Criticism has always been a part of enjoying media. From hecklers at Greek plays to columnists writing weekly for a newspaper, people have made their opinions of film, music, writing and art publicly heard by others, whether they like it or not. In the age of the internet, this saturation of opinions concerning the arts that we like and dislike has exploded. At times, it seems inescapable.
Some people can be pretty nasty about their views, even seeking out those who disagree with them to attack them for their taste. Nobody likes these dwellers of the web. There are other internet-users who use free time to disagree in matters of taste and yet others are more likely to give credit. These are your respected critics: your friend who listens to really weird music, your family member who has played almost every video that has come out in the last decade. We give these people a pass because we know that they know what they’re talking about. They have very respectable opinions on their fields of choice and you’re not going to be one to snub that.
However, we still become defensive when we’re at odds with these people. The film snob who raises their eyebrows when you say you really like the Transformers movies, the art history major who laughs a little bit when you tell them that your favorite painter is Bob Ross and the hip-hop head who flames you up for saying that Drake is the greatest rapper of all time are common examples of these types. These people put us in an uncomfortable position because we feel like we have to defend the art we like. You’re not looking to deconstruct every book that comes your way, sometimes you just want to read a book that you like.
I’m writing this to tell you that it’s okay to like bad things. Sure, your friends may be right. Those things you like may be bad. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop enjoying them. Unless that person is a jerk, I doubt that person wants you to stop enjoying something either. Take it from your local neighborhood film/music snob. My favorite movie is “Casablanca,” but that doesn’t mean I still can’t enjoy “Toy Story 2.” My favorite band is Pink Floyd, but I’m not going to pretend that I don’t have Joey Bada$$ saved in Spotify as well.
The fact of the matter is that these things are created for you to enjoy them. Sure, some of them were also made to make you think, some more than others, but the primary function of any form of art is to engage you and bring out your emotional response. If you enjoy that response, then don’t let anyone, no matter how smart they may be, stop you from bumping a banger that you love, cracking open a book you’ve read several times already or bringing out your copy of “Step Brothers” because it’s been a hot second since you’ve seen it last.