OTW Fannews: Passing judgments

Banner by caitie of Princess Tiana looking in shock at a frog

  • The visibility of fandom fights is a definite downside of social media. Stylecaster wrote about attacks on singer Lorde and dubbed it “extreme Internet fandom”. “‘The music and fashion industries nurture teens’ obsessions with one icon after another,’ said Epstein—a professor of psychology at the University of the South Pacific…’No matter how competent teens are, we trap them with their peers 24/7 and don’t let them enter the adult world in any meaningful way. Many get frustrated or depressed or angry as a result, and they exercise power in any way they can. In recent years, social media has become a major power outlet for teens, even though it actually gets them nothing except a little attention. So when Lorde or anyone else for that matter trips up, or at least appears to trip up, they pounce in large numbers. It’s a pathetic way to demonstrate power.'”
  • Writer Ben Koo discusses how the toxicity of regional tribalism in college football sets fans against one another. “The power brokers of college football think they are onto something in nurturing a rising tide of friction, envy, and hate in the college football fan eco-system. Hate has long been an underrated tool for anyone looking to make people watch, care, and pick a side in sports.”
  • At Kernel, writer Jack Flanagan manages to indict Japanese culture and fans alike. “[W]hen the internet and Japanese culture collide, these people have that haven to explore worlds far away from the suppressed ones they inhabit, for whatever reason. So, yes: it’s a shame for some that Japanese culture comes down to niknaks and samurai. But the strange and somewhat superficial interest in Japanese culture online is rooted in the need for solace.”
  • The Atlantic hosted a spoilery article about the plot of Frozen. “Leslie Fielder…argued that the American novel is incapable of dealing with sex, and instead focuses on violence and death in a prolonged state of boyish immaturity. Yet he could have been writing about the state of American films today where violence gets more audience-friendly ratings than sex from the MPAA in a culture dominated by superhero franchises that are primarily aimed at boys…’We champion the culture of teenage boys every day—giving them all the comic book heroes, sports stars and porn any human could conceivably consume. Can’t we give teenage girls one thing without demonizing them?’”

What judgments on fandoms and audiences have you seen? Write about it on 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.

News of Note
  1. Priscilla commented:

    Just a drive-by comment appreciating the graphic for this post. THAT’S SO ADORABLE, OMG. The font! And the O! And everything! Good job! <3

    • Claudia Rebaza commented:

      Thanks for letting us know — I passed that along to our artist caitie, who was very happy you liked it!

  2. Daryl Wor commented:

    I’ve been considering many of these problems, too. I would definitely like to offer what I can. I have a multi-fandom working down the story line of one program with a slew of other fandoms around the same time period to halt the madness. What really blows my mind is when I’ve seen the Star Trek and Star Wars fans even publicly attack one another like they’re opposing sports teams. Frightful when one recognizes the need for those stories was people uniting to improve their lives and societies.

    I may have found a set of almost as vocal and militant fans when it comes to Dark Shadows. It seems the coupling of Julia Hoffman & Barnabas Collins has become so important to them that they automatically respond negatively when faced with any universe, however alternate, that changes that. Considering what fan fiction writing is about as far as all kinds of alterations I think I finally cracked the nut on that one. I haven’t quite been told that my point is a good one, but I know I did help one Julia fan’s writer’s block in my analysis. Apparently she couldn’t get over the mindset either but when I explained it out, as in my story “Margaret Dupres” on Archive of Our Own, she told me it really helped and ideas started flowing. ^_^ It was wonderful news.

    So let me know where to start. Now that I have my one fan-fiction I wanted to do for a particular purpose, I’ve really gotten interested in where this whole world of it could lead, and to help more if I can.