Over the past couple of days there have been some geek/nerd internet hate stories that really makes me mad. It seems that the internet has tuned into a cesspool of hate, bile and entitlement.
When I started Pop Culture Maven I wanted a haven from the negative things that a lot of geek/nerd sites traffic click bait stories to drive traffic to their sites. Would I love to have a higher volume of visitors to my site, of course but I try to not to do stories or reviews to stretch the truth or even spin a false story into the truth (April Fools posts are the exception and purely for fun).
There are three stories that have nearly has myself wondering if there is actually any hope for humanity. While I understand that we all got to the internet to see memes of cats and people video taping stupid stunts than turn out badly to help us get away from real life for even the briefest period of time. While I am a firm believer of healthy debate about things it seems lately that everyone with twitter, blog or so-called journalist gets all riled up about stuff that quite honestly at the end of the day is not that important. People seem to have lost common decency and respect for their fellow human beings.
The first story is Uproxx by contributor Mike Ryan went on a rant about how he loathed May the 4th be with you because it has become the it thing to do and that people who are not “REAL” Star Wars fans use the day to make quips on twitter and there are sales on Star Wars related merchandise. My first response to reading this so-called story was is this what Uproxx considers news and writers like Ryan considers a story is simply embarrassing. First off there is not probably anyone over the age of 10 and or has a twitter account that has probably not see Star Wars. I have a niece and nephew that are 8 & 6 respectively that have seen the original trilogy years ago. Ryan is so self-righteous that he acts like a kid with Star Wars toys and won’t let any of the other kids play with them. I saw Star Wars when I was 12 years old when there was only the first film and it was never called Episode IV A New Hope. I saw it 7 times in the theater dragged both of my non nerd parents to show them how great the film was (they were pretty indifferent). I bought every Star Wars toy that I could afford or get for Christmas or my Birthday. My Dad drove me over 100 miles to Columbus Ohio to see The Empire Strikes Back because it wasn’t going to come to our small town of Belpre Ohio for a month after its release. So I thinks it’s safe to say that I am a Star Wars fan and Ryan needs to get over himself. Star Wars has become so much more than the films themselves and have become a cultural phenomenon. We get it you love Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back is your favorite film of all time so that make your story relevant why? It doesn’t and while it’s one thing to have an opinion about something this type of “story” is why a lot of geek /nerd sites have become so irrelevant.
Story number two has to do with an incident at this years Free Comic Book Day. Joe Peacock wrote a very troubling story about the incident with his sister and her son at a comic shop this last Saturday. I have volunteered at the last five Free Comic Book Days and Metropolis Comics and this year at Big Red Comics. I do it because I love to share my comic book passion with new readers and of course kids who are maybe for the first time going to a comic shop. Seeing a kid light up when they get a comic or a drawing from an artist really means a lot to me.
Upon reading Joe’s story it sadly didn’t surprise me too much. I really hate saying that but let’s be honest most workers at a comic shop tend to fall into two categories. The owners tend to be people who loved comics and found the financial means to open a store and have limited business ability or workers who tend to be younger comic fans/nerds and less skilled at the art of customer service. There are exceptions to the two examples above and there are a lot of great comic shops that do not have these type of issues. Honestly most comic book stores are like the Android Dungeon portrayed on The Simpsons with The Comic Book Guy. They tend to not be new customer or women friendly and that is what is really troubling about this story. With films based on comic book properties you would think that there would be a lot more comic readers than there are. Below is the sales estimates for the month of March 2015.
1 Princess Leia 1 $3.99 Marvel 253,655
2 Star Wars 3 $3.99 Marvel 161,226
3 Guardians Team-Up 1 $3.99 Marvel 155,388
4 Spider-Gwen 2 $3.99 Marvel 107,070
5 Princess Leia 2 $3.99 Marvel 96,262
6 Amazing Spider-Man 16 $3.99 Marvel 92,289
7 Howard The Duck 1 $3.99 Marvel 85,929
8 Darth Vader 3 $3.99 Marvel 85,156
9 Batman Arkham Knight 1 $3.99 DC 73,266
10 Amazing Spider-Man 16.1 $3.99 Marvel 73,170
With Princess Leia sales estimates (253,655) and the number of comic shops that Diamond had figures for in 2013 that each store ordered an average of 96 copies of the book. To put things in better perspective there are approximately 1,968 Best Buy stores in the US as of 2014. So if the Avengers Age of Ultron can rake in $191 million dollars why are there so few comic book readers at local comic shops. The answer could be as simple as the story that Joe had happen to his sister.
The Final story is that Joss Whedon was attacked with hate and insults on Twitter and closed his account down. You can sadly read the long list of hate and bile HERE. I find it hard to fathom what people were thinking when they wrote this stuff. The rants seem to have centered on the story line from The Avengers Age of Ultron plot that people felt Whedon treated Black Widow as a victim and the romantic aspects of the character. First of all people it’s just a movie and we are talking about a fictional character. While Whedon is both writer and director of the film lets not forget that the film with a $250 million dollar budget there were a lot of cooks in the kitchen on this one folks. Anyone that thinks that Whedon had final say about anything over Marvel and Disney are truly kidding themselves.
Here are some of the more insane twitter rants about this (Note: I have not included any of the users names or links)
@josswhedon just heard (removed) talk about how you’re a real piece of shit. And yes, you were in the wrong and should probably apologize
Eat Shit @josswhedon
Thank goodness people are now realizing how misogynist and racist Joss Whedon is.
i would punch joss whedon in the face if i were given the chance
i will fuck a joss whedon shaped dildo i dont give a fuck anymore
I’m sorry but what the fuck is wrong with people. Being on Twitter does not give you free rein to be an asshole. I get having an opinion about something but again IT’S JUST A MOVIE BASED ON A COMIC BOOK ABOUT FICTIONAL CHARACTERS.
James Gunn director of Guardians of the Galaxy had a great response to the hate fiesta;
Most of you are aware of this, but anyone who urges a filmmaker to kill himself over a movie plot point needs to seriously examine his life.
My plea to all of you – and this is nothing new – is that we all try to be a little kinder, on the Internet and elsewhere. And, honestly, that includes being kind to the people who are tweeting this nonsense. I don’t believe you can tweet about wanting to find a movie director and “curbstomp” him and be a happy person. That person’s statement might make you a little angry – that makes me angry too. But thank God the circumstances of my life and your life didn’t lead us to being the person that has the need to anonymously tweet that to someone on the Internet. And, as much as we may want to respond with vitriol to these tweets, I think that just creates more insanity.
People need to really get over themselves. Do you honestly believe that the person who said that they would hit Whedon if they saw him would really do it? I highly doubt it because Twitter has created this so-called shield that people somehow think that allows them to say anything they like. While I a strong believer in the First Amendment and everyone should be allowed to right to their free speech. There is a huge difference between free speech and being an asshole. Life is not about being noticed or your social status and honestly no one cares what you have to say in 140 characters. Whedon has left Twitter and honestly I can’t blame him. Unless you are a celebrity or a company Twitter doesn’t really serve much purpose in life. It’s like a tissue you blow your nose and throw it away.
I know that this very sad trend of trolling seems to only get worse everyday. I can only hope that people will come to their senses someday soon. There are so many more things that are much more important in life than complaining and tearing others down.