Monday, April 4, 2016

One fandom to rule them all?

So when I was at LunaCon last month, I went to several panel discussions. A couple of them were Star Trek related, and during the talks, there were tangents that led off to brief mentions of other SF/F properties, like Babylon 5, Firefly, Harry Potter, and so forth. As always, whenever this sort of thing happens, my eyes tend to glaze over and my mind wanders off in another direction until the discussion returns to its original topic.

Maybe it was always thus, but it seems like these days, to be a fan of one sci-fi/fantasy world means being a fan of many. It's as if you're not a TruFan® unless you're able to hold your own in conversations about X-Men, The Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings and The Walking Dead and have Opinions about them all. Well, what if you don't care about every single aspect of geekery? What if what you like is a relatively small amount by comparison and you have no interest in these other universes?

Understand, I have never actually felt ostracized by anybody at any time for not having a theory on the ending of Lost or anything like that. It's just this feeling I get whenever I'm around nerds in general - that because I don't have an active interest in multiple properties all at once (for reasons I've attempted to articulate here), I'm not really part of the club. Most of the time, I don't care. Every now and then, though, it bugs me - like last month.


This ties into another topic I've been meaning to bring up here: whether or not we, as fans, are spoiled these days by having too much of a good thing. It seems like everywhere you look, there's genre material dominating television and the movies, as well as the best-seller lists of novels, when not that long ago, geek culture was still on the fringes. 

Now, it's relatively easy to find it wherever you go, but does easy access to multiple properties automatically mean equal interest in them? Yes, the quality looks like it's better these days, and they work so hard at trying to entice the geek market, but I dunno, man, I can't get excited about every little SF book or superhero comic or fantasy movie that comes down the pike. It seems like maintaining an interest in so many different properties is almost akin to a full-time job. Yet lots of fans do it - or at least that what it looks like. 

Well, I can't. More to the point, I don't want to. I've never really felt connected to Fandom Assembled anyway, for various reasons, and at this point I'm too old to try and change. So I guess this is me accepting my fate as being less than a TruFan®. Fine. I can live with it. I doubt I'm missing that much anyway.

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Related:
Is pop culture reaching a critical mass?
What was responsible for the geek renaissance?
"Nothing ever ends."

7 comments:

  1. There's an expectation among some that if you like this you must love that. A fellow who worked with Gavin bonded with Janet and I over "Doctor Who". He could not understand why we weren't interested in "Game of Thrones". To this day I believe he expects we will soon see the light.

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  2. And there's not even much of an overlap between those two. One's light SF, the other hard fantasy. Interesting.

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    1. Indeed. I don't expect everybody else to share my fondness for westerns or Charlie Chan movies (even though they should), but there you go. It's like the recommendations from social media sites "People you bought this also enjoy this other thing".

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    2. And social media has made it easier to indulge in multiple forms of fandom, I suppose. Too many things are easy these days!

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  3. This isn't exactly the same, but your post reminded me of Patton Oswalt's article called "Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die" (It's old, and I didn't remember the title, but I found it pretty easily). It's worth a read, if only for the really funny conclusion.

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  4. Click on the link "Is pop culture reaching a critical mass?" at the bottom of my post. I address that very article.

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