Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fan Entitlement

  This subject seems to come in waves.  I notice a lot of it and then I either stop paying attention to it or it dies down and then it comes back but it always seems to be there, right under the surface, like a zit or a parasitic space worm.  With the recent big convention and all the announcements that come with I noticed in the forums, which are, granted, dens of negativity, all this entitlement come to the surface.  I did comment on this pervasive attitude in one of the forums and was told that I was, in fact, wrong.  That fans are owed a good experience and that the companies are beholden to fans and should play to them exclusively.

  I am here to tell all of you who feel this way that you are all stupid, stupid children.

This is you.

This is something I feel rather strongly about.  Entitlement is one of the most poisonous mindsets the human psyche can hold.  Entitlement never leads to anything positive.  It leads to a perpetual state of dissatisfaction with no hope of happiness and with at total sense of powerlessness.  At no point does an entitled person think of contributing something, they just want SOMETHING.  They feel that they are owed SOMETHING regardless of what is or has actually happened.  They don't want to participate in the making of something and they certainly don't want to help build anything through any kind of constructive criticism, they just WANT.  They just WANT, they want something given to them and they want it given to them on their terms.  They want it to be directed at them to appease all their wants and they want you to agree that this thing that's been catered to them is indeed the superior thing.  Even after all that they will probably still hate it.

  The hard truth is this, Marvel owes you nothing.  DC owes you nothing.  The creators, the writers, the artists, the inkers, the editors, they all owe you nothing.  Objectively they owe you nothing.  If they want to attach an appreciation to you then that is the sign of a decent human being but they owe you nothing.  You put out money for a good and/or service, you received the good and/or service.  That's it.  That's the end of you business/consumer relationship.  Yes it is a symbiotic relationship where they require your participation to continue making awesome stuff and you require their participation to continue getting awesome stuff.  But at either time the relationship can end.

  They are no more beholden to you to make awesome stuff as you are beholden to them to buy it.  In other words, no one in the company is telling fans "Hey, look at all these awesome stories we've told, look at all this awesome art we've created, look at all these great toys we've made.  YOU OWE US to keep buying from our company.  YOU OWE US to like what we produce."  Joe Quesadilla (spell checked for accuracy) isn't holding a panel lecturing fans on how shitty you are for not blindly supporting Marvel.  The truth of the matter is this: at any point you could just stop buying stuff and at any point Marvel could just stop making stuff.  DC could shut down comic production and become an ad agency.  Shuffle the writers in creating ad copy and writing scripts for commercials, shuffle artists into making billboards and magazine ads.  They got the talent and the paper presence to move into any kind of paper based visual medium they want.  They don't owe it to you to stay a comic book company.

  Fox, Warner Brothers and Disney owe you nothing.  They have no obligation to make a movie to your liking.  You are not OWED a "proper version" of Days of Future Past.  If they want to continue making movies, if you want them to continue making movies, then they need to appeal to a greater audience.  It's naive to think otherwise.  They can't make a multi-billion dollar movie aimed directly at the fans with inside references that the fans will like.  They tried that, it was called X-Men 3: Last Stand.  That movie is filled with barely fleshed out references to the comics, to the culture, to the memes of comic fans and it couldn't find an audience.  Fans got the references they were making and it made them mad, non-fans didn't understand any of them and they just got confused.  They can't build a movie based on fans because 1) Fans are the smallest minority of consumers 2) Fans are typically broke so they will either not see it, obtain it for free somehow or not see it multiple times and 3) Fans will hate the movie no matter what.  No matter how many things they get right there will be a certain segment of fans who will hate it because they got that one thing wrong, because they DESERVED a movie that was made only for them.  So where does that leave them?  Not making comic movies because they can't make money which leads to more comic movies.  So they make the same rom-com or action bullshit.

  I'm glad we're getting Day's of Future Past and I'll go see it.  The comics will still be there after it's out.  They don't destroy them all after opening weekend and maybe they will lead someone who wasn't a comic book fan before to find the comics and it will open a whole new world for them.

  Of course you'll probably just call them "fake fans" because they didn't SUFFER like you did.  Oh the suffering.  All that suffering.  I feel like I'm in a Clive Barker novella with all the suffering that's happened.  That's another thing I see that I think relates to this entitlement.  "I loved these things when they weren't popular.  I had to deal with jocks tearing up my comic books.  I had to hide in a basement.  I had to work to find people that understood my pain."  To that I reply: "YOU'RE 30+ FUCKING YEARS OLD NOW!  THE BATTLE'S DONE SUNSHINE, WE WON!  PUT ON YOUR FUCKING BIG BOY PANTS AND STOP YOUR GOD DAMN (Batman) WHINING, YOU ENTITLED PIECE OF SHIT!".  On a side note I don't typically hear complaints like this from female fans, it's mostly the male fanbase.  I don't know why that is, but, if it feels like I'm being gender exclusive here, that is why.

  It's been 20 years since being into comics meant you were an outcast.  Things were turning around by my Senior year in 2000/2001.  I too was bullied, I too had my comics torn up, I too was an outcast.  I tried and tried to be "out" in school and it never worked out for me.  Then one day in my senior year I brought a Wizard magazine to school and in study hall everyone was into it.  I had a huge group of people around me wanting to look at the magazine and read about the new X-Men movie and they found other things that interested them in that magazine.  Did I suddenly stop getting bullied, well actually people stopped acknowledging my existence after I beat up a bully in front of a classroom of people in my Junior year, but did they start recognizing my existence?  No.  Basically nothing changed.  But nobody stole it from me and threw it in a toilet or tore it up or tossed it in a dumpster and told me to go get it (all things that actually happened).  So already things were changing which means if you are a person still whining about that bullying bullshit you're probably late twenties and up.  In which case you're an adult and you should behave like one.

  People don't have to "pay their dues" and some how get jumped into to being a "geek/nerd".  They don't need scars to get in the door.  They can just like stuff.  Your pain as a child doesn't make you entitled to a culture that's designed with your wants and needs in mind.  Nobody owes you anything and you don't owe anybody anything.  Just try to actually enjoy things, you might just find yourself being happier because of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment