It is no longer 1965, so it’s probably time to stop dividing your stores according to antiquated gender stereotypes. If my son wants a toy shopping basket, or some plastic groceries, or toy cooking utensils, it’s pretty silly that we have to venture into the clearly defined…
“The True Detective finale, which, if you go by the online reaction is The Worst Thing Ever (until the internet decides on the next W.T.E.) and that reaction seems to be largely born out of several weeks of extreme over-analyzing and theorizing, none of which came true because none of it was ever the point of the story. This isn’t to say the True Detective finale – and the series as a whole – is above criticism. There were plenty of flaws. But most of the complaining has centered around how it didn’t pay off the dozens of fan theories that sprouted up in online commentary. We’re reaching a point where we can’t let the shows we love breathe and tell their story anymore. Hundreds of thousands of online commenters want to finish the story before the writers do. Then they criticize the writers for not telling the story they imagined was going to be told.”—
This is, more or less, exactly my issue with what’s become of fan culture. Be it True Detective, comics, movies, what have you… the nerd entitlement is eye-rollingly obnoxious to begin with. The confusion as to WHY it’s toxic is face-punchingly frustrating.
I’d also throw in - not just criticism but reviews of media (and there’s a difference, internet) talk about what’s on the screen. They project only with truckloads of caveats. Applying perspective to what’s on screen, on the panel, etc… via social or critical theory, or deconstructing the narrative for how it works… all of that makes sense.
The current trends of fan-fiction, endless projecting of potential story trajectories… it doesn’t add to the experience, especially during an ongoing narrative. It only points to a culture of impatience and entitlement. And, in so many cases, suggests the audience can’t really follow anything more complicated than a CW teen-drama rife with exposition and where every moment is explained in the most concrete terms.
Not only does it genuinely frighten me that in a media-saturated culture it seems the audience itself has no ability to work with narratives with nuance or which ask for interpretation of meaning, but I find it terribly depressing for the creators who are telling the story. Narratives in mass media are not a collaborative endeavor with the audience.
The question is not always “how angry should I be that this did not match my expectations” but is, often, “if this did not meet my expectations, what did the creator intend?” and, god forbid, “why did I not get that?”
“What’s wrong [with the comics industry]? … In the late ’70s, all the comic fans decided to get into the business. The problem is, it was a bunch of superhero fans. And an industry that had, up until that point, catered to almost every genre imaginable slowly and slowly was narrowed down and boiled down to a point where it was superhero comics, and that’s all there were. And then they all were writing these comics for each other — not for a mass market, not for young people. And then, as they aged, the content aged to suit their needs. And the idea is, when you’re an adult, you’re supposed to turn to other forms of entertainment, maybe, or appreciate comics for what they were. But that hasn’t been the case. So now we have superheroes that rape, we have heroin addicts, we have all this kind of bullshit that’s been heaped onto these characters that were meant to entertain kids and give them a little sense of right and wrong and adventure. I think it’s so sad. And you see what the strategy has done. … In 1972, Jimmy Olsen comics sold 200,000 copies a month, and it was canceled because that wasn’t enough to keep it going. These days, the best-selling book can barely scrape past 70,000 — never mind the worst-selling books. So let’s take a look at that strategy that’s been applied to this business. How’d it work out? Not too good. And the less people that read ‘em, the more expensive they have to be, and the more cryptic they have to be to cater to that tiny little market they’ve got. That’s what’s wrong.”—
This is an important thing to consider in any industry. Know your market, and, Who Are Your Customers? (Secret- you are not your customer.)