March 30, 2012
By The Cultural Communist
Am I the only one that thinks that the Internet destroys the things we love? It’s a double edged sword, really. We are given access to things like people before us never were –
Want to watch a TV show from 20 years ago? Head on over to Netflix. Song stuck in your head? Check out You-tube.
Our passions are readily available to us with a couple of clicks and a push of a button. Instant gratification is available for almost any one of our sensory desires. However, with that availability there comes a downside, for me at least. I imagine that if more people felt the same way, the problem itself would disappear. The problem is, especially on Facebook, we literally get a structured look at the fluctuations of fads in society.
Explaining it would do little good, so I’ll try to exemplify. I am a die-hard Harry Potter fan. I started reading the books as a child in 1998 and dressed up as Harry in 1999 for Halloween (at the time, no one knew who I was). I grew up with Harry and envisioned myself in his place, living out the fantasy and world of wish fulfillment J.R.R. Rowling so intricately and fantastically put together. Fast forward 12 years later, and I’ve actually been turned away from the books. I’ve been telling myself I was going to do a re-read but I haven’t done it yet. Why? The fans. Not fans like me. Not fans that can sit down, talk about the depth of the characters and the plot and the beauty and magic of it all. I mean the superficial fans. I don’t want this to sound “hipster-y” or “douchey”. You could be a true Harry Potter fan even if you only read the books last year. A true Harry Potter fan has the aforementioned qualities. They understand what they’re reading, and love it because of that. It’s come to my attention that many of the people who were posting inane and useless statuses about HP on Facebook last summer are the same people posting about the Hunger Games now.
What do they post? How hot one of the guys is, or maybe puns that have to do with a character’s name, or perhaps hashtags on Twitter with quotes taken out of context. Maybe these people mean well (I’m sure they do) but I don’t see love here. I don’t see appreciation via memes making fun of characters or childish ramblings about how you and another character are going to get married. I see fads. I see superficiality. I see the destruction of something not the praise. I’m not saying that you should not be excited for something. I’m sure the Hunger Games is a good book series but I won’t be touching it for a bit. It’s being subjected to the same destruction Harry Potter was.
I would mention Twilight in the same breath, but really, its whole different animal. In a way, it’s a series created specifically for those who are part of the social media generation. It is chocked full of “hot guys” and expressions of affection readily available for the internet (Team Edward/Jacob) etc. Keep it there. Let all the shallow squandering of somebody’s work be reserved for a series created for exactly that. But for God’s sake, keep it away from things that are actually good.
I don’t mind a joke here or there, a lot of the times they’re funny. But the hard truth is, Facebook has made it easily apparent if you are a true fan of something, or if you’re just going along with it for the wrong reasons. I’m sorry it had to happen to Harry. I’m thankful it never happened to the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. I hope to God it won’t happen with comic book movies. Maybe I’m just a disconnected, grumpy old fan at the ripe old age of 20. It’s a possibility.
No one really knows all that much about this mysterious fellow who calls himself “The Cultural Communist”. He comes and goes erratically, showing up with an article and demanding we publish else our families be subject to intense interrogation, forced famine, years in the gulag, and/or complete eradication from the annals of history. So we appease and accommodate.