Tony Fyler says even when everyone else experiences something one way, it’s good to have your own voice.
The joy about a site like WarpedFactor is that it’s a melting pot for all geeks. That means its content is written by individuals, and that there’s no such thing as received wisdom, or received geekdom. Everything’s up for debate, for good argument and for individual experience to have its place. It’s a freedom that sees Moffat-haters, Moffat love-children and those who view each episode on its individual merits each given a chance to put their case and persuade their fellow geeks of their point of view.
It’s in that spirit of universal acceptance that I come, a little belatedly, out of the Closet of Disengagement and say ‘My name is Tony Fyler, and I didn’t like Guardians of the Galaxy.’
I know. Controversial.
It’s been described almost across the board as the geek-movie of 2014. Everybody seems to love it, to have laughed at its antics, and ahhhed at its tender moments and thrilled at its action sequences, throwing in a solid air-punch at its climax.
Me? Crickets. Numbness in the hind quarters and the thought ‘Really? Karen Gillan shaved her head for this?’ Plus a sense of button-pressing – OK, so this is our human hero. I’m betting what makes him special is his humanity. OK, there’s the cool girl with Daddy Issues. Oh look, here comes Quirky Sidekick Number One… and so on. For me, the bad guys were just a muddy mass of shadows and limited motivation, the good guys were a bunch of idiots who really didn’t deserve to survive, the lines of peril were vague and fuzzy and depended on a blatant MacGuffin, and as the movie rolled, I sighed and crept further and further into the Closet of Disengagement, where I sat all the way through to the credits to the extra scene – Spoiler: It’s Howard the freakin’ Duck! You don’t need to stay. Run. Run away now.
To me, the Howard extra was symptomatic of the whole thing – lots of hype and waiting, followed by a giant cinematic fart in the face.
But that’s just me. I know that’s just me, because I hear people marvel at its ‘Star Wars like scope and hope,’ it’s status as a ‘geek highlight of 2014,’ its hilarious character dialogue and its spacefaring brilliance, demanding a guaranteed sequel. As I say – for me, it was crickets, numbness and a fart in the face.
I’m not here to use this article to persuade you my view of the movie’s the ‘right’ one. Clearly, on that, I’m out-numbered. I’m really just here to say that whatever the geekdom, and whatever your view of it – that’s OK.
It’s weird for geeks to come to terms with life when their experience of a geek event – an episode, a show, a movie – doesn’t chime with that of those of the larger geek-community. After all, the idea of there being a geek community is essentially based in the fact that we like stuff the mainstream community’s not so keen on. With the increasing geekification of the mainstream, when we realise that our view or our experience runs counter to that of the reviews, the pundits, the fans, it can seem that bit extra-isolating, as if you’ve turned against what evvvvvvvvvvverybody says is true, and you’re the little boy at the Emperor’s parade, yelling out ‘He’s bare-ass naked, everybody!’ You can begin to feel a bit like somehow you’re a bad geek, or you’re not geeky enough to have a valid opinion, or for your experience to be as culturally worthwhile, somehow, as those of everyone else.
Normally, I get quite view-affirming comments when I write reviews, little nods from fellow-fans to boost the ego and the mass cultural validity of my views. That’s by no means why I write them – I write them to share and engage with the communal debate, certainly, but not to get my ego stroked (I’m the only child of a Welsh mother, I’ve got quite a big enough ego as it is, thankyouverymuch. I’m quite surprised every morning to find the sun hasn’t waited till I’ve woken up to shine). But it’s worth remembering now and again quite how big a beast fan-opinion can be, and how potentially scary and isolating too, for those who experience things differently to the majority. So this is just a call out – be yourselves, geekboys and nerdgirls. Sure, your view might seem entirely nuts to everyone else, but it’s yours, just like your choice to wear lime green leggings or a Sixth Doctor coat, or both. Wear it, express it, support it if you can and if you want to or feel you need to. But never be afraid to be yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks – including me. After all, being yourself no matter what anyone else thinks is how geekdom got started in the first place. So come play with us, geeks and nerds and dweebs of every stripe and spot and Paisley green persuasion, and celebrate your geekitude here at WarpedFactor.
Tony Fyler lives in a cave of wall-to-wall DVDs and Blu-Rays somewhere fairly
nondescript in Wales, and never goes out to meet the "Real People". Who,
Torchwood, Sherlock, Blake, Treks, Star Wars, obscure stuff from the
70s and 80s and comedy from the dawn of time mean he never has to. By
runs an editing house, largely as an
excuse not to have to work for a living. He's currently writing a Book.
With Pages and everything. Follow his progress at FylerWrites.co.uk