not your typical annihilatrix (furiosity) wrote,
not your typical annihilatrix

the freeway's heading south

Note that this isn't a condemnation or even a rant, just an observation that triggered some personal thoughts. No hidden agenda. I love that we pretty much have to say that these days, Kinney help me. XP

Reading through the comments on this post is making me somewhat amazed and fascinated at how many equate HP fandom with fan fiction, as though they're inseparable entities.

I would like to remind you that they aren't. >.>

LJ and clones tend to be pretty insular. Fic and art are so prevalent here that someone who finds our fandom through LJ is totally justified in thinking that's all there is to fandom; I'm (again) not trying to be all "what's WRONG with you people?" here, okay. XP

At D*Con '08, a girl seated behind me at a panel noticed my H/D buttons and told her friend, "psst, she's one of those Harry/Draco... people". I turned to look at her, but she refused eye contact -- so I'm assuming she knew that what she'd said was douchey. So why did she say it? She was dressed in DGM cosplay - I mean, talk about living in a glass house. This is one situation amongst many that I've either experienced, witnessed, or heard about firsthand -- based on my lurking around various fannish corners over the years, I would actually go so far as to suppose that hostile or at least dismissive attitudes towards fic and ficcers (all of it, not just the slashy, porny, or kinky, though the less mainstream the fic, the more scorn it gets) are the norm in the wider fandom. But ficcers travel in such tight-knit packs, even at cons, that it's very easy to assume that our experience is the norm.

I didn't come to online fandom for fic. I came to meet other people who shared my interest and talk to them -- when I lurked on Usenet for LotR, I came across a lot of fan poetry but not a lot of fiction. I knew it existed, but I thought it was sort of weird to write fiction about someone else's characters -- why, when the original author already did it so well? I (obviously) significantly revised that stance after falling in love with The Matrix and having a burning question the canon would never answer (what if Neo took the blue pill?). Even now the majority of things I'm fannish about do not make me *creatively* fannish: the original is enough, and I am content with discussing just the canon as is, without the slightest desire to fictionalise my what-ifs.

In my corner of the Matrix fandom after that, discussion was pretty much all we ever did. There was some fanfic, but it was pure gen, and I only vaguely knew that somewhere out there there were actual archives of Matrix fic, and I thought ship-fic of any sort was kind of creepy. Obviously, I have significantly revised that particular opinion since coming to the Harry Potter fandom. XD But I just happened to drift over to the fanfic side from "mainstream" fandom; many fen don't cross that divide. Many don't even know it's there to cross, or don't care.

This and this and this and (unfortunately) this are the online "faces" of our fandom, not the fic archives. Fan fiction is not absent there by any means -- the days when fanfic was so fringe you had to pay for zines to get it are long gone, thankfully. But it's far from being the main focus of online HP fandom. (There are other fandoms where fic is more prominent, but I am only talking about HP here).

There's no real point to this, other than that I think it's important to remind ourselves every once in a while that our experience of fandom does not in fact equal that of every other fan out there, and just because we feel our corner of fandom is the bestest doesn't mean it's cool to disregard fen from other corners, especially not if we belittle them for not being fannish in the same way as we are.

As I said above, this is not a rant. I will admit I do get very annoyed when people talk about fandom as equivalent to fan fiction while sounding very sure of themselves -- especially if they've been IN any fandom for less than a year. Because it's annoying to see people being SMUGLY wrong on the internet while also failing to lurk moar. But that's not the case in the post I linked; people are just answering questions there. I was simply struck by how many offhandedly equate fandom with fanfic.

Tags: fandom:hp, meta:fandom
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