OTW Fannews: Fandom lessons

  • Movies.com noticed the fandom angle in its review of the documentary Spook Central. “In a similar vein to Room 237, Spook Central is a documentary that asks fans to explain their theories about the hidden meanings in Ivan Reitman’s 1984 film about a team of nerds who use science to bust ghosts. What hidden meanings, you ask? We don’t know. We thought it was a pretty straightforward genre mash-up, but apparently director Ivo Shandor found enough of them to turn it into a feature film. Or maybe he’s using a movie as apparently transparent as Ghostbusters to gently mock overly analytical movies like Room 237?”
  • Suzanne Walker wrote in the Oxford University Press blog about her involvement in superhero fandom. “I have always been an eager student of American history, and superheroes offer an important reflection not only on our current society but also on our own cultural history…It’s quite telling, for example, that it took until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s for Marvel to create its first African-American superhero, the Black Panther, and that one of Ms. Magazine’s first covers was an image of Wonder Woman in 1972, heralding the second-wave feminist movement. More recently, I re-watched the 2008 Iron Man film and was struck by how dated it already is even five years later. It’s extremely attuned to the politics of the late Bush years, and strives to offer commentary on the United States’ wars abroad even as it delivers high-flying adventures with Tony Stark.”
  • Blogger Luz Delfondo wrote about Five lessons I learned from fandom and how fandom can expand people’s awareness of story content. The lessons? 1. Characters of different races are not interchangeable, 2. Asexuality is a lot more complicated than just not wanting to have sex, 3. You can’t just say you’re going to give marginalized characters their due. You have to do it, 4. All kinks are normal, and 5. Together, women can form a powerful and just community of writers and editors. “When I write fic about female characters kicking ass, my beta readers (fandom lingo for editors) cheer me on. When I read a sex scene between two women, I can be almost certain a woman wrote it. I’ve had a reader tell me that she’s taken quotes from my fic and tacked it to her bedroom wall. I’ve had a reader tell me that a fic I wrote helped her think more deeply about her own gender identity and sexuality. It touches me deeply that I’ve had an impact on other women that way.”

What lessons have you learned from fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.