It’s not just Star Wars fandom. It’s not just Star Trek fandom. It’s not just Game of Thrones fandom.
A Sense of Wonder, But in a Bad Way
I’m marveling at all the “multi-disciplinary fans” who seem to exist to complain. They complain about what they watch. They complain about casting news. They complain about people who don’t agree with their complaints.
It’s tiring. It’s boring. It always has to do with expectation, impatience, and rushes to reaction.
To borrow from William Shatner, “It’s just a TV show!”
What I’m talking about is beyond the simple act of discussing and debating with your friends. This is natural and has occurred since entertainment began.
I’m sure there were pitched debates about the artistic merit of Hamlet in between the moments when people were living in horrid conditions and praying they weren’t going to contract the plague. I’m sure that we’ve just lost volumes of anger and ideological outrage about the ending of Oedipus Rex.
It must have been so frustrating for Athenians to go to the forum to kvetch about Aeschylus, to any and all who would hear. I’m sure that later, as the Romans were dominant, pitched debates about Plautus resonated while citizens waited to see Christians fed to lions.
Or Maybe Not
Or maybe they weren’t doing that. Maybe they understood that entertainment had its place in their lives, and that was that. They could like it, love it, or hate it, but then they moved on from there. There was no need to dwell on it, as people seem to do now.
Not to put too fine a point on it, if you’ve taken the time to create (or sign) an online petition to get a piece of entertainment changed, you’ve got some truly misplaced priorities in your life. I know that everyone is supposed to play nice, but I’ve hit a breaking point (again?) about our collective cultural attitudes about entertainment.
I was forced to endure scorn for liking The Phantom Menace twenty years ago, people can endure some scorn for throwing a hissy fit because they don’t like how a show ended. They should endure some scorn for it.
Of course no one cares if you complain about it. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. Have as many opinions as you want. No one is taking them away from you.
But crossing the line to “boorish nincompoop” is where everyone goes, instantly. It’s insanity!
Can everyone please calm down?
Or Burn It All Down
Alternatively, we should just burn it all down. Turn off social media, or use the burgeoning threat of government regulation to restrict the topics for a time after each new release of entertainment.
Imagine a world where Twitter shut down any conversation about a new movie or television episode for 48 hours. Change.org (which should just be shut down anyway) would have a six-day “cooling off” period for any petition about remaking a show or movie, at which point it would send a link to you again asking if you wanted to make such a jackass of yourself.
Sure, Change.org wouldn’t be able to get as many fools to voluntarily hand over their email addresses to be sold and placed on lists. Twitter wouldn’t be as vital in terms of determining the barometer of fan reactions for lazy professional bloggers.
…Wait. That’s a good thing. This is all a good thing. It’s time for these brave new steps for a brave new world!