Oct 12 2017

How Terrible Fans Ruined Space For Me

Ever since I was a child, I absolute adored space, both the idea of the place, the planets, moons, stars, and other things out there, and the exploration of it – rockets, missiles, men on the Moon, I couldn’t get enough of it! I’ve been learning what I can about these subjects for literally as long as I can remember.  A 5th grade field trip to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is still a cherished memory As I got older, that love of such subjects never died (as is evident in the bulk of this blogs content.)

It did, however, get very very tainted by what should be one of the best things about it – the ability to talk to other fans about Space and Rocketry.

I already discussed much of this at the tail end of last month in 2 articles that, sadly, didn’t get imported properly into triberr: We Have Burnout : Hostility In The Space And Rocketry Online Community and Re: The Downsizing Of The SpaceX “BFR” were both targeted at different but related aspects of the online space community. This goes beyond just that burnout though, oh no, it’s much more than that.

When they were shared, a friend of mine noticed something in the way they were worded – that I was clearly hurt deep by this, and indeed, when I think about it, I realize that’s true. I am indeed hurt down to a core element of me, not by what is said (that’s just annoying and often stupid) but by the very fact that it’s even an element of the community.

At this stage, I just can’t even enjoy the subject thanks to the bad associations; the arguments starting over seemingly nothing, the constant “X is better than Y” mentality, and as mentioned before, the hostility on a whole.

Political being brought up for no reason; the absolute cult-like obsession one group has with a certain launch provider who I won’t (for once) mention here, people who despise the idea of other nations accomplishing anything, people who follow the classic “know-it-all” attitude when they couldn’t pick an Atlas D from an SS-18, and just an air that if you say anything someone won’t like, your going to be flooder with more hostile replies than you can begin to respond to – not that you should anyway, but that’s easier said than done when the replies just won’t stop. You just can’t really have a good conversation anymore without the serious chance of it going south out of nowhere!

I enjoy rocket launches. I enjoy new space endeavours, regardless of who is doing them. I enjoy learning what’s out there and how the universe works. I would like to discuss some of the more amazing facets with others, but as it stands, this just isn’t always possible – everything might be fine and good, but if you happen to say the wrong thing, down goes the conversation.

Now, yes, of course this is common to most social groups, but I would expect better from a subject such as rocketry, traditionally a bastion of “geeks” and “nerds.” Instead, just for a start, you have fans of a certain launch provider constantly having to tell you how *gasp* wonderful their reusable rockets are… and that’s just a baseline annoyance that you could damn near set your watch to! I mention other examples in the aforementioned article, so I won’t reiterate those here. I can say this much – I know I shouldn’t feel my blood pressure rise as I skim space news media and groups I’m in.

It hurts to have something I love have this hostile a community. Why do people have to turn everything into a fight? I’ll never understand that…

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