Geekdom’s Frankenstein’s Monster

SWMegaFan linked me to three different recent articles on three different sites that appeal a lot to geek culture, all of which having to do with the idea that maybe fandom is getting out of hand. They talked about the crackpot reactions over the new “Ghostbusters” film, anger over Marvel’s “big surprise” re Captain America, hashtag campaigns, and so forth. They realize now that fandom is demanding content be made its way, that it’s not being seen as art but instead as products that need to please the fans/consumers and their sensibilities or else.

Gee, you think? Where have you guys all been lately? Oh, that’s right, some of you were right there encouraging the mobs as far back as the ‘90s when the target was George Lucas. Geek culture magazines, pop culture and movie web sites, and the infamous AICN talk back fed nerd rage over the Special Editions and the prequels. Devin “You’re A Fine One To Talk” Faraci compared today’s fans to Annie Wilkes from “Misery.” I’ve been using the Annie Wilkes comparison for 20 years! I used to joke that Lucas had better pray his car doesn’t break down in front of the homes of these “fans,” because some of them were that crazy. There were always fans who have not liked the direction their favorite shows/movies took and have long since grumbled about showrunners and creators. What changed with the SEs/PT is not only a bigger, more immediate platform for venting but also active encouragement from the media. No reaction was too extreme. The narrative was Lucas committed an unpardonable sin by letting his fans down and his fans were righteous in punishing him because they knew Star Wars better and cared about it more than he did. Since geek media depends on getting readers, egging on the hate with an untold amount of clickbait and open comment sections had become a staple ever since.

Studios and creatives on the production end have done their part to encourage fans gone wild too.  I’ve noticed a Comic Con-ization of popular culture, where it’s important to win over that crowd by telling them what they want to hear. It used to be when a show creator, writer, or actor thanked fans at a con for their support, it was genuine, because they were so doggone thrilled somebody cared about their work. Today it often seems like pandering and sadly, a lot of people can’t discern when it’s pandering or they simply don’t care so long as they get what they want.

But these self-appointed poohbahs of geekdom have always been short on self-awareness, as are their readers, judging by the comments to some of these pieces. It’s disingenuous to scratch your head over why a guy would make a video announcement that he is boycotting “Ghostbusters” when over a decade ago you were applauding and promoting “fan-cuts” of TPM or seven-hour long prequel-bashing videos. If you’re treating these rebellious fans as heroes don’t be surprised others are seeking that kind of attention and validation; you also can’t be surprised at how corporations are increasingly treating their films and shows as “product” when not too long ago, you were attacking an artist as a villain for offending the nerd hordes. It even went on just a few months ago with X-Files creator Chris Carter. You can’t be surprised at death threats getting lobbed at the guy who made Captain America a Hydra agent if you thought it was hi-larious when Patton Oswalt “joked” about beating Lucas to death with a shovel.  The Annie Wilkes crazy kind of fandom is their Frankenstein’s monster.

 

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56 Responses to “Geekdom’s Frankenstein’s Monster”

  1. Doug Brown Says:

    Very well said! I thought a lot recently about the parallels between the reactions to the new Ghostbusters movie and the way the prequels were treated years ago and are still treated. The difference then, of course, was that it was (and indeed still is) considered a matter of faith that the prequels were bad, had always been a bad idea, and could never be redeemed. Now the world is shocked that people are freaking out over Ghostbusters as though hatred of something fresh and different is a new phenomenon.

    The truth, of course, is that the prequels were fresh, fun, and brilliantly conceived and constructed. But they were DIFFERENT from the original Star Wars movies and some elements of our society simply couldn’t handle that. The same is apparently true with Ghostbusters and the new Captain America revelations, though this time the same media that promoted prequel-hating are now all amazed that this sort of thing can happen.

    Our world is a confusing place and strange contradictions happen I realize. But the vitriol directed at the Star Wars prequels still makes my blood boil, and the fact that such hatred hasn’t abated in the culture at large is very frustrating. I realize that there are more rational people out there – this amazing site is proof of that – but the rational voices are constantly drowned out by the crazies.

    Thanks for this great article.

    • JustinJL Says:

      I had no problem at all with the Ghostbusters movie. What were the writers and producers supposed to do? Grab the old cast and turn it into a movie abour training a new generation of ghostbusters? I enjoyed the idea of a alternate universe with a new tale to tell. It seems as if fans of sci-fi/comics/gaming nowadays are just not happy anymore, period. EverytIme the bar gets raised for entertainment, geekdom wants it raised even higher. What do people who are against the prequels want? Reliving their childhoods? I mean those days are long past. I mean they are not getting their childhoods back. I think You Tube is damaging because everyone and their gerbil can just rant and rave. And it might be over the miniscule things. To these acolytes of geekdom, go get a job as a writer and try to break into the business or do your own saga, if you’re not happy.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        The irony is a vocal and often critical online culture is the reason why Hollywood is revisiting properties to remake and reboot because it no longer wants to take any risks on a $150 million movie. Behold the announcement yesterday that they are remaking the 1984 comedy “Splash” with Tatum Channing as a merman. If you want originality these days, you have to watch t.v. or get a Netflix subscription. I just wish so much of it wasn’t R-rated and smutty.

      • susanbowes Says:

        I agree about Hollywood not wanting to take chances on making new movies and that the only films they’re willing to “remake” are ones that are known hits such as Ben-Hur. OMG! There will always only be one Ben-Hur as far as I’m concerned and that’s the original starring Charlton Heston!

  2. Rebel Je'Daii (@SWForce4EU) Says:

    Lucas cared more for his characters than those fans ever did. And if I can understand the anger at the Captain America/Hydra thing its because I’m looking at why/when/how he was created and going : would the original artist/creator approve this direction? I kind of doubt it.
    But since they don’t care for the rights and opinions of living artists and film makers, I sure would not expect them to care about the ones long gone.

    Lucas was creative and he didn’t need reboots to make a good story. I’ve seen his other movies too, including the Redtails one that he had to finance himself and couldn’t get in theaters. And its too bad too because it would have been spectacular on the big screen. But then, Lucas dared to make stories. All hollywood these days cares about is a fast buck.

    • Edward Diego Says:

      “Red Tails” had a limited theatrical run. Lucas asked several studios to publish it but nobody was sure hot to market the movie worldwide. But with all due respect – i saw “Red Tails” – and it’s not a good movie. The story stelling is dated and full of cliches.

      • madmediaman Says:

        Red Tails was intentionally dated and filled with cliches. Lucas, McCallum, and the actors were all clear this was a classic Hollywood 1940’s Style war film film the Tuskegee airmen never got. It borrows a lot from movies such as “Yank in the RAF” and “30 Seconds Over Tokyo”

      • Mike Jones Says:

        I saw Red Tails a few weeks back and I personally did like it and though it was fine. Sure, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea – and I can see why it doesn’t appeal to all types of audiences (particularly international audiences as it’s a movie centered on US-based characters mostly with a focus on an internal US problem) – but it was an interesting perspective to see what was going on with the African American community that was in the military during WWII and to see what they had to go through and what they had to do in order to be seen in a more honorable and non-undermining light during a time of conflict (while still dealing with racism in their home country). Sure, it may not be completely historical accurate (ex: plane machinery descriptions, etc.) but it wasn’t meant to be. Also, it wasn’t really mean to be a serious war film like Saving Private Ryan and that is ok as well.

        This film has the feeling of being of the experimental type and that is fine too as I believe that it was a project meant to act as an experiment. Doesn’t mean that it can’t be enjoyed by people, just means that it’s not something that will land with everyone.

      • Mike Jones Says:

        As for the cliche and dated part of this, I have reason to believe that that was intentional. While not 100% historically accurate, it was meant for the times to reflect the 1940’s from how the characters talked to the mood. The overall style was meant to reflect those times.

      • Edward Diego Says:

        If “Red Tails” was intentionally done to be a 1940s/50s war movie, ask yourself why it wasn’t successful at the box office. There is a reason why movies are not made like this any longer. People don’t buy this kind of cliche filled war movie with dated story telling any more, because movie making evolved in the past 60 years. You can pay homage to a certain era, say the 1930s action adventure serials or Flash Gordon – make a B-Movie done A-Style, which we got with Star Wars and Indiana Jones. But if “Red Tails” wasn’t simply paying homage to an era, namely doing the modus operandi of those 1940s/50s war movies, then George can’t assume this movie will be a box office hit. According to IMDB “Red Tails” was a financial loss for Pre-Disney Lucasfilm. I understand that George likes to do what he want. But business wise … i don’t know if that is (now was) the best way to run a movie company.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        “Red Tails” was a low budget film and it was George Lucas’s money to lose. He wanted to help give opportunities and exposure to black filmmakers, actors, and screenwriters. RT isn’t a great movie but it is a reasonably entertaining one. Not everything has to be a damn comic book movie, a video game or toy movie, or some other safe “tentpole.”

      • Mike Jones Says:

        Maybe Red Tails will become one of those films that will eventually gained more appreciation as times moves on (allowing for re-evaluation and be seen in a different light), at the very least a cult following; kind of like the movies The Shining and Labyrinth (heck, even ESB as it was initially met with mixed reviews during initial theatrical release). Outside of SW and Indiana Jones films, it seems like a handful of Lucasfim productions are of the type that may not be as appreciated initially (at least not as much as filmmakers would like) but then as time moves on, they gain more appreciation and cult following status. In a funny way, time has a way of making people’s minds think differently in the future.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I actually do understand why people are upset with the Captain America thing. It’s another cheap publicity gimmick that undermines the character and what he stands for. Does it justify sending the writer death threats? No. The proper reaction to when they do these stunts is to not buy the comic.

      • Jim Raynor Says:

        I just laughed and rolled my eyes when I heard about it. With the caveat that I haven’t read the comic in question and don’t know how the story will turn out, I’ll just say that it comes across as clickbait masquerading as storytelling. There is a zero percent chance of this actually sticking as the new permanent direction of the character.

        Ironic that the loudest complainers in fandom (mostly females in this case, from what I’ve seen) are being told to stop being oversensitive by the fanboys who cry and whine over much smaller changes in everything from comic books to Star Wars.

        You’re right when you say that self awareness is sorely lacking in fandom.

  3. Hoggle Says:

    I probably for years often posted at AiCN with my prequel related movie fandom. In fairness i don’t recal once getting into an argument with posters, about how what i liked wasn’t cool or i was wrong etc Generally though at the same time, it never really generated major prequel fandom conflabs on the talkbacks either.
    AiCNs use to have some real hillarious talk backs & associate articles i found, some star wars ones too. What killed it was the Disques system; before then it was quite easy to skip through what you weren’t interested in (which was alot of dreck) and follow or participate in the points & topics that took one’s interest. Now you have to scroll through the content of every message….. & it’s quite quickly a chore in heafty threads. But in all my fandom musings on star wars 1-6 there, never got deluged with hate at all (maybe cause what i was chatting about would be actually quite cool genuine & detailed fandom).

    Like for example, i posted my entire first SW sequel fandom ep 8 skeleton screenplay – which includes a detailed prominent scene with Anakin right near the start and never got one negative comment. *shrug* 🐸

  4. Brian47 Says:

    Was it this article that was shared with you?

    http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/05/30/fandom-is-broken

    It’s really on target.

  5. Jacobesico Says:

    Ain’t Karma a b****?

  6. Edward Diego Says:

    In the documentary “The People vs George Lucas” you can actually see pieces of a fan film where Annie Wilkes catches George Lucas an orders him to rewrite ROTS.

  7. susanbowes Says:

    I couldn’t agree with this article more. Frankenstein’s monster couldn’t be a more appropriate title!

  8. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    I’ve seen “RED TAILS”. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t that bad either. I thought it was pretty decent. I understand that Lucas had financed the movie for someone who was either the movie’s director or writer . . . or both.

    As for the Captain America aka HYDRA mole . . . all I can say is that I have never read a Captain America comic book in my life and I have no intention of doing so in the future. On the other hand, I’m a big fan of Chris Evans’ interpretation of the character on the movie screen. I can only hope and pray that the Marvel producers will not adapt this new storyline. If they do, I have no intention of seeing the movie. That’s it.

  9. Jim Raynor Says:

    I’m glad that people are FINALLY beginning to address toxic fandom, because it’s a problem that’s been building for years and has only gotten worse with the connectivity of the internet and social media.

    It’s absolutely disgusting to me whenever creators and companies actually pay lip service to the opinions of the obsessive, narcissistic, misogynistic, and deranged segments of fandom, who are no more than an overly vocal minority. The types of people who rightfully go unheard by most of the mainstream society that actually makes up 99% of any franchise’s audience.

    Despite whatever progress we’ve seen on this front though, I think the geek media still reserves one set of rules for Star Wars and another set of rules for everything else. The worst comic book fans are told to grow up. People shake their heads in disbelief that Ghostbusters fans are actually making a big deal over female Ghostbusters as if they have cooties or something.

    But Star Wars? It was only a few months ago when the geek media was using The Force Awakens as an opportunity to rehash a bunch of repetitive attacks against George Lucas and the Prequels. For God’s sake, one of Star Wars fandoms’s designated champions, intellectual leaders, and authority figures is RED LETTER MEDIA. It matters not that RLM’s reviews are full of profanity, biased personal attacks, dishonesty, and gross rape jokes. It still gets name dropped and linked to in what are supposed to be professional media articles. RLM is who the online fandom, and the geek media, have chosen to REPRESENT the Star Wars brand. Disney must be so proud of that.

    If I were a parent with a child who was a young fan, I’d be horrified to see that. Even if I were an older fan who despised the Prequels, I’d be too embarrassed to ever show anyone a RLM video in real life.

    I’ve distanced myself from all types of online fandom even though I remain a geek for multiple series and franchises. But I hope that eventually, the backlash against the worst aspects of fandom finds its way into Star Wars where fans are the absolute worst.

  10. maychild Says:

    Some of the bashers have claimed that they continue to bash, not out of hate, but out of love for SW. They don’t hate SW, they say. They don’t hate Lucas, even when they say he should’ve died in 1998 “for the sake of the story.” No, what they hate is what Lucas has “done” to SW.

    One time I likened their claim to that of an abusive husband who claims he only hits his wife because he loves her. You should have seen the outraged reactions from the haters! How dare I liken the trashing of “some movies” to real-life, serious issues such as spousal abuse!

    Never mind that they, the bashers, opened the door to that very thing, with their “raped childhood” comments, their increasingly violent rhetoric, and, it must be said, their own likening of “true SW fans” (meaning themselves) to abuse victims who “stay with their abuser, because the good times were just so good!”

    So now the little jackasses are “horrified” at the amount of hate and viciousness in fandomland. Well, what goes around comes around. As the hateboys’ idol, Simon Pegg, demonstrated when he threw a tantrum at the negative reaction toward “Star Trek: Into Darkness” (this after he’d spent a decade spewing insults at Lucas and the prequels), they can dish out all kinds of invective against their personal whipping boy, but when it’s their own pet series that receives the snipes, they simply cannot take it.

    You bought it, hateboys. It’s yours.

  11. Jacobesico Says:

    I think that the geeks and hipsters are going to end up eating themselves with all the hate. It’s a dog eat dog world for them. They’ll probably turn on each other like The Sith if one section hates what the other likes.

    I don’t bother with the geek sites anymore. I can feel my brain shriveling everytime I read that drivel.

  12. Edward Diego Says:

    So what is the EVENT when a part of the fandom turns against the creator? Fandom does not turn evil out of nothing – it’s a cause and effect thing. In terms of Star Wars i would say it wasn’t the specifically the Prequels but rather the Special Edition of the OT along with the fact that the Theatrical Cuts were abandoned just out of the reason that Lucas does not like them anymore – but undisputable the fans who grew up with it do. Imagine Disney discontinue the PT – some of the OT fans felt like this und feel today just because of Lucas’ (debatable) artistic choice. So we have Event 1) Release of the Special Edition, Event 2) Abandonment of the Theatrial Cuts and then Event 3) the Prequels. Three major events that split the fandom until today. But i’m not ruling out a theory that says every last Star Wars Generation does not like the next generation: OT fans do not like the PT, PT fans do not like TFA. I noticed that a lot in the last couple of months that PT fans argue and act against TFA like OT fans did with the PT. So i guess it could be a generational thing.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      The real issue is that there are fans think they OWN something because they chose to spend all of their time obsessing over it and they believe everything should be done their way. Lucas asserted his right as an artist to do what he wanted with his work and those fans weren’t having that. They thought the way it should work is that Lucas should do whatever they want him to do with SW. He was the guy at Burger King and SW was their Whopper. The rest of it are excuses. Changes were made to the prequels and nobody cared.

      • Edward Diego Says:

        Nobody cared about the changes that were made to the Prequels because all Prequel “Versions” are up this day available to buy. TPM for example: Fans can choose which version they want to get – the Frank Oz puppet Version or the CGI puppet Version. Lucas never pulled the older Prequel versions from the stores.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        This is going to be a tiresome argument but it’s crazy to believe it’s rational to go on a 20-year bullying jihad against a filmmaker, his work, actors and others who performed in that work, and fans like the ones who visit here simply because a few people wanted pre-SE versions of the films available and won’t get them.

      • Bob Clark Says:

        Actually the blu ray doesn’t have the puppet Yoda in TPM anymore. You’d have to resort to the DVD for that, just like you’d have to resort to VHS, or SD DVD, for the original theatrical OT. So, yeah. No dice.

      • Branislav Marček Says:

        “Lucas never pulled the older Prequel versions from the stores”

        He never pulled the theatrical cuts of Episodes IV, V and VI from the stores either.

        He released them twice; first on VHS in 90s before the theatrical release of the 1997 cuts and then on DVD along with the 2004 cuts in 2006 and simply didn´t release the ever since.

        They weren´t pulled from stores, they were sold out and so it will be with the earlier versions of Episodes I, II and III as well.

        The only way to get the theatrical cut of TPM is to buy it on old VHS.

    • Cristian Martinez Says:

      Actually I care less about the newest fans, they can see what they want, never the less, I never would stop arguing that Force Awakens was totally dumbed down and the universe now has no context whatsoever, I care less about the effects, I actually liked them, or the characters (even that most of them are freaking Mary Sue), but the universe, that was so rich and full of details, and now has non.

  13. Michael Says:

    Great piece, LP! I’m glad that the media is finally calling out the worst sections of entitled, petulant fandom, but as you point out, this didn’t happen overnight. Click bait websites and certain media outlets have encouraged this behavior for a very long time… and some of them are the same ones now decrying this madness!

    Nevertheless, I am encouraged that a conversation is beginning to coalesce around these very passionate, violent reactions in some circles of fandom. Recognizing and calling out the lunatics for who they are and forcing people to look in the mirror as to how they’ve responded in the past is vitally important to changing the fan culture for the better.

    It may come a little late for us fans of the prequels who were attacked by many of the commentators currently overwhelmed by the monster they themselves wrought, but this tide has to be turned back at any cost, even if it means allying ourselves with the Dr. Frankensteins of this world. We can only hope that these individuals will one day recognize their own role in bringing it about in the first place and endeavor to make reparations for their role in it.

    I wrote about this topic about a month ago, although focused more on the personal experience of being disappointed with some recent films and feeling some of the dark urges that are an unfortunate side effect of the current fan climate. If anyone wants to check it out, I’d love to hear what you think. Here’s the link: https://oconnoblog.com/2016/05/04/the-fanatical-audience/

  14. Captain Rex Says:

    They shouldn’t be surprised. They let the lion roar and roam around their house, and now there reaping the consequences. They promoted the haterboys and are now surprised that those same haterboys turned against them.

    The new ghostbusters movie will be crap though. It’s a movie that butchered the original story, and replaced it with “feminist/ political correctness” crap. It will bomb harder than a German blitzkrieg.

    • susanbowes Says:

      There are a few exceptions, but most remakes suck in my opinion.

      • Captain Rex Says:

        I agree. The last Craptastic 4 was very horrible especially. They removed and character development and even ruined who thecharecters were. Johnny storm especially got destroyed.

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      Why is it “feminist/political correctness crap” to do a movie starring women? You’ve labeled and deemed off limits the entire idea. Why is an all male cast, the way most movies still are, better?

      The reason there’s a backlash-to-the-backlash surrounding the new Ghostbusters is because people doubt the angry manchildren would be making as much of a stink if it were just another all-male cast.

      Another all-male Ghostbusters would’ve made good business sense a few years to a decade ago, when guys like Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Adam Sandler, etc. were all still at their peaks. They’ve all fallen from their box office perches though.

      Melissa McCarthy is currently a more reliable and bankable star than all of the above. So why is it PC to build the new reboot around her? Why don’t people cry about PC whenever Hollywood makes yet another male-starring movie? Make no mistake about it, older men are still regarded as the default in Hollywood as well as in most other aspects of society.

      A Melissa McCarthy comedy isn’t PC so much as a valid business decision.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to assume anyone who is not busting with excitement for “Ghostbusters” is some kind of evil misogynist. I found the trailers unfunny and if I see this at all, it’ll likely be in the comfort of my living room.

        But the casting comes off more to me as a gimmick than a political statement. It’s true no one can match Melissa McCarthy’s current success as a comedic star. On the other hand, it seems like the route they’re going is “It’s like Bridesmaids But With Ghosts!”

      • PrinceOfNaboo Says:

        I think that this being a business decision is actually a or THE problem. It simply shouldn’t be a business decision to give representation to female characters, to black people, gay people etc. BUT it should be a logical conclusion of their natural place in society.

        The biggest problem is that Hollywood is so lazy. Instead of finally beginning to create new and original stories (which was kind of the point of making movies in earlier times) again they just replace male Ghostbusters with female Ghostbusters and consider themselves ultra creative and progressive. What about making an all-original movie about a goup of female heroes? Never happens.

        George Lucas is really missing.

  15. SW Mega Fan (@SWMegafan) Says:

    Thank you so much for the reference and for speaking about this issue,

    For those of you that don’t know what three articles lazypadawan was referring to, here they are:

    http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/05/30/fandom-is-broken

    http://www.avclub.com/article/ghostbusters-frozen-and-strange-entitlement-fan-cu-237139

    http://bibliodaze.com/2016/05/from-hydra-to-ghostbusters-the-false-equivalences-of-fan-culture/

    Here’s another article I came across a few weeks ago that also touches on this matter. The author mostly speaks about this issue withing the context of the world of superhero movie fandom but thit can be applied to any fandom in general. (FYI: it’s from Screenrant – and we all know that they’re just as guilty as any other site that has encouraged fans to partake in this type of behavior (more about this below)- but the discussion is still good) http://screenrant.com/comic-book-movie-fan-war-dc-marvel/

    This topic of “problems with geek culture” is something that I have been talking about for some time now on twitter and whatnot. We have been seeing for a while now, fans that become loud and vocal with their displeasure (I’m not just talking about the SW fandom but various pop culture fandoms in general) and sadly, this becomes a representation of the respective fanbase, fans with egos and self-entitlement attitudes who are really nothing more than a bunch of armchair filmmakers. It’s gotten to the point where these loud and vocal minorities are trying to take control of all aspects of the moviemaking process, demanding for things to be done exactly how they want them to be done, and if they don’t get their way, they will revolt and throw vitriol, bile and insults to not only the artists that make these movies but towards anyone that thinks otherwise than them simply because they can’t stand knowing that there are people who like something they don’t (and unfortunately voices of reason get drown out). There is no longer respect in fandoms; some fans feel that because they spent so much time and resources supporting a franchise for a number of years, its’s their right to demand artists to cater to their every whim, want, and need. And unfortunately, because filmmakers mostly hear from this subgroup due to them being so loud and vocal, they end up thinking that all fans of said fandom think the same way and end up caving in and pander to them in future content for the sake of thinking that they will calm down with the anger before something worse occurs.

    The days of just enjoying something for what it is – and on its own terms based on a artist’s vision – seem to be long gone now (as things weren’t always like this back in the 1970’s or 1980’s, much less before the times of the Internet). That’s not to say that fans have to like everything, nor does it mean that they can’t have opinions and criticism – after all, you can’t please everyone no matter what (there’s always going to be someone that isn’t satisfied) – but it’s gotten to a point where it went from constructive statements to a barrage of insults and “I don’t like it and no one else should. I want everyone to think that I’m in the majority and that most hate Movie X” type of statements.

    I see this all the time now. For example, it used to be that certain actors would be cast for a certain superhero role and fans just had to live with it and accept it. Now, if fans see someone being casts for a role that doesn’t seem to fit the actor (in their opinion), then they might revolt and threaten filmmakers with movie boycotts (and try to get others to rally behind their cause) and maybe even worse things (such as going after the actors in said movies themselves to the point where these dissenters will actively try to ruin their careers). Oh sure, there might be some legitimate reasons for certain casting decisions (which is another discussion for another time) but a lot of times these rational voices end up being faint whispers as the crazies make themselves heard. Another example is consume design decisions. I could go on and on with examples but you get the idea.

    In this day and age of the Internet, particularity with the existent of social media, it’s become too easy for dissenters to lash out at people due to the anonymous nature of these spectrum and the usual no-consequences Western frontier that allows for anything-goes/no-holds-barred behavior. Keyboard warriors are running amok, going after artists that are not allowing for fans to control their art and attacking fellow fans that think differently from them. The internet is a double-edged sword; while I think it can be used for good in allowing fans to interact with them and to hear praise from them (and to see fans spreading word-of-mouth about their art), it can also be abused and be used negatively in turning naysayers into uncivilized attackers, using many tactics from womanized nostalgia to personal attacks.

    Also, there’s something ironic about certain cites speaking out about this problem. While i think that it’s good that conversations about this issue have started, it wasn’t that long ago that such sites were actually encouraging this type of behavior (and for continuous periods of times too). Maybe they weren’t saying it directly but with the tone they used in their opinion pieces, and their ways of essentially encouraging negative echo chamber mentality, such sites have engaged their readers to speak out whenever something isn’t going their way. The only problem is that they haven’t exactly taught their readers how to speak out in coherent, intelligent, and constructive ways. Do I think that they should be held accountable for indirectly being enablers? Yes! But I’m holding them to it. After all, many of these sites are geek culture sites, particularly of the click-bait variety where they pander to the lowest common denominator/low-hanging fruit. In other words, it’s in their nature to be irresponsible with the rhetoric they use when talking about a particular movie and voicing their opinions. I wish their was a way to make them shut down and disband – as a lot of them just cause a lot of noise and bait and rile people up – but sadly, as long as the Internet exists and people have the ability to create blogs (not that this is a bad thing (SWPAS is an example of a blog being utilized for good 🙂 ), just that some prefer to use it in a negative fashion), these pop/geek culture click-bait sites will continue to exists, competing for readers and clicks/hits. It’s our job to weed out the ones that aren’t positive and follow sites that do align with our preferences. I still believe that writers of click-bait sites should be called out and held accountable in some form but in the meantime, the best that we can do is not give them the sense of satisfaction by contributing to their viewer count (and trying to convince others to not do so as well). Or better yet, maybe their can be aided in seeing how their current approach in covering geek culture subject matter isn’t conducive to having a positive atmosphere in geek culture circles (but some might be able to figure it out for themselves)

    So yeah, it’s good that the media world is finally realizing what has been happening in fandoms. Do I think that this should been recognized and tackled early on? Yes, I do. if certain influential voices weren’t enables and instead recognized that a problem in pop/geek culture was rising – and that it may bee too big and too late later on – we would not be seeing the problems that we are seeing now. But alas, the world isn’t perfect, and perhaps it wasn’t easy to identify these issues early on, but better late that ever I guess.

    P.S. If anyone on here has a Twitter account and would like to follow me on there, please feel free to do so (sorry for the shameless plug-in lazypadawan 🙂 ).

  16. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    So what is the EVENT when a part of the fandom turns against the creator? Fandom does not turn evil out of nothing – it’s a cause and effect thing. In terms of Star Wars i would say it wasn’t the specifically the Prequels but rather the Special Edition of the OT along with the fact that the Theatrical Cuts were abandoned just out of the reason that Lucas does not like them anymore – but undisputable the fans who grew up with it do.

    I grew up with the OT. I never had a problem with the Special Edition changes, except for one. It happened in “THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK”. But I didn’t have a snit fit over it. If Disney ever decides to make small changes to the PT, like Lucas did to the OT, then I will judge to see how I like them. If I like them . . . fine. If not, I won’t watch the movies featuring those changes anymore.

    If they decide to literally re-write the PT, then I won’t watch them, because I don’t see the point in watching an entire reboot of the movies. I don’t even bother with J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the Trek films, because I find these new movies rather unappealing. But to engage in a temper tantrum over any of these changes strike me as well . . . childish.

  17. fundhund Says:

    I´m actually wondering what would happen if Disney started taking some creative risks with the coming Star Wars movies, but that´s a very big if, of course. I´m pretty sure that the hateboys would jump all over it,just as they did with the prequels. Just watch what is happening with the Han Solo movie. It hasn´t even begun filming and many people hate it already, claiming that “only Harrison Ford can be Han Solo”.
    What is really sad about this all is that those people have been pretty successfull in influencing the direction of the franchise. I´m pretty sure that a “play it safe nothing like the prequels” movie such as TFA would never have happened without the influence of this Frankenstein´s monster..

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I’ll be honest, I don’t want to see anyone re-do Harrison Ford. Playing Han at a different age is one thing but if it cuts too close to what’s already in the films, then for me it takes me out of the GFFA and makes me think I’m watching a movie about Star Wars than just watching Star Wars. It would also set a REALLY bad precedent. If you can reboot the performance of one of the most popular characters played by one of the most famous actors to ever come out of the saga, you bet they will reboot everything. I am very much against that.

      • fundhund Says:

        I understand that. Although I have to admit that reading all those negative reactions to it [mostly from people whose childhoods have already been raped by George Lucas] kinda makes me like the idea of this movie. It´s maybe not the right way to react, but I still feel that way. Plus, I don´t think that a new guy portraying the character will in any way take away from the things Harrison Ford accomplished with the role.

      • susanbowes Says:

        I totally agree with you fundhund. At one time none of us knew who Harrison Ford was. We should give the new actor portraying Han a chance. He may do a great job keeping the saga alive.

    • Sergey Holod Says:

      If rumours about Disney ordering re-shoots of “Rough One” are true then we can say: Lucasfilm has no creative freedom anymore. It is indeed was sold to slavery as George Lucas has said to Charlie Rose.

      I wonder if George Lucas has ever ordered to rewrite something he didn’t like in one of those Expanded Universe books? Or re-shoot something other people was making?

      I suppose the book “Star Wars Visions” proved that he engaged people to embrace all kind of interpretations of his universe whatever alien it could be to his original picture.

  18. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    Just watch what is happening with the Han Solo movie. It hasn´t even begun filming and many people hate it already, claiming that “only Harrison Ford can be Han Solo”.

    I didn’t know about this. I don’t recall any outcry over Sean Patrick Flannery or Corey Courrier portraying the younger Indiana Jones over twenty years ago. As for the actor now portraying Han – Alden Ehrenreich – I’ve seen him in two films and rather like his style.

  19. ChrisF Says:

    Slate also covered Faraci’s post. I don’t necessarily support its POV, but it might be of interest to folks who read the other articles.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/06/03/devin_faraci_paints_fan_culture_as_out_of_control_and_entitled_but_is_it.html

    • Mike Jones Says:

      It’s an interesting point of view, and there are scant details that I can agree with (ex: comic book movies aren’t exactly “high art” in a sense – though that’s just my personal opinion; don’t get me wrong, I enjoy and like them, and think many of them are good movies, but you get my point) but overall, I don’t agree with the author. I don’t agree with the line that “customers should be viewed as shareholders, not just consumers” and I personally feel that the attitude that the author conveys is just going to further encourage and reinforce the cynical behavior some of the most loudest and vocal fans have been dis[playing in recent years (regardless if the intent was intentional or not).

    • jayoungr Says:

      That article doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. It contradicts itself twice, or at least, that’s how it looks. First it says that diverse fans will educate insensitive filmmakers into making more diverse programming, but then it says that white male fans will try to stamp out all opposing voices. Liberal use of the word “sometimes” would go a long way toward clearing up that one.

      More confusingly, it first says that fans are now shareholders with a say in how art is produced (so creators should cater to them), but “sometimes” (when?), creators should “give them what they need, not what they want” (i.e., NOT cater to them). That is so vague as to border on double-speak. Creators should listen to fans, except when they shouldn’t? That’s … not helpful advice to creators OR audiences, as far as I can see.

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