Warning: This makes no sense. Totally should’ve saved it and edited it down in the morning, but that’s not at all what this blog is here for.
I originally wrote a 1200+ word post on figuring out a part of why I like mainstream super hero comics and why, even though I like that I don’t want to read a bunch of them anymore. I also wrote a 1000+ word post on what’s giving me something close to that in (what is to me) a superior way. Then I wrote a 1100+ word post how a lot of things can coexist and the difference between not liking parts of things and hating everything about it and all those who also enjoy it. All of those will show up here sooner or later if I can edit them down to a degree. Or maybe I won’t. What happened next is that I climbed a mountain [literally (more or less)] and that was great. After that and some time away from just about everything (no internet, no comics, no super sentai, no podcasts, and so forth) I thought about different ways to talk about this stuff. Not necessarily more positively, but with more clarity of mind that comes from being removed (even if just temporarily).
What happens with a lot of my posts is that simple ideas aren’t simple to explain, and to explain them properly takes a lot of words. It’s a problem. I don’t actually know how to fix that particular problem of mine, but I’ll give this a go. No more generalities.
I like a lot of stuff. I like a lot of stuff a lot. That’s part of what it takes to be a nerd. Really all being a nerd is about is liking things a whole bunch. I don’t have enough time to do all the things I want to. I like books, I like comics, I like Tokusatsu, I like video games, and music and bike riding, and everything. I’m also a full time student and have a full time job as well as a part time job. No time. This, coupled with some general disinterest in certain parts of all the things I like have forced me to think even more critically about what I spend my time on.
I wrote a post earlier about why I don’t have escapist fiction. I know I’m in a minority of people in regards to this, but I have a difficult time escaping into worlds that feel like they’re doing all they can to tell me I’m not wanted. I can’t go to Jim Butcher’s Chicago because he has said in his own words that his ideal fantasy Chicago is one without black people in it. That’s a bunch of books I’d otherwise have been interested in. That’s a blatant example. It’s also an example of a problem with the real world impinging on this escapism I’m supposed to be trying to indulge in.
Steven Moffat is a good example of this in television. I just can’t get behind anything the dude is involved with. As good as those shows may be to a lot of people I just can’t support someone who is as open an ass as that guy. Not to mention that his views often work their way into tv shows. It’s completely ruined Dr Who for me. It’s happening in comics. There still aren’t black writers and Marvel and DC (and that’s part of a larger discussion) in 2012 and any attempt to talk about why turns into huge deflection party. This goes for people defending Marvel and DC and for people saying I should only look into indie books. There’s this gulf of conversation that is super stupid. The comments that come out of Marvel and DC about the issue (and other issues surrounding race and gender) are paternalistic at best and outright offensive more often than not. Makes me not want to read their stuff.
Which is actually good for me. The comic industry itself has forced me to look in odd places to find stuff I like. Soon I’ll actually be good at it, and once that happens I’ll be able to spend more time with the stuff I like. More enjoyment! Yay! More time to like things! This doesn’t mean I’ll like everything I read or watch or listen to. Far from it, actually. It does mean that I can have different conversations around the stuff. It doesn’t mean I won’t stop into the super hero world every now and then and go “Woah there! Why aint there no negros on your team and why is the only woman wearing a tube top and short shorts while all the dudes are covered from head to toe?” and so forth. Hopefully I can find more interesting things to discuss.
It’s worked out for me with novels. That, mostly because despite the publishing industry being run by conservative zombie koalas, they’ve managed to talk to people who aren’t white and gone and published their books. They’ve also talked to people who are white and are interested in populating their worlds with people that don’t all look, act, and think like them and published their books. Amazing how that works and those guys are making money but comics just batten down the hatches on what clearly hasn’t been working for going on a decade. Whatever.
This just happens to also coincide with me finding Tokusatsu again. I’m currently plowing through the most recent season of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger and it’s like, just the best. It’s managed to hit at the right time as well. There are problems (just like there are in everything. Except maybe N. K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy) but those problems don’t come anywhere close to being turn offs. The series is so good. There are other things as well like Kamen Rider and reprints of Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura. Good stuff. My girlfriend and I are crushing through old books and getting enjoyment out of having super long esoteric conversations about them. (If you can, find a good book club, or just make one yourself that’s really exclusive. It’s great).
So what’s the point of this? I don’t know. Originally it was to say that there’s a lot of stuff I don’t like, and that absolutely doesn’t mean that I don’t like anything. It was also to say that new good things aren’t necessarily replacing old bad things. That’s too simplistic. It was saying that new good things make you think about the old things in different ways and ask different questions. It makes you appreciate why you like what you like more somehow. It also makes you want more of it so you’ll try and go get it. It also means you have less time to suffer through garbage. It’s pretty awesome.