The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - Things I Do Not Get, Part 32,176 In An Endless Series: Chewing Tin Foil
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Things I Do Not Get, Part 32,176 In An Endless Series: Chewing Tin Foil|
When it comes to a show or a comic or a writer that I don't like, I have an odd habit: when I stop enjoying it, I stop watching it. That's it. I liked Lost for awhile, then realized it was never going to answer all the questions that it kept raising - and so, as I did around Season Five of X-Files, I stepped out. It wasn't good any more, so I left. Likewise, I keep thinking that Stephen King should be good, but I read through the first chapter of Cell and put it back down. He's not what he used to be. Thanks for playing.
Likewise, a lot of people really dig Sluggy Freelance. I've tried to get into it at various starting points that Sluggy fans have given me, but it's never entertained me. Thus, I don't read it. It's a fairly simple equation, and it doesn't mean anything beyond the fact that it doesn't appeal to me. It's not like Sluggy really needs me, anyway.
But I don't tune into Sluggy every day with gritted teeth, going, "Gawd! It's failed to fulfill my needs again! This strip sucks!"
I mean, Home on the Strange is what it is. I'm happy with what it's been thus far, even if Roni and I see the areas that can be improved (and more on that when we get to those strips), but by no means are you obliged to like it. If you think it's a bad strip, great; I've been working with the Internet long enough to know that you literally cannot please everyone, and you're apparently not one of the people we can please. Maybe what makes me chuckle doesn't hit you where you live, maybe you think it's too shallow, maybe the art's not to your taste, maybe you think it's just stupid. Great! You're not required to like it - and if you don't, I hope you'd be smart enough to walk away.
Why would you be so colossally stupid as to click on something that you know will not satisfy your needs?
I know that Howard Stern has "fans" who tune in specifically to get pissed off by him. I do not understand this, either. Life's too short without self-caused aggravation. If you know that you're not going to enjoy something, stay the fuck away from it. Maybe you get some sort of twisted satisfaction from going in there and screaming at people to tell them why they're idiots for liking Show X... But again, why would you be such a colossal asshole as to set out to spoil other people's fun? Are such a joyless fuck-drip that the only joy you can get is by dragging people down to your lightless, drab existence?
I note that these choads rarely gush happily about a new show that's going well; they only spring into action when a show they liked starts to tank, as if that's what arouses them. And the tinfoil-chewers rarely have any suggestions as to how to make things better; all they want to do is point out this is stupid, this is stupid, you're stupid. It's power by destruction, and their constructive criticism is restricted to how this blows, baby, it blows.
So why are you showing up? Turn off the fucking TV. Stop clicking the link. Don't purchase the book. Stay the fuck away, you idiot, because you don't like it. There are plenty of other fandoms you can enjoy, and maybe you should find something where it's still good. It's not like you can't go to a place where you won't hear mindless fangirl squeals (except, of course, during the new Harry Potter book release); just stay away from where people are prone to gushing idiotically, and you'll be fine.
It's your opinion. The fact that you have the right to express it doesn't mean that you're right. It's all just a matter of taste. Pushing your head into a pile of poo and whining about how it stinks is dumb-ass behavior to the max.
Just walk away.
I don't feel alone, anymore
I thought *I* was the only person left in the world who doesn't care for 'Sluggy Freelance'.
I can feel good about myself, again.
|Date:||March 13th, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: I don't feel alone, anymore
Since he started doing the space epic, I have lost interest.
Now that he's back to Torg & Co, ther may be hope again.
You preach it!
Thank you for saying something that really needs to be said ;)
exactly why AM radio and Rush Limbaugh are never, ever to be heard coming from MY car stereo.
With Sluggy Freelance, I've been checking it daily waiting for the "Bun-Bun is a pirate captain in space" storyline to finish. That did nothing for me, but I knew it had to end eventually. Now it's back to the stuff I enjoyed, but I kept it on my "Comics Tabs" bookmark group, because if I didn't check, I'd never know when that storyline ended.
Of course, I also didn't complain loudly about the storyline. I just patiently waited through it, so perhaps I'm not the type of person you're referring to...
I did the same thing through Oceans Unmoving.
|Date:||March 13th, 2006 07:50 pm (UTC)|| |
You would think that with more entertainment, art, and music than one person can reasonably watch in one lifetime available with minutes, if not seconds, that people would just move on till they find something that would satify them. I can't explain why people don't either, but it is something that baffles me as well.
I should be doing productive stuff, but here I am.
The way I figure it, there's a lot of different reasons people read/watch something they don't like any more. It could just be habit. "It's Thursday. $show is on." "$show sucks." "But what else would we do on Thursday?"
A lot of people, once they get invested in something, want it to be good, even if it's not. Especially if they get invested in it enough to define themselves partially as a fan of Anime Treacle or whatever. Then if Anime Treacle starts to suck, it reflects on their judgement, as fans. The show's sucking they see as an attack on them. But it sucks, and they can't deny it, so they try and disassociate themselves from it. Anger's one of the stages of grief.
Some people get amusement out of things that suck. MST3K being the prime example. But people will watch movies like Plan 9 from Outer Space, or Catwoman, even knowing they suck in advance, to make fun of the suckiness.
Some people, probably, watching things go to suck validates their worldview. Things like "nothing good ever lasts" or "Man, American TV sucks." And the joy from that I guess outweighs the pain from sitting through something they otherwise enjoy.
Some people liked something, and then see it go bad, and are angry about it, and try and figure out what made it go bad and how to fix it. The problem with that is most of the time they're not in any position to influence it, so they just get madder, and frustrated.
Some people enjoy pushing other people's buttons. They're trolls, basically.
And some people have this fixation on not liking things once they become popular, so if something they liked becomes popular, they have to diss it to maintain their pose of being cool and not liking popular things. Even if they really do like it. I don't quite understand why, but I can understand the feeling, since it pains me sometimes to see things like little teenagers running around in "retro" shirts from Hot Topic celebrating games or TV shows that went away before these kids were even born. Especially the ones made to look fake-old.
And some people have this fixation on not liking things once they become popular, so if something they liked becomes popular, they have to diss it to maintain their pose of being cool and not liking popular things.
Ooh, I hate those people! They're usually the same types that say, "Oh, I don't even own a television..."
I think it's pretty clear by their behaviour that they are getting what they want. What exactly that is mystifies me as well. Does it improve their self-esteem to tear into things? Are they trying to get attention? Do they even know how to enjoy something without destroying it? Beats me.
Yeah, When Randy Quaid chewed a piece of Foil for laughs on 'SNL',I decided I'd had enough crap from them and stopped watching, too.
I have to admit there is one thing that I do this to myself on - Something Positive
. I wouldn't, except I have friends that adore it, and it kept doing crossovers with my previously-favorite comic (Queen of Wands). And now Kestrel ended up there permanently, so I find myself wanting ot know what happens to the character, and yet hating it whenever I go find out.
No offense, but in your post you hit exactly on why your post probably won't change anything:
Maybe you get some sort of twisted satisfaction from going in there and screaming at people to tell them why they're idiots for liking Show X
If the people in question (and I don't presume that this covers all of the ones who do this) follow this idea, telling 'em "Don't" is about as useful as saying the same to the guy who's dating a stripper that only uses him for money and what she can get. He's definitely getting SOMETHING out of it, even if it's coming at a high price.
For those people about whom you've written, I'd guess the payoff is the moral/intellectual/psychological high ground. There is something validating about being able to look out at hoard of people dumber than you are and telling them all about it.....especially for people who deep down feel like shit. When you're rejected or neglected, it's easier to be pissed at those who've hurt you than admit you're hurting and maybe do something different. Hell, it can be a real power-trip to see how many people you can get stirred up and froth at the mouth!
I'm not saying this is healthy or adaptive behavior. Then again, looking at the range of dumb things people do, it fails to fall as low as driving while drunk or unprotected sex with multiple partners. However, all of 'em are driven by something; they have some kind of payoff. Until that's dealt with, the odds of changing the behavior--much less getting 'em to recognize it for what it is and the price it carries---are really, really low.
|Date:||March 13th, 2006 08:31 pm (UTC)|| |
Sometimes I hang on to a show in the desparate hope that the writers will come to their senses and start writing good episodes again.
A perfect example of this is Stargate SG-1. My wife and I love the show, but don't like the direction they're taking with the current season. We'll bitch about how that episode sucked, or how the Ori arc sucks, but we still tune in every week to see if they've improved.
I don't go into SG-1 boards and rant that it is teh suck, pissing on everyone squeeing fan person's SG-1 picnic. I just complain occasionally on my blog and to my wife.
Why would you be so colossally stupid as to click on something that you know will not satisfy your needs?
Is your complaint merely about people who whine about it, or people who stick with a show they think stinks?
If it is the latter...did you watch season two of 24? ;-)
|Date:||March 13th, 2006 08:50 pm (UTC)|| |
This was my first thought too - there are a number of things I've kept watching/reading/etc after they started going downhill in the hopes that this was just a momentary backslide, and things would improve down the line. And sometimes it does - there was most of a season of Angel that I didn't bother watching, other than reading plot summaries to see if they'd gotten out of the stupid story arc yet.
It reminds me of my husband ranting about the idiots on slashdot, and I ask them why he keeps reading if they make him so angry? In his case the ratio of useful information to maddening BS is enough to make it worth putting up with, and I think a lot of people have a hard time figuring out where that line is and being willing to walk away and break old habits when the enraging factors get too high.
The only problem with this is that the rationalization only works if you actually LIKED the product to begin with. There are plenty of people who do the same thing with something they didn't like from day one. A certain amount of that can be excused if it's a super popular cultural phenomenon of the sort where your friends keep saying "oh, you haven't seen X yet? You have to see it!" so you go back trying to figure out why people like it. But that can only go so far. And there are plenty of people who do the same thing with things they hate from day one, or that they haven't been pestered into checking out by friends. Sort of the traffic accident phenomena "I can't believe it's really this bad, so I keep coming back to see if it is."
|Date:||March 13th, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC)|| |
And this schizophrenic entry was inspired by (http://theferrett.livejournal.com/697641.html?thread=36245033#t36245033) someone else who thinks that Roni (the woman whose website is a giant jpeg) ain't as good as everyone makes her out to be (http://www.veronicapare.com/portfolio/).
I don't particularly care if you don't think her art is good. A fair number of people don't (even if I like it). But if you don't, then providing constructive criticism as to what you dislike is A Good Thing, as opposed to "She sucks. Ditch her."
If you don't like her, fine. But if the art's that bad, either accept it as a consequence of the strip, try to tell her where she could improve it, or stay away.
There's a fine line between being helpful and being a dick, but it's fairly easy to cross.
(Leaves obligatory counter-shot firmly in place.)
|Date:||March 13th, 2006 08:45 pm (UTC)|| |
You seem to make the assumption that once a show/book/comic starts to suck, it will continue to suck. That the only possible direction is down. I'm not sure this is always true. It's often true, but sometimes things get better. If it was good once, it can be good again.
Of course, at the moment I'm blanking on a concrete example to prove my point, so that doesn't really help. :) Maybe DS9, which had a really rough first few seasons, but was quite good at the end.
|Date:||March 13th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)|| |
I was going to mention Star Trek: Enterprise as an example. I've been told that DS9 is an example, too, but I just couldn't get into that show long enough to discover the good side of it.
|Date:||March 13th, 2006 08:55 pm (UTC)|| |
I could point you to your recent post on methadone. I know because I'm one of them that sometimes people cling to something they know isn't good and will never be good simply because it used to be a lot better. Sluggy Freelance being an excellent example of this -- the old strips actually make me laugh, a quality that was slowly and inexplicably lost over the course of a couple of years of strips. And yet I'll go back someday and pick up where I left off, just because it's the characters I've grown to enjoy in semi-new, vaguely interesting situations.
I have what's probably a really disgusting analogy for this: Terminal illness. Yeah, Grandpa's dying, and you know there's no chance in hell that he's going to get better. But you can't pull the plug. A few more years with the shell of a former grandparent is better than nothing, right? Or so the sentimentalist theory goes. Besides, improbably though it may be, there's always the faint little glimmer of hope for a miracle.
Not trying to offend anyone, but if I have, oh well. My apologies.
I for one really, really hate Bill O'Reilly.
However, I enjoy watching the Bill O'Reilly show, The O'Reilly Factor... in controlled doses, of course.
My reason for this one here is because it's so obviously biased, so obviously "spun" there in the 'no-spin zone', that it makes for deliciously ironic comedy just watching Bill pretending that he hasn't got his hand in the conservative-media-bias cookie jar. (This is not to say that such a thing necessarily exists, but how many times can he and his friends say that there is a liberal media bias without us thinking, perhaps simply due to the sheer number of times he feels the need to repeat this, that perhaps some other bias is being put into effect: his.)
As beautiful as "The Daily Show" can be, on Comedy Central, if I want to watch fake news and get a good laugh, I turn on The O'Reilly Factor instead.
God, but I do love Critical Miss.
I think sometimes when this happens it's because a person wants desperately to like something, and then doesn't. It's very disappointing when things don't turn out the way one thinks they will.
Say (for instance) you have someone who is a big fan of this journal. When you announced that you were writing a web comic, that fan very likely got really excited about the potential for a well-written comic by a writer s/he admires. Said person might also have very specific ideas about what kind of art is appropriate for your writing, and when the comic art fails to meet his/her expectations, s/he gets grumpy.
I think the main message was not "I hate your comic" but "I love your writing, but I don't feel that your current artist is capable of providing illustrations of the same caliber as your storylines. It pains me to see you working with someone that I consider a substandard artist." The commenter just sucks at expressing this opinion and it comes out sounding pretty antagonistic.
Or it could be someone trying to get attention by making waves in your journal. I'm fairly new here, so I don't know who's a "regular" and who is not, but it wouldn't surprise me if any antagonism directed at you was designed as an attempt to get noticed. I see that the person you're likely writing about doesn't say much on that journal, so maybe I'm way off base here.
For the record, I think the art is fine. I hope you'll continue to collaborate and gain readers who appreciate both your and Roni's contributions.
|Date:||March 13th, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC)|| |
"Damn that television . . . what a bad picture"!
"Don't get upset, It's not a major disaster".
"There's nothing on tonight", he said, "I don't know what's the matter"/
"Nothing's ever on", she said, "so . . . I don't know why you bother."
We've heard this little scene, we've heard it many times.
People fighting over little things and wasting precious time.
They might be better off . . . I think . . . the way it seems to me,
Making up their own shows, which might be better than T.V.
-- David Byrne, "Found a Job" (from Talking Heads' More Songs About Buildings and Food, 1978)
It's the same reason I still hang around my alcoholic clinically insane mother...
She used to be great and I keep hoping things will go back to the way they were.
It's the exact same thing.
|Date:||March 14th, 2006 12:31 am (UTC)|| |
Re: Steven King
He's not what he used to be.
Actually, I think his main problem is that he IS exactly what he used to be. He hasn't grown as an author.
|Date:||March 14th, 2006 01:41 am (UTC)|| |
Out of curiosity, at what point did you feel Lost had jumped the shark? What, specifically, made you feel that way?
Mmm, Lightless Void...
Why watch or read something I know sucks?
Trainwreck syndrome. Fun with mockery. Some sort of review for the unwary. And, occasionally, tackling issues that I think *should* be addressed: the prevalence of TraumaGirl as a heroine in fantasy fiction, for example. Mostly, though, I just enjoy pointing and laughing, Television Without Pity-style.
That said, there's a difference between something that sucks and something that's just not to my taste. I *won't* invest time in mocking Westerns or hard sf just because I don't like them; I will do my best to shred Sharon Green and Jean Auel in detail, because I *could* have liked their works if they didn't, well, suck. And, while I'll cheerfully put mockery up in public, I think it would be bad taste to go into fan forums for that work and start arguments.
Less joyless fuck-drip, more vicious bitch, really.
I watch/read/whatever bad things because either I love to laugh at bad things, I actually enjoy things despite their sucking, or I hope against all reason that they will get better again. I was eager to see all three Star Wars prequels even though they sent me into apoplexies of rage (I care far too much). I wanted them to be better, and cruelly enough, they were each a little bit better, which encouraged me while still making me sad. There was potential! They could recover! There were too few of them to really recover, but I hold out hope for other things. Someday Laurell K. Hamilton will stop writing porn and start writing entertaining AU fantasy history. I have faith.