Edge Of Fandom

This evening I watched a couple of Dr. Who episodes that were combined together as a Fathom event at one of the movie theaters in the Portland area with a couple of friends of mine (and someone else who was a friend of one of my friends). Being on the edge of fandom for a variety of different shows, yet not a particularly passionate fan of most shows (except, perhaps, for Cops [1]), I can appreciate the skill of the writing and the story for shows, but I don’t feel as if my life would necessarily be lacking if I missed a show. Given that I am a passionate reader and fan of music, the fact that I am not as passionate a fan of television (and, to a lesser extent, movies) is something that probably needs to be explained. I suppose in large part my imagination is sufficiently robust that I do not feel it necessary to accept the imaginative skills of others, which may or may not agree with my own.

Fandom is largely an aspect of culture that appeals to geeks. Although I am definitely a nerd, I feel less comfortable about my place within geekdom. My writing has at least touched on a variety of areas that are traditionally associated with geeks, whether one is dealing with musicals (I’ve written two of them), fan fiction (I’ve written fan fiction about Star Wars, Star Trek, and Dungeons & Dragons, for example), time travel and other speculative fiction themes, anime, renaissance fairs, and so on. To be sure, I have no problem admitting my various interests, even if some of them might be a bit awkward or complicated, but all the same my passionate interests are mostly focused around real people and not imaginative characters. While I am certainly indulgent about the series and characters my friends are passionate about, I simply do not feel as deeply about most imaginary characters [2], even if I am certainly a person who greatly appreciates literature.

What does it mean to be on the edge of fandom, with a broad and serious interest in literature and genres that are often out of the mainstream, yet not wild enough about such genres to wear converse shoes to watch Dr. Who or to engage in frequent cosplay. I tend to be someone who enjoys watching, appreciates good company and shared cultural interests of a diverse variety, and ponders the cultural value and meaning and context of different aspects of literature and cinema and television. Yet while I enjoy a pleasant walk in the shallow end of fandom, I am not really all that interested in diving into the deep end. I suppose, though, that I do appreciate discussing matters with other fans, whether they are casual or passionate ones, in the appreciation of the works and creations of others. Those who enjoy creating definitely ought to enjoy the creations of others. After all, we are all in the same line, and to paraphrase Jane Austen, if geeks do not stand up for each other, who else will support them and give them encouragement?

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/is-there-something-i-should-know/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/why-do-they-always-run/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/bad-boys-bad-boys-whatcha-gonna-do/

[2] There are, of course, some exceptions:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/a-little-princess-revisited/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/tag/vorkosigan-saga/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/tag/hunger-games/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/tag/harry-potter/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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7 Responses to Edge Of Fandom

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