Rocket Surgery #2: The Rickdiculus Fanbase Problem

By: Antawn Salinas
Twitter: @Antawn_Salinas

Now, I know I’m a little late on this. I also know that it’s not entirely relevant right now, and when it was, it was written to death about. But, this article I’m writing is about something I have to get off my chest, especially since I’m a young adult growing up with a culture that is obsessed with the past.

sauceI think I can speak for many people that saying you’re a part of a “fanbase” or “fandom” is thought of very negatively.  There’s nothing wrong with being a fan of something, especially if it’s something big.

Though they are really popular, I still like stuff like Star Wars, DC Comics, and Nintendo, I’m just harder on them. I don’t believe in “hating something because it’s popular”. For example, Rick and Morty.

If you are a fan of the show, whether as a casual viewer or been with it since the beginning(like me), you know the popularity of the show. When McDonald’s ran out of the Szechuan sauce that Rick obsessed about in the show, fans went nuts. Wait, did I say fans, I meant “fans” went nuts.

As somebody who really likes Rick and Morty, that kind of behavior goes against the show and its messages. I won’t go much into this, but Rick and Morty is Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s way of making fun of as well as criticizing pop culture, society, science, and religion.

I can understand people putting stuff from Rick and Morty on t-shirts and other merchandise, but having people threaten McDonald’s employees and even having someone give away their car for a small packet of sauce that McDonald’s will probably end up releasing more of in the future is freaking absurd.

The Rick and Morty fanbase isn’t the only one like this, though. There are tons. Star Wars, Steven Universe, Sonic the Hedgehog, My Little Pony, Five Nights At Freddy’s, Minecraft, Undertail, Overwatch, League of Legends, Dark Souls, the whole PC “Master Race” thing, Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo fanboys. And the list goes on, but again, nothing is wrong with liking, or even loving them.

The thing that sucks about all of this is that fanbases should be a celebration of what they love. Sometimes it is like that. When Carrie Fisher passed away, tons of Star Wars fans got together to mourn her death. Same happened with Alan Rickman’s death and Harry Potter fans. You also see many tributes and creations inspired by stuff like Steven Universe and Avatar: The Last Airbender, even though sometimes they can be really, and I mean REALLY, perverted.

Back on track, fanbases can do well. It’s just that many people act like it’s the only thing in their life. I know that this might sound like the usual “grow up” speech that some people give when they think something is childish, but that’s not where I’m going. It’s completely fine for people to like anything I had on that list above and more, no matter what age you are as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone(with the exception being if it is if you are hurting someone who is hurting someone else and it’s self defense).

People just have to know that growing up doesn’t mean leaving that in the past. If all that you care about is Rick and Morty, than you are a slave to a show that’s about making fun of the slaves of pop culture. There’s a quote from the movie Fight Club that I think fits this perfectly: “The things you own end up owning you”.

I’ve fell for this type of stuff, too. I’ve gotten in many Marvel Vs. DC arguments. It happens to everyone. We get passionate about certain things. Some people choose to grow up, but understand why, and still love the stuff they love, while others try to make it their life so it never leaves. Which leads to fanbases. There are many people who are attached to one thing, but they never grow or evolve as a person.

Some other examples of fanbases going haywire include Steven Universe fans saying how only certain people can watch the show and even bullying people over fanart, like I said earlier “The Console Wars”, and the rivalry between Marvel and DC Comics being taken way too serious. Hell, this isn’t even only in pop culture.

For years people have argued and gone nuts for sports teams. How many times have you ever gone to a football game and have heard a few people taking the game way too serious? One example of people taking sports way too serious, jersey burners. You also have music fans being way too defensive about their favorite artists, or even forgetting that their favorite artists are human. One example being months back when Brendon Urie from Panic! At The Disco was in a broadway play and was “greeted” by tons of obnoxious fans who wouldn’t let up when he was going to give autographs.

Fanbases are sometimes why I almost quit liking some of my favorite movies, games or shows. That’s how impactful they are. I just wish they were more like actual communities rather than cults or warzones. After all, we are all there for the same reasons. Many people just don’t understand when enough is enough, and too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.