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© 2015 mo'adore | Content and design by Morag Lee | Powered by Blogger.

Fellow nerds, we're not always going to like the same thing

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware that Game of Thrones is back for its seventh season. Maybe you've seen it or maybe you haven't. Maybe you're a Grade A fan who has read all the books or maybe you're like me and enjoy it, but it wouldn't make your Top 10.

I think every single answer or preference is perfectly fine and no one should be getting into fights about it. But given the comments/arguments that have broken out on the internet in the last few weeks I seem to be alone in my opinion of letting people get on with their lives and devour pop culture that is to their own liking.

Not long after Game of Thrones started again, the comments began piling up - but one in particular caught my eye. It was a guy who I used to work with who still hangs about my Facebook friends list. It was on some article or meme, and it was slagging off people who "thought they were too good to watch Game of Thrones" and "they don't know good television" and were "rotting their brains with Love Island".

I have four things to say about this:
1) Chill.
2) People don't necessarily avoid Game of Thrones because they think they're too good for it. They might not watch a lot of television. They might not like the fantasy genre in general. Maybe they don't want to watch a show with rape and incest.
3) Just because someone watches Love Island doesn't mean they aren't intelligent beings
4) Chill some more.

But because I'm me, I didn't take my own advice and chill. It's a bug-bearer of mine when people don't just let other people live, and my mind began to wonder off and I thought of all the times a nerd got their proverbial pants in a twist because someone didn't like their favourite Pokemon or Ghostbusters got rebooted with an all female cast.

And something dawned on me: every single person I know who behaves like a dude. 

Admittedly this is personal experience, so please share with me if your experience has been different. All the girl geeks in my life seem to understand that I can like my thing and they can like theirs. There are enough fandoms in this world for everyone.

The thing about these dudes and their bunched-up boxers is, they're not even your stereotypical basement nerds hitting away on 9chan and talking ethics in game journalism. Some of them are actually otherwise pretty woke (just not when you dare to not like their favourite film).

Need more examples? 

Back in April I decided it was high time I watched Star Wars. I hadn't ever got round to it because the genre that it exists in doesn't do much for me, and I had made the assumption it wouldn't be for me. I watched all seven episodes (it was seven at the time) and my assumption was correct. After deciding this, I just got on with my life. I didn't publicly slam the films, and berate anyone who did like them.

But my Star Wars journey had been documented on Twitter and Snapchat - and a guy I've known a long time (who I already knew was of the Usually Woke But Not When You Don't Like My Favourite Film persuasion) felt like he had to pipe up and exclaim "I can't believe you didn't like it". Same guy who - about a year earlier - went white in the face when he realised I hadn't seen them. Same guy who also got confused when someone who was born in 1994 hadn't seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which first aired in 1997. I digress.

Then there was my first boyfriend, in my teenage years, who actually turned off my music (in my room!) because he didn't like boybands.

Outside of my dating life, there has been the 30-something man who sits and clenches his fists at the thought of Nickelback. I know a lot of people who don't like Nickelback but imagine clenching your fists with hatred at a band? Loose two adulting points.

Then there's this other dude who - after Kesha's ordeal last year - actually said publicly on Facebook "Should I mock Kesha's music because it was made under questionable circumstances or because it's not very good?" Who even asks this?

Also, a random guy at a party asked me who my favourite band of all time were. I replied Feeder (truth) and got it mansplained to me that it totally couldn't be and was told to pick again.

And finally, I know a different 30-something who slags off pretty much anything that isn't 'real music' on Facebook (if anything comes from this post, it's that I clearly need a Facebook friends clear out). He has a music sound production degree that he hasn't been able to make a living from. Diddums.

Maybe it's because female and women orientated hobbies and films and music and jobs are incessantly mocked and branded frothy. Perhaps that's why we don't expect the whole fucking world to agree with our music tastes. Because we're told all the time that pop culture that is marketed towards us is sub-standard.

And that's why guys are more likely to get their genitals wrapped around their leg in anger because someone dared to enjoy Legally Blonde more than they enjoyed Iglorius Bastards (and I'm speaking as someone who has what might be considered a "male taste" in films).

I'm a geek and I know that we get invested in the characters and storylines and build fan theories. But that is still no excuse for not putting on your big person pants and understanding that people can like different things from you. Me not liking Star Wars doesn't change the fact that it is one of best selling film franchises of all time. Me liking boybands doesn't mean I also don't know how to enjoy something of a more high-brow nature (but even if I didn't like high-brow stuff, that would be a-okay). Me preferring DC doesn't mean I'm allowed to go around slagging off Marvel fans, because I'm a grown up and grown ups don't do that. Last time I got angry because someone didn't like the same thing as me, I was probably 15 and it was probably Green Day and it was probably my mum who didn't like them.

I'm not arguing that analysis and critique of pop culture aren't necessary

I had to scroll back through my timeline to find this Twitter thread - but it is that muthafuckin' golden, so I did.

A year ago Nelly came to Glasgow and I had to get a ticket. I'm a massive Nelly fan, which usually surprises people as hip hop usually isn't my jam. I like his songs and his break-up melody Just a Dream holds a special place in my heart because it came out right after I went through my own painful break-up. I listened to it on repeat and I credit it with helping me through a difficult time.

And Nickelback? They have two songs that I correlate with two different memories.

If you've been reading this and thinking "Morag, we've seen you critique films/books/tv shows/comics and you've sometimes been less than kind" you're missing the difference between critique (especially critique through a feminist lens) and pissing on something you don't personally enjoy. We, as a society and as film nerds, do have to question what the fuck makes a controlling man like Christian Grey seem desirable. Or Edward Cullen, who thinks nothing of jumping into the bedroom of a girl he fancies and watching her sleep. Or why Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter did well in terms of female representation but fell really short when it came to racial diversity.

I know that boybands have problematic lyrics. N*SYNC sang "I will never stop, Until you're mine, I can wait forever, till the end of time" (dude, move on) and One Direction decided to keep this little gem of a lyric hidden on an album track: "“I know you want, know you wanna take it slow/Think about all the places we could go/If you give in tonight /Just let me set you free" (eurgh). Humans are multi-faceted and complex, and are more than capable of seeing the good and bad in everything, whether it's people or art.

And do I really need to tell you that Game of Thrones is problematic af? 

Pop culture is my one great love and my passion. From the first ever CD my dad bought me (it was B*Witched, C'est La Vie) and my early years devouring The Babysitters Club, right through to the modern day superhero films and my forever love of 90s boybands. And nobody likes it when someone pisses on their love, either metaphorically or literally (just to clarify: both are wrong and weird).

So if you're someone (dude, or otherwise) who gets indignant and breathes fire when someone likes something you don't like, or doesn't like something you like....

...grow up and get angry at something that actually matters.

morag | mo adore
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