Since Comic-Con Delhi 2015 (which I couldn’t attend, sadly) just ended, I wanted to highlight a very important issue surrounding us fans and the lives we lead. The part where how what we like influences our interactions with people who don’t like the same thing. I’ll say it now. Here goes, this fandom thing is getting crazier than ever before. I liked the word when I first came across it but now it just feels stupid. I mean, it seems everyone has a pitchfork on them, hidden till the moment someone comes out of their inferiority complex and declares something like “I don’t like Sherlock” and there it is, sights of barbaric behaviour just because someone dislikes a show from your fandom. Gosh, I hate that word.
Wikipedia defines fandom as…
“Fandom is a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest.”
…and what they failed to mention was that for every one instance of that feeling of empathy and camaraderie, there are about ten instances of feeling of disgust and behaviour that is generally uncalled for.
What are people trying to do with that word anyway? How is “I am a fan” anything different? If you’re extremely into it then you’re a die-hard fan and that is where the line is drawn. The line between preference and utter craziness and that’s not the good kind of crazy – Sorry, sweetheart. In my opinion, fandom is to people who follow some sort of media what bae is to people who are in mature relationships but let’s not go further down that road.
Now, I’m someone who follows shows/novel series/movies/…/anime/manga like a true geek, retaining all details and literally studying about the whatever from the above list of infinite and I was in the fandom world once. I would argue, fight, insult, look down upon people and denounce friendships (not literally but you get the point) in the name of my fandom but I’ve come to realise it’s stupid. You cannot lose honest interactions over something you obsess about. Just because you like something very extremely doesn’t mean others will appreciate the fact that you can’t quit being a bitch about it.
There’s this guy in my group who watches the Game of Thrones and isn’t very precise about the facts and he gets shat upon for that, by everyone. That’s a permanent part of his stupid appeal now. Now, I know how stupid it is to watch a show and not remember basic details about the characters but that’s his version, the one in his head, does it actually matter if his version is blurry while yours is HD? That’s like shouting at someone because they didn’t buy an iPhone. Err, that actually happens. I admit, that was a pretty bad analogy but I hope my point got through.
Maybe it’s just me and people are not that crazy but every once in a while I see something like …I live the fandom life… and it makes me pull my hair out because one, there’s no such thing as a fandom life, because that’s a very stupid word and two, dude, you’re not even doing it that correctly. I mean, 90% people you talk to about superheroes will tell you Batman is their favourite superhero. Ask them who the Riddler or Penguin is and they have no friggin’ clue. I mean, if you’re living in the fandom of Batman, you ought to know other foes besides the Joker which you remember because you really like the Dark Knight Trilogy.
All said and done, I do feel that the feeling of association because you like something mutually really brings people together and lead to some very fun moments and interesting conversations but is the absence of that association really an issue? Instead of flaming someone for not being a fan of your fandom, you could perhaps give some valuable inputs or arguments and maybe have some other interaction with the person.
My point is illustrated by this very appropriate T-Shirt design by TheRobotsVoice.com,
So, I really think that all my dear fandom buddies need to calm the fuck down and keep liking what they like, not kill people over it. Again, the literal meaning was not intended but we remember those (not a direct result of fandoms) Bane Killings of Colorado , right?