I had a rather glum conversation earlier with a friend who was, with some reluctance but also no small sense of frustration, withdrawing from the anime club that he had given a good deal of time and attention to over the past several years. His reasons for doing this were twofold: 1) he needed more time to devote to some other projects, and 2) he really didn't feel like a good many of the other people in the club were taking his suggestions seriously.
The second issue was something that had been bubbling for quite a while, and it finally boiled over when he was flat-out told that a series he had lobbied hard to get shown (Hajime no Ippo, a series I've also tried to promote when possible) was being pulled from the schedule at quite literally the last minute. This was bad enough, but what was even more irksome was that it was apparently losing out to another show that didn't have one-tenth the wit or spine.
This wasn't something that had happened once, either; it was a pattern. Time and again he would push hard to get genuinely interesting and daring material included in the lineup, only to have it greeted with indifference or hostility, and to have everyone fall back to watching shows that didn't particularly need the context of an anime club to appreciate. I'm reminded of the folks who drive hundreds of miles to a convention and then spend most of their time camped out in a hallway somewhere playing her exact same video games they have at home.
I guess it all goes back into the same subject I've touched on repeatedly these last few weeks and months. Most people are not looking for an adventure when it comes to this stuff, and that's not criminal or ignoble. It just is, and the only way to work around it is to trend as gently as you can towards showing them something new. If that doesn't work, then go look for another context to do that in.
It's heartbreaking to realize that you're not connecting, that something you care deeply about is simply being brushed aside. But it's also not something to be trapped in; you have to go to the people whose tastes you know can be enriched by yours.
* * *
The next Eclipse set has been announced from Criterion, and it's a doozy. Three films by William Klein, including Who Are You Polly Magoo? and the mind-blowing Mister Freedom, which is so far out there that if I don't review it here, you are free to stand over me with a baseball bat until I get it written.
I've also got a copy of Superbad in the queue, which I've heard enough good things about that I might make it my first Blu-ray review (gasp).
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind