======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
I saw the headline and rolled my eyes. For some reason, on July 3rd, Flavorwire decided to run the take, “Bad Movie Night: Yes, The First ‘Independence Day’ Was Terrible Too.” There is no valid argument to support this obnoxiously cinephilic take. Is it “Citizen Kane” or “The Godfather?” Of course not, but “Independence Day” is still a fun, entertaining movie. You’d better believe it’s on my July 4th watch list. But we’re all familiar with this style of Internet content now. It’s trendy to dislike popular things. It’s cool to go against the mainstream. It’s a “hot take.” And that’s just a load of hipster trash. It’s okay to dislike select popular things for a valid reason, but disliking popular things for the sake of getting attention is the lowest form of content. Disliking popular things does not make you an interesting person.
And this goes far beyond movies and other forms of pop culture like music and theatre. I’m sure “Hamilton” is great and I understand why people like Beyonce (although I don’t think she’s particularly vocally talented compared to her peers). But I also don’t feel the need to insult popular trends to make me look cool. Fashion bloggers, food bloggers, memes, and life-hacking gurus—everything should be judged on a case-by-case basis. And what about food items and drinks? “Ten Reasons LaCroix is Actually Awful” is a take I’d expect to see one of these days, if it hasn’t been written already. “Pizza is Overrated.” “Gourmet Ice Cream is Un-American.” I recently had the displeasure of being told bourbon is an inferior sipping liquor. Give me a break. Thanks to these people, nonconformity is ironically becoming unoriginal.
And what’s wrong with some conformity? There’s a reason some things are popular and that other things are not. As much as I may rag on New York City for being a dirty, smelly homeless shelter, I have fun when I get the chance to visit, and it’s one of the few cities in the northeast that is resistant to the southward migration of the population. There is something to like there. There’s a reason Ferrero buys a third of the world’s hazelnuts—because people chow down on Nutella because it’s delicious. Why are guys neglecting their girlfriends to play Fortnite? Because it’s a good game. But at some point someone is going to tell you, voluntarily, without you asking, that they don’t like them, and they do this because they know they will get attention.
So it does feel a little ironic that I’m ragging on the seemingly popular act of telling everyone you dislike popular things, but maybe outside of the Internet it’s not a majority opinion. It wouldn’t be a popular thing to complain about otherwise. But I digress. The fact of the matter is that hating popular things for the sake of hating them does not make you cool or an interesting person. It makes you just another contrarian. Maybe it’s time to be relatable again, because we’ve taken hot takes about as far as they can go..