Writer takes down those who mock One Direction’s young, female fans



“While adult men who bemoaned “the end of an era” for Top Gear were generally treated sympathetically, teenage girls who expressed similar emotions over One Direction were met with disdain and ridicule.”

Yeah sorry don’t buy this premise at all. I think most people think both reactions are equally pointless.

Kind of tired of this let me set up a false premise in the intro then use that to hammer home my personal agenda style of social commentary.

For the record I pretty much agree with the premise though that people are too quick to dismiss pop culture. Dragging Clarkson into the mix immediately creates a bias that distracts from the point.


Grown man freaks out over football, nough said…


If it helps, I find sports fandoms equally bizarre. I’m not sure a phenomenon that exploits strong emotions for financial profit (whether it be the vicarious love fostered by boy bands or the vicarious competitive rivalry encouraged by professional sports) is worth defending. Investing so much of yourself in a parasocial relationship is patently unhealthy.


Nope. I’m old they are young. What good is getting older than making fun of the young.
I’ve been there, they’ll be fine.


Has anybody asked Dan Charles?


I personally feel disdain for both, but more by far for the Clarkeson fanboys.


I dunno. I think I mock both of them, Clarkson’s fans for general piggery and One Direction’s for liking wraparound hair.

When I was in high school and kids had hair like that, it was because someone had given them a swirly.

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You can take your “bias that distracts from the point” and shove it because:

Did you even read the New Statesman article?

It’s far worse than dismissal. From Minkel’s article:

If you scoff at the parallels I’m drawing, you need to question why. Because the disparity here is directly related to gender, and being a girl is used as an insult more often than it’s celebrated.

She’s not talking about the ridicule over the “pointlessness” of the reactions. She’s talking about the constant belittlement of teenage girls.


I think the wrong point is being drawn from these two situations, the reaction to the teenage girls reaction should be instructional for the reaction of the middle aged dads, not the other way around. Though the teenagers can be somewhat forgiven for not having fully developed personalities and general mental faculties yet, the dads should know better.


If you scoff at the parallels I’m drawing, you need to question why. Because the disparity here is directly related to gender, and being a girl is used as an insult more often than it’s celebrated.

I do scoff and question why, but I believe it has little or nothing to do with gender.

The key difference between one direction and top gear (and sports the other contrats presented in the article) is that One Direction is a unremitting product of cynical marketing. Top Gear, is of course marketed very savily as well these days, but I have the impression that the producers didnt expect what they were getting - that they thought they were making a show about cars and middle aged men, rather than a show intended to develop the sort of emetional identification and cult following that Top Gear has actually achieved… I dont think, for instance that any of the Top Gear presenters got acting lessons or hairstyle advice at the outset of the program to make them more appealing.

As for sports, the whole point of sports is that it is unscripted, that no matter how much marketing and palaver is laid on top, there is a genuine competition of which the outcome is unpredictable, and the contention genuine. The women in the olympic sailing were all trying to win regardless of what they looked like or how appealing the were to the observing masses - they were consumed by sailing fast, and that kind of focus, relentless pursuit of a goal is attractive and exciting.

The correct sport to compare One Direction to is of course American Wrestling. I think we do look askance at fans who get upset by wrestling - don’t they know they are being manipulated - how substantial and genuine are their emotions when they can be so easily predicted and produced by cynical calculation?

This is why we mock the distressed fans of One DIrection - we subscribe to a view that genuine emotions are unmechanical, sensitive to the situation, incapable of manipulation by trivial means. Of course a father’s distress at a dying child is “mechanical” and predictable, but it is proportionate to the situation. One direction is a bunch of marketing execs sitting in a room and thinking “how can we maximise our 8-18 female fan base”. That someone’s emotions are so trivially produced does seem to cheapen them.

We look down on trolls, but we also look down on those who fall for their outrages. Not feeding the trolls is not just a good idea, its a sign of emotional maturity, and the producers of one direction are simply trolls who seek to evoke adulation rather than anger.


This isn’t really related to the content, but man I wish Boing Boing would stop using animated gifs in the middle of articles. it’s incredibly off-putting when you’re trying to read something.
moan moan moan



It’s kind of a ranking of what it’s OK to be emotional about.

Pop songs and cute folks are not OK to be emotional about, according to The Haters.

But tribal identity and ritualized violence is A-OK.


That also occurred to me.

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Hello new person who just had to join to express how little gender has to do with anything! I do hope you stick around and join in the interesting discourse here!

Oh, I have fallen into the trap of feeding the troll, haven’t I? Because if you’re not trolling … well, you’re kinda clueless, aren’t you? Or a dude. Probably both.


Kayfabe’s been dead for a long time. About the only folks that really get upset are either 6-year-old Cena fans or smarks pissed off by VKM’s booking.

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Also, have you ever met a 12 year old girl? Don’t fuck with their culture. Really. Just… don’t. Wil Wheaton lost an arm to a horde of them in a tragic con accident in 2008:



ah, classic bb commentary, attack with thinly veiled ad hominem.