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'Look Ma, no hands!' or the Internet's Guide to Critical Thinking and the Lies it Wants to Tell You

So Article 50 was triggered this week. Lots of jokes about how this will trigger remain voters, even though it’s really just the same joke over and over. Two years of waiting to see exactly what rights people all over the EU and UK will have left when May is done with them, if she even has a plan given the defining mark of her parliament has been saying she has one and then not doing anything.

Because of this I was not a happy camper, though the airing of TMNT season 5 in the weeks leading up to today helped, but then I made the mistake of coming back to TMNTpedia to try and look up any information for funsies and wound up coming across someone who I am not going to waste too much time talking about but is, in their own way, important to this.

Because they described their suspension of disbelief as ‘fickle’. That it ‘demanded’ consistency or something, and that they’d been ‘spoiled’ by comic continuity or I don’t even know. 

Fickle. Suspension. Of disbelief. It’s not better than this person, but that stupefied, terrified and incised me. The same way the slow, fumbling and quintessentially English way my country is slowly self-destructing.

So, both sides of the pond are effectively on fire for the duration of FOREVER and I could stew about that alongside depressing nerdy stuff, or I can channel it into something kinda positive. I got to thinking about the kind of mind you’d have to have to type something like that to describe yourself, oh I’m sorry, your attributes because that’s totally different and language stops meaning what it does when it’s convenient to you.

Fickle. Suspension. Of…

Instead of dumping stuff on the floor and bed because throwing and breaking them would allow the communists or whoever we’re supposed to hate win, I…well, didn’t sympathise. No one who actually describes themselves as having been ‘spoiled’ by comic books deserves any sympathy. I know this because I’ve met way too many people who fit that description. But end of the day, they’re really just the product of their environment, aren’t they? And their environment is the same place every troper and brony and 90’s kid comes from, the internet ‘Nerd Culture©’ of the 21st century internet. 

Disclaimer

And this probably should have come first, but in my defence the only notes I made for this were a quick word cloud on a pad and my pen even ran out. But this isn’t going to be what most people would call ‘nice’ to a lot of, probably all of, the side of the internet that fancies themselves culturally savvy, insightful and sophisticated despite only ever talking about cartoons.

You know the type. You know you know the type.

Gonna try and keep this as civil as “Everything you think you know is wrong and it makes you look like a poser” reasonably could be, but whether this stays up is the mods’ decision. Everything here is intended to be frank because the people I’m talking about need that frankness if they’re going to perform the critical thinking equivalent of tying their shoe laces, but if the feeling is it violates one of the rules or isn’t civil enough, well, you’d know. No hard feelings if you don’t want this in your house. 

Also, while I’m being frank, surprising as this might be I’m not really looking to attack any specific person. But there is a specific egotistic subculture that, if you roll in online nerd circles, thinks they run things on the critical thinking side of those circles. These people are wrong and deserve to be told they are. This ramble fully intends to explain why.

If you’re not one of those people but fancy yourself as being insightful or analytical about TMNT, it’s contemporaries and the stuff that inspired them…sure? You can go on liking what you like but this will at least hopefully give you an idea of what sort of person you should actively avoid trying to be.

If you’re not one or the other but notice a trend and aren’t too sure about it, don’t worry. It’s not just you.

Context

Shouldn’t really need to be said, but context matters. We’ll always tinker with it for the purposes of our experiment but if you want to be ‘analytical’ (God help you) with any sense of intellectual honesty you can only ever really judge a work based off the context it presents itself in.

Also before talking about what that means, real quick, here’s the context for suspension of disbelief: in 1879 Samuel Taylor Coleridge published Biographia literaria or biographical sketches of my literary life and opinions. Here’s the relevant part:

“In this idea originated the plan of the 'Lyrical Ballads'; in which it was agreed, that my endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic, yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.”

Humane aspects to make the supernatural and romantic relatable or at least be parsed on an intellectual level without too many questions or eye rolls. Simple enough. If you want to reach people through your big idea, like the idea that there’s this rat who just happens to know ninjitsu, make it feel human, like giving him four misfit teenage sons who only have each other and a few friends to fall back on in a world that won’t accept them until it’s blindsided into accepting aliens exist.

This idea works. Star Trek set a new precedent for genre fiction to reach millions of people because this idea works. Or because if it didn’t work in a specific instance for that specific person, there were plenty of alternatives for that person and plenty of people to make an audience for that specific instance. That Sammy T. Coleridge, he sure knew what he was about!

He reckoned without the internet. The internet is the great unifying communication tool 80’s/90’s sci-fi stories envisioned, but it’s also where people go when they want to understand the mechanics of why no one notices Superman, a character inspired by the Scarlet Pimpernel, is totally unrecognisable thanks to a pair of glasses. It’s where they go when they want to find out what the screeching sound and the look in the mirror meant at the end of Taxi Driver. It’s where they go when they want to know why you never find out what’s in the briefcase at the end of Pulp Fiction, even though why would you devote time and effort to a movie about a furshlugginer briefcase?

What’s often left out of the phrase “Suspension of disbelief” is the willing part. In context, it’s a two-way street if you really think about it. A writer can only write what it occurs to them to write, we can only know why we’re connecting to something and we often struggle to articulate exactly why. In context, stuff is only going to appeal to you if it does appeal to you.

And if you’re turning to a group of online strangers who often ignore context in favour of their own made up rules (or, let’s be honest, ones they stole off a Youtube user talking about Marvel movies) to do the mental heavy lifting for you or to provide reasons why it’s just not doing it for you anymore…then the best thing you can possibly do for yourself and everyone involved is move on and find something that does.

In context Shakespeare was a genius but you’re not smart if you understand that. People have spent centuries thinking about what his work means. You may very well have a fresh hot take waiting somewhere but you’ll only have it because, at the very least, you studied this stuff in school. How insightful are you and how much can you really flaunt it when that insight comes from years of people talking about the thing you’re thinking about?

This is being brought up because that’s the building blocks of what we consider literature. Trying to bring this level of thought to your nerdy pop culture hobby just because you think that’s how this work, or worse you think that’s what it owes you to be, is always going to be a disaster. In context Batman and Harry Potter aren’t really your cool grown up imaginary friends who proved how adult you secretly were as a kid, and how sophisticated your tastes had always been when you became an adult, it’s just that by a freak accident of marketing they had things waiting for you as you grew up.

In context, like TMNT, their greatest strengths as stories and brands is their ability to hop audiences without losing what makes them work. I say this as someone who cannot stand anything past Prisoner of Azkaban. Because I’m an adult and understand how context works.

In context, most of the reasons this type of fan gives for not liking the show anymore, or as they’d have it, “Not working anymore” don’t make sense. Context here being things the show actually does. This includes:


  • “Doesn’t take anything seriously”-Season 4 opens and ends on the concept of losing your father and not only does this track with the series entire emotional thread all the way back to the first episode, when they actually show the moment the family’s nemesis impales papa it’s the second time this has happened on screen. This isn’t even the first time separating a child from a parent has come up.  </li>

     


      • “Was not always like this”-Speaking of that first episode, remember how we found out Splinter was a widower who thought he’d lost a baby daughter in the same fire and this happens in the exact same episode where the Turtles almost eat a cake implied to be made of human excrement?

     


      • “Too much filler”-Filler as most nerds use it comes from anime fandom (which should be the first sign something is wrong with this logic) and doesn’t apply to the way most American or, if you really must, “western” shows are produced. Nick’s bizarre scheduling is not equivocal to having to put out a collection of episodes to fill space because you have to avoid catching up with your source material but without contradicting anything. Cartoons in the States work under multiple states of production all at once, multiple episodes conceptualised and written at once, storyboarded at once, animated at once. There isn’t time to fill space you’re not contractually obligated to while an artist with an assistant draws more pages. US writers and artists have called their work being referred to as “filler” insulting. When you think about the amount of work they do, without an assistant, it’s not hard to see why. I mean Christ, if nothing else Season 4 is the most arc driven the show ever got.

     


      •  “Doesn’t know what it wants to be anymore”- Season 4 begins and ends two stories, one of them about addiction and the other about loss. Set up. Clearly planned. Both building on and relating back to what’s gone before. Shows have writers rooms where producers make the final call. Ciro’s been with the show through every writer change and if there’s any man on the planet who understands what TMNT is, not what try-hards want it to be, it’s him. People don’t commit time and money to making something without having at least a general idea of what they want to do, and if you think this is the first show you watched where someone changed their mind I’m sorry, you just flat out don’t know how TV or writing work. This show knows what it is, what it wants to be and what it’s doing. That either works for you or it doesn’t.

     


      •  “There is no story anymore.”-Ignoring for a second that seasons 3 and 4 feed directly into each other exactly like the first and second ones did carrying on directly into the third one. From the first episode TMNT 2012 has been a show about the pros and cons of teenagers striking out on their own. Now it’s about what they do when they truly are on their own because someone stabbed their father.

    In short, this includes doing things that can be fundamentally understood by 8 year olds.

    This kind of thinking usually works on the assumption that the creators aren’t respecting the intelligence of an adult watching a children’s cartoon. In context, watching a network literally called “Nickelodeon” and wondering why it shows you, a full-grown adult, the modern day equivalent of kid’s vaudeville shows is a sign of something but it’s not intelligent. If you don’t get the bread and butter toons, how are you going to get down with something that’s actually trying to say something? (Assuming the kid’s comedy stuff wasn’t. You couldn’t move in 2005 without tripping over Danny Phantom fans trying to prove something.) If this was ever about simply liking or disliking a change in the show’s voice, that’d  been the end of it. They wouldn’t be trying to dress it up.

    In context, if this was actually about people’s standards they wouldn’t have anything to do with something called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to begin with. 

    Tonal Inconsistency

    Get Out is probably one of the best things to ever happen to Jordan Peele, and the first question a lot of people asked was either “Who?” or “A comedy director making a horror movie?” Like that had never happened before. Like these same people didn’t grow up with Buffy or Ghostbusters. On the cartoon critical thinking side,like every cartoon that was actually scary or, come to that, at all emotionally affecting wasn’t a comedy. 

    Star vs the Forces of Evil has this reputation. That it only gets edgy or whatever term you want to use during the last episode of season one. This is a filthy lie spread by the myopic. Just like with TMNT,' Star lets you know what it’s all about up front, right in the first episode. Hell, when she zaps that monster in the butt in the first few seconds of the opening credits. It’s about responsibility. All the revelations the show builds to just don’t matter without those whacky shenanigans. All the heart break can’t really hit you as hard as it’s trying to without the normal world of the show being as zany as it is. Star and TMNT aren’t even the first cartoons to do this.

    And tropers and all the other people who feel compelled to define liking something by naming themselves after it will argue that they understand this abstract but simple concept. They’ll prove they don’t within the next five seconds. It’s tunnel vision, and it’s not really a surprise that people who talk about nothing but fantasy and anime struggle with comedy that doesn’t involve Easter eggs or super deforming.

    Best example? Monty Python, the thing you love or hate for being random. And maybe you do love or hate the Python’s jokes but random isn’t really the word, it’s more nerd tunnel vision. There very much is a logic to those sketches and like a lot of things, it’s right there in the name. Monty Python is supposed to conjure up the image of a slimy cabaret agent. The Flying Circus is the show he’s hosting, except a) the show is whatever corner of British society/TV/business/politics/law enforcement of the 1970’s b) it’s all going incredibly wrong with acts collapsing into each other. That’s not random, like what most Deadpool fans will tell you. That’s just seeing how far you can take the joke and not ending on a punchline, like the rest of TV arbitrarily did. Genre fiction fans whinge incessantly about shows like Teen Titans Go but have all conveniently forgotten they had this exact complaint (so, the existence of humour at all) about Teen Titans.

    You can do both. It’s not a hard balance to strike. Scrubs was America’s favourite show for years. Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett both went to their graves proving you could do both. The only thing that matters is whether the use of those tones, to say nothing of whatever the work’s core is, works for you.

    TMNT might no longer make you laugh and it may no longer thrill you. And that’s fine. You can leave if the act isn’t wowing you. Just don’t make a scene when you do it. 

    Continuity

    Couple of years back I was roped into writing for a Power Rangers fanfiction contest by some friends who’d kept up with the show. Our first attempt was tons of fun and I acquired a completely useless collection of background knowledge about the franchise past the point I’d finished watching. It was a lot of fun, good for work ethic if nothing else! We did it again under the same rules: bunch of teams, 20 “chapters” (we did ours as scripts because, y’know, TV show and this was apparently revolutionary) and a deadline.

    We hammered out a bunch with no real care of winning because the rules were set by people in their 20’s who’d never stopped watching Power Rangers and we’d been tripped up by them enough last time not to care. There was a new wrinkle this time. There were about four or five judges. Every time we did we put down a script we’d get the same complaint from number four: “What about the arc?”

    Every time. We’d put down a story and every time this one guy would ask what it had to do with “the arc” or why it didn’t connect to “the arc.” We’d entered this contest for a lark. We knew what the last story was going to be but we didn’t have an arc. Not the kind of “Next time on Dragon Ball Z!” thing nerds think of as an arc. Not so much continuity, although we referenced and built off each other, as comradery.

    (That sounded really gay, didn’t it?)

    We told him this. Repeatedly. He just kept asking that question. Second to last episode he’s all like “This is good but I really think it’d be better if it were part of an ongoing arc.” Second to last episode. When it’s almost over. When even if we were going to do anything about this (we weren’t.) there was nothing he could reasonably expect us to do.

    Deadline comes up. Everyone sends in their last offering and chills out for a few days until the scores are tallied by whatever moon cycle and goat eroticism govern these things. We didn’t win which was cool because we didn’t set out to. This is called ‘proportion’ or ‘perspective’, take your pick. But the part I will carry to my grave is the final assessment that judge gave us.

    The thread is long gone but his wording, after months of asking why we did not have an arc was “I think the real problem is your work was just too smart for the average Power Rangers fan.”

    I like to think I’m a decent enough writer but if I ignored every single guideline critical thinking fandom suggested (like you should), fused my brain with the Sunway TaihuLight in a transhumanist defiance of nature for the processing power, and promised my first born to Saraswati I could not write a joke that amazing.

    There’s a semantic argument to be made about the nerd use of the words continuity and arc but they usually intend them to mean the same thing, just like we’ve been using canon to describe continuities ever since you had to decide whether Sherlock Holmes did anything after the Final Problem or if the stories ended as Conan Doyle had initially intended, but at least this just boils down to lack of an equally punchy sounding replacement shorthand. But that’s really the way it works in this circle. Everything needs continuity or an arc. Everything. Especially if it feels at all episodic.

    That’s how these people know it’s bad. How’s it going to validate them if it doesn’t cater to their obsessive need for detail?

    The thing is, continuity isn’t writing. Not the way nerds want it to be. It’s connective tissue. If you stubbed your toe in one scene and it shows up bruised in the next, congratulations, you have maintained the linear flow of time in your fictional setting. Everything else is just that scaled way up. Continuity is never the trick and of itself. Thematic payoff is. Leo starts the series as a Trekkie who knows ninjitsu and by the final season he’s got to be the new den mother. You might have enjoyed the journey, you might not have, but it really is that simple.

    Greg Weisman, the man fandom mistakenly believes validates their decision to keep watching cartoons because it never occurred to them to do otherwise, did not originally set out to be a TV writer, cartoons or otherwise, but a play write. Greg Weisman also once described himself as “a consummate bullshit artist.” when someone asked him what his big trick was for making ongoing stories work in spite of acquiring a backlog of fantastical continuity. Joji Miller likened Youtube users getting really excited about “mythology connections” in his Filthy Frank videos to one of those preschool shows where kids yell at the screen.

    Weisman is an obsessive geek who likes worldbuilding and revealing ongoing plot points, but as a nerd his thinking is still clearly that of a Shakespeare fan who lucked into writing stuff he has considerable, honest affection for but wasn’t what he started out to write. His stuff, as much as he genuinely loves ongoing plots, works more like 22 minute plays. He describes it as threads of a tapestry and that’s a good rule of thumb if you want to write like that. You won’t copy Weisman’s voice, and as his TMNT and other freelance work demonstrates he’s a stylistic chameleon himself, able to blend in with the general voice of whatever he’s working on, but you’ll be able to build something that works in the moment and can contribute to an overall point if you have to make one. If you want to be poetic about it, it’s dancing between the raindrops. It’s examining each snowflake. It’s not hoping someone notices how clever you’ve been making a theory video. Don’t make those. Your mother and I will be very disappointed in you.

    So, ironically, for all the importance the internet places on it, you can really only appreciate TV continuity…through how it’s applied episodically.

    If you want to be a nerd about it, don’t be. They’re either impatient, because despite wanting stuff to accumulate to some kind of point they don’t want to wait for this to happen, or they just want continuity because they think everything should have continuity. It’s that thing you say everything needs because everyone else says everything needs it. The sad thing is, much as Steven Moffat rightly pointed out a lot of this kind of person doesn’t read anything except tie in novels, these people are making demands of TV it can’t deliver on. Not the boring linear way they want it to where really only the last episode matters. They want chapters. They want books even though it would never occur to them to just focus on books for those things. From a medium that fundamentally does not work like a book. For children’s action comedy cartoons.

    What people want from children’s TV continuity is to be rewarded for the “complex, sophisticated” ability to recognise scenes from the Previously On segment. Whether the show has one or not. 

    Tropes

    Hey, you like Buffy? You should, it’s what started your favourite homework cheat. How does TV Tropes define the thing it’s built around?

    Merriam-Webster gives a definition of "trope" as a "figure of speech." In storytelling, a trope is just that — a conceptual figure of speech, a storytelling shorthand for a concept that the audience will recognize and understand instantly.

    So far so good.

    On this wiki, "trope" has the even more general meaning of a pattern in storytelling, not only within the media works themselves, but also in related aspects such as the behind-the-scenes aspects of creation, the technical features of a medium, and the fan experience. The idea being that storytelling is not just writing, it is the whole process of creating and telling/showing a story.

    And they were doing so well.

    They say “A more general meaning”. They may as well have said “Meaning whatever the hell you want it to”, because that’s what most of TV Tropes is in practice. They even have a forum where they can invent new ones, or whatever term they use for legitimizing the ability to recognize when something happens more than once. Meanwhile on the Buffy page:

    Nobody can deny or ignore the influence of Buffy on the TV shows that followed it, both within and outside the genre. (Russell T Davies had at least one eye on this show when he revived Doctor Who.) This series has become one of the most Trope Overdosed and Lampshaded shows in existence — thousands of references to Buffy exist across this entire wiki — partially because TV Tropes began with a specific focus on Buffy (based on a 2004 thread on the fan site Buffistas.org) before branching out to all of TV and eventually all of everything. However, we no longer consider this show as merely Trope Overdosed — we now officially classify it as kiloWick and one of The Truly Awesome. With over 7,000 wicks and a runtime of 6,056 minutes, this page (well, this entry and its metapages) now has over one wick per minute.

    I have no idea what a kiloWick is and if you’re a decent human being you don’t either. I underlined the only part of that gibberish that means anything: TV Tropes was originally a Buffy the Vampire Slayer thread.

    That’s fine and a sweet sign of community. Literate or at least pop culturally savvy people coming together online to point out how the show worked, and why it did things the way it did.

    How Joss Whedon challenged pop cultural and actual cultural perceptions of feminism and proved you could have genuine humanity and ambiguity on the dorky section of the idiot box, using the mediums of horror movies and teen movies and all the pulpy things he’d grown up with.

    How, despite the fact fandom now often insists stuff can’t be two things, you could have stories about pulpy sci-fi military gadgetry, 70’s style occultism and heavy metal versions of vampires, happen alongside intimate human stories about love and failure and loneliness and family in an anachronistic practically-out-of-Happy-Days-but-everyone’s-got-cellphones version of suburban California, and have it make complete sense.

    Here’s the problem with expanding that discussion to include everything: not everything is made by Joss Whedon. You’d think the internet would know what Whedon’s style looks like, they make fun of the fact his writing has a particular voice often enough, but then you realize…that’s all they do.

    They make fun of the fact his characters talk funny. They note when he makes a reference to something they know. They extol him for being able to make you feel things by going places other writers don’t and then complain about the fact the way he does this sometimes involves daring to kill off characters. The dirty secret? Whedon uses "tropes". Both turns of phrase and actual genre conventions. His writing style wouldn’t work if he didn’t. It’s Shakespeare again. How smart are you for noticing something you’re being told to notice? They don’t even really talk about his style, they just list things it does.

    An artist’s entire work, broken down into nothing but flat, dead descriptions of things that happen and then segmented into committee decided regiments and that’s just the people boring enough to catalogue stuff because it’s there. The people who are trying to prove something? They’ve use these links to do it, turned critical discussion into a game, where you try and win by dropping the most links. And then they do this to real life, as though people and process and sheer freaking coincidence were all just figures of speech from classrooms that don’t exist. Like people were chess pieces.

    When Terry Pratchett announced his intention to die with dignity on his own terms instead of succumbing to Alzheimer's, every Discworld fan got the ever so fun experience of seeing their favourite author’s struggle summed up as “I’m Taking You With Me.” This is how internet fandom’s brand of creative thinking talks about another human being.

    No context. No critical thinking. No clue. Just a smug self-satisfaction at knowing a secret language nobody in the real world actually uses.

    This site will not teach or help you. You do not prove any kind of literacy or insight when you name drop it. Don’t build your thinking around it and don’t assume you’re onto something when your thinking overlaps with their wording. Even a bipolar, obsessively cataloguing clock is right twice a day. 

    Academia

    The chief reason you hear most creative people tell you to stick with higher education if you wanna cut it as a writer or artist or whatever is that you’ll be exposed to stuff you might not otherwise. I just spent 4875 words, God help me, kicking the stuffing out of nerds who don’t do anything but try to talk up nerd stuff, I’m very down with expanding horizons. Nothing will help you appreciate your relationship to pop culture and genre fiction than stepping outside into general, maybe even historical culture and just fiction.

    TV Tropes appeals for the same reason higher education is supposed to, a structure that helps you comprehend or at least articulate things. One problem with this comparison is that academia actually does this, it doesn’t just present you with a cheat sheet you can cherry pick from to prove you were actually right all along. The second is that academia isn’t the be all end all.

    Academia will help you find you voice, it’ll help you articulate your opinion, but it won’t be those things for you. If you want to be a writer, and real talk, I have no idea why you would try to be analytical about cartoons and other pop culture if you didn’t, you need to learn what the rules are but so you can bend them in a way only you could. The real rules, not TV Tropes dopey slang.

    School is always a stepping stone, and the greatest thing it can teach you is how to use the tools, the gift of critical thinking: not to force people to agree with you or notice you or let you keep watching stuff you should have outgrown, but being able to make your point and explain why it’s the one you feel the need to make. If you can convince people to agree with you, great, but you don’t need them to agree with you except in the most binary conditions. You only need them to understand where you’re coming from.

    The Myth of ‘Get Good’

    You’ll have seen this at least once. Someone who doesn’t like a work anymore but is still hanging around the corners dedicated specifically to talking about. And always for the same reason: whatever it is has transgressed against them somehow and instead of packing up and looking for edification (from cartoons) somewhere else, they’re waiting for it to “get good.”

    If you take nothing else away from this, make it the fact that “Get good” is a pile of hot garbage nerds made up to justify obsession.

    They created an entire arbitrary system to define “Good” based off things they half remembered from high school and then insisted on it. For things from their childhood they never really let go off.

    This stuff is worked on from conception to budget conscious execution months, sometimes a whole year before you see it. Producers, showrunners and writers know what they want to do and presumably where they want to wind up. You’re not seeing it in real time. It’s either going to appeal to you, or it isn’t. It can’t “get good”.

    If someone who put themselves through everything it takes to take part in the grind of making Saturday morning stuff alone, and they don’t meet these standards some nerd they never met just made up? Then that person and what they do are trash and even if that nerd’s reason why changes with the direction of the wind, they’re aloud to say so for as long as it takes for their work to either change to meet their boring checklist or they get bored and finally leave. This is not critical thinking. It’s a tantrum. It’s calling on a non-existent entitlement even though it’s the equivalent of threatening to pack your bags despite having nowhere else to go.

    If they’re not posing, they’re literally trying to bully it into being for them. And they do this to children’s cartoons.

    Think about that for a second. Actually think about it.

    This is paradoxically, repetitively stupid.

    It’s shoving a round peg into a square hole. It’s expecting to address the United Nations not because you speak all languages but because you learned how to just mimic sounds. It’s wanting to get that warm fuzzy feeling of a good report card back except you’re almost 30 and wearing a con exclusive shirt. It’s wanting a trophy for not participating because no, this is not engaging with (often freelance) writing. It’s ordering a sandwich and then demanding they send it back because they put bread on it, and doing this every time you go out for lunch. It’s not taking your ball and going home because the ball never belonged to you, so you just hang around the edges making snarky commentary because for reasons that will never make sense people give Cinema Sins money. It’s like yelling “Look ma, no hands!” after stuffing both of them in your mouth.

    This is being fickle at best. This is saying your suspension of disbelief is fickle, that no writer can satisfy you except by blind chance. At absolute worst? It’s just shallow.

    So, in summary:

    Critical thinking is not a game.

    You are not what you like. You are not performing for an audience. You are not point scoring. You don’t have to be first to cross a finish line that doesn’t exist. What you like will not elevate or validate you and you shouldn’t need it to. Nobody working on it owes you anything. Your willing suspension of disbelief is as much your responsibility as there’s, and if this genre fiction thing isn’t working for you can be graceful about it. You can be an adult about it. The scale of these things never merits the alternative.

    The short version: 

    Kids' Stuff David Mitchell's SoapBox02:53

    Kids' Stuff David Mitchell's SoapBox

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