Well, not all of them, and probably even those who do don’t suck all the time, but still. The internet frequently manages to shatter my faith in humanity almost beyond repair T_T
I love being part of a fandom. Fandoms are great. You share something you love with a lot of people (most of whom are awesome), you get to enjoy what you like outside of the original show/book/game/obscure asian film, and you have something to obsess over and discuss in the middle of the night with your best friend who is just as crazy about the show as you are, possibly even crazier.
But then there are the days when I facepalm, headdesk, and do every other possible gesture that expresses an equal amount of embarrassment and “whhhyyy?!”. There are days when I am close to denying every connection I might have to the fandom in question, and pretend I don’t even know what XYZ is. Those are the days when I make the mistake of reading the comments to a fandom-related press release. (Yes, I should know better T_T)
Case in point: An article concerning John Hurt’s role in
the next episode of Doctor Who (€dit because d’oh: Of course I mean the 50th anniversary special. Silly me.). Now, if you don’t want to hear, see, read or get signed by a deaf chimpanzee anything about the upcoming series finale, the special, or the series in general, stop reading. Now. I’m serious, go away now, or you will read things you might not want to know. You still here? Okay, I did warn you, don’t blame it on me if your fun gets spoiled.
Okay, that’s the best I can do. From now on, this is a minefield of possible spoilers.
The article basically states that actor John Hurt (you know, that guy who played Ollivander in the Harry Potter films? Yep, that’s him.) will be in the 50th anniversary special, and he’s going to play the Ninth Doctor. Yes, that’s right. Rumour has it that Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor wasn’t Nine at all, but actually Ten. Which would make David Tennant Eleven, and Matt Smith Twelve. A fact that doesn’t sit well with a lot of fans. Outsiders wouldn’t believe the outrage in the fandom upon this news. Suddenly, the beloved, wonderful show isn’t wonderful at all, canon gets screwed and Steven Moffat is a jerk who has gone mad with power. There is so much hate directed towards him I’m wondering how he can stand going online anymore. People suddenly complain about everything he has ever done with Doctor Who, rant about how he has no right to do all this and that there is a canon to stick to, and even demand he give up his position as a showrunner. All because they don’t like this particular plot twist that might not even happen (after all, this could be a red red herring and not true at all).
Seriously, fandom? -.-
I understand how someone can feel let down by this, even gets a little angry. I mean, come on, I think George Lucas should have left well enough alone and never started “remastering” the original Star Wars trilogy (Han shot first! :P). But they are his films, and he has the right to do with them whatever he wants. Whoever created a piece of art has the right to change it as he pleases whenever the hell he feels like it. No-one can dictate the rules the artist has to stick to (well, unless the artist is paid to deliver a specific piece, but that’s beside the point here). That’s kind of the very definition of art – it comes from the heart and follows no rules.
And now this shouldn’t apply anymore because some condescending pricks don’t like what they get? Being a writer, there is no other answer for me to give than “What the fuck are you douchebags thinking?!” Just because you are fans you think you have the right to expect the creator to be at your beck and call and do exactly what you tell him to do? That’s not how it works, that’s not how it should ever work! Listen up, you may like what you get or not, but that doesn’t give you any right to pressure the creator into making what you think is a “better” and “more logical” decision. The latter one is especially true for Doctor Who. There IS. NO. LOGIC to this show. Whatever canon we think there is is vague at best and most of the time not canon at all. As far as I know, the Doctor never went and announced “I’m the eighth Doctor, don’t you forget!” He doesn’t count at all. I don’t think I ever heard anyone in the show address the “Which regeneration are you? Six or seven?” issue (haven’t seen all the classic episodes, though, so I might be wrong here). So any number we assign to a particular Doctor is purely to keep track of where we are in the Doctor’s life (and that might not even be true, since he could very well have an infinite number of regenerations; we don’t know). So bringing in John Hurt as the real Nine, making the current Doctor Twelve already (and confusing everyone with the whole “fall of the eleventh” thing, which doesn’t make sense anymore if that rumour is true…), is fine, doesn’t go against canon and doesn’t “screw up other writers’ work”, as some people put it. Doctor Who as a show is best summed up by the Doctor’s own words: a ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff. There is virtually no way to defy canon, because there is no canon (other than the Doctor is a renegade Time Lord traveling time and space… yep, I think that’s about it). Hell, the whole regeneration thing was added on a whim because William Hartnell left the show! Talk about double standards here; apparently, “screwing with what came before you” is fine when it’s done before you were even born…
This whole thing kind of scares me a little. I usually think it would be really cool to be somewhat famous, have a fandom and all that stuff. But on days like this, I’m not so sure. You are constantly being judged by those people, not just as a writer, director or whatever you are, but as a human being. By people who never even met you. That’s just lousy behaviour. I’m fine with being judged as a writer based on my writing. I’m not cool with people judging me based on the fact that they don’t like what I write. Sure, there will always be people who are not happy with what I can give them (provided that I ever get published), who will call the book they read crappy and move on. But that’s fine, and that’s the mature thing to do. Move on. Don’t cling to your formerly-favourite-I-hope-it-will-be-again show (or, y’know, whatever) like a child and whine about how bad it is nowadays, don’t insult the writer just because he didn’t write a bunch of episodes tailored to your taste, and don’t think you are in a position to actually demand changes in the show just because you are such a loyal fan. If you don’t like it anymore, stop watching. That’s what I did with a couple of shows, with a couple of book series, and even with a few bands I used to love. I didn’t whine and scream and tell them to do what I like because I’m such a huge fan.
Sometimes I wonder if creators like the Moff, J.K. Rowling, George Lucas or Stephen King ever look at their fans and are appalled by what they see: A crowd of manic, rabid hatemongers who worship their own version of the source material, denying even the original creator the right to make even the smallest of changes. I think they do. And that’s really sad, if you think about it.
I have a great idea for all those idiots out there: Go and make your own show/book/film, get a fandom and watch it turn against you once you do something different than before. Maybe getting a taste of your own medicine will get that notion of fandom omnipotence out of your thick heads…
Yes, this was very rant-y. And I do know I did get kind of abusive towards that part of the fandom. But there are days when I don’t feel polite. This is one of them.
Also, you can’t reason with those people. They only respond with more insults. Might as well get a head start on those.
-Ricarda (now getting dinner and a glass of wine to calm down a bit)