The Gonzo Journals
January 5th, 2023
I remember fondly walking into a movie theater or picking up a book without knowing what thousands of unqualified people thought about it ahead of time. I was allowed to make up my own mind without predetermined influence and I didn’t have to worry about defending my opinion from the masses. If there was a difference of opinion, it was usually face to face, with a single person, and you both shook hands at the close of the argument since it was common fucking knowledge that humans were allowed to have a difference of opinion. This is no longer the way.
First of all, some of you are currently saying in your warped brains that I’m no different from the folks I’m about to bash. You couldn’t be more wrong. Even though it has yet to be released, I have starred in a documentary film about paranormal investigation. I have been pumping out novels and short stories for over fifteen years. I have co-written and co-produced a film as well. To put the icing on the cake, I once had my own professional review column in both a print newspaper and a print magazine. Some would say I’m allowed to have a professional opinion about things in the entertainment industry. Some would say I’m a hack, but they can get in line to blow me. The internet has given a voice to the highly unqualified, but society is too goddamn lazy to question it.
Most don’t know this (because they’d never take the time to do the research) but even well-known reviewers have a hand in the field in which they review. I won’t go over it in too much detail here because Google is free and in your pockets. As a quick example, Roger Ebert wrote a couple of films in the seventies. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is a fucking classic as long as you’re not some type of redneck homophobe who blasts hate speech all over their Twitter account like a closed-minded town crier. I highly recommend it, but don’t take my word for it. Make up your own minds. See what I did there?
Whether it be a newly released movie or book, I am constantly attacked with reviews via social media and YouTube before Mister goddamn Movie Phone can validate my ticket purchase. Yes, I’m quite aware that the Movie Phone bastard is no longer a thing, but I’m trying to make a point. The fact it was a poor point is irrelevant and yet another example of review culture. Shove your judgement up your ass and twirl it, oh haters of the truth. Make sure you get inside those hard-to-reach places.
Every jack off with a Facebook and a following can now be a critic of anything and make the salivating simpletons of this dying world believe it with a single click of their mouse. Granted, a few of them are fair and leave their reviews open to interpretation, but most will nail you to a cross if you stumble across their imaginary tripwire of a brain.
Goodreads review groups, aka the virtual soccer moms of modern review culture, are the absolute worst. The most vocal have managed to climb to the top of the mountain, shown their tits to those who remain in the valley below, and gang up on those who disagree with their iron clad thoughts on any particular kind of media. They can cancel you and your craft with a post and their “Yes Ma’am” cultish followers won’t even bother to question them. I mean, the tits aren’t even worth looking at! Thank the maker for Instagram filters!
The point I’m trying to make is that we, as enjoyers of all thing’s entertainment, need to send these people back to where they came from, make up our own minds, and allow artists to create once again without fear of bullying from highly unqualified attention whores. Watch that film because it has a cool cover. Read that book because you dig the author photo. Make up your own mind and, if you eventually like it, share it with your friends. Just don’t banish them from the circle or bang their wife if they disagree with you.
I know we can do this if we all work together and ignore their “look at me” social media squeals. Just pat them on their heads, tell them it’s “nice”, and hang their useless fucking review on the refrigerator next to a Domino’s Pizza magnet from 1987 where it will yellow and curl into eventual obscurity. We, as art enthusiasts, must take the power back and return to the ways of self-enjoyment and personal preference. Just turn and look the other way. I personally believe The Last Jedi was fucking awesome. That’s MY choice. Again, see what I did there?