During lunch this past Sunday, a group of my friends and I had a rowdy discussion on why one should read the Harry Potter books and why they shouldn’t. Members of the group ranged from “reading every single book and watching all the movies” to being “the casual fan with a book and movie or two” to “I don’t even want to touch this thing”. There were discussions ranging from what makes a book a classic (Lord of the Rings is a classic, Harry Potter is not) to how the Fast and Furious series is better than Harry Potter. It was a rather heated battle (I can get very passionate talking about something I love) but I didn’t walk away wanting to “Avada Kedavra” anyone though I was tempted to use “Levicorpus”.
Now while I am apparently a Pureblood with Deatheater tendencies (actually more towards Squibs and Dursleys), the conversation made me realize something about me. While I would have defended Harry and his world to the death, I fully respect someone else’s choice to not like or want to join the wizarding world. I’m not going to force anyone to try something unless they are willing to. You’re not going to appreciate or like something unless you want to.
Not everyone has to like the same fandoms that I do. I’m mainly a Marvel fan and I know that there are DC only people. I prefer watching Star Wars and I have friends that are die-hard Trekkies. Even within a fandom there will be dissent between purists and those that allow revisions (ie. the entire Star Wars saga).
So while it would probably be awesome for a few days (possibly weeks) of being around people who liked the exact same interests as you so you could gush as long as you wanted, after a while it would probably get old. I like learning new things so if someone were to only talk about the same thing all the time, I’d eventually get really bored.
I think the balance to having differences in interests is that while you may disagree and slightly banter about which is better, the trick to have respect. Don’t think you’re superior because you like a certain thing or even worse, because you DON’T like a certain thing and you think people who do are below you.
For example, I have no interest in anime. None whatsoever. I’ve been told multiple times that I should like anime (“You’re Asian!”) and have been given numerous movies and TV shows to watch. Well, I tried. I watched Dragon Ball Z and Cowboy Bebop. And I just can’t do it. It’s not interesting to me at all and I can’t get into it. But that’s just me. For all my friends that do like it, that’s great! I don’t diss or make fun of the fact that you do like it. I do wish that I could get into it so that I could join in the conversation and not feel left out. But since I already tried and know that I didn’t like it, I can’t force myself to do something that isn’t going to make me happy. On the other hand, after initially dismissing it because to me it looked Transformers meets Battleship, I ended up LOVING Pacific Rim after much convincing (the sword!!!). So you never know until you try.
It’s perfectly fine to be an expert in a certain niche of your interests. I learned this when we went to the ThinkGeek trivia challenge. Our eight person team had all of us being really good in certain areas which made us very well-rounded and able to do well throughout the competition. Had we all only been DC Comics fans, read only Neil Gaiman, and stayed only faithful to the Nintendo game system, we would have failed tremendously. It’s great to find a connection with another fellow superfan but it’s also good to be with those who aren’t.
All this to say: to name just a few, yes, I adore Harry Potter, I love Star Wars (yes ALL of them), I love Marvel Comics, I devoured The Hunger Games, I actually do like ALL the Hobbit movies, I don’t watch anime, I am not really into video games (though there’s a specific reason why), and while I enjoy some high fantasy books, I can’t stand paranormal no matter how hard I try. If you agree or disagree with any of my interests that’s fine! If you like different things that I do, that’s fine! As long as we can talk about them without wanting to make the other person BEND TO OUR WAYS, having geek differences and tastes will always be awesome.
Now excuse me while I go get my Hufflepuff scarf, drink some butterbeer, and study up on some arithmancy.