How do you stop giving money to people who hate you when everybody hates you?
The process of weaning yourself off the major media teat takes real, conscious effort, but it can be done. As with all of our ruts, all of those routine parts of our lives that have become second nature, you can’t just wake up one morning, make sweeping changes, and expect them to stick.
You will have a lot more success if you make gradual changes around the edges, and if you can surround yourself with likeminded souls who will help provide positive reinforcement for your new found independence. Here’s a few gradual changes you can make right now:
- Stop going to movie theaters, and start hitting up the RedBox. You can still see the latest message fiction wolf dressed in Marvel sheep’s clothing, but instead of feeding the Beast $10/person plus concessions, give it $1.50 for the whole party. Not only does that cost Marvel Studios a lot of money, it also means they don’t get the free positive publicity for a huge opening weekend. Those knock-on effects are more powerful than you might realize.
- Ditch the major pro sports and become a fan of your local minor league teams. The ESPN dominated leagues have weaponized your love of sport against you, but you can still get that fix without all of ESPN’s thottery by turning your eyes and your money to the local minor league teams. They love the support of the community, and are generally still so desperate for fans they can’t afford to pick sides in the culture war. (Exercise caution – some exceptions do apply.) And for God’s sake, stay the hell away from the MLS – the relentless desire of the major media outlets to is as direct a challenge to American culture as anything else they’ve got going on.
- You wouldn’t believe how many excellent comic book crowdfunding campaigns are going on right now. There’s no longer any excuse to cling to the DC and Marvel lines. They are on their deathbed and savagely fight off any attempts to supply them with the medicine they need to regain their health. Take a deep breath, cut back to two titles a month, and learn to enjoy the hunt for comic book pros who don’t hate you.
- Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good. Scale back gradually. If everyone who longed for a return to honest brokers in the media cut their “they hate me, but I just can’t resist” budget by half, we’d see an overnight change in the content being delivered. No industry can long survive a 50% cut in income, and if all you do is cut your contribution by that much every year, you join a growing crowd of people denying oxygen to the fire consuming American culture today.
The other thing you can do, the most powerful reinforcement you can find, is to surround yourself with people who think like you do. Just hearing, “I don’t give money to people who hate me,” on a regular basis reinforces that idea, and when you stop to look at RedBox you’ll find yourself much more hesitant to feed your card in the slot. You might still have a few must-see items (I’m looking forward to catching the Bruce Willis version of “Death Wish” myself,) but just remembering how little respect for you the producers have will raise the bar for parting with your money. Over time, that little denial will add up, and eventually the powers that be will be forced to admit that maybe forcing their own agenda into beloved traditional IPs was a mistake.
And of course, if you want to give money to a producer who doesn’t hate you, why not give this audiobook by Chuck Dixon a shot? It’s a vampire tale in which the recently turned blood sucker got suckered by a thot, and follows his struggles as he tries to adjust to his new undead life.