Let’s face it: not everyone is going to get along. Some people will argue, some will fight, and others will become cyberbullies. We live in an era in which the internet has become a gateway for many to express their own negativity upon others. They think it makes them feel better, or appear as being “cooler” than the rest of us down here on planet Earth. Honestly, the worst part is that they aren’t the only ones bringing people down. Internet chat-boards and comment sections might be a big slice of the problem pie, but they aren’t alone. In fact, those other people might be closer to home than you think.
Before I get into my personal side of the issue, a recent example of this behavior happened in mid-December. An online group from Facebook called Extended Universe went to every high-followed Facebook page and began spoiling Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in the comment sections around the release date. How mean and inconsiderate, right? For those who don’t know, Extended Universe was formerly a part of the Star Wars canon (history) until the new Star Wars movie was announced, then it was publicly erased from official record and considered fan fiction. Thankfully, Google Chrome created a Star Wars Adblock to block any potential spoilers from the group or anyone else.
I’m a big fan of Collider Movie Talk. It’s a YouTube talk show about everything going on in the world of movies by people in the industry. The guy running the show is Senior Producer and former Editor-in-Chief of AMC: John Campea. He called out Extended Universe for their actions – which was echoed by the rest of the excellent ensemble at the discussion table. I think Campea is a wonderful person, and I highly respect him, but he has also been known to be very opinionated, and one of his recent opinions had me slightly disagreeing with him. While still extremely excited for the film, he didn’t like the last full-length trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that debuted in early December on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and moved it down a spot to #2 on his most anticipated movies of 2016 list (that’s still nothing to be ashamed about). While I disagreed with him, I still respect his opinion. He’s a smart, hard-working guy. Sadly, he took a tremendous amount of unnecessary online heat for that – which has lead to a new slogan around the Collider studio, “But John!”
Another person who has taken a lot of unfair criticism is me. I used to be the victim of harassment and abuse. It started from a young age when I started playing sports, and a few teammates would pick on and make fun of me for being the little guy. This also took place inside the classroom. It wouldn’t end until after I left high school and advanced onto college. Once there, my lifestyle and self-confidence was tremendously uplifted. I’ve also learned so much more than the small, baby doses of information that high school so strictly tries to impose on their students.
That’s what makes it so conflicting to come home during my winter or summer break. I have a great life at college: I have a wonderful girlfriend (whom I have been dating for almost 16 months now), classmate friends, I’ve developed some good relationships with instructors, and it is nice to go home for a weekend to see my awesome family. I feel free and able to become the person I want to be. When I’m at home, I can’t do that. I’m not really at home – it’s just temporary. Things have changed since I was last there and I feel like a guest at a house and in a bedroom that I’ve lived in for years. I can’t continue pursing the lifestyle and persona that is becoming me, but instead forced to accustom and almost regress back to who I used to be – especially since that’s how the community back home will apparently always remember me as. It’s like fighting within a claustrophobic struggle of ideals.
Most people still remember me from high school sports. I loved sports from childhood and it’ll forever be a part of my life. However, there comes a point in time when people change and grow up. It took me a little longer than others and myself would have maybe preferred, but nevertheless, it occurred. I love writing, and writing about things relevant to my life and others around me in the world. Yours truly even wrote an article covering the homecoming football game at the University of Minnesota – Morris campus that I attend, and it made the front page of the campus newspaper. Even though I was a three-sport athlete in high school, since I graduated, I haven’t played much sports competitively since – only intramural basketball (a few years ago) and I was fortunate enough to participate in a two-hand touch football game with my girlfriend’s dorm floor last year. A recent revelation, however, has changed the outlook of my life forever.
What’s one thing that almost everyone can have an opinion on? Entertainment. What’s potentially the biggest avenue of entertainment in America? Cinema. Everyone loves movies – that’s just the way it is, just like everyone likes some form of music. For a small price, you can buy popcorn, soda, and enjoy spending quality time with friends and family. It’s a business that will never end. So what do movies have to do with why I don’t like people? Well, I’m getting to that part. Even though I have loved movies my whole life, I decided to pursue it. I wanted to know how a feature, full-length film gets made (and how the box office works), and immerse myself with the wonderful world of Hollywood – only instead of being in sunny California, I’m watching movies and television from the comfort of my bedroom in cold, snowy Minnesota.
Despite taking acting and film classes early on in college, I am an English major. I love writing and storytelling. There’s nothing quite like reading a good book, or watching a thrilling, fulfilling movie. Perhaps someday I’ll give Hollywood a shot in some manner. Sounds great, right? There’s only one small problem: NOBODY CARES. When it comes to entertainment, it’s supposed to appeal to everyone in a variety of different ways. Someone who likes Adele might not like Luke Bryan, and someone who enjoys listening to Aerosmith might not like listening to Hanz Zimmer. Everyone is different, and that’s perfectly fine. Unfortunately, I live in a place that hinders most of the things that interest me. Yes, I enjoy watching Marvel films and occasionally listening to country music, but I grew up loving Batman and Superman (the two biggest superheroes in the comic-book world), playing and studying the quarterback position, and listening to Lifehouse, Daughtry, and more recently, Tim Urban. That’s what gets me jumping out of my seat.
I try to have civil conversations with people when I’m back at home, but I’m still just regarded as that weird kid with weird interests – despite doing the “cool” thing and playing multiple sports. Lately, I have been sharing the new trailers and television commercials for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on my social media (I’m so excited for the DC Cinematic Universe), while encountering interesting results. I’ve even shared videos and posts – most notably cool song covers that others and myself have done and my thoughts about that kind of media. On my Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat accounts, I’ve received multiple likes (or favorites) and views, and that is with generally a younger audience. When it came to Facebook, which has the more “general public” and an audience that is older, hardly anyone liked ANY of my posts.
Now, I’m not just asking and begging for people to like my stuff just for the sake of liking it, but I’m noticing a pattern I don’t like. Once the Zack Snyder DC film BvS comes to theaters in March, I’ll probably never post anything on Facebook ever again. People usually say that on social media, you’re supposed to be posting about your individual life and not videos and other entertainment-related posts – even if that could be a big part of your life. I’ll call it as it is, and in my opinion, simple, random posts of pictures and little things going on in my life is BORING. It’s sometimes boring to me in the real world. We all need a break from our daily, everyday lives, and what better way to do it than events going on in our culture.
People don’t like to be told they might be wrong. Don’t speak aloud, but think back to the last time someone actually admitted they were wrong to you, or when you admitted you were wrong when having an argument. I will bet in most scenarios it might take you a while to pinpoint a time when that happened. It’s something we all need work at improving, including myself, but I am enough of a man to say when I’m wrong, and then do something about it.
What am I trying to say? It’s okay to be wrong, as long as you are willing to admit it and move forward to make it better – whatever “it” may be. Sadly, most people don’t care. Human beings can have this ability to come off as self-centered, rude, inconsiderate, and quite frankly, lazy when it comes to the sincerity of other people’s interests. Yeah, I like comic-book characters and some football players and coaches that most people in my area don’t generally care for: SO WHAT? Because I have recently expressed my interests and moving towards my career, people just ignore me. They cut me out of their lives and don’t even blink. Did you know that I usually only hang out with only potentially six to eight different people at the most? I won’t list any names, but if you still hang out with me, thank you. It means the world to me, and there’s a reason I still like to chill with you.
Think about that for a second. Out of the 7.4 billion people on this planet, I only have maybe six true, great friends that I enjoy spending time with – despite sometimes not living near each other. Do we all have the same interests? No, not even close, but that’s the point. We don’t all have to have the same interests. People can enjoy spending time with people, and have an understanding for what makes them tick. Most people don’t get that. If you hate on a recording artist, professional athlete, or actor that someone enjoys (or vice versa), it is like you insulted them in the worst way imaginable. I’ll straight up tell you something right now. If you aren’t interested in Parenthood, Ben Affleck, Johnny Unitas, Harry Potter, Tom Brady, or Skyler Day (whom I would love to collaborate with someday), that’s totally okay. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. There is more to life than my own personal interests. Just please don’t hate and judge me for enjoying the things that puts a skip in my step everyday – and many others worldwide as well. Thank you.