Internet outrage, now with statistics
Remember that guy that shot a lion last year? I think he was a dentist, or an orthodontist … something to do with teeth. Anyway he went on a safari at a national park in Zimbabwe and shot a lion. We were all told that it was a famous lion named Cecil, although that name didn’t appear anywhere on my “Famous Lions” list.
1: Cowardly Lion
3: The big, cloud lion with Darth Vader’s voice in “The Lion King”
4: MGM opening credits Lion
5: No other lions
Or what about Rachel Dolezal? The lady that was the (former) president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, all the while being secretly white? That was a big deal … for a little bit.
Or Kony? Does everybody remember Kony? Everybody was all worked up for about 24 hours back in 2012 about arresting this guerrilla leader Joseph Kony. Kony is your run of the mill psychopath with delusions of grandeur and a history of trying to “cleanse” the people of Uganda. And he was convicted of war crimes in 2005; nobody over here cared too much until a 30-minute “documentary” about it was released online in 2012. Then everybody was “out to get Kony,” and took to the internets and proclaimed that they really wanted him captured. Then everybody found out the “documentary” had some glaring errors and omissions and people just started rewatching that Leeroy Jenkins video and everybody forgot about him.
Why all the hatestalgia? Because all of these people, right or wrong (mostly right) were on the receiving end of the Internet’s ire at one point in their life.
And now they are nowhere.
All those people are SOMEWHERE, I’m sure, but the collective anger of the internet has cooled down, what with other, newer things to hate showing up everyday.
People have a short term memory about this kind of ephemera; once something leaves the realm of pop culture it can be hard to even remember how much we all totally hated … that one guy.
If you want to be remembered for being hated you need a clear, concise way to track and catalog all of the internet’s anger; and if you want a reliable record of abhorrence look no further than YouTube.
YouTube gives you the option of either “liking” or “disliking” any video you see.
So this way when the internet REALLY gets made about something they have a nice little counter to keep track of the hate-total.
A few weeks ago a lot of stories suddenly appeared showing that the trailer for the new “Ghostbusters” movie was on pace to become the most hated trailer on YouTube.
The professionally outraged class started in about how the profoundly misogynistic tendencies of internet commentators was the cause of such unrivaled “disliking.”
This, of course, ignoring the idea that maybe, just maybe, people didn’t want to see one of their favorite movies remade into some bland, CGI-heavy, blockbuster fare that will feature none of the humor that comes from three comedians that have been writing and acting partners for over a decade.
Kate McKinnon is very funny, but that doesn’t mean I want to see her perform in the ultimate example of Hollywood’s creative bankruptcy while simultaneously stepping all over one of Bill Murray’s greatest roles. I WOULD go see her in a movie where she does her Angela Merkel impression for 90 minutes. I would see that twice.
As of May 12, the day I’m writing this column, the new “Ghostbusters” trailer had received a whopping 778,000 dislikes and 31.6 million views.
Now, that is a lot of dislikes. It also means that the video was seen over thirty million times and it averages out to about 2 percent of the viewers hit the dislike button.
Oh the humanity!
The outraged writers of Slate, HuffPo, Jezebel, etc., spent countless pages describing how “neckbeard drama” was trying to ruin this movie before it came out. No other video could possibly draw such attention from the fedora squad unless it had something to do with misogyny, right?
Behold! The trailer for “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.”
On May 2 the trailer for the 13th (yeesh) installment of the “Call of Duty” video game franchise was posted to YouTube.
In case you don’t know: “Call of Duty” started out as a hyper-realistic version of WWII battles throughout Europe and the Pacific. As the games progressed so did the timeline, with the last few games being set further and further into the future. So, players who started this franchise enjoying its historical recreation perspective, were a little angry when the new trailer showed a futuristic setting including jet packs, space ships, and all the trappings of a bland, generic sci-fi shooter with none of the appeal of the originals.
In the ten days since its release the “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” trailer has garnered an astounding 1.78 million dislikes on 18 million views, or just shy of ten percent dislikes.
“Battlefield,” the video game Coke to “Call of Duty’s” Pepsi, released a trailer for their new game “Battlefield 1” on May 6.
“Battlefield” walked a similar path to “Call of Duty.” The series started out as a realistic portrayal of battles in WWII, then slowly started devolving into a generic sci-fi shooter by moving the timeline into the future and away from what made people enjoy them in the first place.
So did “Battlefield 1” get the same foul treatment at the hands of “neckbeard drama”?
As of today “Battlefield 1” has 1.3 million likes with 26 million views, with a mere 24 thousand dislikes.
How is this possible? Because “Battlefield 1” bucked the generic sci-fi trend and took the game into the trenches of World War I, something no game in recent memory has done. Tanks, trench warfare, gas masks, mounted calvary, and the chance to take the fight to the Kaiser himself? How could you not already love this game ?
“Battlefield 1” is the most liked trailer of all time on YouTube, “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” is the most disliked.
“Battlefield 1” fans were happy to see a series deliver a new, exciting experience with a setting that is, shockingly enough, an original idea.
“Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” is a warmed-over rehash of an old idea with generic, bland additions and a setting that screams “You like spaceships … right? Why did you like spaceships before and not now?”
Because whether we’re talking about TV, movies or video games the audience wants something new; and maybe they don’t want to be called a misogynist for their opinion on tired remakes aiming to take our entertainment dollars by cravenly appealing to our nostalgia. And if you think I’m wrong, you’re welcome to head over to YouTube and check the count.
Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.