I've dreaded writing this, but I don't think there's any avoiding it anymore. I don't know if it really took me this long to figure out, or if I just didn't want to accept it. But I am convinced now that the problem is not, nor has it ever been the workload, or the crappy movie and game lineup this year. He is the next in a long line of victims who have been poisoned by politics. But that was a side-effect, a symptom of a much deeper root cause.
See, while he'll never admit it, he is a far-left kind of guy. "Far" being the key distinction here. I lean left of centre myself, but this guy takes it a few steps too far. Just like the right has the extreme nutbags, so do the liberals. There's crazies in every corner.
But he's making the mistake of the Tea Partiers, the Occupy movement and all of the worst people in politics: He is making an enemy out of ourselves.
I'm of the opinion that this "Us vs. Them" scaremongering, sides-taking bullshit is what's hurting America and the rest of the world. Not just corporate greed. Not just ignorance. Not just lobbyists. Not just [Insert Pet Cause Here]. This rift, this pathetic pseudo-civil war is what's making life on planet Earth in the 21st century a steaming pile of shame. I believe we are better than that. I believe if anything is going to get better, we have to learn to stop thinking of each other as enemies. We have to stop thinking of co-operating as being the same thing as communism. We've got to stop being a bunch of self-entitled babies.
We don't have to agree with each other. We don't have to like each other. But what we have now is something I would sooner expect to see on a grade-school playground than the highest forum in the land.
Bob Chipman doesn't want us to get along. Conflict is the only time when he feels alive. Peace for him means there is no one he can look superior to. It means there are no arguments for him to "win". Since before he was even nerd-famous, he has received thousands of poorly-written e-mails and comments saying he is wrong and a stupid-face for not liking a movie they liked. I'm sure he resents that. This is a guy who has made it his mission to be an Expert. He wants to be taken seriously. But no matter how smart he is, people who haven't seen nearly as many movies as him, who don't have nearly as much life-experience still have the audacity to disagree with him.
So he goes into politics. He now has to be extra-careful, unblinking toward every minor detail. People get in much deeper shit for getting something wrong in politics than if they give a 9.8 to Metal Gear Solid 4 instead of a perfect 10. He can't afford to be wrong, now. But if he's right here, then he's Super Right... or something.
But instead of actually, you know, trying not to be wrong, he took the easy route. The same route a lot of people in politics take: He just began to think of himself as right, regardless of circumstance. He is Right, and You are WRONG. Forever. He is the unquestioned lord and master, and any dissent from this, reasonable or no is to be ignored.
Now those little bastards can't say I'm wrong. I'll show them! I'LL SHOW THEM ALL!!!
"Being knowledgeable and witty is far more important than being 'right' about which movies are worth seeing."
Shamus Young wrote that about him. And that's not an old quote: That's March. As in 8 months ago, this year March. He was right. Just eight months ago, Chipman was more concerned with being a smart and entertaining guy than about winning. But then he got into politics. Now he doesn't just ignore the awful things said to him, but the legitimate criticisms by people who care and are genuinely concerned. Now being right is the only thing that's important to him. Without it, he's just a fat guy on the internet who watches too many movies.
Bob Chipman wasn't always perfect. He had his shortcomings. He wasn't right about everything, no matter how much he may have wanted to be. But there was a time when he wanted to help his audience, to share his knowledge and experience with his viewers. To make us all a little more enlightened, and put us on a more even playing field when it comes to discussing movies and games. Maybe so that way, we would be able to tackle more difficult subject matter more easily as well, and we'd be better people for it.
There was a time where I was a better person for having listened to him.
But that person is gone. Bob Chipman is dead. He doesn't exist anymore. All that's left is "Movie Bob", the guy who's better than you. The guy who won't let those filthy Other Guys destroy America, and then makes fun of political wackos who see things as a personal mission. He doesn't remember kindness, patience or curiosity, the hallmarks of human intelligence. He only knows the pain of interpersonal battle.
It's just so depressing. His quest to be right about everything has led his life in the wrong direction. His goal of being taken seriously has made it impossible for me to. And no matter how bad his shows get, there's no one who's hurting more for it than himself. He threw away everything he had in his pursuit of nothing. At some point, it stopped being about he could do for us, and became what we must do for him. At some point he ran out of love for his fans, his work and himself.
"Love. That's why he did everything. That's why he went into politics. It seems we weren't enough, he wanted all the voters to love him too. Guess all he really wanted out of life was love. That's Charlie's story, how he lost it. You see, he just didn't have any to give."
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