Wednesday, March 21

Fandom Wars

There is a reason “fan” is short for “fanatic.” When we love something a lot, we are passionate about it…and sometimes that passion takes the form of crazy.

Obsession – it’s a powerful motivator. When we read a book or see a film or listen to a band that affects us in a profound way, we covet it. We are engrossed and we cling.

Sometimes we just like things. Sometimes we appreciate them and our enthusiasm and we just enjoy. Other times, there is a part of us that lives through this thing. We become possessive, sometimes defensive.

I believe that if you are passionate about loving a book series or a musician or a television show, you are in a good mind frame. What’s wrong with enjoying something to such a high extent that it allows you to relate with others who have connected with something in the same/similar way that you have?

What I don’t like, is when people use their love of something as a grounds to hate on something else and belittle other people.

If you don’t like something that I love, I may gasp or shun in jest but it ultimately doesn’t change anything. People like and dislike different things.

When it comes to popular fiction or media, there are huge followings. Like so many others, I love the Harry Potter books. Then there are other literature series which have huge followings like Lord of the Rings, Twilight and The Hunger Games. Reading helps to shape our lives, so it’s natural that we embrace the stories we love.

Except, sometimes people get scary. No, I don’t mean that Twilight fan girls are scary because they love Edward or Jacob. I’m talking about people who – not restricted to any particular fandom – like to hate on another fandom.

I’m not sure where the idea sprouted that you cannot love more than one thing or that you can justify the superiority of something you like by hating on something else and belittling the people who love it.

I often see “Team Whatever” buttons all over blogs. That’s fine because it’s often in reference to a particular character, usually a male love interest. If there are two main guys in a series – i.e. Edward and Jacob or Gale and Peeta – readers might feel more drawn to one than the other. It’s a fun way to show your support/love of a certain character.

Something else I see a lot of on Twitter is a fandom of a certain singer raging on the fandom of another. The other day, fans of Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato were at war with each other…because apparently the best way to support a singer you love is by hating on her long-time friend. I know, it doesn’t make any sense to me either.

Enthusiasm is great but sometimes indifference is your friend. Why do people who supposedly dislike Twilight or Justin Bieber spend so much time talking about how much they hate Twilight or Justin Bieber? There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion or being passionate about a certain subject but being obsessed over hating something is just a waste of time and energy.

Lord of the Rings v.s. Harry Potter

Twilight v.s. The Hunger Games

Star Trek v.s. Star Wars

We don’t all have to like the same things but we shouldn’t allow whether or not we both like the same singer/movie/book to be the defining reason for liking/disliking each other.

What’s your take on fandom wars?


Anonymous said...

It's basically the reason why I've learned to stay out of most of the fandoms, except for a few sites, which I'm certain are fandom-war-free. Otherwise, it's impossible to be passionate about something and I can't understand why people waste their time hating something instead of doing something positive/productive.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Totally agree. Fandom wars are pretty dumb, in my opinion. And it really doesn't make sense that if you dislike something, you spend so much time and energy talking about your dislike. I mean, hello? You're still obsessing! Why not obsessed over something you like? LOL