Fandom: the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc., regarded collectively as a community or subculture.
What used to be a community of fans has now become the HOA of Fandom and if you don’t like it THEN GET OUT BECAUSE YOU’RE THE PROBLEM!!! YOU’RE BEING MANIPULATED BY THE MOVIE AND I’M SMARTER THAN YOU SO I’VE COME DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT BECAUSE I’VE SPENT YEARS OF MY LIFE RESEARCHING FICTIONAL CHARACTERS!!
Before the Internet, if you were a fan of something, you had 3 ways to nurture it.
- Go to your local comic book store and look for like minded individuals.
- Write an email to Starlog or one of the many other magazines about it
- Go to a comic convention and try to find other fans
Now, with the Internet, you don’t even have to leave your couch. You can still find those people but beware. Heaven help you if you have a different opinion.
Now before I get started, I will admit, Man of Steel and Insidious are two movies that get my blood boiling and I’d be hypocritical if I didn’t mention how much I dislike them, but I can at least admit that, if YOU like them, we can still be friends. Sadly, that’s not the case for most places anymore.
I first noticed the slow destruction of Fandom around the time of the new Ghostbusters movie. Not a single shot was filmed before anonymous mouth breathers logged on everywhere they could to tell everyone how they felt, and if you felt differently?
Well then you were an idiot. No more questions needed.
Forums everywhere started to explode in the worst, nerdiest, knuckle dragging word fight that the World was embarrassed to witness. The phrase “If you’re not with me, you’re against me” was pretty much the motto being used and used it was.
No longer did fans simply disagree. Now it was all out war. Simply saying you would wait to see the finished product before commenting meant you were complacent with the destruction of the media and it was all your fault. There was no grey area. You were the reason this movie marched into France and oh….how i wished I was kidding when I say that.
Instead of a simple movie coming out, apparently you would be FORCED to watch it and all other references to previous movies would be collected and burned in the town square.
This was a fact I sadly witnessed. People would leave hashtags of #notmyghostbusters because yes, you would be marched into the theaters by gun point and made to watch the movie while all of your previous Ghostbuster memories would be erased. There was no choice.
Honestly. Some of the postings that were written made this new movie feel like it was going to be a second Holocaust, mainly from people who probably had less than a 5th grade education, so maybe they didn’t get to that point in history yet.
Actors for the movie were now receiving death threats and having racial slurs posted on their social media pages. “Fans” (and I use the term loosely) were arguing with actors and past writers, such as Dan Akroyd and Ernie Hudson, and telling them that they weren’t “true fans” and were only shills now for the production company. If they didn’t come right out and declare the Ghostbusters movie an out and out tragedy, then they didn’t deserve any respect they earned from making the very product those “fans” came to love which brought them to the forum in the first place.
Now we have Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
While trying not to post any spoilers, I believe I can say that the movie makes some twists and turns that makes you think differently about everything you’ve seen before. It touches on previous movies, like the prequels.
You remember the Star Wars prequels? Those 3 movies that grown men went to see and immediately started a blog just to tell you how bad they were?
I’ll even admit, I found them nowhere near as good as the original three movies. I found the script below average, quit racist and at points, the CGI was awful, but here’s the thing:
I don’t care if you like them, because that invents a reason for real fans to talk and debate. A point where we could come together and discuss our love for a galaxy far, far away.
In fact, that’s what I loved about The Last Jedi. It made me re-visit the prequels and see them differently. All I needed was time. Something apparently “fans” don’t have anymore.
After reading some comments in other Star Wars posts, it seems most people need everything spelled out for them, every character talked about and no surprises. I mean, NO surprises. Like Anchovies on a pizza for Michelangelo. There should be NONE.
Unless its a surprise “fans” argued and agreed about for the last 2 years. Then its ok.
You see, “fans” nowadays seem to think because they’ve watched a movie and bought the merchandise, they somehow OWN that movie. That even though they have zero experience in script writing, production, PR, acting or casting, they have a say in every movie they’ve seen, because hey, they bought an action figure and spent a whole weekend being non-productive and binged the whole franchise in a day, so that should be enough to have JJ Abrams phone number so I can fill his ear with my disgruntlement.
If that’s all it took to have a say in a movie, I’ll have a nice credit in any of the next movies that star Scarlet Johansson.
“Fans” seem to think that somehow, having a free blog or 100 followers, that they’re important enough to have their fantasies inserted into the media they profess to love, that is, until it doesn’t, then its stupid and off the rails and will likely crash and burn and have the production company go bankrupt!!!!
It’s like loving something so much, you smother and kill it while holding it too tight. Maybe ease up on your fandom there, Lenny.
I understand that certain movies or shows mean a lot to us. Here’s an example.
I love LOST. I have great memories of watching it with my wife and family. Memories I’d never trade. Looking up theories, discussing it on forums. Trying to talk about science and the paranormal with my kids when they asked questions about it. I even bought action figures (well, in-action figures since most didn’t have any articulation) and books and magazines. I would have been devastated if, for no reason, the entire thing was shown to be the dream of a special needs child staring into a snow globe. I had an “invested” interest in the show. I’d not only spent time, but also, money into the show, but here’s where I differ from the fear mongering nerd-nazis.
I’d get over it.
I would still have those toys. I would still have those DVDs. I would still have those memories and the one thing I wouldn’t do, mainly because I’m not a crazy person that can’t tell the difference from fantasy and reality, I wouldn’t write the actors and scream death threats at them. Or go around to every forum I could find to tell people how I hoped ABC would crash and burn and this would be the end all of everything, EVERYWHERE!! HERE COMES THE RAPTURE!!!
If a reboot happens, or another movie is made that gets tacked on, you STILL own what you own. Much like the Chicken Littles of the Right who yelled Obama would come take your guns, no one is coming to take your previously bought merchandise or memories.
I’m not sure where the exact point is when “fans” went from Corey Haim and Feldman in Lost Boys to gun toting, blood thumping, vein showing in the neck fanboys who yell in all caps that you’ve been manipulated by a film and are stupid for liking it.
After all, isn’t being manipulated by a film, the point of a film? The only person who should feel the need to have all their expectations met from a movie, are the the people who actually made the movie. Who wants to spend $12 on something you know everything about?
But then, who wants to spend $12 to watch something you know you’re going to hate?
Now you can’t throw a Porg without hitting an anonymous, crying “fan” who’s furiously typing from his dimly lit, basement dwelling about how some film should have never been made or the fact that its very existence encourages you to make a petition that would remove it from the canon.
(Look that up. Some unwashed, gorilla fingered movie Nazi wanted the last performance of Carrie Fisher, erased from the Star Wars universe and still had the nerve to call themselves a fan of the series)
I’m not sure Fandom can be fixed. I’d love to see it come back to its glory days of simple debates, but sadly, I just don’t see it happening. Not as long as anonymous keyboard cowards can sit in their stolen office chairs, ranting to everyone they can while giving scathing mad emojis on Facebook.
In this day of “Extreme or nothing”, where if a movie doesn’t change your life, it should be burned, pee’d on to get the fire out, then salt added to the Earth afterward so no reboots can be made, I think we’re too far out to sea to come back to shore. There are some great forums out there that still cater to manners and civility, but the fact you have to search them out, makes me more worried for the future.
Like finding small pockets of resistance.
Then maybe something CAN happen. After all, there was a certain country in Europe that survived with pockets of resistance. Given some time, if those vintage smelling, virginity still in mint condition, drama Nazis want to treat every new thing like a certain, horrific event from our past, we can defeat them and go back to the way things were.
And to those nerds out there that still understand the love of something and welcome new theories and debates, I only have one thing to say.
*the Author is well aware he is hypocritical in insulting people that have been insulting people, but he’s ok with it because those people are the worst and he’s pretty sure they can’t even read.