March 10, 2009
First, there's this angry retort:
You panned Kyle Newman's "Fanboys" last Friday and I felt compelled to write. I'm the Chicago-based co-host of the "The Force-Cast," the most downloaded Star Wars podcast on the net. I appreciate and understand most of your review and I accept your appraisal. Your pan is not what bothers me. What bothers me is this quote from your review of "Fanboys": "Its primary flaw is that it's not critical. It is a celebration of an idiotic lifestyle, and I don't think it knows it"
Now… when I read the words "Idiotic Lifestyle," my heart sunk. I actually felt personally offended. I've never felt such emotion before while reading a review. I felt like you were calling out my lifestyle as Idiotic. Why the hate??? Where does THAT come from. It was an ignorant and close-minded put-down that needs to be addressed. Remember when Chuck Woolery said the 501st (Star Wars costuming group) were guys who need to get a life at the Rose Bowl parade??? He realized afterwards that it was a ridiculous remark and he apologized. I think this situation is just as bad times 10!
So, Please take time to reconsider the terrible way you depicted the broad base of Star Wars fandom. What's wrong with an individual expressing his love and passion for a film franchise that influenced so many? Call us geeks or nerds, whatever you want. Because at the end of the day, we are all just people. And lets face it, at the end of the day, you are nothing more than simply a glorified movie nerd yourself. Eat that, Roger you Fanboy!!!
...An idiotic lifestyle??? How dare you Roger Ebert. How dare you.
And then there's this reply, on Ebert's behalf:
In calling Roger Ebert a "glorified movie nerd," you seem to imply that knowledge of film and knowledge about The Force belong on even pedestals. Comparing Ebert's knowledge to your knowledge of Star Wars minutiae only reveals to me that you're about a few midi-chlorians short of an annoying Gungan -- or a few roofies short of being able to say you've gotten laid, take your pick. Knowing "Citizen Kane "frame by frame and being able to talk about each scene in depth as an example of great formalism in cinema is just a little less fanatical than being able to quote 6 two-hour films by heart, plus the spin-offs, the animated series, and the entire timeline as it pertains to the extended Star Wars universe - -which by now probably fills more comics, books, websites, zines, and non-canonical fan fiction than has ever been written about our own actual universe. Stephen Hawking would feel ashamed by the sheer volume of work dedicated to the Star Wars universe in comparison to his own achievements.
...Life really is too short, the world too full of wonder, for any one person to go out of his way to possess such inconsequential knowledge. You miss out on so much in life and, in the end, will it have been a life well spent?
Why do I bring this up? Well, mostly because I think it's an interesting study in how people perceive the fine line between being passionate and being obsessive-- a line I have to make an effort to be mindful of when it comes to, say, U2 or Flannery O'Connor or Arrested Development. Also: Because it's kind of a funny exchange.