Category Archives: anti-fans

I light my torch and wave it…

There are days when it is really tough to be a fan.

Then there are more days when it is really tough to follow one’s own advice.

For me, yesterday was a little bit of both. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I got caught up in being on the defensive for Duran Duran when I probably should have shut the screen on my laptop and walked away. Yesterday could have been a productive cleaning day for me here in the house, but instead I felt as though I needed to clean up the mess left behind by more than one blogger, journalist and even an “anti-fan” or two.

I’ve blogged about how personal the music is. I’ve blogged about how the line between the band and fan gets somewhat blurred just because the music has played such a key role during various points in our lives. Their victories as a band feel very much like our victories as fans. Sometimes it’s incredibly difficult to separate the two, even when we know we must.  Yesterday was in fact one of those days for me, and I would imagine it was very much that way for many of our readers.

I kept waiting for the news to get better yesterday. I was waiting patiently for someone to blog about how fantastic it was that the band was involved with the Olympics, and that they were in fact deserving. Aside from a wayward Duran fan or two – I really didn’t see much along those lines. In fairness, inflammatory comments tend to “sell” blogs. It gets them read by many people. Those people tend to comment, and then post links for their friends to also read and comment. Next thing you know, you’ve got page views reaching 50,000 or more.  It happens. Let’s face it, after reading a wonderful review or two from a show, I don’t tend to keep reading. No need really. However, yesterday I made damn certain to read every last blog on the subject of the Olympics, becoming more and more incensed with each click of the mouse. I would see fellow fans posting links to these blogs and articles, trying to get the attention of other fans. It was the talk of the entire day on Twitter, and as much as I knew I should just get up and walk away – it was like the train wreck I could not move away from.  Nothing else got done, that is for sure, and at the end of the day I felt like I’d fought a war, and completely lost.

I’m really not sure why I was so surprised to see the backlash and outcry from the announcement that Duran Duran was playing the Olympics. I think it’s been this way, this sort of battle for the band since it’s inception. I suppose my own frustration and anger comes from just being sick of defending them. It’s as though the past thirty years has counted for absolutely nothing. No matter how much they’ve accomplished the playing field gets leveled to the Girls on Film video, Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf and the fact that they wore makeup and frilly tops. It’s disgusting. I can’t count how many times I saw the words “irrelevant” yesterday, or “has beens”.  Or my personal favorite, “Their fans still believe it’s still 1984”. It felt like a slap to MY face, and I’m not even in the damn band.  Makes me wonder how they weather this kind of thing on a daily basis. I have to admit, if it were like this every day I’d hide in a hole somewhere and never read a single paper!

It took until pretty late in the day for the news to start making it’s way into blogs and news items coming from the US, and so today I’m starting to see and read some opinion pieces on the subject.  So far, I have to say that I’m seeing more optimism than I did yesterday.  That alone is fascinating to me, given that from what I could see yesterday – their fellow English were harder on them than anyone else.  It’s an interesting world we live in.

Bottom line for me is that I’m very proud of the band. It’s not as though the Olympics are held every year, or that they are held in London each time. This may be the only time the Olympics are held in that city during my lifetime, and I am extremely proud that the band I’ve loved all of these years have been highlighted to be a part of a showcase they are bringing to the rest of the world.  The critics may have their say, and perhaps some “anti-fans” out there feel as though they are just a “token band”.   After it is all said and done, it’s going to be the band and their fans left behind with this memory carried like a torch in our hands, just the way it has always been, and that’s good enough for me.

-R

Anti-Fan Fans

I have a confession to make.  I like being a fan.  I even like being a Duranie.  I like Duran Duran.  I like the members of Duran Duran.  I like their music and their videos.  I like to see them live.  On top of all of that, I do many things that show this.  I am part of a writing partnership that writes daily here at the Daily Duranie.  This partnership is also writing a book about fandom.  I wear Duran Duran t-shirts and I buy Duran Duran products.  Heck, just this afternoon, I used my Duran Duran tote bag to bring my groceries home.  Yet, sometimes, I’m cautious about showing my fandom or showing the extent of my fandom.  Yes, obviously, there are many non-fans who don’t understand what it means to be a fan and why I am a fan.  Beyond that, though, at times, I feel like I can’t show my fandom around other fans, other Duranies.  There is pressure to be a “cool” Duranie.  Last weekend, I blogged about the typical fan, which I based off the video “Sh*t Duran Duran Fans Say”.  In this blog, I listed all of the different characteristics or traits Duranies have, according to that video.  My point in that blog was to show that there are contradictions and that no Duran fan exhibits all of those traits.  That said, I found it fascinating that the majority of comments about that particular blog post was from people who said that they only fit a few of those characteristics.  I don’t doubt those people.  Yet, I found myself wondering if I was the only fan who did relate to a lot of them.  While I didn’t want people to worry if they didn’t fit certain behaviors in order to be a Duranie, I don’t want others to worry if they do.  Unfortunately, I see this pressure to appear “cool”, or non-fan like within the fandom all the time.  Many of the characteristics I mentioned last week even show this pressure.

The characteristics in that video that show what I’m talking about includes the following:  “Can’t believe that others would camp out for a signing even if the person has in the past,” “Claims that they don’t do that hotel thing anymore, ” and “Claims not to be hardcore anymore because she had to grow up and move on.”  First off, am I the only one to have heard these?  I can’t be, can I?  Second, am I the first one to point out the hypocrisy in these statements?  Seriously.  It was okay to camp out in the past but not now?  Why?  What would have changed?  The only thing I can figure is that now the person thinks it is no longer cool to do that and that, somehow, she is cooler than a fan who would.  The same thing could be true for going to the hotel or being a “hardcore” fan.  I get that not everyone wants to camp out, go to the band’s hotel to wait for them, or even be as into Duran as others.  That’s fine.  What doesn’t seem fine, to me, are those who make statements which imply that others who do aren’t cool.  Obviously, a Duranie could say, “I would prefer not to go to the band’s hotel.  It makes me uncomfortable (or whatever the reason).”  Why make someone feel badly for wanting to, which is what I bet happens when someone says that they “don’t do that anymore”?  I have been in situations when people I have been with have known where the band is, but wouldn’t tell.  What is worse is that they implied that it wouldn’t be cool of me to even WANT to ask, never mind actually asking and then going. 

So why do people do this?  Why do they want to seem like non-fans even though they still like the music and the videos, etc.?  Is it because they are jerks?  Maybe some are, but I don’t think it is as simple as that.  I think it has everything to do with social status and stigma.  While we would all like to think that there is no such thing as social status within our fandom (and all fandoms), there is.  Many of us fight it but we know it exists.  For some reason, to be “cool”, to be “non-fan” like within the fandom is considered by some to be a characteristic of those with higher social status, at least on some subconscious level.  Why is that?  This is where stigma comes in.  Society, generally, looks down on fans, especially fans like Duranies.  Fans are thought to be obsessed, illogical people who are stuck in a state of childhood.  Could this attempt to appear non-fan like be to escape the stigma of being a fan, again on some subconscious level?  Is it better for people to say, “Yes, I’m a fan but I’m not like that kind of fan?”  I don’t know.  It is my theory, anyway. 

No matter the cause for what I call “Anti-Fan Fan” behavior, I want to fight it.  I want to be free to express my fandom within my fandom and I want others to do the same.  Now, that said, I’m not saying that people have the right to break into Simon LeBon’s house and wait for him.  To me, that isn’t fandom, that’s creepy and illegal.  Within the bonds of respect and the law, I think that people should be able to say that I like to wear Duran t-shirts or that I would love to see them at their hotel.  I refuse to give let society’s negative idea about fandom win.  I won’t hide who I am.  Thus, for now on, I will avoid people who make me feel badly about myself because I’m a proud Duranie and I will create as much space as I can for others to be themselves as well.

-A