It's been awhile...
I love to talk about wanking...
Why the Queer as Folk Fandom is so Wanktastic (Part 3)
- Hey Jaded!
If you've been in this fandom long enough, you get to see the same kind of arguments over and over. Not just Brian/Justin versus Brian/Michael although that's certainly a dead horse that we can't stop beating. *
The arguments that I'm speaking of are personal; by fans, about other fans. And it's always the same kind of accusations. Side 1 accuses Side 2 of being immature and crazy. Side 2 accuses Side 1 of being bitchy and bitter. I'm sure we all know what I'm talking about. And I'm sure both sides certainly have evidence to make their cases. No one is perfect; everyone has their bad points and their bad days. Personally, I'm bitchy and bitter every day of the week. That's just my nature. Perhaps it's inevitable that these accusations should be continually thrown around. Perhaps we deserve it. Some of the time.
But the real problem that I have with these arguments, is that inevitably a peacemaker surfaces, and they'll say something along the lines of, "Is Queer as Folk really that important? It's fiction. You don't need to fight over it with people that you don't know, that you'll never meet. Why take it so seriously, fandom is supposed to be fun!"
In a way, I both agree and disagree with that statement. Obviously it's fiction, of course it's supposed to be fun... but nonetheless it is important. It is serious. When you reached the point where you had to go online, join communities because you couldn't get enough of the show - it became serious.
Like I pointed out in part 1, when you're attached to something; the show or the pairing, you're a lot more likely to defend it.
With QAF, I think the fans have moved beyond defensive. We've been fighting for too long. By now - all sides are on the offensive. The fans are jaded. We're on a short fuse, we're quick to attack.
I think that the virtual aspects of fandom certainly adds to the negative atmosphere. When you speak to a person when you can't see them or hear their voice, miscommunication is easy. You have no idea if someone is insulting you or just kidding around. Words on a page are too easy to misinterpret.
And when you're already angry after 5 years of being "attacked" by shippers, it's all too easy to click on that comment button and let it fly. Especially since there are no consequences to fighting. Fandom isn't a club or business that you'll be kicked out of it you start fights or if you're crazy. You can basically do whatever you want in fandom and no one can really stop you.
That sounds a bit scary right? It explains why so many of us have to have friends-locked journals, and why it's so hard for a B/Jer to be friends with a B/Mer. Both sides of the shipper war have learned their lesson well. We all have learned to stick to our own side because everyone else is crazy. And if the opposing side says something even slightly negative to you, it's easier to snap first and ask questions later. We can't let those bat-shit insane bitches walk all over us. **
I've also heard some people saying that the Queer as Folk fandom is no wankier than any other fandom. Obviously, I disagree. It's not that we wank more than any other fandom. We don't. But whereas the Harry Potter fandom will wank over whether the Big Name Fans are abusing their powers or whether chan writers are really kiddie pornographers - topics that are semi-important. Has the QAF fandom ever had a wank that hasn't ended with B/J vs. B/M party lines drawn? Not that I've ever seen. I think this is what defines us as a big time wank-filled fandom.
And because of the fact that Queer as Folk wank is innate. It's passed down from one generation of shippers to the next. It's practically in the newbie manual to livejournal - little sheep shouldn't venture too far outside of the fold, lots of dangerous wolves out there. It's almost unavoidable that wank gets started. Unless things change.
They have been changing. I blame spoilers. But I'm not so sure that I'm happy with the change. We are who we are. QAF fans are not just wanky - we're wanktastic. And maybe this community, qaf_essays is just a place to breed wank but so what? I'm having fun and I hope you guys are too.
The End ***
* ahh, colorful colloquialisms. Love 'em.
** I've heard this on both sides of the fence so let's not get all riled up.
*** You may have noted that this is part 3 and that I haven't written part 2 yet. Sue me, I like to do things out of order. :P