Fandoms: classic or dud

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Probably should have gone with defend the indefensible.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 00:46 (one week ago) link

They aren't for me but I'm not gonna piss on someone else's parade.

You Can't Have the Woogie Without a Little Boogie (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 00:51 (one week ago) link

where does hardcore dilatancy end and fandom begin?

maf you one two (maffew12), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 01:22 (one week ago) link

My own personal definition of fandom is when just being a fan of something turns excessive and/or toxic. I realize that's subjective and that there are maybe fandoms that are totally chill, but I notice a correlation between community members referring to themselves as a "fandom" and obsession/shipping (of band members, actors, characters), gatekeeping, harassment, and other behaviors that scream 'unhealthy' to me. This perception is pretty much drawn entirely from my experiences on reddit and twitter the past few years, outside of which I haven't paid much attention to 'fandom' as a concept*. So it could just be those platforms. I mean

*although I was a Phishhead back in the 90s and that scene was full of unhealthy weirdos and could probably be characterized as a fandom. What's the difference between a fandom and a scene?

peace, man, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 01:23 (one week ago) link

Personal identification, maybe? Were you wounded by someone making fun of Trey?

Joe Bombin (milo z), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 01:34 (one week ago) link

They aren't for me but I'm not gonna piss on someone else's parade.

Fans themselves are already doing a bang-up job of that.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 03:03 (one week ago) link

I have been seeing a lot about toxic fandom recently. Especially people on twitter talking about how reactionary it can be while wearing a social justice mask to push plain old bigotry and conservatism. A writer on twitter called Qualia Redux was saying QAnon types have somehow gotten busy among this demographic. Her and Magen Cubed said their experience of the fanfiction community was abysmal and one of them said it was only one step above 4Chan. Memes about Daenerys fans being the worst, an utterly bizarre denial that LGBT stories exist outside franchises and fanfiction, professional writers being weirdly reluctant to discuss toxic fandom and the rich getting richer. People strongly associate all this with tumblr, but somehow it's been big on twitter recently.

Some of it is so ridiculous that some of them have got to be pure troll accounts or adult conservatives posing as queer kids.

And those Qualia and Magen tweets could have made decent blog posts but now I can't find them.

But sometimes I think axe grinding about all this becomes a bit of a schtick to gain more followers and I have to wonder if it's exaggerated. Seen someone yesterday saying "if you complain about stupid people all the time you become stupid". Maybe?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 18:07 (one week ago) link

I used some-someone-sometimes-somehow far too many times there

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 18:10 (one week ago) link

I don't feel like ilx is the right demographic to have a good discussion about fandom, tbh. I highly doubt any of the participants is going to have had an experience from within to give us piercing insight, and it's going to be all "kids today" with a massive unspoken gender bias.

My own opinion as someone who is also an outsider to fandoms: toxic fandom is obviously a thing, but it's not the only thing. There's also a lot of community and creativity that is easy to see if you're willing to look.

emil.y, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 18:19 (one week ago) link

Ana Valens had a good thread on fandom recently but she left twitter because harassment (I think).

One of the arguments that Mark Fisher lays out in "Capitalist Realism" is capital's pernicious ability to not just deflect, but absorb and subsume almost any criticism into itself—that there is almost no reaction to capital that can't be defanged and shackled to profit.

— Devi Lacroix (@DeviLacroix) January 17, 2021

the problem is not fandom itself - fandom and professional spec fiction's respective histories are a venn diagram - its that fandom (as in fic/art fandom) has ceased to be a subcultural community & is more of a digital marketplace - like, its a con w/ ONLY Artist's Alley

— Jennifer Giesbrecht 🍸 Necromarxist (@cephiedvariable) January 16, 2021

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 18:22 (one week ago) link

I am not an outsider to fandoms and my very first internet interactions were in this slice of the internet, but Emily is right, not really the best forum for it here. The sneering every time this topic comes up is enough to dissuade.

Scamp Granada (gyac), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 18:23 (one week ago) link

lol I just scrolled up and read the third post and initial instinct correct, absolutely not.

Scamp Granada (gyac), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 18:23 (one week ago) link

Both those tweets are threads

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 18:24 (one week ago) link

toxic fandom is obviously a thing, but it's not the only thing. There's also a lot of community and creativity that is easy to see if you're willing to look.

Bastard Lakes (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 18:25 (one week ago) link

I'd be really interested to hear your perspective, gyac, but yeah, no pressure to do so if you don't feel good about getting into it here.

emil.y, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 18:26 (one week ago) link

I’m not really sure where to start Emily but the posts above are so alien to my experience that we might as well be talking about different things.

Scamp Granada (gyac), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 18:30 (one week ago) link

I still see plenty of fan art and even occasionally seek it out. I stopped doing it myself a long time ago because I realized I didn't enjoy it, wasn't fulfilling and it was mostly motivated by chasing popularity.

A few months ago I was joking about people wanting a revival of kids films that humiliated villains (the live action 101 Dalmations, Beethoven and Home Alone in particular), and this week I've discovered some people indeed can't get enough of that and seek it out and create stories and images of this kind of thing.

Get a load of these categories

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 18:38 (one week ago) link

Also: there doesn't seem to be widespread agreement over which fan communities count as fandom and what the defining limits of fanfiction are. Some people insist religious or historical fiction and art is part of it.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 19:02 (one week ago) link

I don't get why sports affinity groups don't count as fandoms

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 19:04 (one week ago) link

The harassment Tamsyn Muir got was worrying. I don't know if that would have happened if she didn't have fanfiction roots or if a certain segment of SFF readers are just that bad. They weren't puppygaters either.

Why does a Jojo fan artist get eaten alive for things Hirohiki Araki doesn't get any kind of backlash for?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 19:21 (one week ago) link

Have reconsidered and taking both my and Emily’s caveats as given, will give you some context?

The very first time I was on the internet unsupervised, I ended up on a Vampire Chronicles fansite and it hosted fic. I was fascinated by the very concept, but it wasn’t til i had my own laptop years later that I actually went and looked into it a bit more. Once I understood the concept of shipping, I understood why my friend and I were so keen to see Mulder and Scully get together when we watched the X-Files (this was me at ten, what can I say? I have clearly always been one of those people). So basically this post covers all of the things I’ve been interested in over the years, mainly through the medium of fic, though I game a bit as well and know people through that. I don’t consider that the same as what this post was asking though.

Anyway have been involved and not over years, les rather than more as time goes on. One of the biggest misconceptions ime is that people involved are young or teenagers - this was never the case when I first got involved and has never remained so either. People are just quieter about it, and the people who tend to have the most time to tweet/hang out the most on discords etc are younger. There are lots of academics and professional people in fandom, occasionally I’ll see one of them on twitter with a blue tick or something and boggle cos I know of them from their other context. It is also largely female, which is something that has been really good to be in especially when you’re young and on the internet without knowing shit about anything.

A lot of the shit that goes on re shipping wars is just people jockeying for position/jealous of other people - in other words, the same shit that goes on everywhere, it’s just in a medium that people find both unfamiliar and unworthy of respect.


Things I like: the sense of community, the gift economy. The latter has waned a lot since tumblr became the fandom hub of choice and loads of people started charging for fic (art has almost always operated on a commission basis and a couple of my friends do pretty well from that when they feel like it). However, it still goes on regardless and stuff like fic exchanges are maybe the best example. I have followed Yuletide on and off for years, which is for small and rare fandoms, and people willingly sign up and write stories for strangers based on their requests, sometimes several of them. A few years back I beta read something my friend wrote for this and seeing behind the scenes when someone is writing to spec like that is really interesting. A lot of thought and care went into that story (and her recip loved it).

What I don’t like: the obvious, people taking it much too seriously, but also the way it is covered because a lot of that coverage is misogynistic if we’re talking about fic fandom or just ignorant. Nobody is obliged to think it’s anything more than a silly hobby, but it is notable how much venom you still see out there, and it’s not something I ever discuss with people irl unless, ofc, that is how I know them.

I’m not sure I’ve really explained that very well but tl;dr, if (God forbid) you want any of that explained lmk.

Scamp Granada (gyac), Thursday, 8 April 2021 18:18 (one week ago) link

Good post! I had figured that despite having been a thing for a long time it was mostly younger people who were active in fandom communities (like it was a thing you aged out of, maybe?), but I guess it makes sense that they're merely louder.

emil.y, Thursday, 8 April 2021 21:53 (one week ago) link

It probably varies a lot but I've heard that in a few online fan communities the age differences creates a really uncomfortable dynamic, example often given is My Little Pony sites with 40 year old men dominating and shouting down actual children. I would think that Pokemon would have a varied enough fanbase that that wouldn't happen.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 9 April 2021 17:42 (one week ago) link

When I seen all the Thief Of Baghdad fanfiction on ArchiveOfOurOwn I was wondering how much of this is from pre-internet from the mail order days of fanfiction.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 9 April 2021 18:06 (one week ago) link

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