It is lyric Friday! As usual, I shuffled my iPod until I came across my first Duran related song. Today, the first song was New Moon on Monday, which made me smile. I knew immediately which lyric I would use for the blog post. My favorite lyric in this song is definitely, “I light my torch and wave it…” I have said it before and I’ll say it again. It absolutely reminds me of fandom. Once you become a fan, a significant fan of someone or something, you light that torch, so to speak.
Call me sappy, but that is how I view fandom. When you fall in love or become a fan, it does feel like something has been awoken or lit inside. It makes you feel warm inside. It makes you feel good to watch or hear or read something you are a fan of. In those situations, you cannot help but to smile. Of course, that leads people to read, watch, listen, etc. again and again. It is like the light from good feeling continues. It burns on. At least, that is how I feel about my fandom. Yes, there have been times that I have been disappointed or frustrated with something related or connected to my fandom, but overall, it still begins me joy and happiness that I rarely get otherwise. Therefore, I cannot imagine my torch ever being extinguished. The flame will always burn.
As for the second half of the lyrics, to “wave” that torch seems to me to be about being out and proud of one’s fan status. There are many in fan studies who talk about fan coming out stories and how it is common for fans to share one’s fan story when first meeting other fans. I feel lucky in that I often get to share my fan story here on this blog, in person at various meet ups and other events and more. I love to hear other people’s fan stories, including when, why, how they became fans. I also like to hear about how fans “wave” their fandom. How do they show it? How do they share it with other fans and non-fans?
I think about how I “wave” my fandom. Clearly, one of the biggest, most obvious way is through this blog. The fact that I am one half of the Daily Duranie, a blog that posts daily about being Duran fans I think shows how much and how often I’m cool with waving my Duran fandom. Other fans certainly see my fandom beyond this blog. For example, any fellow fan that comes to my house would see my office, which is nothing but Duran. That fan might also see or hear my collection of CDs or of DVDs. Heck, they might even get a chance to play Into the Arena or the trivia game I wrote. But, is that really waving my torch, so to speak? Maybe with other fans but I don’t think that qualifies with non-fans. How I am doing with them?
I don’t think I hide my Duranieness but I acknowledge that it isn’t something I discuss when first meeting people. I recognize that fandom is very much misunderstood and that there is a lot of stigma connected to being a fan, especially as a forty-something year-old woman. Thus, I tend to wait a little while before sharing. Once I do, though, I tend to be pretty open. It isn’t uncommon for me to be seen with Duran a related mug or one of my 850 (kidding!) Paper Gods canvass bags or a t-shirt. I think once I get out the fact that I’m a big Duranie, then I am constantly waving that torch. What about the rest of you? Do you wave your fandom torch? If so, how? When?