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Nerds all share a unified experience of being socially ostracized from the rest of other so-called "normal" societal groups. The reasons may vary (not being good at sports, liking a certain sci-fi/fantasy TV show, etc), but the fact that we all were picked upon and marginalized during our most formable years is a major part of the nerd/geek identity. But in recent years nerd culture stopped being it's own niche thing, and has started to seep into mainstream culture. Making nerd culture more accessible has naturally brought with it a new group of people and fans into our sphere... and not everyone is happy about this development.

Personally I think it's great that nerd culture has become so widely accepted lately. I can freely have a discussion about my favorite DC or Marvel superheros in public without getting looks of disgust or incredulity because EVERYONE loves Batman and The Avengers. And if I make an obscure joke about Doctor Who, there's a LOT of people who will get it now. But like I said, with any sort of widening of the demographic there's usually a backlash that comes from the already existing demographic that doesn't want to change or accept new people into their groups.

I noticed this a lot after reading the polarizing reviews for Star Trek: Into Darkness. Now, the latest Star Trek film is very much an action oriented adventure rather than a thought provoking sci-fi odyssey. To many in the fandom this is sacrilegious because "Star Trek has always had a more philosophical side to it." I started to see people accusing those who liked the new Star Trek movie as not being fans of Star Trek and demanding anyone who liked it to "prove" they liked Star Trek by forcing them to list off how many movies or TV show episodes they've seen. Like that sort of quantifying list would somehow give or take the credibility of people who legitimately enjoyed a movie (You've seen at least 29 episodes? I'm sorry but you need to have seen 30 episodes or more to qualify as being a fan!)

This is backwards and depressing to me. I don't personally care if you liked the new Star Trek or not. If someone is introduced to this franchise and series through the new movie and REMAINS a fan, then that's a win-win in my books. EVERYONE who is a fan of something now, started out with no experience or understanding of what they were getting into. Don't marginalize them for not being "up to snuff" with your obviously larger experiences and knowledge of the franchise simply because they're "new."

And it's not just Star Trek, this is an issue that permeates ALL of geek culture. This obsessive need to test new fans and criticize them for not being "as into" the series as you and your friends are is everywhere! Remember a while back the whole Geek-Girl issue? It's the same thing. Nerds seeing women who liked nerdy things, calling them out and demanding these women answer tests and quizzes to "prove" their geek creed. Fucking sick.

Even if they aren't "as into" the series as you are I still don't understand how that negatively affects your life. Someone being a fan but not as big of as fan as you shouldn't keep you awake at night or anger you into fits of rage. The world is varied and full of diversity, stop trying to limit it by decrying that only a certain set of people with enough XP are allowed to enjoy ____ fandom.

The important thing shouldn't be HOW a fan gets into a fandom, but rather the simple fact that they ARE into a fandom. It should be a welcoming thing to bring more people into your niches and let them explore and understand the wonderful things you enjoy on a daily basis. If you can't handle the idea of someone you don't have to deal with personally enjoying your fandom... then there's something seriously wrong with you and you need to grow up.

Stop testing new fans to prove they're "worthy" enough to join your fandom. Open the doors and embrace them with welcoming arms. Because the alternative is stagnating isolation and a growing sense of depression and irrelevancy.
  • Reading: The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia
  • Watching: Doctor Who
  • Playing: Minecraft: Nerdcrafteria
  • Eating: Yes
  • Drinking: No
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:iconnightmairdragon13:
nightmairdragon13 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
So this video is a play on the "Fake geek girl" thing. www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UohmG…
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:iconmissmeikakuna:
MissMeikakuna Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014
This is pretty common within the Vocaloid fandom. I too get annoyed when people think Miku is the only Vocaloid or know little about the fandom, but I know it's important to educate without being judgemental or condescending. We should welcome new fans.
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:icondtjb:
DTJB Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I remember people having this sort of mentality when I was younger and I've seen it phase out as people got older. These sound like opinions only kids would have.
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:iconjau682:
jau682 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013
Who do you talk to all the time? I've never felt as though I had to PROVE my fanhood to anything, even when just starting out. Are douches just attracted to you? Or the reverse of that?
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:iconaesra:
Aesra Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Student General Artist
I completely agree. Personally I'm not even sure how people can even act like this... though I was never really bullied in school so maybe I'm lacking perspective. Guess I was one of the lucky ones.
I'd heard that something along the lines of this had been happening to new and free players on Star Wars: The Old Republic so I make a point to visit the capital world and help the players there every now and then.
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:iconadorain:
adorain Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I wish more people were interested in the fandoms I'm interested in just so I could talk to them about it. It can be fun when they're new to the fandom because they have the "new excitement" that make discussing it more fun~
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:iconpharold:
PHarold Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well said!

I can almost see Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory doing that.

I mean, what happens if you weren't born during the time of the original "geek-ified" movie or TV series?

I'm willing to bet half of the people who saw the new Star Trek movies weren't alive for the original movies or even Next Generation. So that is a terrible thing to do to people who are new fans.

If it weren't for the New Doctors, that would be devastating to the fandom of Dr Who since no new blood would be introduced. It would stagnate like the Star Trek franchise was endanger of doing.

Old fans should embrace new blood. Treat them like protegees,padawan, acolytes, or whatever, because that way the fandom will live on after you're gone or the show dies. Whichever comes first!
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:iconcaptainquirk:
CaptainQuirk Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013
Exactly! Just... this exactly. I just did a podcast about this very topic. [link]
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:iconbudcharles:
BudCharles Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013
Fortunately for me I've been openly accepted as a Doctor Who fan, even though I've only seen the latest 3 series. I guess the Whovians in my area must be nice :)
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:iconitscursorbby:
ItsCursorBby Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I ask people how much they know about _______ to see, and if there's something they don't know that I do (often the case, as I'm the obsessive type), I'll teach them. Other than that, I do it for fun (like playing the "Which one is Hikaru?" game with around 30 people who have never heard of Ouran High School Host Club).
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:iconkimyona123:
kimyona123 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I have to admit...I was once a bit like that too, but with sthg from the Manga subculture (and only with one specific thing).
As they started showing Naruto on TV I was just irritated by all those little Kids pronouncing names wrong etc (as explanation: Naruto was shown in my mother tongue, all Japanese names just sounded wrong, so really strange synchronisation, and to top it all, the series was made accessible for small children because they actually edited the series so that nearly no blood and sometimes no weapons could be seen).
Now the thing is: When you're 9-11 years old, you don't go and watch original series online with English subtitles (if English is not your mother tongue) if the series is actually now on TV and you don't care if a name is simple produced in the wrong way, because you don't know it better.
At the beginning, it really bugged me, but after some time, maybe also because my love for the series cooled a bit off, I could see everything clearer, hence the thought above.
Beginners cannot know what's right and wrong, if the fans don't tell them explicitely, without giving them the 'she/he doesn't know anything' look.
I say, it's the emotion behind it. :)
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:iconcarnie-vorex:
Carnie-Vorex Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
I'm a generally geeky person who is obsessed at times by different things and by nothing big in particular, it's just my way of life. But I hate pop culture, and the fact that Hollywood takes some good thing and makes some bestselling brain fast-food out of it, to get money and to please these dumb 80% of population. That makes the original books or comics popular, too, but the general capitalistic idea of taking a good brain product and frying all the vitamins out of it for the sake of a nice crust and wrapping it in a silly rainbow-colored package is appalling. Again, it's capitalism and fools I hate, and bad movies too, not fans. Although stupid fans who only like the movies for action and heroines' boobs are not welcome in any fandoms. Imagine a brute who bullied you at school for reading comics who suddenly comes to your club because he liked the movie. It's a metaphor of geeks' reaction to common people breaching their cultural territory, coming to the imaginary worlds where the geeks were hiding from these very people! Everything comes down to psychology, and particularly xenophobia. In the end everything will merge together, geeks will become more sociable and common people less stupid, it's all for the good.
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:iconstrudel--cutie4427:
Strudel--Cutie4427 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013   Writer
I completely agree! I love finding other fans of my fandoms because some of them are so unknown that ANY fan is useful to me. So what the person doesn't know about ____, the only reason I'd ask is if I wanted to talk about said character/ep/movie/scene/etc, rather than finding proof... The only exception is if someone says "I know everything about ____/There's not much Idk about ____" and then I just ask for fun.
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:icon16electronichearts:
16electronichearts Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Dude. I totally agree. When I was new to the Sonic fandom everyone used to pick on me or treat me like a baby because I didn't know many characters...
Now that I am a huge Sonic fan that knows evrything there is to know about Sonic, I try to welcome new people, not hate on them for reasons like "Oh, you don't have a Shadow plushie, that means you're a fake Shadow fangirl." (People used to say that kind of thing to me.)
All fans should be equal, regardless of how long they've been a fan.
~16electronichearts
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:iconpockyrocks:
pockyrocks Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, though. This is so true. I got sh*t all the time from my ex because I LOVED the Avengers movie but "hadn't read any of the comics you don't even know anything about Iron Man".
Exactly. I didn't even know he existed until the movie came out. I just knew that there was an Avengers and an America-themed superhero who seemed pretty cool.
And no one thought I was a "real fan" because I didn't already know all the stuff I had no way to learn by myself and no one to teach me.
Until one person came along and handed me his comics and said "here you go this is why this is like that and you can read it and learn"
AND IT MADE IT EVEN BETTER. It didn't spoil my love for any of it.
But by then all the "real fans" had moved on to talking about other things.
And TO THIS DAY I get crap from "real fans" about not being "into it" until the movie but hey that was the first person that would teach me and the reason I'm STILL talking about it is not because I'm trying to prove myself to them it's because I enjoyed it so hard that I need someone to talk with me the way real fans do. WITH MUTUAL RESPECT AND LOVE FOR WHAT THEY LOVE.
THANK YOU TOM. <3
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:icon640kofwertzui:
640KofWertzui Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
NOOOOO! Frick, everything gets popular.
:iconiquitplz:
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:iconkatrucha:
Katrucha Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
Kat: I want the Hyrule Historia! :3
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:iconmissbeastie:
MissBeastie Featured By Owner May 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have a term for those people "nerd bullies," not bullies that only target nerds, but nerds that are bullies to others. It's oxymoronic, but that's what they're doing.
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:icontrickstercat123:
TricksterCat123 Featured By Owner May 31, 2013
I have never heard truer words being spoken... *sniff*
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:icontruebellatrix:
TrueBellatrix Featured By Owner May 31, 2013  Student Writer
I agree so much, couldn't agree more
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:iconlovelyleolady:
LovelyLeoLady Featured By Owner May 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha reminds me of the "Hipster Stereotype" I liked this video game, tv show, band, etc, before it was popular/ mainstream. Fans who feel the need to prove they are a more hard core fan than new fans is a pretty silly thought but they are out there and apply to just about everything. Personally I think it's fun when I discover someone else likes my favorite shows because then I have something to talk about. haha
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:iconkamikaze-war-warrior:
Kamikaze-War-Warrior Featured By Owner May 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Straight from the heart, a very good view on it, and YOU LOVE LEGEND OF ZELDA, MINECRAFT, DC, MARVEL, AND DOCTOR WHO!!!! Awesome!!! Glad someone finally has the same look on life!
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:iconjajamola88:
Jajamola88 Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This could apply to dubstep, certain video games, TV shows, and literally anything that was once a very small niche and has become popular.
It's wonderful watching a fandom grow and get acceptance. The people who are upset that people with low XP like what they like are ridiculous. They're being hipsters, essentially. "It's too mainstream now!"
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:iconskylerfarrier:
SkylerFarrier Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I agree with this entirely.
The only point of "How did you get into ___?" is for an interesting discussion, such as "How do you think that shaped your views on X, Y, and Z as opposed to someone who got started with ___ instead?" That's a nice springboard for the discussion of nuances with different versions of a fandom.
I've seen this done both well and terribly in my primary fandom, and it's rather sad.
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:iconforgottendemigod:
ForgottenDemigod Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Marginalization of "geeks" and "nerds" is a feature of the degenerate American culture, not something universal. Personally, I have never experienced or saw it.

Franchise is a business term and using it for describing anything one likes is absolutely horrible.

When we get outside of empty terms like series and settings, "Star Trek" becomes meaningless. We're left with a "pop-philosophy science fantasy show/film" and an "action science fantasy show/film".
There's no reason why fans of "pop-philosophy science fantasy show/film" fandom should consider fans of "action science fantasy show/film" to be a part of the same fandom just because it carries the same commercial label.
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:iconzbee8:
Zbee8 Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Student General Artist
omg thank you
finally some puts this out to the world

this is a thing with music too bluh
"oh you like so and so band, name at least five songs by them"
stupid
jeegus
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:iconpinwheelstudios:
PinwheelStudios Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nerd kid Here.
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:iconxamlllew:
Xamlllew Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey everyone look at me, I'm a self-proclaimed nerd because I watch Dr. Who, pay attention to me plz!!!1
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:iconmysteriousunknown:
MysteriousUnknown Featured By Owner May 30, 2013   General Artist
Very very well written/said sir. I commend you. *Bows.*
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:iconatticpoet:
AtticPoet Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Student Writer
It's terrible but I can understand why people do it.

As previously 'geeky' things like comics, videogames and sci-fi/fantasy become more mainstream previously ostracised 'geeks' are frustrated. A lot of the time they were made fun of or shunned for liking these things and now a lot of the time people are pretending to like them so they can be up to date. I understand they're frustrations despite never really being picked on for my interests.

People have always said I'm too friendly to be shunned. :XD: Not the worst thing that could be said. :P
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:iconglacdeas:
Glacdeas Featured By Owner May 30, 2013
I'm 24 and in school, I was never bullied for being a nerd. People said I was too genuinely likeable and some of the preps even admitted liking nerd things to me as a secret. It's very weird I wasn't when by all means, being the president of the sci-fi/fantasy club I should have been, but I was on both prom and homecoming courts and voted most unforgettable.

Guess I'm just the exception.
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:iconcallmepie2009:
callmepie2009 Featured By Owner May 30, 2013
I'm upset about "geek" becoming mainstream because it has become just another fad now. It was considered "bad" and "lame" until it went mainstream, now it's the "in" thing to "act geek". One should be true to oneself, not just follow whatevers hip.
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:iconmaxnort:
maxnort Featured By Owner May 30, 2013   Writer
as such, it is with pride I say I am ostracized by nerds
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:icondisneyaddict2012:
DisneyAddict2012 Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I agree that testing people on their knowledge of things as a fan is just a horrible way to ostracize new fans. When I was getting caught up on all of the classic Doctor Who (I hopped on when David Tennant took the mantle), I had "friends" say I wasn't a true Whovian because my favorite doctor wasn't Tom Baker, Chris Eccleston, etc...
And I'm guilty of this, too, because I tend to test people who are new to the fandom about if they are going to delve into the movie/show/game/comic more. If they say yes, I offer my opinions on what I think is good about it and such.
I just don't like it when someone who obviously is new to the fandom goes on and on about what an expert they are. If you've only seen Star Trek 2009, that's ok. Just, don't call yourself a hardcore Trekkie who knows all about it, if you've only seen a fraction of what there is to offer from the franchise.
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:iconterminalglow:
TerminalGlow Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Embrace them with welcome arms? Nope. I can't stand people who hype about being huge fans when they only know a little bit about a show(game/other type of series/etc.). It irks me to no end, so I will not "welcome them with open arms". I will instead grab them by the ankles and drag them deeper so that their words can actually have some merit.
LEARNING IS NOT AN OPTION. Don't hype what you don't know, and don't hate what you don't know.
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:iconchibi-demon-angel694:
chibi-demon-angel694 Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Being a Whovian, I've noticed that same problem among the fandom. A lot of people who consider themselves "Classic" Whovians say that us New Whovians aren't real fans of the show simply because a lot of us have only watched the series reboot with Doctors' 9, 10, and 11. They think you have to watch the classic series too in order to be considered a "real" Whovian.
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:icondustfire101:
Dustfire101 Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
Eeeeeeeeeaaaaaghhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

Geeks... :3

...

Who knew watching a little kid's show would change someone's life forever? I didn't; I experienced it.

I guess people can call me a geek other than just a brony now ;-;
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:iconterminalglow:
TerminalGlow Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Brony Geeks for the win~ xD
/)
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:iconkamiyaakuto:
KamiyaAkuto Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Ageism is a bit of a thing, too. I'm glad I haven't been accused for being a slut for liking comics while simultaneously having boobs, but a lot of people have considered me "too young" to be into things like Star Trek, just because I happened to be born after it aired. Because of that, I only finished Next Gen a few months ago and I LOVE IT.

It also really doesn't help to be unemployed in a crappy economy, so I was never able to actually read any DC comics. But still, I know I love Batman and I know a lot about him. Shouldn't those facts, coupled with my desire to actually obtain a series or two, be good enough to sit down and talk to me as a fellow geek?
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:iconlightningidle:
LightningIdle Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
TRUTH.
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:iconmosspetal:
Mosspetal Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree, but what about us nerds who have always been nerds & have been ridiculed for it? I think all the jock-meatheads and other cliques acting like they're nerds because it's the new "cool" are totally hypocrytical. It kinda pisses me off, & it's like the insurge of fans is making the nerd clique less unique. I do agree that it's good for these fandoms to have so much support, so that they'll never die out like countless of other fandoms had because they're not "cool" enough. I definitely agree with your point, but I hate all of those hypocrites out there.
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:iconannerea:
Annerea Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you. Thank you so much for this.
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:iconimaginemecomplexly:
imaginemecomplexly Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
THANK. YOU.
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:iconshemye:
shemye Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
where's the like button in here????? nice speech totally agree
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:iconburningresurrection:
BurningResurrection Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
this stuff is really just another variation of the age-old "kids these days"
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:iconnuclearpoweredpony:
NuclearPoweredPony Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
Star trek hasnt so much always had a philosophical side to it as it has blatantly and sometimes hamfistedly borrowed ideas from other scifi stories and put them in episodes with varying degrees of success. And at least they arent forcing the aging crew of next generation to try and do action movies anymore.

Honestly as a trek fan myself thats the most boggling part about the hate for the new movies. Do you remember how much some of the older movies sucked? Remember the odd numbered star trek movie curse? Weve had two back to back great star trek movies now for the first time in trek movie history, considering how many of these things there have been thats worth celebrating. :)
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:iconburningresurrection:
BurningResurrection Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
Wrath of Khan, and Return of Spock were hoof back-to-back movies
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:iconsrborrego:
SrBorrego Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
This wisdom should be shared!
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:iconrockpopple:
rockpopple Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
Meh. There'll always be snobbery/elitism between those who got into a fandom earlier and those who got into a fandom later. You're right: the important thing should be that people are part of a fandom, period, but it'll always be the case that it isn't as important as who came in later because of a more widestream method of acquiring fans and who got in "on the ground floor" as they say.

But I mean you might as well be complaining about fighting on the internet. It'll never change.
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:icontompreston:
TomPreston Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
With that sort of attitude of course it won't. Things won't change unless we actively TRY to change them by making a conscious effort.
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