Links roundup for 23 June 2012

Here’s a roundup of views of fandom stories that might be of interest to fans:

  • Discussions that surround fandom in the media tend to take on some familiar themes, such as in the recent study of Bieber Fever that concludes fandom is a disease (spread, no doubt, by fans of Rudolph Valentino or Frank Sinatra in the last century), but there are also often discussions of religion. LiveScience discussed how Twilight may be a religious substitute for some teens. “In Denmark, where religion is not a large part of daily life, teens seem to use media — often, American media — to explore questions of good and evil, life after death and destiny, Line Nybro Petersen of the University of Copenhagen’s film and media studies department has found. The communal experiences of hardcore fans of the series can even echo religious communities.” Persephone Magazine begins their own discussion by quoting Joss Whedon “‘I guess the thing that I want to say about fandom is that it’s the closest thing to religion there is that isn’t actually religion.'” The article focuses on sacred texts, rituals, and communities of faith.
  • Many companies, however, are less interested in the temple than the marketplace. Diverse strategies to commercialize fans through new services continue to make the news. Fans in commerce for themselves are not new however, although long-term success is always a challenge.
  • Isaac Butler recently wrote about the significance of fandom in an article which compared his reaction to an uncle’s death to that of Community‘s showrunner being fired. Meanwhile cartoonist Nicolas Mahler spoofed superhero comics and their fandom. “With Mahler’s interest in the culture surrounding superhero comics, the cartoonist also has a bit of fun with Angelman’s ‘fans,’ who are a thoroughly miserable lot, complaining about every issue (except the ultra-violent one). ‘I have seen a lot of those fanboys at comic festivals over the years, and the funny thing is that they are completely the same everywhere,’ Mahler told CBR News. ‘I think behind any collector, there lurks a sad, unfulfilled person.'”
  • Sports blogger Hayden Kane would disagree however. “Having been fortunate enough to attend three Rockies games this week, I was reminded of something: nobody actually knows what the fan thinks, because the idea that there is some embodiment of what every single fan believes is a fiction. We can speak from the perspective of a fan, not the fan.” In describing different motivations and activities while attending games Kane resolves “We should all quit trying to lump these groups together. We should quit trying to speak for all fans. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy being a fan and to have interesting discussions about the team’s future..[events] will resonate differently with different fans. That’s a good thing.” The Atlantic takes that view too, declaring presidential candidates Obama and Romney to both be serious Star Trek fans.

Fanlore was created as a place to record fannish history from diverse points of view so that all fans could share their perspectives. If you’re a fan, why not contribute to your own stories?

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

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