The other day, I posted a quote from one of my favourite shows, Angel. In it, a guest character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike, mocks Angel about his do-goodery and such. It was a funny quote and helped me remember the scene, which was also funny.
It wasn’t long until a received a couple of replies about the comment and the show. Before I knew it, I was once again having to defend my choice of comment, my choice of show, and the accusation that I was forcing someone to watch something they thought boring, and so on and so forth. I tried to nip the whole thing in the bud before it got into a pissing contest, but the odd thing was, the other person kept at it!
I wish I could tell you that the person commenting was entirely to blame, but they weren’t. I was just as guilty of anything as they were. Although the conversation quickly became accusatory towards me, I initially didn’t do anything to stop it. I piled on just as much as the other.
This wasn’t an isolated incident. A few weeks back, I witnessed a dust-up on Twitter between two people about Dr. Who. One person said they weren’t fond of the new doctor, while the other person attacked them for having a differing opinion. Things were eventually smoothed over, but for while, it seemed heated and, again, accusatory.
There are probably tons of similar incidents between people who are fans of a certain show, movie, genre, game, whatever. It isn’t just in geekdom that such things happen, but since I consider myself a geek, we’ll stick to that.
When it comes to defending our favourite geeky things, or being critical of other people’s favourite geeky things, some turn into these vicious, know-it-all creatures, where everything they say is right and whatever you say, you’re a stupid asshole.
In my opinion, the best, and most irritating example of this is Batman.
Batman is a great character. He’s a psychologically unstable guy that keeps his psychosis in check by donning a bat-like cap and cowl to fight against injustice and evil. Thankfully, he’s also obscenely rich, so he can afford to buy or build everything he needs to accomplish his mission. Despite using criminal’s superstition against them via dark imagery, he still calls his tools “Bat-whatevers”, which doesn’t sound scary at all. He has been around for, what 75 years now? Incredible! He his a legendary character, iconic, transcending beyond the medium.
But here’s the thing. In the grand scheme of super-powered universe, including, Marvel, DC, and other super-powered people genre, he’s just a well-trained guy in a suit with a few gadgets. The fact that he has survived this long is a miracle actually. Yet there are Bat-fans out there who think he is indestructible. They think he can defeat any other character, period. I’m not talking about the “fans”, I’m talking about the nut-job, delluded, eat-the-peanuts-out-of-Bruce-Wayne’s-shit Bat-fans.
No matter what logic (as stated in comic books), Batman will ALWAYS beat whoever he faces. Superman, no problem. Galactus? Oh ya! Deadshot? Hell yeah! A dump truck hurtling towards Batman’s comatose body? There’s always a way.
No there isn’t!
If Superman turned his head when shooting his eye beams, Bat’s head would be gone. Galactus wouldn’t even know Bats was there. But when he did, gone. Deadshot could punch his ticket from nearly a mile away! Unless one of Bat’s sidekicks isn’t getting beaten to death by the Joker, then that dump truck just beat BATMAN!
I could go on…
Wolverine on a bad day? Wolverine as long as he’s breathing. Batman. Dead.
Deadpool? Bang! Batman dead!
Green Arrow? TWANG! Arrow to the head, Dead!
Mister Mxyzptlk could turn Bats into a rock, at least until someone said his name backwards.
Doomsday could tear him in half.
Firestorm could flash-fry him.
Magneto could impale him with iron rods.
Black Bolt could shatter his ear drums, then kill him at will.
Professor X could wipe his mind, then run him over with his wheelchair!
Kitty Pryde could phase her hand into Batman’s heart and kill him!
The Invisible Woman could create an invisible sphere around Bats and send him into space.
The Punisher (see “Deadshot”)
Spawn could do… whatever it is he does, and Batman would probably end up dead.
You get my point right? Batman is a cool character, and can hold his own against far superior forces. That is part of his appeal! He’s a normal human, well-trained, intelligent, with lotsa tools and toys. He has the balls to go against these powerful beings.
But these people who say he can beat anyone, especially when they say “If he was prepared”, are morons. “If he was prepared”? If I was prepared, I could beat Superman. Just gimmie a hunk of Kryptonite and a butcher knife. Bingo bango bongo, Supes is now “some assembly required”.
There’s being loyal and loving your favourite shows/ characters/ whatever. But don’t be a dick about it!
The lesson to take away from all this, if such a lesson exists, is that being objective, even about something you enjoy, is a very necessary thing, especially if you don’t want to be flamed by some teenager masturbating to unrated Sailor Moon pics.
For example, I enjoyed the Transformer movies, but I know they weren’t “great” movies. They were fun escapism. Sadly, they have gotten worse. Michael Bay, leave the series, now! The TV series/ spin-off Angel was a cool show. It wasn’t as good as Buffy, but it shared a lot of same themes, clever writing, similar good-but-flawed characters, and so on.
Does that mean what I like is better than what others like? Well, when it comes to something Joss Whedon created… yeah!
Ok seriously, we all love what we love. Just because someone doesn’t like it, is critical of what you love, or thinks you are stupid for liking what you love, that is their problem, not yours. People who attack you, or get all accusatory on you, they aren’t worth your time or effort. No matter what logic or evidence you bring forth, you will always be wrong in their eyes. The best way to deal with people like that, is to NOT deal with people like that. If they can’t be objective in the discussion, while maintaining their side of the discussion, then they can’t be talked to with any reason.
The same thing goes for people in general. If they can’t be open-minded, or deal with things objectively, then they aren’t worth your time.