OTW Fannews: Fandom in life and death

  • The death of Glee actor Cory Monteith put attention on the show’s fanbase. A former social media worker for the show discussed how the fans had won her over. “I spent several hours a day in the company of the gleeks, whose intensely positive outlook was genuinely disarming…The job was part marketing and part customer service, but I also found myself drawn into the role of unofficial counsellor. These were teenagers passionately involved in the lives of onscreen high-schoolers who reflected and played out their own feelings of isolation and confusion. They tweeted incredibly personal things to each other – and to me. Although I was just a disembodied online voice, I was still a sympathetic ear; an almost-real imaginary friend.”
  • Meanwhile Junkee.com looked at the fanworks that were being produced. “Glee’s fan fiction community was quick to react. Numerous stories appeared on FanFiction.Net overnight, some of them are set within the world of the show, as Finn’s friends and relatives deal with the news of his death, and some are about the actors themselves. Some are maudlin, some are strangely poignant, but together, they offer a fascinating insight into the ways that people process their grief for a beloved character and a person they’ve likely never met.”
  • In MLB fandom, it was the case of a fan’s death and a player’s decision to attend the funeral that made the news. “On the day of the memorial service for the love of her life, Meredith Benton wore her black Mets jersey stitched with orange and blue.” She was not alone as “[i]n Jim’s obituary in the Nashville Tennessean, attendees of the memorial were instructed to wear orange and blue.” Mets player R.A. Dickey who lived near the memorial service heard about the death and went to meet the family. “To live a life without being passionate about something, be it a sports team or poetry or art, would be a really hollow life. So to see someone be passionate about something, I respond to that. It’s a good thing, and I appreciate it. And there’s no doubt he was passionate about baseball, in particular the New York Mets. So I felt a connection to him, even though I had never met him.”

What fandom attachments have you seen live on? 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.