OTW Fannews: Fandom relationships

  • After Ellen focused on femslash shipping. “The term femslash can be applied to really any female romantic/sexual pairing between characters, even OTPs, but its original purpose was as a reference to alternative lesbian romances based on subtext. Crackships, which is frankly just fun to say, are pairings that are very unlikely to ever occur. In a nutshell, it comes down to the difference between subtext and pure, fun fantasy.”
  • Meanwhile Neon Tommy talked about fan relationships when they gather into fandoms. “In spite of the differences, petty feuds, ship wars, emotional turmoil and cyclical upheaval, fandoms exist to fulfill the desire for a community of peers and equals who share similar passions. But like a man, no fandom is an island.” Instead they grow, shrink, merge and cross over. “Tenuous connections between families are created—“Firefly” and “The Avengers” are connected through Joss Whedon; actors and writers and directors cross over and expand the fandoms, bringing in new ideas and new points of view. New fans should not be excluded; rather, it should be the opposite. New fans keep the fandom’s population up; but also, it prevents stagnation.” And always important to keep in mind: “Even if your fandom isn’t as well-known or visible as another, it’s still fantastic, and, more importantly, it’s yours.”
  • Conversely Leverage actress Gina Bellman wrote in The Guardian about a fandom family from the celebrity side. “By seasons four and five, there was a constant flow of tweets, videos and photos posted from the set, trailers, writers’ room, costume fittings and even the catering tent. Nowhere was out of bounds. We would gather in the studio to view the fan videos, made in homage to favourite characters or story lines. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of Leverage fan vids are posted on YouTube, some of them expertly edited little treasures in their own right and receiving up to 40,000 hits…At some point, we started referring to fans by their names and avatars.”
  • Instead of using the family metaphor, The Atlantic chose religion when discussing sports fandom. “Durkheim, a pioneering sociologist, began digging through accounts of ‘primitive’ cultures like the Arunta tribe of Australia, hoping to excavate the ancient source of ties that bind. His conclusion—as revealed in The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life—remains as profound and relevant today as it is elegantly simple: Whenever a society (or, here, sports subculture) worships a divine form, it is, in fact, also simultaneously worshipping itself.” Fandom objects are totems and “totems, while ‘officially’ symbolizing deities, also implicitly offer vessels for fellowship; licenses to congregate together.” An article released the same day on Deadspin showed how Facebook data could provide an NFL fandom map.

What femslash, OTP, shipping, ship war, or Jossverse story do you have to share? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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