How Not To Be An Arsehole #3: Do What The Hell You Want

I recently found this article on New Republic about reading whatever the hell you want, which was written in response to Ruth Graham’s scathing piece against adults enjoying YA fiction. It really got me thinking about the strange prejudices that many people hold for certain forms of entertainment, whether it be for books, television, films or music. 

This is a baffling concept, particularly as so many seemingly intelligent people with well thought out opinions look down upon those who appreciate what might be considered lower forms of art. There is a strange preciousness held with fiction, as if being a fan of something gives you some sort of status or right in life, but why exactly is this? How can we dictate what is ‘better’, particularly if we only ever experience art with a particular reputation? Surely this makes us narrow-minded and less worthy of an opinion?

This is not just indicative of snobbery. There is a lot of suspicion, contempt and mockery aimed at those that enjoy higher forms of art (and I use this term loosely of course). Lengthy political novels, arthouse movies and classical music may occasionally be a little harder to get into, but in their purest form they are still considered entertainment and are not emblematic of intelligence, status or class. However, I’m obviously not so naive as to think that these are completely unconnected.

But there are forms of entertainment that can be scoffed at. I have often voiced my disdain for those who read uninspired fan fiction, such as Fifty Shades of Grey, and have no shame in chastising those for enduring poorly made movies or music just because it is the latest, most popular thing out at that moment in time. Also, reality television is for the most part vile nothingness. Similarly if someone resentfully slugs through War and Peace just so they can say they’ve read War and Peace, that person is somewhat unimaginative in my opinion.

At the end of the day it isn’t about a certain genre being better than another, because everything should be judged on its own individual merits. For example, there are a lot of crap YA vampire romance novels out there, yet LJ Smith’s Nightworld Series is perhaps one of the most astonishingly captivating series I have ever read.

So read whatever the hell you want. Watch whatever the hell you want. Listen to whatever the hell you want. Essentially it’s all just differing forms of amusement, so why pretend it’s anything more than that?

Emily created Dystopic in July 2012 after requiring an outlet for her love of dystopian and apocalyptic fiction. She is currently working on her debut novel ‘These Unnatural Men’ to be published in 2017.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *