The Poison of Fandoms – Part 2

Because one reminder wasn’t enough.

Even when I try to avoid fandoms, it seems I’m not always successful.

Tonight, I was having a marathon of MLP’s second season while playing Pokemon Moon, and I was rather enjoying. While it was going on, I paused my game to post a small annoyance on Tumblr I had with one character. She’s not a bad character. Just not really to my tastes. One episode portrayed her really nicely and had me warm up to her, but a following one had me annoyed again. Keep in mind there was nothing hateful about it. Apparently, however, even minor annoyance is too much for this character’s fans. Later on, I received this message in, as well as these posts in reply to some I’d made days ago. Interestingly, this person brought up my love of another character, despite one has zero to do with the other. They also deleted one of the replies. Typical. (Edit: This message came as I was writing this post)

Note that I do not even hate this character (or, at least, I didn’t until now). I was annoyed at her portrayal is in one episode is all. One episode I watched out of twenty. The irony of a show about friendship having such an awful fandom will never escape me, but then again, that’s fandoms in general. Even if you say you do like some things of that character, it’s not enough. Any annoyance with her whatsoever is perceived by her fans as hate. Basically, if she’s not your favorite, you’re a hater.

For those curious, that episode that irritated me had to do with her trying to befriend someone who made it clear he wanted to be left alone and she was not getting the hint. The episode ended nicely, but I was irritated because she was incredibly pushy, doing things like going into his home and rummaging through his things without permission (and even damaging some!), and those actions are portrayed as okay because she wants to be his friend. That was my problem with the episode. If the message I received in my inbox is any indication of her fans’ mentality, it seems they believe invading someone’s home and possessions is “friendliness”, and respecting someone’s privacy and wishes to be left alone is a bad thing to teach children. No wonder people hate my generation. And here, my friends have never so much as touched something of mine without my permission. They must not be real friends.

Sarcasm aside, it’s a shame I’ve liked this show for a total of three months and this is my introduction to it. I have my boyfriend, thankfully, and I’m starting to understand why he did want to me enjoy this show. I have no doubt the bad reputation of “bronies” and the show itself comes from its fandom and had I tried to get into it without him, I probably would’ve been turned away very quickly by its fandom. And no, my run-in with these jerks did not taint my love of the show, but it did make me angry enough to cancel my mini-marathon earlier than intended. I’ll continue it another time. Perhaps.

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The Irony Is Murderous

Remember I mentioned the person who told lies about me prided herself on not sending hate?

The friend of mine who follows her reblogged something from her. Guess what it is? A Winx-hate bingo card. And she made it because she felt “extra petty” that day.

Well, I guess being “extra petty” explains why she lied about and falsely accused me of things. She certainly has no grounds to be claiming maturity (neither do I, but I’ve never claimed such or acted like I do).

Yes, I realize I talk about this a lot and I’ve no doubt those of you who often read this blog are tired of it, but when I discovered that from my friend’s blog, I couldn’t not share it. For someone who claims fans of the older stuff are “nostalgic and biased”, she sure has one of her own against people who don’t think like her (like that wasn’t obvious enough).

As the title of this post says, the irony is murderous.

Label You, Not Me

Labels are a popular topic on social media, especially in places like Tumblr that preach about not letting labels define you (ironically, while tossing them about like candy). Personally, I think it’s fine if you want to refer to yourself as something and label yourself, but not a good idea to let other people do it. Why? Well, that should be obvious. You get situations like what happened to me. And that’s a light example, compared to most of the things I’ve had said about me, both behind my back and to my face.

It’s funny how we can know what someone says about us isn’t true, but it can still bother us. Maybe because such people have the audacity to tell lies in the first place. Really, I don’t know what I expected from someone with that blog URL. That really should’ve make it obvious the person behind that blog is the type to tell lies and make false accusations.

The reason this comes to mind is out of everything I’ve ever been called, why am I treating “nostalgic” like a crisis? Or “blind”? Or “biased”? Or even “hater”? First of all, I am blind anyway. That’s why I wear eyeglasses. I have been called racial slurs before. Kindergartners have outdone that person when it comes to insults and I’m talking about back when I was one.

I’ve mentioned at least once before I like making lists. So, I’m going to do just that. Let’s go down the list of “nostalgic, blind, biased hater” and see how far we get.

Nostalgic

Let’s see. I saw Zootopia back in March and Try Everything is in my playlist. I saw The Jungle Book in April and the very awesome remix of The Bare Necessities is also in said playlist. Other movies I’m looking forward to are Storks and the new Disney Princess movie, Moana. And let’s not forget I enjoyed Inside Out, Big Hero 6, and…oh, yeah. I’m obsessed with Frozen and Frozen Fever. Did I mention those last two are actually hated so much, anyone who likes them is essentially deemed to not have a brain of their own? I’m also planning to watch Disney’s new show, Elena of Avalor, when it’s released. That’ll be the first show I’ve watched regularly on Disney Junior.

Blind

I wear eyeglasses, so physically, I am blind. What am I supposed to do about that? Talk to my genetics. Or my eyeballs. Whichever. Non-physically? You know what? I wish I was blind! Then, I wouldn’t see and be scarred by even half the nonsense I’ve dealt with over my life. Maybe being blind would’ve helped me deal with abuse and bullying better by virtue of not knowing it was happening. They do say ignorance is bliss, after all.

Biased

I’ve already talked about how deeming whoever doesn’t think like you is biased in itself, so I don’t need to delve much into this one. Let me sum it up: they’re called preferences. Just like how I think blue is a nicer color than pink. If we go with this “you only like something better because you grew up with it” logic (and I’ve already explained the fallacy in that regarding myself too!), I should despise blue and adore pink. But I don’t. I like pink, but it’s definitely not my favorite color and I do think blue is nicer. Make it blue!

Hater

I yell. I’m hot-headed. I will never deny that. Hateful, however? Hmm. I have an idea. Go talk to my best friend and ask her how hateful I am. Talk to my boyfriend too. Also, talk to the kids I look after. You can even talk to some of my family members. I do hate some people, obviously, and I hate some things, like how violence exists. I’ve said before I’m a cynic. And yes, this is an interesting choice of an insult. You’d think a hater wouldn’t have loved ones, yet I do. In fact, one of those loved ones is my abuser, who I’ve tried numerous times to reconcile with and the attempts keep falling out. So much for that.

Wouldn’t you know? None of these insults are true. Of course, I knew that, but the person who throws them doesn’t know that about me or anyone else these words have been thrown at. And how could they? It really does stun me how after all the nonsense I’ve dealt with, I can still be shocked people make snap judgements like that. Then again, I do it too, hence why I’ve been trying to teach myself not to do that. It’s harder than it seems, but if I weren’t trying, I wouldn’t write posts like these.

It will never sit well with me someone could tell lies about and falsely accuse me of things with no repercussions, but at the same time, it’s another thing I’m used to. My bullies got away with their actions, my abuser got away with hers, so why wouldn’t someone who tells lies about me on the internet, a place of complete anonymity if one allows, get away with their actions as well?

Plus, there’s the simple fact someone will always hate someone else and have trash to say. There’s nothing that can ever be done about that.

Death Threats?

Now, here’s something very perplexing to me.

I’ve returned to regularly using Tumblr and a topic that occasionally comes up is Cartoon Network’s reboot of The Powerpuff Girls. My feelings on it can be summed up in two words: it sucks. I’m not going to go into why, however, because this post isn’t intended to be about that.

Someone asked a blogger I follow if it’s okay they like the reboot because they received a death threat from someone who doesn’t like it. The blogger assured them it certainly was okay and went on to say they’d also received death threats for not liking the reboot.

That is something wildly strange to me. It’s one thing to have disagreements and even arguments, but threatening someone? I understand losing your temper – heaven knows my head is hotter than a boiling kettle – but at my worst, I’ve never threatened somebody. Let’s not forget this is a cartoon! No one’s life or well-being is at stake. It’s not a necessity. It’s something purely meant for entertainment. I’ve heard of the “stop having fun” crowd, but sending death threats crosses a huge, red line.

To me, it just begs the question: Why do some people take cartoons and other things meant only for entertainment so seriously? Why does saying “I like this” or “I don’t like this”, or praising or criticizing something occasionally seem to be equal to setting off a bomb? I’ve never encountered such people in my personal life and, frankly, I’m afraid to. I’m not suggesting I think they’re truly dangerously people, but I imagine they’re people who are hard to have fun with or speak to if you don’t agree with their way of thinking.

Maybe it’s only a blind moment of rage, but death threats are so common on Tumblr, it’s hard to believe everyone who does has only done it once. Even if that was the case, it’s still strange someone would fly into rage because someone else liked something they didn’t or vice versa. If someone goes on to insult people who feel differently, the anger is understandable, although it still wouldn’t justify death threats. Merely liking or disliking something? Overreaction.

My best guess is it’s the anonymity of the internet. You can be anyone and anything online and unless you eventually reveal yourself, no one will ever know you’re lying or be able to call you out. To my knowledge, death threats are illegal, but chances are you won’t be able to trace an anonymous message far back enough to find the person and have them charged. It probably wouldn’t be worth it anyway. Knowing that, the people who send death threats over such trivial matters probably feel safe and, thus, have no regard for the intended recipient of their message.

It doesn’t help Tumblr’s staff does a horrendous job of moderating the site. Hate and vitriol are part of any of social network, sadly, but Tumblr’s is beyond anything I’ve ever encountered on any other website. This is a website with a shoplifting fandom, for crying out, and it’s completely acceptable to be bigoted and hateful for no reason besides looking for a target. I can only assume the website is so out of control, moderation is almost useless. I’ve read the site wasn’t always that way and didn’t start going downhill until 2011, but I wouldn’t know since I joined the site in 2012. I guess I missed its prime time.

Drama-ix Club

It’s funny now that I’ve left the Winx fandom, I have so much to say about it. Granted, it is all related to my own experiences.

Since I began talking to my friends within the fandom, I’ve been considering rejoining the fandom. I do miss having a lot of people to talk with about the show and I miss when my main Tumblr blog was about 75% Winx posts. I surfed through the archive of that blog one day and at one point, I was regularly posting things related to Winx Club. I made a lot of small edits and took a lot of screenshots just for the sake of having fun and posting in the fandom. I can’t deny it’s a period I miss.

However, I’ve ultimately decided against returning. It’s a little lonely without the fandom, but it’s drama and stress with them. Now that I’m out of the fandom and looking at it from the outside, I’m beginning to wonder if there were some warning signs I missed that the fandom was beginning to tumble. One example from the top of my head is a user who would get angry and offended if you made any comment about the show they didn’t agree with that happened to be on a post of theirs. I once commented the group’s new style of civilian wear hadn’t yet grown on me and this person snapped at me. I still don’t see how “This style still hasn’t grown on me. I hope it does eventually,” is an offensive or even negative comment, but apparently, it is. I’ve begun to feel like that should’ve been a hint for me something was changing in the fandom.

It’s a way I used to behave as well. I grew out of it over time, but supposedly, the Winx fandom is composed of older fans, so maybe it is acceptable within that fandom. That’s odd to me because I recall someone saying they hope the nostalgic people will welcome newcomers to the fandom and while it’s only my opinion, I’d be more inclined to turn away from a new fandom if I saw people accusing others of being hateful, blinded, or biased because of nostalgia than because some people didn’t like the newer stuff. Some Disney fans don’t like any Disney movie beyond 2010, but I’m still part of the Disney fandom, to the point I wish Moana would hurry up and be released already! 😆

Speaking of newcomers, that’s another problem that’s recently come to mind. The people who make the “nostalgic and biased” argument assume anyone who likes the older seasons best (1 -3 or 1 -4) only feels that way out of nostalgia, but what about the fans who did not grow up with the show? I first saw Winx Club at 10 years old, but I didn’t watch it regularly. The most I saw on TV were a few episodes from the middle of the second season.  Yes, I liked the show and thought it was cute, but I didn’t really get into the show so heavily until I was about 16 or 17 after I’d watched all of the available seasons at that time on the internet. I’m now 22 years old. How the heck can I “grow up” with something in five to six years, especially considering the show wasn’t airing in America for two or three of those years? I’m positive I didn’t jump out of my mother’s womb as a teenager in 2010 unless I was somehow reincarnated and all my memories pre-2010 are from a past life.

Some of my friends are also friends with those people in the fandom and that’s probably the biggest reason I will not rejoin. I am not a homewrecker. I’m not going to make waves, potentially get into arguments with those people, and possibly put my friends into the awkward position of who to side with or, worse, staying neutral about it (you are only allowed like the old and new stuff if you prefer the new stuff over the old stuff; there is no neutrality or equality. You must pick a side and if you pick the wrong side, you’re toast). That’s why I’ve also decided to let go of that incident that happened back in March. I hate that person for what she did, but she’s the friend of one of my friends in the fandom (something I didn’t discover until recently). My friends’ other friendships mean more to me than my feelings and I refuse to risk wrecking someone’s friendship because their friend wronged me. That doesn’t make me any better. I’d only be hurting someone I care about for the sake of getting revenge on someone else. That’s not how you treat your friends!

I’ll keep asking periodically what’s going on and if there’s anything new because my interest in Winx hasn’t diminished, but rejoining the fandom is out of the question. If this whole “you only dislike the new stuff because you’re blinded and biased from nostalgia” blows over, I may reconsider. I was even thinking about creating a “holding blog”, so to speak, in case I ever do change my mind. For now, however, the answer to whether or not I’ll rejoin is an absolute no.