1. What constitutes sweet or spicy vs something of substance may depend on the person, because everyone has different reasons for watching a show, and each person gets something a little different out of it. There’s been shows that, to me, seemed sweet or spicy in a frivolous manner, but then there were other people that got something meaningful out of them. My preferred story ‘diet’ tends to be mainly dark and serious tales that reflect the ups and downs of life — things with meaning and substance to them. But sometimes I like those stories to be ‘flavored’ with a bit of the sweet and spicy, because those things are part of life too.

    When it comes to sweet and spicy, though, I sometimes care more about fan responses than what the author writes. I constantly read the comments sections on stories, articles, Youtube videos, etc, and there are a lot of people that desire sweet saccharine stories and decry toxic behavior, while also being toxic themselves. A lot of people view themselves as the noble, sweet, heroic character, and they idealize that because they see it as the opposite of whatever hurt them in the past. Unfortunately, however, there’s times when they act more like the petty vengeful characters that harm others in an attempt to punish whoever they think deserves it.

    This can really put me off of certain sweet or spicy stories when they feel like a part of that dynamic. I’m still pinpointing exactly what’s going on with these kinds of stories (and fan responses), but I think part of it is people taking on a victim or savior complex that justifies harming whoever they feel deserves it at the moment. But the sweet stories coat it over with a veneer of niceness that makes these problems much harder to point out and address. It also shows a lack of self awareness in many people, and gives the stories and fan commentary a passive aggressive vibe. It’s fascinating, and reveals a lot about human nature, so I like it from that standpoint. It’s important to study, because some of those dynamics explain a lot of what is happening in our society today. At the same time, it can be unsettling and make certain stories less enjoyable, because it exposes dangerous patterns in human behavior that are causing a lot of problems, and it looks like people are allowing these stories to reinforce that toxic behavior instead of encouraging them to overcome it.

    I don’t always gravitate toward spicy stories, either, but I like them for social commentary, and even if they’re outrageous or meant to offend, they’re extremely useful for opening up a conversation. I saw a video responding to the sports comedy you talked about in the podcast…I’m not sure if you’re ok with me posting a link to the video? It’s good commentary, but it would reveal the name of the show, which you avoided mentioning in the podcast. But, anyway, the video was by someone that saw the premiere and isn’t a super conservative guy, but he liked the movie quite a bit. He showed a couple of the negative responses people had to the movie, and those negative responses reveal misconceptions that trans activists have about the people they disagree with. Witnessing those misconceptions is an opportunity to see how we can communicate better when tackling these issues; and since people on both sides are probably going to be squabbling with each other in comments sections about this movie, it’s at least getting both sides talking to each other.

    That opens up a channel where people who WANT to have a constructive conversation can go in and start bridging the gap and doing some problem solving. To an extent I would liken it to the previous Lorehaven article about Fast and the Furious. It may not have handled everything well, and a lot of people reacted negatively to it. But it opened up an opportunity for people in the comments section to have a somewhat more nuanced conversation, and some people seemed to benefit from that. Obviously people should try to communicate as well as possible, but we definitely shouldn’t dismiss the fact that more ‘outrageous’ stories can act as icebreakers for conversations we need but probably would be too afraid to have otherwise.

    ‘The right people are angry’ can be a good phrase for giving people courage to speak out, or as a bit of edgy fun. So from that standpoint it’s good in small quantities. But it can also be detrimental if it’s used as a regular mindset, because it can cause people to overlook information they may actually need to consider. If people are constantly dismissing outrage as ‘making the right people angry’, they’re a lot less likely to listen to details they might need to hear in order to solve the situation.

    Listening to what the other side has to say doesn’t mean bowing to the ‘enemy’. It means figuring out everything that is going on so that better strategies can be built. Even if the other side is wrong in their behavior, they may still point out problems that need to be fixed. That doesn’t justify their behavior, but if we want to be right we have to actually DO the right thing and be constructive problem solvers, instead of just wallowing in our favorite ways to talk and rant about stuff.

What say you?