Who’s Biased?

There is something that really nags me when someone claims a person is biased or blinded by nostalgia because they don’t like a certain thing. That’s a biased view within itself!

First off, it suggests everyone should like something and that’s completely unrealistic. There is nothing that’s liked by absolutely everyone. People who do like the same thing may not like it for the same reason(s). For example, one reason I adore Frozen is I strongly relate to both Elsa and Anna. However, some people who like Frozen don’t relate to Elsa and Anna, but like them as the characters they are.

Another problem with the idea that nostalgia creates biases and blindness is it suggests the only reason someone would not like something is liking its previous version(s). This isolates people who like both the old and new, and completely ignores people who dislike the new version without ever having seen the old. How does it make it sense to deem someone biased for disliking a new form of something when their first experience with it is the new form?

This idea also suggests people don’t ever complain about things they like and I’d expect anyone old enough to browse the internet unsupervised to know that is a huge lie. In life, people complain about their families, their friends, their job, their school, and other aspects of their lives, yet they may still be very happy with those aspects. To use Frozen again as an example, a complaint of the film I’ve had since I first saw it is why the trolls erased Anna’s memory. In spite of that, and few others I have about the film, I still very much adore it. Yet there are some people who believe if you have so much as a single complaint, you hate whatever it is you’re talking about.

Speaking of complaining, I feel there’s also a hypocrisy with the “nostalgic and biased” crowd. Some of them will tell others to stop complaining about new things, but make complaints about those very new things themselves. While it’s likely an impulsive oversight, I can’t help feeling there’s an aura of arrogance or superiority there. They are allowed to complain, but no one else is. It’s perplexing because it seems they do understand you can like something and still have your grievances with it, however small, but don’t accept any complaints except their own and those they agree with.

The biggest problem, in my opinion, with the idea nostalgia makes blind and biased is it suggests the previous version of a work never received complaints and criticism. I have never found that to be true. I have seen criticism of works that appear almost universally loved such as The Lion King and The Incredibles. The fact is nothing – absolutely nothing – is exempt from criticism.

I’ll use a different example: Winx Club, which I linked to above. Some complaints I heard long before its fourth season were:

  • The girls being referred to as “slutty” or that the show teaches young girls to be “whores”
  • That the show encourages anorexia because the girls are too thin
  • That the girls are boy-crazy (this is one I do agree with) and the show teaches young girls they must have a boyfriend
  • That one of the main relationships was toxic (true), although it was often argued the same relationship was the most realistic
  • The girls’ bodies and faces are nearly identical (also true)

Yet somehow, I never heard those viewpoints considered biased or the people who made them blinded by nostalgia. They were argued against, but never did nostalgia come up. Since these complaints were made about the first three seasons, not just one, it definitely could’ve, but it never did. On the other hand, any complaint about the newer seasons? Must be made because of nostalgia, even if the person making the complaint has never seen the early seasons or didn’t grow up with the show. The only exception to the rule are the people who make this accusation. Those who accuse others of biased and blinded from nostalgia are allowed to make any complaints they please.

Personally, I think generalizing everyone who doesn’t think the way you do is a lot more biased than nostalgia could ever be, if it is at all. What is more biased than saying, “You don’t think like me, therefore you must be blind and biased”?

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