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When Hateful Fans Act Like Losers, Let's Call Them Losers

By Sarah Carlson | Miscellaneous | July 31, 2014 |

By Sarah Carlson | Miscellaneous | July 31, 2014 |

The Village Voice Film Editor Alan Scherstuhl took a select rank of comic book fans to task yesterday in reaction to the hate-filled bile thrown the way of Film Critic Stephanie Zacharek for not only daring not to love Guardians of the Galaxy, but for being female at the same time. It is the verbal equivalent of shoving a nerd into a locker. And it is glorious.

He’s right — when you, you parasites of the Internet, “eschew argument and instead act like sexist pricks,” you “encourage all of the lonely-dude stereotypes that comics creators and fans have been working to shake for decades.” No one here thinks all comic book fans — or fans of anything science fiction, or fantasy, or you name it — is a loser just for liking what they like. Just look at our coverage of the way too many plethora of Marvel films and you see we have more than a few staff members who are excited about this genre. That’s great, and we’ll argue about the over-saturation of these movies in the marketplace some other day.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of comic books or their big-screen adaptations. Give me Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy any day; I prefer superheroes who act out of conscience, not because they have super powers. But I plan on seeing Guardians. It looks like a less genre-specific, more explosiony Serenity, and that’s not a bad way to beat the summer duldrums. But if I don’t love it and think it’s the best movie ever? If I find it a bit underwhelming, just like I found The Avengers? It’s not because I’m anti-comic books. And it’s not because I’m female. It will likely be a mixture of personal taste and not finding the movie as convicingly amazing as others. Remember: An adaptation is only great if it appeals to — fully explains the world it is presenting — fans of the source material and newcomers alike.

For a small subset of the fandom, however, that explanation wouldn’t be enough, and my gender would only make them disagree with me more. Some of the comments Zacharek received make that clear:


That’s just adorable. And as Sam Adams made clear over at Indiewire, this type of criticism deserves some “well-earned scorn” before we completely ignore (or ban) these trolls. Let’s also call a spade a spade here and refer to these people what they really are: Losers. That’s right. Losers.

If you scour the Internet for dissent against something you hold dear, and that something is a fictional story that involves a talking raccoon or, say, a time traveling nurse who gets it on in 18th century Scotland, and you attack the dissenter with hate, then oh sweetheart, you are such a loser. Like, the biggest loser. You’ve already lost the game of life — maturing, contributing to society, treating other humans with decency — and you probably aren’t too far into it. This isn’t coming from a stereotypical high school bully perspective; I’m not picking on you because you’re different. No. I’m shunning you from the lunch table of humanity because you have clearly proven you aren’t able to sit at it without vomiting putrid nonsense all over everyone’s food. Go eat your lunch in a bathroom stall, just as long as you don’t have an Internet connection there.


Sarah Carlson is Television Editor for Pajiba. She lives in San Antonio. You can find her on Twitter.