Originally written for Superfluous Rex, 14/04/14
(and, as of December 2015, I've actually seen one Star Wars film! ;))
(and, as of December 2015, I've actually seen one Star Wars film! ;))
Look at this candid shot of Mr. Superfluous and some of his friends.
That big guy in the background is a cosplayer, and I see we have a Pokemon fan, a gamer, and a Legend of Zelda fan...
Or do we?
Clearly that girl in the Zelda top is a fake! She just uses her apparent love of geeky stuff to get attention, you know... she wouldn't even be able to tell you anything about Majora's Mask!
Oh, and I bet the stegosaurus dude only plays one sort of game and rejects others. He hurls abuse at other players online, too. What a meathead!
As for the so-called Doctor Who "fan"...his favourite Doctor is Tom Baker and he won't even watch any episodes starring the newer Doctors. Such a hipster!
Don't even get me started on the raptor chick. She only collects Pokemon plushies because...they're...CUTE!
...wait, wait, wait. No! This isn't what Superfluous Rex is all about!
It's about being friendly and supportive... and just having fun with our preferred interests and subcultures!
Why all the sudden hate?
I bet it's all her fault.
Sadly, this is the kind of thing I see online way too often, and it's becoming more and more noticeable in real life, too.
Our submission guidelines here at Superfluous Rex do try and state that we want to shy away from obvious 'fandom' words (to namedrop a few: brony, Gleek, Whovian etc), because that can often breed unwarranted hate or stir up some less-than-positive ideas.
But, the general theme of Superfluous Rex is "geek culture" in that the word geek (as beautifully described by our very own Lucy) pretty much means "somebody who is into something". That's it, really. It doesn't have anything to do with the way somebody looks, or somebody's weight or gender or sexual preference.
It's just a word.
This is the kind of thing you'll see if you Google said word.
Yet, for some reason, so much hate exists around the idea of "geek".
I've seen fans from x attack fans from y, or some people insulting other "subcultures" such as 'preps' or 'chavs' or whatever just because they're not into the same things.
Then they claim they're being bullied because these 'chavs' pick on them for liking, say, trading cards instead of playing sports.
It goes both ways.
If somebody chooses to spend their time watching a football match, or working out at a gym, or getting their hair & nails done - that's their choice.
As long as nobody's harming anyone, then I say people can like whatever the hell they like!
Now, this is painful for me to admit, but I used to be like this too.
I never bullied anybody. I never called on anybody for not liking the same things I did. But I certainly did shy away from people if they weren't into the same things as me, which was pretty dumb, as I ended up quite lonely in my younger years!
As I got older, those things became less important. I know people now from various walks of life who are all into lots of different things.
If I'm not into something they are, I tell them, sure, but it's like this: "I don't like Harry Potter, sorry, but I'm glad you do!" or something around those lines.
Woah, I know what you're* thinking. I don't like Harry Potter? How is that possible?
I did try to read the books, and I wasn't keen. Not really my thing.
But kudos to all the fans out there who do like it, because I can see it's a fandom full of creative and, on the whole, really awesome people!
I can also appreciate that the books are well-written, and the universe of Harry Potter is vast and I can certainly understand why people do fall in love with it!
So that's great. But really, do I deserve to be attacked because I'm not into it?
Then there's Star Wars. That seems to be the other one which warrants a lot of hate my way.
I've never seen Star Wars.
I don't have any burning desire to watch the films, though I can admire the amount of thought that has gone into creating such a rich sci-fi universe. I probably will watch them, at some point, but right now: I'm a Star Wars virgin.
I googled that term and ended up with this beauty!
Is there anything really bad about me not seeing Star Wars?I've also not learned yet how to play the violin, nor can I do any sort of martial art. I'm not sure if that's relevant, but while we're talking...
There isn't. I know this, but honestly, you would not believe the amount of hate I've gotten just from telling people I haven't watched them!
I've actually been pushed over at a bar because of this. Seriously.
And the amount of times I've had "GET OUT! JUST LEAVE! GET OUT!" yelled at me because of my abhorrent confession...too many times to count.
Does this make me hate Star Wars? Does it make me hate Star Wars fans?Actually, no. It really doesn't.
It makes me question why somebody would get so colourful and angry about something, definitely, but I don't hate them.
(While I'm confessing, I've also not yet played any Zelda games, and hilariously, I wrote "Midora's Mask" up there originally when discussing our blue parasaurolophus girl. Oops.
But in the spirit of honesty...!)
The last thing I'll share about my own personal experiences with this topic:
I was at my local comic book store, browsing the My Little Pony section. There were a group of people behind me, and one of them muttered "I bet she's never even seen the show..." behind me, "Bet she just likes the cute little stickers!"(To make this more accurate: "cute widdle dickers" was how he pronounced it...)
I didn't say anything, though I kind of regret this now, but I did think about how My Little Pony was one of my favourite things ever when I was a little girl, and wondered if the guy who insulted me for "not really liking it" actually watched it when he was a kid, or if he gave into the gender-based bullying that was inevitable back in the 90s when a boy liked a "girl's" cartoon.
I don't want to think like that. I want everybody to enjoy what they enjoy, and for me to enjoy what I enjoy, without having to think about it too much!
Sundance doesn't approve of all the hate!
Speaking of the whole "boy stuff vs girl stuff"... that isn't right either.
So much emphasis is put on gender when it comes to these things, and it's really silly.
Yes, a girl can love comic books and first-person shooter games. That doesn't mean she's faking it for attention or likes comics because they're "in fashion" now.
Yes, a boy can love cute cartoons and dolls. It doesn't mean the guy is "gay" or any less of a man for liking what he's into. If anything, props to him for being man enough to admit to liking something that isn't 'expected' of him. Oh! And gay isn't an insult. It's never an insult. Stop it.
(Also...no, gender isn't as black and white as this post is making out.)
One thing I see a lot is "gamer girls" and how 'fake' they are.
You want to know how to spot a fake gamer girl?
Well, she's not the one who only plays 'cute' games like Animal Crossing or Sonic. She's not the one who is 'terrible' at Street Fighter. She's not the one who only plays Call of Duty and rejects any other game.
A fake gamer girl is...wait. Maybe this term is flawed...
Because if a girl plays a game, then I guess she's a "gamer girl", isn't she?
I'm not fond of the term myself. As I stated above, I think labels can often conjure up unwanted ideas and arguments, but I do see where they're important to some.
Furthermore, this is, in my opinion, the biggest argument against singling somebody out or judging based upon what they're into:
If somebody gets into something you like, isn't that a good thing?
So what if the person in the Superman shirt has only seen Man of Steel? They liked it enough to buy a shirt and I bet they wear that shirt proudly!
Maybe Man of Steel is a gateway for them into other Superman stuff. They might end up watching all the Christopher Reeve films, and reading a bunch of the older comics.
Or, they might decide that they aren't really into Superman, but they thought Man of Steel was a great movie.Does it really matter either way?
Live and let live, and all that.
So, back to our dinosaurs.
Maybe the prejudices I put upon them up there are true, and maybe they're not.
But they look like a happy bunch, don't they? So, let's leave them to it.
I'll just remind everybody of this:
We post about comics, games, sci-fi, pop culture, tv shows, and we do so in a positive manner. We're not here to make anybody feel alienated for liking the things they do, we're just here to share the joy, love and enthusiasm!We shy away from the somewhat arrogant ideals of snarkiness or sarcasm that you might find on similar blogs because we don't want our readers to feel bad about the things they enjoy.
There's enough hate and drama in this world already, and Superfluous Rex is a safe, happy place away from all of that.
We want to celebrate things and build them up instead of smashing them down.
(Kind of unexpected from a dinosaur, right?)
Thank you. :)
* - the "you", "you'res" and so-ons in this post are subjective. I'm not intentionally judging anybody. I hope that was obvious!