Friday, July 20, 2012

Perspective on Batman

Wow, right in the middle of a series of postings on how important it is to keep life in perspective, living according to our core values, practicing moderation and separating the important from the trivial, I see this news story.  Three days before the opening of the latest Batman movie, the Rotten Tomatoes website had to suspend comments because they “got way out of hand.”  Angry fans reacted harshly to negative reviews of the film and made profane and threatening remarks about the critics who wrote them.  The staff in charge of policing the comments to ensure they were in line with the site’s standards were temporarily overwhelmed by the volume of hate-based reactions.

Remember, these are angry, threatening comments made about unfavorable movie reviews by fans who have not yet seen the movie!  First of all, where are they getting their information?  Second, where is their perspective?  In America both critics and fans have a right to their opinions, but this is only a movie that they are fighting about.  Quick, name ten things more important in your life than a movie.  It shouldn’t be hard.  Most people can probably name a hundred with ease, but when we lose perspective we go crazy about such unimportant things.

This is very important to remember as the baseball season heads toward the playoffs, the football season gets under way and the folks at NBC try to convince us that the Olympic events are among the most important things in our lives.  It's not just movie-goers who get unreasonably upset and excited.  Except for the athletes and the filmmakers, this is only entertainment.   If it angers more than it entertains, then we probably have some serious soul-searching to do.  Why do we place such a high value on these things, and what gets pushed off our personal priority list as a result?

This is my 120th posting, every Monday and Friday for 60 weeks.  Over this time the number of page views has been steadily increasing, and I would like to tell you how much I appreciate your taking the time to read my blog.  I promise to continue my efforts to keep these pages interesting and thought-provoking.  I know I am presenting some challenging ideas intended for a thoughtful audience not the usual cute or entertaining fare that "goes viral."  I hope you continue to visit and encourage your friends to participate in this modest campaign to improve our consequences by better understanding and improving our behavior.  Thank you, James Jeray.   

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