Monday, May 16, 2011

Overrating the term "Overrated"

This will mark my very first post without a picture. Why? Because pictures in blog posts are highly overrated.

Everyone uses pictures in blog posts, absolutely EVERYONE. I am here to paint a broad spectrum of bloggers for you, the reader, to grasp just how many people use pictures in their blog posts. See diagram below:
There, now I feel you have some sense of the magnitude of this phenomenon. Everyone puts pictures in their blogs, it's a fact as proven above. See? Even I, determined to not post a picture in this blog, have indeed done just that! Why is this true across the board? Why because pictures in blog posts are overrated, which means everyone does it so it must be good...or bad as in the case with "overrating" something. But if everyone posts pictures in their blogs (as we have now proven they do) why does it suddenly get the mark of being "overrated"? Well, it doesn't really, since I made that claim. It's an arbitrary claim to make with no point of base or reference as is when anyone uses the phrase "overrated" for anything at all.

This is where I leave my sarcasm and get to the heart of the matter. I've discussed this term before in a post I did about Final Fantasy 7, but I want to revisit that word as I have noticed it has not died yet. People still use it, a lot, and I find the word to be quite overrated...

The term is used to describe something that "everyone" feels is "amazing" and the person using the word feels it is not as amazing as "everyone" says it is. Here's where we have the first and main issue I take with this phrase. WHO is "everyone"? Who are these people? What standards are their "amazing"? Let's take a really basic example on why this logic is outright ridiculous.


Guy 1 - George Bush is the greatest president EVER!
Guy 2 - Nah, he was overrated.

Now what we see here is one guy professing his admiration for our previous President. Guy 2 claims that president to be overrated. What is the basis for Guy 2's claim? Who are the people that loved George Bush? Republicans, sure. Evangelical Christians, ok sure them too. War vets, probably. How many of those people do we have in America? A lot, and enough to vote him into office TWICE. Does a majority vote make Guy's 2 claim valid? He was historically a bad President sure, but a majority of people got him elected which in turn means they think he is the shizzle, so in that view Guy 2 is right, George Bush was overrated since Guy 2 believes Bush was a poor President.

However, when we see ratings and national polls Bush was rated the worst President in history making Guy 2's claim wrong. How could he be "overrated" when the majority feel he did a poor job? Well ask the people who voted him in twice, what do they feel about Bush? They loved him as he fought for their needs such as preventing stem cell research, gay marriage, and lowering taxes for the rich. This is where we have a sort of paradox. On one hand he was voted in by "everyone" and yet later torn down in polls by "everyone" as an awful President. In the perspective where he was voted in calling him overrated makes Guy 2 correct (correct to him), but he is wrong by calling him overrated in the face of polls that show he was hated by "everyone".

So the question becomes, who are we asking when this term gets thrown around? Or who is this "everyone" the term overrated automatically refers to? Isn't it just a blanket statement for opinion? Why yes, yes it is! The problem is people like to try and base this term in some kind of perceived "fact." This perceived fact is created through an idea of popularity, like Chrono Trigger for instance which is a very popular game that could often be called "overrated" by some ignorant putz who refuses to have an opinion of his own and simply throws that term around to tally some kind of impersonal scorecard through others. While it is perceived that "everyone" loves Chrono Trigger and no one doesn't, this outcast as we shall now call him, must not only spread hate on something he doesn't like, but must also include those who do by immediately placing those who rate it highly into the "overrated flock of sheep (as he sees them)" into his own little category. This empowers the outcast, makes him feel stronger as a person, makes him feel like an individual for going against the grain. I find this to be a very common emotion among those who use the phrase overrated.

Now sure, there are people who do not like what is popular for one reason or another, but they will often give valid reasons and never throw around the phrase "overrated" and then call it a day. They will have actual opinions on the matter, comparisons and so forth. But then there are people, many people that will simply hate what is popular just because it is and use overrated like it's a flag they say an oath to, proud of its immediate power and concurrent defacing of those who don't go with the outcasts perceived grain.

Gamers everywhere, I beg you, please stop using this word. If you do not like something that is perceived as popular, that is fine, please explain why with thoughtful words, words of meaning. Do not have faith in your conviction for hating something, have reason instead! Reason would not use blanket statements like overrated, it would instead invoke thoughtful dialogue on the subject rather than be proud for whatever reason that you are different from everyone else for going against the grain on something as stupidly small and otherwise meaningless to "everyone" as an opinion.

*See what I did there, I just said opinions were overrated without using the word, boom!*

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