Monday, March 18, 2013

Get over yourself.

This is sort of the first part of a two-part post I'm planning on writing.  It was originally going to be one post with a disclaimer.  But I realized I'd end up ranting for a couple paragraphs because this is a touchy subject with me and I figured why not just make the original rant shorter for the loss of the page-long disclaimer?

So this is the prologue to the oncoming blogpost, which I'm roughly entitling Doctor Who And Why I Call Myself a Whooligan and Not A Whovian Because My Favorite Season Was Season One and Whovians Hate Me For That.

I'm still working on the title.

But anyway.  The disclaimer was going to say this: loads of Whovians who watched the original Doctor Who before the rebooted show have told me that Eleven is more like the original Doctors, and that's why they prefer him to Nine or Ten.  And that's totally fine.  Different opinions - I like them.  The trouble comes when, as has happened to me, people get belligerent and say that Eleven is the best New Who Doctor and that the people who don't like him obviously have something wrong with them - and if they don't know the original Doctors, then they're obviously n00bs and their opinion is moot.

As John Green said, this is one of those few things that turns me into a giant squid of anger.

Especially now with all of the reboots, remakes, and revitalizations, elitism like this is everywhere.  The people who've been in fandoms before it was cool have disdain to spare for the oncoming newbies.  (Not all of them; I just want to make that clear.  There are idiots and smart people in every group.)  And sometimes I see someone who's had experience in a fandom or an area of interest, and they just swarm over a confused newbie like a one-man cloud of vampire bats, with this wad of corrections and clarifications and facepalms.

It's not. cool. guys.

Entertainment like this is not a big deal.  It's fun.  That's what entertainment is FOR - it's for FUN.  It's for relaxing and deepening your mind and maybe making friends that you wouldn't have made otherwise.

You do not use entertainment - movies, novels, mythologies, comic books, TV shows, radio programs - to talk down to people because they got something wrong.  Okay?  You don't.

A person should be able to enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe without getting lambasted because he's never read all hundred billion comics that came before.  A girl should be able to say she really enjoyed The Kane Chronicles even if she knows nothing about Egyptian mythology.  I should be able to talk about Doctor Who even if my favorite Doctor is Nine, I hate Amy with every fiber of my being, and I occasionally write Dr. Who instead of Doctor.  A guy should be able to say he enjoyed the book and the movie without getting "THEY CHANGED THE BOOK SO MUCH" shouted in his face as if he didn't notice himself.  And a girl should be able to say she enjoys Twilight without getting venom spit at her.

Elitism like is hurtful and damaging and it just makes you look like an idiot.  Not all fans do it - fandom people are generally awesome - and of course the nasty fans don't affect everybody the same way.  Some people can roll it off.  Other people internalize.  And before anyone says that they should get used to it - which they should, I agree - I can also say that they shouldn't have to.

I mean, come on.  Jesus loved noobs!  He didn't go around talking down to Gentiles because they didn't have the entire Jewish history in their bloodlines.  I think it was the people who thought they knew everything who ended up getting most of His righteous indignation, wasn't it?

So what this all boils down to, in the end, is respect.  Respect that other people have different opinions. Respect that some people just like Greek stories and that they don't know Ancient Greek and that it sure as heck isn't hurting you if they don't know that Hercules is Roman and not Greek.  Respect that someone doesn't have time to read all the original Avengers comic books and that even if they had the time they might not have the money and that where on earth do you get comic books anymore anyway?    Respect that maybe Owl City's latest album is actually their first introduction to electronica and that just because all they know yet is "Good Time" doesn't mean they don't have all the necessary enthusiasm, love, and effort to put into a fandom.

Or that someone doesn't want to be as big a fan as you are!  What an idea, that someone doesn't want to be just as hardcore and awesome as you are.  Kick in the pants, that.

Let. people. alone.  Newbies don't need a teacher.  They need someone who'll sit and scream with them at Weeping Angels and who'll headbang along with them to OneRepublic's new song and someone who'll await the next book or episode with just as much agony as they have.

In other words, get over yourself.

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