I have a simple question. Maybe someone can answer…and then again maybe not. Maybe it will make people angry with me, and then again, maybe not. At this point, I think either way is fine.
Why is it all such a contest?
I’ll preface this with a story to put the question in context. The tale itself isn’t what is important, but I have to tell it in order for this post to make sense. I am sure that some will take immediate issue with me, but I own my actions anyway.
Yesterday, I blogged about the change in venue and promoter for Iceland. In doing so, I ran across comments made by not just one person, but several, suggesting the band must obviously be changing venues because they couldn’t sell tickets. I am not finding fault with those comments, so if you were involved in that discussion, I’m not referring to you. Regardless, those initial comments and replies led to other, far more negative comments about management, Katy, and so on. Not only did I see this sort of thing on Facebook (the band’s Facebook page), but also on Twitter. Those comments and replies are the ones I took issue with.
However, I escalated the situation by commenting about one of the people making these comments on my own Twitter account. This wasn’t the account one I run for Daily Duranie – but my own. I have a right to my own thoughts, and I have a right to say whatever I want to say, just as anyone else does. I also have to be willing to defend them. If owning a blog has taught me anything, it is that once you put yourself out there, you’d better be ready for the onslaught.
That said, I understand it wasn’t very kind of me to vaguely tweet about what I saw. There are many fans out there that criticize the band directly. I too, have done that upon occasion. I also am well-aware that I couldn’t do Katy’s job, much less Wendy’s as manager, or the myriad of other people and jobs that make up the team supporting this band. I am a Monday Morning Peanut Gallery Commentator at best, and while sometimes I admittedly forget my place – I try to remain respectful, and give those folks a lot of grace. I couldn’t do their jobs.
Even so, I did vague tweet, which was unkind. I wasn’t seeking validation by doing so, though. I made my comments, not really thinking about who might respond one way or another, and I stand by them. Validation is not something I look for on social media of all places, and anyone who really knows me recognizes that.
The contest issue, however, comes in at the tail end of the conflict above, when the person in question characterized his response to me as 0-1 to the UK.
This is just one example, but since it happened directly with me – I thought it was a good example to use regarding a topic I’d been thinking about for a while. Since when is it a contest of countries???
Now, don’t get me wrong here, I’ve have definitely noticed that US fans have taken some heat lately from every other country in the world. I get it, people are incensed that the band tours here repeatedly. I also get it that when Americans suggest places within our country to play, or what songs they play – it infuriates everyone else in the world. Fair enough. We should be glad they’re coming here, and damn it – if you live on the east coast, you should be thankful you only have to fly 3,500 miles to see the band, because everyone else has to fly at least 8,000 (and likely much more than that). No sarcasm intended, because truly, the situation is exactly that at the moment.
I get every single bit of that, at least as much as I possibly can as a citizen of the offending country. There are those around the world who would gladly stand and allow the band to play “Hungry Like the Wolf” over, and over again because they’d be thrilled to have them play anything. Fair enough. Others would be happy to pay $500 or more per show, because at least they’d be getting shows. I hear you when it’s been said that American’s are just spoiled and we don’t even deserve to see the band. I can’t argue with any of that. I’m sure many of you would like to haul some of us out into the middle of the street for a public flogging. Fine. I don’t like it (would you?), but I get it.
The thing is though – why is it a contest? It wasn’t the whole USA tweeting today. It was me. ONE person. The entire country doesn’t necessarily agree with me, nor should they. It was my feelings versus those of someone else. That’s it.
The contest of fandom boggles my mind. No one actually wins anything at the end of this. There’s no trophy for crossing the proverbial finish line! If it’s not about country, it’s about people in general. Who is the “best” fan? Who is the “worst”? Male fans vs. female fans, female versus female…. none of us win a damn thing at the end. We have our memories, the music, and hopefully, that’s enough.
I did learn something today about myself. I feel strongly enough about the current state of the fandom to speak out about it, even when it paints me in a bad light. Yeah, I reacted and spoke out when I could have just said nothing. Sure, I’m expecting major backlash from this post, too. I just feel like enough is enough. We’re all fans of this band. We don’t all agree or even like one another. I shouldn’t have vague tweeted, though. Next time, I won’t.
This isn’t a contest of countries, or anything else. It’s about the music. Anything else is just a bunch of noise.