Don’t Feed the Trolls: When Zealots Attack by Victoria
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 6:1
For lack of better phrase, I will refer to these demonstrators as Zealous Fanatics. These people do not represent Christianity and will not be called Christians.
Every year, the Fanatics wave signs in front of the San Jose Convention Center and yell epithets and slurs to the cosplayers at Fanime. “You’re going to hell!” They would take out their megaphones and yell and scream viciously at the cosplayers. Of course, this scene gets anyone’s attention. Fanime attendees drop what they are doing and observe the train wreck. Anons donning the Guy Fawkes mask will sing and dance to “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Last year, a team of cosplayers rented a limosine to create a star studded red carpet event based around “Panty and Stocking” characters. On the other hand, some Christian otaku will actually try to calm them down and try to explain that Fanime is not a Satanic ritual and that otaku and also love Christ and be nerdy. Even Lady Gaga has stood up to zealots at the Mosnter Ball concert in Anaheim (3:11).
Either way, the Fanatics draw attention. That’s what they want. This is the same group of people that live for this type of attention; it fuels their anger and it does not make them go away. It appears the Fanatics are nationwide. They have appeared at Comic Con International, Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball, New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, and the NBA playoffs at the Staplers Center. In other words, anytime there is a large gathering of people, regardless of what it is, they will be there and do their dog and pony show. Yes, they are an intrusion to events that are fun and escapism from the real world, but they should not ruin your fun.
The best way to respond to these Fanatics is not responding. Remember, they want attention. They are the spoiled crying child that has been placed on an indefinite time out. Let them cry. Ignore them. Save the limousine rental money and put towards another awesome cosplay project. Leave the Ricky Astley to the convention dances (“Never Gonna Give You Up” makes a great west coast swing piece for your local ballroom dance!). It’s no use to calm them down, even if you have good intentions, as the Fanatics are set in their ways.
The response these Fanatics are looking for are violence against them. The moment you touch them or start any form of physical retaliation is the moment the otakus loose. They live to report on people attacking them. They will twist the story around and urge the byline to be “Christians attacked by orange ninja teens.” As silly as this is, any kind of asinine story can make it to the mainstream media. We may know what had really happened, but the general public will not. The media already has enough junk to distract the masses from what is really going on in the world. This does not need to be a part of that.
When these Fanatics show up at their same Fanime time and same Fanime channel, it is best to move forward and not give them the time of day. I will admit, it was funny seeing these guys being Rickrolled by anons, but protesting and counter-protesting is getting stale. It is not the reason why we go to our nerdy events. We should not let them define the high points or the low points. They will do their act and expect drama.
On one last note, I mentioned in the beginning of the editorial that these folks certainly do not act like Christians and should not be defined as Christians. Christianity in the 21st century has received mixed reviews and oftentimes, the loudest voices are the most heard, and sadly, is what the general public views a culture. How would the otaku community feel if screaming teenage crossplayers define the anime community? It is important to understand that there are good Christian otaku out there who love everyone regardless of differences.
This year at Fanime (and every convention or major event you attend), enjoy the convention for what it is. Save your pennies for cool things in the dealer’s hall and / or artist alley. Besides, no one likes a nasty troll or drama queen at a con.
Don’t feed the trolls.
v @ scarlet-rhapsody.com