Star Trek Into Crybabies

startrek

While Star Trek Into Darkness doesn’t quite fit into my hypothesis that fans of Marvel, Apatow, and Pixar are the ones who froth at the mouth over negative reviews “ruining” a Rotten Tomatoes score, Star Trek fans, specifically the kind who loved Abrams’ reboot or its sequel (even before it was released), do occupy the same social strata as fans of those products: reactionaries.

Wow…what bullshit review. You must have something against Star Trek. I’ve lost all respect for you. You are the Jar Jar Binks of reviewers. The higher the fewer.

Which was in response to Ed Whitfield’s review. A review that goes on at great length to describe what Whitfield likes about the older Trek movies, specifically Wrath of Khan, and how Into Darkness does not measure up to his Platonic Ideal of the series. Either this poster is illiterate (very likely), or he’s simply getting up in arms over a movie review not proclaiming the latest Abrams movie better than Citizen Kane (even more likely. Not that the two are mutually exclusive).

fair play, how much of a little pretentious prick you must be to slate this film,fair play you think your[sic] a superior species or something, you must be an art student, faking intelligence to get over the fact you have a low IQ, very small dick and cannot satisfy a women [sic], The film was awesome!!!! and before you insult my intelligence I have a master[sic] degree in marine science so fuck off, and a massive dick

Once again, we see the equating of the critic’s dislike to repression, idiocy, and sexual dysfunction (“small dick” AND “cannot satisfy a women [sic]”), while liking the movie is a sign of a healthy (typically male) specimen. This fan, a fellow going by the name of “Matt,” even makes this dichotomy explicit by stating that he has a Master’s in Marine Science and a massive dick (though he did leave out whether or not he can satisfy a woman). What’s made more apparent in this comment, by the repeated phrase “fair play,” is an intent that was already clear enough: revenge; reprisal; retaliation. If a Critic doesn’t like a Movie They want to watch, it is an assault on Them personally, and They see fit to respond with aggression. The only difference between this behavior and Al Qaeda is they don’t have an outlet for direct physical violence against their enemies. All they have is whiny hand-wringing (much like Fox News, talk radio, and the intellectually dishonest crybabies that occupy the “Political Non-Fiction” sections of Barnes and Nobles). Ironic since posters insist it is the critics who are limp, such as:

Review written by a loser.

Excellent movie. JJ Abrams keeps it exciting, pays homage to the old series, and still manages to make it his own. It’s a great looking movie, the cast are solid, and Cumberbatch makes a great villan.

Todd McCarthy is a hack and it shows in this review.

Granted, Todd McCarthy is not that great a critic–his reviews drone on and never really get around to saying much of anything–but no one should reward internet posters for having the same chance of being right as a broken clock.

They need to stop sending reviewers who watch only chic [sic] flicks to review sci-fi, what a bad job at reviewing… wish I had not seen this.

This one’s amusing on multiple fronts, since the assumption is McCarthy only watches chick flicks (when even a casual glance at the Rotten Tomatoes page proves otherwise). This is a sentiment usually leveled against female critics (as happened with The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises), reflecting the Boys’ Club mentality of the nerd set. Boys like lasers, tools, and explosions, girls like dolls, makeup, and dressing up. Or perhaps this poster really meant “chic” as in “fad,” as opposed to simply misspelling “chick” as in “lady”? Perhaps they’re meaning McCarthy is some sort of arthouse hipster? Given the amount of typos, grammatical errors, and fallacies that pop up in these things, not likely.

Thank you for your negative review.  I can now go and watch the film confident that I will enjoy it, just like the countless others you alleged “critics” have panned. Those that can, do. Those that cannot do teach. Those that cannot teach become critics.

This here is an odd beast amongst comment sections: a hastily put together mashing of two distinct (if related) trends in critic backlash. One being the kind I’ve discussed here and in regards to Iron Man 3 fanboys (the pouting, “how dare you?” attitude and vindictiveness bordering on religious mania), the other a complete refutation of criticism as a profession (“Those that cannot teach become critics”). The latter’s an assumption based, first off, on ignorance of film history (two of the medium’s most influential voices, Truffaut and Godard, started their careers as critics, for example), and second off on a belief critics all seethe with jealousy they can’t make the sort of big-budget, by the numbers explode-o-thons which rake in cash every summer.

In psychoanalysis, this is called transference. The redirection of one’s own feelings onto another person. Many fan’s ultimate dream–from A to Zorro–is to make more of the product they so love, so even as they rush to defend the latest model from Big Mean Critics, they secretly harbor a grudge against those who are currently in control. Of course, if the new model doesn’t trigger all the parts of their brains they think it’s going to, they will be quick to turn on these previously infallible masters (see also: the anger over dancing Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 3). For the time where it’s all a hype-fueled wonder, though, they direct their inner rage against some Other. Someone who represents that teensy bit of doubt their devotion was for naught. That the new version of your favorite toy won’t be the shiny, happy joy you always dreamed it to be. And they can’t take that. Doubt cripples everyone, but it is the ultimate enemy of the fanatic.

So, they whine and they complain. They resort to schoolyard bullying, even in impotence (even if they themselves were victims of it once). Cry before Die, and Death before Doubt. Thankfully, at least these ones don’t have bombs.

At least, I hope not.

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