There’s an old adage that is no less true for all the effort people expend in trying to ignore it: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
Maybe it’s because I’ve been away for a long time, but the trend I’m seeing in a certain fandom since I’ve returned rings like a death knell. Ego-tripping power players who never had a good word to say about one another in the past have become chummy and then started to cannibalize. Can’t help but think we’re going to be damned lucky if there’s anyone left when their feast is over.
When did people forget that this is supposed to be about fun and sharing and celebrating one another’s gifts? When did a once-strong community descend into jealousy, spitefulness, and the pursuit of personal vendettas?
Aren’t there enough trolls out there already, and have we forgotten that pandering to over-inflated egos is a no-win scenario? No matter how good any artist or writer is, there’s always going to be someone who is better. When you think about it, there’s no room for ego at all, because everyone began at the same place and is on the same journey, only at different points along the way. The people we view as brilliant or especially gifted worked hard to be where they are, and the truly memorable ones never let it go to their heads. I can name off several of the latter without having to hardly think about it. They are the ones who make a fandom community great instead of throwing their weight around and demanding the limelight no matter who they have to step upon on their way to the stage.
Let us not sweep the elephant crap under the living room rug and spray a little Lysol around in vain hope of hiding the stench. That being said, I honestly wonder if people aren’t objecting to what is happening for fear of becoming the next target, if they are as disappointed and worn out with the childishness as I am, or just don’t give enough of a damn anymore to take a stand for what’s right. It’s a tough choice, I know. Nothing pisses the bullies off like having their victims not cave in. There is, however, a bright side to all this. Those people they ‘put in their place’ don’t often have the habit of staying there.
Let us be of clear conscience, folks. If we are going to emulate anyone, let it be those who are admirable not only for their hard-won abilities, but for their strength of character as well. I am thankful there are still some of them around. It makes me believe there’s hope for this situation yet.