You know when you form an opinion based on very little and stand by it like you could write a book on the subject? Sweeping generalizations and unjustified judgments. Gotta love them. If you’re like me, you do this shit all the time and don’t think twice about it. it’s pretty much what this blog , as a whole, is all about.
It’s a quick way of editing out all the bullshit that leads to an educated opinion. Honestly, I find out I’m right about 85% of the time. That’s a ‘B+’, not bad at all…But a lot of times , you being right is still arguable to someone. So it’s a sweet feeling when you find out you’re 100% right and no one can tell you shit. Case in point; The play/movie ‘Rent’.
Inexplicably , ‘Rent’ has consistently popped up in my life over the passed ten plus years. Which is very random, considering 1) No other musical really has ever gotten more then a passing grimace from me 2) I’ve never seen it 3) it’s fuckin’ “Rent” and there is no reason it would be a part of my life any more than “Cats” or “Starlight Express” (which are two things i’ve never seen and know nothing about). yes, somehow, “Rent”, snuck it’s way in.
Back when I was twenty, I was dating this girl who sang. She tried out for ‘Rent’, got like seven call backs and basically lost the roll when it came down to a choice between her and the girl that would go on to get it. At the time, I was very supportive. I didn’t know anything about ‘Rent’ except that it was a musical about tough times in some made up bohemian version of the Lower East Side. With that knowledge, I pretty much knew enough to stay away. Still, I was fully prepared to see multiple showings of it had my girl gotten the roll. Luckily for me, she didn’t.
A year or so later, I finally got my first taste at what ‘Rent’ was really about while driving somewhere with one of my sisters and a niece. They decided to play the soundtrack to ‘Rent’ in the car. I listened to about one and a half songs and made them take it off. It wasn’t like a “Enh..this is kinda wack..” reaction, it was more of a ‘Are you fucking kidding me????’ reaction. After that, I still never saw it but I would curse it whenever it came up in conversation. It became this thing that I could not only judge in itself but judge those who like it. IE: You like ‘Rent’, you’re a total fucking idiot. It’s that simple.
I put this judgmental fervor to use the last time it came up. I was walking back from a basketball game with a team I was playing with. We were in midtown and passed where ‘Rent’ was playing. While passing the sign I said something in the realm of, “Fuck this shit!” Suddenly one of the guys I played with and his girlfriend turned to me like I had just killed a baby seal. “You don’t like Rent?????!!!! You’re crazy! It’s brilliant! ” They literally refused to talk to me after that. In hindsight, this was fine because, for one, they liked ‘Rent’ and I don’t consort with those types of people and also because fuck them. The fact they loved that shit was enough for me to officially write them off forever. Again, keep in mind, I still hadn’t seen a second of it yet.
Years later, the film version of ‘Rent’ was released. My waning hatred was slightly refueled but I also didn’t really give a shit because I had no plans of ever seeing it. Until…
a few years after that…
I was chilling at my crib one day, eating while waiting for friends to come over, when I see that the movie ‘Rent’ is on cable. Oh snap! It’s a bold step to actually come face to face with something you’ve so adamantly bashed for so long (and have not seen) but I felt I had to just to prove to myself I wasn’t popping shit for no reason all these years. I watch it. I change it. I turn back and watch some more. I’m sweating. I change it. I turn back. This repeats for a while, I’m not sweating cause I’m worried that my anti-‘Rent’ stance has been wrong all these years. No, I’m sweating cause the level of complete fucking terribleness is giving me an anxiety attack. THAT SHIT IS THE WORST PIECE OF FLAMING DOG SHIT EVER MADE BY ANYONE EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE PLANET. Talk about feeling an inner peace…I wanted someone to be there with me so I could look at them like “Are you watching this shit?” But no..I just sat there on my couch alone, squeezing the remote control in disgust, and looking away every so often when the songs would get just too fucking ridiculous. It’s an ill vibe to be sitting alone and blushing. My relationship with ‘Rent’ is kinda like when you meet someone and immediately hate them for no real reason…Then, down the line, their inner asshole comes out and you feel super validated by your flash judgement.
‘Rent’, you have not only validated me, but reinforced that opinion to the level of fact. It’s a fact that ‘Rent’ is the worst thing ever made. You could bring in the world’s finest debate team in and let them at me but there’s nothing anyone can say that would make me question that fact for a millisecond. I think they could hit me with a 250 page thesis on why ‘Rent’ is a success (or even merely a thesis on how rent is the second worst thing ever) and I’d win just by saying “Shut the fuck up.”
Here’s an equation that explains my point:
‘2+2’ is to ‘4’
‘Rent’ is to ‘Unequivocally the worst’
I realize me disliking “Rent” is not only expected but kinda par for the course of any sane person. so, this opinion of mine isn’t exactly firing shit up. But this is about more than that. it’s about those small things that indicate so much more. something like liking “Rent” tell more about a person than an in depth interview. that one little fact speaks in volumes. There are tons of hints like this…another might be loving the movie “Party monster” or truly hating all the music of Stevie Wonder or being REALLY attracted to an olsen twin. These are small details of personal taste yet, so, so, so much more.