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Monday, July 30, 2018 

CNET villifies the fandom at SDCC

CNET joined the crowd of apologists for SJWs in entertainment with a puff piece about the SDCC that's just another in a long line of junky articles that don't consider any dissent valid:
In the midst of the Saturday hubbub at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, a small group of attendees gathered outside the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel to hold a rally in honor of Rose Tico, a character from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The group included Tico cosplayers, and folks wearing shirts with her face on them, illustrated in the style of Shepard Fairey's iconic "Hope" image of President Barack Obama.
One of the saddest things for starters is the takeover of leftism, drawing from what the news site calls "iconic". Which is a lot of baloney that ignores all the harm Obama caused during his undeserved 2 terms of office. If this is what's de riguerre at the convention now, it won't improve their now farcical image.
In the time since The Last Jedi came out, Tico has drawn the ire of a group of Star Wars fans, and last month the resulting vitriol drove the actor who plays her, Kelly Marie Tran, to delete her Instagram account.

"No one should be bullied off social media," the organizer of the Tico rally, Keith Chow, told CNET via email. "And this was our attempt to win the argument, not by fighting what we hate but by saving what we love, to quote Rose's line from the movie."
Of course nobody should be bullied off social media, but then, how come they're only interested in the left-wing side of the affair, and not the right-wing side? Besides, it's already pretty clear Disney has damaged the recent Star Wars entries irrepairably. If they're denying any of that, CNET's made themselves look laughable, and they're even insulting their fellow news outlets, liberal and conservative alike, who also acknowledged the SW franchise has collapsed under Disney's oversight. No doubt, these propagandists would also cover for the bad characterization of Jar Jar Binks over 15 years ago. Let's see what else the article has to say:
Fandom can generate a lot of fun and good vibes. Comic-Con is a four-day celebration of all things pop culture that takes over the San Diego Convention Center and the surrounding areas. Cosplayers toting bags, poster tubes and boxes with exclusive merchandise spill out onto every available inch of hallway and sidewalk. It's an event for fans who love to love everything from Wonder Woman and Aquaman to Funko figures. People pose for pictures, trade compliments, debate fan theories and wait for exclusive merch -- the enthusiasm is unending.

But an event like the rally is a reminder that despite all the harmless (super)hero worship, there's also a corrosive element to contend with.

There're a few names for it. Toxic fandom. Protective fandom. When we talk about either, we're talking about behavior that includes hating on creators, celebrities, other fans or on creative decisions we disagree with. It's something that demarcates a right and wrong way to approach a piece of pop culture. Sometimes it's a matter of angry sputtering on social media. Sometimes it's death threats, rape threats and publishing personal information online for the sake of harassing someone.
Umm, any clear proof of that? Again, I don't see why they haven't provided screencaps, the best way to make a case about threats being made, which is illegal, and anybody who's fallen victim to it should go to the police. And isn't that nice how they boil it all down to mere "hating on", effectively obscuring whether it's a case of constructive criticism, and whether said creators/celebs have turned out poor work, which isn't immune to criticism. If the writing/acting effort is poor, we have a right to say so. If they don't think so, then virtually every critique written by notable film writers like Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin were illegitimate to begin with. But then, what can you expect from the kind of people who've long served as apologists even for terrible comics "scribes" like Dan Slott and Brian Bendis? Not much, I guess.
At a place like Comic-Con, on one level you get the idea that people don't want to spend much time talking about the nasty side of fandom. But the fact is that many of the fandoms represented at Comic-Con -- everything from Star Wars to adult cartoons -- have had notable online blowups.
If there is a nasty side, what if it happened to be ultra-leftists worshiping the bad writers like Slott and Geoff Johns? Assuming they've ever spewed offensive drivel on their part, wouldn't that be troubling? But nothing's clear in this dreary piece, which doesn't consider that folks at the Comicon would probably rather focus on the good sides, because the bad can be quite depressing. Much like this whole article!
One of the most prominent examples of this fandom in-fighting is the public back-and-forth between Star Wars fans voicing disdain for elements of The Last Jedi and those wondering what the big deal is. From sending death threats to director Rian Johnson to trying to remake the film to better suit their preferences, cliques within the world of Star Wars fandom have gone way beyond swamping message boards with complaints.

And you don't have to go too far before you start seeing a backlash that becomes more extreme than a mere quibble with the Casino subplot or how Luke's character was handled. Videos titled "Women Are Ruining Star Wars" and "Why Feminism Is Ruining Movies" can quickly take over your recommendations in YouTube. Subreddits focused on the Men's Rights movement or GamerGate remain outraged by perceived slights.
So let's see, we're told to be concerned about advocates of "men's rights", but not wish to help advocates of women's rights; just be worried about the oh-so important "feelings" of left-wing feminists. What's a problem is not whether a gal can kick butt effectively, but whether it's done at the expense of the menfolk in the story, who could be reduced to all but incapable of combat. The way Luke was depicted in the Last Jedi was quite disappointing, and if they think that's above criticism, then they shouldn't be writing about pop culture fandom.
The rapid escalation of these fan backlashes isn't limited to the Star Wars franchise. The most recent Tomb Raider film was railed against because of fan expectations regarding Lara Croft's body. Pockets of Marvel Comics fans have spent years outraged over the company elevating heroes like Riri Johnson, Jane Foster and Sam Wilson over the established (white male) heroes Tony Stark, Thor and Steve Rogers in their respective superhero roles.
Further proof that, if the characters in question are POC/homosexual/female, they're automatically above criticism for how they're written, and Stan Lee/Jack Kirby and company committed a huge boo-boo to create the white heroes in the first place. Oddly enough, I can't recall any SJWs slamming Infinity Countdown Champions #2 for depicting Riri getting beaten down by Thanos:

And getting 90 percent of her Iron Maiden armor disintegrated. In addition, the story makes the "heroes" look like fascists/supremacists, and nobody's disturbed, are they?

As for Alicia Vikander's body, I don't expect much of anything when it comes to a real life actress. I just find it galling how Crystal Dynamics devastated the Tomb Raider franchise for the sake of social justice crap that's actually hurtful and insulting to women, to say nothing of draining any optimistic vision along with entertainment value.
Even something seemingly innocuous, like a new art style applied to the Thundercats reboot, can attract untold amounts of rage.
Ah, so here's another example of opposition to even the most innocuous criticism of dismal, uninspired artwork. Guess they're not fans of the Mona Lisa either, huh? And what's so wrong with fandom being protective of how the creation was first developed? Evidently, the writer of the article has nothing to fight for.
"Those two tensions collide when fans become so insular that they think their way is the only way," Booth said.
The tensions collide when people like CNET's who have no investment in the pop culture creations they speak of think theirs is the only way, and that fandom cannot argue.
In a Reddit AMA in 2016, Weldon described it as "eating our own," talking about the trouble with saying "you don't love the thing I love precisely in the same way, to the same extent and for precisely the same reasons that I do, therefore you are doing it wrong."

It's hard to say exactly how big a problem toxic fandom is. Booth tends to think it involves a minority of fans.
Correction: it involves a minority of "journalists" who aren't fans and don't read/watch/play any of the products they speak of on any kind of a regular basis. And who should kindly make a grand exit from pop culture, and not lie about us any further.
One YouTube video called "SJW's Have Taken Over Comic-Con #SDCC," mocks the five "wokest" panels of the event, including ones on Afrofuturism (a movement that goes back decades, even before the term was coined in the early '90s) and on queer comics for queer kids.
Those "kids" they speak of could easily be adults, and if they think it's such a big deal there be LGBT stories, so be it, but quit normalizing the abnormal, and implying that homosexuality is a positive role model in every aspect for kids.
If you follow Tom King, who writes Batman for DC, you might've seen that he's attending Comic-Con with a bodyguard in tow, after receiving death threats over the 50th anniversary issue.
Again, all told without any proof displayed. I know that when Frank Miller and Marv Wolfman were writing Daredevil and New Teen Titans in the early to mid-80s, they reportedly received death threat letters, which were forwarded to the police for investigation. But a lot of what's been claimed since - in an era when it's easier to offer proof of the pudding - has sounded more and more contrived, like a desperate bid for more audience who could just as well conclude the work of modern scribes for the Big Two is simply not worth the paper it's printed on, and wonder if this was a thin-skinned ploy by the writers to take up victim culture. It may be dismaying Bat and Cat wouldn't get married, but it's still nothing to get worked up about to the extent they claim. Besides, it doesn't sound like any of the same occurred with the X-Men wedding issue, and Kitty Pryde/Colossus' non-marriage.
Granted, King might be the only writer here with a bodyguard, but such threats could give a bad name to nerds everywhere, Booth said. He even referenced how he's come across folks who don't want to admit to liking Cartoon Network's Rick and Morty because of public fiascos involving everything from its creator's treatment of women in the writer's room to how fans respond to female characters on the show.

"That's a step backwards, that's putting fans back where they were in the '70s and '80s, where it was embarrassing to be a fan," Booth said.
But no question whether poor relations between selfish, entitled writers and the audience they're supposedly writing for, gives scriptwriters and artists a bad name? Are they also trying to imply the audience has no issue with any negative depiction of women on R&M? Personally, I have no interest in most of these crummy cartoons, and I honestly couldn't care less that its creator has just had his rep soiled.
He sees some hope, though. If you scan the Comic-Con schedule, you'll see a variety of panels covering or highlighting topics like entitlement, gatekeeping, body positivity, and the women of Star Wars.

It's not just panels either. Prominent companies, like DC, are trying to make sure that, at least within their own walled gardens, toxicity doesn't take root.
Too late, toxic effects already flooded their output since Dan DiDio got his foot in the door at the editor's office. And he never sacked Eddie Berganza when it mattered 15 years ago, so what's their point?
Craig Hunegs, Warner Bros. Television's president of business and strategy, said simply that "we're not going to tolerate" the kinds of negative conversations that can occur on Facebook, Twitter and Discord, three platforms mentioned specifically by either Hunegs or DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee.
Who may have watered down the proportions on the ladies he draws, including Starfire, so what are they complaining about? Anybody who finds this sad? They sure don't seem to have a problem with the SJWs who attacked and villified their artwork, and worst of all, don't even read the products they're damaging. A terrible disfavor's been done lately to women's sexuality, and they're not helping by caving to demands for such censorship.
In much the same way, Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall and executive producer Matt Strevens wanted to make it clear that the long-running BBC show is for everyone, regardless of the Doctor's gender. (For the first time, the Doctor will be played by a woman, Jodie Whittaker.)
Well duh, if it's for everybody, then it shouldn't matter one bit that the protagonist was originally a man! Does that mean nobody can relate to a show with a male star? Ridiculous.
At a panel on geek life as a woman, writer Danika Stone said she thinks some of the spikes in anger will die out as we evolve our notions of what it means to be a fan.

Until then, though, she says, when it comes to advocating for inclusion and dealing with blowback, "We have to hold the line."
No, what she means is being ignorant of valid complaints, that's all. Besides, her idea of "inclusion" is just a codeword for replacing established white characters with POC/homosexual ones, instead of creating new characters with their own specific roles. As was the case with an Asian Hulk and a Latina/lesbian Miss America [Chavez]. I think there's another "panelist" who has no business wasting time in pop culture if that's her position.

And the writers of the article for CNET have no business talking about these topics if they were biased towards a victim angle to begin with.

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SDCC stopped being a comics con some time ago and is now run essentially by the movie industry with a side dish of comics and games for flavor. As their most important customer is completely converged it's only a matter of time before SDCC is was well.

Interestingly, CNET's article is making the same point that a few of the comicsgaters claim they have been trying to make; that comics should be about having fun, not dragged down by political feuds and rigid notions of political correctness.

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