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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
lemming
seperis
Huh.

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.


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I haven't seen whatever has sparked this & don't understand contempt for following a popular author or BNF, but I would like to offer one alternative view, which is that there is often a sense of *disappointment* when a new show like Merlin comes along, as what seems to happen is that a good and/or popular author who is highly prolific in a fandom abruptly decamps, closely followed by a knot of similarly prolific or particularly creative fans, and the first fandom is left weakened, and for some time the flow of good fanfic, discussion etc. dries up. It usually takes time to recover from the loss of energy.

I suppose what I personally find is strange is that often when fans jump collectively to other fandoms, certainly in the jumps I have witnessed on LJ (along the lines of: SG1 - SGA - Supernatural - Torchwood - Merlin), the fans that perform a so-called lemming jump don't look back, being supremely focussed on the new creative burst. They don't seem to come back to revisit older fandoms, they jump in time to another new one, which makes me curious as to whether it's the experience of collective fandom as creative force that has the appeal rather than any specific show.


(Deleted comment)
There's at least the potential for fandoms to get a second-wind. BtVS is still really interesting, and there are still writers writing incredibly cool Spander, although now that I've started writing it, it's strange to have people on my flist say, "Oh, you reminded me of how much I used to be into Buffy." And I'm always a bit sad about that, because of that sense of loss.

I suspect closed canon shows offer a sort of safety to them that means that people can rediscover them, because they don't have that, "Oh what shark will TPTB jump now?" The waters are charted.

There's at least the potential for fandoms to get a second-wind. BtVS is still really interesting, and there are still writers writing incredibly cool Spander, although now that I've started writing it, it's strange to have people on my flist say, "Oh, you reminded me of how much I used to be into Buffy."

You're just pimping aren't you! I see through your agenda Miriam! Don't deny it!! ;)

*thoughtful* I think it can be both, show and fannish creative force. Like quietus_x says, it's easier and far more satisfying to work synergetically with other fans.

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