Some Thoughts On My Media Choices

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My media tastes seem odd for a man of 50, at least for many people’s point of view.  I’m big into anime, documentaries, unusual or odd films, animation, and things that catch my fancy.  It’s not a lot of typical stuff out there, even though a lot of supposedly “mainstream” stuff (like “Better Call Saul” or “Atlanta) is pretty damn spectacular, especially compared to past shows.

It’s strange to explain it to people, because really why should I?

We all have our own tastes and reasons.  We all have our inclinations.  We all have different needs.  What’s weird is how it seems some things are “appropriate” by simple things like age and gender – as if a lot of media even fit those definitions easily.  I can show you a few episodes of the anime My Hero Academia, supposedly targeted at a young male demographic, that would make you think otherwise.

But we feel that our tastes somehow must fit a series of checklists for our demographics.  I’m not sure why we do that.

Is it part of our culture?  Is it part of our ideas of gender?  Part of our idea of ages?  I’m sure all that plays in, but know what I think?

I think a big part of it is how we want definition – and marketing.

Marketing drives us to classify and target works.  What sells.  What fits.  What makes the most money.

Definition is our need to classify things, to not deal in ambiguity.

Combine Marketing and the need for definition, and you’ve got a toxic stew of assumptions.  I’m kinda tired of being told I should like “X as I’m Y,” while I try to explain how awesome Steven Universe is.

This is why I am so pleased that Netflix, Amazon, television, and animation in general is crossing boundaries. I’m glad to see stuff like The Dragon Prince that has that family-for-all feel, a highly accessible but very smart and serious fantasy.  I’m glad to see hyper-real stuff like Atlanta, a heady and near-experimental mix of character story and hyper-reality.

Let’s enjoy what we like.  Which is why I’ll be watching Deku become a superhero, then scope out an indie film, and then on to a documentary on fonts.