Enjoy that crow pie in the near future as you note with consternation the increasing popularity of “Buster Scruggs”
It never ceases to amaze me when people attribute the success of artists they dislike or don’t get to “fanboys.” When have “fanboys” ever given an artist or a film any more credibility than a flash in the pan? It bothers them that something they don’t appreciate for whatever reason is lauded, so instead of pondering what it is they don’t see that others do, or just chalking it up to “taste,” they trundle out the asinine “fanboy” argument as a way to appease their cognitive dissonance.
The reasons why the Coens enjoy such justified popularity are too numerous to go into here, plus, noting the OP’s entrenched opinions I am reminded of what Robert Heinlein said about trying to teach a pig to sing, however, amongst many other things, the Coens have assimilated most of the history of the art of storytelling via moving images to an amazing degree, and they are not afraid of drawing on, borrowing from, the best examples the art form has to offer, and using them in their films, from Preston Sturges snappy patter dialogue - even to the point of borrowing “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” through Cormac McCarthy, synthesizing them stylistically, and producing movies wholly original with no real definable historical precedent, such as “The Big Lebowsky,” or, “Raising Arizona,” or even “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
The fact that you have to provide a laundry list of films that are better than Buster Scruggs to prove that Buster Scruggs isn't awful says it all.
Not sure on what planet Buster Scruggs is increasing in popularity, but it's not this one. A couple token Oscar nominations in obscure categories, no buzz, no one cares. I can even see them winning the best costume one, as if that ever drove the masses to pick up a film.
I'm not saying the Coens are bad filmmakers, I'm saying they and their fan base have lost the objective ability to discern good films from bad. To a certain set, everything they make must be "brilliant," not because of the material itself but because of who made it (i.e., the laundry list of previous films).
I fail to see anywhere in my comment where I said any of those movies were “better than Buster Scruggs,” so don’t put words in my mouth than argue against them, that’s the classic strawman and the hallmark of a weak argument.
Just because people like certain movies you don’t appreciate it doesn’t mean the “fan base have lost the objective ability to discern” doodley squat. Personally, before Scruggs, I think the last really great movie the Coens made was “A Serious Man,” but that’s because I rate their movies on how much they improve on multiple viewings, and how much they make me think about them after they ended.
The Oscars are fun, but nobody who takes the art of filmmaking seriously believes only the best movies are nominated and win. “In Bruges” was utterly ignored by the Oscars, and “The English Patient” won over “Fargo.” ‘nuff said.
Be happy you don’t like it and feel free to revel if it fails to win any accolades, but time will tell, and as far as I’m concerned, Scruggs marks a significant departure and somewhat of a turning point in the art of filmmaking for a variety of reasons, and history will acknowledge it for the visionary artistic achievement it truly is.