By: Michael Worthan
A persons view of a hero is based upon many factors, and those factors vary upon the person, the beliefs, their interests, and so much more. Simply put no one thinks the exact same thing about a hero all the time, and even when opinions are similar it was a different train of thought that brought that person to their conclusion. Now the same can be said about literally anything, why do you like your favorite novel, color, website and so on and so forth. The internet, and Social Media to a major extent, have exacerbated these differences and turned them into hate riddled arguments all the while breaking up friendships and ruining movies and shows just because “enter opinion here” did not come about or look the way you felt it/she/he/they should have.
Most don’t recall when we did not have a new superhero/heroine movie out every year, let alone two or three of them, and as we became spoiled with our favorite heroes on the big screen, we also began to complain. We started with minor things and then started nitpicking the plot, the characters looks, their cadence, their race, their gender, and those opinions started to spark outrage, to move fan against fan, and it separated us. Our fandom has been splintered by hate and anger, by bigotry and vitriol from people who are brave behind a keyboard and cruel to boot. We have forgotten what it was like to be the unpopular mass, to be able to go to a Convention to just have fun and speak to people who get us, who understand our fandoms and don’t judge us for them, even if they don’t understand them. There’s always been divisive opinions in comics and movies, but hell we enjoyed hearing about them and were able, at one point, to discuss them as people, as fans, regardless of who we are. Being a nerd has gone from all inclusive to mocking those that are new to fandoms and making sure that they don’t explore other ones by mocking their likes and dislikes. The state of our world, the state of our nation, and the state of nerdom are starting to mirror each other and that is not a reflection I want to be a part of.
For every hero there must be a villain, a foil to rage against the just and righteous, but what happens when that villain is the very group that has made that hero? What occurs when the hero themselves are taken out of being heroic and made to be a symbol for something not so amazing? What is the visage of your hero? Maybe it’s taking someone who knows nothing about something you love and introducing them to it, maybe it’s listening and understanding each others points of view without name calling or yelling. Possibly you can simply be a hero by accepting that not everyone will like the same things, and that sometimes letting go of reality and just immersing yourself into fiction for a few hours could be worth the trip. Maybe being a hero is allowing your tattoos, art, writing, or collection tell their own story and sharing it when asked. We as nerds have always wanted to be on the top of the food chain, and now that we technically are maybe we should bring others into the fold.
I know I will, will you?