It’s a matter of preference… and perspective… and perception.

Posted: February 25, 2012 in Real Life
Tags: , , ,

Have you ever been listening to some music and someone walks in and asks disdainfully, “what are you listening to?”  The same thing has probably happened to you when watching a TV show or movie. It’s not that they ask what it is, it’s the way that they ask. Or perhaps the person just comes right out and asks, “how you can you watch/listen to that crap?” “Crap??”  “Crap” you say? How can something that I love and enjoy be considered crap by another person?

It’s my opinion that the “crap” label is assigned by a person of ignorance.  If they would stop and think for a minute, they wouldn’t be so quick to judge.  What I love may be crap to you, but what you love may be crap to me.  No matter how bad you may think something is, there is  probably someone who likes it. Your value judgement is not a universal truth.

Let’s take ice cream for example. Some people like vanilla. Some people prefer chocolate. Others want the swirl.  Maybe you’re the person that likes chocolate.  Do you deny that vanilla is a good flavor? Probably not. You accept that vanilla is an okay flavor but you prefer chocolate.

If we can do that with ice cream, why can’t we do it with music and other forms of entertainment? I may not like country music or reggae or jazz, but I don’t think those forms of music are crap. I accept that those forms of music appeal to some people.  If people were all the same and liked only one kind of music, then there wouldn’t be a need for different genres; however, that’s not the case. There is heavy metal and hard rock for people like me, and there is jazz and country and pop for others.

Part of what makes us different is not just our preferences but also our backstory. Where did you grow up? How did you grow up? What country were you born into?  For example, I didn’t grow up around people that watched sports, so football, basketball, etc. aren’t terribly important to me. I’d rather watch a movie or a TV show since that’s how I grew up. I believe that there are circumstances in each of our lives that mold us into the person we become, and those circumstances have a large influence on our preferences.

Do you mind if we go a little deeper?  Have you ever read any of DC Comics’ Elseworlds stories?  Most people know that Superman was raised by a nice older couple in Kansas, which had a large influence on his belief of right and wrong. What if Superman’s spaceship had crashed in Soviet Russia?  What if he was raised by greedy parents in the city instead of in the country?  Those scenarios have been covered to the enjoyment of many fans.  My point, tho, is what about you?  What if you had been born to different parents in a different city or even a different country or, heck, in a different time period??  That you are here now, born to who you know as your parents, etc. plays a large role in who you are.

The other day someone posted the picture on Facebook showing the Marines pissing on corpses.  Of course, this started a lively debate, and throughout this conversation a statement was made that the victims “chose the wrong god.”  That really stood out to me because I think that Americans take for granted that we can choose whatever religion or belief system we want pretty easily and even change our minds as life goes on.  In some cultures, tho, the religion and the culture are so intertwined that they are almost indistinguishable. What if you had been born to Middle Eastern parents instead of American parents?  If you had, you’d probably be part of the Jihad or whatever also.

I think that life is a mixture of where we find ourselves and the choices that we make, with the understanding that sometimes the choices we make are because of who we are. Next time someone is enjoying something that you don’t like, pause for a second and remember that you could just as easily have grown up to like the same thing.  Instead of calling their music or TV shows or art “crap,” remember that it’s their preference.  Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean that other people don’t, whether you understand or not.

  1. I liked your perspective…

  2. This is a good post. I just take minor issue with one thing:

    “What if you had been born to Middle Eastern parents instead of American parents? If you had, you’d probably be part of the Jihad or whatever also.”

    It’s the word “probably” that bothers me a little. I just don’t think that all Muslims would be Jihadists if born in the Middle East. Most Muslims appear to be a peace-loving people. That is what their faith advocates. Just like not all Catholics would have been part of the Inquisition. I like the sentiment here, though. As an athiest, many people criticize me as having the “wrong beliefs.” I disagree. Like the kind of music a person likes, my beliefs may not be right for other people, but for me they work just fine. So nicely done! 🙂

    • slakker9 says:

      Yeah, I see your point. I guess at the time I was thinking of it in the context of us vs them instead of Middle Easterners in general. I agree that there are plenty of peace loving Middle Easterners.

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