Behold! I stand at the door and knock!
Papa can you hear me?
Do you want to build a snowman?
Awww, everyone’s a critic….
Someone once said “We are are all on a spectrum of Humanity, and how we live determines where on that spectrum we sit”.
Apparently, you can please some of the people, some of the time, but you can’t please all the people, all the time.
This is doubly true if you are responsible for a beloved franchise.
Fans are like onions. They have layers. They make you cry, and some even get soft and squishy, developing weird growths from being left in a dark room for too long.
What is also true, is that the energy and passion they bring to conventions and gatherings around the globe can result in some of the best kinds of people you’d ever want to meet.
They relish in their shared universes, crafting and refining increasingly more accurate costumes, and generally validating the millions of dollars worth of effort and time expended by writers, directors, actors, gaffers, grips, camera people and all of the other faceless creatives who help make the thing real.
Fans can be very important. Instrumental, even, to the health and well-being of other people’s careers.
They can also be the worst. Real ogres.
Case in point: (name of person) being announced as the new (Doctor/Writer/Director/Showrunner).
Most folks are cautiously optimistic. Some are over the moon. Still others stand ready to burn it all to the ground, or simply walk away entirely.
Humanity : Spectrum
While the middle 85% of Humanity generally try to get along, more or less, or, at the very least, do their best not to cut you off in traffic, steal your newspaper, or piss in your cornflakes, there is a smaller, less obvious, more subversive group who just seem to want to spit and be confrontational.
Those interactions can leave one feeling swamped.
Gatekeepers. Trolls. Vaguely surly and oafish persons of questionable genus. Whichever medieval-ly inspired bumper sticker you choose to slap on it, the reality is that it pervades every genre, or franchise, or intellectual property.
They represent a physical minority, yet through the miracle of modern social communications, transform into a strong vocal presence, slowly inserting themselves into reasonable discourse, and subverting the flow of shared perspectives. With no consequence, comes no responsibility. And no compassion.
It’s easy to be dismissive. Now more than ever, the way in which we fling mud at each other impacts all aspects of our lives. Truly wearing our digital hearts on our electronic sleeves. Ready-Aim-Tweet reactions at the ready (Edit Button please, @jack), out there for the whole world to see, bouncing off the walls of our safely spaced echo chambers.
It’s ok though, because I have a plan.
We need to build a wall.
(ducks) Wait for it……
And in the middle of that wall, we need to put in a revolving door. That way, there is always the chance to see both sides.
You see, eventually hate fades. The angry and despondent will grow tired from all the negativity, and bitching, and the perpetual slump of never having a glass half empty of anything, and when that time comes, all they have to do is walk through.
Compassion. It’s bigger on the inside.