Thinking I Do With Words - You don't need permission to enjoy things

You don’t need anyone’s permission to enjoy things.

People forget this constantly. They have a particularly bad habit of forgetting this when they’re confronted with someone respected who doesn’t enjoy the same things they do.

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The most recent example of this is Martin Scorsese saying that superhero films are not cinema. I don’t know what drove him to this opinion, perhaps he watched Thor: The Dark World, but I’m not going to be too bothered by it. Scorsese does happen to be one of the world’s most respected directors, so his opinion has weight, but if I disagree with him, it’s not a huge deal.

Plenty of people, however, completely lost it at the idea that this titan of cinema didn’t like some movies they like. They fell over themselves to try to defend the honor of their favorite super heroes. They had to prove that their cinema was real, and legitimate, and not something to take lightly.

It was all quite embarrassing, and unnecessary. Take it from someone who has enjoyed things that are legitimately on the fringe and not particularly popular, you shouldn’t worry if someone else thinks.

I know that if I state that I love the movie Torque, which I do, people will take me a bit less seriously. Torque is known as a bad movie, a parody of The Fast and the Furious with motorcycles. I’m not going to defend its honor, because I know it’s a losing battle. People just plain don’t like Torque, except a small number of us who are in on the joke. A lot of the stuff I like is merely a couple steps off the mainstream, and has its fans, so I use the example of Torque because it’s something only very few people actually enjoy.

Confessing you like Avengers: Endgame is not going to get you the same reactions as saying you like Torque. The genre is popular enough that instead you’ll get people agreeing with you. It’s more likely that people will give you the side-eye if you admit you don’t like one of these popular films. So, my opinion that Avengers: Infinity War is a really long, mostly terrible movie with an ending that, while good, only exists to make you watch the sequel, will raise a lot more eyebrows than if I just go “yeah that movie was pretty good.”

In my case, they might even say “you like Torque, what do you know?”

The breathless attempts to prove the legitimacy of super hero cinema is embarrassing because there’s no reason for it. If you think it’s cinema, great, go to the theatre and watch the movies, enjoy yourself, and don’t worry about the people who don’t agree.

Which is not to say that there’s no room to criticize, whether films themselves or the industry surrounding them. I have plenty of issues with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it’s known, especially how the weaker movies tend to be feature length trailers for other movies. And if you’re into it, you can safely ignore all of that and just enjoy yourself. Don’t let me stop you.

Super heroes won’t go away any time soon, so long as they’re regularly hitting in the billions at the box office. Instead of getting outraged that someone isn’t enjoying them, just enjoy them yourself. It’s more fun that way.

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