Trope Abuse

I’m well aware that TV Tropes doesn’t exactly have a high reputation on the internet. Personally, I don’t mind. I like it, even if at times I wonder what the hell my problem is, and that’s that.

Even so, I reserve the right to point out its flaws. This is one of those times.

If I may take a moment out from my usual routine of not-updating-this-blog-at-all, I want to take about something that does kind of niggle at me. Namely, some “tropes” that seem to become go-tos so much in TV tropes discussions that it just gets irritating.

In particular, the following are what I would call the Most Abused Tropes:

Nostalgia Filter – Supposedly, this trope is when people insist that the “good ol’ days were better.” In practice this is when you like anything old or claim any change whatsoever is bad, regardless of what your actual argument or reason for doing so is. Don’t like the new interface in Fozilla Krome 2011 and think they should go back to the old, simple one? Nostalgia Filter!

It can even be ass-backwards. Like if you played Final Illusion 66 after playing Final Illusion 7000 (let’s assume higher number = more recent) and still preferred the older one. Sorry, but in their eyes, that’s “Nostalgia Filter” even though in this case, there is not and could not possibly be any nostalgia.

Poe’s Law – Reportedly describes instances where its easy to mistake a serious statement for a parody, or else see a parody as completely serious.

I really hate this one. It’s basically nothing more than pretending your own dumbassery is the other guy’s fault. “How was I supposed to know that you weren’t being serious when you said that martians stole all your condoms and that’s why you had to rape the dog? You could have been for real. It’s Poe’s Law, dude. Lay off!” Fortunately this one seems to have died off after the death of IJBM.

Seinfeld Is Unfunny – Otherwise known as “any and every time you criticize something that used to be very popular,” invariably followed by some bullshit about how you’re not judging it “in the context of the times.”

This is pretty much the inverse of “Nostalgia Filter,” in that instead of you being blinded by your warm fuzzy memories, you’re tainted because you’re supposedly mentally comparing it to something more recent. Don’t like Metal Solid Pear 3: Laxative? It’s because you’ve been playing Tom Catty’s Splint Mail: Zeus Directum. It has to be… even if that game has only been out for five minutes and the forum has no indication whatsoever that you’ve actually played it or even own the console its on.

The weird thing is this trope shouldn’t even exist. I mean, its well known that most people like the safe and familiar, so why would being old-hat bother them? And besides, they have a counterpoint trope about how originators often do something unique that imitators don’t, which further negates the point of the Seinfeld one. And sometimes even the whole “context of the times” things negates it, if the work Seinfeld is being cited to defend wasn’t really that original in the first place (or if the guy being slapped with this trope is a guy known for playing old-school video games and enjoying them, which takes this straight into facepalm territory).

Bottom line is, pretty much the minute I see someone cite any of these tropes, my respect for them (and the value I place in their credibility) shoots down 10%, only rising if they acknowledge the flaws. Just… don’t use these tropes, ever.

That’s all for now. Ja.


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