Links roundup for 9 May 2012

Here’s a roundup of stories about rare fandom activities that might be of interest to fans:

  • As this article at the Daily Beast points out, “The surprise revival of Tupac Shakur in hologram form at Coachella…stunned audiences–but Japan’s been onto the hologram game for years.” The article discusses concerts performed by fictional character Hatsune Miku. “Though her voice is sampled from Japanese voice actress Saki Fujita, Miku is literally the collective product of her legions of fans…who create her songs and videos via collaborative websites…One Miku enthusiast might compose an original song for her using Vocaloid, for example, and then upload it for others to hear. That song might then inspire illustrations, videos, or remixes from other fans…It’s the perfect formula: Miku gives fans exactly the music they want without the scandals and dramatics of real-life pop stars and all their real-life flaws.”
  • Fans of inanimate objects are legion as well. In a live-tweeted story, The Washington Post covered the journey of the space shuttle Discovery on its way to its future museum home in Washington, DC. “To the delight of fans on the ground, the shuttle completed extra passes over the National Mall and Dulles.” The article wrote about varied people stopping their day or setting aside time to try and catch sight of the shuttle’s journey. “At the National Mall, cheers, whoops, and hollers erupted from the crowd, entranced by the sight of a space shuttle anchored precariously on the back of a 747. ‘It’s a spectacular view to see the big shuttle on the back of a 747,’ said JJ Morgan, a 70-year-old Silver Spring resident…His wife, Carol, was a little less jubilant. ‘I’m a little sad because I can remember when the space program first started, and I’ll miss it. I’ll miss following it.'”
  • “Nerdcore rapper” Adam WarRock has written songs about various TV shows such as Parks and Recreation, Downton Abbey, and Justified, but it was his rap inspired by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic, that made the news. Coates is a favorite blogger of WarRock’s, one who WarRock sees as “a welcome and comforting voice when it comes to speaking on race and America, specifically America’s complex relationship when it comes to race in all elements of our culture and ethics.” The rap, called “Ta-Nehisi,””came partly out of [WarRock’s] own struggles with racial identity” growing up as an Asian American in Memphis, Tennessee. But “even though ‘Ta-Nehisi’ covers more serious territory, WarRock still found room in the final stanza to squeeze in one TV reference, a nod to HBO’s The Wire.”
  • turned to a museum owner to discuss Three Stooges fandom as the new Stooges film adventure opened in theaters. Said owner of the “Stoogeum” Gary Lassin, “‘Half thought it was blasphemy to try and make the movie, half were eager looking forward to it. Now that people have seen it, the people looking forward to it liked it, the people who weren’t looking forward to it weren’t going to see or didn’t like it.’ Lassin hits the nail on the head: babyboomers who grew up on Stooges aren’t that different than the target demographic that clamors for the latest comic book movie or installment of Twilight. They just haven’t had a movie to flock to the last few decades.”

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