Grow up!

I dunno about you, but one thing I’m sick ‘n’ tired of is old guys complaining about things. I’m talking about those old guys who complain about young kids crowding the aisles of their anime cons. I’m talking about those old guys who complain about their anime not being like it used to be. Anime is the only real fandom I’ve been involved in across my 21 years on this planet, but I have a feeling these sorts of people lurk in the darkness of every single fandom out there. So it’s nothing new. In fact, it’s something very old!

And before anyone makes an ass out of you and me, I am not talking about the individuals who occupy some of the fine internet dwellings that I chose to adorn my blogroll with. Nor am I speaking of those jaded old bats I moaned about some moons ago (they’re annoying in a completely different way). What am talking about are fans of anime, roughly ages 30 and above, that are simply unable to act their age.

In an attempt to clarify even further, the guys at Colony Drop and the Anime World Order aren’t that much older than I am. But the main difference I’m trying to illustrate for you–the readership, who may not see one yet–between these people and the ones I’m complaining about is simply a cool head. The reasonsĀ  I read and listen to those two are a) they’re quite entertaining, and b) have well thought out opinions and reasoning. Even if their opinions may run contrary to my own, I can still listen to them, consider them, and appreciate their point of view.

The fans I’m sick ‘n’ tired of are ones who are unable to do this. They bitch and whine like children over the fact that things just aren’t how they used to be, offering nothing in the way of reason. Well, some of the arguments they put forth may be considered reasonable in their minds, but to a level-headed individual it comes off as nothing but noise. And it’s not even a matter of them simply lacking eloquence. You can lack eloquence but still put forth an argument that makes sense.

But what really makes these guys worse than the younger kids they’re complaining about is this: those kids are acting their age. It makes sense for teenagers to act dumb–they’re teenagers. They’re in a transitional stage of their life–slowly and painfully crossing that bridge from childhood to adulthood. It makes sense that they act without reason or thought. What doesn’t make sense is the 300 pound, balding, 50 year old loser wearing a faded t-shirt, his fingers covered in cheese dust from all the Cheetos he’s been eating, with his fat ass lumped on his computer seat, farting and burping once every five minutes due to the seven cans of soda he’s drank (he’s only been awake for five hours), typing up an angry rant on the internet about how his needs aren’t being served anymore.

That is of course the worst-case-scenario. And honestly? I’ve only just noticed fans like these at this past Anime Boston, and have come across only a few in my internet travels. So I haven’t seen many of them. Maybe they really are few in number, and this rant–which is not all that different from the rants I’m talking about–is unwarranted.

But anyway, somethings are–like the Japanese love to say–“can’t be helped.” Like kids acting like kids. However, some things can, and these types of people can easily help themselves. But they first have to realize how horribly broken they are. It’s not that difficult to slim down, go out, make friends, act socially acceptable, and think with a level head. If they did that, then maybe people would be more willing to listen to them, instead of writing them off as–in the words of some awful internet BBS–an “oldfag”.

And before I take off, it’s not as if the moe fan parallel to these guys don’t exit. They do! But I already talked about them.

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16 Responses to Grow up!

  1. jpmeyer says:

    I don’t come across these dudes very often, which makes their presence fill me with amusement rather than loathing when I do come across them.

    (My favorite response to them is when people then say “lol getting angry that other people’s children’s toy commercials are more popular than your children’s toy commercials lol.”)

  2. lvlln says:

    I agree with your sentiment, but you are not doing your argument any favors by invoking the immature fat internet guy stereotype. If anything, it makes you sound just as low as the very people you’re railing against.

    Also, did you go to the Vile Spectre of Moe talk at Anime Boston? The person who gave the talk did fit your description pretty well, a guy in his 40s or 50s reminiscing about the 70s and 80s of anime and complaining about the current popularity of moe without providing a single coherent argument.

    A shame, because I believe there IS an argument to be made there. But framing it in the classic and elitist “things used to be better back in the day” argument makes it fail.

  3. kaei says:

    I was with you until the second last paragraph, and then it was like, wait, who are you complaining about? A) People who get older and can’t keep up with the newfangled fads that kids these days love, and retreat to their nostalgic old loves to cry and moan (like me), or B) socially inept fat people who also happen to be A)?

    Because lemme tell you – fatness and social ineptness have nothing to do with it. Take those away from me (okay, I’m not actually fat, but I’m socially inept) and I would STILL be that same getting older person who keeps complaining about ‘kids’ these days.


    Because everything familiar and comfortable we grew up with is dying or disappearing, to be replaced by things we don’t ‘get’ anymore! Because all these changes are a constant reminder of our mortality and descent into irrelevance. Because rather than age gracefully, we’d rather age kicking and screaming, because it’s less scary that way. Because I’m only 6 years older than you, and I’m ALREADY complaining that things were better back in the good old and 90s early 00s!

    So apparent your post freaked me out and caused me to verbally diarrhea all over your blog’s metaphorical doorstep. For that I apologise.

    Anyway, in summary: yes, you’re right about old people whining without good reason about the good old days – I felt that way when I was 21 and I still feel the same way (which is why I cry to myself in the privacy of my apartment and close friends.) But it turns out that perhaps, there’s a small chance that we’ll all turn into “good old day”-ers some day.

  4. jennifu says:

    I think you’re only starting to notices these more because you’re getting older and you don’t have the selective vision that younger teenagers are blessed with of being unable to see disgusting old people.

    As for your complaint, unfortunately, it’s universal… adults by nature complain about the good old days and fail to see their own childishness. The only remedy for this is to not act like that when you reach that age…

  5. kgods says:

    I am 26 and I’ve been a fan for a good while (longer than you, wah :D) but I know exactly the people you are referring to. I’m a big music buff, so you are essential correct when you say that other fandoms have this exact same phenomenon.

    I think it sort of falls under the umbrella with the “it’s not not OUR fandom anymore!” mentality. You know, as you get older and see a bunch of n00bs partaking in what you “thought” was a personal and unique thing. It seems to be a backlash against popularity etc.

    There’s no way to avoid these people, as they have been around as long as fandom itself has. Nothing you post on this site (or anything I post on my blog) will change the way these people think or approach things. Sad, but true.

    Age is just a number, how you conduct yourself speaks volumes about who you are. At least, that’s what I think.

  6. 2DT says:

    Yumeka once linked to an interesting bit from the Animaniacs that addresses this problem:

    I think we all need a “Please Please Please Get A Life Foundation.” :)

  7. VZ says:

    I was started to become a jaded type in my early 20’s, then I discovered Azumanga Daioh. Frankly, I’m loving the stuff they’re making now.

    It’s hard because on a certain toy website I visit, I get treated like a pervert for liking moe along with the mecha.

  8. Kurogane says:

    I think the guys that constantly whine about how every season sucks a lot more than the previous ones are waaaaaaaaaay more annoying because it cuts over every age and gender groups.

    And they are generally unjustified.

  9. jpmeyer says:

    I just realized this: when exactly did these people realize that things just “aren’t the same anymore?” and why are they even still around? Did they sit here for the last like 8 years surrounded by more and more bishoujo game adaptations/moe-centric titles/light novel adaptations/dakimakura commercials/BL fodder and go “DAMNIT! Another season full of shows for those gross pedos! But I’ll stick with it, because next year I just KNOW that they’re going to make another season of Taiyou no Kiba Dougram, I JUST KNOW IT! Sooner or later they’ll realize just how much better Votoms is than K-ON AND THEN I’LL WIN!”

  10. BrendantheJedi says:

    This, sadly, is the state of an old fandom WAH. As the anime fandom grows older, the more this unfortunate subset will grow, like a cancerous tumor. Look at the fandom for Star Wars, and you’ll see that the old guys are a substantial minority. Look at comic book fandom and Star Trek Fandom, and you’ll see that the immature old guys are in the majority. The Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons is truth in television, sadly.

    Can you imagine the day when at an anime con when a bung old dudes and chicks are standing around in a circle lamenting the glory days of Naruto and Bleach? That will be our fandom, 20 years from now.

  11. BrendantheJedi says:

    **Can you imagine the day when at an anime con when a bunch of old dudes and chicks are standing around in a circle lamenting the glory days of Naruto and Bleach and waving their walkers at the new kids on the block? That will be our fandom, 20 years from now.

  12. keideki says:

    I agree with you for the most part. You know who sprung to mind while I read this? Zac Bertschy of ANN fame.

  13. Pingback: Elitism, dickwaving and militant assholes, or why I stopped reading wah. « orz – I Will Show You Terror in a Handful of Flans

  14. kgods says:

    Not to defend wah (he can do that himself, I’m sure) but if this was aimed at me, I’d just laugh; say “whatever” and be on my way.

    “Random people on the intarwebs are calling me a lolicon and other things with negative connotations, Help me, Jebus!”

  15. yaku says:

    It’s a matter of recognizing that everything changes with time. I love anime from ten, fifteen years ago, but I’m also nuts for the titles being released in the present.

    I guess that’s when you know you’re truly a hardcore fan.

  16. HechEff says:

    I, too, meet people who cannot distinguish between the terms “growing up” and “getting older”. Mix that with the stereotypical Japanese ego of the elderly and it spells troublesome times.