I've been neglecting this feature of late--I didn't even realize I'd been doing it for over a year!--and I'll probably neglect it some more, but I checked with my editor and he said whatever, dude, it's the holidays, so let's not get rigid about schedules. Here are a couple of things...
:: The $500 Million Battle Over Disney’s Princesses. Really interesting (to me, anyway) Bloomberg article about how Hasbro got Mattel's Disney Princess license and what they plan on doing it--starting with redesigns, a new marketing plan, and emphasizing diversity and empowerment over prettiness.
Change happens slowly, but it does happen, and Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm are making a lot bigger strides than some.
:: Why Wasn’t WILLOW A Bigger Hit? The article pretty much pegs it. That said, I love the movie, and it's got an especially good novelization. Recently, a podcast I listened to had a better description than I'd ever heard before for the despised term "guilty pleasure": something that you enjoy, but which you really can't defend. Willow is one of those movies for me. I love it, but most of the criticisms I've heard for it are pretty justified.
:: I've not yet seen the new Star Wars, but I want to say something here that I wrote on Tumblr last night: I’m seeing way too many posts (seven, at last count) from guys my age and older who are just terrified that they might have to relinquish their perceived “ownership” of Star Wars to a different generation of kids. Apparently the geek version of “get off my lawn” is “stay out of my toy box.”
I can understand why they’re annoyed. I remember being called a nerd and getting bullied over my interests, too. Hell, that’s what’s kept me far away from fandom. But another thing that’s kept me away from fandom is people who write stuff like that, because they’re so overly concerned that people don’t like things “the right way” or as “purely” as they do. It’s so bizarre and tragic; after years of being bitter about being alone in their interests, now they’re bitter about kids today encroaching on their interests. They want some acknowledgment that they’re the True, Original Fans and, I don’t know, some kind of a thank you for keeping it alive and, post-Prequels, bellyaching this new movie into existence.
It’s really starting to make me sick. The people who remember the trauma of being bullied seem to be so annoyed that kids today aren’t being bullied over going to see sci-fi movies… Like, guys, we created this world where sci-fi and other genres are so mainstream that kids don’t get their asses kicked for reading comic books in high school. That’s what we wanted. A better world for our kids where they could feel free to pursue their interests and like what they wanted to like. And now you’re in a bittersweet mood over how easy it is for kids to pick up these things just because you think you had it bad?
Get a life, guys. Let these kids celebrate the stuff that’s aimed at them. Stop getting hurt that new iterations of Star Wars and Star Trek and Jem and the Holograms aren’t catering exclusively to you. Grow up a little. Stop being condescending about what being a “real fan” means and be happy that the things that isolated you as a kid don’t isolate kids anymore.
This is the world we made. Mainstream acceptance. No one has to kiss our rings for being there first. When I was a kid in the eighties and first getting into Star Trek, the best Trekkies were the ones who welcomed me in and taught me all about it and delighted in sharing it with me; the worst were the ones who acted like they owned it simply because they were alive before I was and had experienced it firsthand. I didn’t care what those people thought, and if you’re going to be tetchy about it, new fans aren’t going to care what you think, either.
Kids have it easier today.
Yeah. That’s kind of the point.
This isn't meant to call out any specific person. It's just a sentiment I've been seeing too much this week on various social media.
:: I've said it before, and I'll say it again: You know who I really miss? John Candy.