Monday, August 19, 2013

Cosplay 'dramas': What's the big deal? (Part II)

So in the last entry I mentioned on a few points which I figured trigger the whole chain reaction of 'dramas' that is so common nowadays in our cosplay community: There's the part about confidence, the misguided chase for fame, the unnecessary attention seeking, and the unacceptance how some people change (more of a personal relationship between people really).

Now, let's further look at some other possible reasons for the whole deal behind these 'dramas', eh?

Lack of common sense and decency 

I've seen people who've been long in the series lamenting how the new cosplayers are, to put it pluntly, idiotic. Just look at what they're doing at the events, for God's sake! And look at the stuff that they write (social website)! they said.

Well now, I wouldn't say they're idiotic, no... In fact, I'd add that some of them lack common sense and decency, which add up to their idiocy. Let me say that again: we're humans after all. We're always going to get idiots all over the place. Always. It'd be good to school these misguided humans, but I'm afraid if their parents and education system shape them to be the way they are now, then there's not much we can't do about them. We pity da fool.

But that doesn't stop the fact that there's an alarming lack of common sense and decency right now among some of the people of the cosplay scene. And as to how some people laugh and view cosplayers and ACG goers as idiots and little kids... well, they have a point, if you stop and think of the average age of the people who are active in the scene. Note I say active: of course it's going to be the younger people who feel strongly of the scene, innit? Of course there's gonna be some juvenile and immature act here and there... to which something that is sorely needed is overlooked by both the 'younger' and 'older' generation in this scene (more on that on the next entry)

And while we're on this, there's something else that I noticed which bring about this lack of common senses... and that is:

Lack of respect

It's because they don't respect themselves that they pull off all those attention seeking stunts.

It's because they don't respect the organizers that they do indecent and improper things and then make ridiculous demands and complain unnecessarily.

It's because they don't respect general public that some member of the public have a negative image of the scene.

And lastly, it's because they don't respect fellow cosplayers that we get the 'dramas' on and on and on and on.

Respect is earned not given, I know. And as long as the sense of respect is not instilled (I'm looking at BOTH the veteran ones who treat the newer ones like kids, and the newcomer that view the old timers as arrogant, okay?), don't expect the 'dramas' to be over anytime soon.

Communication breakdown (aka keyboard warriorism)

With the new generation of youngsters (...gosh, I make myself sound old by saying that ahaha) who spend most of their time communicating online, it does seem like they're losing the touch on proper verbal face-to-face communication. Not only in the ACG scene of course - aren't we all familiar with people who're so glued to their smartphones and other gadgets that they are hard to communicate when it comes to proper face to face communication. In fact, it could be you who's doing it right now...

So what does that bring to the whole 'drama' deal? Well, not being able to properly voice their thoughts, for one. It does seem to me that the current norm now is whatever the hell it is that's happening, I must write it up in my social website!  Disagreement? I'll let the other guy have a piece of my mind! Taking action? I'm too lazy, so I'll just write something to show how involved I am in this! 

Ahahaha no. Oh, and forget keyboard warriors man; we now have smartphones warriors too.

True, you can't fight them with words and all, seeing how useless you are against them... but well, so are their words, if you think about it. I know, it's hard to ignore what they said (especially the ones where they're bashing people), but maybe it's a good idea to remember: why should we take upon the words of people who're not thoughtful enough to talk to you personally, and would rather hide behind anonymousness?

Improper emotion management (also keyboard warriorism)

It's a pretty interesting thing to note how some people whom you could feel their great dissatisfaction when they are venting their anger or frustration... over the littlest thing when it comes to cosplay.... Heck, you can even see some people greatly angered and pissed off over someone else's work, someone who doesn't even do anything to them out there in person! You could practically feel how they can't sleep at night without letting the whole world know how he feels this one guy is doing the most lousy cosplay ever, for example. It's like the 'in' thing now, the whole unnecessary bashing: if you don't like one cosplay, well you should come and condemn it to hell! Be mad! You want the rest of the world to share your hate! 

They want to vent their emotion, and in the way where they are not able (or they just have no idea how) to channel that emotion elsewhere, it all goes down to creating all these 'dramas'. And the worst part is the so-called 'victim' then fall into the trap of being involved in the argument... which shouldn't have started in the first place. Throw in people taking sides, and be sure to stand back when the shit hit the fan.

Who knows if they suffer chronic constipation due to them not being able to deliver their frustration out on the 'net? I always have that mental image when I see someone throwing off some lengthy angry rant over nothing...

Not passionate for the hobby

NOW. This is what I would sum up as what I view as the biggest cause of petty fights and 'dramas' in the scene - and this is what I'm sorely disappointed with.

I would like to appeal to those who picked up cosplaying to ponder on this question: what's the big deal with cosplaying anyway? Think about it: why on earth does this simple hobby of geek and nerd simply gathering to profess their love for the series turn into what it appears to be an essentially fame chasing? What went wrong?

I've seen those involved in cosplaying for a long time recall the good ol days where they have to really struggle to produce their costume and props, and how it was much harder for them to meet with like minded people. So, does the easier accessibility to costumes and miscellaneous item diminished the passion people put into their cosplay? Perhaps. But that doesn't necessarily mean their love for the hobby is superficial - there's just a lot that could be done. If they're really passionate about it.

Some I see are so involved in the whole fame aspect that they forget the more important stuff: such as the meeting of like minded people. Ideally, the way I envisioned it, events should be a place where you have no problem in mingling and meeting with people who share the same love for the series... Unfortunately it does seem now to be heading towards a place where people are off to oogle at the display of costumes and bodies, while the fandom (the ones that really matters) get pushed to the side.

Overlooking, man

One of my friend - who's not a cosplayer, it should be noted - really sum it up best when he said that cosplaying is basically a walking signboard: you're practically saying 'I'm inviting anyone who share the same love for the series to mingle about with me - chill, dood!'.

But perhaps nowadays the signs are saying 'ningen please notice me'. It's not about self expression as some would like it to be, but more towards impressing others.

Sure, we would all appreciate good looking cosplays (who would't), but there's more than that, you know? I would rather be in the presence of decent looking cosplayers who know his/her series and worked hard on getting the craftsmanship and character part right, rather than the very good looking but distant ones. People are going to forget good looks quickly, but effort and passions placed in the hobby will be appreciated, I'm sure - even if you don't get the instant gratification as those that are purely showing off their looks.

And of course, passion is subjective. As well as is fun. Can you tell EXACTLY why is it that you find it fun in the things that you feel that it is, well, fun? But you can't go wrong if you're doing it for your own sake instead of trying to impress others.

At the end of the day, I find that this whole 'drama' deal all comes down to the whole deal of cosplaying in the first place: I think a lot of people are missing on that point how it's supposed to be something of a past time activity to enjoy: they get so caught up in looking good and impressing others that they forget what it is in the first place - a hobby. Nothing more, nothing less.

And like all hobby, then can go on the path of enjoying it in their own company (selfie galore, go)... or they could seek an audience of like minded people (hence, events and the sort).

I think if these people are truly passionate (or for some who find this strong a word, having fun) about their hobby, they can learn to tolerate these 'dramas' (and hopefully doesn't go on to create their own). I can't stress this enough, that this is all a hobby. It's good for you to find something to fill your time, but at the end of the day, ask yourself before you get carried away in this hobby: what's the big deal with cosplay anyway? 

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