I feel like I’m losing track of what it means to be a “fan” of someone’s work anymore. Has it become an identity in itself? And at what point does it have very little to do with the work itself at all anymore? I guess it doesn’t actually matter in grand scheme of things, especially in our current climate, but I can’t help but wonder. Sometimes it makes me sad to see a kids page that is completely dedicated to a creator/musician/any sort of artist. One of those Twitter fan accounts that also doubles as the personal account of the fan. And maybe it’s just something I don’t understand. I just feel like, and I’m not sure about this, publicly representing yourself as the face of someone who is not you, posting pictures of them, and crying and shaking when they interact with you in the smallest way, maybe it isn’t the healthiest way to grow up. I’m sure it’s fun, but is it healthy? It just feels odd to me, and it seems to be getting bigger and bigger. And the reason I’m saying this isn’t because I’m annoyed or judgemental of these people, in fact, I’m saying this all as someone who is a big big fan of many people and who has genuinely felt joy from the times I was noticed by them. I’m talking to myself here too. The reason I bring this up is because I think that every human is so, SO much more than the media they consume. The idea of representing yourself only as such, even just online, seems minimizing, and possibly dehumanizing to a certain extent. I just think maybe you owe yourself more. You are interesting, and cool, and fun, and unique, and weird, and loving, and beautiful, and most importantly, you have your own face.
When combined with the passion of horror fandom, this results in equal frustration on both extremes: enthusiastic viewers want to immediately enshrine films in some sort of imaginary horror canon, while those who aren’t fans feel a need to assert their dominance by denying these even are horror films at all.
In far too many cases, the latter also includes a blanket condemnation of any viewer who enjoys these films as someone who doesn’t know what “true” horror movies are. This puts them in the position of deciding who is and is not a “true” horror fan.
taylor has become so massively popular and because of that, just about everyone and their grandma comes to a show for this tour so it’s special when she plays songs from earlier albums that weren’t as big as 1989, songs that most people wouldn’t know. it’s sort of like a nod to those who’ve been fans for a long time and when she plays those types of songs you just smile to yourself while everyone watches on because you know it’s her way of saying ‘thanks for sticking around, this is for you guys’
I’m going to pre-face this by saying I am writing it at 2:30 in the morning while I’m still all hoped up and excited by the stream so bear with me! (it’s going to be queued for tomorrow)
So, on the Grump stream last night the Grumps read some fic. I saw some posts when it was mentioned of people being nervous or freaked out by the idea of them finding and real our fiction.
I wasn’t nervous (or at least not in a negative way) and let me tell you why. It was because the Grumps have always been good to fans who create content for them, whether it be fan-art, videos, memes, and to a very lesser degree fan fic. They like their work inspiring us, their viewers to create.
There is also the fact that they all (except those who specifically asked not to be included) have been supportive of shipping, encouraged it, made their own jokes or content in regards to it. I think by now we can count several times over just how much Arin has stated he loves ships and polygrumps and all that jazz.
Really, it’s more the other non-shipping fans that seem to have a big issue with shipping. Let me get back to my original point. Why I am glad the Grumps found some fan fic.
Basically, it’s because I think fic can be boiled down to a stereotype, some jokey idea that it’s all badly written garbage, or that it’s all just ill-informed sex. People don’t often think about the fics that are long and sprawling and so beautiful it tears your chest apart, we’ve all experienced a fic like that I am sure, or one written so well you think you’e in the room with the characters.
I think, tonight, the Grumps got a little glimpse into that world. When they read the fics they were supportive and never said anything mean, didn’t make fun of the writing. They laughed because it was their friends, themselves, picturing it, but not making fun of it. Even Vernon said as he read one that it was very well written. Obviously they were expecting the worst, but got to see that we’re not just making fics because we want to see them bone (which, lbr we do and those kind of fics are A-OK in my book) but that we want to tell real, meaningful stories with these guys as characters.
Brian had given props to writers of fic and I think that was very kind. Writing and sharing fic can and is absolutely scary because writing is putting a lot of yourself out there for the world to see. Plus, ficcers tend to get a lot of hate or are looked down upon. It was nice to see them appreciate our content.
Now, I saw people discussing author permission and that being what was upsetting for them. The two fics that got read tonight, as far as I could tell, the authors weren’t upset. I, as an author of fics, would not be upset if mine had been read. We put our work out there with the slight understanding that maybe the people who inspire us will someday also see what we make.
I can see why people whose fics were discussed/almost read/read could and would get upset if their work had been read aloud, but again, the Grumps did it with care. I also understand that in the context of a stream they can’t exactly hunt down authors and ask their permission and wait for a reply back. Now, if they were reading fic for a video or something, then I could see them picking out fic ahead of time and messaging people asking for permission.
I’m not saying my opinion is right o the only valid thing around. You are allowed to feel how you want about this topic. My motivation for writing this is because I just want to let you guys know that this happening wasn’t exactly a bad thing.