Monday, June 7, 2010

Concerning the Absurd Level of Immaturity in the JRock Fandom

I didn't want to have to make a post about this but...

It's come to my attention that there are certain people - who shall remain anonymous - who are unable to handle association with a person of a differing opinion.

Now, let's face it... it's not news to anyone who knows even a pinch about JRock that the fandom is riddled with immaturity and drama. The fandom has about as much capacity to get along with each other as a bus full of menstruating fifteen year olds. This isn't news. Now, I see nothing wrong with different factions of the fandom having differing opinions. In fact, given the vast range of genres, styles, and bands that comprise "JRock" I would be a little terrified if differing opinions didn't exist. I mean, I strongly dislike oshare-kei, but someone who likes oshare-kei shouldn't be expected to like my metal music any more than I should be expected to like their pop music. JRock is a mosaic of music and I see no reason why one piece of the mosaic should bother any other piece.

On the internet, people are free to say whatever they think or feel. I think this is perfectly acceptable. Everyone has a right to have their own opinion. The only time I draw the line is when people are being straight up insensitive. For example, I was doing some research on the band UnsraW (because I plan to blog about them this weekend) and I discovered a conversation in which someone claimed Yuuki from UnsraW deserved the year he spent with near-fatal pneumonia, because he put peoples' fingers in his mouth during shows. That kind of talk is unacceptable. That's a person's life you're talking about. No random vocalist who's done nothing wrong deserves a year of pneumonia. There's a difference between opinions and flat-out insensitivity.

There's also a difference between disliking someone's opinion and being unable to accept someone's opinion. I understand that most people of the JRock fandom have that one special band that they love more than all the others. And I understand that it's hard when people say things about that band (or any other band you like) that you don't agree with. My favorite band has been Dir en grey for about six years now. Obviously, I might feel disgruntled if someone says something I find insulting or simply don't agree with, but that's no reason to become angry or attack another person.

Example of how to act properly in the above situation:

Random person: I really like Dir en grey, but they're really boring in concert.

Me: Well, I disagree, but you shouldn't waste your money on seeing them live if that's how you feel.  At least you like their music! :-)

See, this is a normal, human response to a comment one disagrees with. Here's an example of how not to behave:

Random person: I really like Dir en grey, but they're really boring in concert.

Me: THAT'S IT, WE CAN'T BE FRIENDS ANYMORE! YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY TOO STUPID TO SEE THE BAND FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS! YOU SELFISH BITCH! GET OUT OF MY FANDOM! AND I HOPE YOU GET HERPES!

See, that's what we call a psychotic response to a difference of opinion.

It sounds far-fetched, but this sort of thing happens. Believe me.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is... this is predominantly a music blog. I write about JRock a lot because I'm in Japan, at the source. I'm also known to be very opinionated. A lot of times I throw around opinions very loudly because I'm just that kind of person. However, I've always respected the opinions of the people around me, and I have no problem agreeing to disagree. I appreciate when people return the favor. For example, sometimes I rip on indies bands because a band just didn't sit well with me. I understand that sometimes, people reading this blog like those bands. For example, on this blog I wrote that spiv states is a band that "looks like an elephant crapped a rainbow." I have a friend who likes them, but he was still able to acknowledge that we have a difference of opinion.  He had no problem telling me he likes spiv states, I had no problem telling him I never would, and we laughed together and moved on.

Now, concerning concert reports themselves, I have a tendency to pay attention to things on a deeper level than just "so-and-so smiled. It was cute." I tend to say things like "so-and-so smiled but it looked a little forced. I think such-and-such was bothering them." Now, I by no means ever imply that what I see or think is truth. If someone goes to the same show as me and says, "yeah, I saw them smile. Looked to me like they just saw a pair of nice tits in the crowd," then I will just assume we had a different experience. You can't argue with how someone felt at a certain time.

Which brings me back to my topic. If I say a certain band is boring live, the appropriate response is "oh, I disagree, oh well" and that's that. The inappropriate response is to call my fandom "worthless" and to call me "selfish" for being unable to "see" whatever the hell it is that you see. And to decide we can't be friends anymore. Even though I selfishly bought you a CD at a concert and told you not to pay me back so you could get the CD signed even though I'd only met you hours earlier.

Oh, how our fandoms blind us. It's truly the disease of JRock. Check any shoutbox on last.fm and you'll see what I mean. I welcome any and all differences of opinion on this blog. In fact, I encourage people to challenge me or disagree with me because that's what makes music exciting. What I won't tolerate is people who are unable to associate with people outside their fandom and cannot handle a difference of opinion. A fandom is not a company or an organization. One does not need to clock in at a certain time, produce a certain amount of services, and earn their raise in the fandom. There can be varying degrees of "fan." I'm an avid Dir en grey fan, but only a casual MUCC fan at best. This doesn't hurt MUCC, so I don't see why it should matter if I listen to their music but don't go to their concerts. But some people cannot separate JRockers from gods. They're blinded by delusions. One fan might think a certain band has a deeper meaning and believe that the band is trying to spread their wise gospel to the masses. I might think that same band is overcharging for seated concerts, ripping off the fans, and yielding painfully to their record company because the company is a giant, money-inhaling Jabba the Hutt. But we can have separate opinions on the subject. There's nothing wrong with that. I would have thought this was common sense, but clearly, for some people, it isn't.

Some people are too blinded by the stars in their eyes when they gaze upon their favorite band. If your obsession with a certain JRock band causes you to get rid of friends and to alienate those around you, please rethink your fandom. It's a little frightening to me when saying "so-and-so is boring live" equals "we can't be friends anymore." Are a bunch of stranger wearing eyeliner really worth losing a friend over?

As always, I welcome all comments and opinions on this blog. I respect your opinions, and I ask that you respect mine in return. Even if I say your favorite band is a pile of rainbow poop shat by an elephant.  If it makes you mad, you can tell me my favorite bands are garbage.  I'll laugh, and I won't un-friend you on Facebook.

4 comments:

  1. I really liked this and I totally agree with u. I can joke around saying many stupid things,but Ive never wrote some serious insulting things to some people who didnt like some band I like, or anything other similar to this.
    Its so refreshing to see somebody with sanity writing about jrock =)

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  2. Aaaw, thanks, I'm glad you think I'm sane, lol. The situation had been bothering me for awhile, and after it wound up affecting me personally in a real-life situation, I felt it was time to make a post about it. I may be very opinionated on this blog, but it's often in jest, and I don't mind if people like the bands I tease. Or if they hate the bands I like. I think it's best for everyone to just enjoy whatever they like and go along for the ride.

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  3. You welcome ^_^ For example...Im a huge fan of Despa, and you had few sentences about them where I disagreed with U (while you had time of disking despa until u went on their LOve is dead show :) ), but still I didnt feel any need to write any nasty things. Its normal to disagree,and i dont like childish and neurotic fans who probably destroy their keyboard every time while they write such stuff .

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  4. That's good, I agree too ^_^ I don't always agree with people's opinions, but there's nothing wrong with that. I have a friend who loooooves almost every Indies band I'm mean to on the blog, and she just laughs it off, lol. It's okay to agree to disagree. Not everyone likes my music and I don't necessarily like theirs and that's okay! What matters is that people can talk and act civilly about it!

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