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Okay so I was browsing the net and I found this lovely piece of work, that was published just two months ago. link
Apparently this is a 'student run' new site. So much for the plagiarism policy. Like at least give an exact
link--as your site automatically generates for anyone who copies and pastes your work. But don't worry I already put that up top myself, out of respect. Anyhow I find it very funny how professionally set up this site is and yet they're utilizing my work without my permission and without even linking me to it. It's one thing to post my work (with credits) in appreciation of it behind my back and another to critique it behind my back. I'm not saying not to disagree with me at all, because really, I don't mind. What I am saying is, at least have the decency to link me to the critique so I have a chance to defend myself. That's my main issue with this article. The lack of professionalism is killing me and this site claims to be the site of a newspaper. "The Record and its staff encourage a respectful, engaging and informative conversation."
Yeah, okay, sure lol. Where's the respect? With that in mind I am going to link this to the site so they can properly give feedback about their work being utilized. I mean I suppose I'm somewhat flattered that, that silly article drew enough attention to get a whole response article on another site, but still...it's the way the response was done behind my back that I'm not flattered by.
So what baffles me the most is that (what seems to be) a rather professional newspaper took an article of mine that wasn't even supposed to be professional in the slightest and utilized it. Legit, that article of mine was only there to get my opinion out there and encourage/welcome people into any fandom. To let people know that it's okay to not know everything about a certain medium. I don't get why people have to take a positive like that and try to push a negative.
With all of this in mind Imma type this article just how I typed the other one; without a degree of professional language because that's not what the first one was. Because again, most all of my opinion articles are recreational things, things I type just because I want something to do.
The first point I'd like to address is the following "Sure, I might like something a lot, but I’m not going to consider myself a fan right away. Why? Because I feel like I don’t know enough about what I’m trying to become a fan of."
Alright, that's cool. You do you, but don't try to tell others how to feel or make them feel unwelcome/unequal in the fandom. Just because you don't feel comfortable considering yourself a fan right away, doesn't mean other people can't. In my opinion it's perfectly fine to call yourself a fan as soon as you start to enjoy something because that's what being a fan is.
By definition (taken from here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_(person)) "is a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something or somebody, such as a band, a sports team, a genre, a book, a movie or an entertainer.
As long a person genuinely enjoys something and shows some enthusiasm, by definition they are a fan. Take out the enthusiasm and you're still a fan, you're just a casual fan. Someone who watches and enjoys the subject but isn't super crazy about it. And a causal fan is still a real/true fan.
So yes, if you don't feel right calling yourself a fan (and I apply this to any reader not just the person who this article is a response to) then you don't have to. But there are some people who feel comfortable doing so and it's perfectly valid to do so. Because even if you don't know a lot about the thing you just started to like, you can still like and enjoy it. And that is a fan.
The other point that was bought up was the following; "Some “fans,”consider themselves bandwagoners. These individuals openly admit they are fans of something because it is what’s popular at the time."
By all means, this is a fair point. But
these are not
the people my article was addressing. For one, these people openly admitted they weren't true fans. My article aimed to uplift people who genuinely love the subject but were told they couldn't be a fan because of xyz. Bandwagoners aren't real fans they're bandwagoners. And they admit it.
Which leads to my next point; I'm under the impression that my article wasn't even read fully.
Because the point was terribly missed. I read through all of the "Being a Fan Isn't Easy" article and not once was it mentioned that people were getting told they weren't real fans for opinions regarding the medium they love. The entire point of my article was to dispute claims like "you're not a real fan because you like the antagonists better than the protagonists." I am a huge fan of Winx Club; I've been a fan for well over ten years now. I know my shit. And yet someone got off on calling me a 'fake fan' because I preferred one dub over the other. This is what my article was, in a sense, calling out. And the response article didn't address this at all. I feel as though they read my “Step one: enjoy/love/like the show, book, movie, and/or band. Good job, that’s it, you’re a true fan.” And just stopped. So by all means the article in response to mine isn't even a fair assessment of my original content. Considering how much of it was ignored. Considering the very core of it was ignored.
So the next thing bought up is the following; "You know, the people that when you show them a cool new band, they don’t think much about them, but as soon as the band starts getting airtime on the radio, they claim to know every word to every song?"
Isn't this a form of bandwagoning though? Since the band is getting air time they jump on?
You know what, Imma defend these people. To be honest it did annoy me when Gangnam Style started playing and suddenly everyone was a Kpop fan. But
Everyone needs to start somewhere. And I think the above is a start of some sort. No, they shouldn't
claim to know every line to every song right off the bat. But it's completely fair for the person to say they are a fan of and like what they did hear. And from there the rest of the knowledge comes naturally
. No one has to put in tedious research, why would they? Because eventually (especially with shows) the viewer starts to get used to the show and slowly he/she finds him/herself realizing that he/she can
list off every member of the cast and who they play! Way back in 2011 I dived into the Once fandom; it was really disorienting because not only did I have to keep track of all the characters but I had to keep track of which fairy tail counterpart belonged to who. And I came into the fandom late. Luckily everyone was supportive and instead of saying I wasn't a real fan they helped remind me of who was who. Soon enough--without even realizing it
--I not only had the counterpart thing down, but also which cast member played who down. And I didn't do a speck of research, I just listened to my fellow fans talk. I followed their conversations, and it came naturally.
So by all means, it really is that
That said, onto the next point; "There has to be something more to it than just enjoyment."
I suppose this is just a matter of opinion. Because I strongly disagree. Being a fan is all about enjoying something. In fact I'm inclined to point you back to the very definition of the word fan. It says nothing
about research/knowledge and everything about enjoyment.
"In order to be a fan of something, you need to have done your homework on it."
No. No, no, no. Being a fan should not
require homework! That's what school is for. Sure if it's something you enjoy it shouldn't be a hassle. By all means when I got into Avatar I wanted to know everything I could about my favorite character, Azula. But what about the people who just want to watch the show? That's it, they like/love the show but they really don't want to part-take in the fandom or anything. Are you saying that these people don't actually like the show? That they're not fans?
I'd like to argue that (again especially in the case of shows & books) the information is all and research you need
lies in the content of the show/book. If it doesn't than the author isn't doing his/her job.
And just how much do you need to know? If knowledge is what defines what it takes to be a fan then who gets to set that bar? Some people would say that to be a real fan you have to know the names of all the characters, the next guy will step it up and demand that you know all of the characters and the actors who play them. The person will say that you have to know all of that and the names of all the episodes. So whose standard of how much knowledge you need to be a fan are we going by? Because that, my friends, is subjective too. And there's a simple solution to this problem; let the individual him or herself decide when he or she is a fan of something. Gauge whether or not someone is a fan of something by how much they like the show/book/band/etc.
"But if you want to be considered a fan, you should be reading, watching, attending, listening, and/or participating in whatever your interest is as much as possible."
Now this is something I can agree with. Because that's all it takes; watching thew show, listening to the music, or whatever. Just making time for watching/listening to/etc. the subject shows that you're a fan. Where I differ is that I don't think that there is a such thing as a 'lazy, lackluster' fan, just a casual fan. And a casual fan is still a real
Long story short, I just don't understand why people are so keen on making watching shows, reading books, listening to music, and generally enjoying something such a chore. It really
doesn't have to be. Isn't the point of shows/books/music to give people a release. To give people an escape. A way to relax
. And it's pretty hard to relax and get invested in a show when people are telling you, you have to hardcore know everything about it. Or when people are playing bouncer at the door of the fanclubs. Just welcome people in with open arms and show them the works of the fandom! Like Jesus Christ.
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