Daily Dojo

Just The Facts, Ma’am…

Oh, the internets is so much fun, isn’t it?

Just so we’re clear, there’s a decided difference between facts and opinions… it seems that there’s more than a few folks battling on the internets who can’t seem to tell the difference between the two…

Here’s an example of an opinion, one I heard often from my days as a video store clerk…

PULP FICTION is a much better movie than FOREST GUMP (I actually dig both movies, but this is something I heard from movie geeks, so stay with me).

Now, I’m sure that for a lot of people out there (especially those who don’t care for violent movies), GUMP is a better movie, and that for others of a certain generation, PULP is head and shoulders above it…

If someone were to state a personal preference for one or the other, I wouldn’t have an issue with it. They’re simply sharing their opinion based on their tastes and preferences.

Where people have been going off the rails with it as of late is with facts… for example, of the two movies above, which one made more money when released?

It was GUMP… via Box Office Mojo:
Domestic: $329,694,499 48.7%
+ Foreign: $347,693,217 51.3%
= Worldwide: $677,387,716

PULP’s take…
Domestic: $107,928,762 50.5%
+ Foreign: $106,000,000 49.5%
= Worldwide: $213,928,762

That’s a lot of money for both (and considering Pulp only cost 12 mil, it was extremely profitable) but it’s clear, from the numbers alone, that GUMP made more money… so why would someone argue that it was less successful?

A reasonable person wouldn’t, however, that doesn’t seem to stop such discourse from occurring A LOT these days. Trust me, I’ve heard it.

I had the same argument online some time ago with an internet troll who claimed that GARDEN STATE was a total failure… which was nuts, look at this from BO mojo

Domestic: $26,782,316 74.8%
+ Foreign: $9,043,000 25.2%
= Worldwide: $35,825,316

That’s off a budget of 2.5 million dollars. That’s a great exchange… but let’s not limit it to just money, what do the critics think? Well, on RT has it at 86% positive for critics… okay, fuck the critics, what did audiences think of it? Via RT, it was at 86%

So critics loved it, audiences (a clear majority) loved it, how in any world could someone make the claim that it was a failure… well, according to the troll, it was a failure simply because HE didn’t like it. Ergo, it FAILED completely. And not just for him, but for everybody (he was clear that it was an abject failure for everyone involved and a blight on Braff’s career)… that’s his opinion.

And, well… he’s wrong on the facts. It was actually a success. He may not like it, but there it is… full disclosure, my best bud is in that movie, I happened to have loved it, as did the Samurai Lady… but facts are facts, it was a complete success.

Said troll was projecting his taste and trying to use it to bend reality. It’s nuts, but it happens.

I see this in political discourse, someone doesn’t like the President, so they start humping false stories that support said dislike, for example, the deficit has doubled since he took office (it’s actually shrunk) or that businesses have suffered (Wall Street profits are at an all time high, worst socialist President ever) or whatever the meme of the day is for those who hate on the President… there’s a lot of those…

And hey, certainly one is free to like or dislike whomever or whatever they please, but get the actual facts straight.

There’s this idea out there that just because someone can have an opinion, that automatically it has value… no, it does not, not all opinions are created equal (the right to have an opinion is, that’s of great value, but the substance of said opinion itself, that depends on content)… some are informed, some are uninformed, and some are just crazy (the latter reserved for high ranking NRA officials) and yet too often dissenting opinions are presented side by side as if equal (especially on political pundit shows) and, well, they’re not, some are informed and supported by facts, some are not, and some are pulled straight from crazy town ether (see Bachmann, Michelle)… and if an opinion butts up against a fact, go with the facts, please… facts are facts, and they’re either with you or against you…

I’ve nothing against opinions, for what it’s worth, but I prefer informed ones over the uninformed ones… don’t you?

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