Okay, so the truth is I just stole these wholesale from toft_froggy. But I know I’ve got people on my flist who think thinky thoughts about fanfic, and I suspect these links will provoke much thinky thoughtness for them.
What Started It All: thingswithwings posting about Merlin fandom and the ways in which fandom migrations occur. (Can I just say I love the phrase “fandom migrations”? The mental images are great.)
In Which the Comments Blew Up: various people pick apart reasons for participating in a fandom and what it means to say it’s “just for fun/pleasure.” (Okay, I didn’t read the whole thread, because there’s a bit where it explodes and I didn’t feel like following it. But I read the stuff I didn’t have to hit “expand” for.)
A Typological (Not Typical) Response: miriam_heddy sorts out patterns in the comments to the previous post — so you don’t have to! (Haven’t read the comments here, though. I only have so much time in my life.)
My take? I think there is a degree of social responsibility in choosing one’s fandom, because if giant flocks of ficcers descend upon a show, then it’s a form of positive feedback to the people who write and produce that show. And if they can attract massive fan interest despite being racist and sexist and what-have-you, then I do think it encourages more writing in that vein. (Or at the very least, it doesn’t encourage them to improve.) So I sympathize with thingswithwings‘s reaction, in the vein of, dude, what if we poured all this love and creative effort into stuff that doesn’t have those flaws? And I do not — sorry, folks — sympathize much with the “but life is hard and I watch this stuff for brainless fun” response, because if your brainless fun involves consuming intellectual poison (“women with power are eeeevil!,” frex), then yes, I’m going to judge you for that. Things can be fun and good. What a novel idea!
Huh. I must be getting over the
Respiratory Bug of Suck Unidentified Viral Infection, if I have the energy to engage with this.
Edited to add: An excellent comment by cryptoxin, which very tidily (though with heavy use of academispeak) sums up the aspect I latched onto in the original post. Rather than making tempests in teacups about whether thingswithwings is just upset that everybody’s leaving her fandom for a new one, I wish more people would engage with this part of the question.