Some of us are just contrary by nature. We can’t help it. It’s probably an odd combination of super opinionated + can’t shutupness with a dash of groupthink fear and probably some of that marching to the beat of whatever, I can’t even finish the cliché.
I say some of us, because I know I am not alone. I know there are many of us, The Road-hating, non-Hunger Games-reading, enough with the enthusiasm cranky old (or young, we are many things but we are not ageist) trolls.
It is with you, my contrary, nay-saying brethren, that I share this new experience. Here it is: for one of the few times in my life, I find myself on the popular side of really popular opinion. And you know what? It’s not at all a crummy feeling, and I can see why popular opinion is so damn, well, popular.
I feel like part of a smart collective of readers who obviously have impeccable taste in books. The book in question is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which is, as far as I can tell, the runaway hit of the summer and rightfully so. It’s a twisty-turny, brilliant mystery with vivid, smart characters, and an ending that would never be guessed in a million years. Plus, it introduces the concept of the Cool Girl which is like the Manic Pixie Dreamgirl trope but with of more a Frat Boy bent.
Holy Mackerel! I had no idea it was so much fun being part of the in crowd. The moment I run into another Gone Girl reader I turn into the thirteen-year-old version of myself, all “I know, right?” and exclamations and capital letters. Though, the thirteen-year-old version of me would have been all spiral-bound notebooks with pink paper and aqua-colored pens, because I am old, but you get the picture.
Much like the book, being part of this group is fun. The desire to analyze and dismantle this feeling is strong. I can feel the urge to bat down Gone Girl naysayers with valid criticism with weak arguments like “but it’s such a fun read” and “not everything has to be so intellectual.” These urges are the exact reason wildly popular things and the people who love them kind of frighten me. It’s also the exact reason I’m not going to pick apart this feeling and instead just bask in the warm glow.
I’m going to think of it like cheesecake. Delicious and glorious and okay a few times a year, but not as a daily dietary choice.