As anyone who has ever been on the internet knows, and that's all of you because that's where I've decided to write this, it is full of people being negative and rude and aggressive to each other. This is due to a combination of anonymity and boredom. I know because I've been one of these people. However, these are not the people I'm here to defend. Call them what you like. I probably wouldn't choose the word "Hater".
The thing that makes me angry enough to write a blog is when people are labelled "Haters" for disliking something. You may remember that I wrote a blog about Linkin Park's new album. Remember that? It was a few days ago? I was angry about it? Really, no recollection? Well it's just down there anyway. Thing is, Mike Shinoda responded to it in his own blog! Unfortunately he wrote his about a week before I wrote mine. Silly Mike Shinoda. But he says in his blog: So let’s talk about “haters.” ... As I write this, one of the most popular iTunes (US) reviews of A Thousand Suns is by Janxrod, who gives the album one star and asks “What happened to the real Linkin Park?”
Now, Mike Shinoda is not calling this reviewer a Hater. His use of speech marks around the word makes that clear, plus he goes on to say: many of the “one-star reviewers” are not brainless cynics who talk shit because they’re bored and he actually tries to answer the question. I love Mike Shinoda! But all the comments on the blog say things like: Don't listen to the haters and I also think that this “hater”, is very disrespectful. Yeah, how disrespectful to criticise the album IN A FUCKING REVIEW! It's a review! Reviews are designed exactly for people to express their opinion about something! It's their sole purpose! You can't invite someone to share their views and then get annoyed when they do!
"What do you think of my shirt? Be honest."
"Seriously, completely honest."
"Go on, I can take it."
"Okay... It's a bit bright."
"...I'm glad your son died."
The point is that art, in any form, affects different people in different ways and I like to discuss it. If someone says that they don't like something I like then I ask them why. I don't dismiss their opinion. It is generally accepted that everyone is entitled to their views, but a lot of people seem to forget this when they come across criticism of something they like. If I were to comment on a youtube video saying I didn't like Linkin Park's new album (sorry am I going on about it?), someone would probably say something like "shut up, you're just a hater." Well maybe I am a "hater" in so far as I hate it, but the implication is that my opinion is therefore invalid. Therefore my opinion would only count if I was praising the album, like this cunt on Mike Shinoda's blog: Its beautiful, unique, amazing, and just pure GENIUS.
So all opinions, if expressed eloquently enough, should count. They should be discussed rather than dismissed. If you disagree, don't declare that it "doesn't count", but explain why you disagree. To quote Akil in Gotta Understand by Jurassic 5: I ain't hating, I just heard better. I'll leave you with that song, because it's ace. And if you disagree you're just a hater.