Fandom

It can be a blessing and a curse.

When united, fans can do just about anything.
Keep shows on the air.
Bring teams back from the dead.
Raise a lot of money for some needy people.
Get the word out on just about anything.
They are some really great people.

And, then there’s the other side.
Fans can be the most exclusive, closed minded people ever.
As a group or by themselves, they can build up this wall that won’t allow new people into the ‘club’.
They can make others feel small and unimportant and generally give the rest of us a bad name.
They can be the reason why people don’t try new things or go to new places.
Nothing ruins fun quite like a fan.

I can say this because I am a fan of a great number of things.
I’m a comics fan.
A Sci-Fi fan.
Anime.
Not so much a fan of Fantasy.
Metal.
Industrial.
Video Games, both console and PC.
Movies(not going to bother to list the genres, that would take forever).

And because I am a fan of all these things, and a mostly reasonable fan, I know that all the things I am a fan of will always be good.
That might not make a lot of sense.
Let’s pick on the anime fans for a second to make an example.
Anime is not the be all end all of animation.
Deal with it.
There always has been and always will be(I’m guessing) good animation coming from North America and around the world.
But, talk to any die hard anime fan, and they’ll tell you you’re wrong until they’re blue in the face.
And that would be fine if most of them could come up with a reasonable argument.
But they can’t. You’re wrong, they’re right. End of story.
And it aggravates me to near violent levels.
But, and here’s the rub, if it wasn’t for these same fans, the North American Anime market simply wouldn’t exist.
So I put up with it. Mostly silently.

But don’t get me wrong, that’s not all fans.
There are a lot of fans that are reasonable people, that will argue for their respective fandom sensibly. Or not at all, which I prefer.
I have no problem getting into an argument about Metal bands, as long as the other person puts up a good argument, and doesn’t follow the band blindly.
Thinks that they can do no wrong.
As an example, we’ll use Metallica.
Why?
Because they’re an easy target and I’m running out of steam.
One could argue that Metallica sucks. It’s not a great argument unless you have some decent opinions.
Why do they suck?
Well, fist off they changed their sound from Speed Metal to hard rock(at best). While this allows them to gain a broader audience, it does piss off a lot of older fans.
Namely myself.
But let’s go a little further.
They went from complex arrangements to easy, and I can’t think of a word here, so I’ll just say dumbed down, arrangements.
So let’s see, not only did they slow down, they dumbed down.
Next, on the latest album, they dropped solos.
Slow, dumb and solo less.
Should I go on and mention the touchy feely “Oh let’s have a big group hug” movie they released?
Think I just did.
So that’s my argument. Will I still listen to the old stuff? Sure, because it’s good.
But I will not delude myself into thinking that Metallica is still good just because they are Metallica.
That’s a reasonable stance. And a stance a lot of fans refuse to deal with. Metallica will always be good and can do no wrong.
And they’re allowed to have that opinion as long as it’s not based on the fact that since it’s Metallica they can do no wrong.

So, what am I trying to say here?
Metallica sucks? Yes, but I don’t think that’s my overall point.

Fandom; it’s a double edge sword.
Watch where you’re swinging that thing.

—-

See, I thought of this one mostly during the walk with the dog. And the first bit and last bit worked out.
My problem now is word count.
Since I imposed this 500 word rule on myself, I have to make up some filler.
However, I think the filler here has helped to prove the over all point.

Metallica sucks.
Not bitter…

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