Comic books. Cartoons. Toys. Television shows. Movies. Video games. As children, we consumed them in vast quantities and we loved them. And we couldn’t get enough of them. We even analyzed the heck out of the stories and committed them to memory. And, as we got older, our attitudes didn’t change. We still think of our nostalgic memories as something that shouldn’t be touched as the tales told are scripture and should be told word for word.
Fast forward years later and fanboys lose their collective minds when they see Superman breaking Zod’s neck in Man of Steel. They go crazy when it leaked that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were going to be aliens. They threaten to riot if anyone other than Peter Cullen will voice Optimus Prime in the live action films! They express disgust at the “Bat-Nipples” because, well, you’re not supposed to see them on Batman’s costume!
It’s kind of ridiculous when you think of it, especially when most of the creators didn’t really think too deeply about the lore when they imagined those insane scenarios. These guys thought of it as a job. As a way to sell toys, merchandise and other junk to impressionable kids. But it’s easy to fall into that trap because we did take it seriously! We didn’t think those childhood scenarios as silly kid’s stuff and that kind of thing just carried over as we got older.
There are probably a dozen reason why we do this but I think the biggest reason for this is because these were things that brought us so much joy in our lives. These cartoons and children’s properties is sort of our window to a time in our lives when everything was incredibly simple; we didn’t concern ourselves with things like paying the bills, getting a job, concerning ourselves with social and political issues and the other hassles of “adult” life. As we grew up, these adult issues crept into our lives slowly but we still wanted to cling to our nostalgic feelings of when things were easier and “better.”
Another contributing factor is related to the reason given above: they fill a void in our life. We may have the best parents in the world. We may grow up with everything needs to survive. But that’s just it: that’s just surviving. We all want to live and feel alive! And these childhood pieces of nostalgia helps up do that. As the old saying goes: everyone needs a hobby.
But the question still remains: are we taking our childhood memories too seriously? Well, yes, maybe sometimes. We all need something to be passionate about. And I mean everybody. No one is immune to taking things about something they like too seriously. Like I said just a few sentences ago, everyone needs a hobby. Coin collectors scour the Internet for those rare to find pieces of change. Exercise buffs love to research better ways to keep fit. Sports fanatics memorize incredibly amounts of information regarding their favorite player’s/team’s data.
Being passionate about your hobby is all well and good as long as it doesn’t become an unhealthy obsession. It’s okay for these hobbies to be a part of you and your identity. However, when you and your identity is the hobby, then, well, that’s going a step too far. When every waking moment is all about comic books, cartoons, toys, television shows, movies and/or video games, that’s taking things a wee bit over the edge.
These pastimes are supposed to while away the time when your idle… and sometimes even when you’re supposed to be doing something else. But it should be only part of your life and not your entire life. Enjoy these things. But make sure you enjoy the other things in life as well.
What’s your opinion on this? Do we sometimes take our love affair with geeky hobbies too far at times? Let me know in the comments section below!