self-centered. That’s like saying, “Dang, I hate this double fudge cake; it’s too chocolatey.”
I won’t even bother discussing her finances, because it’s her money and if she wants to spend it on a year’s journey of self-discovery instead of car payments, that’s her business. As for the “brown” countries, well, last I checked Italy was European (generally considered “white”) and Indonesia is in Southeast Asia (arguably “yellow”). Also, she never thinks of these places as mere Crayola colors; her critics do. No, she explores and appreciates them for their strengths and virtues.
Now, I haven’t seen the movie, so following my own rule #1 above, I can’t judge it. But I will say this: it’s fine not to like the movie, or Julia Roberts, or even the book. (See rule #3.) Just don’t turn those specific dislikes into broad generalizations, okay? Because it’s ugly and stupid and makes the angels cry. (See rule #4.) Also, it looks a lot like jealousy.
Oy, so much for not ranting…