OTW Fannews: It’s Tough Being a Fan

OTWFannews banner depicting several blank trophies and medals, with the words It's Tough Being a Fan

  • Esquire said a few words about the influence of Twin Peaks on current fandom. “Of course, binge-viewing with a second screen handy for reviewing fan-generated metatextual analysis is pretty much how people watch puzzle shows like Lost, Game of Thrones, True Detective, and Orphan Black these days. What they show you is fascinating, but the creators know that it’s what they cunningly refuse to show you that turns normal viewers into lunatics who’ll spend hours reading differing theories about Jon Snow’s parentage. They understand that as with Twin Peaks, some of the most pleasurable parts about following the series involve what happens off the screen and in the mind of the viewer.”
  • An article in Do Savannah revealed how different those minds could be, however. Asked about their Bob Dylan fandom, various fans in the Georgia city disagreed as to what they found most difficult about it. Responses ranged from other fans, people who didn’t like Dylan, to the performer’s own behavior. However one summed up with a poignant observation. “No one really wants their heroes to die. You hope they never will. Forever linked familiar strangers on parallel railroad tracks. It’s hard watching him get older, because he’s always been with me spiritually. But then, I guess he always will be.”
  • Various articles about the latest fights over the Hugo Award nominations would agree with the ‘other fans’ complaint. As stated by Rob Salkowitz at ICv2: “Of course, the backlash movement can’t legitimately embrace its actual objectives: the maintenance of in-group power and privilege. Instead it justifies itself according to broader principles such as the defense of traditional standards, ethics and “objective” considerations of quality divorced from the grubby political goals of opponents. Unfortunately for the high-minded ideological ring-leaders, plenty of the rank and file followers don’t get that particular memo and see the whole uprising as an opportunity to give voice to every manner of pent-up grievance, resentment and personal hang-up that they can lay at the feet of “social justice warriors” or whoever is the enemy du jour.”
  • Meanwhile Wired explored the reimagining of problematic canon content in The Radicalization of Jar Jar Binks. “Granted, it’s a little jarring to insert a contemporary political allegory into the most reviled science-fiction prequel ever committed to film. In fact, Lucas came under fire for engaging in political criticism of George W. Bush…rather than tightening up the story. But Doescher has a Ph.D in ethics, and wrote his thesis on racial justice issues. And Shakespeare’s history plays—the best genre corollary for what’s going on in Phantom Of Menace—often feel intensely prescient. From that vantage point, it’s a bold but calculated risk to choose Jar Jar as the vessel for such an ideologically charged message.”

What are the difficult parts of fandom for you? Write about those issues in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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