Baka-Raptor on the Cost of Understanding

Original Post: We Remember Love Editorial Folio Vol. 3: Meditations on Fandom

Baka-Raptor

August 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Understanding should cost you if you’re serious. Anyone can drop a show after a few episodes and say, “I understand that different people have different tastes. This show just isn’t for me.” That kind of superficial rationalization doesn’t qualify as understanding. If you really want to understand why other people like something you don’t like, you need to get down and dirty. The more you dislike it, the dirtier you need to get.
To discuss a show meaningfully, you need to watch enough of it to develop a meaningful opinion. Then when you’re discussing the show, you need to reflect on all the parts of the show you didn’t like and try, often repeatedly, to see them through the other person’s eyes. This can be very painful. Think Poo-tan from Cromartie High School.
I want to like everything I watch, but I don’t try to like everything I watch. I believe it’s the show’s job to make me like it. When I actively try to like a show I instinctively disliked, I more often than not end up disliking the show even more. When I dwell on it to try to understand it, I end up hating it. I do come away with some understanding and appreciation, but it doesn’t make me happy.

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