Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Not Eating Blue Food: How I Accidentally Enraged Adolescent Percy Jackson Fandom

 
 
I guess it all started with a blue Popsicle sometime in the late 60s or early 70s. I don't like them. They taste goofy and leave you with a bad taste of blue tongue. It was exacerbated by a series of disgusting supermarket bakery cakes with globs of blue frosting foisted on me at birthday parties. I don't do blue food. Nothing in nature is blue. Don't say blueberries or blue corn or blue potatoes. All of those things are purple. Let's flash forward 40 years or so.
 
About four years ago or so, I created a Facebook page. I did it as an example to show some people how you create a Facebook page. For fun I called it "Not Eating Blue Food." I thought it would be fun to see that so and so likes "Not Eating Blue Food."
 
 
 
I put up a few posts and photos and then pretty much left it alone. I think there were about 15 likes for the page.  Yesterday morning that changed. I started getting notifications on my phone that there were messages for "Not Eating Blue Food."  The first one I read said, "U need to die."
That seemed a bit extreme for me coming from a page that's basically only opposed to artificial food coloring.
 
So I checked out the page and saw posts like this:
 
 
To quote my husband, "WTH is a Percy Jackson?"  I actually have heard the title before. I do know it's a series of books for young readers and also a movie series. While I'm more than 30 years beyond being a young reader, I have read Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight and most importantly, A Series Of Unfortunate Events. Never did get around to crossing Percy Jackson off that list. Now, I don't think I'm going to.  Because frankly, his fans seem a little tense.
 
 
I mean, really tense.
 
 
But I give them credit, they are organized.
 
And indeed it was. Check out how many new likes my poor unloved page picked up in a couple of hours.
 
 
Uh thanks kids.  I think. I worry that you don't quite get that this page is just a joke.
 
 
I worry that the blue food coloring is harming your grammar and spelling.
 
 
Actually, I've never avoided reading anything because of the food contained within, well perhaps with the exception of "The Road." I also worry that they aren't teaching about cause and effect these days in the schools.
 
 
 
If a bunch of you like a page in order to yell at someone, the page will get more likes. 
 
I was accused multiple times of being a "smelly Gabe," whatever that might be. After a bit of research, I discovered that the character of Percy Jackson likes to eat blue food. And that somehow my page was taken as an assault on all fandom.
 
I admit I poked the bear a little this morning.
 
The response was swift.
 
 

As a long-time fangirl of Dark Shadows, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Fringe, Lost, X-Men, Smallville, X-Files, Sleepy Hollow, Sherlock Holmes in all forms, Buffy, Firefly and too much stuff to name here, I worry that some of these kids are picking up that nasty, gang-up on the other guys type of fandom that is more about forming a pack and picking on others than just enjoying the heck out the stuff you love. Maybe not, I know a lot of the posting was just in good fun like this from Keep Calm and Eat Blue Food.
 
 
 
But I'm not too happy with the private message suggesting I ought to kill myself. Over blue food. Really kid? From your Facebook profile, you look like a pretty normal 12 or 13 year old. Not a nice thing to say. So I will be getting hold of your parents. Yes, I can find them. I've worked in the news business for a lot of years. Finding folks on the Internet is kind of a thing I do. I won't be doing  it because I want to get you in trouble, but because I'd like to keep you out of trouble. If you'd say that over blue food, what might you say to some kid in your class who ticked you off. And how would you feel if he or she took your advice?
 
So that's the story of how I accidentally enraged the tween set with something I did years ago. Want to know something funny? I don't even care that much about blue food. You won't find me swilling blue Gatorade, but I've never turned down a blue M&M. And TARDIS blue is my favorite color.
 
 
 
And that's why I will likely never read Percy Jackson, despite the fact that it's apparently the greatest book  in the history of ever.
 
 
 And Percy Jackson, I ain't scared of you. As you can see above, I have a friend with a magic blue box that's bigger on the inside. And while I love blue skies and blue flowers, have an entire palette of eye shadow in glittery blue, have worn blue lipstick and have a dark blue living room, I stay away from blue food coloring. I think you should, too.

Live long and prosper
 
UPDATE 1/24/2012:  The olive branch has been extended from Mt. Olympus

10 comments:

Edith Velasquez said...

That's terrible! I'm a huge Percy Jackson fan myself, but honestly! These kids! I know I'm not much older, but still. And as a fan of that series, I'd like to offer you an apology for them. I know it won't really do any good, but really! That just gives all Percy Jackson fans a bad name. This is just upsetting!

Niv said...

The series is really nice though.. Don't miss a wonderful series because of this! Especially if you've read and liked Harry Potter and the Hunger Games and stuff. Not everybody in the Percy Jackson fandom is crazy, you know :).

Chad Deliva said...

I'm sorry about it. Some of them must have misunderstood your view. In which case, you really didn't want to offend the rest. I hope you would get your letter from Hogwarts soon. I'm waiting you see. I might end up volunteering as a tribute, if I don't get it. or possibly enter the cabinet and meet Aslan. Or probably just read more books.

Chad Deliva said...

p.s. please read it as well it is a really good book :)

Anna Tan said...

I read Percy Jackson and I don't even remember blue food.
Oh well.

Raquel Pace said...

I agree

Raquel Pace said...

I hear you.. I mean I'm 15 and I'm a fan, but I'm not going to get all upset... plus I think most kids were joking using Percy Jackson hurtful terms... most weren't serious

Ella Sutherland said...

Honestly I love the series, but I've got the two most important rule of fandoms here: Don't judge a fan by its fandom, and don't judge a fandom by its fan. Basically saying you shouldn't not read the series because of the fans, I'm not forcing you, but I'm saying that giving it a chance never harmed anyone. Also, I honestly don't see the point of your page if it was just for showing someone how to make one, it's pretty simple to delete it. I'm not trying to get you to delete it but it just seems pretty pointless. Anyway, thanks for clearing it up from the demigods ^-^ free internet cookie (::)

Cyn said...

The point is that my distaste for blue foodstuff is genuine and a little silly and does harm to no one. Deleting it would encourage young fans to believe that throwing a fit ends with positive results.

Nicki (D.N.) said...

I don't read Percy Jackson because I'm already accused of copying Riordan. I don't want a teenager seeing me with it and finding similarities, because as we all know, what we read shapes our writing.

Plus, I'm more of a Final Fantasy and LOTR girl.