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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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so perhaps i like the idea of a blind cliff and a long jump

There's a part of me that's just--I guess is both irritated and resigned about the pseudo-intellectual snobbery that is anti-pop culture and anti-popularity. But it's also this.

I like the Lemming Method. I am a fan of the Lemming Method. If I could somehow acquire my own personal charisma machine and pimp everyone by sheer strength of personality into whatever fandom I'm in? I would be doing that for every damn fandom I have. I mean, sure, if you want, let divine intervention lead you to that very special text, but you know what? I found a much faster way to discover what I love.

I don't need fandom to tell me about a text I already love, though that's nice as well. I need fandom to show me what I'm missing. Did I miss spies or space cowboys or King Arthur, did I miss magical schoolboys or Superman redux or Wolverine in a cage (thank God for Diebin)? I've done both; I have dragged friends into fandoms they weren't interested in and watched them fall in love, and I've followed people where they went because I wanted to see what was so damn shiny in the other side of the hill. It's not everyone's way, but it's a lot of mine. I loved Diebin before I saw X-Men; I adored astolat before I fell on top of Stargate; I was all about cesperanza before I went near Due South.

Being apologetic because the authors interested you first? Because the fandom interested you before the source? Are you kidding? Apologize because I found a group of people so awesome and want to join in? Because the sheer rush of creativity is so overwhelming I want to be a part of it? Because there's one person that's worth watching one to three seasons of a show I wasn't too sure of so I'd get her fic?

That's what I celebrate.

Fandom cannot be done wrong, per se, but in a lot of ways, following each other around to see where they go, check out the other side of the mountain, looking in blank astonishment at a text or source you are pretty sure you are going to hate, but what the hell, brown_betty loves it, so okay--this exemplifies what attracted me to fandom in the first place. Beyond the source itself, it forces me to do what I wouldn't do on my own, makes me think outside what I'm comfortable with, and gives me nice rewards if I do those things.

Sure, I can't claim to be edgy, independent, intellectual, or special. I can claim, however, that unlike outside of fandom, if the source fails me, if the show/book/comic/medium fails me, the fandom around it never does.

Be a lemming. Jump blind over the cliff because your friends are doing it. Sure, the jump is scary, and you can't work out why the hell they thought this was a good idea, but the rush is unbelievable. You'll love what you find on the other side.

ETA: Current guild rules require me to mention svmadelyn, chopchica, and amireal as the primary lead lemmings leading me over whatever cliff they find.

ETA 2: I forgot to use my lemming icon. Lemming pride, my friends. Lemming pride.

WORD! I discover fandoms through my favorite fanfic writers and reccers, not the other way around.

i have been following the same writers around different fandoms for almost a decade. which is to say that i agree with your post completely.

And it's so much fun that way!

Absolutely. Who else are we going to trust? TV ads? They're designed by people paid to make something look shiny. Entertainment Weekly? Again, a source designed to make things look as good as selective editing and photoshop can manage. With the exception of shows I saw when I was 10, and sadly cut off from all other fans (pre-internet), almost every fandom I've fallen into has been due to the kindness of other fans saying, "This. You should totally devote brain cells and time from your finite life to this. It's worth it." And the few times when I've brought a new fandom back to the tribe, it felt like stumbling over a sampo* of chocolate and porn that I could share with my favorite people. "See? Isn't it yummy?"

*Sampo = Finnish mythological object that would be full of whatever you wanted or needed at all times.

From Family Muomi? Gah, i'ts been over a decade since I was in Finland.

"This. You should totally devote brain cells and time from your finite life to this. It's worth it."

Seriously! We only average eighty years on earth! That's not much time!

Nothing gets me into a new fandom faster than excellent fanfic. Because many of the fandoms I'm in are not the greatest professional product, but the fans and the fic make up for all of that.

This a thousand times. And maybe more.

THANK you. I followed people from Sentinel to Due South, and I followed people from Star Wars to Harry Potter, fandom convinced me to give SGA a chance, etc., etc. I don't always get into a fandom that way, but it's a perfectly legitimate way of discovering a new fandom. And I love discovering fandom that way. I - are people seriously complaining about this method? What the hell is going on lately? Everyone seems 10X pissier than usual.

Everyone needs more sugar and caffeine?

(Deleted comment)
sorry, I should have said this somewhere/somehow else - I meant it for you but now realize I'm also talking to a whole lot of others at the same time, which I would have avoided if I'd had enough coffee. I'll go get a second cup and delete my first comment. And sorry for the bad maneuver.

Word of mouth is how we people "discover" so much of what enjoy — we're introduced to wine-tasting by a friend who drags us to one, we see a movie because we've read a good review, we have books given to us by people who just know we're going to love them, we go hiking because a friend invites us along, we try knitting because a coworker made a great sweater and we want to try... why should fandom be any different?

*shrugs* Magical enlightenment from above? I'm still working that out.

I think that the Lemming Method certainly works well for some people, and for some fandoms, and for some people at certain points in certain fandoms, and I agree with what you're saying about the strong desire to tap into that creative energy and enthusiasm and to become a part of it. resonant8 was very much a catalyst author for me, who got me thiking about due South, Sentinel and Snape/Harry in Harry Potter, and from there I latched onto other great authors as well that took me to new places, such as astolat and Beautiful Lifetime Event. Hell, it was a slash author's brilliance in convincing me that two Green Berets could be hot for one another that got me to try writing slash in the first place. However, I've gotten into fandoms after being aware of and enjoying the source first, and I've gotten into fandoms that have a very small following (see icon) by hunting for the fic after falling in love with the source. So in short: word, and I think each person is an individual who encompasses multitudes - the lemming, the pioneer, the intellectual, the squeeful fangirl. It's all good.

I think each person is an individual who encompasses multitudes - the lemming, the pioneer, the intellectual, the squeeful fangirl. It's all good.

That is very quotable.

Ahahahaha, I just spent my entire winter break/head cold sprawled across the futon watching three and a half seasons of Criminal Minds because ONE PERSON posted about a character interaction that pinged me.

I followed you to Smallville, for crying out loud. Good friends share their shiny toys, how could that POSSIBLY be wrong?

Oh man, yes. Sometimes you have to see it!


My name is Lucy Gillam, and I approve of this message.

fandom as gateway to canon

Heh, i do have a lemming icon and it's for two purposes, when I indulge in memes and when I confess that more than once I've read everything by a favorite author in universes I knew, and then read all the author's other stuff, then tracked down the canon for the other stuff. Which is why I was an F/K shipper before I'd watched a single episode of the show. Cesperanza, if anyone's keeping track.

Am I sometimes frustrated when I just can't get into a canon? Sometimes, yeah. 1 I have trouble with Merlin (source availability is part of it; my MA thesis the other part), tried to watch an episode of Veronica Mars and couldn't understand why everyone else thought it was wonderful, and gave up on Smallville before the rest of the world. But I got pulled into Stargate Atlantis by fic and meta, and because only the first season was available, I picked up all ten seasons of SG:1 and okay no one cares, but basically, word. Yes.

1 Though I may be less frustrated because a good number of my preferred canon/fandoms are small enough to warrant inclusion in Yuletide. I'm used to not being able to wallow in reams of fic or having a library of source material.

Re: fandom as gateway to canon

Hell yes. I have totally been there.

Part of what's awesome about fandom is the people. I've tried squeeing by myself, it's fun for a few minutes. But there's no point in writing fic / doing pic!spams / writing meta for yourself. It could stay in your head where you're already enjoying it. Fandom is about the people you meet and interact with.

And (in relation to the post I think may have brought this on) if people move on to different fandoms, or stop squeeing about something you still want to, you meet new people who are still sharing your state of mind and life is good. Fandom is an elastic, every-changing blob and that's what makes it awesome.

So, um...basically, I'm totally agreeing with you. :)

I've tried squeeing by myself, it's fun for a few minutes. But there's no point in writing fic / doing pic!spams / writing meta for yourself. It could stay in your head where you're already enjoying it.

Oh my God I know. I know. I have tried? And it just does not work.

Fandom is an elastic, every-changing blob and that's what makes it awesome.

I had the most awesome comic book comparison on that and I blanked on the name. Dammit.

Word. To all of that.

(Lemming PRIDE, yes)

I learned this one ages ago -- they wouldn't be on my friends list (more particularly, wouldn't be on the filter(s) I actually read) if they didn't share some interests or have intriguing points of view, so when I see a certain proportion raving about some new show (or old show I hadn't gotten around to seeing) I make a point of looking into it.

And lord, yes, my first online fandom was a case of fandom first, catching up on canon afterwards. Which is why I'm merely ruefully amused at realizing SGA seems to be filling the vacuum in my fannish life Who is leaving, since I already found out several season back that I find the canon frequently painful to watch and other times boring. It's just the fics that got me interested and the vids that really hooked me in recent months. (Joe Flanigan is so much more attractive to me if I don't have to listen to his voice. Yes, that's a major issue that probably kept me from getting sucked in back when I watched s1-3.)

And also, as I was reminded yesterday when reading a two-weeks-old discussion on how Doctor Who burned out a few people on interacting with fandom "proper," a major advantage of following the friends list to new fandoms (and/or luring your current friends into your new one) is that you're getting recs and fic and discussion showing up right there on the friends list and finding new fandom friends pre-vetted by people you already know and it just saves a lot of effort in terms of hooking into the network without having to actually dive into the wilder parts of it and seek things out for yourself. Because dammit, I do my LJing from work and need to get some offline things accomplished -- I'd just as soon let other people find the good shit for me rather than go spelunking in the Pit of Voles.

My fandom migratory patterns have all followed closely behind the authors I enjoy. I finally broke down and jumped into Torchwood because of a rec you posted a couple of months ago. I started reading RPS because of all of the great writers who were turning out dozens of fics a day, when I had always been squicked by RPS in the past. I am very proud to be a lemming, dammit! *g*

*glows* I do my best to rec teh fic that brings the people. *g*

RPS I fell in QaF. It's not like, something I seek out? But if I see someone I know rec it, I am usually checking it out.