I’ve been looking forward to the new Ghostbusters movie for a while now.
I loved, and still love, the original movies. I had too many of the old Kenner toys. It was one of the few things my brother and I enjoyed equally when we were both kids. We ran around busting ghosts for hours, lamenting that our plastic Kenner ghost trap never landed right-side-up as we threw it under a ghost like it always did in the cartoon. Combine my love of the franchise with my interest in all the creative people involved in this new iteration, both behind and in front of the camera, and I was more than ready for the new version of Ghostbusters.
Now I’m sure that I don’t have to remind anyone of the huge and varied amount of hate this movie has received for over a year leading up to its inevitable release. But I was smart enough to stay far, far away from it all.
Only one day before I was finally ready to experience this movie for myself, I got sucked into the festering bile of internet hate that I’d been so careful to avoid. I posted (on Twitter, assuming I was less likely to draw out said hatred) that the movie was now Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s not a site I normally put much stock into, as I prefer to make up my own mind, but with so much backlash the Certified Fresh rating was not only a surprise but a relief. It made me feel good and it felt like something that I could share and celebrate.
I was wrong.
I was met with an unnecessary comment to which I replied with an unnecessarily sarcastic comment and the next thing I knew I was arguing with someone online like the tired stereotype of a basement-dwelling troll stuffing their face with Hot Pockets and Mountain Dew. And not with some random stranger either, he actually took the time to mention at one point that we were friends.
I was devastated. But why? I felt attacked, even if I wasn’t, just for looking forward to something. For celebrating something I was excited about. For being a geek, or a nerd, or whatever you want to call it. And that’s something that we’re now all told is so much more acceptable than it used to be.
I took longer than I’d like to admit to eventually calm down. But finally, and with the help a few friends, I shook it off. I got excited again. I changed my Facebook profile picture and everything.
My friend Suine sent this pic to me, just because he knew I’d like it.
And finally, tonight, Slimer and I headed to the movie theater to enjoy the movie and have a popcorn-fueled good time.
Because that’s what movies are supposed to do. Entertain. Delight and distract. Give us something other than the real world, two hours at a time.
After watching Ghostbusters I got on my phone, as the credits began to roll, to the news of yet another terrorist attack. Once again, France was the victim. As I’m typing this I believe the death toll is approximately 75.
As messed up as that is, it’s not the first time I’ve pulled out my phone after seeing a movie I was really looking forward to, that everyone else seemed to hate, only to find real-world tragedy waiting.
Last time, it was The Dark Knight Rises and the victims were people like me. Fans at the movies, just looking to have a good time and escape into their fandom and the franchises and characters they love for a few precious hours.
At this point it’s nauseatingly clear where I’m going with this. I refuse to let movies be anything more than entertainment. For my enjoyment or the enjoyment of others. I will not let anyone make me feel bad for enjoying what I enjoy, loving what I love and for getting excited about something that provides a break from such real world horrors.
I don’t care what the intent of other people is as they share their own opinions, but I won’t be a part of the argument anymore. I know I’ve been guilty of it in the past but I won’t take sides and be divided by something that should be unifying. Hate is not going to make the world better and hate isn’t going to make anyone come to your side of the argument.
Some of you might be saying that you already do that. Good. Consider me jealous. But I think I’m finally ready to join you. I think I can finally embrace the things that I love without concern of anyone else or their opinion.
That I can remember how good it makes me feel to be sitting in a theater on opening night for a movie I’ve been waiting a long time to see. That I can remember that none of this really matters except to entertain and distract because there’s too many terrible things in the world that are already pulling us all apart. That I can remember that I’m lucky I got to go to the movies tonight while the lives of too many were being ripped apart by real hatred.
And maybe, if I try real hard, I can remember that once in a while that plastic Kenner ghost trap did land right-side-up and then I truly know that anything is possible.
UPDATE: Changes were made to this entry to correct an error I made. I was not fair or accurate and have removed the related content. Thank you.