Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Of Squeaking Wheels and the Inaction of the Good

'The squeaking wheel is the one who receives oil' and its variants refer to the fact that is the people complaining the most are the generally the ones who receive what is being asked. The thing is: it does not matter if the complain is fair or not. It is easy to conclude that if there is a very vocal group against or pro something, this group may have something worth listening.

It is not always the case, of course. people behind public relations need to be very careful about what he must listen to or not. The fact the wheel is squeaking not always signify it needs or deserves oil. Sometimes it need to be completely substituted. I always talked about how the comic books are a great example of vocal groups are a bad thing. Even minimal change, like a uniform or continuity mistake can draw the ire of a very vocal group, even if this group is small. And that is why is so hard to newcomers to enter the comic book word.

Because fans demands are so different, we ended up with a mess of resurrected characters, multiple characters sharing the same moniker, a lot of small characters who exists just because there is a few hundreds of fans and reboots and retelling. Because the editors fear to loose those old-time fans, they do almost everything they ask if the noise is loud enough. And potential new readers just can't get into comics because is too confusing and demanding too much back knowledge to be enjoyable.

How dare they to make minimal changes?! RAGE!
But of course, this is also a reflex of another problem we have. Edmund Burke may have said that 'all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing' (disputed) but it can be applied into the world of entertainment media. Go to any site in the internet about movies, books, comics an games and there is a great chance to find lots and lots of articles and blogs complaining about the 'sad state of the industry'.

That is because people will make sure that something that they see as a bad thing is known, while when someone gives them something good they all go silent. It is part of human nature, to rarely sings praise to the things we like and to cast a storm of criticism about what we hate. because of that is very common that we lose something we like because we never said how much we like it while the ones hating that same thing make sure that the world would know their dislike.

That make us entering in a vicious cycle. A group complain about something they hate, the people who like it silence, they change it to contempt the complainers, the change is hated by the silent group who knows become the complainers. It is the infamous 'change it', then all of sudden appears a new group saying 'change it back as it was!'.

What I want to people start doing is to start praising what they believe deserve praise. Don't go silent just because things are the way they are now and you like it. As soon as the only voice being heard are the complaints, things will change, not always for better. Let the industry you like know what you LIKE, not just what you dislike. It is easy to complain, but make an effort to praise.

Everything it needs to the wrong wheel get the oil, it is to the right wheel be quiet.

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