Crackpot Theory #17: Men let nostalgia get in the way of their critical thinking

Okay, I will admit upfront that I haven’t put this Crackpot Theory through the rigorous paces most of my Crackpot Theories are subjected to before the great reveal. But, well, I tempted fate by whining about being boring and unbusy which made me incredibly busy with no time for boredom.

This theory of mine has been bubbling in my chest for awhile, taking seed from my weekly Sunday podcast with the OxBoys. The OxBoys love “Star Wars” and most everything to do with it. They also love to tease me mercilessly about my Star-Warsless life. We discuss my apathy towards the movie at least once a month. I tease them about the thousands and thousands of dollars they waste (still) on the movie franchise.

I mean, really. Last week they were mooning over the Tauntaun sleeping bag and how they wished it was real (which apparently ThinkGeek is trying to make happen) so they could buy it. I asked them at what age they would stop buying Star Wars crap, and the claimed never while trying to convince me if there were some “girl” crap from my childhood that were as a awesome, I’d buy it too. Like a real-life, life-size My Little Pony.

Uh, no.

This all got me thinking about Star Wars and Watchmen and guitar solos and men.

I am convinced that men are incapable of realizing some of the stuff they loved so much in their formative years is crap. Not that it’s bad to love crap, but that doesn’t make it any less crap. It’s as though they are incapable of leaving behind those things, outgrowing them. It is their unrelenting fanboy allegiance to this crap that makes it so hard to trust their judgment when they talk about those things that I seemed to have missed out on 20 years ago when I was busy loving Glass Tiger and reading Sweet Valley High books.

Because men dominate the media, run Hollywood studios, and publishing houses we are continuously inundated with this crap repackaged, remade, or reissued.

And yet they are always, always, always disappointed when that which they loved when they were 12 turns out to be crap when they view it through their adult eyes (see: Indiana Jones movie, the last Star Wars trilogy, the Watchmen movie). Of course they blame it on writers or directors or what have you for not staying true to the story or staying too true to the story or some other thing that has nothing to do with maybe what they loved when they were a kid wasn’t so great to begin with. Maybe, just maybe, it is the source material.

Really, since when are teenagers renowned for their great taste in anything? I paid money to see “Howard the Duck” in the theater. I listened to the 45 of Jack Wagner’s “Weatherman Says” (intermittently cleansing my palette with a 45 of “Who’s Johnny”) until it wore out. And I can say without hesitation that I would not encourage anyone to seek these out because they are awesome.

Men can’t seem to filter their childhood loves through adult eyes. It seems as though they are afraid that by admitting that what they loved was crap means they can no longer love it. Which is total bullshit, because I just listened to “Who’s Johnny” four times in a row because I love that crap.

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  1. Kurtis Scaletta 25.Apr.09 at 10:17 am

    I think it has more to do with identity. A guy builds up his identity around his fandoms, and it’s hard to take it all back and undo it and admit it was silly and childish. So he continues to tout the wonders of Star Wars or Mötley Crüe long after they find any genuine pleasure in it. There’s also something to the community aspect of it I suppose.

  2. Jodi 25.Apr.09 at 10:25 am

    I think women go through the same definition process, but are constantly re-defining themselves. Or maybe it’s more generalized — I like books, I like this kind of music. . . therefore giving them a broader definition of who they are.


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