I posted a thread to Twitter the other day with a quick rundown of these points.
However, I wanted to marinate on the thread. Especially, after getting some feedback. I wanted to expand more on this because Twitter gives you very limited space to express yourself.
So, in an effort to elaborate and get more into the details of what I wanted to say, I figured that I’d write this article on the subject.
The thing is, I’m really getting tired of those who constantly bitch about all the new stuff that comes out in entertainment. Not because their commentary on the shitty films, television shows, comics, and books is inaccurate, but because it is all most of them do with their platform. They say they want good shit again, but there is very little focus on the good things that are actually out there.
Truth be told, I was guilty of the same thing for quite awhile. However, I am able to create and with that talent, I’ve decided to start making the stories I want to read. I wrote for no one else. That’s not to say that I didn’t hope that my books wouldn’t connect with other people. I was just so damn tired of having this void of good, quality, fun escapism and I filled that void myself with the type of stories I needed. Seeing the reactions to my books, I realized that I have also helped to fill that void for other people, which is a humbling, satisfying, but also strange feeling.
As I put my shit out there, I’ve come across many others doing the same; those who make really good stuff that further fills that void. The point is, there are those of us working really damn hard at creating alternatives to the mainstream IPs that are mostly pretty fucking dead. If they haven’t murdered your favorite thing yet, it’s coming.
The thing I find somewhat irritating about the loudest voices that express their disdain over their beloved franchises being ripped to shreds, is that they don’t turn much of their attention to the creators that are trying to give them what they (and their audience) claim they yearn for.
I get it, though, tearing the new Lord of the Rings trailer to shreds is going to get YouTubers a lot of views, and I’m not saying to stop if it feeds your family. However, feeding that fire, ultimately, isn’t going to be productive in the long-term. It also isn’t going to help give the culture what it needs to move forward again.
Sure, we know those things suck and we know why and how they suck, but what about the flipside of that? I guess what I’m asking for is more balance.
If these very opinionated critics and fans put that much energy into building something new, we could truly put the nail in the coffin of the mainstream. YouTubers like RazörFist, Shadiversity, The Critical Drinker, and Eric July are putting their money where their mouth is. They critique but then they create.
After releasing two books this year, my platform has grown. It’s still really fucking small, I’m not kidding myself, but I’m getting an increased amount of engagement and support from like-minded creators and a fresh, quickly expanding fanbase. And man, that feels weird to say, as I’m still not used to people being interested in the IP I am trying to build.
This is why I keep pushing other creators and their projects so damn hard on my Twitter feed (and possibly on a YouTube channel soon, as I’m starting to see the need for one). Those using the “IronAge” hashtag (more on that here) and seeing it as an emerging, unified front that wants to move forward, deserve to be entertained again.
To be frank, I (and many others) don’t give a fuck about the vast majority of these legacy IPs, anymore. Sure, I care about the “culture war” and I do think it is important to point out what is happening to mainstream entertainment, but these things have been such a focus for so long now, that I don’t need to be bombarded with constant reminders that Hollywood is trash. I know it’s trash and I’d rather not pay it any mind anymore because Hollywood will not change and I’ve got to get to work. I have to look ahead and as these IPs burn and the void they leave behind widens, I need to have my shit ready. As does everyone else that has the ability to make something good.
I need escapism. The world needs escapism: real escapism.
I need new things to emerge. I need to be excited again. That starts from the ground up, though. I want to move forward with hope and to be inspired by those around me looking towards a bright future. I don’t want to stare angrily into a past that’s been raped, pillaged, murdered, and burnt to the ground by weirdos that don’t live in the real world and hate the real world.
I want to see everyone else, that truly wants to work towards making something better, succeed. I want the best creators to thrive and lead the way.
For those who don’t create, stop giving the things you hate your attention. Look elsewhere. Being pissed off, eternally, at a corporation that hates you is pretty fucking dumb. You can find what you’re looking for, you just have to look away from the train wreck.
The quickest way to make these bastards irrelevant, is to walk past them like they don’t exist… and then go give your money and time to the thing you actually want. But I get it, pissing on Disney, Amazon, Warner Bros. and Netflix is fashionable and profitable. In time, though, no one will care anymore. We’ll all “get it”. Then what?
I just can’t fully embrace negativity like that 24/7 and I can’t ignore great new things in entertainment when I’m seeing so much of it, lately.
As I look to my left, there are so many books from emerging indie authors and publishers in my read pile that I just don’t have time for the garbage.
Great stuff is out there, you just have to look.