I find your lack of faith disturbing. But then again...
The internet is a glorious bastion of global human communication. It brings down borders, dissolves distances, and otherwise just lets the whole of humanity come together in one big love-in of free exchange. Theres only one rule to enjoying this festival of communal goodness. Always be right. Otherwise, how ever are you going to maintain the approval and respect of millions of faceless strangers wholl never have any meaningful impact on your life?
You must always, always know how good something will be, months in advance of any direct experience of it, because that makes you clever. You must never be wrong, even if just in relation to someone elses opinion. And you must never change your mind, because doing so shows not mature thinking, but weakness. All that in mind then, what the hell do we do if The Force Awakens (opens in new tab) really does pull a Phantom Menace on us this month, as the cynics seem to hope it will? I mean it wont, but what if it did? How ever would we live down the stupidity of being excited about a film that had every chance of being fantastic (opens in new tab)? After all this excitement, were going to need a plan.
1. Deny everything
First things first. You were not excited about The Force Awakens. You just were not. In this initial fire-fighting phase, deny everything. Hold fast, make your resolve of iron, and do not waver. Many at this point will attempt the soft route of the rational apologist, but do not make that grave error. Balanced appraisal of the films various highs and lows might seem a sensible, safe option, but taking that path grossly undervalues the long-game here.
This is the internet, where opinions only count if theyre binary and absolute. In some quarters, mixed responses may float around willy-nilly in the primordial thought-soups various shades of grey, but make no mistake. Eventually that soup is going to coalesce into the unswerving solidity of concrete thinking. Within a matter of weeks, The Force Awakens is going to be The Worst Thing Ever, and you need to be seen as having always been on the right side of the wall. Make your case now, and state it as always having been the case, until your interrogators start to lose their own certainty that you ever felt any other way. Perception is truth, and if you remain steadfast for long enough, they may begin to question their previous reality. Bonus points if you manage to deprogram yourself into believing the new truth. Itll help further down the line.
2. Delete your entire social media history (and replace it)
Now, ideally you should already have this one ready to go. Ideally, youve been quietly running a secret, alternate Twitter account for years now, locked, unadvertised, seen by no-one, but absolutely brimming with every contrary opinion, just in case you need to do a burn-and-run on your current online identity in the event of opinion-disaster. In fact, ideally, you should have about 12, covering every combination of the full gamut of pop culture opinions you could ever possibly have. Its the only way to be assured of Looking Right on the internet come every eventuality. Somethings gone wrong? Dont worry. Youre not wrong. Just delete your old account, unlock the corresponding back-up, and pretend you were using it all along.
If youre not prepared in this way, well, poor show you. Youve obviously not been taking this Being Right on the internet thing seriously enough. Only one thing for it. Youre going to have to scale things up a bit. Your next step should be to
3. Quickly get rid of all your Star Wars stuff
Burn it, bury it, stick it in a rocket and literally fire it to a galaxy far, far away. It doesnt matter. There must be no trace of you ever having liked Star Wars. Actually, no, dont go that far. No Star Wars merchandise at all will look suspicious, and also very probably open you up to all of those tiresome pedants wholl question your right to a firebrand opinion on something you have little experience of or interest in. Original Trilogy stuff is fine as long as it could plausibly have been bought before The Force Awakens was announced. Fake some receipts to prove it was if you have to. The main thing here is that you cannot be inferred to have willingly taken possession of anything Star Wars related after the advent of the Great Age of New Cynicism.
Because thats the real point. The moment The Force Awakens was announced, it was no longer acceptable to be excited about Star Wars. Cold, calculated, dispassionate cynicism was the only response allowed by those who would Be Right. If you are to be seen as truly wise then, should The Force Awakens turn out to be rubbish, you must be seen to have embargoed all emotional involvement with Star Wars for the entirety of the films hype period. Dislike it all you want after release, but if you engaged with Star Wars at all beforehand, you were a nave fool taken in by the monstrous corporate marketing machine. Dont be one of those.
4. Pretend youve never heard of Star Wars
It should be clear now that, much like in high school, single-minded indifference and cynical disinterest are the most culturally correct ways to Be Right on the internet. And after all, who is cooler, more rounded, or better informed that they were at high school, right? If people are still accusing you, after all of the above, of something as ridiculous as having been excited about a film that looked good, then you need to embrace some next-level couldnt-care-less. There is no greater level of disinterest than never having heard of a thing.
Say that your desperately progressive parents implemented a nomadic upbringing for the first 20 years of your life, during which you were never in the same place for more than 24 hours and really not all that fussed about the sight of the Tunisian desert by the time you stopped moving around. Say youre the result of a government cloning program and were literally born yesterday (this one is actually doubly super-useful, as you can blame your enthusiastic transgressions on your DNA donor). Heck, even go as far as saying that that you saw the beginning of A New Hope once, but it looked dumb so you ignored the rest. This is a long-shot strategy, I know, and may sound fairly implausible, but remaining stubbornly attached to implausible personas is how you do well at this Being Right thing. Be strong. Or finally, if all else fails, you can just
5. Say you were talking about Star Trek
That J.J. Abrams film with Star in the title? The one reviving that decades-old sci-fi series? Thatll be Star Trek. You were actually excited about Beyond, not that silly old Force Awakens thing. All that stuff you said about hating the prequel period? You were talking about the wobbly Star Trek TV pilot episode, when Pike - not Kirk - was captain and Spock looked weird. All that praise for the Original Trilogy? You have an irrational hatred of whales, and thus refused to acknowledge any Trek films from The Voyage Home onwards. UP to and including The Search for Spock, though? Golden.
Just remember, if you do commit to this strategy, youll need to be very, very careful in your forward planning. Theres a new Star Trek TV series incoming, so as you progress with this line of argument, youll need to carve a cautious pre-emptive path toward possibly maybe utterly having always hated that too. Dont get caught out a second time. Dont like anything. Its the only way to be safe.
6. But seriously, its going to be great
Did you just get a bit misty-eyed again? I did, and I put that picture on the page myself. Its going to be great. You know it is. And if it isnt, dont bother coming back to this article to mock me in the comments. It wont be here. Therell be no point. It will never have been here.