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16 January 2017 @ 12:37 am
Fandom Snowflake 15 - Without You, I Am Nothing  
Fandom is both long-remembering and always distracted by the new shiny. Shows and media properties stay in our lives for a while, some leaving because the viewership isn't there, others because they've reached the end of their story and now it's time to go. Some creators love their fans and are happy to share the space of their creations with others. (Some only if no money is made from the transaction.) Others are okay with fans, but only if they keep their distance and observe.

More than a few come to the fandom because their media failed to show they existed, and those stories needed to be told. Some came because their media had managed to populate itself with plenty of people like them, and lots of other diverse people, and posted invitations at the boundaries for anyone to come in. Others came because they loved the show and were certain a couple were destined for each other, and it never happened. So clearly there has to be a point where it does happen.

And then it gets stranger from there. Some come because they think characters should be subjected to new and strange scenarios, like being part of an apocalypse, or all members or patrons of a coffee shop (or a bar), or entwined in ways that transcend death and reincarnation. Some have built an elaborate universe of social functions that are enforced by instinct so deeply ingrained that they couldn't break it even if their lives depended on it. There's idfic, crack pairings, and plenty of Plot? What Plot? to go around. The enthusiasm of fandom in its excesses and opinions, and the diversity of those opinions, is quite the thing to behold and appreciate, even when those opinions differ.

Fandom takes care of its own (a lot of the time, anyway.) There are plenty of stories of people meeting, whether for drinks or romance, people providing aid to each other to meet bills, provide happiness, and even sometimes help with long-distance moves. That protectiveness can sometimes get in the way of things. Some people use fandom to cloak their beliefs and prejudices. Others use it to take advantage of others and behave poorly and disrespectfully, counting on fandom to be too afraid of getting rid of one of their own to discipline them or demand improvement of their behavior. Sometimes we succeed at getting them gone anyway, sometimes they turn out to be not a single entity but a small (or large) group that wants to speak for fandom and normalize their own behavior. Sometimes they turn out to be trolls, sometimes that turn out to be just intent on hurting anyone they can get within their sights, sometimes they want to burn the place down and replace it with their own version of it, whether for good or for ill. Those things cause disruptions, but they are either handled and sent back to the darkness from which they came, or welcomed and listened to and integrated as best as possible. (At least on the fannish side. Creators and studios often are hostile to ideas that request diversity of characters and avoiding retreads of problematic tropes and storylines.)

Fandom is vast, it contains multitudes. Whether for gen, het, slash, femslash, multi, poly, or any and all of the pronouns, identities, and ways that characters and creators identify themselves, it's a great way of making connections and sharing creativity and the things that make art artistic and enjoyed by those who experience it. Long may it reign.

In your own space, write a love letter to Fandom in general, to a particular fandom, to a trope, a relationship, a character, or to your flist/circle/followers. Share you love and squee as loud as you want to.

And that's it for another year. I hope this has been an enjoyable journey through fandom.

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