|If you're dissatisfied with this man as WWE Champion, you shouldn't have to hide it|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
A lot of times, this counter-complaining or schadenfreude takes the form of people laughing at "Internet fans" while posting to the Internet. It's the polarization that I touched on a lot Monday in the Fan Wars post, and it feels like the main mode of attack in said war is through reclamation of the imaginary mantel known as the "Internet Wrestling Community." I don't know how those feelings originate, nor do I know why it's so important for people not to have a strong emotional reaction to a piece of art they consume.
But I have to wonder why it's so important for the calling out of people for having "smark tears" or "poutrage" or why they have to consume wrestling in the same way that it's consumed by another person. I know that deep down, we all have a desire to share a common bond with people, to reach a consensus and an accord so to speak. IT is also human nature to be right. The thing is that very rarely in terms of art is there such a thing as a "correct" and an "incorrect" opinion. Most of the time, an incorrect opinion is based in facts that aren't facts. I can have the opinion that Triple H is the devil and is really here on this Earth to use WWE as his way to collect armies for the war against Heaven at Armageddon. I'd have no tangible evidence to that end.
The thing is that a lot of opinions on show quality don't fall into categories of factual truth or not. There's no single right way to watch wrestling, and the only wrong way to watch it is to hate-watch it. Great art makes you have an strong resonance on an emotional level. Being sad that The Rock won the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble is not incorrect, and it's not a "poutrage" that needs to be corrected. It's no more a valid or invalid reaction than being happy that he won, or even more to the point, that it's great because WWE is going to make money at WrestleMania again. I mean, that's the furthest reaction from my mind, but hey, whatever gets you through the night, sweetheart.
Different people have different reactions, and that's a beautiful thing about human life and the creation and absorption of art. We should be striving to formulate our own opinions and sharing them either in agreement or in debate. I don't think that accusing fans of being "butthurt" (which is an awful term, as sage writers Spencer Hall and Mobutu Sese Seko have elaborated) is conducive to the kinds of discourse that promote that kind of healthy environment.
Obviously, these kinds of attitudes can't be erased from the landscape easily, and I don't think I can eradicate them with one article. I think a conscious effort should be taken not to be exclusionary with our opinions on other people's opinions, but to want to integrate them into the conversation, even if the conclusion is "I don't agree with it, I'll never agree with it, we'll have to agree to disagree." That's not an invalid end to a debate, no matter how much people will try to push compromise. (Obviously, there are degrees at which loggerheads become more or less acceptable. When it comes to serious stuff, compromise is better than ideological extremity. But this is fun. There's no harm here in a stalemate.)
The point is that no one should think their emotional reaction to wrestling is invalid, and no one should want that to be the case either. Again, the Internet Wrestling Community is not a hive-mind. It's an actual community, and the healthiest ones are more a patchwork quilt of opinions than chicken parts liquefied into an indistinguishable and inedible pink slime. If we can take a step towards better discourse and shy away from the exclusionary rhetoric that some of us, not all of us, but enough to notice, have adopted, then the wrestling world can be a better place for critical-minded fans.