While I haven’t watched the new trailer and am not at all interested in the new film, it was hard to miss this and the ensuing reaction and I think it is worth posting about. What I am talking about is embedded below and at the link [now deleted].
Star Wars and super hero movie obsession culture has revealed a whole new population of undateable men. Might be worse than men who wear cargo shorts.
— Ashley StClair 🇺🇸 (@stclairashley) April 14, 2019
First of all, I’d like to start with an aside about the “reaction” video trend that has been becoming more and more common over the last few years. I honestly don’t get why someone would want to watch someone reacting to something. I exclude videos showing someone wearing those colour blind correcting glasses for the first time and the cute pet/baby stuff in this. What I am specifically referring to are people “reacting” to movie trailers and other videos. There are people who have made something of a career of this. I have even seen videos where the people just have someone’s content playing while they pretty much just sit and watch. It is all very “cringey” to use the parlance of our times and it is especially so with the emotional overreaction we see with new movies and video games.
This seems to be particularly common with Star Wars and comic book movies. There are videos of grown men screaming like little girls or acting like Victorian women in need fainting couches and smelling salts. These are hysterical overreactions but they are worse because there is a really unsettling streak of narcissism to it all. It isn’t enough for people to just see something they like, they have to not only let everyone know but show everyone too. Really, “cringey” isn’t the half of it.
Before proceeding further, I should also point out that there is something about the way the guy “reacts” that seems like this could be him trolling to mock people who do the same thing. Unfortunately, from all I’ve seen since — he does seem to be earnest. Either way, it doesn’t change the point of this post.
I did like the Star Wars franchise and still like the original films. After the films released since Disney bought the brand, I also have a new appreciation for the prequels though they are still bad films. The closest I ever came to fanboy behaviour was when the first prequel film released when I was in High School. I still can’t believe I saw it three times and didn’t really notice how bad it was until after the second film. I was never dressing up like a Jedi and collecting a room full of merchandise though. But I have become increasingly embarrassed to like the films with the way fans take them so seriously. This of course isn’t limited to Star Wars.
In the link above you see a lot of people revealing a lot about themselves by what should be an innocuous tweet. At its essence, it is an attractive woman sharing her distaste for tubby man-children that are obsessed with a nerdy media franchise. This attitude is nothing new. It is only really in the last ten to fifteen years that video games, comic books and other mostly male and nerdy pass times gained mainstream acceptance. The core group that keeps the money flowing is largely the same though. Aside from the more attractive men and women paid to promote them, things aren’t all that different at all. Indeed given the way these franchises have all been under attack by SJW and other types, it seems most of these new people never really liked this stuff to begin with. If you say you like doughnuts but maintain the recipe needs to change; you really don’t like doughnuts at all.
Many people including Mark Hamill himself have jumped in to defend the man but what are they defending? They are defending someone (assuming he isn’t trolling), and others like him who are completely obsessed with an unproductive way to unwind at the end of the day. I can say this as someone who has many articles about video games posted on this blog too. I can do it, because it is just a hobby and it doesn’t consume my life to the point where I feel the need to share videos of me enjoying them. They are encouraging people to obsess about something that ultimately doesn’t matter, will take you nowhere and will accomplish nothing. You can enjoy something without being obsessed with it.
The biggest tell though is not the video itself, or the tweet but the large and vocal reaction to it. As above, it has been revealing because it has clearly hit a nerve. I’m sure I’ve written before that I know when I’m too absorbed in something by the way I react (that word again), if someone suggests I should stop or just focus on it less. If I don’t take it well, I know the person has a point. There are not only people who have careers invested in keeping millions of men obsessed with this stuff but a lot of the same men who know deep down, there are more important things to think about. And perhaps they should.
Depending of course on the hobby or interest, there is nothing wrong in itself with having one. But if it consumes you to the point where you feel the need to video yourself enjoying it, plan your wedding around it or decorate your house with it, it is more a fake religion than an interest. And that is a problem, whether you want to admit it or not.
I sometimes find myself wishing I could go back and bully myself in High School.