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.