A Writer From The Week Has No Idea What On Earth He’s Writing About

JoshuaRivera

He’ll have a soy latte please.

Joshua Rivera writes an unresearched piece at The Week entitled, Star Wars fandom isn’t worth defending.  In it he writes:

Star Wars should stop celebrating its fans. They don’t deserve it.

Neither does the staff within today’s Lucasfilm, if you’d bother to look.  Nor do the media sycophants who serve them, judging by your article.

Consider the case of Kelly Marie Tran, who last week wiped her Instagram account.

Consider the likelihood that she didn’t wipe her Instagram account, but instead disabled it making the contents unavailable to the public, in order to better comply with a social media NDA since Episode IX was beginning pre-production at about the time that the account was disabled.  You can read more about that here.

The Vietnamese-American actress, who played Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, has endured racist and sexist attacks online from the very moment the movie came out — attacks that haven’t seemed to abate in the six months since The Last Jedi‘s premiere. Even if she hasn’t said as much, everyone knows that it was sustained, targeted harassment from “fans” that caused her to effectively hide her online presence.

Which demonstrates that you’re over reacting to incomplete and misleading information.  The entire story you’re reciting from other equally unresearched articles are based entirely on a single tweet from an unverified account.  You can read more about that here.

In the wake of Tran’s departure from social media, there’s been an effort to rehabilitate Star Wars fandom. Sincere and well-meaning fans launched support campaigns. Her Star Wars colleagues publicly praised her and shamed her harassers. 

In fact they shamed themselves in two ways.

First, the honest ones reacted hysterically to a rumor that in all likelihood just isn’t true.

Second, the dishonest ones are taking advantage of the hysterics over that rumor, in an opportunity to use Kelly Marie Tran as a political pawn to advance their own selfish political agendas, which of course is reprehensible.

But is Star Wars fandom really an institution worth defending?

We defend ourselves.  We don’t need you to do that, in the same way that you need me to do your research for you.

No. It isn’t. Star Wars fandom is notoriously toxic, and you don’t have to look very far to find evidence. Daisy Ridley, Tran’s The Last Jedi costar, deleted her Instagram for the same reason.

Daisy Ridley never liked social media in the first place.  Here’s what Daisy Ridley said about social media back on 2015 in an interview with Refinery 29:

They went through it at such a different time. Hollywood was a different place, and there was no social media. It’s hard to compare what you and your co-star John Boyega are going through to even Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio after Titanic, because that was before social media, too. Has that been daunting?

“Well, I was kind of loathe to go on social media. I find the trolling unacceptable and I never wanted to look like I was someone who would accept that. But the 99 — no, I would actually say 100% of the people [who’ve interacted with me on social media] have been so wonderful so far. My life is real average, and it’s nice to share that with people. And to see people’s conspiracies and their theories, that’s fun. It’s really fun to be part of.”

Joshua continued:

John Boyega, who is black, dealt with a wave of racist bile for his prominent role in the new trilogy that began with The Force Awakens

You’re referring to the purely imaginary black stormtrooper controversy which is debunked here.

Go back further and it doesn’t get much better: Jake Lloyd, who was 8 when he played Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace, blames the film and its fans for making his life “a living hell.”

This might be the first time Jake Lloyd has been mentioned by The Collective.  As Jeremy from Geeks + Gamers once noted:

Is the Narrative shifting?

Now look: I’m sure millions of Star Wars fans are super people — but these good Star Wars fans aren’t the problem. We don’t point to all the people who are not horrible as a means of excusing people who are. Spend any amount of time writing on the internet and you’ll know most readers are presumably great, because most readers don’t say anything. But the ones that do? A lot of them really aren’t great. 

You just spent the entire previous content in your article saying point blank that, no, the fanbase isn’t worth defending.  Now here you are defending the fanbase.  Make up  your mind.

And all the well-intentioned Star Wars lovers tweeting #NotAllFans aren’t helping anyone, because they can’t change the fact that fandom, as it exists in 2018, is fundamentally broken.

Do you SJWs ever get tired or parroting the word “broken” every time people don’t think the way that you want them to?

Star Wars is a good case study for this, because it’s a science fiction fantasy franchise that began in 1977 that has been continuously celebrated into the present day — and, more importantly, across multiple entirely different eras of fandom. Star Wars fans of the first few decades practiced an analog fandom that grew out of comic books, fanzines, and hobby shops. This was the only way to be a “fan” of anything back then, and while it was absolutely still toxic — women were unwelcome, and death threats written in ink aren’t any less troubling than tweets — it was isolated.  That doesn’t make this iteration of fandom better, it just helps explain the foundational mindset of Star Wars fandom: people (mostly men) taking ownership of a bit of pop culture in their own private spaces, and making them as open or as hostile as they wanted.

What on Earth are you talking about?  There were always female fans.  Many of those female fans who are in their 40s and 50s now are making the same criticisms as the male fans.  You can see some of those criticisms here.

How can a person get paid to write articles when it’s so absolutely utterly crystal clear to anyone with a grade school education that he has no idea as to what he’s talking about whatsoever?

Then came social media. Small groups thrust into — or invading — larger ones and barriers between online communities eroding. While this has been a largely positive force — you can attribute much of our modern push for diversity in pop culture to this — it’s also the means by which some fandoms become noxious on a grand scale. 

Kid, there’s been diversity in films since before you were an itch in your daddy’s pants.  No one is blazing a trail here.  Instead, we’re on a well-worn decades-old beaten path.  If you hadn’t let the past die, you might know this.

The possessive nature of fandom and the open nature of the internet have both reached their logical endpoints, and traditional fandom’s reflex — at least, in the case of Star Wars — is to tighten its grip and become hostile towards any change in the franchise they felt slighted them.

Actually, fans are loosening their grip.

SoloSolo

These toys belong to them, and no one else is allowed to play with them.

Actually, no one is playing with the toys.

The world has changed, but their fandom did not.

The world is exactly the same as it’s always been.

Couple this with the entertainment industry’s late-aughts embrace of “Geek Culture” — a lifestyle defined by consumption and corporate boosterism that seeks to take advantage of and commercialize a newly widened fan culture while also validating older, possessive fans — and you have the perfect storm that results in Kelly Marie Tran closing herself off from fans entirely.

Or maybe not.

This is capital-F Fandom’s endgame: a world in which a mob can terrorize the corporation that actually owns the franchise they built their identity on into doing their bidding.

Expressing criticism of a movie and the direction that the franchise is taking, is not terrorism.  This is a terrorism.  This is a terrorism.  This is a terrorism.  Criticizing a movie is not.  So come back down to planet Earth and get some realistic perspective here.

Of course, corporations aren’t the vulnerable ones here. People are. People like Tran, an actress with a relatively small profile before Star Wars thrust her into a world it never bothered to cultivate or police, because Star Wars has never seen a dollar it didn’t like.

And she’s being used as a political pawn by a massive private corporation that socialists are now defending.  Truth it turns out, is indeed stranger than fiction.

 

3 thoughts on “A Writer From The Week Has No Idea What On Earth He’s Writing About

  1. The Week was once an excellent magazine. But in the past several years, they took a huge nosedive. My family no longer has a subscription to it, but they are desperate to get it back as wee keep getting free issues in the mail hoping we re-up. No, we won’t. If they are now down to pandering to the SJW crowd, then it won’t last much longer as a print publication.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When someone tries to defend and deny SW’s incredibly toxic and nasty fandom, and try to pretend they’re a majority (or that Solo’s flop was due to TLJ), you know you’re in for a brain-draining read.
    Then again, intelligence could never be expected from a website called “Disney Star Wars is Dumb”.

    Like

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