As someone that has been a nerd my entire life, I always joked with everyone that I was born in the wrong decade since all the stuff that would cause me and my friends to get picked on for in high school is now considered unironically “cool”. I am a 36 year old father and I am still having trouble processing the fact that my son thinks it is cool I know about all this stuff that used to be on the fringes of pop culture. When you’ve spent decades being told one thing and identifying one way I think it takes a while to come to grips with the paradigm shift. But then there is the other side of the coin, you have got people who market themselves as being Geeks themselves but who openly talk about crossing the street to avoid them.
Then you have directors like James Gunn’s comments are kind of unnecessarily rude/disrespectful towards the same group of people that made the Marvel cinematic universe and his Guardians of the Galaxy the success it is today. It is those 40 year old’s that have and continue to spill their money in to the theaters and stores to buy Marvel products, and support those characters they grew up with and care about. I think that the directors and actors should choose his words carefully when referring to their target demographic. James Gunn defends who pays his salary and that’s his right. However, don’t be a hypocrite about it since it is those 40 year old’s who are indirectly paying your salary.
And just a few days later, Melissa McCarthy then turns around and does exactly the same thing that James Gunn. Which is equally disrespectful towards her fans, and the fans of the Ghostbusters franchise. Melissa McCarthy has always been marketed as the “real woman”. Not the polished, siliconed, catty, horrible creatures we find in Hollywood, and supposedly she is like so close to your normal average women you might find on the street. But then she goes and turns into another overweight middle aged version of the bullying, horrible, narcissistic high school queen bee monsters. And the people who fell for the “it’s just misogyny” defense are obviously going to be applauding further insults at the fanbase of the original movies.
Which isn’t helping at all. Because all this does is further convince people who didn’t like the trailers that they really don’t want to see the movie. And the media will always continue to spew the same garbage when there is some new outrage due to a change in a video game, comic book or movie. And unlike what the media likes us to think, this phenomenon is not limited to nerd culture. The very same fanboyism that now exists on social media and in the real world, can also be found in sports and politics just to mention a few. And it is definitely not unique to geek culture, I am definitely not ignoring the fact that there are people who do take it to levels of extreme. But generalizing and painting everyone with the same paint brush, shows a lack of respect for your fanbase.
The media keeps pumping out constant articles about manufactured outrage or attempting to further the outrage by manufacturing more of it. And the irony in all of this is: When nerds and geeks embrace a product be it a movie or a comic book and deem it as worthy, those nerds and geeks are lauded for their expertise in the niche subject. If those geeks and nerds find big issues that they can viably criticize them, the media and the people who created the products bully those critics for being geeks and nerds. It is still pretty much open season on the group of social discontents who used to be assigned the labels of geek and gamers. If you want to criticize geek culture, the first criticism should be leveled at the architects of geek culture, and that’s the media.