Over the years Fandom has been through a lot of different stages.  Recently an article online said, “Fandom is Broken.”  This article talked about how because the fans are now petitioning, boycotting and even sending death threats when their stories don’t go their way that fandom is broken. I liked a lot about that article, but I also disagreed with it a lot as well. We are in a transitional state for fandom and right now it is critical that we speak up to make sure that it moves in the civilized direction, but talking about civilized actions aren’t near as fun as talking about the uncivilized, so tonight we’re going to talk about Nerd Rage

State of Fandom: Is it Broken?

Comics: Captain America, Female Thor, Black Captain America

Movies: Ghost Busters

Starwars Expanded Universe

Black Hermione


Name: Sara Glass


Favorite Fandom: The 100, Marvel Movies, Jessica Jones

Comment: Hey gentlemen! I discovered your show a few months ago, and I’ve caught several episodes that I’ve enjoyed quite a bit.  I like how you respond to listener feedback, as well as guests. I have a fandom-topic podcast as well, started this spring. I’m sending you this email to prod you and your friends in the ribs and interrogate you on one thing: why aren’t you watching The 100! Bad genre fans, boo. Why haven’t you deep dived into this philosophical sci-fi gun-happy soap opera like the rest of us? It’s the disobedient murderous love child of Battlestar Galactica and Lost, with the soul of Robert Heinlein and more feminist ambition than The Hunger Games. The heroine, Clarke Griffin (named for, yep, the famous sci-fi novelist), is actually the character I’ve seen come close to achieving the depth and emotional complexity that Buffy the Vampire achieved with its lead woman.

I’m mentioning this now because The CW will soon be moving its programs off Netflix to their own for-pay streaming site, and your chance to watch season 1 and 2 easily will be off the table. But you should watch it. William Shatner live tweeted every episode this season, and novelist Stephen King tweeted his binge watch reactions, both of them enthusiastic. Heads up: the death count is, um, quite intense, and it’s more violent with torture than anything I’ve seen on The CW before, so put the children to bed first.

On a fandom level, The 100 has also been the center of several controversies this season, which you may or may not have read about. If you can, I’d say avoid those discussions as they center around controversial character deaths and are pretty spoilery. Season 3 finished just two weeks ago, and it’s already been renewed for next year. So that’s it: please watch this show, and talk about. I’d love to hear your reactions. Don’t be deterred by the cheesy pilot; looking back on it now, it feels like the producers made the teenage melodrama pilot they *thought* would get them picked up by the network, then immediately turned the show into one long dystopian exercise in ‘the prisoner’s dilemma’ instead.

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1 thought on “NERD RAGE!!!

  1. I agree with Rose McGowan in this marketing issue. I happen to be a female and a longtime fangirl. The use of the image on a billboard, with no context, *can* contribute to normalizing images of men assaulting women. That’s pretty obvious if you’ve studied either visual communication, gender studies, or a combination thereof. Pictures are messages and when a screencap is taken out of context of a film, blown up to enormous size, and slapped on a billboard as an enticement for PG-13 adventure films for kids and families… yeah, it’s a problem. I haven’t heard people say that women in fight scenes in the film are wrong, or even that women fighting in promotional material is wrong. There’s tons of images of Black Widow fighting in the CA and Avengers promotional content. But in those, the first impression of a flat image is usually one of back and forth power struggle, not just a bulky scary man choking a slender woman without context.

    TBH you guys probably should have solicited the opinions of a couple of women (not just one, a couple) if you were going to bring it up in the podcast. Even just had some emails to read. Because the net result was me listening to a group of guys rationalize away the point of a woman arguing about issues that affect the health and safety of women. I was eyerolling pretty hard. And I can’t even lay it at you guys just BEING guys because my brother, who is hardly ‘woke’ in any sense, saw it on the freeway before he heard about the controversy, and told me that it “gave him pause” and it “was probably not a good thing to put up.” Branden did mention this at the end, which I appreciate. But still.

    “Is this really the reason and place to bring up violence against women?” This is a question I cannot even fathom being asked. Yes. YES! For god’s sake, yes! The place that it happens *is* the place where you bring it up. Talk about and address bias and harmful thinking *where it occurs*, in our daily lives, instead of in an abstract educational forum. Violence against women is a normalized part of American culture, and one of the best ways to push against it is to normalize the criticism of it. Public shame is a powerful tool, we should use it. Use it against racism, use it against homophobia, and yes use it against sexism. The more we talk about systemic problems, the closer we come to making the system recognize that it’s infected in the first place. Violence against women isn’t in the shadows—it’s on billboards. It’s in music. It’s on the internet. It’s in most of my favorite films, which sucks because I really like action movies.

    “I’m sure my Viking ancestors are rolling in their graves because I was offended by something someone said.” ….Well you sure seemed flustered and offended by what Rose McGowan said, so I’m going to have to agree with that. Your Viking great-grandmother would be disappointed in you.

    “Once you put the context in place, the argument is a lot less strong.” Nah, the thing is– *you* are misunderstanding the argument. Film context is irrelevant to McGowan’s criticism, because she’s *not* criticizing the *film*. She’s criticizing the billboard. That’s all. That’s the point. And the billboard doesn’t show a woman attacking a man. It doesn’t show a fight between equals, or even a David & Goliath style framing where the underdog is making a stand against a stronger and scarier opponent. The billboard is just what it is– the Big Bad choking Jennifer Lawrence in blue make up. The message the billboard sends in its unique viewing experience is a one-way, no-context portrayal of violence against a woman, in a way that mimics violence that many women and children have seen in their home lives. You only have to look at a picture once to get the message. You don’t have to see the movie because it’s the billboard, the marketing, that is the problem.

    Sorry this went so long, but…. try to step back from thinking that this is about the movie. It’s not–it’s about the billboard. She was right to call it out. And if the studio marketing companies take notice and think more carefully next time about the messaging they put out, then that will be the best possible outcome. Nobody’s gonna die from mild and politely worded constructive criticism, especially not a superhero franchise.

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