Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

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Fans Fans Fans

One of the many things I do not understand in this world (Up there with teenyboppin' and why nobody makes a set of sunglasses that looks okay on my oversize head) is fandom. Now obviously I have entertainments and people whose work I enjoy and appreciate, but fandom, as defined by me, is something...else. It is something more intimate and much more intense. It's everything from born again Christians, to Bush worshipers, to those people who dress up as Anime characters and go to conventions WITHOUT a heavy sense of self-irony. It is the mighty man-faye. It exists all over Livejournal in communities where people say things like *squee* and relentlessly support their favorite celebrities or television programs or whatever. They write "Fanfiction," which is a concept that's sort of cute until you realize that some people write so much of it that they actually outproduce the actual programs on which the fictions are based. This is puzzling. With that much creative energy why not create your own world? Why build on someone else's work? And why all the gay sex? We may never know.

Fandom confuses me because I don't have the urge to worship that others seem to. I was never religious, for one, but I've also never seen any piece of entertainment or thought that's so spectacular that I just want to genuflect at the feet of its creators. I respect Plato enormously but were I to encounter him and find he could understand me I would have a large number of bones to pick with his political philosophy. The same thing with Aristotle, and, well, just about everyone else. In the modern world of people I could potentially meet someday I am tremendously impressed with Larry David, but his work is certainly not perfect and I'd probably offer critiques to it too. I certainly would not find myself lost in his piercing green eyes, drifting towards him as if in a trance. I would not reach out to touch the smooth smooth skin of his bald pate and stroke the wiry hair surrounding it, feeling the bristles between my fingers. I would not run my finger over his developing waddle and say "Oh Larry, let me show you a world of pleasure that up until now you have had only the faintest imaginings of." Why would I?

I also don't feel that I am on intimate terms with the people whose work I admire. Larry David is more Mr. David than Larry to me, and if I were ever to meet him I would probably feel formal rather than familiar. In the Daily Show community on LJ, which I was forced to leave after I got very very scared of the inhabitants, people referred to performers by their first names and just generally seemed to be TOTALLY INSANE.

I don't get it. Where's your pride? Where's your "I could do better" haughtiness? Where's your competitive spirit? Appreciation is important, but worship is useless and sets you back. Whether it's Jesus or John Stewart they are not worthy of anything but your respect and admiration.

Now celebrity sex obsessions are more understandable, though I lack those as well. What makes you think Angelina Jolie would be an appropriate partner besides the fact that she looks like 110 pounds of raw sex? Like I said, I get it to a degree, but can't you find someone more interesting and local? Lusting after the unobtainable and mass market manufactured just seems silly. MOCK power, don't let it stiffen the soldier in your pants.

I guess I just don't buy into any sort of deity culture, celebrity or otherwise. I consider myself a peer to every human being in the world and have confidence in myself up against anyone else. I think everyone should think that way. We're all peers, right? All humans with brains and feelings and vulnerabilities and the rest of it. Pedestals are for statues.

Cult of celebrity? Count me out.
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