I’ll be honest here. I haven’t listened to it yet. I could give a ton of excuses, including that grades were due, 2 papers and a presentation needed to be done for the last of my graduate class and parent-teacher conferences (Yay for having those all done!). Those are all true. They are good excuses. Yet, as we all know, if you really want something, you do it. You find a way, if there is any way possible. How long is a typical Kafe? 20 minutes? 30 minutes? I could certainly find 30 minutes in my schedule to listen to it and if I couldn’t, then I am sure that I could find 5 minutes at a time to listen to it. Thus, my excuses are just that…excuses. So, why haven’t I listened to it?
It is simple. I wanted to bury my head in the sand. I wanted fandom to be fun and an escape. Clearly, this Kafe was anything but. I am willing to bet that everyone thought that even those who didn’t think John sounded “off” or agreed with his thinking. After all, it led a number of fans, including my partner-in-crime to have a critical reaction to, at least, some parts of it. Thus, even those fans who liked the Kafe and agreed with John’s perspective had to see/hear/deal with people that didn’t. Right then and there, the fun is gone. Now, before I go any further, I have to be clear. I don’t want Duranland to be filled with a bunch of people who just always agree. I don’t want it to be a place where everyone just thinks that everything is great. No way. That would be boring. I am just pointing out that…sometimes…a little more fun and a little more escape would be good. For me.
Of course, there is another possible reason that I wanted to buy my head in the sand. This reason is also rather simple. I didn’t/don’t want to be disappointed. After all, I’m a pretty big John Taylor fan, which I think is pretty clear by many/most of blog posts. Lately, he seemed to be doing everything “right” meaning that I didn’t hear too many, if any, criticisms about him. Yeah, yeah, I know that there is always some muttering on Twitter if he hasn’t tweeted in like 5 hours or something (yes, I’m exaggerating!). Yet, those critical tweets can be easily dismissed by me. The book, the book signings, and even the summer shows increased my positive thoughts about the guy, if that was possible. I also saw others’ respect and admiration for him grow. I couldn’t help but to think to myself, “Wow. People are starting to get it. They are seeing the John Taylor I have always seen,” (from my I really don’t know the guy but think I kinda do goofy fan perspective). That John Taylor wasn’t based on his looks but based on the kind of person he appeared to be. Thus, I didn’t want people’s opinion of him be diminished and I didn’t want mine either. Yet, in the long run, this is probably a good reminder that he, like everyone, is human and is not perfect.
Fandom is a funny deal. I always compare fandom to a love affair. In the beginning, there is only roses, only beauty, only joy. Nothing imperfect can be seen. Then, as the relationship settles in, it becomes clear that there are imperfections. The person you have fallen for might have bad habits or might not handle certain situations in the best way possible. At times, you try to ignore those not-so-good aspects or moments. At other times, you confront them. Yet, if the relationship is to endure, acceptance of the other person needs to happen. Acceptance of all the great qualities and acceptance of the not-so-great ones. We, as fans, need to do the same. We need to remember that the members of Duran Duran are just like us. They are going to do or say things we love a lot of the time. They might do or say things that we don’t. They are human and so are we. Our reactions, actions or statements might not always be what they should be either. That said, while we accept them, we can and should be critical. We are fans. We are not unthinking robots who just blindly accept all statements and behaviors. While we have emotions regarding our fandom, we still are rational, thinking people.
It feels to me that I’m ready to go ahead and listen to it. Will I be disappointed in him? Maybe. Will I say so? Sure. I’ll be honest. Will I decide to go ahead and accept him as a human who isn’t always perfect? Almost 3 decades of fandom says that I probably will. This is the reality of life in Duranland. It isn’t always perfect. Some days that are great are so great that they leave you on such a life that can last hours, days, weeks and even months. Other days are hard to get through, but we do in order to have those great days, right?