I have a lot of interests. Some geeky, some less than geeky. For readers of my blog, you know I enjoy anime, classic video games, and NFL football. I’m also a Pokemon fan and love gimmicky Mountain Dew varieties. I have grown to really enjoy K-Pop, EDM, and basically all music. I love Mean Girls and will quote it at random with my wife. Some of these items I have found mockery for over the years. Some of these things, I used to mock others for (NFL football especially). I should not have done that.
Geeks and sports fans have been spreading around artist Adam Ellis‘ comic about mocking the enjoyment of others ending with the final panel saying “Let People Enjoy Things.” It serves as a good reminder that we should not mock people for what they like. Letting people enjoy what they want to enjoy is fine. It doesn’t matter if that happens to be different than your interests. However – that joy, that belief that it’s cool that you like something changes with some the moment they discover you enjoy certain things that they hate. These feelings especially come out when you mention The Big Bang Theory. It’s become “cool” to hate The Big Bang Theory. This is especially true among those who enjoy assorted aspects of geeky subculture. Among many it has become standard practice to mock The Big Bang Theory and those who enjoy it.
The show is relatively unoffensive and also happens to be one of the most watched/highest rated comedies on television. I recognize it’s imperfect. I recognize the characters are merely caricatures and that a number of jokes, especially in older episodes, don’t hold up. But, that’s pretty much the case with all sitcoms. All sitcoms are caricatures of real life. All sitcoms feed into current culture exactly as it stood when the episode aired, and that doesn’t always hold up. The big difference between The Big Bang Theory and other sitcoms is that the caricatures are being pulled from geek culture instead of the usual TV tropes. Let’s be real in admitting that these are all obviously caricatures and of course not all people who are into certain aspects of geeky culture (comic books, anime, video games, etc) are like the characters on TV. Some are nothing like them at all. But does it deserve the ire it receives among a certain subsection of the population? Or do these people need to take the same advice they were spreading all across the internet – “let people enjoy things.”
I, mostly, enjoy The Big Bang Theory. I’m at a point where I want the show to finally provide the cathartic ending many long-running sitcoms provide. That said, season after season the show continues to produce moments that are absolutely hilarious. Yet among some geeks enjoying this show is considered a grave sin. But why?
We shouldn’t mock people over the things they enjoy. It’s fine to tease when it comes from a place of friendship or love, but to attack those for their preferred media, sports, television programs, games, etc is rude.
I freely admit, I don’t get all of the things people enjoy. I don’t get why certain music is popular (especially grunge, I will never understand the draw). However, even if I don’t enjoy it, it doesn’t mean others cannot. It doesn’t mean I get to be rude about others’ enjoyment.
I need to let others enjoy things, including that which I do not. So should you.