2_perseph: (pin-up hammer)
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General Disclaimers: 1) It needs to be said that this does not apply to all fandoms, nor across the board to the ones it does apply. 2) This is how I experienced fandom on LiveJournal, where as far as I can tell, fandom has made its home.


Once upon a time, there was a movement called “Bohemian.” This movement was made up of artists, musicians, and writers. It was during the nineteenth century, and their reason for being was to create works that were against the grain of mainstream culture, satirize established conventions of the time, and in effect flaunt the idea of things held sacred. They had a mode of dress, a style of conduct and lived “bohemian” lifestyles. Their supreme aim was nothing less than entertainment.

Fast forward to the twentieth century. Specifically, the second half. Change the mediums (but not much), and the origination of material, and give it a different name, and you have something called Fandom.

Fandom was a subcultural mental space created initially by artists and writers, and then vidders, for the reason of creating works that were against the grain of mainstream culture, to satirize, criticize, and flaunt conventions and things held sacred. We’ll get to the why at the end, though of course we all know why.

It was a place without windows or doors to the outside world, as the creations, like certain seeds needed a dark, warm space to grow. The nature of fandom, its ultimate goal was nothing more and nothing less than entertainment.

Fast forward a little bit more, and a funny thing happened.

“Fangirls” arrived in fandom.

These new arrivals were loud, brash, self-serving, spoke in high-pitched, nonsensical patterns, were a combination of the above, or all of the above. They seemed more interested in drawing attention to themselves than about contributing to the commons that was fandom.

The rest of fandom, slightly shell-shocked, gave them distance. (Back then, “fangirl” was a wholly dirty word. But many female fen did not mind being referred to as fangirls--myself included--and only felt that the word, like so many in relation to anything female, needed reclaiming.)

But it only got worse. It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually those fangirls got comfortable enough with their newfound world that they decided to fling open the doors and windows to the outside world. Because, since it was all about them anyway, they needed the outside world to care what they were interested in.

That’s the background.

As said, people who’d already been in fandom for a while, some from the start of internet fandom, gave them room. There seemed enough space after all in the kingdom for all comers.

But this new attitude in fandom was heralding the coming of something big: a fundamental change in the nature of fandom.

So the question becomes: If something changes fundamentally, can it still be called that thing?

What is raging through the internet today, can we call it fandom? Or should we differentiate and call it something else in order to ensure the survival of the thing that is fandom?

To define and restate my premise: Fandom is a space created outside of mainstream culture and existing exclusively for the creation of derivative works of art or fiction. It is, and has to be by nature subcultural and nonexclusive.

And the argument I’m making is that fandom is on life support, undergoing a transition that could fundamentally change, and kill it. Here’s why.


If you’re actually in a special creator/fangirl relationship with any creator (whether of a show, movie or book), and have actually had that creator publicly announce and acknowledge you as a muse/collaborator or other form of inspiration, then great, good for you and your fandom. Have fun mainstreaming it.

Barring that, I am here to tell you that creators, no matter what it might seem like in interviews, public appearances, or in print, do not, in fact, have fangirls on their minds when they go about their busy days creating.

They just don’t.

If, as an example, they run a television show, here are the things they actually have to worry about: studio executives’ notes, network executives’ notes, advertisers’ notes, extracting decent pages from their writers, where and how to take suggestions from the actors into consideration, how to make it all fit together. All in a five-day turnaround period, usually.

If a showrunner gives you the implicit, or explicit impression that they also take into account what the “fans on the internet” are saying, or needing, that showrunner is pulling your leg. Trust me on this one. They know exactly what to say publicity-wise to keep you feeling “part of the process.” We are not part of the process.

The question now becomes: Why are we attempting to engage? Should we be part of the process?

The answer, I’m afraid, is no, we should not.

And we should not for two reasons: 1) it’s out of a selfish need: the need that fandom has developed to be recognized and loved by the creators of their obsessions. a.k.a official approval. 2) It is anathema to fannish creativity, and antithetical to the idea of a subcultural space.

I cannot think of a clearer example than mainstreamvitis of how to kill what fandom is.

A tangential, but no less destructive facet of this is confusing celebrity-worship with the nature of fandom.

Again, fandom is space to for the creation of creative works. Where does celebrity worship fit into that? For some, it actually does. Right at entry level. It takes the worship, lust or adoration of a celebrity or actor to generate interest in reading fiction about them or they characters they play.

But where it gets confusing is when the worship of that actor supersedes all else in that fandom. Everything created becomes subservient to the dynamics of that actor-worship, and lack of interest in that real-person actor forces the remainder of the fandom into a kind of state of siege.

The idea of not needing to fangirl the actor playing your favorite character in order to write that pairing just plain blasphemy; the notion of a show’s creator NOT GETTING the fact that you WANT to see your pairing made canon already--because gay is totally socially okay now--outright intolerable.

One aspect of fandom, meant to lubricate the mind, become the focus.

It’s like living in the fantasy of a rabid, spoiled child.


A lot of very good writers and artists have left fandom.

This may have to do with real life issues, but on the whole I think we can all tell a story as to why some BNF we knew back in the day has left fandom.

Participating in fandom today requires a total ban on so much as a whisper of anything negative about a movie, book or TV show, about any actor involved in a popular pairing, and sometimes even about a show’s creator (unless the “fandom” is in a wank with them), or there will be hell to pay.

A mature criticism of anything we love because we love it, is vile and repugnant, and causes a chill in the air. A while back, being accused of harshing a fandom buzz was a chuckle-worthy event. Now it’s practically a capital offense. If you do not LOVE IT COMPLETELY, THEN WHY ARE YOU IN THIS FANDOM??

Once upon a time, you could post about how Sam and Dean don’t actually qualify as real characters, but that you could still totally see them fucking. You could say what was wrong with Robert Downey Jr’s shlock performance as Holmes, and still gladly offer up your hundred dollar 12“ Obi Wan doll to see him fuck Jude Law’s Watson, preferably after a rather lengthy bout of lethargy. You could point out all the stupid things about the Trek reboot, and still dream up ways for Kirk to corner and shag McCoy. And why not?

The Boondock Saints movies, for example, are.. I mean, I don’t even know what the word would be: awful, I guess. But I still write Boondock Saints slash. The movie gave me characters, chemistry, and premises I absolutely loved, and the rest I’ll find in fandom. All we need in fandom is a glance at the right moment anyway. You add a world, an opportunity, and by god you have an OTP.

I’m not saying to write rants about how a fandom is deluding itself because the book, TV show or movie is atrocious, or that the story doesn’t work that way. I’m saying I think it’s nuts to demand total obsequiousness. Fascism requires demands obsequiousness.

What I’m saying is that it’s fine that some of our most beloved originating material is mostly crap (that’s what gets some of the best writers motivated--how to fill in those missing things). If you want to porn it, you should be able to do so without having to pretend it’s the come of Christ. How can a girl enjoy attending your lovely tea party if you think your dolls are real?

This is not to say a fandom isn’t true unless you’ve got people coming in and trashing things right and left. Quite the opposite. It’s to say a fandom isn’t true when you force people to line up at the tables and take a swig of the Kool-Aid or get the fuck out.

It shouldn’t be about maintaining a pretty facade.

No genuine critiquing means no genuine love. Just a lot of track marks on your arm.


I hear it so often: the crazies are making the rest of us look bad.

Well, it’s not that the crazies are making the rest of us look bad, it’s that the crazies are fandom now.

The internet is changing the concept of what fandom is, and it brings me back to my original question: If something changes fundamentally, can it still be called that thing?

I say it can’t.

I am perfectly aware of the ”everything can be out in the open,“ and ”I’m important for just being me,“ and ”criticism is mean and unpatriotic,“ trends in our current culture.

But it cannot be held to the whims of a trend is because 1) fandom is a subcultural event. We are the modern-day Bohemians. Whether it’s slash, gen, or het, we are the subverters of mainstream culture. We manipulate, and care little care for established conventions. And we do it all for licentious enjoyment.

This is true whether you like it or not. It’s why no one has or ever will be able to corporatize and re-sell fandom back to us.

And 2) fandom exists to fill a need. We all know what that need was that brought each of us searching. And we were immensely grateful when we found it. It was a space that was independent and separate from the outside world, a sometimes dangerous place, not for the faint of heart, and a sometimes comforting place, and everything in between. And it was real. We needed it to be.

I’m saying that for it to continue to be that thing, it has to maintain structural integrity.

This isn’t about anything as a naive as a call for ”harmony“ in fandom. (I enjoy reading the wanks too much for that.) Neither is it about whether fandom is choked with crap: no one can prevent works of crap from being created, and what right should anyone have to do so? Nor is it about simple whining.

It’s about defining boundaries.

It might seem naive to say it, but fandom really is first and last about creative works. Whether of the poorest or of the best kind. It basically is about being a type of nerd-- a single-minded person who doesn’t care about anything except thoroughly and continually enjoying the characters, story lines, and possibilities of a fictional (whether RPF) world.

This is who you are when you are in fandom. You are a raging NERD.

If this is not what you thought you were signing up for, you signed up for the wrong thing.

If what you have is a burning desire to be recognized by a show’s creator, a book’s author, TV actors, maybe to see your most beloved fic story line written into canon, you need to try something other than fandom (otherwise, you’ll always be wondering why you’re constantly being wanked every time you open your mouth).

If it’s celebrities you signed up for, try ONTD. (The place actually exists, so why not use it?)

This is the end of the decade in which fandom exploded on the internet. I have no doubt that it will continue to grow. But I don’t believe that it will get any cleaner from here on out. Issues will just get messier, and lines will get more blurred.

What I am simply and humbly proposing is that we become aware of this and do something about it.

Halt the trend, re-establish the boundaries, and stick to them. Otherwise we’ll really soon no longer have the prerogative to complain about “the crazies.”

I came into online fandom in what will be exactly six years on Jan. 1st. I got dragged in, limp and unable to form a thought, because of a single look David Wenham cast Sean Bean in the Two Towers Extended. I felt as though I had just seen a sunset for the first time in my life.

Fandom, of recent, has made me feel unpretty. It has burned out some of the best and most creative fen on this endless tug-of-war of “where we belong.” Why stay, when being in fandom was becoming more and more like negotiating a minefield? For some it was a tough decision, for others it was just time to call it quits while they could still recognize the landscape.

I, however, am staying. I just can’t drink the Kool-Aid. I heard it’s laced with cyanide and will kill you if you touch it.

Well there you have it. My argument for boundaries so that we can keep this thing alive. You know, for our children’s children.

Happy New Year, fellow pervs. And may we continue to find hotness and porn in the unlikeliest of places. *g* It’s gonna be a good year.

EDIT: What I hope this essay offers is a clear articulation of what fandom is, so that when the behavior of a person or a group of persons crosses the boundaries, we can say: What you are doing is NOT fandom, and is BAD for fandom, and here's WHY. I think that the more we have a philosophy, the better our chances of surviving intact.

- This essay is not about telling you how you should experience fandom.

- It's about pointing out the difference between fandom...and something else.

- For the purpose of trying to rescue fandom from a quagmire.

- So that it continues to survive as something we recognize.

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on 2009-12-30 03:04 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] kelleigh.livejournal.com
Six years, and I still think you're fucking brilliant, m'lady. Somehow you say things that maybe others have mentioned before, but you're putting it together in a way that makes me, fairly disillusioned with fandom of late, determined to stay and find the enjoyment I once did while still navigating around the crazies.

Do you mind if I link to this?

on 2009-12-30 11:21 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
Hiii Kelleeeeee. It's always so good to cuddle up next to you. *sigh*

Yes, definitely, link away. And thank you. It's a new year- I have fresh hopes for Fandom vs. the Crazies.

on 2009-12-30 04:11 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] sugata.livejournal.com

I'm in for the long haul too, despite intentionally retreating into my own little corner a lot more nowadays. As I get older and crankier, I find myself wanting to enjoy what I enjoy, without all the constant negativity. But I will continue to look forward to enjoying some of fandom's most amazing creativity. :)

Dearest Perse, I wish you and all your loved ones a bright and happy 2010. I look forward to all future hotness and porn ;D

<3 lots

on 2009-12-30 11:34 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
Thank you for the lovely New Year's wishes!

All the constant negativity, as far as I've seen, seems to come from t a constant frustration with not getting what they want from the outside world, whether it's from the actors or from the creators.

I constantly want to say, let it go, and just enjoy fandom.

on 2009-12-30 04:47 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] elaur.livejournal.com
Finally someone has had the guts to say it. Or at least the interest. I have had a checkered past in regards to fandom -- I've never been attached to it as a phenomenon per se. Just dove in where it was the hottest for me :D. But yes, I have to say, I probably would have stayed longer in certain fandoms if the scary fangirls hadn't made the good stuff dry up. (Either from sheer obnoxiousness and stupidity, or by the fascism you mentioned.)

And the GODFORSAKEN CELEBRITY WORSHIP! That's what gets me. It makes me want to VOMIT. And it's worse than just worship, like back in the day girls did with the Beatles or something. It's insidious and cold-hearted--more like stalking than "worship". If the object of their obsession is not behaving in a way that is "acceptable" *cough*OrlandoBloom'sclosetedhomosexuality*cough* they rip them apart. WTF is that? Batshit is what it is.

on 2009-12-30 11:43 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
Yes, and I think the more a majority of us move aside and let them continue, the more space they'll own in our world. That's a thought I just can't stand.

So many comm mods try to keep the crazies out, or force them to develop basic manners while interacting in the comm, but as a whole I think we can actually help ourselves in fandom by not keeping silent in our own LJs when someone is making us ALL look bad.

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on 2009-12-30 05:14 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] shrinetolust.livejournal.com
I've drifted away so much from fandom that I didn't actually realize how crazy it had gotten until I started to pick up on the Torchwood and Supernatural fandom links with creators. And while it seemed cool with SPN at first, a funny ha-ha moment, now it's starting to make me feel uncomfortable and embarrassed.

And Torchwood was a prime example of fans thinking a creator was listening to their every sacred word about how the show should go, and then he gave them a big FU to show just how much they were NOT in control. And honestly, I say shame on him as much as shame on them. Even writers of closeted slash fic know that you should never listen too closely to your fans comments. You have to write the story the way you intended to--not as a way to either appease or offend your readers.

It's funny when I think about the motivation and celebrity worship--because goodness knows I worship my boys. But what got me into it was reading a friend's story of slash, and how much it blew my mind, and how I couldn't believe that other people were writing the odd things that had been going on in my head too. And when I wrote my first RPF, it was after reading other Sean/Vig fic--I didn't worship either of them at that point, but I thought they were sexy enough to have some good naughty fun with. And the worship of them actually grew out of the whole creative process and group dynamic. And it certainly wasn't a blind worship--I am well aware of their flaws and so used to be everyone else.

What really shocked me recently was reading a whole post in Supernatural that was like reading a whole wank of Vig/Orli tinhattery and my jaw fell on the floor. Because it was the same exact psychosis that I thought was just particular to my fandom, and it terrified me that it was catching. That large groups of people were making the exact same illogical arguments with the same vehemence about two totally different guys. That blew my mind. And that's when I started to feel what you say here--the crazies *are* the fandom now.

Which is what other LJers have said to me when I groaned about the "fangirl" on SPN, who "made us look bad." I was told that, unfortunately, that's what a lot of "us" look like now. And that is scary and unsettling.

But I'm still here. However tangentially. Actually one of my New Year's Resolution was to be here more. I need the creative boost, and the release of craziness I just can't seem to get anywhere else. As for recognition, I want to get it for my own original work, that sometimes grows out of what I do here. Perhaps that's a cheat on the system, but it's the best I can offer. :P

Happy New Year! xoxo

on 2009-12-31 12:21 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
You know, all that tinhattery and all around madness would be fine if they would just keep it in the family, so to speak. Be as crazy as you want--isn't that why you got an LJ? And we can handle you in here--but don't take it outside. And believe me, I've seen it up close and personal, sitting in the Supernatural panels at Comic Con for three years running. It gets worse every year. Many different types of fans are there, but you can always tell the ones from LJ. Even the other fans (male and female) are like wtf?

I think like everyone else I felt overwhelmed and helpless in the face of the madness. But now I feel quite rejuvenated. *eg* I'm over my shocked terror of them and am quite ready to take them on, all year long. Did you ever read Harry Potter? I just started. And I learned a new spell. When a dementor is coming towards you, you hold out your wand and with a flick of your wrist, you say, Riddikulus. And that turns them into.. I don't know.. floating pink elephants or something. Anyway, I'm gonna give it a try this year.

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on 2009-12-30 11:05 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ladymalen.livejournal.com
I should probably make a longer reply, but to me it all boils down to this. Anything that is 'underground' or outside the norm/main loses it's inherent coolness when it starts getting popular. Be it a type of music, a style of dress, or something a liquid as fandom. Once it becomes something everyone wants a piece of, it's already dying.

on 2009-12-31 12:00 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
Sure, but it's the difference between a type of fad, even if it's initially underground, and a mental place of being. The only comparison I can think of are speakeasys (as lazar_grrl once described it), or underground resistance movements. Fandom existed in disparate places and all the internet did was connect it. But now I think it's suffering from a lack of an articulated identity, or something. It's like saying, I'm a Democrat. Generally, everyone knows what that means, and knows what you won't be doing come election time, e.g. campaigning for Republicans.

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on 2009-12-31 07:42 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] mrsbean.livejournal.com
I have a lot to say on this subject (with a very heartfelt 'thank you'), but I've had a very long day and am falling asleep at the switch. One quick question, noting the time of your post: are you in the eastern hemisphere?

on 2010-01-01 02:52 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
Woman, I just thought of you, wondering how you were doing, and came on here, and voila! You'd commented! *covers you with kisses*

No, I'm here in L.A., not in the east at all. Talk of long days, I did indeed post this at ten to six in the a.m. I hadn't just woken up, mind you; that was the end of my day.

I've been writing regularly these days (thank God!) and watched my daily schedule turn on its ear. Writing into the wee hours, sleeping in until the afternoon. Whatever works, I suppose. lol.

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on 2010-01-01 04:03 am (UTC)
ext_9063: (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] mlyn.livejournal.com
I agree with you in large part. Instead of repeating things back to you to show where we agree, here's where I fall short: I've seen, first-hand, show creators reaching out to fans and fandom. Take White Collar: after the mid-season finale there was reportedly a lot of indignation from fans. Jeff Eastin made some teasing tweets (some later deleted), and then reports came out that Eastin might shift direction away from where the finale had been leading. He mentioned the studio so obviously there was other input than from the audience, but I think the studio looked at audience reaction as much as anything. That's a mild example—I've also heard of fans directly contacted by show runners.

So while there is an increasing trend of "fangirls" flinging themselves at a show to be noticed, there's also a trend of the show crossing that line. It made me extremely uncomfortable at first, as it does you, I imagine. But I'm not entirely against a show being crafted with fans as the audience in mind—for slash to be obvious, no longer subversive. I think it will long remain subversive in part because America refuses to fully accept homosexuality (see: Maine, New York) and because fans have more self-serving (and porny) imaginations than a show does, and if it ever becomes the main relationship rather than an imagined one, I'll probably be too old to watch TV. ;)

But those are the only places where we differ. I agree that fandom should take itself in hand, although I'm not sure it's possible.

on 2010-01-01 05:53 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
You know the old saying "be careful what you wish for"? Knowing Hollywood, I think that this is what fans should bear in mind.

Fans and fandom are two different things. As I'm sure you get. We all know lots of show fans who are not in fandom. But whether it's mostly fandom people, or just fans of a show in general who are pushing for showrunners to do their bidding, I don't know.

What I do know is that whatever a showrunner or a studio decides to do with a show, a fandom will always exist, even if the show looses fans. Or a viewing audience. Which is the crux of what I'm trying to say: there are two separate things going on here, and I think we in fandom should realize that.

Love or hate the direction that an originating work is taking, fandom should not mistake it as its function to interfere. Or, if you prefer a less strong expression, to start dictating. That is almost certainly something that will come and bite us in the ass. I may be completely wrong, but then why are we even going there in the first place? Y'know?
Edited on 2010-01-01 05:55 am (UTC)

on 2010-01-01 06:23 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] dachelle.livejournal.com
Here via [livejournal.com profile] metafandom's delicious links. This post is interesting to me because I came into fandom through Buffy, and more specifically the Bronze posting board, where Joss and some of the writing staff would post, and where we had charity parties in L.A. where the cast and crew would mix with the fans. Honestly, the main reason I chose to post there was because of the presence of the writers - I'd never posted on a message board like that before. Of course, I ultimately found the experience most valuable for the friends I made through the board, but I always enjoyed posting with the VIPs. I actually ran the website for one of the writers for a number of years and spoke to him regularly on the phone. So, for me, the lines between fans and creators have been blurred from the beginning of my entry into fandom. I do think, though, that it was valuable to come into fandom that way because I very quickly learned what was acceptable interaction, and what was not. People who behaved inappropriately towards the crew were smacked down by the posters. There were some really ugly incidents, but I learned that if you simply approached the VIPs as if they're real people - because they are! - and not someone to be in awe of or who owes you something, you can have a really good experience.

For the last four years I've been in Libertines fandom, which is based around a band, and I think there's probably a post to be written about how music-based fandom differs from media-based fandom, or even actor-RPF. In some ways it's subtle, but it is different. I've definitely seen scary and entitled fan behavior, but generally it's not been from the LJ-based, fic-writing part of fandom, and I've encountered more frightening fanboys than fangirls. But it is similar to my experience in Buffy fandom in that the objects of the fandom for a long time blurred the lines between themselves and the fans - having gigs in their flat, giving recordings to fans to post online, posting on fan forums, etc.

Anyway, I'm not sure where I'm going with this anymore, except to say that I think you do have a number of good points and I think that fans would do well to keep several of them in mind, but I also appreciate the disclaimer, because in my experience the bad parts of fandom are not exclusively the province of nor result of fangirls.

on 2010-01-02 06:57 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
Thank you for this. Since my first days in fandom, I've always observed and tried to absorb the different ways in which people experience fandom. I am by no means trying to proscribe anybody's behavior, as it's not in my nature to butt into other people's business, but over the past few years, with the explosion of fandom on the internet, I think things have gotten different. It's become a very different matter from having a forum (physical or print or online) in which the creators show up to interact, or even just fans acting crazy (that'll always be there), versus publicly staking a claim. I think it's the latter that can open up a can of worms for fandom.

If this is a trend that has been steadily increasing in fandom, what I'm arguing is that due to the medium and nature of the internet, we in fandom should become conscious of the effect this could have, and simply bear that in mind. Because it appears to me like the situation of a frog in water that's being slowly brought to a boil.

As for crazy fan behaviour in general, I think that will always there. That's just people.

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on 2010-01-01 06:39 pm (UTC)
ratcreature: RatCreature shrugs: Whatever. (whatever)
Posted by [personal profile] ratcreature
I don't think the urge to be acknowledged by creators is new. In a way it is inherent in both large parts of SF fandom as well as comic fandom, where people first write or draw for fanzines (with original works) but often hope to make it pro. Getting the attention of the people you admire (showing your drawings at comic conventions to your favorite pro artist etc etc), thus happens all the time. Media fandom grew out of that, so naturally when media fans made fanzines those weren't all suddenly hidden from show creators and actors at the conventions from what I heard. And sometimes kerfuffles over that happened because actors saw zines with naked people on the covers even back in the 1970s.

I haven't been in fandom back then, but I've been in online tv fandom since the mid-1990s (in offline comic fandom before that), and as long as I remember there have been always fans who wanted acknowledgment (like getting your fanart autographed), and sometimes there were fans who were in closer contact to production than the rest of fandom for whatever reason (some worked in entertainment industry, were writing scripts or trying to get scripts accepted etc).

Another classic example of how fandom likes to get attention of creators is when fandom does charity drives for some cause one of the actors or producers supports. Many fandoms do that, like in Sentinel fandom artists and authors would do charity auctions of their works for a charity associated with the actors, so that money would be raised on behalf of fandom. There are charity zines doing the same thing too.

Then there are the "Save the show" campaigns for example, which by their very nature need acknowledgment by producers and production. And big ones raise enormous amounts of money for that. Enough for advertising in big entertainment magazines, like the Save Farscape campaign did.

Personally I like to stay away from the production side of things, and am not an actor fan at all, and by now I avoid authors and comic artists as well, because too often some statement or other made me cringe too much to ever forget and like their stuff again, but this urge to get noticed is not new at all IMO, and I don't think it started with the internet either.

on 2010-01-02 07:11 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
No, I'm not saying it started with the internet, I'm only saying that the internet could end up doing something to fandom it did not anticipate, and that if there's a medium that could do it, it would be this one.

I do attend cons, big and small, and I see the interactions with creators; I know of the countless charity drives, etc. But -- and if I'm incorrectly stating facts, I really would like to know -- at no time in the past has fandom taken the kind of stand (staking a claim) in relation to originating works that it seems to take for granted nowadays. Am I wrong about this? Have I missed other such directions in fandom? This coupled with the way the internet exists, is what is making me so nervous.

The "save our show" drives I don't think are what I'm talking about. In fact I think that's the kind of thing fandom is all about.

Thank you for commenting, and I hope I was able to make my position a little clearer.

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on 2010-01-02 04:37 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ithiliana.livejournal.com
Here from metafandom. While I totally agree with the need for distance between fen and TPTB (aka creators), I am a bit confused by this statement:

Fandom was a subcultural mental space created initially by artists and writers, and then vidders.

Because, well, historically sf fandom in the US was created initially by (mostly male) readers of science fiction magazines (published in the late 1920s and after) who got together via the LOC (Letter of comment) pages in the SF magazines (thus, the creators/powers that be), writing hugely long majorly cool letters all about the content, with many of the fen going on to be published author (see: Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, and many many many others). The fans started clubs to hang out together; they did fanzines (with NO fan fiction whatsoever); and they had fan conventions (where the creators/authors/editors) were invited and people mingled, so the desire to be close to those creating the source texts fen loved was there from the start, as was the fact that fen wrote criticism/praise for the stories by the sf authors, and also wrote criticism and praise for how the pro magazines were run, including what stories were published and what cover art was published.

There were frictions between pros and fans, but also sf fandom historically and culturally in the US (different national fandoms, different stories) blurred a lot of the boundaries between professionals and amateurs (and still does so: John Scalzi, a professional sf author, won a Hugo for his FAN writing).

The major emphasis on the fictional writing came much much later (mostly by women)--early fanzines tended much more toward con reports, analysis of topics/issues in fandom, etc. (I edited a Trek fanzine in the 1970s, and was in APA fandom in the 1980s, and fan fiction was NOT in any way utilized in those spaces--art was, esp. in the apa which had a lot of comics guys).

The internet, some would argue, crossed sf fandom with "celebrity" fandom (esp. actors more than the writers/directors), but that's also part of media fandom (as opposed to book fandom which still exists btw).

Just basically saying that ever since the 1920s, fen have been saying "this group of fen over there doing things differently than us are ruining fandom."

And if it's people who behave in ways that many want to disavow, they've been in fandom for ever as well. There's just sort of nothing new under the sun.

on 2010-01-02 06:08 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
But I think that the internet is something new under the sun.

Maybe fifty years from now that statement will seem funny and shortsighted, with the perspective that our views on the availability and rapid spread of information via the internet turned out to be no less amusing than what we think of people’s reactions to the invention of the telegraph.

But the telegraph was something new, and it did change communication and society. I’m not saying even a little bit that fandom holds so high a position, but what I am trying to put forward is the notion that this new means of exponential dissemination of information is actually, permanently changing the nature of fandom.

Maybe I’m simply becoming archaic. That’s fine; I would be very happy years from now to see that fandom survived intact in the massive onrush of putting everything out there and drawing no lines or self-regulation on anything. That all the forms and ways of fandom you describe still belong to fans and fandom, instead of, there having been no lines maintained, Fox, NBC, Universal and Warner Bros were free to trademark and operate whole aspects of fandom. Not because they C&D’d all of fandom and owned it, but because everything just sort of blurred. Something that couldn’t have been possible maybe even twenty years ago, becomes possible ten years down the road due to the ease and fluidity of just about everything [on the web].

I do see a difference between writing letters, having fan conventions (and inviting creators), and publishing zines (even with opinions on how pro mags are run), and having executives at networks or studios trying to figure out how to placate us. Which will eventually come to mean how to neuter us (for lack of a better expression), whether it might mean engaging a broader public against us.

Like I said, I would love and hope to be proven wrong. But I believe there’s a difference between bringing creators into our space to reach out to us (cons and forums, etc), and fandom being increasingly put out there, and more and more in a way that might eventually demand for a kind of lowest common denominator operator license. Because hey, we brought it out.

The fans started clubs to hang out together;

Yes, that’s what I mean by my statement which you quoted. That is, space created outside of the mainstream, for creative purposes. I’d argue that this early fanzines tended much more toward con reports, analysis of topics/issues in fandom, etc does not negate my statement, as it was still the push of creative works (motivating future artists and writers, etc.) that created the need for fan clubs. I’ve heard Ray Bradbury speak numerous over many years about these histories, as well as having read up the topic from many different outlets over the years (which is no substitution for having lived it), so I hope I’m not speaking completely out of my ass. If I am, then I would gladly alter or withdraw the statement.

Finally, I don’t believe that people doing things differently in fandom ruins fandom. I’m just concerned about the nature of the thing persisting. Because the one thing I have seen is that from the 20s till pretty much today, fen have managed to hand down to us something that we can all still recognize.
Edited on 2010-01-02 06:20 am (UTC)

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on 2010-01-02 05:03 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] tazlet.livejournal.com
Once upon a time, there was a movement called “Bohemian.” This movement was made up of artists, musicians, and writers. It was during the nineteenth century, and their reason for being was to create works that were against the grain of mainstream culture, satirize established conventions of the time, and in effect flaunt the idea of things held sacred. They had a mode of dress, a style of conduct and lived “bohemian” lifestyles. Their supreme aim was nothing less than entertainment.

I read that idiotic last sentence and couldn't be bothered with the rest of your screed. That statement completely ignores, assuming you're even dimly aware of, the political and artistic ideology that motivated people who lived 'bohemian' lifestyles. Their "supreme aim" frequently was "nothing more or less" than revolution. Try again.

on 2010-01-02 06:14 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
I beg to differ. And try and make your point without resorting to name calling. If the statement angered or irritated you, I still see no reason why you can't control yourself and make your point civilly. Believe me we can all go there.

on 2010-01-02 06:13 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ravenbell.livejournal.com
Here via metafandom.

Elizabeth Rappe posted a similar article about the negative implications of fans and creators crossing the streams over at Cinematical (http://www.cinematical.com/2009/12/30/the-geek-beat-why-we-do-what-we-do/).

I have to say I'm still pretty dumbstruck whenever I come across this concept of fans being mindlessly adulatory, and banned from being critical, especially when it comes to fanfics and such. Fanfics as derivative works are often critical and subversive by nature - hijacking the canon universe to serve our own fannish ends - used for parodies, satirizes, gaps-fillers, to highlight canon weaknesses, and to explore unused corners of the universe. I found online fandom in the late 90s through anime - specifically the yaoi/slash culture that was booming around "Gundam Wing," "Weiss Kreuz," and the like. And believe me, the fans and the stuff they were writing were far, FAR more interesting than any of the shows themselves. (I remember "Weiss Kreuz," being memorably horrible.) I can still happily write fanfics for shows and films I wouldn't call myself a fan of in any sense.

I understand that there have always been different kinds of fans, we're not all in fandom for the same reasons, and the wank is a given. On the other hand, it does bothers me that we see so many fans around who are not only unwilling to be questioning and critical of canon works, but are completely against anyone else doing the same. I'm thinking specifically of all the fandom-specific discussions of gender!fail and race!fail where inevitably someone will lash out that "true" fans wouldn't be talking about such uncomfortable subjects. The "Avatar: The Last Airbender" fandom seems to be in the process of tearing itself to pieces over the new movie and it's problematic casting. Because a film with the same name as the show they love couldn't *possibly* be bad.

I think this is one of the reasons I tend to gravitate to general media discussion groups, metafannish communities and the like. I can't bloody stand the cliqueish factions in some of these fandoms. My creativity often comes from very negative places - I fully admit that I have ficced out of *spite* on a few occasions. And I'm just as much a fan as anyone who's drunk the Kool-aid. :P

Of course, this kind of behavior isn't just the fans these days. Extremism seems to be everywhere. Hmmm... I wonder if it's FOX New's fault? (I kid.)

on 2010-01-02 03:58 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] emptyharmony.livejournal.com
I fully admit that I have ficced out of *spite* on a few occasions.

I used to be very involved in creative LJ fannishness under a different psuedonym and this was exactly where most if not all of my fic writing came from. I was po'd at what the creators had done to "my show" or "my Character" and I needed to fix it for myself. Heck, I once even hosted a ficathon that was all about being ticked off at the direction a character went and wanting to read alternate scenarios. It was a hit, btw. :)

In short, although some people may complain about it, criticisms of the source media has always been a part of my fannish experience on LJ. Sometimes people get upset. It happens.

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Posted by [identity profile] lady-ganesh.livejournal.com - on 2010-01-02 07:53 pm (UTC) - Expand

metafandom brought me here

on 2010-01-02 07:14 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] vonquixote.livejournal.com
EDIT: note - for some reason I didn't even notice there was a disclaimer on this when I first read it. It feels slightly like I'm now reminding you of something you've already reminded yourself of, but the initial sense of 'are you sure' remains strong enough for me to want to leave these words here and see what you think of them.

Participating in fandom today requires a total ban on so much as a whisper of anything negative about a movie, book or TV show, about any actor involved in a popular pairing, and sometimes even about a show’s creator (unless the “fandom” is in a wank with them), or there will be hell to pay.

Um... really?

I see where that impression might have come from, and maybe I'm just a very, very small-name-fan and not big enough to start drama when I say something less than positive about the source material of the fandoms in which I operate, but... really?

My things about Doctor Who and Torchwood are frequently leavened with negativity and, to date, the fandom police have not come a-callin'. Interactions with gaming fandom (which is, admittedly, a strange beast compared to media fandom, and I think is something much more like what media fandom used to be) practically run on criticising the source materials (although there is a drift in one of the 'doms I'm in towards the Internet Police mentality, an interesting drift given that so much of the discussion of that material occurs on its creators' corporate forum).

I'm not saying you're wrong; I've seen some fairly heavy moderating in favour of positivity, noticed the scorch marks where some truly epic wank has occurred and someone has been so negative that they've crossed into troll territory and others can't help but ask "why are you still here, then?" (and, in two cases, the people asking have booted the people being asked from the aforesaid corporate community, partly because of the sheer abrasiveness of the critics and partly, I think, because the forum is part of the company's public face and they want to engineer a certain sort of space there).

I suppose what I'm saying is that the Internet Police don't seem like this omnipotent, panoptical presence to me. Maybe it's just that Who fandom has a lot of vocal, critical failspotters among what I think are its bigger names, and that game fandom just doesn't work like media fandom does.
Edited on 2010-01-02 07:22 am (UTC)

Re: metafandom brought me here

on 2010-01-02 07:56 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
Well, I'm honestly glad that you haven't experienced this kind of mentality, and perhaps your last two points are the reasons; I don't know. But too many fen I've seen across quite a few fandoms increasingly have. And that's.. really all I've got.

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on 2010-01-02 07:48 am (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
So, to sum up all your many, many words into sentence: 2nd generation ~*~Bohemia~*~ has swept in and overtaken the 1st generation, and now 1st generation ~*~Bohemians~*~ have to read and fap to their porn while listening to the ceaseless shrieks of 2nd generation ingrates.

What is your point?

on 2010-01-02 07:53 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
The way you put it, I have to wonder myself.

on 2010-01-02 08:12 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] lunesque.livejournal.com
Hi, I'm here via metafandom, and I just wanted to say that this, exactly, is what I've been trying to pinpoint on my own. I've been in fandom since 2001, but it doesn't have the same sense of community or creativity that it used to, and that absolutely drives me nuts.

I think I'm going to friend you, if you don't mind. :)

via metafandom

on 2010-01-02 09:33 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ravenclaw-devi.livejournal.com
Fandom as Bohemians? Now that's an interesting (and sense-making) thought.

Myself, I've considered fandom to be something done in the spirit of punk ("punk" as in punk rock, not as in cyberpunk) - we take the products of consumer culture (commercially produced entertainment such as anime/manga, TV shows, movies), and we you cut them up and put them together again, making them into art (or "just" into really fun porn) of our own.

Re: via metafandom

on 2010-01-02 03:42 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] emptyharmony.livejournal.com
also here via metafandom.

I love the idea of fandom as punk - I came of age in the late 70's/early 80's and was as involved in punk as one could be in the midwest US during that era - so I can relate to that. For me, fandom has been more about the anarchy and creating outside of the PTB's eyes. Also creative fandom is sometimes just about making noise and getting some attention.

on 2010-01-02 01:57 pm (UTC)
nic: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] nic
Here via MF, hello.

I've been part of online fandom since '96, and I disagree with this:

A mature criticism of anything we love because we love it, is vile and repugnant, and causes a chill in the air.

My fandom experience is that criticism is what has destroyed many fandoms of late. In the late 90's, on mailing lists, the focus was DISCUSSION of the source material (and of course, fic/vids/art).

As time went by, I found fans becoming more and more critical. Using "Doctor Who" as an example, I've seen the full spectrum of reactions across my friendslist: some love, but some are full of hate. And it's the same old story of hate they've been reciting for a couple of years now.

That's not fun to me.

So from my point of view, it's not that fans don't dare criticise, it's that they criticise Too Much and forget the joy in fandom.

on 2010-01-02 04:32 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] bexone.livejournal.com
if the volume of criticism has increased, it's because fandom, through the many iterations of !fail, has become more aware as a whole of problematic attitudes and tropes in mainstream media. eliminating the criticism of those attitudes and tropes in order to "bring back the joy" without any corresponding change in the media we consume is not a sacrifice i'm willing to make.

on 2010-01-02 02:33 pm (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
I first wanted to write a long posting, detailing that nothing of this is new. Fans bashing criticism was an old hat 30 years ago, for example.
Then I reread your posting, and noticed this:

This is how I experienced fandom on LiveJournal, where as far as I can tell, fandom has made its home.

Haha. Hahahahaha.

This would be more accurate:
This is how I experienced fandom on LJ, where as far as I can tell, a small part of the english speaking fandom has made itself a summer residence.

On LJ, the absolute vast majority of fandom doesn't even get a mention. Non-english speakers from Europe are usually found on completely different websites, not to mention fans from Asia. LJ is tiny when compared to the vast bulk that is fandom.

I'm always amused when LJ people think that they are fandom. It's kinda cute, that typical (usually US-American) arrogance.

on 2010-01-02 03:50 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] emptyharmony.livejournal.com
Your point about LJ fandom being but a very small drop in the vast ocean of fandom is a valid one, says this arrogant US-American. Fandom is lots bigger than English speaking LJ fandom, heck fandom embraces all sorts of groups that speak English that wouldn't be included in LJ fandom, IMO - specifically I think that fandom is a larger group and creative works fandom is a subset of that larger group. There does not need to be an LJ fanfic community for a group of fans for those fans to be a part of fandom. There are HUGE websites dedicated to fannish activities that are not creative, just discussion boards. And that counts, imo.

Still, the original poster's points about the intersection of the PTB's fan service and fan criticism was an interesting one to ponder for a bit.

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Here from Metafandom

on 2010-01-02 04:05 pm (UTC)
ext_6866: (Diving in)
Posted by [identity profile] sistermagpie.livejournal.com
I know you said this was your personal experience--I probably got into fandom seriously in the mid-90s and I haven't really noticed that much of a change at all. XFiles fandom had a big relationship to the producers, there were some people very focused on the actors more than the characters, some people got a lot out of getting themselves closer to the productions side of things. And there were the people, especially in season 9, who led campaigns against negative criticism and asked why you were a fan if you didn't like the source material (meanwhile there's that great article that just lays out that Star Wars fans hate Star Wars).

I definitely think if we went back we'd recognize fans doing a lot of the same things people do today and would see those different types, the ones who long to associate themselves with the creators, those who are interpreting against the text and going their own way, those who are sad at any criticism, those who criticise loudly. The trick isn't really that fandom's changing, imo, but that you just have to find the right group that's got more the sensibility you're looking for.

I tend to think what the internet did was just mash up fannish space with creators. Suddenly the conversations fans had with each other are public in places where creators can see/hear them for the same reason other fans can easily find them and congregate. And it probably challenges the things both creators and fans thought they should be entitled to.

Re: Here from Metafandom

on 2010-01-02 07:56 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] lady-ganesh.livejournal.com
Agreed. I'm not sure it's so much a huge change forward as much as a step to a different model-- Cerevantes wrote the second volume of Don Quixote in part because there were so many unauthorized sequels around.

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on 2010-01-02 04:41 pm (UTC)
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on 2010-01-02 04:49 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] bexone.livejournal.com
more and more, i dislike the american model of television, where the current goal is to come up with a show that can run for as many (very long) seasons as possible, without any concern about whether the original storyteller's premise can withstand the strain (and ideally without any of the actors getting the idea in their head that they're big stars now and can demand big bucks -- which is itself directly opposed to the main goal, since if you're still getting big bucks after you've pounded the original story's dead horse into a smear of red jelly and bone chips, it's almost always because of the strength of the actors' fandom {their acting ability only rarely being a factor, since the actually good actors wind up leaving for movies most of the time} /digression.) it's those kinds of stories, where the original premise has been twisted beyond recognition by the exigencies of making it longer, that are most open to being or at least appearing affected by the demands of fandom (i.e., "fanservice.")

if more of the PTB were willing to work from a mindset of having a story to tell, telling it, and then being done, i think the volume of fannish entitlement would decrease and the main thrust of fandom would shift slowly back to writing fic in order to fix whatever the creators did wrong, rather than demand they fix it in the show.

on 2010-01-12 01:04 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
I agree with you. And I think this might be along the lines of what you're saying:


I found it to be a rather interesting piece.

Here from Metafandom

on 2010-01-02 08:04 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] lady-ganesh.livejournal.com
I was a bit distressed to see you using the word 'fangirl' in such a derogatory way, and to talk about fan entitlement in such gendered way. No, I've never heard of male fans handling actors explicit fanfiction about their own characters, but there are plenty of male fans who do act in ridiculous ways.

The blurring of creator and creation and between actors, their 'real' lives, and their public personae, IMO, is not just an issue for what we describe as 'fandom', and it feels weird to feel a finger pointed in that direction when-- as someone funnier than I pointed out the other day-- I know more about Kate Gosselin's fertility than I do my own.

Re: Here from Metafandom

on 2010-01-02 11:55 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
I appreciate your concerns, but again, I am only speaking to what I know. I know what fanboys are like, but I've never been in their circles enough to say anything much. I know there are male fans even in the areas of fandom in which I interact, but I've only ever interacted with 2 of them. I'm not saying they don't do the same things, I'm only speaking to the interactions I've experienced.

And regarding fangirl as a derogatory term, as I said in the post, I do not consider it that way. I refer to myself as a fangirl. But for the purposes of discussion, I believe some generalization has to be permitted. It's fine if you believe I'm wrong.

creator/fan interaction

on 2010-01-02 09:13 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] kamalz.livejournal.com
If a showrunner gives you the implicit, or explicit impression that they also take into account what the “fans on the internet” are saying, or needing, that showrunner is pulling your leg. Trust me on this one. They know exactly what to say publicity-wise to keep you feeling “part of the process.” We are not part of the process.

We beg to differ. Having spent the last two years researching the reciprocal relationship between fans and creators (showrunners, writers, producers, and actors), fans are most definitely a part of the process. Showrunners care, they do listen (they'd be foolish not to) and they do take fan input into consideration. This doesn't mean they always act on it. If they're good at what they do, they stick to their own creative vision, which is why fans like the show in the first place.

We have noticed the growing tendency of fans to police other fans. Maybe it's always existed but it becomes impossible to ignore when somebody tacks the "Rules of Being a Good Fan" on the back of a bathroom door at a Supernatural convention (Why It's Not Safe to Come Out of the Fan Closet (http://fangasmthebook.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/why-its-not-safe-to-come-out-of-the-fan-closet/)).

Boundaries have always been an essential part of fandom - establishing them, crossing them, re-establishing them, negotiating them with each other and with the creators - but who gets to figure out the right place to draw them?

Re: creator/fan interaction

on 2010-01-03 12:12 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
I have zero interest in policing fans. Perhaps my opinions came out that way to you. If they did, allow me to use this comment to correct that impression.

The statement I made which you quoted is from things I've seen for myself, coming from a different place than where your information is coming from. They are both probably true, as with, variables many things can be.

No one "gets to" figure out where to draw boundaries. I have proscribed no rules of behaviour for anyone. But we as fen do get to raise one or two issues and voice our thoughts if and when we feel concerned about fandom as a whole. It's all I've tried to do here, as best I could.

Cool Story, Bro!

on 2010-01-02 09:24 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] lavenderfrost.livejournal.com
If what you have is a burning desire to be recognized by a show’s creator, a book’s author, TV actors, maybe to see your most beloved fic story line written into canon, you need to try something other than fandom (otherwise, you’ll always be wondering why you’re constantly being wanked every time you open your mouth).

...which is why Gene Roddenberry (http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Star_Trek_convention#The_first_Trek_convention) attended the very first Star Trek convention. In 1972. Before the dreaded Internet Fangirls were glints in their parents' eyes.

Seriously - if that's not a grab for acknowledgment and validation from the source, I dunno what is. Sure, people may not have shown them their K/S fics, but attempts at engaging and having a back-and-forth with the source have been going on since the beginning of the world's first official Fandoms.

I agree there need to be boundaries and there are fans out there that have no grasp of the concept, but that's true for anything in life. Fandom is, above all else, made up of real people leading real lives. Some of them are going to be crazy and idiotic and think it's TOTALLY COOL to show Jensen Ackles their Wincest porn. Idiocy is not a Fangirl thing, it's a Life thing.

As for the don't-harsh-my-squee drink-the-koolaid-or-die rant? I'm not quite sure what corner of fandom you're hanging around in, but speaking as a self-professed Fangirl who got into fandom in the mid-late 90's, mine is not like that at all. Has never been, even before LJ.

Yes, there's been wank, but even the raging fangirls have never been afraid to criticize their respective canon source material. The criticism isn't always intelligent or well-received, but it was a natural part of fandom for as long as I can remember.

Instead of condemning fandom as a whole, maybe you need to find a new group of fans to surround yourself with.
Edited on 2010-01-02 09:24 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] countess-baltar.livejournal.com
I didn't know "fandom" as defined in the original post existed on LiveJournal until 2006.

Since I hang out with a small fandom for an unloved show that aired in 1978, I was (still am) more involved with e-mail lists. From 1990 until recently, I relied on reading Usenet newsgroups.

Before that I went to SF conventions which were mainly literary oriented with side orders of media (TV and movies), costuming, modeling, filk, etc. organized by fans (or fen) for fans of science fiction and fantasy.

At that time (the 1970s) most fans did not have BluRay, DVDs, VCRs, etc. If one was a fan of a television show, once it was cancelled it was gone for all intents and purposes unless it was lucky enough to be picked up for syndication.

The media fanzines I bought at that time were, by and large, not "subversive". The fanfics were created by fans to "continue" the show they loved. These fanzines also included some critiques and reviews and lots and lots of opinions. However since people had to write on a piece of paper and mail off a letter of comment, people tended to stop and think before they mailed their letter. Imagine a flame war where responses take weeks, if not months, to be "published".

I just read a bunch of Doctor Who reviews (don't worry, no spoilers) and was struck by the lack of awareness or discussion of story structure (don't tell me the writing was X; tell my why you think the writing was X), character interaction, the actors' performances, the costume design, the set design, etc.

I happen to think admiring an actor is perfectly fine (if it doesn't involve stalking). I've watched more than a few crappy movies or TV shows for the simple reason my favourite actor was in the cast. I saw one of his earliest film roles the other day. Wasn't his best work, but the potential which he fulfilled later was evident even then. Today no one would discuss the performance, they'd just complain the actor's ethnicity didn't match the character's (although it does in a technical respect).

I think what is wearing out LiveJournal fandom is the endless rounds of the whatever-FAIL. While some people may want to co-opt various TV and movie creations for their subversive ends, other people just want to watch them and share their enjoyment without getting clobbered over a political issue.
Posted by [identity profile] bexone.livejournal.com
i'm sure you didn't mean it that way, but when you say:

I think what is wearing out LiveJournal fandom is the endless rounds of the whatever-FAIL. While some people may want to co-opt various TV and movie creations for their subversive ends, other people just want to watch them and share their enjoyment without getting clobbered over a political issue.

what you're actually saying is that the problem with fandom is all those female fans/fans of color/fans with disabilities should just stop objecting to the way they are marginalized and objectified or just plain ignored in the media we're being fannish about. it is possible to love something deeply while simultaneously acknowledging that it has problems, but handwaving those problems away as just the concerns of the "pc police" can be more hurtful than the original issues.
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