Wednesday, August 06, 2008

WHEREIN JFRO LEARNS A NEW WORD . . .

While perusing the Achewood discussion boards, which actually contain witty and smart people and very few trolls (although some of the avatars are the animated-GIF equivalent of fingernails on a blackboard), I came across the term "weeaboo", which apparently someone who is unhealthily addicted to anime and manga. Meanwhile, at nearly the very same time, The New York Times was featuring some of the trolls that mock anime fans as weeaboos (also cause epileptic fits, issue death threats, etc.) on the very board in which the term was spawned.

Of course, living in a fantastical, anime world all the time is not healthy, just like living in a video game, fantasy baseball league, science-fictional TV series, or (my favorite) the world where 15th-century Europe was a land of fairies, wizards and non-stop orgies even for people who forget to bathe, all the time is not so good. But then, in the very act of trolling, their critics indicate they have no life as well, or why would they care so much? Wheels within wheels! Nobody ever says, "Sorry honey, I can't make love to you on a pile of money right now, I have to tell the guy on the anime photo-sharing site he has no life." Hating someone for having execrable taste is more acceptable than hating them for something like race or sex which they have no control over, but it tends to bounce back on the perpetrator. Who has such perfect taste that they can't be made fun of for what they like?

I also don't like the implication that one should only like entertainment that issues from one's own race and/or nationality. To me, that brings up the image of a Neo-Nazi realizing that all American music has either African-American or Jewish connections, and retreating to his bunker to listen to Wagner all day. Fun!

I don't understand people who only like one type of entertainment in this world where global options are easily available, but it doesn't bother me. I haven't met any Japanese-only entertainment chauvinists yet, though, probably because I'm too old and that kind of extremism is mostly for the young.

1 comment:

dr_somneblex said...

Maybe "Weeaboo" will end up being adopted by anime fans as a positive self description, a homegrown version of the word "Otaku"!
How could one go wrong adopting the culture of a magical island of giant monsters, secret midnight assassins and 365 year a day thrift store street fashion shows?
But I would be willing to bet that these misguided cultural chauvinists eat pizza . . . .would they be equally as likely to embrace random sidewalk pinching, and movies full of oatmeal faced zombies and muscle men in ski goggles and bandolier straps? These people need to pause for some serious self examination!!