Usagi's face is perfectly descriptive of a young lady, coming home from a difficult day, tired and confused, while seeing the current state of the world (depicted as an Emo Chibiusa) dolled up in Halloween makeup, and in a deep sulk. The red and black Neo-Harley Quinn striped pigtails, seemingly scream for attention and for an army of cosplay copycats at the next convention, despite hovering above an equally striped outfit, dripping in conformity. Usagi's puffy cheeks turning red, as she's had just about enough bull for one day.
It just doesn't seem like the 1990's was that long ago.
Once upon a time, it was pretty radical to be a fan of something, litterally anything. Whatever you collected, owning it in excess made you the "coolest" kid in your neighborhood.
Were you an anime fan? Well you likely downloaded clips of your favorite shows fansubbed or fandubbed, and you only kept them long enough until you could buy the real VHS tape. And no matter what anime you liked, you would find a forum to join full of fans for it, and you would all band together in support of your favorite show. You'd order the dolls online, start a campaign and eat a Pop-Tart in hopes that the petition worked and the next season would air on Cartoon Network.
Did you like wrestling? Well whether you were into the mainstream (WWF or WCW), the underground (ECW or anything Indy), VHS tapes of the classics (AWA, NWA) or something truthfully rare and mysterious (whatever was in Japan and Mexico) you LOVED it. Gave your life for it, and you were decked out in the t-shirts and war paint of your favorite guys. You had a group of friends who loved it too, and you traded tapes to spread the gospel of why you needed to be at home early every Monday night at 8:05 est.
Did you like video games? Of course you did, and shame on you if you didn't. Whether it was Sony, Sega or Nintendo, you had more than one console to call your "baby" and you showers that baby with cartridges, or discs. (Yeah, yuck it up, Panasonic. Someone remembered you.) You had a handheld with no back-lit screen weighing down your backpack, and you hid miniature cartridges in your trapper keeper. Your room was littered with exchangeable cords and AA batteries, and no matter what you played, you found at least two to five people to get along with for it.
And of course, if you were an all American, you loved all three. Anime, wrestling and video game posters adorned your walls, and you were part of at least six forums, mailing lists and message boards for all three hobbies. You weren't Mr. or Ms. Manners, but you didn't suck either. You worked with just enough internet etiquette to keep those screen friends from 5th grade to college.
.... And then one day, I woke up, and the world was a very different place.
Suddenly, whether it was the latest video game, a recent wrestling PPV or a new HD port of a classic anime, I couldn't escape them.
Every.... single.... internet fan of anything... became a trolling, whining, crybaby, self-entitled GIRL.
Every week, my Twitter feed looks like it's been hacked by a 12 year old girl, who just found out Justin Bieber is dating someone prettier than her.
Here's a few comments I'm sure you've seen:
UGH!! Baka Toei. Can't you people draw anything right? What is this, MS Paint?
GAWD the booking is so STOOPID!! Vince, go die already.
This game is still in development, but it's gonna suck. I know it. Take my word.
Every single tweet comes from an adult, ages 18-54, so I can't say this is a generational thing. We have the "Me" Gen Xers whining and sending rape and death threats to complete strangers in time with their "Me Me Me" Gen Y children. We have the Baby Boomers throwing online temper tantrums that mimic the "I hate everything" cries of the Millennials. And gender is no longer a factor, with guys and girls being equally obnoxious against the opposite gender.
I've spotted a few striking similarities too.
1. 75% of these Twitter whiners... are unemployed. How can I tell? Simple. They have blogs. They have Facebooks, DA accounts and about 10 other areas of the internet for bragging about how they still live at home. I get that the economy stinks, but I wouldn't go bragging about not being able to legally purchase the latest video game either. Which brings me to my next point.
2. 2% of the whiners have bought the thing they're whining about this year. That means 98% of the wrestling armchair bookers, the video game keyboard warriors and the anime #complainers have been illegally streaming and torrenting the shows, watching them, complaining about them, but contributing absolutely nothing to the show's creators.
The last part has become more rampant lately.
One of the pages I quit following was a site that was illegally bootlegging fan-cleaned rips of older Sailor Moon DVDs, and then making fun of everything Viz is doing, and acting high and mighty, like they demand that Viz, and we, the pleeb Moonies, worship them.
With wrestling, I notice that most of the people who swear they can outbook the companies that have actually made it to television......... are too cheap to buy the tickets to the shows, can't buy the t-shirts, never wrestled, never booked a real show, never did anything in wrestling, and are usually the butthurt fans sitting at home every night, daydreaming about being in "da biz".
And half of the people making those silly hoaxes about Fallout 4 being a "glitchy mess" don't even own the game. Nice PhotoShop there, whiners. Where did you really get the terrain textures from, Sims 2? Maybe try playing a demo first before acting like the world owes you something for making up a fake reason to hate the game.
3. Every last one of these Twitter whiners love to post threats, hack, dox and send hate mail to people they have never met IRL before.... and yet.... you can't criticize them without them spinning the victim card on you.
These are the ones that make me roll with laughter. They can send a rape threat to a girl they've never met before, just because she happens to like Mario more than Cloud, but the minute she emails back a "stop that" response, or a better insult, the Twitter complainer who threatened her tells all his boyfriends to go hate-spam her, while he cries under the table and boo-hoos about how "unfair" life is for him. He'll try to shame her and make her into public enemy #1, pretending that by saying "cut it out" she's being "evil" when in fact, he's acting like a spoiled brat.
Sorry, but that's not realistic. If you're dumb enough to threaten a total stranger online, but you're not emotionally mature enough yet to eat a comeback from her, you really shouldn't be online yet. Log off, get a job, and come back when you can act your age and not your shoe size.
4. They all claim they want you to be a part of their "community" but they don't actually live by community standards, such as accepting that not everybody has the same opinion as you do, and nobody asked for you to correct every other post they make. If I'm on a page where I have to 100% obey every fan-rule you made up, or be hate-spammed, then I'm not in a "community" I'm in an internet concentration camp, ruled by a dictator who never leaves his basement.
5. They make up fan rules at all.
Oh sure, we had these folks in the 1990's too.
I remember many a "fan club" advertised on the backs of every action figure I had, that wanted me to pay $17-25 a month in "club dues", so I could receive a badge, sticker and a packet of Fruit Roll Ups, attend their events, dress the same, act the same and if I got the chance to go to a concert or convention, only sit in seats they dictated to me, and if I saw a club member having a different opinion, I was to shame that person, and try to convince them to type and say only what the club wanted them to say.
At eight years old, I was wise enough to know a cult when I spotted one.
But in today's world of the fan-rules, we no longer get that precious baggie of Fruit Roll Ups or that half-drawn sticker. Instead, we get a troll. A total stranger who has all his friends #whine all over our videos and Facebook comment threads, if that one hair is drawn one 30th of a centimeter out of place. At least I don't (yet) have to pay the club recruiter that coveted $17 for the harassment. Nowadays, it's free!
I just want to know, what happened?
Was it social media, the instant format that makes it easier than ever to become a celebrity without actually doing anything?
Was it the 2000's, a decade based off of ignorance, sleaze and self-pity?
Is this a "retro is in thing" where we're just trying to copy those equally whiny, Yuppie-Puppy Me-Gens, who cared more about the spotlight than their own friends?
Or were we really that spoiled in the 1990's, and now as adults, we expect more than we give?
Some would argue consumerism is to blame. In the 90's, the internet unfolded and started becoming awesome. Video Games became less blocky, wrestling was everywhere, and anime stopped being a dirty word. And now, all of those things are in HD, getting better all the time, and even the things we loved in the 90's are coming back stronger, refurbished in sparkling saturated high definition and at least four times more sharp and clear than when they first aired.
And maybe amid the awesome, we've become demanding, trying to show the world we're smarter than the millionaires who actually make these shows for a living. We've become self-centered, egotistical, self-entitled, the latter during spots in our lives when we have contributed the absolute least to society.
Maybe, instead of whining about how everything sucks and demanding an audience for every complaint, we should instead try to find what's right with that thing we clearly keep watching.
Or at least purchase the show before complaining. That way, you can at least seem like your opinion is slightly valid.