[G-Man] What constitutes a loser?


I was busy laughing my head off watching a rerun of the famous Leeroy Jenkins World of Warcraft clip when I stumbled on a video clip of a guy dressed up as a Paladin, attending what appears to be some sort of convention . This “guy” was obviously doing a cosplay of Leeroy Jenkins, evidenced by the stereo he carried that continually repeated the famous war cry, “LEEEEEEERROYYYYYY JEENNKIINNNSSS!” As I watched this fellow run around all happy and gay, I thought to myself, “what a loser!” But suddenly my conscience buffeted me because when I started to think about it, I realized that I had no justifiable reason to think the guy was a loser. So why did I immediately feel repulsed at watching a prancing cosplayer?


Social Conformity…

Being the staunch logician I am, I pondered the matter thoroughly and came to the conclusion that a loser is anyone who doesn’t conform to socially prescribed roles of success that are often arbitrary and subjectively construed. What’s the difference between a cosplayer and a football fan who dresses up like his fav player? What’s the difference between an obsession with art versus an obsession with video games? I defy anyone who tells me that there is more depth in a Jackson Pollock painting than a final fantasy RPG. So why do we shower praise on Art critiques and look down on people who can name all the characters of an Anime? The answer is that we continually conform to what society establishes as acceptable or unacceptable. Now, I’m not saying that certain socially prescribed rules aren’t founded on conventional wisdom, good sense, or reason, but many of the socially acceptable norms that we promote and follow are often just as silly as the ones we degrade and shun. So with that said , what exactly constitutes a loser?

What society says

According to most civilized societies, a loser is an individual who doesn’t do anything “meaningful” with their life. I know this really begs the question what exactly makes a life meaningful and all, but luckily society has already determined this. According to most societies the following is considered doing something meaningful with your life: 1. Having a good job 2. Being sociable and going to many social events 3. Having lots of money 4. Doing anything highly praised 5. Doing something considered prestigious 6. Having sex with beautiful women 7. Getting good grades 8. Just being acceptable by society’s standards. So when it really comes down to it, as long as you conform you’re not a loser. If you don’t conform then you are a loser. But this is where it gets tricky, what if someone has a good job, does something prestigious, got good grades, but isn’t sociable, doesn’t go to social events (popular ones anyway), and doesn’t have sex with beautiful women, or any women for that matter. Is this particular person a loser? I mean they are socially acceptable for the most part. So why does society still look down on them?

What I figure..

I think society is very hypocritical. They say one thing but really practice the other. Otaku’s should be praised by society. They are harmless for the most part and any of their anti-social behavior is induced by society’s prejudice. I’m sure most Anime fans will grow up to do positive things with their lives, even if its not becoming someone’s corporate office rat or high powered attorney. And Otakus don’t mean to be reclusive. I bet if society looked at Otakus the way they look at people who can memorize sonnets and the names of famous composers, Otakus would be a lot more social. What’s wrong with being fantastical, childish, immature, and youthful? And who can fault Otakus for being zealous about their hobby, even Russian music critiques would get into fist fights over arguments concerning music, it only makes sense to be zealous about your passion. People can spend hours talking about the depth of movies, but as soon someone mentions Anime they are looked upon as nonsensical baboons. It’s a complete unwarranted bias and guilt by association. I think a new age is coming, where people can still watch Anime and be considered cool. Where Otakus wont be looked down on because they like to dress up, I mean who doesn’t like to dress up right? Where geek and jock can learn to understand their obsessive differences and live as one. Who am I kidding!! I’d never be seen in public with die hard Anime fans! Damn, I’m a coward :-(

I am G-man!

22 Responses to “[G-Man] What constitutes a loser?”

  • I agree. I do not understand why Otakus or even just plain Anime-lovers are being looked down. The fact is a lot of these people that criticize Otakus and Anime-lovers do not have the faintest idea about the industry.

  • Wait, people who discuss Hollywood movies are thought of as classy?

    Hey I LOVE TRANSFORMERS WOOOO. Anyway, I do think otaku are losers! Haha, not because we like anime but because there are some very very bad things that we do. Such as fuck body pillows.

  • > Such as fuck body pillows.

    Hey! Stop telling everyone things that I do in my own private time! And where does it say that fucking pillows is a “very very bad thing” ? As long as it’s not illegal, anything goes, sir. ;)

    The fact of the matter is, there are a lot of people out there with the need and/or the desire to look down on others for one reason or another. All the stereotypes surrounding cartoons and especially Japanese cartoons make anime fans easy targets for the “loser” label. But there is hope! Remember a time when gamers were also branded useless losers? Well look at gaming today. It’s actually now COOL to game. Perhaps we’ll one day see the same type of shift in mentality. But in the meantime, just leave me along with my hug pillows thank you very much. :)

  • @TJ-han= Do all otakus sex pillows? And even if they did, since when does sexing pillows make you a loser? I think masturbating is loser-like, but according to a statistic 9 out of 10 males in the U.S are loving themselves.

    @niku= Video Gamers are cool? World of Warcraft geeks are cool!? Since when!? Playing games here and there is okay, but so is watching anime here and there. Being a fan of something connotes the idea of obsessive interest. A person who is obsessive about video games is consider just as much a loser as someone obsessed in anime. In America if you mention that you seen naruto no one persecutes you, but if you say you read the manga people will pick up stones. How consistent is that!!

    I am G-man!

  • Social ostracisation may be motivated by competition (or rather, the entire complex is best understood as enabling competitive behavior), rather than a simple maintenance of conventions. The convention may merely provide the form or standard of judgment, whilest the entire activity of caring about the conventions, i.e. the motivation of the behavior itself is competitive. By calling someone a loser, you could be declaring your superiority in a race, albeit a race defined by conventional standards.

  • I believe that someone somewhere will consider you a “loser” even if you have all of the brass rings that “society” tells you to accrue such as wealth, status and fame. Afficados of the “high arts” will sniff at anything that smacks of, gasp, commercialization, while the mass media people will think of the former group as ivory tower snobs. Limp-wristed intellectuals will scoff at muscle-headed brutes and vice versa.

    To whit, most commentors here have echoed the simple principle that people label others “losers” as a means of shoring up their own self-esteem. Its an easy method to declare yourself superior to another person. So what does make a “loser” anyway? Personally I believe that if you know who you are and are proud of it, then the label will never stick. Yes, you wear unconventional clothing and speak in pidgin. So? That is your hobby and what right have others to decry it? Soccer fans wear jerseys all the time although they may not be actual soccer players. What is that but a cosplay fantasy driven by merchandising dollars? By wearing a jersey with a famous sportsman’s name on it, they imagine, just for an instant, that a bit of the glamour rubs off. That is about as true as having blonde hair allowing you to perform the Kame Hame Ha.

    A true loser then allows his self worth and self-esteem to be measured by other people. He is held hostage by perceptions of others that can never be satisfied since those very same perceptions are means by which they keep others lower on the totem pole vis a vis themselves. If you meet one criteria, another will simply be invented. Look yourself in the mirror. Are you happy with what you see? If not work to improve yourself in a way that you feel is best. Hold your head high. You are not an “otaku”, a “nerd”, a “loser” or whatever any one else decides to label you. You are you and if you are happy with being you then the labels everyone else tries to pin on you becomes nothing more than hollow echoes.

  • loser =
    1) people who have no idea what they like and goes around following what people like.
    2) no aim in life.
    3) they like something, but do not express it out for fear of shame.

    overall, do what you like and hack the eyes of what others think. yes, you maybe branded loser, but you are leading a meaningful life in your context.

  • @G-man: I never said gamers are cool. I said it’s now getting (a litte bit more) “cool” to play video games. The point I was trying to make is that social perceptions change. Gaming in the last few years has finally been elevated from something totally uncool to something very mainstream and even marketed as “cool.” More and more money is going into development, more and more people (casual and hardcore) are starting to play games, more and more marketing is going into it, etc. Not as many gamers are ashamed as they used to be of being a gamer. The fear of being branded a “loser” is slowly but surely going down because gaming is increasingly being adopted and accepted by people in general. I was proposing that this may one day also be the case with anime.

    Unfortunately, you completely lost me with your last two sentences. Who is doing the “persecuting”? Anime fans? Manga fans? Normal non-anime and non-manga people? As far as I can tell, BOTH anime and manga are equally easy targets because they are still considered to be things for little kiddies, so I don’t understand where you’re coming from with the whole “naruto manga readers are persecuted but not anime naruto fans!” thing.

    I sound like I have a problem with you don’t I? I actually don’t, so please don’t think I’m trying to pick a fight with you via comments. ^^;

    @ Mechamorph: Great comments.

  • “6. Having sex with beautiful women”

    I knew I was forgetting something. :P

  • That was a surprisingly sociologically perceptive observation from you, G-Man. I was expecting more crack, but you’ve impressed me.

  • @niku: No problem man, i was part of the debate team so I don’t take arguments personally. With that said, a casual dabble in video games was never considered loser type behavior. Playing video games was never considered a loser type behavior unless you did so obsessively. Every guy I know has played video games at least once. On the other hand, being a video game fan or gamer is considered ulto (ultimate) loserdom. It’s not becoming cool to be a video game fan, its becoming cool to do so recreationally here and there, and this is nothing new. This is also with the understanding that if you are pass a certain age and play games considered childish you are also considered a loser. And I never said Naruto fans are not persecuted, I said people who mentioned they have seen it aren’t persecuted. Seeing it or casually watching it doesn’t make you a fan. In America seeing Naruto is like seeing the matrix, everyone done it at least once. It’s the same with dragon ball z. But if you read naruto the manga, even just one chapter, you make a leap into loserdom.

    @awayish: A competition towards what end, social acceptance? Why would someone need to classify someone else as a loser in order to compete for social acceptance? Identifying someone as a loser doesn’t bolster your credibility or give you cool points. While your argument is well written it totally lacks validity. Loser’s are identified in society in order to provide societal buffers for established accepted forms of behavior.

    @Mechamorph: I don’t know what channel your world is tuned into, but my world is tuned into the channel called reality. In reality it is normal to care what people thinks about you because humans are communal creatures by nature. Having this “I don’t care if people think I’m a loser” mentality is complete nonsense. Most people do care what people think of them, most people want to be accepted, most people want to feel good about themselves and what they do. According to your assessment of what constitutes a loser, most people are losers. In fact, it may appear we’re born that way. And lastly, If everyone is society is calling you a loser and you can hold your head up high and be in complete defiance, I recommend you go live in the mountains be a complete recluse.

    I am G-man!

  • @G-Man Either that, or he is some visionary or pioneer that will be feted by one and all after his/her death.

    In any case, who says mountain dwellers are losers? They are just anti-social. Losers are just people who waste away and and indulge consistently in wanton fantasies.

    A good check would be to ask oneself: What have I done thus far with my life? If you look back, and all you see is you doing escapist stuff, congratulations, you’re a loser.

  • I’d like to remind everyone of Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei’s OP

    ore no nedan wo dare ga kimeta? (Who decided my worth?)
    tora ya hyou ga bokura no kokoro ni mo (There are tigers and leopards in our hearts)
    kemono tachi ga hisomu koto shiranai kara yatsura (They don’t realise there are beasts lurking within)
    yasui ne wo tsukeyagatte (so they underestimate us)

    (This thing doesn’t accept Japanese text?)

  • awesome article!!!

    Ima gonna copy and paste this in my blog and credit you while writing my own rant on the biasness of lame society dogs.

  • @Kokanaden: Why is being escapist a loser like symptom? I think living a life of leisure, escapist or otherwise, is the life!!! Isn’t that what we all strive towards? If you were rich wouldn’t you spend time vacationing, dining in posh restaurants, and buying luxury goods? How is all that not escapist? If I were a rich man.. I would buy a giant video projector with HD quality picture, and play video games/anime all day!! This is in addition to reading about my interest, writing and skateboarding. Isn’t the accomplished life a life well lived?

    I am G-man and I’m running for the sage award!!

  • just in case you didn’t notice, i was trolling

  • @G-Man The way you described it, it’s no longer escapist.

    @awayish G-Man was trolling you too, just in case you didn’t notice.

  • cheers bro’s, lets keep on topic on this one

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  • “Otakus” (horribly misinterpreted by foreigners, by the by) tend to isolate themselves in a room in front of a computer or gaming system and communicate only by electronics. All their friends are otakus and rarely have any other kind of interest than anime. It’s an unhealthy obsession, honestly. At least art critiques get out of the house more than an annual conventions or when work requires them. The same with football fans, who mostly have a variety of interests rather than JUST football, while “hard-core” anime fans rarely think of much else.

    It sickens me to watch my friends become so obsessed with this anime shit (most of the new stuff being complete crap and painful to watch, full of more stock characters and stereotype than a typical Disney Channel venture) that we have nothing else to talk about. And once I got out of that unhealthy obsession and took more of an interest in sports, fashion, and literature/school outside the realm of Japanese culture, they couldn’t seem to handle it. They just stopped talking to me because “I’d changed.” Nothing changed about me except that now I just don’t like anime and I really don’t find animated characters at all appealing. If I stopped playing sports then my new less socially ostracized “jocky” friends wouldn’t ignore me — they’d just assume that my workload is too stressful for it…=/

    • But you have changed. You’re talking trash about your old friends and say they “sicken you” and you insult what you KNOW they are passionate about, yet you immediately defend your new awesome jock friends before anything’s even happened.

      You are a hypocrite and a traitor. I hope you’re happy with your new, shallow, socially-acceptable self.

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