I know it’s not cool for me to say as a grown-up grunge, punk and alternative kid, but I love a good blockbuster.

The thing is, to me, sneering at the popular is only useful as long as the popular is actual tripe. The fact of something’s popularity is absolutely no indicator of quality, but it’s also not entirely a reliable indicator of a lack thereof either.

Breathing is popular, and I think there’d be few people who believe breathing is bad. Chocolate – popular. Fucking wonderful.

There are great bands, great movies, great games and shows and books that are wonderful. The Shining is a huge selling book – and it was amazing. I love a good Marvel movie.

The fact is, it doesn’t have be high art. It can follow the hero’s journey or a standard plot. The trick is to do it well, don’t pander too much and take the time to develop the characters and situations.

Not all popular things are bad, and not all unpopular things are instantly cool. Sometimes, they’re unpopular for a reason.

Anyway, I liked Avatar: The Way Of Water, same as the original, and even though I understand James Cameron is kind of a prick, I, for one, really appreciate his environmentalism, and his willingness to think big.

Anyway, if that makes me uncool, so be it. I also like Local H, Lou Reed and Modest Mouse. I read obscure indy comics and classics by Jules Verne and Farley Mowat. I think stoicism is cool. Elizabeth Bear.

I’ve heard just about every Who and Rolling Stones song a hundred times. Same for the Beatles. Same for Nirvana, Green Day, NOFX and Bad Religion. The Hip are my religion, right next to Taoism.

My point is, limiting oneself by how popular or “cool” something is is limiting how you see it, leaving you judging it through the lens of what’s being told to you about, instead of its actual value. Ignore the size of the thing; try and enjoy it for what it is. If it’s shit, it will let you know.

Target: 1100 words
Written: 503 words, novella: The Mungk

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