Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Shut Up and Like What You Fucking Like

I have officially decided I am a tired man. Tired for many things in general - our political climate, the selfishness I think we're all exposed to daily, physically and self-inflictedly given how I run myself ragged in a normal week - but I am mostly fatigued because the more I look around it seems like we cannot bother to enjoy things. More specifically, we cannot enjoy our things because there are other evil and despicable people bothering to take solace in things that aren't the same things we like! Sometimes, even worse, they try to like the same things but are doing it years after we did and now that it's become more "mainstream"!! The horror, the horror, etc, etc. And I, as a retired "King Jackhole of Caring Way Too Fucking Much About Experiences Other People Were Having" whilst I was in my mid-twenties am here to say an emphatic "Who gives a fuck?!" It may be in some abysmally inane way the zeitgeist of the times with our constant barrage of social networking and Internet forums and comments page upon comments page to be continually jacked into what people are doing with their free time (I am also guilty of this in a "I need to check into this thing I'm doing on an app so people can ask me about it if they want feedback because I love giving feedback on stuff I enjoy!!! mannerism) but it needs to stop. When your enjoyment of a piece of art/entertainment/media or what have you is being compromised by people putting their relaxation efforts into something you deem of a "lesser quality," then it is way more likely than not you are one who needs a shifting of priorities, not this waste of human flesh who needs raped for their fandom that you speak of (assuming you speak of it in standard, spiteful Internet vernacular).

As I just said, I say all of this and speak of its truthiness (and, holy fuck, I just realized that word did not autocorrect as I typed it and that is pretty great) because I've been there. I am a consumer of things. It is what I do. When I finally bear down on trying to reach that mythical "relaxed" state I usually do it through artistic media endeavors. I buy at least fifty different comic book titles a month. I read anywhere from a dozen to twice that in novels a year. I keep tabs on probably fifteen different television shows, play upwards of twenty video game releases a year and on and on and on. Essentially, when I finally  do bother to wind down I like to do so by disappearing in what other people create because I respect and appreciate what creative people do to lighten up and/or inspire this world. Unfortunately, this did not used to be the case because I, as a frustrated and angrier version of my current self, was for some fucksakingly moronic reason frustrated and angry that people liked "bad" forms of media, unlike everything I liked which was, of course, the pinnacle of the medium because I just knew that much more.

Basically, I was an asshole. Not to be confused with @$$hole, which I definitely am, but has its own connotation that is probably more misunderstood than it deserves to be these days. See my last posting from months ago about my thoughts on being a critic in relation to what I'm typing here now. Anyway...

I'm bothering to type all this because of that fatigue I alluded to earlier. Because, try as I might to not be "jacked in" to social media 24/7, I am on it enough and exposed to a solid amount of material written about the matter to see that, for some reason and after years of being the "shunned people" geeks have now turned on each other. Now that we live in an era where hallowed pieces of the perennially loser stuff like "The Lord of the Rings" and properties like Batman, Superman, and the Avengers are featured in movies that make more than half the nations of the world, all that has really developed instead of a "Yay, all this stuff I enjoy is perpetuating! I should enjoy this while it lasts!" sense of pride is a pissing match between who is "more geek." A culture that has traditionally been bullied is now the bully amongst themselves. Girls apparently enjoy Doctor Who now (and may or may not have been lured in by David Tennant being absolutely dreamy) and that is an affront to the geek culture of "WE ARE THE SHUNNED AND LONELY" that everyone brazenly wore while getting stuffed in lockers all the while. Get over yourselves, all of you. You all sound like that "Murica for Muricans!" exclusivist crowd, that proudly totes an attitude of "fuck you, you can't enjoy the wonderful things we have because we're scared it'll impact our lives even though it really won't at all" and revels in its elitist shunning. And, really, who wants to be in the same grouping as Arizonans?

Look, I get having pride in your hobbyist jaunts. And I get poking fun at terrible things because, well, terrible things need not exist. In a world where we have instant access to literally any music you could want to hear from dozens and dozens of entry points, Justin Bieber should be a no name, let alone the biggest name. But, the rub is, there's people that enjoy that and it sucks they have no taste but, eh, that's their thing. Where you show your pride is by guiding them into a new hobby or better versions of it, not excluding them because you were there first when it wasn't cool.  Yeah, Bieber blows, probably literally, whatever, move that person into some classic crooners like Sinatra or the King. "The Twilight Saga" is a terribly written pile of vacuous drivel that probably sent womankind back decades as teen girls everywhere are shown it's okay to pine over whip thin boys with no personality while making no decisions for themselves, and yes, it sucks that's a billion dollar movie franchise, but that just means there's a lot of younger ladies out there (I say their soccer moms that also love this shit are too far gone to be saved but who knows) to be led to NetFlix and some "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" where they can get a better version of that romance with a female lead that's not Malibu Stacying the young, female audience.

And it goes without saying at this point but fandom is definitely one of those "we're all in this together" deals. Your hobby may be fucking quilting images of the Golden Girls in different time periods for all I know but if that's your passion then by all means delve deep. I have a closetful of beer that would satiate any two human beings let alone some jackass such as myself that is too busy being dainty about his waistline to fully enjoy it and I've got shelves full of enough dead tree that I'm probably responsible for a clearcut forest. But I've met some good people that way who just want what we all want, something to help us relax, something to be passionate about, something to bring us together and something that may even be a future for us by producing it ourselves and for fellow fans to put their dollars toward. If it's not hurting anyone, if it's not lowering the population's collective IQ with its inanity, and if it's bringing us all together, then why bother with the vitriol brought about on all these newcomers and open-minded can-I-join-in's? Oh, because it makes you less special for being their first. Piss-fucking-off.

Because that's the downside to fandom isn't it? At some point, if you've dug too deep, you're stuck in that hole. When all you do is live for a thing you become tied into that on a core level. If someone tries to love that same item then they're taking it away from you right? Your combined love can't possibly occupy the same space otherwise it all gets too big and POP! no more thing to sink your time, money, and energy into.

Or you could just get over yourself.

It's a big world out there and 99.9% of it is just trying to get by and artistic endeavors such as these are how we all accomplish this goal. Trust me, as someone with enough responsibilities to drown a politician and who never gets out into the world to be shoulder to shoulder with his comrades in liking things, it's nice to enjoy it all together. You make friends, you share experiences, you find like ground and find new things to focus your energies on and to inspire you in different ways than you were being so before. You could also lose yourself into your self-righteousness and wise anonymous rape threats on people for sharing a different opinion than yours on a piece of art fiction too, but what kind of pencil-dicked, no social grace having, still wets the bed at night because no one including their parents ever fucking liked them piece of shit would do something as lowlife as that? So go with the open and shared experience thing, trust me.

You've got nothing to prove about being "geek enough" and the most virtuous of those that wear that moniker are the ones who bring more into the fold so they can get the same joy out of these hobbies, not those that not only shun the newcomers but do so in the vilest of manners. Those people don't actually enjoy anything but their own self-indignation and we've fought too long to show the world all this cool stuff we like and that they could like as well to let them drag us back down into the Sarlak-like pits of social exile from which we climbed the past few decades. We can do and become better, just like all these pieces of created inspiration that exist for the express purpose of guiding us nudge us to achieve. Cheers...