Friday, May 10, 2013

Some thoughts on Doctor Who fans calling other fans "negative."

This season I keep reading fan's posts labeling other fans as "negative" because they didn't like a story or even this season. These "negative" nay-sayers have dared to be honest and critical.

Does that mean they don't like Doctor Who?

   Yeah, I wanted to like this week's story, "Nightmare in Silver," I really did(me and Neil Gaiman have a thing, he just doesn't know about it and that’s the way we like it.) But there was a lot that let me down, didn't grip me and annoyed me. Even simply the way the characters were behaving was somehow off to me. I don't want to get into it(off topic, believe it or not), but this was my gut feeling as it finished. Before it started, I had built it up to two friends who were there watching along with me. Afterwards, they asked if I had enjoyed it. I said "meh". Immediately the floodgates opened and they jumped in with "Oh good, because we thought it didn't compare to other good Doctor Who stories, but we didn't want to offend you." It's so sweet they didn't want to offend my fanatical Whovian sensibilities, but I can take it. They then proceeded to rake it over the coals, beyond my own personal objections to the story.

   Hey, say what you like. You are free to express yourself. If you don't like something I like, that's alright. Some people don't like chocolate(WHAT!?). Does that make them "negative"? The only negativity present is when people try to deny others the right to 'not like' a certain story and voice their opinions(This works for life in general). The irony is that they use the word "negative" to somehow discourage, disparage, or censor the people that disagree with their positive experience of the story. Voicing a preference in any direction, positive or negative, should not be labeled a negative act. It may be a negative reaction or opinion, but the person is not being negative. 'Negative' is not allowing others to express another opinion, or thinking their differing opinion somehow lessens yours.  He/she is sharing a preference and this is a constructive act, a positive act, an act of trust in others to listen with respect, regardless of any personal views. Additional viewpoints strengthen everyone. Your views don't invalidate my thoughts on the subject and vice-versa. This sharing of opinions is what makes a community strong, open, and intelligent. The TARDIS goes anywhere in Space and Time and so can our minds.

   Also, having a bit of humor in your heart helps when someone tells you 'Love and Monsters' is one of their favorite Doctor Who stories(WHAT?!).

Seriously, WTF?

     ~ Terry Lightfoot. ;-)


Rhianon Jameson May 12, 2013 at 7:51 PM  

I think there's a feeling that fans should be, well, fanatical about the shows/bands/authors/etc. they like. If you're a Doctor Who fan, you must like it all.

The alternative (and, I think healthier) perspective is that fans are the people knowledgeable enough about their object of fanaticism that they can create intelligent critiques. They're the people who notice plot holes - even ones that aren't apparent the first time around, because the fans watch again and again. In music, they're the ones who appreciate the distinctions between really great albums and mediocre albums by a favored artist, and can tell you why one is great and the other not so great.

And just because one episode (or album, or...) isn't great, fans watch them all, because they appreciate the good stuff contained in the mediocre episodes. Plus, they can argue with other fans about what constitutes the "good stuff." (Dancing to ELO in "Love and Monsters," yes, contemplating Elton having sex with the pavement, no.)

Unknown May 13, 2013 at 5:54 PM  

YES! I agree with you, Rhianon.
It's the difference between infatuation and real time tested love. You love the other person, "warts and all" the point being, you see the warts and love them all the same.

deanos June 14, 2013 at 1:50 AM  

The problem is the BBC might actually start listening to these "Honest and Critical" opinions and axe the show again.

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