ka (angrybabble) wrote,

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You wear your whole life there in circles underneath your eyes

So, Charmian recently discussed the current kerfluffle over squee-harshing, and I wrote this insanely long comment about my opinion which I decided to actually just post as an entry. Hurrah, content!

Charmina was replying mainly to three different blogs, which are the same ones I am using for my discussion: in the first, the OP complains about people who respond inappropriately to squeeing by being asshats. In the (much longer) second entry, the responding poster complains about people pissing in her Cheerios, which sounds pretty unsanitary to me. Finally, in the third post, someone speaks up in dissent--I didn't KNOW I was responding inappropriately when I said, "I hate this character and find him annoying!" as a comment on your post which was essentially nothing but you shrieking "ZOMG SO HAWT, I LUV HIM." Because it's not TOTALLY OBVIOUS that such a comment is both rude and pointless--I need you to TELL me these things!!

Anyhow, on to my (lengthy) opinion! :D

[Note: all the below assume that you're responding to a post by someone you do not know well (or at all). Obviously responses to friends are different in nature than those to acquaintances/strangers.]

I suppose I'm a squee-er sometimes? I dunno. I really almost never post those "zomg so and so is so HAWT!!!!!!!" posts with, like, a pic and no other content whatsoever. If I liked something, I usually write up a big essay as to why. Do I want you to come along and say "I hated it, it was dumb"? Not really. Is it okay to come by and say "it wasn't my cup of tea for reasons A-B-C, but I can see your point of view"? Sure, that's fine.

I mean, obviously the responses I'm hoping for are "ZOMG ME TOOOO" (everyone likes being agreed with!), but if it's an opposing view I don't mind if the person's respectful and polite. If your opposing view is "I hate it because it's classist garbage" on my post about how cute Ouran is or something, well, okay, but couldn't you have expressed yourself less bluntly and with more consideration for my feelings? (Of course, the analogy girl did point out that posts written analytically do sort of invite responses that aren't 100% agreement more than "zomggggg I post two sentences shrieking about my OTP and pretend it's an LJ entry.")

I don't always agree with people, and I usually say so (as you know XD), but I don't think I've ever been accused of this cheerio-pissing behavior, and I think it really is because I disclaim my commentary with "I understand you." I think a huge reason people don't like negative comments and feel that it "harshes squee" is because one's first impulse is to feel as if it's a personal criticism. Threfore, by implying that there is no intrinsic good or bad value to the thing itself, you make people feel like "oh, well, I guess you don't love it like me, and now I know why, but I'm not particularly offended." (Of course there's always that sadness that your squee-object is not universally beloved, such as Jojo, but that is life.)

However, I only say "I understand" when I do. I try to see the POV of others whenever possible, but if my opinion really IS "Your fandom is stupid," then I generally keep my mouth shut in the face of squee. In this case I think the OP is right: comments which are negative or against the flow need to have a purpose for existing. If you're squeeing about some TV show and I think it's dumb, I'm not going to post a comment going "nuh uh, that guy is fugly and annoying, and the whole premise of this show is nonsensical anyhow." I don't care for it, but it's not my concern if you do. Since I don't have any critical (but non-negative) or thought-provoking comment to leave, I don't leave any.

I guess overall we can say it's the difference between objective and subjective commentary: if my thoughts are objective I don't mind sharing them, even in the midst of squee, i.e. "that episode made no sense, what was with--?" or "But Joseph wouldn't DO that, whyyyy wtf" etc. I have real things to back up my thoughts with, and most people usually don't mind their squee being shifted to a discussion which is not negative so much as critical (even if the original post consisted entirely of the sentence "THAT EPISODE WAS AWESOME, BOB IS HAWT, SQUEE"). After all, we all know that the things we like are flawed, so if someone wants to discuss those flaws without ever saying "--and because of that, it sucks," then we're usually pretty open to that.

If my thoughts are all subjective ("I don't care how you felt about her stats, I find Yuffie SO FUCKING ANNOYING"), or the post's topic is subjective ("Sasugay is SO HAWT WAIWAI"), then disagreement seems a lot more rude and pointless. On my own LJ I might mention that I find Yuffie hateful, and list all the reasons why, which might include, "SHE'S JUST AN ANNOYING BITCH," but: it's MY LJ. I'd never post my subjective negative feelings to someone squeeing about her, because it's all about personal taste, so there is pretty much zero point to commenting.

Finally, I disagree with the last post linked above, in that I really don't think people usually need to telegraph their desire re: commentary so specifically. It's usually pretty clear if the post's topic is objective/subjective, and with very subjective stuff, unless the person ASKS for opposing views, one may safely assume that there's no point to posting one. If you love something and I hate it, you're not gonna change your mind just because I don't agree; you'll just feel sad that someone hates it. What did that accomplish? Not a damn thing.

In the cases where it's a total mix ("SQUEE BOB IS HOT!!" and "Here is my list of reasons Bob rules!"), it's probably best to just take the post as subjective if you're not familiar with that person. She MIGHT be open to your thoughts, but she's just as likely to feel you're being randomly mean by disputing her "reasons" for liking something right in the same post where she says how much she likes it. Essentially, it just makes the person feel upset: her general sadness about your non-love for Bob combines with her feeling that your comment is implying she's stupid/deluded. Even if you have lots of "proof" to support your position, this is not the time to display it. Of course in every fandom there are situations where there is no actual canon, only info which can be interpreted multiple ways to imply various things -- but the time to talk about your interpretation is generally not in someone's enthusiastic, happy post about the opposing view. If you really have to express yourself, you have your OWN blog to write in, or you could post to your fandom's community.

All this aside, the people I REALLY hate aren't those too socially inept to think about the feelings of others before speaking... they're just irritating. The people I hate are those stupid fuckers who hate something, and take the time to search out and join a community of people who like it just to say so. Now that's just malicious trolling.

In conclusion, the entire point of all this is basically that the old adage should be: "If you don't have something interesting or useful to say, don't say anything."

Next time: extremely large art post?! zomg

Later. "You said something and I didn't know what it was..."
Tags: meta
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