Borax n Glue: The Tentative Nature of Fandom

So, I just listened to Digi criticize the Fate fanbase for being abrasive and elitist. Why do people care so much when someone doesn’t like what they do? Probably because they think that it reflects the supposed invalidity of their own interests, having Digi say that the entire fate series sucks is probably very shocking. Regardless, there is no point in going to the comments and talking about how the person doesn’t understand the material and didn’t put in the time, therefore having no right to criticise the series. All this does is create a backfire effect, making the other side of this debate more and more staunch in their opinions, which is what Digi displayed in his latest After Dark video. I have no experience with the Fate fandom outside of a friend of a friend talking to me for the better half of 2 hours about its lore. The conclusion there is that the content is not for me; I communicate this, but the guy just keeps talking about it, too infatuated with this series to understand that someone doesn’t find it interesting, a shame.

I don’t care about Fate, never have and never will, but I don’t have any strong opinions about it other than the barriers to entry. I would need to punch in a major time commitment into the content of Fate in order to really develop an opinion from it, and that alone is a problem for me. I could instead spend that time reading, writing, exercising, going to work, spending time with friends, spending time creating mind maps, plan for the future, etc. There is zero incentive to watch or give a single fuck about Fate outside of the approval of a bunch of anons who I don’t care for. So what’s the deal with the incredulous response to Digi’s podcast about Apocrypha? Oh wow, Digi just angered a rabid group of fans who circle jerk a particular series, never seen that before… The problem is, people care too much about his opinion. Don’t get me wrong, he is a great critic who provides a lot of elucidating topics about various shows and why he likes them, but what any Digi consumer should understand is that he is not interested in slogging through content that he doesn’t like. Digi has a simple stipulation for consuming content: I won’t engage if it’s boring. This has been communicated multiple times through a bunch of his after dark videos, you would think that people would finally get the point right? Nope.

Something that I realized upon listening to E-kon’s dumbass comment about having to watch 500 shows before having the ‘right’ to be credible on the subject of anime is that I really don’t give a shit. I don’t care about being credible, I don’t care if people like a show I hate, and I don’t care if people hate a show that I like. Something inside of me has died out, it may be the fact that I haven’t seen a lot of anime lately. Hell, I haven’t consumed a lot of Digi either and now I’m questioning why I even bothered to write this stupid opinion piece out. To that end, I find that fandom is a bit like Borax and Glue. The more you engage with the content and the fans, the more strongly you will behave towards a dissenting opinion. The less that you engage, the less strongly you will behave. Both sides of the spectrum could be looked at as bad; if you are too strong, you will not budge an inch when a different opinion or thought is communicated to you, in some ways this can engender willful ignorance, if you are too weak you become too apathetic and find zero interest in subjects involving your interests. There is a happy medium to this, being confident in your interests and being open minded. In short, being flexible, not fluid or rigid.

As a consumer of various media, you should be in the command deck of what you like and what you do not like, not Digi, not anyone. On the subject of command decks, this stupid topic reminds me of the loudest of the KH LORE fanbase. Those guys will immediately decry and insult anyone who has the audacity to criticise their super special game franchise. The reason is, just like with the borax n glue, they engaged with the content on such an emotional level that the only opinion they can see regarding the series is theirs and theirs alone. So everyone else is just wrong, stupid, a hater, or even better a speedrunner… wow. The most abrasive and obnoxious of the Fate fanbase have the exact same attitude when looking at their content: it is the holy grail of fiction and if you can’t understand the most minute details of its expansive and borderline convoluted lore than you are an idiot. Getting things wrong doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of media consumption, and the intrigue surrounding this…thing is that being wrong on certain topics of Fate will only matter to the party that loves it. Assuming that somebody is going to put in the extensive research to approach a topic that you like is just wrong, there is no incentive to do so, no benefit that comes over the person doing the research, especially if they’re already given to hating that topic.

This is dumb, anime is dumb, and fandom is dumb. It’s like a giant broken record of butthurt opinions at this point, it’s boring. I feel that my investment in this medium and its fans grow weaker and weaker everyday, please find something interesting to bitch about please, Digi’s opinion is old news at this point. What I recommend? Step back a bit, make a fucking aniblog channel so you can sort out your own opinion. It’s so easy to be some dumbfuck anitube consumer who has a dumbfuck reaction to every video, but it takes real effort to organize and assort your opinions. Totes.

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