Friday, May 8, 2015

Some Recent, Personal Thoughts on Fandoms...


I don't know about you, but I've been a bit bitter about something lately...

Fandoms.

Now, like any person out there, am I a fan of something. My biggest passions are Disney and animation, second to that are things like music, collecting stuff, film, art, and autos, among other things...

But yet lately, I've been thinking about my "place" of sorts as a "fan" of something...

As I've matured over the years, I've seen how fandoms can be. Even in my post-high school life, I learn more and more about fandoms and how to look at them...

I've come down to a possible conclusion that fandoms can really be treehouses...

What do I mean by treehouses?

Well, when you're a kid and there's a treehouse, the other kids who are inside will only let you into the treehouse if you are "cool" enough or to their liking.

A lot of fandoms, from my experience, are like that too. It can hurt at first, being excluded or ignored or even spited by members of a fandom - if not people who make the very things that the fandom is based around...

But why do they do this... Is the bigger question? Why do people, for instance, dislike a fellow fan for embracing something a way that's different from his or her own? Why do fans dog on fans who may not like a certain thing that a creator/person makes/does? Why do some fans act rudely towards other fans just for existing?

And also... Who are fans to call someone else an "untrue" fan of something?

If someone doesn't know as much about a certain thing as you do, they can certainly still be a fan. They just have to learn things they didn't know before, that's all. Why be condescending to those types? Also, why disrespect their opinion and them? Even worse, if you make the things a fandom loves, why act like that? I think you should know better...

I'm no saint. I used to rag on certain kinds of Disney fans, but I was mostly aiming that venom towards their views... But I stepped back after getting similar flack and I realized... "Hey! They're people too! They just happen to embrace something differently..."

Then I look at other fandoms, I got the idea. Now I try not to get on people for having different views on things I love... It takes all kinds to make a world...

So... I don't want to be part of a treehouse. I don't need to "belong" to a group that deems me acceptable or cool or worthy. I love what I love, know so much about it, and am eager to find out new things about said thing... I think that makes me a fan of something, no? I think it does, and I think it makes you a fan too. So love what you love, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Treehouses, aside from ones adults build for fun/personal pleasure, are for little kids who don't know what the real world is like, why would you want to join some "cool" people club? Kids do that, adults - I feel - should know that they don't need to "belong" to something in order to validate themselves or their love for something...

Next time a fan of something or even a creator knocks you down for your take on something you love, keep loving it. You are not a bad person...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hypocrisy and... You Are Not Alone

Does anyone else out there get the sense that at least one person they've come across dislikes them for no reason whilst being nice to others and acting like a humble, all-around good person? I've had that, and I'm sure others out there have it too...

For a while, this sort of thing had bothered me. Let's just say that there are some people who don't really know me for who I am, that don't want to get to know me, or judge me based on one little thing or two, and wrote me off just like that. Meanwhile, said person is nice to pretty much everyone else he or she comes across, even people they aren't close with. And some of them even have the gall to talk about how people should be nice or better to others.

I can't be alone on this, right people?

Well, I thought I was until I saw someone who was... Well... Not very polite to a friend of mine in the past, and then later on proved how much of a hypocrite he was.

This friend of mine is an animation fanatic and believes that you shouldn't judge a film until it opens, following what another animation fanatic we both know likes to believe. Let's call this person J, and we'll call the other person - the not-so-polite person - the jerk. I don't want to drop names. The jerk also happens to be something of a well-known and well-liked YouTube celebrity of sorts, he's known for a webseries that a lot of people happen to like.

Back in early 2014, Disney announced that they were going to make a live-action reimagining of Dumbo. Of course, that was revolting news to damn near everyone in the film community. I certainly have no interest in it, and I will gladly skip it when it comes out, like I've done with the post-Alice in Wonderland Disney remakes. I also feel that remaking the film in live-action with a human side-story is ultimately an insult to Walt Disney's masterpiece. I really don't want it, plain and simple.

Anyways, the jerk tweets a few things on why Disney doing a live-action remake of Dumbo pains him. Okay, that's fine. It pained me in many ways too, as an artist, art-lover, animation lover, and aspiring animation writer/director...

Then my friend - J - tweeted to him. It was something along the lines of, "Yeah, go ahead and judge a movie that hasn't even been made yet." Keep in mind that J is a fan of Jerk's series on YouTube...

What he said wasn't criminal, because really, it's not all that fair to judge anyway. I understand I'm probably being a hypocrite myself by declaring the project an insult to Walt's classic, but I feel that is so, that doesn't mean that it is so. All subjective.

Moving on...

Then the jerk responds with venom, so much venom a black mamba would cower. He belted 4-5 "FUCK YOU"s in all-caps at him and blocked him. Nice guy, right? All because someone said "Don't judge it"? If someone told me that, I'd either ignore the person or be a civil about it.

J simply tweeted back to him, "You can block me if you want to", and then did a series of tweets on how he'll still watch the Jerk's show (tagging him in the tweets, no less) and how the response he got didn't bother him too much. Good thing he doesn't take those kinds of things to heart. I probably would've flipped!

Anyways, just recently, the Jerk tweets something on how you shouldn't judge films before they come out. A rather long-winded, passionate sounding one too. You would think this guy was completely against being judgmental about art!

Now does that sound right to you?

I certainly hope not.

That's like, to sort of paraphrase a great animation historian, a man throwing lit matches into a forest and then later becoming chief of the local fire department. I'm sorry, but in my book, a person like that is a... Well, I want to be as eloquent as possible... Okay, a jerk. And I've encountered similar people, and if you encounter those kinds of people, just take away this after reading what I had to say: You are not alone.

Don't beat yourself up, don't assume you are some inadequate loser, some people out there can be pretty terrible and dickish. I'm just glad my friend isn't the type of person who would fall into a deep depression or do something worse if he were to get bullied like that. He doesn't seem affected, so I give him massive kudos. I never had any personal contact with the jerk, but I don't think I'd want to.

It's also possible that the jerk realized his error and tweeted what he recently tweeted because he wanted to issue an apology of sorts to anyone he may have ripped apart for challenging his opinions. Either that, or he forgot that he ripped my friend apart. Either way, I feel he should be ashamed of himself. Even worse, he's an adult... What he did was something a dumbass 14-year-old would do. Inexcusable if you ask me.

So if this sort of thing has ever happened to you, don't feel bad. Maybe that person is a jerk or a hypocrite after all...