It looks like far too many geeks and nerds fell into Kathy Shaidle’s trap with her Five Reasons Star Wars Actually Sucks article here at PJ Lifestyle. Let’s examine the wreckage in the comments:
Criticizing Joseph Campbell proves you are subhuman. You fell asleep during Star Wars, I fell asleep during your article on Star Wars. There! Life is fair!
Drop dead whoever you are.
And it looks like some of Kathy’s sharpest barbs really got under a few readers’ skin:
The Mark Steyn, World of Warcraft line is just dirty pool. We are not all going to be Mark Steyn’s in this world. Nor will we all be paragons or captains of industry. Great men of the world or giants in any field. I am for instance an electrician, I am a very good electrician, I am considering starting on my master’s license later this year. But, that is all I am likely to ever be. And that is enough for me. It provides more than enough for me to care for myself, my family and my home. And if I spend my downtime when out of work, between one 14hr a day job and another, playing WOW and making wow jokes to my friends, what difference does it make to anyone but me? Now, don’t think for a moment that your over theme of delayed adulthood and permanent adolescence was lost on me. I am not dressing up as a night elf while living in my parent’s basement, or going to “cons”. I do understand that there is a large and growing subculture of overgrown man-children who can neither care for themselves or others. They cross all sorts of sub culture lines. From the comic book man-child to the pop culture man-child. I just think it was a bit narrow sighted to lump WOW in as a major cause. (BTW, I like Mark Steyn, and all I can say is, if he wanted, he would make a kick ass rogue. He has a way of sneaking up on ya and going for the kill.)
Others got the joke and even offered some substantive reflections on what it means to stop worshipping Star Wars:
In 1977, I was nine years old living in a small town outside Albuquerque, passing the time wandering through the desert in and beyond the back yard looking for scorpions, stink bugs, skinks, anything really, of interest, usually finding nothing. That summer, as a treat, the family went to see Star Wars with family visiting from out of town. When Luke looked out at the double sunset on Tatooine, and the voilin strings strained away, that was me! Here on the big screen was a movie that had good guys, and bad guys, and gunfire, and adventure. Star Wars was a revelation! It seemed to comport with my nascent Christian faith, handed down to me through my parents, and the promise that there was some way to live it out in the world. Something awaited. Metaphysical bliss.
The later movies, with all the hemming and hawing on the shades of grey in the world (the growing imposition of the Campbell system), stereotypes in place of characters (much of it was originally supplied by good actors rather than the script), the loss of the sense that something was really at stake, all the endless extrapolation of different worlds, creatures, cultures, lost the thread, that there was something transcendent, and calling, in each of our futures. The system subsumed all that was once thought to be transcendent, including the force. Was it some Jungian system? Who cares. When that final piece, the force, was taken away through some materialist mumbo jumbo about mitichlorians (?) in the blood I had been broken.
And thankfully I am done with all that. My kids don’t seem so very interested in it, except that Dad was once a big fan, so they have tried to take an interest, but it isn’t lasting, because Star Wars is now just a force of culture, not of the individual, as I first received it. So I’m rather glad for the kids, for their sniffing out what is worthwhile from what is not.
“Help us Kathy Schaidle, you’re our only hope.”
And let me just lay my cards on the table as the one who edited Kathy’s piece and gave her the green light to go out of her way to say what needed to be said: I too was raised on George Lucas’s films and still wear Star Wars t-shirts. As a toddler I insisted on going to sleep each night watching the scene from Empire Strikes Back where Luke and Yoda first meet. That seems to have made an impression of sorts, as April just got me this for Christmas which I enjoy quite a bit:
We usually ride Star Tours when we go to DisneyLand and at some point I’m going to get April one of these cute Yoda backpacks where it looks like he’s holding onto your back:
But that’s about the extent of our Star Wars geeking these days.
We’re just not as geeky as we used to be during college and high school. The energy and attention that used to be focused on oddball movies and quirky hobbies now goes into our careers so someday we can expand our family beyond just the two of us and a Siberian Husky begging for homemade sushi:
Anybody else in this same boat?
David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media and writes a post each day on news and politics at PJ Tatler and culture and entertainment at PJ Lifestyle. He can be contacted with feedback and story tips at DaveSwindlePJM[@]gmail.com and on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He enforces commenting guidelines on his posts — rude, off topic and ad hominem comments will be deleted.