I grit my teeth. It’s become a regular occurrence, the discussion of nerdy topics in the office environment, but it has reached a fever pitch thanks to the unstoppable juggernaut that is Avengers Endgame. I have to suppress the urge to be “that guy” who leaps in unwanted and uninvited into someone else’s conversation in order to correct a discussion that is chock full of oh so many factual inaccuracies.
It’s an unpleasant urge and I’m not proud of it. In the grand scheme of things, people getting things wrong about Marvel comics (I think you’ll find that both Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson have been Captain America in the comics, I’ll have you know) is not the sort of thing it’s worth getting worked up about. After all, at the moment, there are far more worrying sources of disinformation about far more important topics for which energy and effort should be expended towards combating.
Shouldn't I also be pleased that the things that I enjoy are now mainstream and accessible and not something to be shamefully admitted to in the hope that the other person won't ridicule you? Having gone through the teenage times in the relative wilderness years of the nineties, when Star Wars was a memory, Doctor Who was that thing with the wobbly sets and comics were largely the province of a nerdy few, I should surely be celebrating the fact that TV and film is dominated by what once considered cult and open discussions about these sort of things are socially acceptable.
Instead, I’m slightly rubbing up against an unpleasant trait that all the truly obsessive have - that other people aren’t enjoying the thing that you love in exactly the same way as you. It’s a problem behaviour that, taken to its extreme, leads to a sense of entitlement within a fandom, an entitlement at the far end of the spectrum which can lead frankly obnoxious reactions - a sense of being owed by creators, a sense of wanting the thing you love to be exactly the way it’s always been without change; all those things that come to the fore in a lot of “toxic fandom” that’s been seen recently.
The fact of the matter is that other people won't necessarily enjoy things in the same way as me (and that includes the things that we like in common) and that’s the way it should be. Our enjoyments and obsessions are personal things, sometimes with a bit of pleasing overlap with other people, but always uniquely our own. It takes a while to accept that and for the most part I do although sometimes I struggle.
I mean, come on, we all know that Captain America’s the one with the hammer, right?