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[personal profile] 2_perseph
Just got back from Comic Con, and I guess that’s as good a place to start as any.

In a nutshell, fandom evolved. This happened while some of us were watching, but also while some of us were looking in the other direction, trying to focus a little on the crazy shit life was throwing our way.

But to make a long story short, we haven’t abandoned fandom, fandom sort of took a different turn than most of us were willing to follow. It became not so much about our favorite characters or story lines, but about whether we could do anything psychotic enough to attract the attention of the actors, show creators or studio publicists. Whether we could get our opinions printed on EW.com, or anywhere else retarded enough to pick us up.

It became less, and almost not at all, about our lovely, naughty perversions, and how filthy or funny we could get when no one was watching. We didn’t seem to be satisfied with our fellow fans LOLing or squeeing over what we had to say, but rather we had to have listening, and shove it down the throat of, the outside world.

This of course is not the experience of many in fandom--some fandoms remained impervious--but there has to be a reason LJ is not nearly as fun as it used to it. Sure, few of us have a great big fandom, a la juggernauts like LOTR, to congregate around, but even the smaller ones seem to be suffering from this infection of mainstreamvitis. In general, nowadays, there doesn’t seem to be a resistance to the infection in fandom, yet a resistance is precisely what’s needed to keep good clean fannish fun going.

We’re not meant for the spotlight. We aren’t meant for mainstream, in-your-face, “we exist” politics. We’re meant for the shadows and for the fringes. The ease of access of The Powers That Be to posts, blogs, and commentary has made us believe we’re part of the creative process of our fandoms. But believe me when I tell you that that (with the warped exception of Supernatural), is a fallacy.

So let’s ease off a little. We always had more fun when we were just by ourselves. When LJ was just a cool little secret we shared with our fellow dedicated fans. Trust me when I tell you it’s not about nostalgia for a by-gone time. It’s more about the memory of a time when we got it right. Let them go back to wondering whether we would applaud or boo at a Comic Con panel. Let them actually strive to give us their best again, instead of knowing we’ll be complete whores for whatever tripe they throw at us, simply because we want to feel “relevant” to the process. We’re not relevant to the process. We don’t make shows, shows make fans. And fans make fandom. Let’s love fandom again.

I know I do.

on 2009-07-30 08:41 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] shrinetolust.livejournal.com
I'm not sure what you've been missing, but I know I've been missing you. :) xoxox

This is an interesting take on fandom, and comes right at the time when Torchwood fans are spinning themselves into the ground over the latest season and the destruction of their favorite pairing. The creator of Torchwood almost seems to have done it out of spite, and it may follow exactly what you're saying--some fans felt they had control over the series, and the writer wanted to let them know they didn't.

I've kind of always liked it when show or movie creators appreciate and acknowledge fandom, and occasionally throw them/us a bone to make us feel part of the experience--not part of the process, mind, just part of the family, as it were. But I sure as heck don't have an interest in my fanfic being quoted in EW, that's for sure. I have other outlets for fame-whoring. *G*

Welcome back to LJ. You know I'm always ready to perv. :)

on 2009-07-31 06:34 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
I just watched all five parts of Torchwood Children of Earth today, following the wank and so forth. I also skimmed an EW article interviewing Richard T. Davis out of interest. And yes, he seemed so very irritated with the fans. He didn't seem to like "gay" being co-opted as a purely fannish/pairing thing. All around very interesting.

I too love it when we the fans just get an occasional wink and a nod. Or an outright tip of the hat. Other than that, similar to what you said, I wouldn't appreciate show creators coming in and telling me what to do in my fic. So it makes no sense that we want to tell them how to proceed with their own ideas.

I'm counting on you as always to be a pillar in temple of the perv. *climbs into your lap*

on 2009-07-30 01:16 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] kelleigh.livejournal.com
Wow, long time! It's good to see you, though!

Even being in the huge, warped fandom that is Supernatural, I agree with you. I don't really *want* to exist. I cringed when "The Monster at the End of this Book" aired because while a lot of fans rejoiced that we were out there and proud, I wanted to hide fandom away. I don't mind being acknowledged from time to time since we're still a large part of the show's viewers, but I certainly don't feel any sort of entitlement. Rather, I want to keep the fact that I write slash of the characters and actors a secret from the people involved with the show.

Seriously, SPN fandom is messed up. Especially the more public side, a.k.a. Batshit!Fandom.

Anyway, I'm GLAD you're back ♥, wayward mistress!

on 2009-07-31 07:00 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
*hugs you for hours* Kells, we've been in crazy-ass, all-consuming fandoms, and lived to tell the tale. I read the original post as well as your own post on the behaviours at Asylum con, and I feel it's just easier for idiots get vocal nowadays. I go to the Supernatural panels at Comic Con, even though I'm the farthest thing from a fan of the show, simply because I think the Supernatural fandom is something like a control group experiment on what happens when fans completely let themselves go. And all I can say is, your attitude is the kind of thing that's needed to just keep fandoms going. No matter what some kinds of people are using fandom as a cover for (i.e. as an outlet for their own fucked-up attention-seekingness), you've got to just truck on. Few things satisfy like a good fandom, so why let rude people ruin it?

That said, I do not envy you being in that fandom. Oh my GOD.

Anyway, I'm GLAD you're back ♥, wayward mistress!

*giggles* YIS. *snoodles*

on 2009-07-30 01:20 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] culuyetille.livejournal.com
*applauds* thank you. It's terrible how there seems to be less and less focus on having fun and sharing it with fellow fans than on being all triumphant because YOUR ship became canon or some other equally worthless whatnot. I for one think that slash was more fun when we had to dig hard to get the subtext instead of making a soup out of the bones that are thrown to the fans.

Welcome back :)

and seriously? quilts for actors? wtf is up with that?

on 2009-07-31 07:08 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
I wish actors and creators would start telling fans to back the hell up. Like a bucket of cold water on our heads or something. This movement to make ships canon is like the last straw in it all. Talk about not having boundaries. And then, like you pointed out, where would fandom be? What would be exciting to see about a manip or a piece of fanart featuring a pairing, when the show itself or a poster would feature it? How would we have that thrill anymore from the application of our imaginations? It's unbelievable. I feel we have to start smacking their hands like wayward children when fans get so shrill.

on 2009-07-30 01:57 pm (UTC)
ext_47216: (Aya and Yohji: Almost Kiss)
Posted by [identity profile] elflady-2001.livejournal.com
Here here! While I've left living people fandom (I'm in anime/manga and even then, I lurk, don't want to get involved in weirdness unless it's smutty!:P ) a while ago due to other reasons, I totally hear you about the mainstreaming of fandom. It just isn't right and feels like sell out. Difficult to put into words.

But I am most certainly glad to you see you again!!!

on 2009-07-31 07:10 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
*throws arms around you* *holds you forever*

.... I want to say more but I can't. I've missed you missed you missed you.

on 2009-07-30 02:44 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] dangomango.livejournal.com
Being a semi-member of the Supernatural fandom, I can certainly say that "being in the public eye", as it were, has certainly done the fandom (and the show) no favors.

I'm friending you if that's okay - your post here is quite intelligent, or at the very least I agree with it :P

on 2009-07-31 07:25 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
Being a semi-member of the Supernatural fandom

lol. I think I kinda know what you mean. Honestly, it's a show that, despite all its shortcomings, should have had me from day one. But what a straaaange fandom it is. Even my love for John Winchester has gone exactly nowhere because I open my mouth and then just sort of sit there for a while, watching the insanity, and then I simply shut it.

Thank you for friending me. Friended you back. Nice to meet you and hope we have some fun times coming our way.

on 2009-07-30 03:13 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] lazar-grrl.livejournal.com
First: Yay! You're back!
Second: Agreed, many times over. I like the feeling that fandom is something, not private, but maybe exclusive? That's not quite right, but something in me loves the idea of fandom as this little speakeasy where you have to know Mac and get the password from Dana to get in. Kinda illicit, but not bad, and that makes it more fun somehow. Jeez, every time I read about someone walking up to one of the actors and handing them RPS fiction, I cringe and wonder how hard a cover ID would be to set up. Large? Okay. Mainstream? That was one reason I liked these quirky, never-in-the-Nielsen shows in the first place.

on 2009-07-31 07:37 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
the idea of fandom as this little speakeasy where you have to know Mac and get the password from Dana to get in.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Yes yes yes.

Why has that become not enough for fandom?? We used to be an enigma to the show creators and the studios. They wanted in on our speakeasy fun. It's what kept them guessing and working hard, and their efforts were what surprised and inspired and kept us going. The obviousness of this symbiosis doesn't need to be pointed out. It gets us nowhere to want to know what the acts are going to be and what numbers they're going to sing every night in the speakeasy.

on 2009-07-30 03:55 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] elaur.livejournal.com
It certainly is a strange phenomenon, and I feel it's part of the celebrity worshipping culture that is growing all over the world. Worship that's turning into stalking. And the inability of some fans to separate the actors who portray the characters they love from those characters -- something that I gave up doing after I found out the Monkees weren't really the Monkees. Now THAT was a confusing thing for a ten-year-old! o.O

Unfortunately it's not a thing that is exclusive to young people. Oh no, We find forty-somethings acting in the same infantile manner.

This is a major part of why I dropped out of fandom.

on 2009-07-31 07:42 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
something that I gave up doing after I found out the Monkees weren't really the Monkees.

*rof!!* It was the beginning of the end right there. I remember watching a documentary a long time ago on that whole phenomenon, marked as the start of a new era in television marketing. And the rest is history.

I think the internet has made it much, much easier for people to congregate, feed off each other and act stupid. But the internet is also the best of tools to smack someone upside the head once in a while, or a collective when they've wholesale coordinated to carelessly ruin it for a majority of fans.

There simply is nothing like fandom. I'm holding on to it.

on 2009-08-01 03:01 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] elaur.livejournal.com
There simply is nothing like fandom. I'm holding on to it.

All I can say is: I'm gonna hold on tight for the ride with you, cuz I know it's gonna be fun.

on 2009-07-30 04:11 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] griffndor.livejournal.com
Honestly I find myself cringing and feeling strong second hand embarrassment every time "fandom" rears it's head in a very public forum like a con or confronting an actor. I don't understand the "in your face" mentality. Fandom for me has always been a place to make friends, share enthusiasm, to be creative and enjoy the experience of it all with a live and let live philosophy. I've been in fandom for a long time mostly as a lurker but mainstream acceptance of fandom makes me uncomfortable.
Welcome back. :)

on 2009-07-31 07:47 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
Much love for this comment. Beautifully and succinctly said. I hope we indeed get to share the enthusiasm, be creative and enjoy the experience together. I'm really looking forward to it.
Edited on 2009-07-31 07:47 am (UTC)

on 2009-07-31 02:09 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] slashedshi.livejournal.com
First- OMG YAY YOU'RE BACK!
Second- Very good post.

I'm in love with the SPN fandom and the MATEOTN Ep. made me laugh but it felt so forced from the writers. It was like finding out that Kim sent Wincest to the boys, or when Jewl Saite kinda hinted at Simon/Jayne being something she'd like to see.

I still liek fandom, I just hate when fans think they own the show, or want the actors to be what they want. The 'in your face' mentatity makes me cringe. Espessialy when so many fans aren't like that.

Final- OMG YAY YOU'RE BACK!

on 2009-07-31 02:11 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] slashedshi.livejournal.com
Okay I really need to reread better. It was SAPOSED to say
" I'm in love with the SPN fandom and the MATEOTN Ep. made me laugh but it felt so forced from the writers. It WASN'T like finding out that Kim sent Wincest to the boys

on 2009-07-31 07:55 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
Sadly, the more vocal fans (invariably with the pushy agendas) are the ones increasingly coming to represent us for the mainstream media. I swear it feels as though the word fan has really become a dirty word in the mainstream, more so than in the past when the mainstream just wondered what the hell we did. Now they're shown it in detail. There's no way and no need to stop them from the things they seem to need to keep doing, but sometimes I feel there should be a new word to cover them, and leave us with the real definition of fangirl or boy.

*snoodles you* IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK!

on 2009-08-01 02:52 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] slashedshi.livejournal.com
-snoodles back- YAY

I don't know if you follow the KANE fandom, but i was reading a concert recap, and I guess durring the band leaving/autograpoh signing, a group of "fangirls" totally grabbed Chris Kane's .... packages. front and back. Real Fangirls don't do that. We have respect. We might think it and imagine it, but we would never actually do it! Mainstreammers suck.

on 2009-07-31 07:15 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] afra-schatz.livejournal.com
So glad to see you back!

Originally I wanted to say that the attitude you described is exactly what keeps me away from some fandoms or to be more precise from participating actively in some fandoms - like SPN and Torchwood. But then I realised that I'm still in the LotR fandom and that even after 10 years there still is the entitlement issue as well as the annual discussion of plagiarism. This is not necessarily identical with the subject you raised but I suppose that's because you'd have to be REALLY mental to think that your actions could influence the long dead Tolkien or Jackson and his long finished movies. But I think it's still the same form of entitlement - some fans thinking they deserve to say in which direction the ship's supposed to sail.

So, what does that say about fandom? Is this something that is bound to happen in every fandom? Has it something to do with the "source", i.e. the show/movie itself - do some formats attract crazy people more than others do? Is this merely a reflection of how much the 'influence' of the internet (and spreading your ideas and finding other crazy people to agree with you in lightning speed) has grown?

on 2009-07-31 08:09 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
I do think it has a lot to do with the growth of the internet. It's just so much easier to find like minded people in any arena when you're on the web. But, and correct me if I'm wrong, there seems to be a distinct line between a time when fannish entitlement was just words, and now, when they seem to be able to support each other, collude and make it happen. Or at least try to make it happen.

Nowadays, yes, I believe it's something that's bound to germinate in every fandom because the avenue is there. But there are some fandoms that seem to allow and encourage it to grow and spread. Some fandoms do attact more crazies than others. I think, for instance, Supernatural, by virtue of the uber girl-attracting boys.

We can get as crazy as we want in fandom, but it's that line we've crossed, into demanding shit from creators and actors, and then bringing it back home to posts and so forth online, that makes me wonder just how long before fandom is simply not the thing it used to be at all. And then what will we be left to enjoy?

on 2009-07-31 08:40 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] afra-schatz.livejournal.com
I think there is a line between the 'just words' and the 'make it happen', so to speak, but I think it's a blurry one (and always was). Sure, the craziness that's happening in forums and even more so at Cons right now is epic and confronting the actor(s) / creators directly with your fantasies etc. at a Con is harsh. But imo it's "merely" an increase of craziness, entitlement and projecting-your-dreams-onto-someone-else; fanmail or any form of trying to get into contact with your star essentially is an invasion of their private sphere. Of course you are right when you say that there is a BIG difference between drawing hearts on a love letter you then post and practically trying to force someone to, say, impregnate you (or their co-star...) at a Con, but I don't think the lines are that distinct. Which makes it sometimes all the more difficult to make people understand that yes, now they ARE crossing a line.

As for this changing fandom - again, I think you're right that there is always the danger of this altering our beloved home irreversibly. However, I do have faith in the creators of our shows and movies to be above that. It reminds me of the discussion on whether fanfic is illegal and the very different statements for example from Joss and that chick who wrote those vampire novels and tried to forbid fic altogether - if the writers and creators are as good and creative as we (mostly) know them to be they can handle it. Whether that's in the (rather harsh) form of RTD's Torchwood reaction or Joss's continued 'jossing' of canon (and fanon) - the better the show and its participants, the more creative and in the end even entertaining their reaction. And if a show can't handle this? Well, that's sad but then it's probably not a show I'd want to watch on the long run in any case *shrugs*

on 2009-08-01 12:48 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] nieninque121.livejournal.com
*gloooooooooooooooomps!!!*

I've been out of fandom quite a bit now, so don't really know what's going on. Mostly due to busy RL schedule, but partly because it has lost some appeal because everyone's doing it, and especially when not all of them are doing it for the right reasons.

on 2009-08-07 05:41 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
*snooooodles youuuuuuuuuuuuuu* Hi hi hi!!!! How's your lovely wool??!! *fluffs you hard*

I'm sorry to hear about your departure from fandom, but I certainly understand. Doing it for all the wrong reasons is, I think, at the heart of the problem. When it's stuff you want on a personal level from the actors or whomever, there's no way it can get anything but ugly.

And one of the first things I noticed about this new type of fan, who were coming into play just as I was leaving in 2007, was not only that they were the celebrity news-whore type--which they seemed to confuse for fandom, but that they also treated their fandom like a trip to Disneyland: every thing in sight was available for them to pick up and buy if they liked.

on 2009-08-09 02:20 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] nieninque121.livejournal.com
I'm doing fantastic. I think I've died and gone to heaven, because I got to see my favourite soccer team (Real Madrid!! Can you believe that??!) come to my home town! and they're all so nice and hot!!! OMG!!! and I just can't believe my luck.

I'm still a fan, but I try to stay away from the comms, especially in the comments, because of those new type of fan you mentioned. They seem to have this whole entitlement mindset and a lack of respect. I mean wishing someone would go die in a fire is just unacceptable, even in a joking manner. and to think that there's a well known acronym for it? It scares me, frankly.

on 2009-08-07 12:30 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_elfy/
Nathan Fillian left a few comments about Comic Con on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/NathanFillion/status/2861652862

and

http://twitter.com/NathanFillion/status/2872686595

Made me wonder what freaknuts he ran into. Why are people insane? WY WHY WHY? If you're insane, please do it in the privacy of your own home.

on 2009-08-07 05:32 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 2-perseph.livejournal.com
Ackkk. That last one made me want to cry. At least Comic Con has turned equally nasty for everyone (at least the regular goers) and so maybe something will be done about it.

I believe there will always be insane people, but the change has got to come on the side of the actors and their publicists/reps. They have to stop being so available, not for conventions, but for fans to walk up to and say any old shit to. Someone should be able to say, Uh, no, you can't speak to Nathan like that. Or in fact speak to any human being like that, so pls step back. I think things like that might restore sanity.

Something's got to be done, because the sense of fannish entitlement is fast becoming a very big problem.

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