Usually, I talk about Dungeons & Dragons on Thursday, ahead of the new episode of Critical Role. Today, I felt the need to tackle a different topic. To be specific, just what it is I do here, and why.
Most of you that visit regularly already know most of this. None of what I have to say will really come as a surprise. This is for others. For new folks. For the people who don’t get it right away. So I can point them back to this post, and inform them of why I don’t care that they think my fun is wrong.
To be honest, that I feel the need to make this post at all kind of irks me. Yet, here we are. Life works out that way sometimes, with you having to explain what should be obvious to anyone with a functioning brain.
I guess common sense really is so rare it’s a damn super power.
Anyway, let’s get into this, my little mission statement for all the nice folks who will arrive, eventually, to explain to me, as if I were a child, why I don’t know anything and should just regurgitate their words like an overstuffed parrot.
First things first, I don’t do objective reviews. There’s a couple of reasons for this. The big one being, I don’t want to. I don’t find it fun, and if I am to be frank, this blog is for me first and foremost. As long as I’m having fun, it’ll continue. When it stops being fun, I’ll have to rethink things. Doing objective reviews isn’t fun, so I don’t do them.
Because, second reason, I don’t think you can be objective about entertainment anyway. I really don’t. Everyone is different, and what they enjoy is as different as they are. You can’t call any kind of entertainment objectively good or bad, because there are always going to be those people who enjoy it, which makes objective statements go right out the window.
The purpose of objectivity is to ascertain facts. It’s why scientists are objective, so they can gauge the results of their tests in a way that insures they gain facts, not what they want to find. Entertainment is not science. It’s entertainment. It isn’t answering the big questions of life, the universe and everything. It’s just entertaining us.
Yes, there are times where some things surpass being just entertainment and tackle deep philosophical issues, or straight up become art. But again, the value of that is going to vary according to the viewer. One person sees something of great importance, while another sees something stupid and dull. There’s no way to objectively state which is factual, because when it comes to entertainment, and even art, the personal viewpoint of the individual is what determines if it has merit, or not.
Which means that I, personally, find attempts to objectively explore entertainment a total waste of time. It serves no point, because no matter how well reasoned your argument, another person can simply say, “But I enjoyed it”, and those arguments don’t matter in the slightest.
So, reason the third, I chose to give my opinion. This is what I have watched, or read, or learned, or whatevered, and here’s what I think about it. That’s it. That’s all I do. Give my opinion on things. Not even my objective opinion, but my very emotional one. I do this because art and entertainment both are meant to engage us on an emotional level, as well as an intellectual one. Attempting to explore just the intellectual aspect cuts everything off at the knees, because you aren’t considering the other half of the equation. How did it make you feel?
Entertainment can move you. It can inspire you. It isn’t just about looking at the various parts of crafting a story. It isn’t all in the characters, the plot, and how many cliches appeared. If that’s all you are looking at, then you aren’t enjoying anything. You’re missing out on the greater purpose of both entertainment, and art. The part that makes you feel something. That reminds you how important it is to feel these things, and why.
I’ve seen a lot of animes that made me cry. Honestly, just blubber like a baby. Angel Beats, for one. It moved my heart in ways that were profound. That matters, even if it isn’t something you can objectively explain as a fact. Which you can’t, because it is a purely emotional response, which being objective can’t touch.
You cannot objectively explain how what is basically a cartoon can make a 40+ year old cynic cry. You just can’t.
So I don’t try. I see no purpose in it.
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again anyway. When I sit down to indulge in any form of entertainment, be it anime, movies, television, or books, I want to enjoy it. I look for the things I can love about it. I don’t try to pick it apart, or look for the flaws. I just take it all in, and hope that as it goes along, it’ll present me with something I can truly feel passionate about. Something that can make me love whatever it is being presented.
If I can do that, I’ve had a good experience. If I can’t, I’ve had a bad one. I don’t want a bad one. I want a good one. It’s as simple as that. Despite being a very cynical, jaded, realist, I genuinely want to be happy, and to derive joy from the entertainment I partake of. To make the time I spent with it worth the time spent with it.
How is that a bad thing? No, really, somebody please explain to me how that’s a bad thing? I really don’t get it.
All that said, here’s how it is. I give my opinion on things. If you agree, then that’s great. If you don’t, then that’s also great, because I don’t want everyone to agree with me. I want everyone to form their own opinions, views, and thoughts. Feel free to take my view as an excuse to engage the entertainment I cover, but always seek to form your own opinion on it.
If I want anything to come of this blog, I want that. I want people to take what I think is good, and see for themselves if they think it is. To go into it with an open mind, to experience it, and see if it moves them the same as it did me. Or better yet, in a way that it didn’t. To experience something I can’t.
That also brings me joy.
What’s this blog abut? Sharing my opinion, and always being eager to hear yours. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
Now, was that so hard to understand?