John Green once said:
“…because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it.”
I call myself a nerd and I am part of many fandoms. I do not mind that some of those are considered childish. I am still a huge fan of Harry Potter or the afore mentioned John Green, even if I have to go to the children’s section or the YA section respectively to get the works.
I also do not mind if other people do not get what I love about beloved characters and their universes. Different things speak to different people.
I, too have my problems with fandoms that I really try to like but never fully got into. Doctor Who is one of those.
And even among my friends, I have found that having different personal preferrences is just one part of a full friendship experience. For example, we were reading “The book thief” by Markus Zusak in our book club. I love this book. I suggested the book and I can sing its praises for hours on end.
One of my friends had the toughest time with it. She really tried to like it, but the narrative choice of letting death tell the story and interpreting the events just didn’t work for her. In the end, she didn’t like the book. And guess what? That is fine. She gave it a try. It didn’t work for her. She didn’t diss it, or the people who did like it and we moved on.
I will not hold not liking one of my favorite books against her.
The book we read before this one didn’t sit right with me. I was tempted to ask the author how dare he write such superficial trite about things he knew nothing about. Of course I didn’t actually do that. Several of my friends did like the book. They still respect me too.
I have heard the song ‘Don’t be a dick about it’ many times and for the most part, people follow that advice. They leave the fans of a particular work of art alone.
However, I think it is also important to turn the thing around. Don’t judge people who don’t like what you like. There is no need for everyone to ‘get it’.
Or even, don’t judge people who like things that don’t agree with your view of the fandom canon. There are many ways to like the same thing. There is no right way or wrong way to enjoy a work of art, aside from using this piece of art to hurt people.
If people like the books of a franchise better than the movie, that’s fine. If other people like the movies better than the books, that’s fine as well. No one fan experience is better than the other.
Wil Wheaton just recently faced the wrath of being judged for being a fan. He made the grave mistake of liking the reboot of Star Trek.
Many people have said that they do not want to watch the new movie, because JJ Abrams left out Gene Roddenberry’s philosophy. I am one of those people.
Others have watched the movie and didn’t like it for that same reason. One of the most prominent people in this group is LeVar Burton. That is all fine and dandy.
Now Wil Wheaton went and liked the movie, because he saw it based on his life experiences and his thought processes and really enjoyed it. That is great as well.
Then fans of the original franchise (TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager) attacked him. And that totally sucks.
Not only did fans try to tell him what Star trek was all about, which is preposterous in its own right, because he was on it. They judged him for enthusiastically liking something. And that is just the epitome of ridiculous.