Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fandom is changing (part1)

I'm going to present this idea here, and come back to it in the next few days.

I just read through this really interesting post by Devin Faraci on Badass Digest. It’s a reaction piece to another article, and mostly deals with the question of whether or not “television is where all of the smart, culturally important narrative stuff happens, leaving the cinema behind in an infantile wash of superheroes and sequels.” I won’t get into that argument though (not in this post anyway) as there is a specific excerpt that really caught my eye:

I get the mourning for a lost niche, for a specialization democratized out of existence. It’s happening with geek culture right this very minute. All of a sudden liking the third highest grossing movie of all time makes you ‘a geek.’ That sucks. It sucks seeing the doorman overwhelmed and losing your special place in the world.”

This small piece of the article probably says more than Faraci even expected. It works on a lot of different levels. He’s talking about geek culture, but the funny thing is that geek culture and movie culture (even T.V. culture) have become almost synonymous.

The Internet is the reason why this is happening. If you want to see fandom in action, just take a look at Tumblr. It’s pretty mind-blowing just how many people lose their minds at the thought of a new Tarantino trailer, or the latest episode of Dr. Who. The thing is that nowadays it seems like everyone is a fanboy. I think that the surge of social networking has done a lot of great things as far as bringing people of similar interests together, but at the same time, it’s also had a real “Look at me!” effect on a lot of other people.
You probably know who I’m talking about. Those people you see walking around the mall or around campus sporting their Iron Man shirts. Not the ones that look the part, but the ones you have to double-take at just before thinking “You’re not supposed to be wearing that…
Yes. That’s totally judging a book by its cover, and it’s probably not fair, but the point I’m trying to make is that the state of fandom is definitely changing. Everyone likes Batman now. It’s not just guys like me that watched the cartoon in the ‘90s that are now shaking their head at the ‘00s kids for simply jumping on the Nolan Batman bandwagon, or the guys who read the comics in the ‘80s who eventually grew up to witness the horror of the ‘90s kids watching Batman cartoons instead of reading comics. (See what I’m getting at?)

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