Posts Tagged ‘Fandom’

I’m a fan of horror movies. That’s the understated way of saying it. I’m also, of course, a fan of other genres. But, yeah, I tend to really enjoy horror, science fiction, and fantasy. You could also throw superhero into that list, but I’ve always considered that just fantasy with a sometimes small twist of science fiction mixed in and given a new coat of paint. After all, as has been pointed out by others, some modern superhero storytelling is essentially just the modern evolution of the tradition of the telling of ancient myth stories.

I’m also the type of geek who has always loved to learn about the ‘why’ of the things I enjoyed. When it comes to these genres. I would never compare myself to an academic or a historian when it comes to the level of knowledge I have about the ins and outs of the history of the genres across the various mediums or how the genres can be used to tell very meaningful human stories in disguise. However, I do try to learn as much as I can about these things. As such, I think I’m in a good position to be able to say that stories have been told and still can be told in these genres that rise above the level of disposable entertainment. Indeed, all of those genres have been used to tell stories that have touched on important social commentary, made huge political statements, addressed the human condition, and even ventured into the realm of the deeply philosophical. They’ve also all been able to and still can produce absolute classics of storytelling.

Apparently, having the opinion that some of these genres are capable of this kind of thing has me not only on the other side of a debate with many in the mainstream of American pop culture these days, but also with some in fandom who somehow or another claim they love some of these same genres I do. 

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For those of you who have lost interest in The Walking Dead before now or simply never had any interest in it to begin with, you may be unaware of the latest fandom freak-out related to the show. A much beloved and longstanding character for the show is slated to bite the dust when the show returns from its midseason break. This revelation brought about great screams of annoyance and anger from fandom. One of the more extreme headlines written in the wake of this turn of events, “‘The Walking Dead’ Midseason Finale Was Perfect for a Show That Hates Its Fans”, actually captures quite well the fan sentiment I’ve seen in many places this week. As I’ve been reading many similarly themed articles, blog posts, and discussion threads railing against the horrible creative decisions behind doing this atrocious things to the fans and noting in some cases who was complaining about this, I kept having the same thought come into my head over and over again.

Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.


Steampunk Vader

(Sheesh… This ended up being almost 3,000 words. I say this in the body of the piece, but let me reiterate something right here at the top so it’s not lost on anyone who reads this due to length. Some of my comments made here are directed at only a very specific part of fandom. You may prefer to identify yourself by a certain label I’m discussing below, but if you’re not doing the things I’m citing- I have no issue at all with you.)

Years ago… Well, actually it was decades ago, but typing “decades” makes me feel a lot older. Anyhow… Years ago, the world of Star Trek fandom started growing in leaps and bounds. Somewhere along the way it took over the focus of the pop culture spotlight occasionally used by those outside of fandom to peek into our culture and report on it to the masses. It was an interesting time in more ways than one. It was also a time that, when looking back on it, sometimes feels like talking about a different planet rather than just a different time.


Joker in Car

Look guys, we’re geeks. Theoretically, that means we’re supposed to be the smart ones. But I keep seeing certain arguments brought up in discussions about our ever growing conquest of pop culture that just have a certain ‘WTF’ nature to the position behind them. It’s not even a matter of disagreeing with certain opinions here. I can disagree with some opinions while still seeing their validity to someone with a different point of view or differing tastes. No, I’m talking about the arguments/complaints/debate points that are put forward (a lot) in discussions that are just completely nonsensical in their nature.

This first one is a complaint that I’m seeing a lot with the rise of comic book movies and TV shows being both popular and successful as well as with some other adaptations as well. It’s usually offered as a reason why something (still sight unseen) will fail miserably, but the only thing that fails miserably is the thought process behind it.

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A friend of mine wrote a piece the other day that, despite the initial appearance created by the title of apparently chastising bad celebrity behavior, chastises bad fan behavior. It is a great example of bad fan behavior, but I’m not really interested in specifically discussing the incident or the celebrity involved here. Rather, I’m more interested in the comments by some in discussion threads where the article was posted to social media; comments that I’ve seen put forward for years now by others in multiple conversations on the topic.

And these comments are a defense of “fans” acting with ill manners towards people they claim to like. They’re comments insisting that a celebrity, tired, in public, and simply wanting to catch their ride home/to a hotel, or out with their family, is the one acting poorly by not stopping and giving in to the demands of every person who wants something from them. They’re comments condemning the celebrity for not staying hours past a scheduled time (even after staying over a scheduled end time) to sign stuff when there were still people in line. These comments come in two basic forms.

(1) Celebrities owe their fans something for the fans making them rich and famous.

(2) It is the fans who make the celebrities what they are.