Humans love things. We love our homes. We love our cars. We (really) love our phones, and boy do we love our shows. People love to watch movies and TV and often times fans can form irrational attachments to their favorite films, characters, and series.
It’s important for people to have things they care about. Having something you’re passionate about helps in developing opinions and impressions of the world. So it will never be my place to tell you what you can or can’t like, but I would be remiss if I didn’t say we could all benefit from learning how to like things a little bit better.
“Rick and Morty” is just another TV show to most people, but to many it’s a way of life. The fans have made that title famous, but not because it’s an incredible program that everyone should give a chance to (even though it is). Fans of this show have made its name infamous with their conduct and the way they express their affection for what they care so much about. The szechuan sauce debacle is just the tip of the iceberg of these fans’ insidious actions.
Fans of “Rick and Morty” need to remember that they do not own the creative rights to the show they so wish they could control. They need to respect that there are people responsible for that world and that it is their precious and beloved art which they can change how they see fit.
This seems even more applicable followed by the release of the controversial new “Star Wars” film. Every person who watched that film had their own personalized opinion about what they saw. Those opinions are just that, opinions. No one can ever tell you that you can’t feel the way that you are feeling. But your feelings are never important or powerful enough to decide how something should be. It’s okay to say that you didn’t like the direction “The Last Jedi” took the “Star Wars” series in, but it is never acceptable to say that “The Last Jedi” was wrong to pursue that course. It isn’t your film.
Not all zeal is so malevolent. Sometimes even people with the best intentions can ruin a cause for everyone with just their opinions alone. Yes, I’m talking about vegans. No one in their right mind thinks that vegans are doing a bad thing. You can disagree with their choices, but what they are trying to accomplish is indisputably noble. Yet, their incessant presentation can grate on even the strongest nerves and make everyone unhappy and less responsive to their cause. Shoving what you care about into the everyday lives of your peers is just rude and disrespectful.
I love the Detroit Lions. One of my favorite pastimes is sitting down and cheering on my team. I have socks and shirts that have my team on them that I proudly wear. But I know that it would be wrong of me to put a helmet on and sing “Gridiron Heroes” at the top of my lungs while I stroll down the halls. While that example is quite extreme it is not too far beyond some of the extreme “fan” outfits I’ve seen roaming the halls of Pioneer and in the outside world as well. Take it down a notch.
When it comes to being a fan respect is the number one idea that we need to incorporate as a collective media-enjoying nation if we want to continue to happily celebrate all the creative and wonderful facets of not just visual entertainment but art in any form. You need to respect the rights of the people who create the art, because it is theirs and they can do with it whatever they please. And there needs to be respect for the space of the rest of the world who may not give a damn about what you like.
The most important element of art is the personal one. Anyone can paint lines on a canvas or put notes on a staff, but real art needs the passion and purpose of a human soul. No one told Da Vinci how to paint the Mona Lisa and no one questioned Beethoven when he wrote his “Fifth Symphony.” The respect given these legendary artists of the past should in no way differ from the way we treat the creators of our time, especially the ones who work such potent and present media as television and film.
No amount of passion can match that displayed by a community fawning over their favorite movies, shows, and teams. It is often stunning to see the amount of dedication and love fans can have for things that to others can seem so trivial. Thousands travel across the globe to go to events like Comic Con and movie premiers. This energy is often harmless, everyone loves different things and everyone respects what others care about. But when a group’s passion begins to affect the media created for everyone, their dedication can take on a more insidious form.