Saturday, September 06, 2014
A response to the attacks on my Guardians of the Galaxy movie review
Fair warning: Not the nicest version of me has written this article.
Last week I wrote a blog post about my thoughts on the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Since then I've been receiving preposterous amounts of "feedback" regarding that post. The tone and language of some of this "feedback" in my comments section resulted in flame-wars between readers, and I ended up having to disable comments. But I'm still getting the emails and the Facebook messages and so on. So for some of you who've written me comments and messages that have been a pleasure to read, thank you. And for the rest, I feel the need to write a response.
Sorry I'm not writing back to each of you directly, I'm afraid the post here will just have to do. As it happens I actually have a life, and a really busy one at that. And perhaps due to my line of work and style of life, I'm not nearly as obsessed with fiction as some. Simply put, this whole thing is just not important enough.
First, this is my weblog, and I will write in it as I please. I'm not employed by anyone, I'm not paid by anyone, I'm not under any form of obligation and the only rules I follow here are those of my own values. This weblog is old as hell, and yes, I have readers. Some of them read because they like what I write, some because they hate what I write, and some somewhere in between. And sometimes they share my posts with others, so that they can like or hate it together. And sometimes my posts end up on websites with a lot of readers. I don't ask for that, I don't object to that, and I don't change what I write because of that. I'm generally not concerned about accidentally stepping on anyone's toes, due to _my_ personal_ opinions.
Having said that… putting all the attack literature I've received together, a few very interesting points stand out.
It is quite interesting how in general there's no real mention of precisely "why" I'm wrong. There's a whole bunch of "you're wrong because this is the best movie ever made", but no rational responses to anything I've written. Mind you, once again, what I wrote wasn't to say that this was a "bad" movie, it was to say that it did not, at all, meet the expectations set by the DnA [and the long line before that] comic books. It appears that some 90% of the unhappy comments I've received are from people who've never read those, or haven't paid much attention, and generally do not have any idea what I'm getting at. I did mention that if this is your fist encounter with the whole thing, you're probably fine… didn't I? [Well unless you were looking for intelligent entertainment in which case.. well… hello!]
Even more interesting are the comments from people saying that they find the books not interesting, because they're "needlessly complicated", "don't feel like comic books", "there's too much details" and so on, and that they're happy with the now more entertaining version of things. I must admit, it's taking quite a bit of my energy to not write something really obscene in response to that.
I will however say this, thank you very much, that's very 1984 of you. So how's about we abandon the needlessly complicated English dictionary and just go for Newspeak then? We don't need so many words to communicate do we? I mean after all it's not like we have any need of communicating complex concepts, do we? And while we're at it, let's take every bit of thought provoking, meaningful literature out there and simplify it to death. It doesn't matter that we're already suffocating under the tons of pointless nonsense, let's take the few remaining shreds of good substantial thought-food and convert them into mass-pleasing balderdash too, how about that eh?
Or, you could just stick to whatever pleases you, and leave what pleases me alone. Hmm? How about you enjoy your 90% and leave me to my 10%. You see, if you don't "get it", it doesn't make it "bad"…
Oh, and thanks for calling me an "Elitist", again. I'm starting to feel quite comfortable with that term. In fact I seem to get a warm tingly feeling every time a clueless ninny calls me that. So yes, I enjoy both intelligence and intellect, but even more so, wisdom. And you have no idea how happy it makes me that you don't like that about me.
Forget that it's 2014, it not possible for me to have one such discussion without somebody playing the "but you're just a girl after all, what do you know" card. Honestly that's so old I don't even feel like addressing it anymore. So I say only this: I can build you a functional robot out of the junk in your garage, and I can teach you a fine lesson in humility with a pair of long-swords. Feel free to drop by any day of the week.
Another really big load of text that didn't explain in any rational way why I'm "wrong", went in the direction of explaining why it's "bad" to be a fan of Joss Whedon. Hmm. There was the attempt to make me understand that the only reason I like Joss Whedon is that I'm a feminist, and he has a reputation for writing strong female characters. It was then explained to me how that's only a pretence, and how his female characters are actually weak and needy.
On one hand, I am as further away from feminism as I can possibly get. On the other hand, yes I do happen to like Joss Whedon's female characters, as well as the male ones, and everything else outside or in between! Why? Because he writes characters I can actually relate to! You say his female characters are actually pathetic because… what exactly? Because they have flaws? Because they have needs? Because they make mistakes? Because they have weaknesses? As opposed to what exactly, what is it that you want to see in your female character, a glorified cyborg??? And do Whedon's male characters not have the same issues in general? Are they not humanized the same way? Are his male and female heroes not equals?
On the third hand, what does this all have to do with Guardians, pray tell? Did you really just try to convince me that I'm wrong to prefer Joss Whedon's direction by launching a "he's a fake" campaign? Dear god people… as I have said before… please, please get a life.
At the end I would like to say this. You see, speaking my mind has a history of putting me in terrible trouble of the real sort. If you think the scorn of some Hollywood fanatics, over a movie review of all things, is going to have an effect, well… that's just adorable.