I have been invoved in Multi Media Fandom for over thirty years now. Now, I know a lot of you out there are wondering, "What is Multi Media Fandom?
Well, if you have ever really loved a TV show or movie, enough to buy a magazine about it or collect pictures or toys (Star Wars, anyone?), then you are on your way to being a Media Fan.
Most Fans of Today have a specific show or film franchise they follow. Star Trek is popular, as are many science fiction offerings. But organized fandom is deeper that throwing down your $14.00 at the multiplex every time something with spaceships is playing. Folks who identify as "Fans" (with a capital "F") attend shows and conventions, and are devotees of what they follow. They usually dress up as their favorite characters, have posters and other tokens of their faith--I know Star Trek fans who have electronic noise makers on the steering wheel of their cars, to pretend they are Phasering bad drivers on the highway.
Overall, I do want to emphasize this point: most Fans and Fandoms are harmless diversions for people who work hard everyday, and want to spend their time and money on something they enjoy. That's it, in a nutshell.
But, like anything involving humans, there is the opportunity for stupidity. Most people know of someone who had a themed wedding, based on a movie or TV show--How many Lord of the Rings-inspired weddings have been in the papers recently? I have been invited to such spectacles, although I have never gone to one. I
think when you begin altering significant, life changing events like marriages to accomodate your love of a Fandom, you have to reconsider your passions somewhat.
Organized Fandom isn't all dressing up and going to cnoventions. Star Trek fandom has a long established reord of charity and public service. But there are horror stories asociated with any human edeavor, and Fandom is no different. I have known people who made their love of whatever they fancied into kind of a psuedo-religious faith, in their home. One guy on America's Most Wanted used to trall at cons for victims. But overall, Fandom was a good natured lot.
That is, until the advent of the Internet.
The Net has changed the entire nature of social interaction; taken what was meant to be insular and enjoyed by a few understanding souls in a controlled environment and made it public--remember the "CSI" episode about the Furry convention? I am certain that the writer of that ep never attended a Furry con; because he made it way too cerebral. Furries (which is the name given to fans who like to dress-up as cartoon animals) are the lowest order of Fandom, and regular, average members of the overall Fan community eschew them for the freaks they are. That's why they have their own, separarte conventions--squitchy events that they are. Cleaning up a venue that has hosted a Furry con must be equivalent to cleaning up a crime scene; you could read by the luminol....
I could go on; I could talk about Cosplay and Fan Fiction and Fanart; I know about most of those subjects firsthand. Well, everything but the Cosplay...That came up after my time. But research is my big love, so I'll know all about it by the next one of these I write. I used to be a big fan of the show Supernatural, which has a voiceferous (and slightly obnoxious) fan base, with almost none of the positive aspects I mentioned earlier. Probably the worst, ripoff, most scandalous conventions are Supernatural conventions, but it is the fault of the unscrupulous group who organizes the shows, more than anyone else involved. Those guys have had a bad rep in organized fandom for thirty years or more...
I have years of this subject behind me, so I can write on this t for a long time. I was a former attending pro at ComicCon, for years. But Fandom has made a mainly positive impact in my life; I am a misanthrope by nature, so I hate humanity out of the box; but Fandom gave me my only long term association with others, so it was a good thing for me. And I do hope you will all go out and explore the world of Fandom for yourself--it can be a lot of fun.
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