Good Christ, but when did people become such onion-skinned fainting violets on the Internet?
"Oh, no, someone said they were glad Joe Mantegna replaced Gideon! Basher!" And of course the mod trips over herself to rebuke the poster for posting an opinion that "might" be considered offensive by Gideon fans. "Of course you're entitled to your opinion," she twits so magnanimously, but then she goes on to say that the poster wasn't allowed to express that opinion(in a comm where all fannish opinions are purportedly welcome, mind)because it might offend other CM fans.
Fuck that noise. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and no one has a constitutional right never to be offended. If you go into a fannish space, then you have to accept the fact that not everyone is going to think like you do or love your woobie or approach the fandom for the same reason or in the same manner. As long as their opinion isn't actively infringing on your basic civil liberties in the real world, i.e, "I hate gay character X because he's gay, and I think gays should be sterilized or executed," then you can goddamn well shut up and cope with the fact that the world isn't a Disney theme park that exists solely for your edification.
It's similar to the prescriptivist, silencing garbage that plagues so much of Rammstein fandom. I wouldn't say it's the same, because Rammfen's social politics stem from a powerbase as opposed to a base of inclusivity. If your opinion falls in line with the established norms of a particular forum, then it is permitted and lauded, and you are treated warmly, but if it falls without those parameters or you aren't sufficiently obsequious in its presentation, then you are quietly stonewalled. On everyone's favorite Rammforum, for instance, you can be as big a douchebag as you please as long as you support animal rights, fawn over the admin's pets, and guffaw over her captions lampooning "retards" and other undesirables, but if you disagree on any of these issues or refuse to toady to the elect clique of sycophants that run that forum, then you are in for a rough ride, and if you protest too loudly, you will find yourself unceremoniously ejected therefrom. I firmly believe that if I had never dared challenge their rampant ableism and homophobia, if I had simply toed the party line and dutifully laughed at her nasty, spiteful captions, then I would still be there, though I grant you that I would likely be an innocuous presence of little consequence. a wallflower with no pleasing perfume to attract notice.
The situation with SMM more closely mirrors the attitude of, "OMG, no one can disagree with anything ever. Every post must be happy happy joy joy and lick the feet of Rammstein and their management, and if you ever do anything other than blow smoke up their collective asses, you are a BAD fan. And if you disagree with TPTB on any issue pertaining to them, even offsite, then you will be shunned because you are clearly a troll bent on harshing everyone's fun."
This rampant kumbayaism wasn't present to such a large degree when I entered the fannish arena ten years ago. There were pockets of it, of course, but by and large, most fans understood that if they wanted to play in the fannish sandbox, then taking their lumps was a hazard of the pastime. They understood that disputes would happen, and though some of these scraps got quite savage, no one screamed, "Oppression! Trolling! Oh, God, I've been triggered, you miserable shit!" just because Poster A declared that Snape was a tool or Harry was a spoiled wunderkind prick. They might have rolled their eyes and called you a tinhat or a delusional shitweasel, but no one accused you of fannish tyranny or questioned your worth as a human being because it took a different fannish kink to reach satisfactory nerdgasm. If fans really couldn't stand to have their fannish point of view questioned, then they created squee comms with moderated membership and squeed behind locked doors. Even than, they realized that that safety did not extend beyond the confines of that safe space.
Now, you can't throw a rock without some fragile snowflake wringing their hands and declaring that any negative opinion was an anathema that threatened their wellbeing. It reminds me of an episode of some milktoast sitcom where a conflict-resolution self-help counselor was abjuring the characters to resolve arguments without using words like "No, not," or "don't".
Her example? "How do you tell someone not to park in a particular spot without using those words?"
Her solution? "Park elsewhere."
Why was this better than "No Parking"? Because negativity was hurtful, and it made people sad.
I say again, fuck you. Being told you're wrong or that not everyone agrees with you is often a letdown, but like it or not, it's a part of dealing with other people, of life, and it should be because it keeps your head from getting too swollen. Or it used to, before well-meaning twits decided that no one should have their views challenged, lest their delicate sense of self-worth evaporate like powdered milk in a dust storm. It's enraging and embarrassing, and I fear for future generations of coddled individuals who will be utterly unable to deal with conflict on even the most basic level. How sad and swaddled is your life if you can be brought to frothing outrage or wounded butthurt because someone said they were glad one actor replaced another?
The world has become a ridiculous funhouse of self-indulgent stupidity and saelf-absorption, and I want to get off.