Oh my god, how did we ever make it so far??? A year goes by so fast! Thank you to everybody for everything. All your votes, favorites, subs, and especially your comments and feedback have been amazing. I love all your freakin' guts. I'm sorry if I'm going insane, this is a really big deal for me. FREE HUGS FOR EVERYBODY!!!!!! C'mere...
So haloween is just around the bend...i don't know, does anybody here still do that? I mean, where I live, Haloween is never over as long as you like candy. I actually hear conversations like this:
Me: Hey Jude.
Me: Are you getting a costume for Haloween?
Me: Going trick or treating?
Fr: Yep. If I shave I can probably pass for 13.
Some people love Haloween, some people just don't bother with it. Personally, though i have never gone out trick or treating myself, I LOVE the costumes. Anybody wearing anything special? It seems to me that it would be the best time of year to get away with wearing Fullmetal Alchemist cosplay down the street. Leave me a comment!
Wooo... back from the dead. So where have i been? Well, put smply, school troubles. Put longly, I have a spanish project, required reading for honors english, 2 advanced placement classes, tryouts for swimming, five week reports next week, aa art teacher who hates anime and aviding a certain guy who may or may not have a crush on me.
I'm sorry to everyone who thought i just dissapeared, and I would like to offer a formal apology to all those challenges i wasn't here for, missed the expiration, or flat out missed from beginning to end. Sorry everyone.
Thank you to everyone for all your support, and now that i'm back it's gonna be great.
So in my previous post, i discussed the stereotype of the word geek and questioned why geeky things are so popular if geeks are only supposed to be a small percentage. I don't know all the people in the world, so i don't know for sure why exactly things get popular. However, one would theorize that perhaps there are more geeks than people let on. If geeks are so unimportant, than why don't things like Star Trek burn up and die? Everyone went to see the movies, but only the deep fans understood the history surrounding it. Only the fans took the time to research it, so if the movies were such a useless thing to these nongeeky people, why did they watch them?
To explain some of the reason behind that, i like to use an analagy i always use when i talk about why many westerners won't open up to anime. If a western person wants a bit of culture, they could always go to a restaurant and leave believing they're a better person for it. However, anyone can come in from off the street, know nothing about the culture, dunk their food in sauce and eat their sushi with a fork without thinking about it. Yes, you are eating what japanese people eat, but you are not having the whole 'experience'. One reason westerners i know refuse to watch anime is because they have to change their mindset and think like someone who was born in a different culture. To put it simply, I'm going to steal a line from a famous internet reviewer and someone much smarter than me.
"You can sit me down and force me to watch this anime and explain the cultural context about these raccon things, and the whole folklore tradition, and why they're animated with their nutsacs hanging in the wind, but i'm not going to get it how a real japanese person would." -Todd Nathanson
For some people, perhaps someone who was born in asia, going to an asian restaurant is a deal, filled with nostalgic memories about the food and can tell you the history behind each dish. For others, they just like the taste and know nothing about the past. Both types of people are great in my book; you don't have to know the culture behind everything, and it's perfectly fine to like something casually without writing a book about it. If someone knows everything about the tv show that lead up to the movie, you're awesome, and to the person who just strolled into the theater, that's great. Where i see the problem is later on in the day when unfavourable people who are veterans to the show discuss the movie and you denounce the flick telling them you've never heard of it.
Let's talk about prejudice for a moment. There's a difference between gentle sterotyping ("Emily has lunch at the same table as Jane and Rita, so they're probably friends of Emily.") and a prejudice ("Emily was a bitch before, so I'm not talking to Jane aand Rita either"). Stereotyping is okay to a point. There will be times when you cannot always see people as individuals and you will see the Shy Girl, the Mean Cheerleaders, those Skater Dudes With Long Hair instead of Mandy, June, Bess, Jill, Robert and Dave. Prejudce is a sign of low intelligence. If one cheerleader trips you in the hallway, it's not okay to hate anyone who ever held a pom-pom. Obviously, I don't speak of people with real trauma, and i'll remind you that I'm just a fourteen year old brat speculating.
Which brings us to the part of my essay that sounds like an ego trip. I know many people who are everyday, normal people, who admit that things like LOTR and Star Trek are their "Guilty Pleasures". However, in public, they yeild to the outside face of it and denounce it with everyone else. Who knows, they're might have been other people in the crowd, complaining about geeks that have a secret love in common. For many, the prejudice is a mask covering up something they really ejoy for fear of what's to come if they admit to it. Therefore, falling into the stereotype that geeks are pathetic people that openly admit their love for such 'unpopular' things that everyone loves, geeks are brave, open minded people that are not afraid to be unpopular in order to celebrate what they love. Prejudiced people have tried to foul that, to make it seem like that's a bad thing, but you and i know the truth. Shhh... ;)
Lately ive been thinking about the prominance of manga in the geek community. And yes, i understand that many people who are not or do not consider themselves geeks are still fans of such a worthy concept. Which leads me to my pondering of the day: why are so many things, manga includeed left to be stereotyped with the geek community? Think about this for a second, would you?
For example, Lord of the Rings is not only one of the most popular books of the twentieth century and one of the greater achievements of cinema, but it's always classed with nerd culture. Why is that? A self proclaimed geekette myself, I don't mean to offend anyone here. There's nothing wrong with being smart, creative, or to take note of the finer things in life, such as cinema, modern technology, or Sebastian Michalis with his shirt off(some of the male readers may disagree with me here, but i'm willing to take that risk.) oh no, by nerd culture I'm not talking about actual human beings, real people who have taken the title of geek, but the image of the stereotypical 35 year old guy in his grandma's basement with no life outside the doors of his home. Try to tell me you've never heard that generalization before. You can call me a fangirl, you can make fun of my glasses, but to class me because of my love of anime in a group that can't even get my GENDER right... sometimes i need to take a deep breath and walk away because i wouldn't look good in prison. Anime is groundbreaking in terms of the mixing of cultures to the american society through companies like funimation and gonzo. Why is the image always scarred with biased thoughts?
On the other hand, I don't despise stereotypes. In things like Hetalia, they're funny. I like to laugh at Eric Vale as America being loud and obnoxious. It works because they play it very well. They know what's okay to make fun of and what is horribly offensive to people. For example, how many jokes did they make about Germany's harsh attitude? That's a funny srereotype, and if the directors really did beleive people were like that, they wouldn't bring it up. How many comments about the Hollocaust? Not quite as many are there? that's because it was an event that really happened, is not a stereotype but a fact, and it still stings in the hearts of countless people around the world. These people writing these are smarter than many give them credit for. They only take aspects that are funny to stereotype and stay far away from things that are not funny just offensive. It may still offend more sensitive veiwers, but hey, what would you expect? There's nothing wrong with being sensitive to stereotypes, but you can't really blame anybody if you don't accept them.
Now that I've got an intro out of the way, lets compare this to the geek community. Why are things that are so popular, lord of the rings for example,
classed with a tiny fanbase that no non-geeks seem to notice? By notice, I mean like a mosiquito that you swat at every once in a while, but never think about unless you're actually being bitten. Giong with that idea, the answer to these high grossing films is that tere's just a lot more geeks out the than most people thought. This is a perfectly good explaination. Believe it or not there are a lot more fans out there than people probably think. That said, it cant be true because the point im trying to mkae is that you don't neccesarily fall into categories because of something you enjoy. And though this theory holds up and partially answers the question of why these 'nerdy' things are so popular, it doesn't answer everything I'm asking. it also doesn't account for all the people that don't have any of the charactureistics to be called a geek apart from liking anime. Even if you have ALL the characturistics of being a geek, it doesn't mean you are one. You are not limited to what others percieve you to be, and if you dont like the label 'geek', nobody has the right to call you that. Are people just afraid to openly admit they like anime because they're afraid of being stereotyped? Ahh, now we're getting somewhere...