Star Trek vs. Star Wars.
Deep Space Nine vs. Babylon 5.
Deep Space Nine vs. Voyager.
Star Trek vs. Battlestar Galactica.
Old Trek vs. New Trek.
Or, just to include one that isn’t Trek related, Marvel vs. DC.
What is it about different cliques of fandoms? Why can’t people who like one talk about what they like without sometimes feeling the need to do so in a fashion that bashes the one they don’t like, or belittle those who do like the other thing? Is it that hard to love the thing you love without putting someone else down for loving something else?
This really came into sharp relief for me yesterday when I saw an article which, while written on someone’s personal blog, was then shared to the front page of Observation Deck.
On the surface, it seems like a cute idea for an article. And seeing that the list starts with number six, I even thought, “Cool! It is going to include the often neglected animated series!” (After all, otherwise, there should only be five opening credits themes to rank.)
Spoiler: It didn’t include the animated series.
Reading the article, it started to seem a little flippant. And a few of the points the author made seemed a little aggressive in their assessments. But whatever, maybe it was just that author’s style. I kept reading. Then I got to the number one Star Trek opening credits theme on the list, and it was...
It was the opening credits theme to the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. And this is what the author had to say:
Sorry, Trekkies, but this was still way, WAY better than your stupid hopeful visions of the future, you goddamn losers.
So basically, in the end, the entire article boiled down to an excuse to bash not only Star Trek, but also the “goddamn losers” who are fans of Star Trek. (And as an added bonus, I just noticed that one of the tags for the article is, “BUNCHA FUCKIN DORKS REALLY.” Stay classy, my friend.)
Now I’d probably be less upset about this if it had remained in the obscurity of the author’s own personal blog. But that someone else then felt that this sort of language was appropriate to share with Observation Deck as a whole kind of gave that language a legitimacy I don’t feel it deserves.
Why must fandoms be at the throats of one another? Why must we hate one thing to justify liking something else? And then why must we put down the people who dare to like the thing we hate? If there is something we dislike, why can it not just end there? (There is a difference, after all, between disliking something and hating it.) And when we do dislike (or god forbid, hate) something, why must we treat those who like it as pariahs? Is it that hard to say, “Oh, you like Twilight? I’m more of a Harry Potter fan, myself, but cool that you have something you enjoy, too.”
And god forbid someone like both.
Guess what? Many of the rivalries mentioned at the top of this article? I do love them both. And the few that I am less loving of, well, if you do love them, then cool for you that you have something that you enjoy, too. There, was that so hard?
I am not saying we should do away with rivalries altogether. I am always happy to have a friendly debate on why Deep Space Nine is better then Voyager. And I’m not about to disown my sister for liking Twilight. Heck, I even got her one of the movies for Christmas one year! But do we really need to be calling the ones who love the things that we do not “goddamn losers”?
No. No, we do not.