The OF Blog: Nick Mamatas on anti-elitism

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nick Mamatas on anti-elitism

This post by Mamatas in regards to people complaining about a few observations he made made my day...err, night...umm...kinda day:

Something similar happened when I made fun of the many Dr. Horrible posts I've seen on my f-list. People objected, claiming that I was just being snooty about what a lot of people liked. Never said any such thing. Point of fact, MOST of the posts I remembered had nothing really to say about Dr. Horrible, except that it existed and would be available for free for a limited time. Most of the posts I saw were simple commercial messages from people who hadn't even seen the material. That was the core of the joke. I had, and still have, no idea whether or not the people whose posts I poked a little fun at even liked the show. (Apparently, some people didn't like that the female lead died or something?)

The faux anti-elitist canned argument is one of the most tedious regular features of the comments section of this journal, and of panel discussions I'm on at cons. Complain that a movie makes no sense — elitist! Prefer a good book to a bad one — elitist! Note that people are making commercials for free about something they haven't even seen — elitist! Wonder how it is supposed to be that a publisher can produce 400 books a year with all of them being great, just great — elitist!

Does it sound a bit more stupid when presented in the abstract? It should. Next time you're feeling defensive, really, check yourself.
Sometimes, I feel like a Pinko when being called an "elitist." Then again, perhaps that's not such bad company to keep, huh?

Edit: After reading Mamatas' exchange with someone named "mallory_blog," I can't help but wonder how he didn't bang his head against the wall until he bled. It is a classic trainwreck exchange.


Camilla said...

I hate the way people use elitism as an automatic bad thing. And there does seem to be an assumption flying around that if you call yourself socialist you are not allowed to have any taste. It is sad.

But that is beside the point. I hate idiots more.

This is turning confused. Let me just say that when people start spewing the old mantra of "taste of the people" and "if people like it, it must be good", I find both Marie Corelli and Charles Dickens handy names: one bestseller forgotten, one remembered.

...I'm sorry for going off on a tangent.

Larry said...

Tangents are good, Camilla, and in this particular case, it reminds me of those who argue that history buffs "know" history more than trained historians. It usually ends up being a rather odd way of people proclaiming the Lowest Common Denominator as being the arbiter of taste. Strange and sad, no?

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