I'm not a Dune junkie. At all. I read the first two books, once each (I hope to read the rest of the series over Christmas sometime). That's it. I never saw the movies, or joined a fan club. I can't name more than a few characters off the top of my head, and can't spell the ones I can name. And you know what? I _like_ the miniseries so far, and I'm looking forward to the final two hours when they air tonight.
I was curious about how it was received by others; and slashdot had upwards of 400 posts. The vast majority of them are of the 'this is SO lame, I can't BELIEVE that Character X looks the way they do" and the "this sucks SO much, I can't BELIEVE that the detail on the 4th line of the 318th page wasn't put in" variety. After a while, I got to thinking about the larger trend that was present: people were whining because it wasn't what THEY thought Dune should be.
Yes, the princess had blonde hair in the book. Yes, the CGI lacked perfection. Yes, the doctor was lacking the diamond in his forehead in the movie. Yes, the hunter-seeker found Paul alone in the room in the book. I just can't see that it matters. To me, it appears that people have let one or two percieved imperfections block them from enjoying the experience at all. It wasn't precisely as they would have it, so they've chosen to rail against the entire thing.
I see the same trend at live concerts. People are always whining at concerts. No matter what the set list is, someone's always bitching about it not having a song they want, or having a song they don't. Someone's always bitching if the band covers a song without doing it beat for beat and note for note with the original. I've seen some really great local bands get boo'd off the stage after putting on a great cover of a classic song. The bitchers and moaners are always there, always shouting about how they have "no right" to play "that song", or "just shouldn't" have changed that particular outro riff. Bitching, moaning, complaining - and immediately forgetting that 20 seconds before this, they were happy for a solid hour.
Going to a movie theater anymore is much the same. Star Wars Episode I, anybody? The first new Star Wars film in roughly TWENTY YEARS, and all people come away saying is "Man, that was SO lame, Qui Gon didn't disappear when he died" and "That sucked SO much, Jar Jar is STUPID." It wasn't 100% what they'd expected, so it was 100% bad.
Slashdot is also a great example. Face it, slashdot (and k5) are/were/will always be a form of entertainment. After slashdot evolved in a few respects (moderation being one), some people decided that it was 100% bad. It didn't matter that they could interact in near real time with people from around the globe. It didn't matter that they had a medium in which to discuss their interests with like minded people. It didn't matter that their thoughts could be heard by a hundred thousand people in the course of a day or two. All that mattered was that it wasn't their vision of perfection, so therefore the whole thing sucked. Some users went to far as to sabatoge the system for others. They couldn't just leave quietly when they no longer enjoyed it, they did their best to make sure nobody ELSE enjoyed it either.
Classic bands face the same problem. If they try to evolve, or do something innovative, they've "sold out". They've "gone soft." Or any number of other supposed evils. Metallica, U2, Aerosmith, Green Day and others have all been targetted by the bitchy whiny people. They didn't stay 100% the same, and do 100% of what the bitchy whiny people wanted them to, so therefore, they must be 100% awful.
I'm wondering... has anybody else noticed this trend? How one can't provide entertainment without people insisting that they be 100% of what they want or be nothing at all. How someone can't make music or art without people insisting that it has no value at all because it's not completely in line with what they expect. How we seem to have degenerated from a society of people eager to experience new things and broaden their horizons into a society of bitchy whiny people.