2_perseph: (pin-up hammer)
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.

PREMISE OF ARGUMENT

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.

Read on )
2_perseph: (Default)
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.

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