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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Starwars Geek Bashing

    I know this was written way back in April 99,but as I rediscovered the article today,it brought up a question:Whats with Starwars Geek Bashing?I posted the article,although most likely know it.

    By Mitch Albom
    For years, the most insensitive people I know have been screaming that we need to get rid of the street people. I finally agree.
    Not the homeless people. Not the poor people who have real reasons for sleeping on the sidewalk.
    No. The street people I have in mind are sitting outside Mann's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, and soon will be doing the same at the Zeigfield Theater in New York and dozens of other movie houses around North America. They will go weeks without bathing, sleeping against walls. And for one reason:
    The new "Star Wars" movie.
    It is called "The Phantom Menace." It does not open for a month. By that point, these people will be in a mouth-frothing frenzy. Thanks to that wonderful invention the Internet. Luke Skywalker groupies all over the world have been E-mailing one another since last year, counting the hours, making travel plans, getting all goose-bumpy.
    When the first preview of "The Phantom Menace" appeared, they stormed the theaters, paying $8 to watch the two-minute trailer, then leaving before the movie began in order to race home and E-mail other geeks about the life-altering experience.
    Now they are lining the streets, with pillows, potato chips, and (hopefully) toothbrushes, taking a month out of their lives to sit in breathless anticipation of a film about make-believe spaceships.
    Take us, Lord. We're done down here.
    All this for a movie?
    Did you know there are already nearly 7,000 Web sites devoted to this "Star Wars" movie? In message boards you can find testimonials from people who have seen the previous films hundreds of times. They know every line. They worship George Lucas, the director. They collect every piece of minute trivia about droids, sand people and Jabba the Hutt.
    And now they are on the move. One site organizer who lives in Australia wrote about the trip to America the way our forefathers must have gushed about the New World:

    "I am running around in circles, up and down walls, I am WAAY excited! In just over 48 hours I'm booked on a plane leaving for Los Angeles....
    "While I'm flying across the ocean, Ayaz will update the site should any big news hit the 'Star Wars' universe....
    "I might have to explain to the flight attendants why I keep babbling, 'Invasion!' ...'Wipe them out, all of them!' ...Wooohoo! ...Episode One, here I come!"
    OK. Somebody get me the stun gun.
    Now, the frightening thing isn't that there are loonies like this Aussie out there. It's that there are so many. And, what's worse, the American media are buying into this as if they owned stock in Lucas' production company.
    USA Today is printing a regular Star Watch item, listing how many days until "launch" of the film. And those "infotainment" shows can't get enough of this stuff. Countdown to Darth Vader! Can you wait? By the time May rolls around, there will actually be hundreds of thousands of spectators, reporters, publicists, salesmen, merchandisers, photographers, men, women, children of all ages, swirled into a pulsing, heaving, sweaty mania over The opening of a movie.
    The opening of a movie?

    Money for nothing

    Let me ask the people on-line a question. Do you think George Lucas gives a fraction of a damn about you -- the way you do about him? Do you think the actors who played Han Solo and Princess Leia have any interest in your interest? Do you think they're going to dub you a Jedi Knight one day and make all your problems go away?
    The move is not a religion. It is not symbolic. The purpose of "Star Wars" films is 1) to make money and 2) to make more money. This latest installment cost $115 million -- more than twice the amount the United States sent to Kosovo recently for relief efforts. The producers are hoping to make back close to $2 billion.
    None of that will be given to the people on-line.
    Maybe the saddest part of this whole thing is how many of these "Star Wars" sheep are young people in their early 20s. Isn't that the most exciting time in life? When everything is possible?
    Instead, their lives are so empty that they spend days in front of computers, E-mailing strangers about a movie.
    The critics were right. We should scoop up these pathetic people, send them home to Mommy and Daddy, tell them to start over, giving them a life.
    Repeat after me: Darth Vader is not real. R2D2 is battery-operated. And the only thing The Force is interested in is your eight bucks.
    First,why Starwars Geeks?Lets compare to the World Series or the Superbowl.Fanatical Sports..uh..people deck out everything they
    possibly own in team colors,including themselves.The proceed to buy tickets,fly across
    country,etc..Is that any different that what some(most?) Star Wars fans would do.So,why is it
    just the "geeky" fanatics/subjects that get picked on and not others?

    Albom mentions Lucas doesnt care about the fans,but do the players/owners/operators of other
    hobbies care about their fans?No,maybe a few select persons/groups/whatever care at the most.Again,whats the difference?

    Can anyone explain why?..Maybe I just have WAY too much time on my hands
    Treat your stepmother with respect Pantera, or you'll be sleeping in the streets!!

  2. #2
    Because your average Star Wars fan is a lot smaller than your average footall fan?

    I happen to be a huge sports fan as well as a Star Wars fan. If I had to choose, I would choose sports. But I don't, so I enjoy both.

    To an extent I agree with some of the things mentioned in the articel, and find them humorous, even though some of those things are directed at me. I'll be honest, I don't tell everyone that I am a SW collector, because, well, there is a certain stereotype that goes along with it.

    Did anything I say fit in here? I don't know!

    But I know I shoved my fair share of geeks in lockers, and also was the receiver of many insults as well. I just accept it as part of the hobby, not that it makes it right.

    Anyway....I am really babbling now.....

    I'll go before I say something else stupid....
    "Roger Nasty Butler!"

  3. #3
    No one has a problem with my or my husbands SW obsession. Peopl who havent seen our house but have heard about it ask to see "The Star Wars rooms". We've never been abused for our love of SW. People make fun or what they dont understand maybe thats the case here. Who knows.
    It is never to late to be what you might have been. (George Eliot)


    Courage is as often the outcome of despair as hope; in the one case we have nothing to lose, in the other, all to gain (Diane De Poiters)

  4. #4
    I think you hit the nail on the head with your comparison to sports fans. There's a strange line that is crossed as seen by some when you're seen as a fan of a movie vs. a fan of a sport. The 2 genre's are completely different but have many similar habits between the 2 fans. So why is there a stigma against the perception of SW fans? Is there really any bashing going on?

    I don't really think so. With the amount of coverage that the SW entertainment world gets just shows how popular it is. Just going to the SW movies show how diverse the audience is. The SW fan/audience has crossed nearly every ethniticity out there and having done so, made it nearly bash proof. Of course bash proof might be a bit of a stretch but it's not that far off.

    These SW bashers that love to make themselves the center attention each few years are quite in the minority. So compared to any other group of fans out there I don't feel that SW is any more of a target than the fat guy painted up in his favorite team colors at the football game.

    As you said Jedi Master Silas, a lot more people are genuinely interested in seeing ones SW collection than say your Dr. Who, Star Trek or Hot Wheels stuff.
    "No one helped me so why should I help you?" - College professor circa 1999

    By choosing not to decide you still have made a choice.

    I'm in love with the women of Univision.

  5. #5
    I think the biggest ironic thing about this, as people have brought up, is the sports comparison. I've met a lot of Star Wars fans, and most of them seem to be cool, down to earth people who love Star Wars.

    But I've met these sports fanatics, that are sad. Ex-High School football players who work dead-end jobs, who still talk about the "glory days" of their state championship run, or what-not. But that not gets criticized to the extent that Star Wars fans receive.

    Oh well though...
    "Watch this, I'm going to horrify you into a coma..."

  6. #6
    I think the biggest thing about it on the SW fans and Sports fans comparison is that there are countless sports fans out there who will sit in the freezing cold at games with their shirt off drinking cold beer with paint all over them.

    Well the closest thing that's even been done to that in SW fandom is girls wearing a Slave Leia costume, but how can you complain about that?
    "Hokey packaging and ancient gimmicks are no match for good detail on your figure, kid."
    "I am a Klingot from Oklahoma in human boy form."
    "We came, we saw, we conquered... We, woke up!"

  7. #7
    I laugh at people who bash me as a Star Wars geek. There are worse things to be. Like Democrats and Republicans. Now THERE are the groups of people who need to be bashed.

    Of course I am kidding. I do not condone nor tolerate intolerance. The only people I am intolerant of are the intolerant.
    My wife treats me like an ATM machine. She pushes my buttons until I give her money.

  8. #8
    Now, the frightening thing isn't that there are loonies like this Aussie out there. It's that there are so many. And, what's worse, the American media are buying into this as if they owned stock in Lucas' production company.
    USA Today is printing a regular Star Watch item, listing how many days until "launch" of the film. And those "infotainment" shows can't get enough of this stuff. Countdown to Darth Vader! Can you wait? By the time May rolls around, there will actually be hundreds of thousands of spectators, reporters, publicists, salesmen, merchandisers, photographers, men, women, children of all ages, swirled into a pulsing, heaving, sweaty mania over The opening of a movie.
    Hmm...Can anyone see the irony here. Seems this guy is trying to make a buck, by bashing those making a buck.

  9. #9
    Do you enjoy your hobby? does your hobby satisfy you? Does your hobby cause harm or inconvenience to anyone else? Is your hobby violent? Can you fit your hobby around your life rather than the other way round? Does your hobby continue to throw up new aspects after all this time?

    What the hell was all that about Kosovo? So the salaries of sports stars isn't sickeningly gross. A movie costs $115,000,000 and they're complaining when sports stars take an annual income of something in the region of $40,000,000, Add up all the salaries of sports stars and this guys report is just picking fault where there is no fault. When was the last time there was a riot at a star wars event? When was the last time anyone got hurt while watching one of the movies? When was the last time an actor in a star wars movie was arrested for murder or child abuse or any other terrible crime that sports stars seem drawn to. We as star wars fans might be meek, we're certainly no worse than the sports fan reeling off stats' going back a hundred years. Or the sports fan who goes to every away game and buys every team shirt there's ever been, We star wars fans are meek but definately not geeks. We just have more decorum and better sense than to go drinking while getting our entertainment. Star wars movies offer the exact same rushes that a sports match does. The chemicals in our brain react just the same. But you never hear of darth vader fans beating the crap out of luke skywalker fans after a screening of ESB. Sports fans on the whole are savages and nothing more. I'd rather boil my own head than spend time with football fans. Unruly heathens.....

  10. #10
    Originally posted by EMPEROR JARGO
    But you never hear of darth vader fans beating the crap out of luke skywalker fans after a screening of ESB.
    Boy that would have been hilarious to watch though. NERD FIGHT!!!!!
    "No one helped me so why should I help you?" - College professor circa 1999

    By choosing not to decide you still have made a choice.

    I'm in love with the women of Univision.

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