The glorious and triumphant return of now-19 year old Blogger, the revival of a once-grand and dare I say influential webspace that produced daily content, and the crippling anxiety of a young woman who no longer has any time or motivation to write, and feels like any ability she had acquired in the past through repetition and sheer will alone is now slowly slipping out of her grasp. Brief history of the Blog and Blogger can be found here.

Here be personal journal entries, observations, slices of life, questions and conclusions, as well as exploration of social and political topics seen through the lens of a Malaysian Muslim, feminist, lesbian, Marxist, and horse enthusiast.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Effie's Sense of Entitlement

According to Out of the FOG (I don't know, I just Googled 'Sense of Entitlement' and got this), Entitlement or a 'Sense of Entitlement' is an unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others. So be warned, you'll get offended reading this post.

So I don't really know how to write a captivating introduction, so I'll just begin with the obvious: most of my friends like One Direction. Actually, no strike that, four out of five of my friends like One Direction, and some of my Tumblr friends do as well, and not to mention, people like Maze and Karen find them adorable and worth listening to. But for the sake of this post, let's just focus on Hanna (and Intan, Raihan, Afreena and as an add-on, Nadiah as well). I first learnt of Hanna's love for Zayn Malik... I think during or before last year's holidays, and then somewhere along the way she stopped being what they term a 'Directionator' and become a 'Directioner'. Moving on.

I decided sometime last year that I wasn't going to judge people for their tastes in music, of all things. For example, from a technical point of view, most of the current popular songs may not hold much merit, or are at all enjoyable to listen to, but no matter how bad a band or solo artist, they'll have some fans. A lot? A little? Who cares. But start up a band, sing a song, and someone will be brave enough to admit to liking you. This is because, of course, we all have different views and perspectives on things and this is a fact that's never going to change. So I, as an individual, have no right to judge someone for their tastes in music. Of course, I'm allowed to judge the band/artist themselves, because putting yourself up for public grabs like that is just asking for it. But the fans themselves, I have absolutely no right to comment on.

Of course I still do comment. I just try to lessen my judgment. Case in point, I think years ago, when I was still pointlessly and rather mirthfully arguing Twilight versus Harry Potter on cyber forums, I would have not found it a burden at all to criticize and judge my friends who like Justin Bieber. Now I refrain because hey, a lot of people like his music, and merit or no merit, the fact that he was able to attract that many fans in itself in commendable and definitely applaudable, which is surprisingly not a word.

So when Hanna began her life as a full-fledged 'Directioner' (and I will use air quotes all I want - this is, after all, my blog), I thought to myself, okay, you can do this. You can do this even though you've heard that one song of theirs (What Makes You Beautiful) and feel like blasting the person who wrote the lyrics to smithereens. You can do this even though you're pretty sure that when you look up ho yay in the dictionary, a picture of the band hugging one another will be there right next to the definition. Because she sacrificed a lot of her attention for your love for Chris Colfer. Switching back to first person now, it was all right at first. Nothing was out of the ordinary. When I went to that sleepover at Raihan's two days before the PMR results and when we went out to karaoke and they went wild as a pack of dogs singing that song, I felt a mild twinge of annoyance, but only because Nisa and I were, for the most part, left to the side.

1. The Band: Public Personas Wrought with Maybe Intentional, Maybe Unintentional Ho Yay

I guess I sort of started becoming angry after we no longer had anything to talk about. I mean, all she wanted to talk about was One Direction during most of the subsequent sleepovers. Okay, all of the subsequent sleepovers. So that meant that the sleepover I had at Hanna's before the Form 1 Orientation session was held in almost utter silence except for the sounds of our tapping keyboards. Well, the occasional sounds of our tapping keyboards. That was the night the band itself, as an entity, as an image, started to annoy me. Not because of Hanna, nor because of their fans, but because of the way they present themselves.

Offense, but Nisa and I have come to the conclusion that they, like thousands of other artists out there, I'm sure, only made it big because they're good looking. Because they're good looking, are average to good singers, and there's five of them. But it's more than that. It's ho yay. And really, I hate to use this term for something that's not fictional, because at least with fiction, there's a hidden intent behind the characters because they have been thought up of and written by someone else. But come on. You only need to see one video of their interviews together. And I sort of wonder whether it's intentional. Whether there's a hidden intent behind the public mannerisms of these boys as they were thought up of by their manager (or PR people or whomever). But that last part's going too far, too much speculation, but to be honest, if these butt crazy girls can come up with weird speculation about the private lives of these five boys, then why the fuck can't I?

2. The Fans as I Know Them: In Direct Violation of My Anti-RPF Movement

I guess I should start from the beginning: I do not support real pairing shipping, fanfiction, fanart and on bad days, I even hate the bejeezus out of real pairing speculation. Most of my friends know by now that talking about those kinds of things would only invite my wrath into the conversation. Surrounding myself with crazy people on the Internet does wonders to you. I am in no certain terms trying to sit on a high horse here, but ever since that slight detour with Monfer, I've sworn off even thinking about Chris' personal life, at least not past what he's been comfortable sharing with the public.

So you can imagine my kind of rage, kind of disgust at the fact that my friends read RPF and openly discuss and debate about the boys' private lives. And they shot back with, "But you read fanfiction, too."  I understand what the RPF writers have to say in defense of themselves: that the characters in their story are fictional and are no way represented by who they are in real life, but haven't you guys read Princess Diaries? When Mia wrote about whoever that guy who hates it when they put corn in his chili's name is, and how he killed himself, and how much she regretted doing it because she wrote about a real person? And then the argument comes up with, "But we're not exactly writing about some person we know personally, like that guy who hates it when they put corn in his chili. We're writing about someone we don't know personally, but exists in real life as a real person." And really, doesn't that make it so much worse? 

And then my friends tried to play the, "But you read about Kurt, and Kurt is portrayed by Chris, so aren't you technically reading about Chris?" and really, that's just dumb, because you're talking to a person who spends her days actively trying to explain to people the differences between Kurt and Chris, so argument invalid.

I hate it that they discuss the boys and whoever the fuck they're dating. I hate it that they don't honor and respect their privacy. And most of all, I hate it that One Direction, as a band, as an entity, seem like they don't care much about all of this, and they seem like their sole purpose is to exist, sing, look hot, and have their fans discuss their private lives.

3. The Fans In General: Beliebers Do It Better (A Generalization)

Maybe it's because Beliebers are used to constant taunts of how Justin sounds (and occasionally how he looks) like a girl, but another thing that annoys me about my friends as fans of the band is the fact that they can't take a hit. I jokingly insult Justin all the time and surprisingly, Beliebers sometimes agree with me or laugh with me. Aside from existing to be fawned over and to discuss their private lives, One Direction also exist to be worshiped. 

They just can't take a hit. And they're bad. I've already explained why I think they're bad up there, from lyrics to public personas. Directioners or 'Nators, take note: just accept it and enjoy them frivolously, with the full knowledge that they're not the best band to have ever existed, and with the full knowledge and acceptance of the fact that you just like them because of what they look like and how they interact with each other in a very gay manner.

4. Tying It All Together: My Sense of Entitlement

The whole Directioner versus Directionator thing is very stupid. I'll admit, I get that way when it comes to Chris Colfer and Harry Potter, too. Well, mostly Harry Potter, because people around here aren't really fans of Chris Colfer because he's gay? I put people down when they call themselves huge Harry Potter fans because I know I've been in it longer, that I deserve to place higher up than them, that I've done more and wasted a whole lot more time than they have. And, of course, Directioners or whatever can feel as entitled as they want to when it comes to people who 'only pretend to like the band'. And I guess this is where my entire argument for this section gets thrown way over board but I don't much care, but the thing is, is that they're just not that good to fight over.

It doesn't make much sense to me, as an outsider and as a music lover with a trained ear, to get entitled over such a frivolous thing, and in some words, I've expressed this to Hanna. And she just stared at me.

So as a conclusion, it's all right, I guess. The first three things are super annoying, but the last one was just my sense of entitlement speaking. I was feeling entitled over other people's sense of entitlement, because I believe that to be a Directioner or a Directionator, having a sense of entitlement is kind of useless. But who cares? It's called an opinion. On the grand scale, it doesn't have to be right or wrong, it just has to be.

So when I get entitled over Harry Potter and no one tells me that it's a useless effort, that's okay. When I get entitled over Harry Potter and people shoot me down and call me a bitch, that's okay. When I call Hanna out on how stupid it is to have a sense of entitlement over One Direction and she stays quiet, that's okay as well. It's called a perspective, and a sense of entitlement is just part of that, so whether you care enough to fight for yourself or whether you care more for what you internally feel is right, that's both okay, and it's both up to you, whoever you are.

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