Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Highs and Lows of Strong Opinions

Everybody has an opinion and I am on the internet to read as many as I can and appropriate them for my nefarious uses. Some opinions I reshape and then restate as my own. These opinions rarely find new territory, but restate the obvious. Examples include #twittertrendofthemoment or a fresh opinion 5 days ago that now sounds cliche (eg. "nuke North Korea."). Parenthetical opinions are my particular favorite because one can hue factual content with shades of emotional unbalance (excessive traffic on 95 is ruining my life).

Sometimes other people's opinions seem necessary, almost important to one's functioning in daily life. And that is what the review is for me. Without someone else's opinion out it first, I rarely can enjoy a movie, a restaurant, a tourist attraction or even a date. I am devoted to reviews to the point where they sometimes are more satisfying than the real thing.

A really good review can spoiled the experience that is reviewed and I mean that in the best way. Sometimes it is good to be spoiled for the experience because then we have a reference point for our pleasure or pain. "Oh, Racer X reviewer was dead on about how the precious cinematography distanced me from the splatter of viscera." Or thank God this dorky reviewer, who I imagine as my only friend also disliked Star Trek.

For opinions that while not always credible, but rarely boring, I go to Here I go to learn bits and pieces of a restaurant, attraction, or neighborhood so I can have a better experience. I've used Yelp specifically to pick an entree, lessen my fear of a trendy bathroom, or get the basic details of a place. There are some regular contributors to Yelp who are like columnists there. @Chrissmari is my favorite of people of that ilk. She is a goddess (trollop?) of the internet because she gets around.

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