Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Vested Interest

I am a fan of many things, certain Authors, Artists, Directors, Television Shows, Films, Books, Comic Books and other creators and media.  When changes happen that I do not agree with, it does not upset me.  I become disappointed, not upset.  The change does not negate the thing I loved out of existence.  Many fans seem to react that way.  They think that if a favorite character dies or changes too radically it is the end of their world.  They sometimes get too caught up in the details or a particular character and fail to see the bigger picture.  Sometimes fans think they know better and question a creator’s vision.  There is a difference between legitimate criticism and griping when things did not go your way.  Pointing out when a creator gets lazy or trapped in certain troupes is a form of legitimate criticism.  Being upset that the relationship you thought should exist in a work that never materializes in the finished product is another thing completely.

As Pop Culture fans we are extremely passionate, but there is a line between passion and obsession.  There are folks who get tunnel vision with their popular culture.  They get an idea in their head how things should be and then when if differs from the finished product they become irate.  As readers and viewers, we need to give the creator the room to give us their vision, not expect them to conform to ours.  The only ones that get a say are those for whom the work is directly contracted.  Being upset that a character dies is a legitimate reaction.  Threatening to boycott the creator, because they did so seems petty.

Art is about appreciating the creator’s vision.  If you do not agree with it simply do not buy, watch, listen or engage with that art.  It is one thing to disagree with an artist based on philosophical reasons.  When someone gets upset that a favorite character was with the wrong person or a character is the wrong sexual orientation, which comes off as overly controlling.  To quote Richards and Jagger, “You can’t always get what you want.”  Be in the art for the ride that the creator intended.  See where it takes you.  Don’t be a backseat driver.  You can love or be obsessed with something that just sings to every pore of your existence.  Remember it is supposed to be fun.  You should have perspective.  One should not let it be the total of your existence.  Allowing one thing to become the be all end all of your life is not healthy; whether that thing is a piece of Pop Culture, a person or a relationship.  I have been on that road and it is not a good or safe place to be.  Once again people should try to ground themselves.  That is what I have been working on since December of 2011.

Some who think they have a vested interest in their idols only praise them.  These kind of fans feel their favorite Pop Culture Icons can do no wrong.  Some of my favorites have created works that do not sing to me.  Some have created stinkers.  I know some folks that think their favorite Actor has not made a bad film.  Most folks I know would not agree.  This is the opposite side of the coin of tearing them down for doing something you do not like.  Putting folks on a pedestal just perpetuates the idea of low self-esteem to the fan.  It separates the artist from his or her audience.  Some artists like the kind of distance.  I see art more of a conversation.  It is a discussion between the artist and his audience.  Artists and Pop Culture icons are people; they need to be given respect.  There however is such a thing as too much.  That Is My Not So Humble Opinion.

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