Stop Making People Feel Bad For Loving Things

I didn’t plan on making this post. In fact, my plan for today was to talk about mockumentary television, but the lovely Daily Tar Heel has inspired something radically different.

If you’re not familiar with the Daily Tar Heel, it’s a newspaper that is distributed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and is widely read by students at UNC-Chapel Hill. I’m a student at UNC, by the way. The DTH is pretty respected. It’s thought of as a good paper. The DTH has these opinion-type sections called “Quickhits” and the “Kvetching Board.” The editorial team makes the Quickhits section. It’s mostly made up of snarky observations. Readers send in kvetches. They’re also snarky observations. All year I’ve had issues with these two sections. Here are a few examples:

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You see the trend. The Daily Tar Heel loves to make fun of UNC’s Quidditch team. I have a fundamental problem with this. And yes, I am a member of the Quidditch team, so there’s some bias here, but my problem with this isn’t due to the fact that I’m on the team. I don’t care if people think I’m weird for the things I enjoy. I realized a long time ago that my taste was “geeky,” and I would get some crap for that. Truly, it doesn’t bother me. My issue with this is bigger than being offended for the Quidditch team. My issue is with the obsession society seems to have with bullying people because of their passions.

And yes, it is bullying. I have no doubts about that. When the readers and the editorial team of a paper publish negative comments in nearly every paper about one specific group of people, it’s bullying. And it’s wrong. It’s not ok to make fun of someone for something that they care about. That’s never going to be ok.

If you make fun of someone for being passionate, then the person with the problem is you.

Playing Quidditch doesn’t hurt anyone. Being a really big fan of Harry Potter doesn’t hurt anyone. It. Doesn’t. Hurt. Anyone. Do you see the point I’m trying to make here? If people are doing something that they enjoy, and they’re not hurting anyone, then it’s fine. It’s better than fine, really. It’s great.

Passion should be encouraged, not mocked. Passion is the reason anything amazing gets done. Passionate people are forward thinkers, innovators. Hell, passionate people are the kind of people who go to schools like Carolina. So does it make sense to mock these people for their passion? No. Not at all.

Just because someone loves something that you may not love doesn’t mean they’re wrong. God, I can’t stress that enough. I don’t like jazz music. I really, really don’t like it. But do I think that anyone who enjoys jazz is wrong? Of course not. It’s more likely that I just have plebeian taste in music. The same thing applies for people who really love Harry Potter, and decide to take part in Quidditch. Just because you don’t think it sounds like a good time, doesn’t mean other people are wrong for loving it.

Besides, loving Harry Potter is a positive thing in itself. Harry Potter is well written. It’s profound literature that encourages love, kindness, the importance of friendship, and good triumphing over evil. It’s a series that encouraged an entire generation to read. And reading is awesome. Not to mention it’s just a kickass story. Harry Potter is a snarky, wonderful character who shows that heroes are flawed, too. Hermione breaks down all kinds of antifeminist barriers. Ron is the purest example of loyal friendship you’ll find. Snape represents bravery, and fighting for what’s right even if it means you have to give your life for it. Hedwig is… Look, I’m getting off topic here. I could go on and on, but the point is, Harry Potter is great, so don’t make fun of people who really love it, because they have good reasons to do so.

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Don’t make fun of anyone. It’s pretty simple. When you want to be a douchebag because you think that someone’s harmless interest is “weird,” just don’t. Just don’t be a douchebag. That’s all you have to do. Think those rude thoughts in your own head, and then send them away. Don’t voice them. Even if people laugh at your douchebaggery, deep down they’re probably just thinking about how you suck as a person.

Stop making people feel bad for loving things.

Stop mocking passion.

Just live and let live, you bastards.

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10 thoughts on “Stop Making People Feel Bad For Loving Things

  1. Seriously: I played Quidditch once, and after playing YEARS of soccer, it’s almost twice as exhausting and physically taxing.

  2. “Nearly every paper” seems a bit exaggerated. You should also take into consideration that the editorial page reflects the editorial staff. It’s not the actual reporters writing negative articles about you. In fact, they wrote a very nice feature about you. I agree with your points that passion should be encouraged not mocked, but mocking is just the tone of the editorial page. In fact there was a pro-quidditch Kvetch published on Oct. 5 “To the person that was hatin’ on the Quidditch team last week, I can’t help that the ladies love my broomstick.”

    Maybe next year the person writing the “quickhits” won’t be such a jerk, and then this problem won’t exist. I don’t think its fair to blame an entire paper for something that is likely just the work of a few individuals.

    1. I think you’re missing one of the first paragraphs in the post. I said that the Daily Tar Heel is a good, respected newspaper, and I specifically said that my problem lies with two opinion-based sections of the paper. I was careful not to blame the entire paper. I said exactly what sections I had an issue with, and I said who writes those particular sections. Read the second paragraph again. 🙂

      1. You’re right, you did distinguish between the DTH in general and the editorial board, but it might have been more balanced to bring up the positive coverage in the paper in addition to the negative coverage in the editorial section.

      2. I said that the paper is good and respected. This post is not about the Daily Tar Heel. It’s about more than that. It’s about the problem many people have with mocking passion. Certain sections of the Daily Tar Heel perfectly reflect the problem, and that’s why the paper was included in the discussion. If I was writing an article specifically about the positive and negative aspects of the DTH as a newspaper, then I would have included more, but that’s not the article I was writing.

      1. I interpreted that Kvetch as a rebuttal to the negative Kvetches. Obviously it was meant to be humorous and perhaps not necessarily a defense for Quidditch. I was just pointing out that the DTH published it in addition to the more mean-hearted ones.

  3. I don’t understand all the Quidditch-hate out there. There’s not much to be done about it other than goading the nay-sayers to playing the sport. They may still hate it and have excuses for how it’s not a “sport,” but at least they’ll look out-of-shape and silly too.

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