10 April 2012

The Bandwagon Is Full, So Get Off

Another article I wrote at Raspwire is getting moved over. Enjoy!

Have you ever noticed all the things you love becoming fads and trends? It sucks. I notice it all the time, and it makes me sad for the people who are calling a bandwagon taxi to Trendy Town. I am using my own experiences to rant about this topic, but I'm sure there are lots of people out there that can relate. Well, actual relation may or may not be present, because some people will relate because it's the new trend.

I have loved zombies since I was seven. I sat, in awe, in front of my Mom's ancient television (that resembled a piece of furniture), and soaked up a marathon of George A. Romero zombie films. Oh, you don't know who that is? You love zombies, you say? Negative. You love the trend. If you say you love zombie films like Dawn of the DeadLand of the Dead, etc., but you have no idea who he is, you just love  zombies because you like to say you love zombies. I'm a hard-ass when it comes to things like this. George A. Romero is one of the most important people alive to the truly zombie enthused. He started most of us off with Night of the Living Dead, and continued us down a twisted path of inexplicable love and longing towards brain-dead, flesh eating, walking corpses. If you have no clue who he is, don't sit there and say you love zombies. Also, please stop saying that you're a life-long lover. I think you can like zombies a lot, but you can't truly love them if you have no idea who the icons behind bringing them to life are. George A. Romero is just one person, and he's the most well-known. That being said, how can you not know him? How can you no know his work? How is it that you think the walking dead craze started with Resident Evil, a game you've most likely never played, by the way, and argue with me when I contradict you?! I know I sound extremely mean, but oh well. It's ridiculous. You buy a t-shirt from Walmart, watch a little current movie marathon, and tune in to AMC every Sunday for The Walking Dead, and suddenly you're an aficionado? No, guy. You're not. Can you name the very first zombie film ever made? Probably not. It wasn't a Romero film, either, so don't say Night of the Living Dead. It was actually White Zombie, which came out in 1932. Bam. I didn't even have to Google that. You still think you're America's Next Top Zombie Lover? You just got cut, yo. Come back when you actually know more about zombies than what you find on someone's Twitter feed.

Have you ever seen anything other than the atrocious TwilightTrue Blood, or The Vampire Diaries? Most likely not. Ever read Dracula? Yeah, right. I can't even really rant on this, because it renders me completely speechless. If you think Edward friggin' Cullen is a real vampire, and you know everything about them, then please don't talk to me. Ever. The end. Real vampires do not sparkle, they do not get girl's pregnant, and their only brooding thought is which side of your neck they want to nom down on. They want to kill you, not marry you. They like blood, not spying on you longingly through a window while you sleep like a pedo-bear. Did I mention that they don't sparkle? Because, trust me, they don't. The only shine on them is the glint of light you get off their fangs right before they sink into your flesh (which you won't see, because they're sneaky). Come on, people, don't be lame. If you can't name a real vampire other than Dracula (and probably Lestat) that wasn't in one of the aforementioned movies/shows, please do not count yourself as a curator of real vampire knowledge. It started centuries ago, and you would know that if you stopped to do some simple research.

Do you even know what a real ninja is? Any of the history? All joking aside, real ninjas are dudes who were protecting themselves from samurai(as an example). If the couldn't escape, they fought. Hence the quick and quiet sneaking around and the combat styles. This has gotten way out of hand. Martial Arts movies are awesome, but I bet you can't name one that didn't have Jackie Chan or Jet Li in it. I bet you couldn't even name more than one or two of those. I don't like you, bandwagon rider. I don't like you at all. Oh, and there are multiple fighting styles, not just Kung fu. Kung fu can also be used to describe things completely unrelated to martial arts in the Chinese culture. I bet you didn't know that. Again, no Google involved. Did your mind just blow? I bet it did. You can be a "picture ninja" or a "drink ninja" or a "douche ninja" all day long, but that isn't the same thing as being a "lover of", or "informed about", real ninjas. When you decide that you want to be classified as a "lover" of something, at least do your homework first; That way, you don't come off looking like a total tool. I bet you collected Ty Beanie Babies, too, didn't you?

Tim Burton
I specifically remember when my love for Tim Burton began. My maternal grandmother bought the VHS of The Nightmare Before Christmas, thinking it was something else. She put it in, and let me watch all of ten minutes of it, before ripping it out and hiding it from me. I was young, and she thought it was Satan in a puffy VHS case. I had already fallen in love, however, and quickly began soaking everything around me that I could find related to him up. I thought (and still think) he was a genius. Everything he touches turns to awesome. Vincent Malloy? Gasm. Stalk of the Celery Monster, his first short that gained the attention of Disney? Amazing. Faerie Tale Theatre? Win. You see, loverly faux fanatics, I, yet again, am not using Google. I don't need to. I know my stuff about the things I fan girl all over. I immersed myself in everything I could find, back before I had the internet. I love everything he's ever done, and that love is still strong today. I hate that people obsess over The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands, and that's where their "knowledge" stops. It's kind-of like professing your love of The Beatles, and thinking their best (and only) song is 'Yellow Submarine'. No.. just.. no. Can you say you've seen anything that wasn't mainstreamed by him? I can. His paintings are some of the most amazing things I've seen. His work is inspired heavily by Poe and old-school monster movies, and that makes it even better. I will still think you're asinine if I see you spouting off these facts in a few days, but I will at least respect that you had the decency to glean a small amount of information to continue your tool-tirade.

I love Johnny Depp so hard. I was in love with him after I saw What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Mostly because I love the book, but also because he's gorgeous and amazing at every role he plays. I still think Bill Murray was the perfect Hunter S. Thompson, but ol' Johnny did a fantastical job as well. Now, that being said, how can you "pirate fanatics" sit there and call yourselves that? Pirates of the Caribbean comes out and suddenly you've loved pirates since you were born? Um, I don't think so. Do you hear yourself? Ever? Real pirates were plunderers, thieves, murderers, and crushers of water-travelling dreams. Some were eventually good, but most died in a blaze of infamous glory. You're not seeing the difference here? Even Jack Sparrow was a bad dude most of the time. Humanity can be seen in a lot of situations, but it's lacking in the majority of real pirate history. It's not a cool profession to steal, lie, and murder. If you think being on the run from half the world's police forces is something to be desired, then yeah, you're a good candidate for real pirate life. You could also just stop pretending. Playing G-version pirates as a kid? Fun. Making a pirate joke here and there? Cool. Acting like you're the foremost expert on real pirates because you saw a movie with you girlfriends? Wrong. Stop it!

This is just a small example of things that I've noticed lately. I don't know if you or someone you know fits this bill, but if you/someone know does, make an effort to change. I'm sorry, but it's a pretty big slap in the face of these people/things to pretend to love them, when, in all reality, you just love them because you think it's cool. It's like saying you hate The Bachelor, but you've applied to be on it ten times. Tisk, tisk.. you've been outed, faux lovers.

This concludes my rant. Enjoy the rest of your week. Next week, at the request of a fan, I will be ranting about bad drivers. Beware, you might recognize yourself in that one.

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