Written by TheBigN
Lelangir’s post on how memberships are less “well-defined” as we think they are (or at least, that’s what I thought he was trying to say :P) made me wonder about why we place so much value into that in the first place. I don’t have the answer to that, nor do I plan on trying to explain what sets up this information, as I feel like I lack the proper information to be able to attempt to pull one off (nor is BS the way to go). But with things like the amount of content generated just from the idea of the Round Robin discussion… group… thingy (which I helped out a wee little bit with), we can see that there’s a lot of opinions focusing on the idea of inclusion, separation, and all things that go with “separating” people into two or more different categories. When looking at myself, I find that where I’m placed or I place myself is based on my life, blah blah blah all that jazz. But I’m also starting to find that when applying this to the animeblogosphere, these categories make me feel a little guilty, whether it’s justified or not. As Marmot had commented on another of my posts, apparently being insecure is part of the shtick that comes with being an anime fan (yay for more compartmentalization!), but I feel that I’m becoming too neurotic about this, as seen by the examples below. But let’s begin (the killing time).
With the Anime Blog Awards coming to a close, I feel that Impz has set out to do what he wanted to do (obviously assert his position over everyone else! lol j/k). I’m glad that I had a part in helping with this endeavor as part of the committee this time around, and hope that the next time this sort of thing happens again we’ll have more input from bloggers about what they though worked and didn’t work, so things can be better. There’s always a need for tweaking how things are done, and constructive criticism helps. But I feel a little guilty whenever I see people say things like the ABA is just a popularity contest, or a circle jerk (often of the ab.net variety between friends). In that sense, I worry about if I’ve done enough to make people see (not agree with, just see) how I thought about that.
Sure, part of this is to pat each other on the back, whether we need it or not, and I think peer and reader involvement is a great way of doing that, even it it’s not the best way. But for me, the main, main point consisted of the nomination process that led up to the final nominees, since that’s where people, if they cared/bothered to take a look at those lists, could find about other blogs that people recommend for the categories (and that needs a little tweaking too), and decide to take a look and see what they would have to offer. Just taking a look at things that one hasn’t checked out before was something that I considered a success, because from there, we at least get a possibility of expanding mindsets on the animeblogs out there, even it it’s from something like this.
Because this is what I believe, I also feel a little guilty when it sounds like maybe I’m in the wrong group for thinking that way. That maybe what really does count is the main voting itself, regardless of how well the nominating process went, and that the only ones who will win are the popular ones because everyone knows who they are, everyone else despite how good they are will be left out. Save for that one lucky blog who surprisingly wins and breaks through that mantle, which people will fawn over and praise because that blog moves from the category of the neglected to the category of the popular. And I could go on and on and on with that unfair hyperbole of the train of thought that I think I see in those responses sometimes, but as Gnarls Barkley sings, “Who cares?”
I also feel a little guilty that DMAB was one of the anime blogs chosen in this new cycle of 9rules blog selection. I’m very glad and very grateful that we were picked, so there’s definitely no problem with that. But I wonder how glad I should be considering that in order to get into the category of 9rules blogs, there has to be a category of people left out who applied as well. Given that there are later cycles during the year to reapply, and that people who didn’t make seem alright with it, if a bit sad, and especially because I didn’t have a hand in anything other than submitting the form and having DMAB speak for itself, I really should be feeling guilty. Again, this is a question or why should I bother with this, why should I care so much. I could say “It’s just human nature”, but I feel like that’s a copout, and I know that it’s selfish on my part for feeling guilty in the first place, but the feeling is still there.
That feeling also remains as I’ve moved into the summer break. With this usually comes a lack of fast internets, so I would usually have minimal interaction with people on IRC and with catching up on what anime blogs have been saying, not to mention not being able to watch new anime as it came out. It seems like this year, that last option won’t be much of a problem, but I still won’t have a lot of interaction with the small bit of anime fandom that I know through IRC, forums and other anime blogs. In this sense I’m not in the category of people in the anime fan “loop” and instead in the category of people out of the loop. And I feel a little guilty that I haven’t done enough to rectify that, even though situations prevent me from doing that, simply because I dislike being out of the loop in general. Again, based on real life, I can’t really do much to change that situation much, but I’m needlessly concerned about that save for my self-centered desire to get involved. With what exactly? Indeed.
For one more example, let’s be really silly here as I talk about when I don’t feel the same about series that other people do. I don’t think that series like ef, true tears, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann or Dennou Coil are as good as some other people claim to be, for example. While I do think the series are good in their own rights, they don’t work for me as much as they do for other people. So I feel a little guilty when I’m not in the category of people that love/get a series, and I wonder if I’m not trying hard enough to appreciate/understand it, or so on.
Of course that’s a matter of preference, as with most of the categories that I’ve set up here; other people won’t (and shouldn’t) really care about these arbitrary designations because they’re not as important as I think they are. But going back to the beginning, why should I be making myself feel guilty or complain about something that’s so subjective? Why do we worry about how Author posts and his policies on comments? Why to we feel so strongly to create criticisms that don’t really have a place in main situations (like now :P)? Paraphrasing from Lelangir, we’re all members of something in one way or another, regardless of whether we wanted that or not. It goes without saying that I feel that we shouldn’t worry so much about the amorphous nature of boundaries as long as we’re having fun doing what we do. It should save me lot of unneeded and underserved stress if I think that way, which as you can see, I really haven’t. And though that might not be an answer to the problem, who am I to talk about this, and though I’m making up another set of arbitrary designations between people who care, people who care too much, people who care too little, and people who don’t care at all, again I’m asking if it really matters. Then again, does it really matter if I wrote this post or not? For me, yes, since you obviously see the result here. For you? You decide. :3