OTW Fannews: Fandom From End to End

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  • In a post for The Guardian, Erin Riley talks bout the ethics of sports fandom. “Ethical issues may be particularly acute in horse racing, but being a sport fan can regularly involve navigating an ethical minefield. For some fans, it’s the relationship between their particular code or club and gambling. For others, it’s the decisions made by the management of their team that don’t sit well with their values. It can be an appointment of a particular player, the sacking of a coach or the attempt to cover up a scandal. There are almost as many different responses to these issues as there are issues themselves. Fans are forced to figure out a way to respond that weighs the values they hold against the teams or sport they love.”
  • On the flip side, at Hardwood Paroxysm, the discussion is about how fannishness changes over time. “It’s something for us to look forward too, a way to spend time with and connect to our friends and family, and generally just a way to remove ourselves from the real world for a certain number of hours a week. And part of why it’s so appealing, besides the reasons listed above, is that spectacle aspect of it. Here are these people that, through the genetic lottery (and hard work as well), are able to do things the vast majority of the human race could never dream of…Everyone wants to be tall and strong and in shape, because life is so much easier when you have those three things working for you.”
  • The Baltimore Sun featured the century-plus appeal of Sherlock Holmes fandom. “Watson’s Tin Box began in Ellicott City in 1989 and is considered a scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars. Its named recalls the box where Watson collected his reports of Sherlock’s investigations.” One of its founders, “Churchill put together the original collection of artifact boxes, one for each story, that recall details of the story. Some items are antiques, period pieces that reflect Sherlock’s times: period checks, blank telegram forms or hotel bills. Other things are ‘genuine faux originals.’ If he couldn’t find a letter or a ticket, he’d create it.”
  • Scholar Lori Morimoto looked at more recent developments involving fandom memes and official production. “And it’s this cover that I find all but impossible to discuss through frameworks of appropriation and clearly defined fan-producer identities and relations. A cursory glance at Mizutama’s Twitter images demonstrates the meme’s affective appeal to her, and in this sense its inclusion in the official book cover art seems as much sly in-joke as appropriation. Indeed, the decentralized context of the book’s production – produced by the longtime publisher of both Arthur Conan Doyle works in Japanese and the long-running Hayakawa Mystery magazine, written by Holmes aficionado Kitahara, and illustrated by present-day Sherlock fan Mizutama – begs the questions of where we locate ‘production’, and how we might conceptualize ‘monetization’ here.”

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