the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone (whiskyinmind) wrote,
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone

On labels and definitions

So I have a friend at work who I often end up lunching with in the staff room at work. Rob has his own site on which he keeps a diary, it often makes for amusing, albeit erratic, reading. So imagine my surprise to find myself mentioned. I've copied the entry from Rob's site and the email I just sent him as well. And yup, Rob, if you're reading - I'm not attacking at all, I'm just amused you see me as nothing more than a fandom.

"Most of the staff-room people watch the soaps. That's an hour per evening minimum with the core two soaps (or an hour and a half if they watch local pap-a-thon, River City). Among their number is a girl (whose lunchly company I value a great deal and over whom I feel terribly guilty in attacking in these pages) who obsesses over Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the other televisual works of Joss Whedon to the extent that she manages a website dedicated to them, accumulates the merchandise as any good fan would; and actually stresses over getting her fan fiction written 'on time'. She essentially lives in (and seems to single-handedly maintain) that one culture. What kind of attitude is that to have? It's the polar opposite of 'see everything once': 'see one mediocre thing, analyse it to the nth degree and stay there'. Incidentally, there hasn't been any new Buffy on television for about two years. I can't believe anyone would still want to commit more than a passing comment on the subject. "
I object!
I have never ever watched a soap opera!
And it's actually six websites and two forums...
Seriously though, I get what you mean about becoming integrated into one 'culture' to the extent that it becomes the sole focus of one's life. On the other hand I would also point out that my involvement with 'fandom' is but one aspect of what goes on in my every-day life, as is true for most of the people I know within that (and other) 'fandoms'.
I disagree that anyone can be defined by their participation in a culture, whether that is centred around a television programme, an ideological viewpoint or a three-month old grape that fell behind the sofa and has bred it's own race of mutant bacteria. People are tricky things, they cannot be defined by labels.
Did you know for instance that I have a huge interest in anthropology? That I am actually on forums discussing Joseph Campbell and his writings? That I am fascinated by Egyptology to the extent that I can name pretty much all of the current theorists in that field?
I also have a lot of issues with your definition of art as being 'high' and 'low'. I very much subscribe to the notion that art should provoke an emotional reaction in the person viewing it. That, to me, is what art should be about. Television, cinema, radio, pantomimes, pop songs - they are all forms of art which provoke a response. Who's to say they're 'Low' art? To someone, somewhere, they're art. That's all that matters.
I'm not in the least bit offended by what you said on the site by the way, and I really hope you don't think I'm snapping - I don't mean to at all. I'm just intrigued that you choose to label people in that way. In any way, really. yes, I talk about Buffy a lot, yes I do take an active part in that fandom and yes I do talk about deadlines and the like. But I'm Shona. I'm not 'Buffy Fan'.
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