In defense of that thing you love but I hate.

This past weekend I took my daughter and her friend to see Taylor Swift in concert. It was amazing. The show was a feast for the eyes and ears. Highly stylized, the sound quality was great, she is a great show woman, and the crowd had a blast. it was worth every dime. There were over 65,000 (mostly female fans) screaming at the top of their lungs, singing along with her, and otherwise having a ball. But this is not about those people who love Taylor Swift so much their excitement cannot be contained. This is about all of the Taylor Swift haters. You know who you are.

Anything worth loving is worth dealing with the haters but that can be a bit disheartening. After all, you did not begin to love a thing just to become a victim of fan shaming. But here we are. Go to any post about Taylor Swift and you will find among the comments a bevy of haters. All commenting the general same thing; the music is derivative, she can’t sing very well, she is this or that or the other. And who knows, maybe some of it is true. But why spend time being so negative and stirring the pot?

There are lots of things others really love and I just don’t get. Superhero movies, Comic-Con, and such is an area that I have never been a huge fan of. I don’t even know why but I often will get bored easy when I try to watch The Avengers. it just never was my thing. But you know what I try not to do? Hate on folks who do love it. I actually look forward to seeing pictures on social media of my friends in line for the new big budget smashy movie. They are usually there with friends, their kids are dressed like Wonder Woman or Captain America. They show their tickets and review the film using a lot of exclamation points. Its always fun to watch.

Anyone who knows me knows there are a few things I am really into; I’m a music geek who loves Depeche Mode and R.E.M. more than anything, I love the Food Network, HGTV, and any show featuring Gordon Ramsey, my favorite athletes are LeBron James and Dan Marino, and I love to go on walks and take bubble baths and I am a BBQ judge. I have my realms. But these realms are not the same as most other people and that is cool. Everyone has their thing as Patton Oswalt explains in this stand-up bit.

But what I don’t get are haters. Whenever I post how I believe LeBron James is the greatest basketball player I have ever seen the inevitable Michael Jordan fan will come at me. Why? What do you care? But here we are, arguing about who is better James or Jordan. So can we all agree to just let us love what we love and be cool with that? Seems that would be the best way to do it. If you don’t bang on me for loving Top Chef then I won’t bang on you for loving Opera so much. Deal?

Now, there are two caveats before I go.

  1. Friends will always have agency to make fun of their friends for loving something you dislike. That is what friends are for, to razz you a bit about your love for Depeche Mode or Dan Marino. It’s what makes friendship cool. But that does not give you permission to harass my friend.
  2. If that thing you love is rooted in racism, hatred, homophobia, sexism, and such then that is not cool. So, you will get hated on for that and you deserve it.

So go and geek out! It’s so much fun.

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