Words of Radiance (not the sanderson book)

This isn’t about Brandon Sanderson’s Book 2 of the Stormlight Archive.

I read about Ahmed Best in Polygon and Wired. He’s the guy who did Jar Jar Binks. I know, we hate the character. Most people I know, who were little kids when Phantom Menace liked Jar Jar, and thought the whole film was pretty good. I read about Best’s encounters of harassment and his contemplation of suicide. There’s a process in making these films. It’s not as if Best himself directed the prequel trilogy and inserted himself as Jar Jar. The character deserves hate, yes, but not the man behind the mask. There’s a difference when saying “You ruined my childhood” to someone you know, and to someone who just appeared out of nowhere. The original films were made for an audience of that era, same as the prequel and the sequel trilogies. People are moving on and doing great things because they learn to accept changes. Best is making music and has a science fiction podcast, which are awesome. I’m glad he’s doing okay.

A few weeks ago, popular Fortnite streamer Ninja, lost a bunch of followers after deciding to take a two-day break. Fans are being a little too demanding. Give the guy a break. He’s earned his keep. Streaming is hard work. It requires skill in the game and charisma you’d see in movie stars. It’s an entertainment business. Oh well, maybe it’s for the best anyway. All those people leaving Ninja makes room for an audience that actually matters.

I wasn’t supposed to write this post. I even had a lengthy draft and decided to scrape it. Now I’m writing it again, tighter and a bit shorter. It’s exercise, I suppose. But I wrote and posted this after reading Hayley Williams’ pissed off tweet, about some guys following her and demanding she sign stuff, and stalking her in a town she doesn’t know. I don’t think I can add anything to that incident that’s already been said. Celebrities are people, space and privacy, the power of “no” extend to different things, and so on.

In the last three paragraphs, what do they have in common? An audience. A fan base, retaliating, exploiting, and harassing the popular personality. Times like these, when things are changing really fast, I think it’s important that more people stand up. We see what’s wrong, we know what’s wrong, and we wonder how we can fix it. I may be oversimplifying it, but talking about it, seems to work. Not always. But it sometimes does. Appeal to the humanity side, try to bring out the humility. It’s a shotgun blast. You’ll hit some people and you’ll miss plenty. It’s a small progressive step forward, but it’s sharper than engaging into full on flame wars. People are into building drama, creating drama, and living in drama. Trollish attempts to troll the trolls is wasted effort.

I have run out of things to say.


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