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An Open Letter to People Who Hate Things That Others Enjoy

By Genevieve Burgess | Think Pieces | March 29, 2012 |

By Genevieve Burgess | Think Pieces | March 29, 2012 |

Dear You:

Congratulations! You have identified a pop culture phenomenon which you are not interested in!

Now the question arises of what to do with this information. It can be difficult with people around you who insist on doing silly things like talking about this thing that they all share an interest in. I know that I also become angry when people insist on talking about something that I’m not interested in! Especially on the internet where I’m under absolutely no obligation to respond or even to read further! After all, how will people know how you feel about this thing that brings them some small amount of joy unless you insert said opinion into every conversation related to it and even some that aren’t?

You’re at a crucial point now, the point where you can assert your non-interest! Except that by asserting said non-interest you are, by definition, taking an interest. Tricky how that works. OR! Or, you could express your total disapproval and disdain for people who are interested! That will show them! Or, you know, cause them to cling even harder to that thing that makes them happy and provoke them to post photos, GIFs, and statuses about how ‘haters’ can ‘keep hating’ because nothing will come between them and whatever it is that has made their heart beat anew.

Perhaps you feel that you have artistic merit on your side; that thing that these people like is trash! It’s awful! It’s an offense to humanity and everything that has ever been called art! And pointing out that something people like sucks has always brought them around, which is why every artistically bankrupt artist, musician, film, or book from the last several centuries has been immediately and thoroughly disavowed, right?

Understanding all of this, your options are the following: 1) Continue to rail against the offending piece of media and be branded as “that cranky person” by almost everyone who reads your comments or has the distinct displeasure to encounter you during this period in person, 2) or hold your tongue until you know you’re among like-minded philistines and let loose there. As to where those safe spaces are, if you’re looking at the same place that you’ve seen people routinely losing their shit over said entertainment ephemera … it’s not there.

Is this frustrating? Of course. Will everyone realize their mistake one day and validate your frustration? Maybe, but don’t count on it or you’ll just make yourself bitter. Better to get on with your life and shove those aggressively disinterested feelings down, focusing on moving forward and beyond and maybe one day you’ll realize that neither you or anyone else has referenced that particular piece of offending “art” in months. And you will smile.

Or that will never happen, and you’ll smile anyway, because eventually the itch will stop and you’ll find your own zeitgeist to enjoy.


The woman who didn’t see The Princess Bride until she was 19 and still regards it only as “kind of cute.”