I used that term a couple of days ago with a promise of explaining just what it is. Of course, I then ended up with some delays due to work and RL that prevented me from writing it out up til now. But, even so, work is still breathing down my neck, but I'm going to try and put this together.
This has been something I've noticed going on for years. Comes with being around gamers and the like for a long time. Most gamers have a lot of cross-reference with certain subjects or media, such as songs, movies, and TV shows. Well, specific media, in any case. Gamers and geeks in general tend to like the same genres, and end up seeing a lot of the same things. So, it's a good way to connect when gamers first start hanging out. You quote a film or a TV show, and see if they get the reference. Something like any of the original Star Wars movies is a little too universal to check this pehnomenon out, and Shaolin Soccer is a little /too/ obscure. Usually, something like 'The Princess Bride' (Specifically the 'poison' scene) works well to see if a person knows their stuff.
And, once this starts, conversations between like minds will twist through damn near everything, comparing notes and opinions. And one of the more hotly debated topics I've seen but stayed damn far away from is Star Trek.
Why did I stay away? I never really got into it. The only version of the show I can remember watching and actually finding amusing was Next Generation, but even now I won't go out of my way to watch it. It was usually something I caught while channel surfing, and if it held my interest for more than five minutes, I'd watch it.
But, like every show, there are fans. And they'd find one another, in a gaming group or online, and debate. I mean, some of these people can quote episodes and guides to the show like priests quote chapter and verse. I've witnessed discussions on the technological toys the Trek world has, or the various races and whatnot, with everyone having conflicting opinions.
Except on one thing. One lone conclusion seems to unite Trek fans across the globe.
They Hate Wesley Crusher.
Good Lord, do they hate him.
I mean, when the subject of Wesley comes up when people talk Trek...I heard one person speak of Wesley on things that involved one of those Klingon sword-weapon thingies and Crusher's genetalia. I kinda excused myself from the conversation when lemon juice and battery acid were brought up in the next sentence, as additions.
When I first started hearing stuff like this, I wondered why. I mean, I'd seen the show a few times, and knew little about the character. Son of the ship's Doctor, genius, played by that Wil Wheaton guy from Stand By Me and Toy Soldiers. I didn't really see much of anything that would earn this fictional character my undying hatred which will transcend time and space until it touches eternity.
But, this is Fandom, folks. People are like this, for better or for worse.
But hey, I didn't have much of an opinion on the character, myself. Not sure if I /do,/ really.
But, it started two years ago. I had been listening to yet another Trek Convo, as the Fandom Discussions seem to circle around certain things like I've said above. And, as it always seems to do, the conversation turned to the 'I Hate Wesley' phase. So, when this came up again, I spoke up.
"Why what?" one of the people deep into the conversation said.
"Why do you guys hate Wesley so much? I'm not really into it, but..."
"Because he's a childish, whiny little super-genius prodigy who acts like he knows everything." That was the answer I got.
Now, this answer came from a Trek Fan. A Grown Man who for the last fifteen minutes had been arguing with another Grown Man over the proper inflections for the bride's part of a Klingon Marriage Ceremony or something like that. They were arguing, heatedly, about the inflections of a Fictional Language.
See, that was when it hit me. It ended up with me finding a small list of conclusions.
Conclusion 1: Fans hate Wesley Crusher for being some uber boy genius on Star Trek, who had saved the ship once or twice and was commended by the Captain for it.
Conclusion 2: Most Trek fans are into Trek because they like the whole 'space travel and starship' thing, and wish they could do stuff like that.
Conclusion 3: Bouncing off of Conclusion two, most of these people with /they/ were serving on the Enterprise.
Conclusion 4: Knowing what I see these people act like, if they were on the enterprise, they would act...exactly like Wesley Crusher. That whole 'Know everything and be seen as smug about it' thing.
So that's where I started laughing, much to the confusion of the people around me. I left the conversatuion and the room, secure in one thing.
See, all those people who hate Wesley Crusher? It's because of Envy.
Most of those fans probably had those Marty/Mary Sue fantasies where they were on the Enterprise, and the rest of the crew adored them and showered them with commendations when they did something right.
What the character of Wesley represents to them is what they most imagined themselves being, and to see someone living out what one would like to be/do/have is a cause for some wicked jealousy to sprout.
It makes me wonder. How much hatred is based on repressed envy in the first place? I see, if not specifically Crusher/Wheaton, the same reaction towards other fictional characters or actors, or people in the news. Can such things be halted, or should we just let it happen? Or, even, what can be done to offset the envy, if it can happen at all?
So that was what I was talking about the other night when I mentioned Wesley Crusher Envy in my post this past Friday night. I was telling Eric about it, and he kinda agreed with me. But he's not a big Trek fan either.
As for me...hell, I just felt like putting thoughts into a file.
As for Wesley...heh. I'm not into space travel. He can have his spot on the Enterprise. I won't begrudge him for it.
It's just a TV show, after all.