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6 March 2013

My Thoughts on Disagreement




Someone said once: “Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one, and if we don’t use them we will drown in our own bullshit”. We, as individuals, are helpless when it comes to share our opinions. We must tell the world what we think because we must. There is no reason behind it. We must say it at any cost, it doesn’t matter what we lose or gain from it, and we have to fulfil our destiny in that we must tell everyone in every chat room, forum, blog, website, public service announcement, movie, TV show, comic, book and newspaper what we think. We don’t care about objectivity all we care about is our own selfish opinion.

So why is it that people are so troubled and get so angry when they find someone else with a different opinion than theirs? Why do they jump and start yelling and shouting and throwing hissy fits and basically acting like monkeys in a cage throwing crap at each other? Why do we lose all semblance of human decency when we see people disagreeing with us? This happens everywhere, but the internet being a public and open place is an easier and more accessible example, and since my topic revolves around ponies, like it always does. I think it makes sense that we have to talk about angry people with different opinions within our fandom. Because it makes sense to me, roll with it, we are going in.

There is a recurrent theme going on in the comments section of my blog, and I have seen it pop up every now and then which is pretty interesting. Never before I had a group of people, and random individuals disguised as anons, appear in something I created to word a shared opinion. I am talking about the predictable animosity that the majority of this fandom projects against an internet reviewer called Chad Rocco, also known as CR, who works with That Guy with the Glasses producing online reviews of board games and TV shows. He is also well known for liking Friendship is Magic, and disliking the third season of this show. He has said more than once how much the show has deteriorated ever since Lauren Faust left it, and to him the boiling point of suck came with the Season 2 finale and the introduction of Princess Cadance to the cast of colourful pastel miniature equines. Ever since that episode premiered, he has been very vocal in Twitter and DeviantArt respect Season 3, and how the show has lost a big chunk of its identity. The rant he tweeted regarding the whole Alicorn Twilight change is worthy of being framed and hang upon a wall.

Pretty much like this, crying pony included and everything.
But you know what? I personally have no problem with CR. Not at all. I don’t know him personally, but from what I’ve seen I think he is a pretty alright guy. I like his “Cheap Damage” reviews, to the point that his review on the DoctorWho trading card game made me get interested in the Doctor Who TV show. I think one of the best online reviews I’ve seen in my life was his take on “Super Nerds”, one of the most awkward series pilot ever produced. In this review he had a very funny sketch where he said how Friendship is Magic was turning into a bad show because of the “Mysterious Mare-do-Well” episode. This was all prior to the Season 2 finale, which I find very ironic. In that video CR made a caricature of himself as a rabid fanboy who was getting mad over a TV show. As of now, his rants and his rage towards the third season of Friendship is Magic have been going for so long that I don’t think he is joking anymore.

I actually think he really is that mad, and like the normal human being that he is, he voices his opinion. And what happens when he voices his opinion? Well, from my side, I get quite a lot of people coming at me saying: “CR has said something mean about My Little Pony, he says season 3 sucks, what do you think?” and my very first response to both CR and those who come at me is rolling my eyes hard enough to get the planet out of orbit. I roll my eyes because people think this is worth caring about, and I roll my eyes at how CR voices his thoughts. Let me tackle each subject separately.


Organization!
We can’t fight against our necessity to defend what we like. If we like something and we see somebody hating on it we will jump in front of that person and wield our opinion like we are wielding a shield and a sword, bravely defending our favourite thing like it is a damsel in distress. I’ve done it multiple times. I have defended Nintendo, Metroid, Tron Legacy, Avatar (the James Cameron movie), Pokémon, and many other things over which I’ve gotten so mad about just because there was one person sitting in front of his or her computer voicing their opinions. We don’t understand that opinions are just that, opinions. If somebody says something we love sucks, that doesn’t affect the status of what we like. We shouldn’t perceive what we like differently just because somebody doesn’t like it as much as we do. Imagine you have a car. If I go to your car and I say it sucks the car is still intact, nothing has changed in it. However, and this is going to segue into the next topic, if I go to your car, I say it sucks, and then I bash on it with a baseball bat, then you actually have a reason to get mad at me.

And to any other fillies involved in the wreck.
That’s the keyword here: Bash.

What many people do when they want to get their point across on how much they hate something is that they bash on it. They will make hateful comments, mean comparisons, photo edits with internet memes, and so and so forth to make their remarks even more remarkable. They do this to leave an impact. This is how CR is starting to voice his thoughts on the third season of Friendship is Magic and everything he doesn’t like about the show in general. When he first mentioned the things he didn’t like (like canon Princess Luna, the introduction of Cadance, the direction the show runners were taking with Season 3) I thought he was voicing his opinions like a reasonable individual. I can see why he was so upset that Lauren Faust’s departure from the show brought several changes to the tone, and that her original plans are now irrelevant since the big corporate machine that is Hasbro took control of it. I personally think that Meghan McCarthy and her team are doing a fantastic job, and I like everything they’ve put together so far, and my disagreements with him go up to that point. 

However, I've always supported those who don't like the new characters because they are there to promote a new toy, regardless of how much I like these characters.
CR didn’t seem to shove anything down people’s throats, and he sounded level headed. Nowadays he is more vocal about it, and it doesn’t matter how much I try to avoid him, he appears out of nowhere to bash his opinion on my face; to the point that I am watching the newest Nostalgia Critic video and there he is, bashing on it. I had no problem with it before, but now it’s gotten into Crazy Frog levels of annoyance. I respect his opinion and I can see why he has it, but he is going too far with it. He has become one of those nerds that he made fun of in his “Super Nerds” review. I am here making commissions, worrying over bills, trying to keep my life going, and enjoying a show about colorful ponies in my spare time, so when he shows up to slap his thoughts all over the place I “change the channel”, not because I disagree with him (which I do) but because I am sick of it and of how he expresses them.

Hey Twilight, you look just like how I feel.
And, in my opinion, that is the actual problem.

I think people don’t get upset because we have different opinions. People get upset because of how we word them. I am very careful when it comes to share my opinions with people, especially in this blog. I try to word them carefully and to not be insulting. I use as little swear words as possible, and I try to learn all sides of the argument before I jump in and tell everybody what I think. I end up getting one or two angry comments, but the vast majority of all those who read my blog proved to be very level headed when replying to me, even when they disagreed with what I had to say. So this way of wording my thoughts works, at least for me, in this blog, and under these circumstances. I never considered myself an important person in any fandom I’ve been a part of. I am just a small drop of water in the massive ocean that is the internet and my opinion carries only the weight I give to it. However I feel like I have a responsibility to those who visit this blog regularly, because I feel like you guys take my opinion into account, so here are my final thoughts regarding opinions, disagreement, agreement, and CR’s attitude.

Review Wrap Up time.
I still think CR is an alright guy. Like I said, I don’t know him personally, but he produces good videos and for the most part he knows how to voice his opinion constructively. I am looking forward to his future reviews, whether they are pony related or not. If you know how to voice your opinion with respect and with thoughtful arguments, you can save yourself a lot of trouble, and if you have people coming at you bashing on you because your opinion is different, that’s fine. You don’t need to get out of your way and tell them to shut up, just let them be like that, let them have their opinion in any way you want them to. You have to know that what matters in the end, and what people will remember the most, will be your reaction. So it’s up to you to decide. Would you rather be the reasonable guy who enjoys a cartoon, or the guy who said the fandom is full of hypocrites who have misplaced theirtrust and move on herd mentality?

I think I’d rather be the first, but then again, that’s just my opinion.

15 comments:

  1. I'm sorry James but I just cannot like CR anymore. The fact he has gone this way after seeming to be like one of the more level-headed and fair reveiwers out there is really disheartening.

    I was really enjoying that Son of the Mask Nostalgia Critic review until that leather-jacket clad little gonk showed up. The fact he's compared the show now to Batman and Robin (one of the stupidest pieces of hyperbole I've heard in a while) and directly bashing Meghan McCarthy and MA Larson over Twitter is pathetic. You don't see Spoony publically bashing Square Enix's Twitter (but he will go after his own fans and colleagues when he's pushed over the top) and he despises the modern Final Fantasy games!

    The fact you said he's become his own parody of Super Nerds just made him go from people laughing with him to at him is just indicative of his own pent-up bitterness that a lot of critics have (You have it towards Shyamalan, you know it James, I don't care how much you've calmed down as a critic, you still wish he'd die the most painful death possible) and how cruel he really is (The PixelKitties thing made me wanna punch my monitor). You say he's an alright guy, I've seen many reviewers better than him who I've talked to and are nice people through and through and they're all on smaller review sites or on Youtube!

    I don't usually get this mad but when someone is this against a season which many intelligent, insightful and way nicer people have said is not such a bad season as he's making it out to be, it makes me really pissed off with him and the other bronies like him who've left the fandom over this. Good riddance I say! We don't need their shallow, miserable selves here.

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  2. Really nice piece of thought. I think there's a huge difference betweenn "I hate it" and "it's shit! Everything about it sucks!", at least when it comes to culture and art, and that people tend to forget it, or, as you say, use the latter formulation to add impact.

    One thing is certain: your opinions do matter to me, and you always manage to present them constructively, so that, even when I don't agree with you, I can see where you come from. Congratulations on being an outstanding reviewer.

    Simontheb

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  3. Yeah, this pretty much nails it. My problem with CR isn't that he doesn't like Season 3, it's that he talks about Season 3 like it killed his dog.

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  4. Also, it really feels like everyone on the Internet should've made up their minds a long time ago whether they like, don't like, or are indifferent to MLP. At this point, anytime MLP shows up in media outisde of the fandom, it's usually as a punchline regarding the show's subject matter or it's "weird" fans.
    And honsetly, from an outsider's (non-brony) perspective, if there's one thing sadder than watching a bunch of (mostly) grown men talking about how much they LOVE a children's show, it's watching a bunch of (mostly) grown men talking about how much they HATE a children's show.
    In all honestly, I can't wait for the day in which the rest of the world/Internet will finaly cut this show a break and just let it be. The less attention the show gets from outside its fandom, bronies or otherwise, the sooner we can all put an end to this pointless bickering.

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  5. Also, I kinda want to take credit for bringing up CR in this forum in the first place, but I don't wanna jump the gun.

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  6. So which season three was CR watching cos I found it to be a good season sure it had some bad episode like Wonderbolt Academy but come on it also had in my option the best episode of the entire show Sleepless in Ponyville, I'm sorry but how can anyone hate that one?

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    1. That's because CR is one of those people who has that way of thinking of just because it's not the way I like it, it all sucks and I will deny any good that comes out of it. Because he won't stop going on this tirade that's he on about Season 3 being the worst thing ever and he'll deny any crap from the previous seasons to do it. Let's be honest, even though Friendship is Magic Parts 1 and 2 and The Ticket Master had Lauren Faust writing them, they weren't faultless. She's a wonderful animator, writer and turned a crappy franchise into something unthinkably awesome, but she's not infallible or perfect. CR seems to act like it was all hunky-dory when she was involved and there were no faults with the show when she was in full involvement. I know for a fact that it took quite a number of bronies to really warm up to the show at least 7 or 8 episodes in. Not everyone loved it straightaway. It was the rest of the staff (the writers, animators, storyboarders and directors) who are still working on the show now who made it the good, fun show it is and even though there were a number of things wrong with Season 3, there are many intelligent people who could find just as much wrong with the previous seasons before Hasbro really started to take more control.
      I actually feel Spike at your Service and Games Ponies Play were worse than Wonderbolt Academy even though they each had some good moments. But again, CR doesn't want to acknowledge those moments or any good things to come out of Season 3 because he just wants a chance to really moan and become the Casutic Critic I despise! I hate that critic cliche of someone who just feels they watched the cartoon/TV show/whatever media outlet equivalent of the Holocaust. It's ignorant hyperbole at it's worst and the fact it's now being done by someone who loved the show really angers me. This doesn't mean I think CR is the Distressed Watcher all of a sudden, it just means life imitated art and he's become the miserable little nerd he once made fun of. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some Fiery Joker reviews to watch!

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  7. Tell me James.... it's true that Chad Rocco has insulted publically the crew of the show and Pixelkitties? Because if it is true.... I can't believe that there are so many people that like him....

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    1. He didn't call them things, which is a direct way of insulting people.

      He insulted their work, doubting Meghan McCarthy's capabilities of story editing the show, and the rest of the writers to keep up the quality of the first season.

      In my opinion, he had his head canon altered when canon Luna proved to be bombastic, regal and strong (instead of meek, fragile and quiet) and ever since "Luna Eclipsed" he has been growing some sort of vendetta towards the current show runners. He also hated "Magic Duel" and "Magical Mystery Cure", so what he said about M.A. Larson being his favorite writer doesn't apply anymore. He said so in his Twitter.

      In the end, it's his opinion, and I respect it. If he explained himself a little bit better it would be great, be he is still silent about it.

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    2. James, I'll tell you what I think: it's not the show that has got worse, bronies are. The S3 is the first season where I liked ALL the episodes (one more, one less but anyway I liked them all), but I'm starting to think that bronies are not the same that they were months ago.... The brony fandom has become the headquarter of harrogance and jerkism. Even in my forum in my country (I'm italian) some bronies lost their minds recentely, some of my friends... I can't recognize them anymore.... I can't believe this has happened. I won't listen to any words that CR or any brony will say, I'll listen only what my heart is saying. I'll continue to love and support the show, and I will continue to support your reviews, but for me the brony fandom is dead forever.

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    3. Don't stop loving your friends just because you disagree with them.

      I disagree with a lot of my friends in things more important than a TV show, and they are still my friends. Remember the topic of my previous editorial. Focus. Don't focus just on the bad stuff.

      There's a lot of bronies who loved season 3, like me. You don't need to look hard to find them. Don't give up on a fandom that has banded together to fix countless messes over the past few weeks.

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    4. It's not that the matter James.... I didn't stop to love some of my friends.... they did to me... I'm honest...

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  8. It's always sad when somebody lets their anger speaks the words. I do always try to be careful with what I say, except when get an anger trigger, then I snap rather easily ^^U

    By the way, I've made my own pony blog where, amongs other things, I review episodes. If you'd like to take a look, I'd appreciate the feedback from someone who knows how to keep a site like this

    My site is http://hablandodeponies.weebly.com/

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    1. Nice site you got there. Keep it up ;)

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  9. It just struck me that it really feels like the only reason MLP was brought up in that NC video was to let CR talk shit about Season 3 and generally treat it like a low-hanging fruit. In one scene, the devil is like "What is a Fluttershy?" and in another scene he's like "This is something far more evil than Hasbro". It doesn't add up in my mind and it feels to me like it's strictly there for criticism or a punchline.

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