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Dept. of Thinky Thoughts, Lazy Edition

Alrighty, then!

Lazy post, not a poll, asking folks one thing - answer short or long, profane or transcendentally, pictures or words;

What does fandom mean to you? And what (I lied about it being one thing) do you mean when you say "I am a fan"?


Edited to say: thanks to [personal profile] ljgeoff  over on LJ, I have one of the two definitions I'm really liking so far: "Of course there are disagreements, wank-fests, calcification of thought and culture -- because we are people. But we talk about it, hey? We're like the Unitarians of sub-cultures" (Italics mine because that is pretty genius, although I'd add, we're the crazy Unitarians of sub-cultures.)

And this, from a mysterious and poetic exemplar of the latest iteration of fandom, via the near-numinous [personal profile] promethia_tenk , on Dreamwidth; an excellent definition of just that marvelous latest iteration of fandoms: "I'm in love with a show and all the songs are about us."

And yet another great definition, from the most estimable betawho on LJ: Fandom is involved enthusiasm (as opposed to detached observation.)

Edited again (and I really have to stop adding to this, but so many people have wonderful things to say) to add the words of [personal profile] supergee , who, like me, was a denizen of traditional skiffy fandom before coming to Teh Intarwebz:   "Source of my greatest achievements and my family of choice."

Of course, that leads to a further question that I shall, perhaps put into a different post ....

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/309816.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.



( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 27th, 2014 07:01 pm (UTC)
What does fandom mean?

Involved enthusiasm. (As opposed to detached observation.)

Am I a fan?


Fandom means putting some of your heart into something. Whether it's by discussion, creation, or support.
Jul. 27th, 2014 09:45 pm (UTC)
Involved enthusiasm. (As opposed to detached observation.)

I really like that. Involved enthusiasm is an excellent overall definition, because it can cover all kinds of fandom, from sports, to stamps and coins, to books, to sub-genres of books, to popular culture shows, to anime, to movies ... yeah, I really like the idea of involved enthusiasm. I think I shall add it to the edits I'm making of this post. Heh.
(no subject) - britgeekgrrl - Jul. 28th, 2014 03:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kaffyr - Jul. 28th, 2014 04:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 27th, 2014 07:18 pm (UTC)
Passion, creativity, obsessiveness (;P). Meeting other people who share the aforementioned. A fair bit of reality escapism, if I'm being lucid ;) Room to grow and improve as a writer. Endless fun. A place of friendship and warmth.

I am a fan when the material fills my head all day long, when it makes me want to write all the things, when I can't wait to read or watch on and am figuratively jumping in enthusiasm at the idea of discussing all the characters and plots I love, or getting a friend to watch/read =)
Jul. 27th, 2014 09:58 pm (UTC)
Ah, you have mentioned one of the things without which I think it's difficult to be a fan - meeting other people who share one's interest. That social interaction is inextricably entwined with everything else that makes up fannishness, I think.

When it comes to things science-fictional (and oh, does that cover a vast country!), it is an irreplaceable ingredient in the mix. In the old days people used to meet up - causing the birth of clubs and conventions - or they constantly wrote letters, to each other, and in letter columns of professional and fan-produced magazines (the lettercol was LJ and Dreamwidth, Tumblr and Twitter, long before those things were realities).

And it was all social interactions, often the first and truest interaction for people who might often be uncomfortable with mainstream social interaction.

It often became family.
(no subject) - flowsoffire - Jul. 28th, 2014 05:57 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 27th, 2014 07:59 pm (UTC)
Being fannish is way of life. A kind of openness to taking in new ideas. A willingness to embrace otherness. A passion for things that aren't a part of the majority's reality.

Of course there are disagreements, wank-fests, calcification of thought and culture -- because we are people.

But we talk about it, hey? We're like the Unitarians of sub-cultures.

Jul. 27th, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)

I edited the post to put your definition up there as one that I really, really like.

It's interesting to see the generational difference between people who grew up in one fandom - skiffy - and those who grew up around or after the time that it splintered into a multiplicity of shiny shards, in large part thanks to television and Teh Intarwebz.
Jul. 27th, 2014 08:27 pm (UTC)
Half my life (temporally). Source of my greatest achievements and my family of choice.
Jul. 27th, 2014 11:11 pm (UTC)
This one resonates very nicely with me; I fell into what I suppose we can call traditional skiffy fandom in 1977 (hell, even pubbed my crudzine ish) and at the time I was about the age of many folks with whom I have current wonderful online friendships. So traditional skiffy fandom is the template against which I measure a lot of things.

And of course the lovely thing about fandom is that measuring things against a template need not mean that anything so measured will ever be found wanting. At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
(no subject) - supergee - Jul. 27th, 2014 11:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kaffyr - Jul. 28th, 2014 12:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_phoenixdragon - Jul. 27th, 2014 11:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - supergee - Jul. 27th, 2014 11:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kaffyr - Jul. 28th, 2014 12:53 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 27th, 2014 10:43 pm (UTC)
Augh- there used to be this wonderful post from someone about 'what fandom means', but I think the entry's long since been deleted 'cuz I can remember having a link to it in my LJ memories section.
Jul. 27th, 2014 11:12 pm (UTC)
Nevermind. I found it.
(no subject) - kaffyr - Jul. 27th, 2014 11:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - masakochan - Jul. 27th, 2014 11:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kaffyr - Jul. 28th, 2014 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 27th, 2014 11:18 pm (UTC)
OMG...the plethora of things that run through my head!! Ummm...I'll keep it short (or I'll be here all day!)

Fandom means community, a like-minded group of different individuals with differing and similar tastes within that group coming together to celebrate that Fandom they love with beautiful works of creativity, delightful discussions and friendships forged over the same.

Oh!! I don't know...that I like this particular show/book/movie/etc to want to be more involved within it (in my own limited capacity). That it motivates me to reach out, seek beauty, create (dubious) beauty of my own and get to know all the wonderful people who love the same thing I do.

These questions require better answers than I can give, really. They are so simple on the surface, yet deep beneath. And the answers should be equal to them...

Jul. 28th, 2014 12:50 am (UTC)
My dear, the answers don't need to be deep, just deeply felt. And that's what I read in your answer.

Of course, you have a heart built for fandom, you know.
(no subject) - a_phoenixdragon - Jul. 28th, 2014 09:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kaffyr - Jul. 29th, 2014 03:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 28th, 2014 05:07 am (UTC)
What is fandom?

Becoming part of the story, together.

Why am I a fan?

Because if you could tough the alien sand, and hear the cries of strange birds, and watch them wheel under another sky... who wouldn't want to share that with other like minded people on the internet?

Edited at 2014-07-28 05:08 am (UTC)
Jul. 28th, 2014 01:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's good!!! Or rather both of those things are so good - and so true. We fans, we travel in our hearts and minds, don't we, to places that some people never go - and it's a fantastic journey.
Jul. 28th, 2014 06:37 am (UTC)
I don't think I have any clever words - fandom ahs always been a welcome escape into a place where I can talk about writing and imagination instead of the weather and DIY and all the usual things. :-)

I like, though, that my LJ friends will even support me being fannish about things nobody else knows. It's very sweet and helps make me feel less crazy when I vanish into the 1960s or 70s for a bit.

Have the obvious fanvid link instead of words. :-)
Jul. 28th, 2014 01:54 pm (UTC)
I like, though, that my LJ friends will even support me being fannish about things nobody else knows. It's very sweet and helps make me feel less crazy when I vanish into the 1960s or 70s for a bit.

Because we know it's fandom, I suppose, and because we like you, and trust your taste, and learn from you. Thanks to you, I fell in love with Sapphire and Steel and I think that's part of fandom, too.

That video is absolute genius, particularly the intro and extro!
(no subject) - lost_spook - Jul. 29th, 2014 12:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 28th, 2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
"Involved enthusiasm," yes, that's me.

Also, less dignified, SQUEEEE!!!!!

The enjoyment of sharing your obsession with a community of like-minded folks.

The opportunities for creativity: fan writing, fan art, costuming, role-playing, filking, etc. A good friend in another fandom compared these activities to singing along with your favorite song (as opposed to passive listening, or going off and composing something of your own).

Fandom is active involvement to me. Once you're interested in something enough to start looking things up on the internet, you've put the first toe into the water of fandom. If you just leave the theater or turn off the TV and don't really think about the thing again, that's not fandom. Fandom is many things and has many shades and many degrees of involvement, but that first step is basically, "This is cool, and I want to know more about it."

JMO, of course. : )
Jul. 29th, 2014 03:23 am (UTC)
Oh, hurrah! I actually think that SQUEEEEEE is a definite marker for fandom. Heh.

And I like the analogy your friend drew; singing along to a favorite song is a particularly community-oriented social activity.
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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