“My dad could beat up your dad!” Was a constant playground taunt. Well, supposedly. I’ve never actually heard anyone say it, nor have I ever said it. But according to flickering pictures it’s a thing kids say to one another. Sure we all want to think our dads are better than other people’s dads, but we end up taking this mentality to nearly all other things we like.
If you go anywhere on the internet that’s talking about Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST3K, you’ll find the comment section has broken out in a debate an argument about who was the better host, Joel or Mike. Or there’s the overblown feud between Star Wars fans and Trekkies. It’s as if we can’t just accept the idea of having two things that are good in different ways.
I have been wondering why this is, why we tend to do this. I haven’t come up with any good answers. We have what I decided to call the Highlander mentality: there can be only one. But again, why? Over the next few weeks we’ll see two of the biggest ratings grabbing events on TV. The Super Bowl and the Oscars. Two events where we give trophies to the best things in their field. We are a very rankings-centric society.
I admit when it comes to MST3K I prefer Mike. He was the host when I got into the show. That being said I have absolutely nothing against Joel. When Jessi Whitten was on These Things Matter podcast talking about MST3K she put it best by stating she bases her enjoyment of the show by the episode, not the host.
Then there’s the time I was talking to my friend Jamie about the Star Wars vs. Star Trek thing and he broke it down beautifully. Yes they are both about space conflict, but one is a space opera and the other is a study of character, sociology, and psychology. Space is vast and there is plenty of room for both.
These notions opened my eyes and my minds. I stared to rethink the way I viewed things. I asked myself why I preferred one thing over the other and if it was possible to accept both things. I would also try to challenge my friends to do the same. I know it wasn’t going to be easy because sometimes alliances run deep. So I want to encourage you to think about these stupid versus type arguments you engage in and ask yourself if you can’t like both.
Remember, greed is good. And we get more MST3K, or more space stuff, or more whatever when have multiple people or things creating as much as they can. So feel free to like one more than the other, but don’t disregard one entirely. I prefer liking things, but do what you want.