Recently, Chicago Sun-Times movie reviewer Roger Ebert reviewed the movie "Fanboys," and sparked controversy with the following statement:
"Extreme fandom may serve as a security blanket for the socially inept, who use its extreme structure as a substitute for social skills. If you are Luke Skywalker and she is Princess Leia, you already know what to say to each other, which is so much safer than having to ad-lib it. Your fannish obsession is your beard. If you know absolutely all the trivia about your cubbyhole of pop culture, it saves you from having to know anything about anything else. That's why it's excruciatingly boring to talk to such people: They're always asking you questions they know the answer to."
Response, as you can imagine on teh Internets, was swift. From one letter-writer, "Jimmy Mac":
"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!
An idiotic lifestyle? Tell that to the members of the 501st and the Rebel Legion who sacrifice their spare time to visit children hospitals all over the world just to bring a little joy into a sick kid's heart. Doing it for no money…Only the payment of a child's smile. Receiving hugs while dressed as Star Wars characters – tears streaming down their checks underneath their stormtrooper helmets."
In response to Jimmy Mac's letter, "Ed" had this to say:
"It may be true that 501st and the Rebel Legion sacrifice their time to bring joy to sick children. God bless 'em. It may also be true, however, that such selfless compassion on their part does not accurately reflect the majority of "fanboys." My sister was a volunteer nurse at a hospital and I gotta say, she never came home and told me the one about a group of Stormtroopers visiting the leukemia ward. You bring up a few stories to cynically tug on the heartstrings, as if THOSE were the reasons you like to play dress-up. The fact that you have to bring up a few exceptions to the rule just reveals how deep you have to dig to find respectability in what amounts to grown men who, when asked to state their religion on a government form, fill out "Jedi" on the "other" line"
Of course, the movie "Fanboys" has been stirring up controversy in the fan community for some time now...Flying Monkeys Comics summarizes the whole thing for you quite nicely (in webcomic form, natch!) EDIT: this site seems to be down. So check out this Wikipedia entry for the backstory on the movie & its troubled history.
Has anybody seen this movie? Is it any good?