The Story Lab 2016 – Blog Post Week Twelve
This week we’ve continued working on The Barlow Enquiry. It’s going well, we’ve got people liking the page and even messaging for content so they can start solving the mystery – it’s really interesting seeing how people react to content we’ve produced or even to seeing the posters around uni.
But since my last few posts have been updates on out major assignment, I’m going to this week talk about something a little different but still relatable.
Only this morning, Dan sent out an email with an attached link, prompting us to read the article if we had a chance. Of course I, while procrastinating doing my final essays (don’t worry Dan, I’m all over The Barlow Enquiry), thought this was a great idea.
The article was actually pretty interesting. Written by Jesse Hassenger, the post titled, “Ghostbusters, Frozen, and the strange entitlement of fan culture”, talks about the recent video from James Rolfe, in which he filmed himself discussing why he wouldn’t be seeing the new Ghostbusters (oh, but he isn’t sexist of course). You can find the article here.
I’ll be brutally honest here. James, get over yourself.
I guess for most of you, you’ll think I’m saying that because I’m a feminist. I don’t call myself a feminist because I don’t think pushing for equal rights should be given a title or a name, something to categorise people as. Do you know what I call myself? A decent human with common sense. That’s why I believe in equal rights.
Anyway, getting off topic. The reason why James drove me up the wall because basically he’s being a precious, prehistoric old man. It’s the same reason why I get annoyed with people who think the cinema doesn’t exist anymore, or that good music isn’t made, or that good literature isn’t published. All of these do still exist, but guess what people? They’ve just evolved. If they didn’t, they’d be dead. And then how would you watch ghostbusters 100 times over and sit in your giant pop culture room, James?
So you like the old ghostbusters? Good for you, James. It’s not uncommon for people to attach themselves to the first version they saw, or something that existed when they were growing up, most likely at a vulnerable time. It brings back good memories, good times. The first thing people see is the thing that they deem “right” or “correct” because they haven’t seen anything like it.
I’ll admit, when (someday down the track) they make a new Captain America, I’ll be the one saying “the original was the best!” because that’s what I grew up with, that’s who when I was admiring people, who I loved. Chris Evans was the first captain I’d seen, so he’ll always be my captain. But will I boycott it and throw a tantrum? No. Because to go and see it is to see how the world’s evolved, and what society wants from Captain America now. And who doesn’t want to see awesome CGI and be amazed at what talent the industry is producing? (Prehistoric stubborn minded people apparently)
And I know a lot of people won’t agree with me, and that’s fine, but for me, when James mentions he isn’t sexist, he may as well have a big sign saying he is sexist. I don’t doubt that if it was an all-male cast James would be much more interested in seeing the movie, he just doesn’t want to admit that to himself or anyone because of the backlash. But sorry James, I’m sure your subconscious knows the truth, even if you don’t.
But there was more to this article (I need to stop myself before I keep going on about James). It was interesting how Jesse spoke about hashtags and how fans want to see more same-sex relationships. In fact, the other day the hashtag #givecaptainamericaaboyfriend was trending, which I thought was quite funny because I’m pretty sure he already has two…cough, cough….
(I do love their bromances) But while I don’t think they’ll be introducing a same-sex relationship with cap, it was cool how Jesse mentioned that this sort of fan behaviour can influence other series or characters. So perhaps, somewhere down the track, a newer character in cap might be introduced as same-sex.
But the reason I don’t think (and I mean this with no disrespect) that the likes of Cap or Frozen won’t be getting these kinds of relationships is because these movies are produced for mainstream media, where the majority of the audience will be straight. And in a business that’s all about bringing in the cash, they have to create what’s going to please the most amount of people.
Another point Jesse spoke about was fans reactions to adaption’s with books and movies. Now as a novel reader, writer and lover, I am all about the books and rarely does a movie ever hit the mark. But I know this, which is why I never go in with high expectations, and don’t make a massive deal over it (except if they don’t follow the book at all). But I think what fans of the original versions need to understand here is that when they consume something like a book, it takes place in their head. Nobody else has access to your head, so nobody is going to be able to re-produce exactly what you think. On top of that, nobody will read and see a book the same way that you see it. Which is exactly why fans get dissapointed.
To sum up here, I think fans like James need to calm down basically. Yes, you love parts of pop culture, so do I. But there comes a point where you need to take a step back and think logically about things. Are there things mainstream hollywood need to change? Hell yes. And they’re getting there – slowly. Actually it’s probably more like one step forward, two steps back. But the new ghostbuster movies is a big step forward. No, it’s not going to please everyone, especially since people have a habit of cementing themselves to what they think is right. And you know what, someday, there is going to be another James out there telling the world that the 2016 Ghostbusters is the only Ghostbusters – the best Ghostbusters. And again, I’ll be there shaking my head and writing another blog post about it.