wraithfodder (wraithfodder) wrote,

Joe Mallozzi and the Shrill and Ill-Informed Lemmings

Sounds like a bad movie, doesn't it?

This post is in response to an oddly-titled thread I saw over at GW about "shrill and ill-informed lemmings." Well, I was gonna jump in there and defend the much-maligned species of lemmings (subfamily Microtinae, family Muridae), until I read what all the fuss was about. That's where I snerched the great little lemming icon adn I have to go back and find out who made it and give them credit.

Apparently, Joe Mallozzi said at his January 15th entry at his blog at http://josephmallozzi.blogspot.com/2007/01/january-15-2007.html

Fondy and I are working our way through the second season of Boston Legal and are really enjoying the series. But one thing I found quite bizarre was the disappearance of one of the cast members. She’s in the show’s opening credits but only appeared in a handful of episodes before vanishing completely. Strange. She was a likable enough character. I wondered who was to blame for her disappearance. Was it the producers? The network? The studio? The actress herself? Was it a variety of factors? Some of the above? All of the above? Or maybe none of the above? Well, there was one thing I knew for sure, and that was that I knew nothing for sure. I considered joining some online fan forum and joining the chorus blaming the producers for her sudden disappearance, that episode with the singing, and my dog’s eye condition - but ultimately decided against it because I realized it would only make me sound like a shrill and ill-informed lemming. Still, it was tempting. There’s something strangely comforting and delusively empowering about chiming in with an anonymous mob, albeit one that lacks any true insight into the reality of a situation.

Had Mr. Mallozzi actually taken about 30 seconds to simply 'google' lemmings, he would have known lemmings aren't idiots. To quote Snopes (http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/lemmings.htm) -  lemming "...suicide is fiction. Contrary to popular belief, lemmings do not periodically hurl themselves off of cliffs and into the sea. Cyclical explosions in population do occasionally induce lemmings to attempt to migrate to areas of lesser population density. When such a migration occurs, some lemmings die by falling over cliffs or drowning in lakes or rivers." Or visit http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index.cfm?adfg=wildlife_news.view_article&articles_id=56&issue_id=6.

So Mallozzi bought into the old (and ill-informed) adage of 'lemming like behavior' - in that people just join a mindless mob and don't think before they act, aka, run off a cliff to their untimely demise, etc. 

But, what has the fans riled up is not his slur against family Muridae, but the perceived insult against the very people who keep him employed. Yes, Mr. Mallozzi, you're insulting the people who watch your show and keep your blog chockful of pictures of food that you eat. 

Mr. Mallozzi, who even got his name eeked into "Sunday" as an in-joke, has been around fandom long enough to know how devoted fans can be to a series. Hell, SG1 would not have had a decade were it not for that devotion. Sure, some fans are off-the-wall, obsessed and need to get a life, but the bulk are rational folk who watch the show and keep watching it if they like it and quit if they don't. Now, he blathers on about thinking about joining an online forum and blaming the producers for what he sees in a show, but heavens no, he doesn't want to be a shrill and ill-informed lemmings. Well, hey, fans/viewers work with what they see and what they dig up. We fans dug up the dire facts on a couple cast members in SGA back in November '06, squawked about it, but nobody listened. Now he implies that online forums lack 'any true insight' into the reality of a situation. Hmm, since no fan is truly privy to the inside workings of a show, we work with what we ferret out, and fans can be darned good at that. And as fans/viewers, we CAN and we DO voice our opinions. Sometimes eloquently, sometimes with a sledge hammer, but that's how the net seems to work. Sure, we'll speculate wildly, but we also ask questions, the bulk of which go unanswered by TPTB at the studio. 

Now, if we were a mindless mob of lemmings, we wouldn't be asking questions. We'd just be - by Mallozzi's 'ill-informed' definition of lemmings - running ourselves off a cliff, not even thinking about the situation at hand. We do realize however, that the producers of a show have a bit of a hand in how a show is aired (hello, Joe M, did you watch RCC and Brad Wright's videos at MGM's site? - hey, they seem to contradict you on what producers do). 

Heck, maybe he's only slurring Boston Legal fans in his blog - but it seems doubtful considering his track record of baiting SG fans (you'd need to dig up and read all his blog entries and that wonderful flaming letter he posted to one TV critic) but if he can't even research lemmings properly, maybe he should just stay in the kitchen.

Snark over ;)

Disclaimer: This blog entry contains no calories or trans fat, just several ounces of pithy snark from a fan/viewer tired of producers churning out retreaded scripts and making veiled insults toward the folks who ultimately are responsible for his employment....No lemmings were forced over a cliff in the typing of this entry.

Tags: fandom, joe mallozzi
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