: Over my years as a critic, one lesson I learned is that sci-fi fans are, uh, sensitive. I’ve never been forgiven for giving Babylon 5 a bad review. I got zapped every time I was unPC (or is that unSci?) enough to say Trekkie instead of Trekker. And I hurt a Star Wars fan who wants to explain that I was mean to make fun of geeky people who give up homes, civilization, and showers to spend weeks living on line to see a movie. Lighten up, guys, it’s not the end of the universe.

  • Kim

    “It’s a sitcom. It’s a joke. Sorry you don’t think it’s funny. I do. But don’t be making me into a hateful, ghastly, STD-spreading, mysogynist if I laugh.”
    It’s a movie. Standing in line can be fun. Sorry you don’t understand. But don’t be making me into a geeky sci-fi loser if I do.
    There’s no lighten up about it. Giving a show a bad review is one thing. Calling people who are participating in a harmless pastime losers is just plain mean and condescending.

  • “Over my years as a critic, one lesson I learned is that sci-fi fans are, uh, sensitive. I’ve never been forgiven for giving Babylon 5 a bad review.”
    True… but after the fact, now that Babylon 5 *was* made, did you like it? Are you glad you were wrong? Do you stand by your review?
    I ask because I highly respect both you and Joe Straczynski (writer of Babylon 5), and think this petty grudge has gone on long enough.

  • c

    You used the phrase “dorky Star Wars losers without lives.” Now you complain that someone said that was mean, and tell them to lighten up.
    THEY”RE the one who is sensitive?

  • I’ll agree that queing for weeks or months is sort of pathetic, but again, it’s no dumber than people who camp out for sports tickets (seen it), concert tickets (seen it), or tickets for that damnably mediocre musical RENT (seen and done it).
    I don’t get the animus toward Sci-Fi in particular. Yeah, some of the fans are overly sensitive, but so are fans of any genre. So are far-out political nutjobs, or sports fanatics, or soap opera watchers. I really fail to understand exactly how which silly cultural object they’ve chosen to obsess about matters. Also, you’re right, Babylon 5 is pretty terrible.

  • Cal

    Name-calling is the M.O. on this site. Not only on this topic but many others. Jeff’s proclivity to use the phrase “so-called” in front of names or titles of organizations and people he doesn’t agree with is but one example and it’s not just him.
    I’m starting to wonder whether blogs are a place of true, open discussion or just a place for people to write and spew their beliefs. That’s OK too, but I thought they were the former. And I include myself in this.

  • A person who once used the term “podfisk” without so much as a trace of irony is by no means entitled to call anyone else a geek.

  • Sherard

    Are they being overly sensitive ? Probably. But I must say, Jeff, when I read that comment I kinda cringed. Seemed out of character for you to be honest.
    Maybe you could have phrased it better as it seems maybe your anger was directed more at the media that seems to think showing people in line for Episode III is somehow interesting. It isn’t. So stop showing it already.

  • Sherard

    PS – the only time showing people in line for a Star Wars movie IS interesting is when it is done by Triump the Insult Comic Dog. Hilarious. (although probably not for overly-sensitivie Star Wars geeks – and those people mocked by Triump ARE geeks)

  • Well, what about the people at the NJ theater where SW Ep III was shown in the wrong language? The fans there said that they were “treated like dirt” because the theater staff simply said there was nothing that could be done about it because those were the reels they had…and they offered them free passes to come back and see it? “Treated like dirt” by being given free passes and told the truth of a situation (that it was only a movie, not a “real crisis”)?
    Yeah, I’d say they need to lighten up.

  • Rance

    “it’s no dumber than people who camp out for sports tickets”
    Yeah, it is dumber. The Super Bowl, World Series, even team season tickets are a limited commodity with a demand that in many cases exceeds supply. While there are some Star Warriors who spend weeks in line so that they can see the movie a few hours earlier that anyone else. I’m willing to bet that on Sunday morning, when I go to the theater, 70% of the seats will be empty. And by the end of the summer, you can find times when that will number will go up to 95%.

  • c

    Ah, but next year there will be another baseball season. Next week there will be another home game. Why do you wish to be in THIS particular event? Sure it will be different in details than the one you’re waiting for, but in general it’s just another baseball game. Your desire is to be a part of THIS event, for whatever reason. Why is that inherently more or less dorky that someone else’s desire to be at the first showing of this film, with other people who feel the same way? After all, this specific event will be different than the one next week or the one next month, if only for the enthusiasm exhibited and shared by the crowd. Basically you’re saying that people who share your enthusiasms are somehow right, while people who are interested in things you don’t value are wrong.
    And how long to I have to wait in line before I become a dorky loser? an hour? two? a day? two? What level of Star Wars enthusiasm is required? Do I have to wear a costume? What if I wear a Red Sox hat? How is that different? Because you say it is?
    If you have the right to regard someone as a dorky loser because they enjoy something you don’t value, then you must acknowledge their right to do the same to you.

  • Rance

    Tell a Red Sox fan that going to there is no difference between going to the World Series last year, when the Sox were playing is the same as waiting to this year, when they may not make it. One game is not pretty much the same as the next.
    By the way, Jeff’s orginal quote was “No more stories about dorky Star Wars losers without lives waiting in line for a damned movie.” Does that imply that all Star Wars fans waiting in line were dorky, or just the ones that were covered by the media? If you were in line, and not among the group he saw coverd in the media, then you can consider yourself exempt from his comment. Unless, of course, you choose to consider yourself dorky.

  • c

    And there you go. You make my point for me. To some people–people with no interest in baseball–it IS just another baseball game. To some people–people with an intense interest in Star Wars–being at that first show makes a difference. Who are you to judge what has value in my world?
    I’m not the one who stared throwing around the word “loser”.
    I don’t consider myself covered by his comment at all. I haven’t seen the film. I was merely irritated by Jeff’s gratuitous slam on these people who merely offended his tender sensibilities; first, by standing in line for Star Wars and then being annoyed when he called them losers.

  • Real fans don’t call it sci-fi – it’s science fiction, sf, speculative fiction if you’re a pretentious newwaver from 40 years ago, or scientifiction if you’re a retro postmodernist.
    Real fans published fanzines, and kept the Amateur Press Association going for decades, when no one was interested in the APA except fans.
    Oh yeah, and real fans READ science fiction, they don’t watch movies and television…
    Please note, I’m not sensitive. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  • Odd, but I hear lots of real fans call it scifi, and then amend that by saying that real fans, of course, call it sf. I rarely hear anybody in conversation actually start out with sf. “Speculative fiction” is also an imperiously officious title that finds its way into genre designations, but not so much in casual talk.
    Like much in life, it seems to be a demand not of the majority, but of the zealots. Most trekkies don’t really mind “trekkies”. I’m a trekkie! What do I care? Fans who have Klingon skin grafted to their heads have lost all sense of proportion and obviously don’t want to be merely “trekkies”.
    And if you’re skipping work and camping out for hours for a movie ticket, you dang well better have a sense of humor. Especially if the movie winds up sucking. Or if, as I heard about one guy, you camp out all night at the wrong theater.

  • And let’s not forget that without these “dorky Star Wars losers” Jeff wouldn’t have the internet to make a living off of, much less this shiny happy blog.
    Frankly I’ve been a little shocked at the MSM’s open contempt towards the fans. I was watching a local news outlet cover the whole standing in line (in costume) story and the reporter was actually laughing at the crowds and making a few cruel jabs at their expense. This is all well and good for The Daily Show, but when did this become acceptable/ethical behavior from an otherwise “serious” news reporter?
    Okay, we get it–you’re not a dork like them. Now go paint your face and sit in a frozen amphitheatre for hours on end to watch a group of twenty-two people wrestle over an oblong inflated pigskin…

  • RG

    Seriously, you losers are just getting your panties into a wad even more over Jarvis’s comments. Okay, how about this? Instead of “lighten up,” how about “get a grip”?