stop writing fan wikis in past tense
(2020 jun 11)

Seriously guys.

This is a feature that I believe started with the Star Wars wiki, where events are written in past tense as though the media in question is a literal account of historical events.

Well, guess what? Star Wars isn’t real!

And it doesn’t just bother me because it’s traditionally conventional to write about events in fictional stories in present tense. (Although, yes, it bothers me for that reason as well, and I also just find it to be an irritating affectation.)

But it also bothers me because I think writing in this way encourages bad media literacy habits. If you treat the events of a story as a literal recounting of events, it leaves very little room for interpretations of events that evaluate the work as a work of art, rather than as a “universe” where things happen.

I also feel like people placing an unnecessary emphasis on “canon-ness” ties into this issue as well. Like, oh, did these events “really happen” in this universe?

Well, pop quiz: when Disney declared a bunch of Star Wars stuff non-canon, what actually changed?

Answer: absolutely nothing, those books and stuff still exist and you can still read them. And the degree to which the events described in those works “really happened”? Still zero! They are fictional.

Uhhh anyway. This is just something I’ve been thinking about lately. I feel like people often aren’t willing to interpret works as though they’re fictional, even though... they are. Dan Olson’s video on the “THERMIAN ARGUMENT” might be recommended watching for more on this.

I know there’s more important stuff going on in the world right now. Maybe this is my way of distracting myself, by writing about things no one cares about in a space on the internet no one reads.

On the other hand, maybe we would be better able to deal with the stuff going on in the world right now if we had more people willing to think critically about the media they consume. So, I dunno.

Kinda a downer ending to this post, sorry. I promise I’ll try and write another one soon.