Let Them Starve

Apparently, the first teaser for the 5th Avengers movie dropped recently. I haven’t seen it and I really don’t care, since I’m pretty much done with the MCU (unless there is very good word of mouth, as with No Way Home), but a friend of mine, a passionate Marvel fan, was feeling quite upset about it. With permission, I’ll repeat what I said to her:

“I’d say try not to let yourself get invested. That’s what they want; to get in your head and torment you if they can’t get you to turn. Ignore them. They’re not important. Let them grub away in their insanity. We’ve got all the good Marvel stuff that’s been made, and all the other great things to explore and create, and they can’t take that away. Just pretend this new stuff doesn’t exist.”

That, I think, is the attitude we need to have at this point. It’s why I haven’t talked about Amazon’s botched attempt to co-opt Professor Tolkien, or even really looked into it much. It’s why I haven’t kept up with Disney Star Wars or anything of the kind. I simply don’t care, and I don’t want to give these things any more space in my brain than I have to.

These people do not deserve your attention, even for the sake of tearing them down. The more you fight them, the more attention they get and the more satisfaction you give them.

They conceive of themselves as righteous rebels correcting long-standing injustices, standing heroically against a cruel and bigoted world. I don’t think they actually want success so much as they want opposition, the sense that someone doesn’t like what they are doing, that they are being heroic pioneers. To actually corrupt the culture is good; to make people angry is better.

I suspect that the thing they can’t stand, however, is to be ignored, to be irrelevant. And that is precisely what they deserve.

Nor is there really any need to pay attention to them.

Even as far as films are concerned, we have over a century’s worth of work to get through, most of it of far higher quality and almost all of it more entertaining than what is being produced now. There are literally thousands of films out there to see, a lot of them available for free or for a very low price. Ditto for television, comics (a lot of them are available to read for free), and video games (If you go the emulator route you have effectively limitless supplies). And of course, you’ll die long before you’ve read all the good books there are.

In short, we do not need them.

I’m not saying to never go see any new films or read new books or the like (certainly not that!). If something looks good to you, or like it’ll be worth your time, by all means check it out. But my point is that nothing about a work being ‘new’ makes it any more worthy of your attention than a work that is old. If you haven’t experienced it yet, then it’s new to you. And old works frankly have a better track record than new ones right now, so you’re probably better off looking for new fiction in the archives than in the new releases.

And if something appears to you to be insulting, hateful, or idiotic, ignore it. Don’t give it a place in your mind and heart. Leave it out in the dark to wither.

There’s a part near the end of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes where one of the protagonists faces off with the villain by doing…nothing. It’s been a long time since I read the book, but the line always stuck with me, and ought to be our attitude toward those who are running rampant over our culture.

“Evil only has the power we give it. I give you nothing. Starve.”

3 thoughts on “Let Them Starve

  1. “If anyone or anything lives in your head rent-free, evict them.”

    Or if you prefer the angry, provocative version…

    “Does someone want to live in your head, yet refuse to pay any rent but insults and misery? Evict the bastard!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On a cheerier note, I need to read Something Wicked This Way Comes again, and maybe write a review. I sort of wanted to this past October, no longer recall what sidetracked me at the time.


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