Monday, January 20, 2014

My Fan Entitlement Analogy

  Fan entitlement comes up a lot it seems.  Pretty much anytime you get a bunch of fans in the room, fans of anything, you have a few people who steer the conversation into a negative direction and the basis of that is typically some form of entitlement.  That you are owed something because of your fandom.  I've already touched on that (here) pretty extensively but I thought I would add this as sort of a defining analogy to bottom line it (with some yelling afterwards).

  When I go to a restaurant, just a restaurant, not one that advertises or pivots on being "the best restaurant" or a "5 Star restaurant" but just an eating establishment, I am entitled to food.  That much is obvious.  I go there with the expressed intention of getting food and the establishment is designed around the concept that I exchange money for food.  So if I paid money and didn't get food, or got something entirely inedible (like a car engine) that's a whole different matter.  But I got food.  Now I'm not entitled to GOOD food, I gave them money to give me food.  The quality of the food is irrelevant because that was the extent of my transaction.  I give money, they give food.  Even if it wasn't what I ordered, I still got food.

  Now, if the food was good I go back.  If the food was bad then I don't and the economy will eventually work itself out and if the restaurant was truly bad it will go away.  But what I don't do is stand up on my chair and yell about how much eating has changed since I was a kid, eating used to be so much better when I started eating and things have really gone downhill in recent years, I can't believe all you sheeple can just blindly eat while I have a bad meal and do you know how much money I've put into the food industry over the years?  I've been eating my whole life, unlike some of these other people who don't deserve to eat, and I've put hundreds of thousands of dollars into the food industry and I demand a better meal, I deserve a better meal, a meal exactly the way I like it because I've been eating a really long time and have spent a lot of money eating.  I can't believe I wouldn't get a five star meal from Denny's, eating sucks now!  AND THIS CABERNET IS TOO DRY AND DOESN'T COMPLIMENT MY MOONS OVER MY HAMMY!

  Obviously things are slightly different if your doing a review of something, then you need to be somewhat critical and open to consuming bad stuff on purpose for the sake of reviewing.  But as a fan we paid our money for entertainment, regardless of what that entertainment was.  We buy a comic therefore we paid for 20-30 pages of sequential art designed to tell a story.  That's the extent of the transaction.  I can't stress this enough, WE.  ARE.  NOT.  OWED.  ANYTHING.  BEYOND.  THAT.  It doesn't have to be a good story, it doesn't have to be one we like, it doesn't have to have our favorite characters in it and it doesn't need to be tailored to our specific tastes.  The thing to consider is that other people might like it and you should let them.  Move on, find something else that makes YOU happy.  The great thing is you can DO that and STILL hold on this other awesome thing that makes you happy.  It's called growth.

  There used to be this guy at my local comic store when I was a kid and I'd go there on Tuesday's during the summer when there was no school.  But this guy, this adult, would show up in a suit, obviously on his lunch break and buy at least $100.00 of comics.  Every Tuesday.  So he was dropping around $400 a month on new comics.  They were reserved under his name so he just had to go up to the counter and they'd pull his stack and he'd stand there for probably 15 minutes and complain about how shitty comics were now days.  Openly and engage customers, he'd engage me to tell me how terrible my tastes in comics were and if I wanted to read REAL comics then I had to collect Silver Age or this or that.  MOTHER FUCKER, you are spending almost half a grand on comics a month, at least, and you HATE it!?!  What the hell!?!  Don't be that guy.  Buy what you like, keep what you like, if you buy something you don't like give it away to someone.  But don't stew in your entitlement, shaking your fist at the sky while you hand over money, angry and bitter the whole time.  You paid your money and you got your entertainment.  The End.

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