Appetite For Self-Delusion

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Now, I don’t like musicals and maybe watch one or two new films per year, but I recently watched La La Land. Besides the premise, I had little idea what this movie was about and I didn’t have many expectations. My thought process was that the cover shot, premise, and actors were cool enough for me to watch the film on a whim. Crazy as it sounds, I also had no idea how much hype this movie generated.

When the musical portions started, an “Oh fuck.” popped into my thoughts. Thankfully, my apprehensions subsided and, long-story-short, La La Land is the best movie I’ve ever watched in my lifetime. Does that feel like an incredibly strange thing to “yadda, yadda” over?  Yes, but that’s not where I’m going with this.

Despite having watched the film about two months later than everyone else in the world, I naively approached the Internet to share my enthusiasm for this film. Firstly, few forum threads were active anymore. Next, I realized that, because my viewing happened right before the now-infamous Grammys, that there was a strange thinkpiece war between journalists, reviewers, and bloggers about whether this movie was amazing, racist, or overrated. Sifting through all of that is never a good idea, even in the noble pursuit of a decent conversation.

What strikes me, and is something I’m somewhat envious over, is how easily all these think piece writers, bloggers, and reviewers are able to nurse their appetite for self-delusion. How is it that all of these people somehow believe that their opinions on something, typically created for entertainment, is so important. Additionally, how did all of these people arrive at a place where they believe that their opinion on a piece of entertainment is somehow earth-changing, especially when there is already a cacophony of opinions.

Naturally, every time an event happens that is a cultural touchstone, back and forth thinkpiece-arguments follow. The arguments seem so widespread and bounce around our social bubbles so often, that it makes me feel that it’s somehow more healthy to nurture the self-delusion of rightness rather than the opposite. But is it, truly?

This blog is mostly for me to look back at and think, “Oh yeah, that  blog exists, what did I think a year ago, and do I have any good ideas to expand upon?” Even if I had thousands of readers, I don’t feel like I would be casting my complete influence on them. Nor would I believe me to be some sort of center-of-the-universe type figure. Yet, reading some think pieces, reviews, and blogs, from other writers I often get the feeling that they love feeding their egos.

Typically, I hate ending on a question. However, is self-delusion in small doses healthy? Are there any positives to it? I don’t know, but given the times we live in I think it’s  a great question to come back to. Especially when it arises from a viewing of a movie that’s self-indulgent in a terrific way.

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