Fandom Lenses

Life as viewed through silliness, Fandom as seen through Reality


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How to survive a celebrity meet and greet: Part 1 (Breakfast)

meet and greet cover picHey all! I’m experimenting with multi-part series this week, and today’s the first of a three-part post on the art of the meet and greet. After kicking off with a little cultural theory of the fan/celeb “relationship”, I’ll follow up with a little exploration of what it might feel like to be at the receiving end of the star gaze, and provide some practical tips for navigating a planned or spontaneous Meet and Greet without losing your dignity or earning a restraining order–the sort of guide I wish I’d had as I stood in line to meet my first celebrity, many, many years ago. I hope you enjoy! Continue reading

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Zen and the art of being a “huge fan”

OMG! Roses read my Tumblr!
OMG…Roses…read…my…Tumblr…

Assuming you don’t humiliate yourself with a derpy social misstep, It’s always a cool moment when someone you geeked out over respect acknowledges your existence, Like the time Iain Lee and I had a brief heated argument conversation  about library fines a while back, or when I got a twitter mention from a Podcast that outranks Kevin Smith. 😉 I had one of those Squee Moments right around New Year’s, when I was followed on Tumblr by TGWTG Producer Emerita PushingUpRoses. I found her via her snark-a-licious reviews of the Christmas Special, Head, and 33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee, and then stayed to check out her let’s plays of sundry 90s PC games. (She’s a far better LPer than Doug “Nostalgia Critic” Walker was, though that ain’t saying much 😉 ). I reblogged her farewell video on  tumblr, and got a follow in return! I thanked her in a private message, trying to keep the “You Like me! You really Like me!” geeksqueeing to a minimum. Then she replied as you see above.

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2012 in review: Me and Fandom Lenses

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As usual I’m not actually having a Cof o’ Cuppee (or a marnagrita, for that matter), but rather Hot Cocoa. Hope that doesn’t void any warranty that might be remaining on a 13-year-old mug.

My 2012 in a nutshell: exactly three things went as I expected. I’m still married, one year closer to finished with school, and I got promoted at work. Pretty much everything else, good and ill, I wouldn’t have guessed in a million years. (exhibit A: Fandom Lenses, in its blog, tumblr, and twitter forms.)

My resolutions are as follows: Eat Cleanly (45 lbs can’t be wrong), Move daily (ditto), focus on the present moment (via meditation and other means), do good work (in whatever form is called for in the moment), and connect with old and new friends. The attentive reader will notice a complete lack of what one might call “goals”. There’s a reason for this.

Specifically honing in on Fandom Lenses, I hope to achieve exactly 1 thing: If i still enjoy this website and the community that I’m attempting to build up around it, I’ll keep working on it. If I don’t, I won’t. Quite simple, really.

Last but not least, below are some stats about the Fandom Lenses stats, so much as they are. The big takeaway: A LOT of People read “Gazpacho, Grief, and Gratitude“. I suppose I should write primal scream essays more often in order to attain Popular Website Success, but I seriously doubt I’ll ever top that. I kinda hope not, anyway. 🙂 Anyway, if you care, here are my stats for 2012.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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Help Wanted: “What is a Fan?”

So, I’m driving home from meeting a research participant for a pilot study interview. I had my iphone playing its usual well-blended mix of 90s pop, 60’s rock, celtic music, trance, show tunes, a smattering of current top 40, and “other”. For whatever reason, I started thinking of the concept of “the true fan”. Like many a cliche (or “social construction” as we say in pompous Ph.D land), this term seems to be defined differently from fandom to fandom, and possibly even from fan to fan. I’d also wager based on my six months or so back in Fan Land that the differences in these definitions are a direct or indirect cause of most Fan Drama. So, in my wonky Fandom Lenses way, I got curious about how other folks define a “true fan”. I even wondered if there are some fans out there who doubt it’s possible to define this concept?

Here’s where you come in. I’d like you to answer the following few questions, either in the comments, via email (oklibrarianATgmailDOTcom) if you’d prefer privacy, or via tumblr or twitter.

1. Do you think there is such a thing as a “true fan”?

2. If so, what are the characteristics of a “true fan?”

3. If not, Why Not?

4. How old are you?

5. What gender(s) are you?

6. What are the three fandoms you are most involved in?

Thanks, and feel free to share this widely! If this goes well, I’m pondering a follow-up survey about what, if anything, fans feel their celebrities “owe” their fans. But, to mangle Michael Ende, that is another can of worms that shall be opened another time.


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Gazpacho, Grief, and Gratitude

Once upon a time (2000), in a land (yahoogroup) called Long_Title, there lived four Frodis Femmes.

There was Cin, the ringleader, and Mich, the warrior, and Camille, the mystic (and your humble author), and Anissa, the sweetheart. The four of us had our own quirks and damage from various geek girl adolescent traumas, but beyond all odds we were brought together by a shared affection for a half-forgotten 60s boy band. We wrote fanfiction and went to concerts together and snarked on the guys’ eccentricities mercilessly (though always from a place of love). More importantly we became friends despite (or perhaps because of) our wildly divergent personalities.

But life, as it has a way of doing, got in the way after a few years as early-20s gave way to mid-20s. While we all stayed friends, we drifted apart a bit as we chased our own personal and romantic dreams. There were marriages and graduate degrees and careers to be created, and I like to think that each of us drew strength and writing skills from our time as postmodern self-aware Mary Sue kickers of fanfic villain butts as we figured out how to be heroes to ourselves.

That said, there’s a difference between growing stronger and growing harder. For reasons I’ll skip, I spent my whole life driven to be a success. Not to achieve fame or fortune, but to develop my talents to their utmost in the service of others, to make sure my life mattered. In service of that goal, I became a librarian. Then I wrote a scholarly paper. And then that paper was selected to be presented at a conference in Cleveland—the geographic center of the other Frodis Femmes. (I live a few states away).

There were a few tentative plans to meet up while I was in town, but nothing definite. And then, the week before my trip, my life went chaotic. While most of the issues had been sorted by the time I arrived in Cleveland, I was a basket case and there were still a few balls up in the air. Between that and the fact that logistics had never been finalized, I/we cancelled the meetup. It was an awkward time for all of us, and there’d be other chances, after all. At least, that’s what I told myself at the time.

Fast forward a couple years, to early 2012. For obvious reasons, the four of us started talking more in early march, and there was some tentative discussion of going to a Shoe Suede Blues show later in the year. Anissa was particularly enthusiastic. I didn’t commit one way or the other, as I was well into my Ph.D and didn’t know if more important things to my career would be going on.

On May 12, 2012, Anissa died in her sleep at the age of 36. As an occasionally wise man once said; “Boy, Dumbass me”.

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My New Fandoms

In the last month and a bit, the Universe has informed me in the clearest terms imaginable that I need more silly in my life, and that I can and should balance it with my generally awesome Real Life as a teacher/writer/scholar/administrator/ etc. Hence the reviving of my old Alter(?) ego “Camille”, and my presence on Tumblr and Fandomlenses. However, things have changed in my relationship with fandom–or at least Monkee fandom.

You see, the old cure for my geek girl blues, for 25 years, used to be Continue reading