I feel the need to froth for a bit. Bear with me.
Okay, guys. I am so fucking sick and tired of "it's just a show" or "it's just a book" whenever somebody says "it changed my life." Guess what! ART CAN DO THAT. I would argue that the entire point of artistic endeavour is to affect someone, emotionally, mentally, sometimes even physically (porn, for example*). If something doesn't affect you, if it is, in effect, just a book, then it's not art, and I don't think I have ever read a book that didn't make me react in some way. Even if I hated it (Twilight), it still made me react.
Everyone who creates is trying to affect somebody out there. One of the greatest compliments I recieved on any piece of writing was "a tremendous gut-punch of a story." It was not a happy story, and I'm sure the feelings evoked were not happy ones, but I was not trying to create happy feelings, and I affected my audience, which is the real and original goal of creativity.
I'm sure this is why people beg for reviews so shamelessly, why authors and musicians and artists love to hear from people who've read/heard/seen their stuff, and I know it's why I don't like to write fic for certain people because I know they don't respond. Artists have to know they're creating an effect, any effect. Attention-whoring? Perhaps, but I don't think so. Without response, how do you know you're not screaming into the void? How do you know that there's any point and purpose to what you're doing at all?
In short, don't ever dismiss something as "just" a show or book or movie or whatever. Somebody, somewhere, has been affected powerfully by that show or book or movie. I guarantee it. Your dismissal trivializes their feelings and, if it gets back to the artist, makes them feel trivial. Because the worst thing you can ever say to an artist regarding their work or to a person who loves that work is "meh."
*If anyone leaves comments arguing about the artistic value of porn, I will hunt you down and murder you in your sleep for spectacularly missing the point.
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