||[Sep. 10th, 2015|10:54 am]
In this day and age, when everyone has jumped on the superhero bandwagon, there are a lot of people sounding like hipsters: "I was into the Avengers before they became popular." For many of them, it's kind of a disappointment to find that the passion they'd learned to embrace as the thing that made them different is now shared by millions. |
To me, this is great. My biggest fandom is Star Wars, and having all this new merch around is fun--even if I buy next to none of it. I'm not worried about over-exposure. I love what I love, and seeing Star Wars stuff everywhere makes me happy.
I learned many years ago that there is a difference between fandom and geekdom. When visiting a friend for the weekend, I was informed that, though I had not watched Star Trek: The Next Generation, that night was the finale, and she was watching it live. She'd watched the whole series, and she wasn't about to miss the end of it just because of out-of-town company. So we watched, and seeing that final episode was the impetus behind my going back and watching the entire series in reruns. Since it was on 5 days a week, I accomplished in just a few months what she'd taken seven years to complete.
The movie Star Trek: Generations came out a couple weeks before another visit. When I got to her house, she asked if I'd seen it. I told her yes, and then excitedly expounded about how, in the last iteration of the time loop, we hadn't actually seen Lursa and B'etor die, and so maybe those characters had survived and could come back.
She gave me a kind of side-eye look and said, "You've gotten way too into this...."
That's when I realized that there will always be levels of fandom, and that I would always be the kind of person who, when I fell in love with something, took it to extremes that other fans wouldn't even imagine existed.
And that's cool. My friend isn't less of a fan because her fandom doesn't drag her into a depth of passion that mine does me. I can love the Marvel movies and DC television shows even though I don't have an understanding of the history behind the characters that Ferrett, as a comic book geek, has. I've seen his glee, while watching The Flash, at the introduction of characters, and I know that he'd "getting it" on a far deeper level than I am. But that doesn't mean I'm not having fun.
Yes, you are probably much more of a geek about the things you love passionately than other people who like that thing. But it's a big tent. We can all fit in it.
I wonder about this sometimes. I am kind of the opposite. There is nothing that I super-duper love. There are a lot of things I like and some things I really like but even for the things I really like I don't get as into them as the supposed hard-core fans. For instance, I've read all the Song of Ice and Fire books, seen all the TV shows, read a lot of wikis and fan theories online and spent a decent amount of time discussing them with my friends, but I would never travel somewhere having to do with the show, go to an event dressed up as a character, or even probably rewatch the show a bunch of times. I like to knit but I'm not interested in taking classes on knitting and I only infrequently go to festivals and can't see myself going to a festival that's more than a couple of hours away and I don't try out the artisan yarns everyone else is raving over. Etc. I'm pretty content to be a casual fan of everything I like.
And that is completely acceptable. As big a fan as I am of Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings, I've never costumed for them. I've driven many hours to see their props and such, and I've made my kids costumes. Fandom comes in wide ranges.
In my own experience (and, no doubt, showing my age while doing so), when I was a kid, being into those things wasn't just the thing that made me different, it was one of the big consolations for not being one of the cool kids. Consequently, having the rest of the world jumping on the bandwagon feels a little like being invaded: the cool kids may be watching Star Trek now, but they still don't want to talk to me about it.
Or so says my inner 8-year-old. As an adult, I completely see the logic of your position—and on a day-to-day basis, agree with you. But the inner 8-year-old isn't swayed by logic (notwithstanding his protestations that Spock is his favorite character).
You have a point, but I still say I'd rather have all the toys and goodies than isolated fandom.
Oh, I agree. I'm just analyzing my initial reaction. If I weren't of A Certain Age™, I'm sure it wouldn't be an issue.