OTW Fannews: Fannish expectations

  • Peter Guttierez wrote in School Library Journal that “[T]here’s probably no single better way to teach online citizenship to young people than through their participation in organized fandom.” To him this involved a behavior checklist because “fans must take into account not just the short-term value of making a point or having the last word, but their long-term relationships with their fellow fans.” Some of them include “Am I “adding value” through this interaction, either to an individual or to the wider community? Or am I making this online conversation almost entirely about myself?” and “Am I considerate of others’ privacy and safety?”
  • Other writers are concerned with the expectations fans have of celebrities. The Japan Times reported on the spectacle of Japanese pop star Minami Minegishi shaving her head in apology for having a relationship. “The deeper truth is that idol fan culture, as well as the closely related anime and manga fan culture, is institutionally incapable of dealing with independence in young women. It seeks out and fetishizes weaknesses and vulnerabilities and calls it moé, it demands submissiveness, endless tearful displays of gratitude, a lack of confidence, and complete control over their sexual independence…The danger is of this fantasy creeping out more widely into society: Japan currently ranks at 101 in the world gender-equality rankings (79 places below the United States, 32 below China, and two below Azerbaijan).”
  • The Telegraph wrote about fans’ need to fix plot holes. “The web has made this stuff mainstream, but it’s not new: fans of Arthur Conan Doyle have been engaged in “higher criticism” since at least 1928, when Monsignor Ronald Knox published Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes. His fellow “Sherlockians” have since built up a remarkable body of analysis, raising (and resolving) textual problems such as the fact that Watson’s war wound is in his shoulder in A Study in Scarlet, but in his leg in The Sign of Four. To some fans, simply calling it a continuity error, an author’s mistake, is not good enough. The psychologist Simon Baron Cohen says such people have “systematising brains”, good at finding and applying logical rules. To them, these moments of illogic stick out jarringly.”
  • A cancelled show has never meant the end to fanfiction, but perhaps creators are more aware that fans will be on the lookout for more content. In the case of Luck “John Perrotta, the show’s producer/story editor and a racing industry pro, is writing a teleplay-style blog for the website America’s Best Racing that tells “an imagined racetrack-based story, an ongoing saga, which includes some of the characters depicted in the ill-fated ‘Luck’ series.” The work will also be illustrated.

What fannish expecations have caught your attention? Post about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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News of Note
  1. unjapanologist commented:

    AKB fandom has a lot of creepy sides, but the part about “The danger is of this fantasy creeping out more widely into society” is pretty dumb. Japan didn’t end up way down in gender equality rankings because its “idol fan culture, as well as the closely related anime and manga fan culture” has issues with misogyny. Those issues are already society-wide and have always been so, and blaming fans for them is way off the mark.