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Expanding Elliott’s Law

Elliott’s Law: At least one person will profess to love any comic, podcast, blog, etc. no matter how bad it may be.

If you’re an internet snob — like most people on the internet are — you’ve likely experienced Elliott’s law (named after its creator/founder/discover-er Shawn Elliott) before. On a negative review of any product of media, you’ll likely find the one defender of said product. All well and good, since everyone is entitled to their opinion. But the more you browse around the internet looking for examples of Elliott’s law, the more you’ll see the law applied to even the worst of deviantART drawings. Sometimes, this defense borders on irrational. You’ll either dismiss a person entirely because of their love of something you consider horrid, or have a semi-serious argument with yourself about everyone being entitled and all that.

But there’s also the other side of Elliott’s Law, which I would like to formally introduce as an addendum. See, if any person will profess to love anything, then one could make the assumption that the opposite will also happen; that someone will always profess to hate something, no matter what it is. For evidence of this fact, simply look to the Amazon.com Knee-Jerk Contrarian Game. For those reading from a mobile device, the game basically asks you to go to any product on Amazon and sort the reviews for said product, which will show a negative review of that product. Everything from The Beatles’ White Album to The Wire to The Godfather is subject to this. The game is incredibly consistent, as far as I have played it, and goes to show in great detail the other side of Elliott’s Law. Just read this roasting of The Wire from several Amazon customers.

So, using this other side, we can expand Elliott’s Law to include the kind of thinking that lead to the Amazon Knee-Jerk Contrarian Game, and get something like this: Any product of media, no matter how good or bad it may be, will elicit hyperbolic responses both for and against said product. When you read it out loud, it sounds pretty obvious; of course people will have varying opinions of things. But it’s the extremity of those opinions that are important. And besides, that ubiquity is exactly it works so well as a law. So the next time you feel like dismissing someone for their sense of taste, know that whether you’re right or wrong, there’s a law that protects them, albeit in a backhanded way.

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