Fandom is a luxury. It is “great comfort and extravagant living,” to quote the google dictionary. For some, it is a luxury because it is and always will be connected to money, finances. People must pay money to own music, to attend concerts, to even own a device in which to hear it on. While, yes, I suppose there are opportunities to hear music without money, it still seems to me as something that really requires some money. The luxury of fandom involves more than money, though. It requires emotional availability and time.
Fandom is about passion and about having intense feelings for someone or something. In the case of this blog, we have strong emotions about Duran Duran. We can feel great joy with new music from theirs and significant worry when one of the band members is ill or has to cancel shows. Our lives are such that a part of our emotions can and is used up by fandom. While certainly both Rhonda and myself have had significant events happen in our lives that were/are extremely taxing, emotionally, we have been able to save some of our emotions for Duran Duran and the Duran fandom.
Likewise, we have always been able to maintain some time for fandom. The question/comment that we most frequently receive goes along the line of “I don’t know how you have time to blog everyday.” We have made the time. We have squeezed it in despite our busy schedules. While our days are filled with lots of obligations, we have made this one of those “must dos”. We don’t have to and never had to. The lack of time never locked us out of our participation in fandom. Sometimes, it made being a part of the Duran fan community challenging but never excluded us.
Now, though, I fear that is changing, at least on my end. If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I’m the political one, the one who not only votes for the candidates of my choosing, but also campaigns for them. If you know that much about me, then you also are aware that I’m a teacher. I teach United States History and Women’s Studies. The school I work at is extremely diverse, the most diverse in my city with about equal numbers of whites, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians and even some Native Americans. Likewise, all genders and gender identities are represented as are all sexual orientations. We are also a religiously diverse community with all major world religions represented. I feel extremely lucky to teach in this beautifully diverse community as I know that I learn from my students and colleagues each and every day.
Based on what I just shared, then, it will come to no surprise that I’m struggling with the election results as are my students. Most of them are terrified about what is going to happen and if they will continue to be safe. All day on Wednesday my room was filled with extra students looking for additional support and giving it in return. (If there is any silver lining, it is that unconditional love and support given to and from my students, my colleagues and my school.) That morning, my attitude was simple. I wanted to give up. I am tired of fighting. Yet, at lunch, one of my students turned to me and said, “Now, what do we do?” She looked to me to lead her and others as I have done in the past. I knew then that I must fight on. They need me. My community needs me.
What will this fight entail? I’m uncertain but this much I know. I will do more than post on social media. I will actively engage with elected officials and I will work to get strong messages of unity out there. I will do my part and push others to do theirs.
I’m sure you can see where this post is going. Fandom is a luxury that I might not be able to afford much moving forward. My days were already extremely busy. I used to prioritize my participation here and on various social media sites. Now, there will be times in which I will put political action higher on the list. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be a member of the Duran fan community or that I don’t want to participate in fandom. I do want to and plan to, as much as I can. When I am able to, it will be good for me. Fandom will provide me the breaks and joy I will need moving on. It will give me strength. Hopefully, then, someday, I will be able to have the luxury of fandom full time, once again.