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Sunday, May 06, 2018

The evil nature of fandom

Bruce Charlton explains why fandom is not beneficial for either the author or the creation:
I recently attended a talk, reading and book signing done by Sanderson; which was packed with hundreds of fans who turned-out and paid money to be there... and I say fans, because in the Q&A session every single one of the couple of dozen questions was related to the most trivial, ephemeral and superficial aspects of his work. There was not one single interesting, insightful, or challenging question asked by this mass of people; not the slightest indication that the novels were anything other than depictions of magic systems and 'cool' personalities.

Sanderson is an active Mormon, and all of his work is permeated with a serious consideration of religion and spirituality; both on the surface and as underlying structure. But it was clear that for Sanderson's fandom this was of sub-zero interest - invisible and irrelevant.

The phenomenon of fandom is therefore at best trivial and fashion driven, there being more incommon between fans (regardless of what they are fans-of) than between fans and the subject of their fanaticism. Fandom is corrupting and destructive of whatever is good in the authors and works that get caught-up by it; and in its advanced form, fandom embodies subversion and inversion of whatever is specific and distinctive in its subject matter; the aim being to reinterpret and rewrite it in line with currently-dominant, top-down, manipulative social campaigns that ultimately emanate from (and are funded by) the global Establishment elites.

So the phenomenon of fandom is a product of evil purpose; and has a malign influence all-round.
My own experience with various fandoms does tend to support this negative view of it. This is why I prefer not to refer to the Ilk, the Dread Ilk, or the VFM as fans. They are certainly destructive, but not of me or my works, and they tend to be refining rather than corrupting.

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33 Comments:

Blogger Lovekraft May 06, 2018 8:16 AM  

True fanboy story here. Waaay back in mid 80s Chris Claremont's a guest at Silver Snail in Toronto. This 17-year old thinks he has an idea that could shake the X-Men to the core (an idea to fix Nightcrawler from being unable to teleport if he doesn't know where he's going - could merge in solid).

He pauses autographing my books, looks up at me, says "wouldn't work" then goes back to signing. I didn't argue, because he's the one who has to bring in the money and has much more experience than me. Only a tiny voice thought he did it because he was jealous of my incredible comic book insight /sarc.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine May 06, 2018 8:26 AM  

Yeah that sounds about right. My problem with Sanderson is that said corruption is actually starting to eat him. You can see it in his last few books.

Blogger Nathan Housley May 06, 2018 8:36 AM  

Sanderson encourages that fannish behavior with the scavenger hunts (both literal and figurative) for worldbuilding information hidden in Q&As and signed books. It is not an exaggeration that these scavenger hunts have produced more information about the megaplot linking most of his fantasies than from his books. Thus there are fans more of the scavenger hunt instead of his books themselves.

A lot of disease fandoms rally around the talk about the talk about a book/tv show, etc. instead of the original works. This lends itself well to a Gamers+/Atheism+ style co-opting.

Anonymous Anonymous May 06, 2018 8:49 AM  

There is an anime that I love and recently i dipped into the fandom to see what people were saying about it, admittedly I went to 4chan which is a mistake, but my brief trip into fandom was HORRIBLE. The worst people just getting on each other over whose favorite character is best and which shipping pair is best, I'm never going back there for fandom again.

Blogger Dane May 06, 2018 9:08 AM  

Yeah fans should be seen not heard. No sarcasm.
There's nothing wrong with enjoying the creative works of an author but when said fans start demanding changes to suit their view of the world or social justice imperatives it just leads to a toxic experience for the author.

It doesn't help that the big 5 push modern trends in social norms on their authors.
Twisting and diminishing the works of writers by forcing gurl power, Gay suffrage/ equality or simple game penalising into otherwise good books.
The saddest part is some of the fans are trendies who only follow popular authors to make suggestions to improve their books rather than following the authors because they enjoy the books.

Blogger 罗臻 May 06, 2018 9:29 AM  

JJ Abrams figured out how to build a career solely by cultivating this fan culture.

Blogger John Best May 06, 2018 10:25 AM  

He would make a great politician with non-answers like that.

Blogger Dave May 06, 2018 10:46 AM  

Sanderson is an active Mormon

What, as opposed to a Jack Mormon? Wasn't if evident by stating "all of his work is permeated with a serious consideration of religion and spirituality"? Does he go on more missions or attend more services than other Mormons?
---

My own experience with various fandoms does tend to support this negative view of it.

Is it fair to say the type of fan that is attracted to a book signing might not be the type to write or type an interesting, insightful, or challenging question to the author?

Blogger DJ | AMDG May 06, 2018 10:59 AM  

“Is it fair to say the type of fan that is attracted to a book signing might not be the type to write or type an interesting, insightful, or challenging question to the author?”

I don’t know. All but one book signing I ever went to was to pick up girls and my success rate was pretty good I think, so, maybe?

Blogger Wuzzums Fuzzums May 06, 2018 11:08 AM  

...but enough about running the multi-billion dollar Star Wars franchise into the ground by forced diversity.

I also believe that this whole fandom tyranny is in part to blame for what is happening to Peterson at the moment. We've seen it before with the whole 4 Horsemen of Atheism thing.

This destructive fandom is akin to cult-like behavior. The leader of a cult is not a dictator but just another member of the cult filling a role that he masses desire. Once they're not perceived to be a "true believer" anymore, the leader is deposed usually in a violent manner by his acolytes. I guess Peterson is right to be in fear of "saying the wrong thing".

Blogger Dave May 06, 2018 11:13 AM  

Congratulations, DJ. Were you most successful via the romance novelists or too obvious?

Blogger Were-Puppy May 06, 2018 11:53 AM  

@4 turk187


The worst people just getting on each other over whose favorite character is best and which shipping pair is best, I'm never going back there for fandom again.
---

Shippers are the worst. Inevitably the shippers become SJW infested and start going on about how the show isn't gay enough, not trans enough, blah blah #feminism crap.

If the writers pay attention to that crap, the entire show goes belly up very fast.

Blogger Michael Maier May 06, 2018 12:03 PM  

Lovekraft wrote:True fanboy story here. Waaay back in mid 80s Chris Claremont's a guest at Silver Snail in Toronto. This 17-year old thinks he has an idea that could shake the X-Men to the core (an idea to fix Nightcrawler from being unable to teleport if he doesn't know where he's going - could merge in solid).

He pauses autographing my books, looks up at me, says "wouldn't work" then goes back to signing. I didn't argue, because he's the one who has to bring in the money and has much more experience than me. Only a tiny voice thought he did it because he was jealous of my incredible comic book insight /sarc.



Nerd Request:

So what was your idea?

Blogger DJ | AMDG May 06, 2018 12:20 PM  

Congratulations, DJ. Were you most successful via the romance novelists or too obvious?“

I guess that shows how dumb I was as I never even considered it. No. It was at biography signings which is doubly funny considering. The easiest was at a conservative radio host’s book signing. My biggest crash and burn was at the book signing of an obscure martial artist few would know.

Ah, to be young, stupid, and blissfully ignorant again...

Blogger NO GOOGLES May 06, 2018 12:22 PM  

It makes me wonder how much of this stuff like rabid fandom and Peterson cultists is caused by the lack of religion among Westerners? Even a lot of "Christians" I know are actually irreligious and spend most of their "religious" efforts on things that are only done to make themselves feel good.

Seems like people who forgo religion end up replacing it with something else that is to no benefit.

Blogger DJ | AMDG May 06, 2018 12:27 PM  

Nerd Request:

So what was your idea?

Yeah. Seriously. I’d be curious, because I always believed mutant power profiles and expressions were the most ridiculous and scientifically inexplicable of all superherodom. Having the ability to teleport anywhere on the planet, but only if he’s seen a picture?! Ridiculous.

Nightcrawler goes awol so the x-men find another guy who can do the same but doesn’t need a picture. Then the story goes interstellar, so the find a third gal who neither needs a picture nor is limited to the planet but can teleport anywhere in the galaxy. Silliness.

Blogger Lovekraft May 06, 2018 12:52 PM  

@16:

well, I thought that since the molecules in solid objects are more dense than Nightcrawler's then when he teleports into it, they would ... push him out and he'd be hunky-dory.

Flawless.

Anonymous Anonymous May 06, 2018 12:57 PM  

That makes me think about the TV show "The 100" inspired by Fallout (the video game), but 100% converged.
Nowadays basically all the big medias production is copy-pasta + leftist agenda.

Blogger LP999-16 May 06, 2018 1:11 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger LP999-16 May 06, 2018 1:13 PM  

Hero this and Hero that are all annoying outcomes from the late 90's music/early 2000's via a couple of Hero re-made songs. Then 9/11 occurred since this its hero this or your a great American that.

Blogger Pseudotsuga May 06, 2018 1:19 PM  

Sanderson is a Tor writer, so all that Tor goodness must rub off on him. His editor is Moshe Feder, who is quite Leftist. I'm not saying that Sanderson has to knuckle under to the SJW checklist for books, but the company you keep, every day, is going to be influential.
Orson Scott Card is also a Mormon, published by Tor books, and his case is interesting-- he identifies as a Democrat, and Liberal in many ways, but not Liberal enough for the SF/SJW industry. His stance against gay marriage, for example, was seen as heresy. Good thing he got all his success with Ender's Game prior to that kerfuffle, or else there's no way Tor would have kept him.
Sanderson seems to be trying to stay above the fray, trying to be neutral... but I don't think it's "allowed" by the powers that be.

Blogger Eli May 06, 2018 1:34 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Eli May 06, 2018 3:24 PM  

I think when geek/nerd culture became mainstream is when this type of fandom started becoming evil. The mainstreaming of it aloud normies to pretend to like these type of things (Comics, scifi/fantasy, Star Wars, video games, etc.) Which lead to the convergence factor of all these things unfortunately. Remember when women didn't like video games and comics and suddenly they did?

Also, you want to see the worst that fandom has to offer? Go to the fandom wikia blog and scroll around. You'll find terrible sjw articles covering anything and everything. I'm glad you posted this. This has been on my mind for awhile. I might be wrong here, but I think nerd culture was better when it was hidden and not mainstream. No matter how many super hero movies and shows that means we wouldn't get. Fandom I think is used like a battering ram in the culture wars.

Blogger bob kek mando - ( your mom always did like me best ) May 06, 2018 4:31 PM  

this is much the same as the conclusion i came too about NASCAR fans back in the seventies.

and, subsequently, fans of other sports.

they don't actually much want to play or participate or develop their own skills in any way. but they want to bask in the reflected glow of the performer's achievement.

even though they had nothing constructive ( but I was cheering! ) to do with it.

Blogger Doktor Jeep May 06, 2018 4:59 PM  

The perfect example of "toxic fandom" I can think of would have to be the Firefly series.

Blogger tublecane May 06, 2018 5:51 PM  

Every time this name comes up, I must mention Bruce Charlton's excellent book Thought Prison.

It's the best book on PC I have ever read. Short and sweet, but punches way, way above its weight.

Blogger Nathan Housley May 06, 2018 6:09 PM  

@23,

Fandom's been messed up and obsessive ever since Hugo Gernsback turned science fiction into a genre, and converged for just about as long.

Blogger Jimmy The Freak May 06, 2018 8:52 PM  

Pretty much anyone who does cosplay without being paid to do it should be institutionalized. I get that modern entertainment is primarily about escapism, but when someone becomes so caught up in it that they prefer to identify as that character, there is some mental deficiency there.

Blogger CoolHand May 06, 2018 9:15 PM  

bob kek mando - ( your mom always did like me best ) wrote:this is much the same as the conclusion i came too about NASCAR fans back in the seventies.

and, subsequently, fans of other sports.

they don't actually much want to play or participate or develop their own skills in any way. but they want to bask in the reflected glow of the performer's achievement.

even though they had nothing constructive ( but I was cheering! ) to do with it.


I think with sports there are two types of fans.

1) The type that watches the game to have something to fill their time and talk about over the water cooler at work. Type 1 sports watchers further break into to two sub-categories, the ones who just watch it to kill time or have background noise going, and the type you describe that like to pretend they had something to do with the outcome and are rabid in their devotion for no discernible reason.

2) The people who play the sport, but not at that level. Call 'em the wannabes or the hasbeens or whatever. These are the people who enjoy watching highly skilled people do the things they do themselves, only at a much higher level of proficiency.

Type 2 sports watchers are the guys who play some form (amateur or semi-pro, etc) of the sport they watch, and have done so for most of their lives. These are the beer league hockey players, or local league baseball players, grass roots racers, amateur gymnasts and runners, etc.

As a Type 2 sports guy (having raced stock cars for most of my life), I agree that most current NASCAR fans are Type1-Strain2 (the most irritating sort), but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying a good race on TV (not just NASCAR either, racing of any type is fun to watch when you know how hard it is to do well).

I particularly like to watch the feeder series that are three or four steps down from the big show. It's interesting to watch the new guys developing their skills by fighting with the old timers who are migrating back down the ranks after exiting the top class.

Old Age & Treachery VS Youthful Exuberance is always fun to watch, especially now that I've been around long enough to have seen it from both sides (a little, I was never a professional, I'm just getting old now).

Blogger tublecane May 06, 2018 11:27 PM  

@29- I am not an avid sportswatcher, though there are a few things I follow. I played team sports up to high school, but I don't much watch the sports I used to play. Those being hockey and baseball.

Really the only hockey I watch is my state's high school tournament. Baseball I occasionally watch some playoffs, that's about it.

Blogger CoolHand May 07, 2018 12:13 AM  

@30 The internet, streaming video, YouTube, bittorrent, and DVR's ushered in a new age of race watching for me, 'cause I could do it whenever the mood struck me instead of when it happened to be on TV.

This tech has also totally removed commercials from my race viewing experience, the impact of which cannot be oversold.

It's really a wonderful thing to just skip past the talking head saying stupid shit and get right back to the action, and if the race is boring (which happens sometimes in endurance racing, it's a long slog), you just skip ahead and bit until it isn't.

Don't even have to skip the commercials manually anymore, 'cause the guys who assemble the videos for bittorrent cut those out as a matter of course. It's truly wonderful.

Blogger KSC May 07, 2018 12:24 PM  

Sanderson started a steep decline in 2016 with the last Recokers book. I didn't even make it a quarter through his lates 1000-page meandering snorefest (and this coming from someone who still really enjoys his first few novels).

I don't agree with everything on this blog, but I am in absolute agreement with VD on fandom. I have never wanted to be a "fan" of anything, and the people who are are typically messed up in one way or another.

Blogger Angantyr May 10, 2018 11:08 AM  

IIRC Prof. J.R.R. Tolkien referred to his fans as his "lamentable cultus" - seems appropriate, even if, alas, I do resemble that remark all too closely (which my two groaning shelves of Tolkien and Tolkien related works, including books(!) on his invented languages, along with a project to make a real "Glamdring" type sword, stand as mute testament to...)

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