Jan. 15th, 2007

reenka: (Default)
It just occurred to me that it's not that I don't like enthusiastic recs, obviously-- 'cause I do that all the time-- and it's not that I'm not 'naturally fannish' in the omg-squee sense, because I totally get obsessive and excitable about things I read or watch-- but what really turns me off is when something's recced or pimped by just saying 'I like it, SO YOU SHOULD TOO!' ^^;;; I mean, I'm okay with the reccing-'cause-liking part, but that's just not a good reason to peer pressure anyone. And yes, it always feels like peer pressure to me. >.>;;;

It's like... the difference between sharing hobbies and 'creating a phenomenon' or marketing a story or a fandom or whatever.
    There are a lot of books (and movies & comics, etc) that mean a lot to me, that are personal to me. But they are personal to me, and therefore it would be disingenuous to defend them or 'sell' them, so when I want people to get into them too (and I do! I tell all my friends to read 'Sandman'), I'm constantly walking the line between assuring them they'll like it and why it's actually awesome and just describing what -I- like about it and such. Some things really are very well-done and worth reading/seeing... but to a person like me, if you over-stress how 'need to see' or 'have to read' something is, it makes me feel like a sucker. :/
    I hate the popularity game-- I mean, I really feel like the more popular or famous something gets, the more its own fans will ignore its real merits (and flaws) and just coast along on the 'obvious' awesomeness of it all and how clearly omg-genius & hot it is.

I guess what I mean is, I hate it when something I initially cared about for partly quirky subjective reasons becomes 'cool' and 'the thing to like'. :/ At a certain point of popularity, it's not okay to critique something as much, to geek out and just talk about all the little things that appeal to you, because rabid fans get uber-defensive, y'know? Of course once it's popular, it's FLAWLESS & GODLIKE. -.-; Like, if someone tells you they don't like something about Tolstoy's work, people would assume that person is an idiot, right? Either that or they'd get pissy you're harshing their buzz. Somehow the story/show/etc becomes an identity or status symbol for people once it reaches a certain level of popularity.
    Of course all larger communities have their good & bad side; on the one hand, you lose the intimate feeling & greater understanding between those first few fans, but on the other hand, more people are being exposed to the material (if you care about that sort of thing) and you get vindicated about how awesome it is. Mer.

Btw, I really liked this post on purposeful misidentification in stories by [livejournal.com profile] fictualities, 'cause that's pretty much what makes me feel most uncomfortable while reading (and alienates me in some more critical meta fandom circles). Fighting the narrative is hard work with little reward, and ohhh, I like my rewards, precious. :> Though I'd never feel I'd 'have' to fight the narrative just to identify with the 'missing' main girl-- I mean, um, having that degree of an agenda is hard work too :>
    However, I can like 'bad' characters naturally merely based on the ambiguously-positive cues in the text, while still liking the good characters, simply 'cause I generally don't care who's good & who's bad :D Unless they annoy me & seem stupid. Then it's really on :/ But I totally never felt I was 'supposed' to dislike Draco, not the way I was 'supposed' to dislike the Dursleys, so yeah, it's obvious he's not entirely unsympathetic (so who cares). Seriously. He's always been just so cute!! *___* Man, who wants to be an intellectual -.-

EDIT - I just found [livejournal.com profile] fairestcat's year-old post explaining Watsonian vs. Doylist approaches to a given canon (one justifying various events from the author-pov so they'd make sense & one from a character's), and maaaan, that explains a LOT about fandom conflicts :D Needless to say, I'm definitely a faithful Watsonian :> I tend to consider Doylist-style explanations cute and enlightening (ie, author intent & attendant issues are interesting), but ultimately it pulls me out of the flow of a show/story so I tend to compartmentalize it, I guess. Like, if the only way to explain something is to point to the writers' "smoking crack" or having whatever agenda, then I'm just plain disappointed in the show & don't bother with further analysis voluntarily. I guess I'd say it's useful to add some Doylist flavor but not satisfying emotionally to me as a fan ^^;;;; And in some ways, I do think there might be a rational vs. intuitive/emotional-style analysis divide between the two approaches....


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