Arrogance Persevering

Thoughts about jackasses on the internet and how much of my life I’ve wasted responding to them.

Yet another thing that I have to thank WandaVision for: maybe I can finally stop feeling the need to respond to arrogant dipshits on the internet? Last week’s excellent episode had an extremely well-written and well-performed scene in which Vision reminded a grieving Wanda that what she was feeling wasn’t just sorrow and emptiness. “What is grief, if not love persevering?”

An objectively good line in an objectively good scene in an objectively good show. ‘Nuff said!

Except Twitter’s gonna Twit, so the whole weekend was filled with some people gushing about what a well-written moment that was… followed by an assload of trolls, snobs, condescending misogynist dolts, insufferable anti-corporate twits, and generally arrogant an awful people mocking it — and the series as a whole — as being insultingly beneath them.

Every few years or so, I let myself get worked up about twits on the internet and elsewhere. And I mean “and elsewhere” — I can remember doing this back in the USENET days, and even in the CompuServe days. Arrogance and condescension just push my buttons like nothing else, and they have for as long as I can remember.

To be clear, I know why I do it: even as I’m dismissing it, it’s with a bit of defensiveness. I mean, I want to be more discerning. I like thinking that I’m taking in sophisticated or at least smart material, and I don’t like thinking that I’m being crassly manipulated. I do want to read more, and I don’t want to be missing out on the most impactful movies and literature.

But of course, it’s never actually about me. It’s rarely even about the show, movie, book, game, or entire genre that’s getting dumped on. When some asshat decides to drop his trousers and take a dump on the latest popular thing, they’re trying to get you to pay attention to them. It’s so tempting to respond to it as if it were actual criticism or analysis — because it’s usually disguised as such — but it’s pointless to respond, since it’s basically just a tantrum.

This latest round is the second most ridiculous thing I’ve seen this week. And the only reason it’s in second place is because a bunch of clowns in Florida actually made a golden Trump idol wearing US Flag board shorts, and I mean, you can’t compete with that kind of asinine with just a bunch of tweets.

So thanks to the anti-WandaVision morons for finally being so transparently dumb — I mean, this show might very well not be for everyone, but to say it’s bad or trite is just colossally stupid — for maybe teaching me once and for all that gatekeeping of any kind is nothing like actual criticism, analysis, or for that matter, things an intelligent, high-functioning adult should say.

Now, the only question is whether I should go tell this to my college self, who was done with the Talking Heads after the “Nothing But Flowers” video mocked people for tearing up at a Hallmark Card? Or do I go back to myself from a month ago, and remind him that nobody needs to care about what Martin Scorsese thinks of super-hero movies?