4:26 PM, June 17th. Roger Ebert says via Twitter: "Find me a person who would value any video game above 'Huckleberry Finn,' and I'll show you a fool.'
4:28 PM, June 17th. I respond: "So tell me, which movie should I value higher than Beethoven's Ninth? Or higher than 'Huckleberry Finn,' for that matter?"
Ebert doesn't respond.
9:37 AM, June 22nd. I respond: "Movies also don't replicate the experience of reading a good book. You of all people should know that."
Ebert doesn't respond.
9:41 PM, June 22nd. Ebert links to a survey he created, asking people whether they value Huckleberry Finn or a great video game more.
10:06 PM, June 22nd. I ask him: "Which do you value higher, Huckleberry Finn or a great movie?"
Feeling frustrated and pissy and degenerating into passive-aggressiveness, I follow that with: "I'm not really sure why I bother asking, since you clearly aren't interested in a dialogue. Or even intellectual honesty."
Obviously, Ebert doesn't respond.
Why on Earth am I talking to Roger Ebert? Why do I even care what he thinks about video games? Why is it so difficult for me to just accept that he's more or less being a troll at this point, and then move on with my life? Why am I becoming the kind of guy that people feel the need to throw that XKCD link at? I don't know, but for whatever reason, this whole Ebert/video game thing really has my panties in a bunch.
Well, that's not entirely true. I know why. Here's a man who can write a sensitive and honest appraisal of race and racism, who is willing to share a wonderful and personal remembrance of his father. A man who can produce writings that are familiar, insightful, and that inspire me to be a better writer. That he can also be pigheaded and unreasonable frustrates me.
Maybe I'm looking for someone to idolize. I don't have a lot of heroes, so maybe that's a void that I want to fill. Maybe I just want people (and, by extension, the world) to make sense. Maybe this is just the family tendency toward obsession and compulsive behavior coming out. I don't know.
What I do know is that trying to get anybody to be what I want them to be is a waste of both my time and theirs. Roger Ebert doesn't know me and has no reason at all to care whether I read his blog or follow him on Twitter. It's time for me to stop acting any other way.
What about you folks? Do bloggers and Twitterers ever get under your skin this way? What do you do about it?