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RevolutionSF Has An Opinion: Where Did The Geek Excitement Go?
© Tegan Hendrickson, Mark Finn
August 02, 2014

Last night, after Guardians of the Galaxy played through, and the credits were done, and they showed the little teaser scene with (Character's Name Redacted), I lost my mind. I barely had time to be gleeful when the guy next to me said, to his three buddies, "Well, that's really gonna suck," and then he started bitching and moaning and kvetching about how bad it was the last time, and I put my hand on his arm and said, "You can't say it's going to suck because you have no idea what they are going to do with it."

He looked at me, surprised. "Yeah, but the last time . . . "

I cut him off. "The last time was 30 years ago, and you can't possibly compare that travesty to what Marvel is doing right now."

He was getting angry and embarrassed. "Well, it's just a stupid idea, I mean . . . "

I cut him off again and said, "I'll bet when you heard about this movie for the first time, you said, "It's gonna suck," didn't you'"?

His friends, who were all listening intently, nodded, and one of them said, "Bam! Yeah, you did, man, you said it for months!"

I gestured at the screen and said, "OK, so, I think these guys have earned some of our trust, don't you' No need to dump on everything coming down the pipe just because you can't personally see how it'll be made. I trust this company to do it right the second time. So should you."

He was really angry, but his friends all agreed with me. I didn't make any friends last night, but I made a point. It's a point we all need to start making.

We ask for a big swimming pool, and then we foul the waters with our own excrement. This is not the way to win friends and influence people. It's time to start picking our battles and save our genuine outrage for genuinely outrageous things. Teaser previews tacked onto summer blockbuster movies, by the way, are not what I'm talking about here. Heaven forbid we feel this strongly about a real world political situation. -- Mark Finn

This past weekend (as I write this) fans from around the world got together in San Diego to celebrate their love for nerdy things. As has been the growing trend in San Diego Comicon, the major studios used this opportunity to make major announcements about upcoming projects, including but not limited to the release of exclusive pictures/footage and casting announcements.

In times past, these announcements would be met with great enthusiasm. Sure, thereíd be the few people complaining about something or another, but the general feeling was happy.

This year, I didn't get that so much.

Whatís going on?

I donít know if itís always been like this or Iíve just been paying more attention lately, but people are just grumpy about what was announced at SDCC. From the complaints about the new Wonder Woman costume (I get it, the heels are still a terrible choice) to grumbling about Marvel not releasing enough information about their upcoming projects, there were complaints everywhere.

It seemed as though every announcement was met with some bitter reaction like how the new Mad Max movie just wasnít mad enough.

Seriously, folks?

I get that many people wait a whole year, looking forward to whatever is going to be announced at the convention. Weeks, even months, ahead of the convention, the Internet is all abuzz with the latest gossip. Whispers turn into murmurs and murmurs turn into excited shouts. With all of that build-up to the convention, youíd think that people would embrace the announcements with some measure of jubilation. Itís happened that way in the past.

For some reason, though, things just didnít happen that way this year. It seemed like the immediate reaction to most of the news coming out of SDCC was complaining that it wasnít what the fans expected.

They didnít go far enough or show enough. Itís been something Iíve noticed happening more frequently within the past couple of years ago, not just at SDCC.

The reaction to any nerd news these days is usually some form of, "They did this thing? Ugh. Thatís terrible." I know Iíve been on podcasts where weíve talked about this.

Sometimes, that reaction makes sense. Sometimes, not so much.

Why are we doing this to ourselves?

Negative thinking turning into a vicious cycle is what we're getting into in the geek community I wrote more about that right here With the growth of social media, our ability to snark and complain and commiserate with our fellow fans has reached unprecedented, global levels.

With that level of power comes a greater responsibility to be mindful of our criticisms.

Weíre all guilty of building up the image of a perfect movie or show in our head and then complaining when the creative teams canít read our minds and give us exactly what we want. While itís perfectly valid to think that you could have done something better, sometimes holding onto that ideal shuts you off from enjoying what the work has become.

Itís one thing to criticize a property for ignoring its source material and ripping out the heart and soul of what inspired it. Itís quite another thing to criticize a thing because it didnít meet the exact criteria of the standards you set in your head.

Before you complain about a thing, take a moment to think about it. Step back from the computer to analyze why you have problems with it. Donít let a knee-jerk reaction cover up the potential beauty of a thing.

All things considered, I kind of like the Wonder Woman costume. My problem with the image is how dark it is. Itís getting grim and DC doesnít need to cling to grim like a security blanket. There is beauty and light to be found in its universe, but thatís something else I can blog about later.

Long story short, though, stop fueling the belief that nerds will complain no matter what a studio does. They could provide us with exactly what weíve been clamoring for, but there will still be a segment of the geek population that will remain vocally unsatisfied.

Donít be That Guy. This is supposed to be entertainment theyíre providing us. Look at the bigger picture and donít waste your complaint energies on smaller things like the size of the ears on Batmanís cowl. Criticize that the growth rate of diversity in media is still sluggish.

Try to enjoy whatís out there. Donít get stuck in the nitpicky details. Tell them what theyíre doing right. Encourage them to make things better.

Beyond all of that, try to have fun.

Get more Tegan Hendrickson at JustTegan.com and on the RevolutionSF Roundtable podcast.

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