Fandom Shaming Needs to GO #RespectTheFandoms

I have no idea what a Magmar is, other than the word kinda looks like Ragnar. Which makes me think of Ragnar Lothbrok…which makes me wonder when the new season of Viking starts. I don’t know because it isn’t my fandom. And I’m okay with that. Some people, however…aren’t.

My kids like Pokemon Go. They like walking around the neighborhood catching them. They volunteer to run errands with me, and they bring their phones, and they ask me to turn right when I could just as well go straight, but I do it because it costs me nothing and yet it makes them happy, and it gives us a few more minutes together, and later I overhear them telling their friends that they caught a Nidorina…which means nothing to me. Except it makes them happy, and the word kinda looks like Narnia, which makes me wonder the last time I read C. S. Lewis, and I make a note to dig out the books.

I understand the lure of books, and games, and television shows. I know firsthand how a book can open your eyes to new possibilities, or breathe life into interests that had been left for dead. The Outlander books reminded me of my interest in herbs, and nudged me into gardening more seriously, and urged me to track down my ancestry. The books reminded me of the importance of strength and endurance and made me want to take better care of this body I inhabit. The books whispered to me and echoed the beauty of the words of my ancestors spoke, and the words they spoke were Gaelic, and I wanted to understand. So now I have dozen books on the subject on my shelves, and I can say a few halting phrases, and it makes me stupidly proud…

My daughter went to a Con this weekend. It was her second. She planned her outfits months in advance. She spent hours on her makeup. She styled her wig. On the first day of the convention she walked around for eight hours. She found her place among other made-up faces and she took photos to share. In the photos, she smiled; in the photos, she was no longer the awkward 14 year old who was self-conscious of her smile or her adolescent skin—she was brave, and she was alive, and she was…happy.

There is strength in numbers. There is joy in recognizing yourself in those numbers.

Personally, I don’t care if Pokemon Go gets people to—however unwittingly—exercise. I do not care if you are a forty-three year old who wants to Catch Them All. I do not care if you spend your down time scavenging for super rare creatures whose names escape me. I don’t care—not because I am Above It All—but because it makes you happy. And that is enough.

For those who think that time is better spent studying or reading or creating or doing…ANYTHING other than Wasting Time…perhaps a reminder is in order: It is their time to waste, and perhaps your time would be better spent doing something—anything—other than sucking the joy out of another person’s life like a Dementor. (Yes. I went there. Deal with it.)

Because in a world where we actually have to remind ourself that lives—any lives—matter, and where those sworn to Serve and Protect are being assassinated by those eager to have their names written in the annals of time, if we can find something that brings us joy, something that brings us a bit of peace at the end of the day, something that makes the news for bringing people together rather than tearing them apart…then I am all for it.

I will happily drive my kids over another block, or another, or another.

Collect that Magmar, Exeggutor, or Nidorina if it makes you happy. Read Outlander if it gives your peace. Watch Supernatural, or Sherlock, or Game of Thrones if it gives you something to look forward to…no, in fact, watch them all. You don’t have to choose.

Because tearing down someone else does not raise you up…and tearing down another person’s fandom does nothing to strengthen your own.

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11 thoughts on “Fandom Shaming Needs to GO #RespectTheFandoms

  1. So well said! Thank you! I haven’t been a “fan” since my teenager years.
    I’m an Outlander fan for some years now. It’s funny to see my grown up daughters watching incredulously at me when I’m fangirling.
    But they aren’t as aware as I am of how good it has been for me to become a fan. And it has been good for the family too. It’s not only about having a great time but also about learning from others, discovering alike minds from different countries and cultures, sharing a passion with them. Fandom does give us that bit of joy and peace at the end of the day. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you. This is wonderfully written and it needs to be read. There is too much tearing people down instead of building them up. Instead of laughing at something someone likes, be joyful they’ve found something that makes them happy. If more people had that one thing, and the support of others, maybe the terrible things happening around the world wouldn’t happen as much.
    Another thing that needs to stop is judging those who don’t like the same things you do or those who see the same things differently. Be respectful in your disagreement, open your mind (and ears and heart) and maybe learn a little something in the process. Thank you for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was amazing! Outlander does all that for me plus it gives me another world with which I feel connected, part of it.

    I, too, drive my kids around for Pokemon, I even walk with them so they’re safe but still get the exercise part of it. They get so excited it makes me jump for joy right along with them.

    Your post makes me feel good & peaceful as well. Thank you for saying it, I hope the idea spreads like wildfire!

    Keri, Seattle

    Like

  4. Thank you for those wise words! I am a huge Outlander fan, the books and the tv series. In a world where it feels like everything is going crazy, Outlander brings me calm and happiness. I agree with your words wholeheartedly!

    Like

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