You Can't Win Them All But You Should Admit Your Defeats

A writer that I have often championed on here, Nathan Rabin, wrote a piece about how he is okay that he isn't right about everything he predicts in his articles that really resonated with me. I find one of the most toxic things that has seeped out of social media and political entertainment shows/podcast/Youtubers is this need to be conveyed as a paragon of truth and an infallible purveyor of truths. It also comes from this misguided idea that you are either conservative or liberal, right or wrong, a gamer or non-gamer, 'true' Star Wars fan or Rian Johnson defender or numerous other ridiculous us vs. them faction creations.

Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time, knows that I revel in the shades of grey and feel the idea of absolutes is often pretty ridiculous. I hate how you can defend something on the left but then someone of a conservative persuasion blasts you for something that has nothing to do with that issues because they decided you wallow in all things liberal. This idea that my beliefs are the true and sacred one is what has made social media into a cesspool. It has led to toxic things like when the goons posing as Star Wars fans ran Kelly Marie Tran off Instagram because she is a women and Asian who dared to play a significant part in Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi (which I want to reaffirm is one of the best Star Wars movies).

I'm all for a podcast saying something with authority or a political pundit trying to infuse passion that draws an audience, but sometimes (read all the time) it is important to remember there is more than just two sides to an issue and often the "right" answer is a bit of a combination of everything. Of course, when it comes to art there is no right answer but just your own very passionate subjective view -- this means there is never a reason to be angry with the opposing view to how you viewed or read or listened to something.

I think I could swallow any political expert, if just once they actually admitted they were not a god and that some of their bold predictions were way off target. Just a little nimble of humble pie would add back some credibility to many of these writers or podcasters or personalities that seem to mistakenly believe their brand will be tarnished if they confess to many of the clear errors they've made and can easily be found out by simple fact checking.

If you write about real events and do some prognosticating, then there is a 100% chance you've got some things wrong. Getting things wrong is not a detriment to your writing or show or brand, because you shouldn't be selling yourself as a fortune teller. You have an audience because you have interesting insight and ideas, and that stuff doesn't lose value when things don't turn out the way you believed. If anything, it opens up for more interesting discussions when you admit your failings and try to explore why things are not the way you had once believed.

Scott and I have on numerous occasions on our podcast admitted we were wrong about Blumhouse when we railed against them 5 years ago and now happily champion their movies. It isn't a big deal, but I think it helps our credibility when we admit that we were wrong but are now open to see things differently. I could happily write a book about all the things that I've got wrong and how I've steered my opinions in a new direction over the years. I'm sure in 10 years, I will have some very different views and cringe at some of the stuff that I've rattled on about now.

I commend writers like Nathan Rabin who are not afraid of being wrong. I think that type of courage allows for more honest, insightful, raw and interesting writing. It is the type of bravery that I need to have more often on this blog. A need to write about the things that I am passionate about and not be afraid to be challenged by my readers or end up having a piece that gets completely torn apart for missing the mark. The greatest writers and creators are those that are not afraid to fail but also admit when they have failed and learn how to grow and improve from that.

I hope my writing is one that continues to be an example of a writer who may often fail but from that improves, grows, and shines.