Buried in the Sand

Fandom is fun.  Fandom is an escape.  Fandom is supposed to include inside jokes among fellow fans and excitement over a new product.  Right?  Right.  It is.  A lot of times, that is exactly what is like in Duranland.  Sometimes, it isn’t, though.  Sometimes, it feels not fun.  It doesn’t feel like an escape.  It feels…tough.  There are a variety of reasons why some days, some weeks are challenging and anything but fun in this fandom.  One reason might be concern over the health and well-being of a band member.  I know we all felt that in recent years when shows were canceled due to ill health.  Another reason might be when fans go after each other in either very subtle ways or very overt ways.  The less fun days might happen when people are disappointed in a new song, video, or other product.  Then, some days, are a combination of two or more of these reasons.  This past week, it seemed to me that Duranland was less than fun as a new Katy Kafe came out with John Taylor.  As we all know this particular Kafe caused quite a few reactions within our little universe.  Then, fans reacted to other people’s reactions.  Heck, we even saw some of this on our blog here.  My reaction?  It was simple.  I avoided.

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?

-A

7 thoughts on “Buried in the Sand”

  1. When I saw the negativity and worry on Twitter, I was afraid to listen to it too. But REALLY its okay. You should really listen to it. In my mind, JT didn't say anything wrong or was he “off”. I guess he might of been a little tired?? But he seems to be describing the music biz. He might of wanted to tour at some point, but he's probably just tired. That was a LONG tour. Don't worry. The band will be back with awesome material before we know it. 🙂

  2. No worries. I will listen to it. I know that there are many, like you, who didn't think he was “off” or tired but there are others that did.

    My point really is that I didn't want to deal at all but I will. Then, I will decide for myself how to interpret it and accept it even if it means that I do agree with the criticism.

    -A

  3. I would like to say first that I've been a Duran fan and especially a John Taylor fan for at least 18 years now. Yes his looks grabbed me like no other physical attraction before or since but, underneath his exterior I recognised a thinking, moody, sensitive and much more complicated personality than just pouty lips and a raised eyebrow. I try to see him as well as all celebrities as people, because that's what they are. If I saw nothing else in him I would not have remained such a fan over these many years. In fact my respect for him has grown so much since his sobriety because I have seen his truer nature reveal itself. A nature that has much to share and much to give. And we should know by now that John is very intense emotionaly in the moment so one day, he sounds a little 'off' as some might say. God forbid because having a full spectrum of human emotions is just unacceptable and, you know, touring with the band for almost 2 years and then book touring after that why, he should be tweeting every hour on the hour about wanting to get right back on the road! If we are really honest as fans, we should see that John gives so much of himself to us whether: answering our questions on twitter, moving us with his blogs, engaging us in cyber chats or writing a book that focusses on family, realionships and personal struggle; it could be argued that he gives too much. Just wait a few months when John will post the most enthusiastic blog about his and the band's journey thus far; about the exciting ideas thought up from himself, the band and Ronson, and how he can't wait to play the fresh material that they all feel so good about. Don't worry. When John is ready he will sound and look just as happy and excited as he has ever been because he truely will be. Please, let's allow him and the other members to have their 'off' times for it allows them to have their good times. We should be thankfull he is still alive with the world doing what he loves-making and playing music. After all, these are the passions of an already passionate person. And even the most passionate people need to be a lttle blase once in a while. Because…(ready for this?)… they're just like us…

  4. Much of what you have said, I have acknowledged in this blog. I have mentioned that they are human. I don't think the criticism has said differently. Yet, I think it is fair for anyone to question his IDEAS about what the band should be doing, which is what I know Rhonda's blog focused on. As fans, we should have opinions about them working with a label or removing themselves in order to create “demand”.

    -A

  5. I think every fan has the right the freedom to say their opinion. I learnt to actually post support and positivity. If I need to say my views on whatever I have to find the sweetest words to do it. Given the current times, when the fandom is on a kind of civil war DD fans versus Andy's fans, I learnt there is a price to pay if I say my ideas too openly.

  6. Just so we are all clear on this: Noting that someone may be having an 'off' day DOES NOT mean one is being critical of that 'offness'.
    I, at first, thought he was probably just ready to be left the hell alone, but I'd NEVER criticize him for that. I simply don't want him to be anything less than happy, which is how I feel about pretty much everyone I know. I think we are all aware that people go through ups and downs-that isn't revelatory is it? Cliffs Notes version: Who cares about a tour in 2013? Just want Mr T (et al) to be okay. Easy peasy.

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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