Irregular Webcomic!

Archive     Cast     Forum     RSS     Books!     Poll Results     About     Search     Fan Art     Podcast     More Stuff     Random     Support on Patreon    
Updates: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; reruns all other days
<   No. 1752   2007-11-13   >

Comic #1752

1 Ophelia: So you're not happy with what Rowling did in Deathly Hallows?
2 Will: She's betrayed the fans by revising what went before.
3 Ophelia: Hmmm. I didn't think anything in the book contradicted anything she wrote in the previous six books.
4 Will: She's completely ignored all the fan-fiction continuity!

First (1) | Previous (1751) | Next (1753) || Latest Rerun (1569) | Latest New (3665)
First 5 | Previous 5 | Next 5 | Latest 5
Shakespeare theme: First | Previous | Next | Latest || First 5 | Previous 5 | Next 5 | Latest 5
This strip's permanent URL: http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1752.html
Annotations off: turn on
Annotations on: turn off

Betraying the fans.

This phrase really annoys me. I see it as a manifestation of unrealistic expectations on the part of people who enjoy some form of entertainment. No artist or entertainer can realistically be expected to keep on producing material that produces the same (or greater) pleasure as their earlier works, ad infinitum. At some point it's inevitable that the next thing they do will be of lesser quality, or will conflict with what went before, or will change the context of what went before to the point that it no longer seems as good as it used to.

So what? People are only human. They produce bad work now and then. They make mistakes every so often. They do boneheaded things sometimes. It's extremely rare that they are actively trying to annoy and alienate the people who most appreciate what they do.

And how, exactly, is making a mistake now "betraying" what they did before? Nothing anyone does can invalidate the pleasure you got out of enjoying some work of fiction or art in the past. You enjoyed it - you can't un-enjoy it.

The obvious example - the one most of you are probably thinking of already - is Star Wars. George Lucas did some really stupid things with the special editions and the prequels. But how is that a betrayal of anything? Suddenly people don't remember that Han shot first? The Empire Strikes Back now sucks all of a sudden? You realise you didn't actually enjoy those movies for 15 years before they got modified?

Remember the good stuff. Don't dwell on how someone "betrayed" you and gave you something that wasn't as good as what they gave you before. Because they didn't. They didn't take away the enjoyment you already had. They just gave you something that didn't live up to your hopes. If you let that ruin your recollection of how good things were, you've betrayed yourself by painting your pleasant memories with bitterness.

I see a similar thing when publishers release new editions of things like games - roleplaying games and Magic: the Gathering cards are examples that come to my mind. Bunches of people complain that suddenly their old editions are now "worthless" or "useless". As if it's now impossible to even use the previous edition when a newer edition exists. Well, you know, it's still possible to run a first edition game of Dungeons & Dragons today. That simple fact seems to elude some people.

These are all symptoms of what I see as a tendency to live in the present, and consider the past as something not worth remembering. In this day of immediacy and instant global connectivity, people tend to flit from activity to activity, garnering joy and fun where they find it, and always seeking new and more exciting stuff to do now. Which is fine in itself, but not at the cost of savouring the good times you've already experienced.

Nobody can ever take away the sense of wonder and amazement I felt when, as a child, I sat entranced by Star Wars in the cinema. Nothing George Lucas can do can betray that memory. He could come to my place and axe his way through the door and burn me in my sleep - that would be betraying me as a fellow human being - but he can't betray me as a fan, no matter how many crappy prequels he makes or how much he mangles the original movies. Because that memory is mine, and I won't let anything spoil it for me.

Why do people let things ruin the enjoyment they've previously had? You don't have to let it. Preserve your memories. Relive the joy you've felt during the good times. Remember the good things. Life is more rewarding that way.

LEGO® is a registered trademark of the LEGO Group of companies, which does not sponsor, authorise, or endorse this site.
This material is presented in accordance with the LEGO® Fair Play Guidelines.

Irregular Webcomic! | Darths & Droids | Planet of Hats | The Prisoner of Monty Hall
mezzacotta | Lightning Made of Owls | Square Root of Minus Garfield | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | iToons | Comments on a Postcard | Awkward Fumbles
Last Modified: Tuesday, 13 November 2007; 02:11:01 PST.
© 2002-2017 Creative Commons License
This work is copyright and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Licence by David Morgan-Mar. dmm@irregularwebcomic.net