Are you participating in our #2017DDChallenge this year leading up to Duran Duran Appreciation Day? I certainly am and have been enjoying it! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read the blog posted here. This isn’t the first time that Rhonda and I have done such an activity. In fact, it is pretty common for us to do something surrounding or for Duran Duran Appreciation Day. Yet, it was shocking to us at how different the original set of questions were. Needless to say, this year’s questions for the challenge are far more positive than the ones from a few years ago. That isn’t to say that all the questions will be positive but the vast majority will be. We are still thinking and critical Duranies but we are different now. At least, I feel like I am.
Looking back through the years of blog posts here it seems obvious that I’m far less negative and critical of the band now than I once was. Even during the All You Need Is Now era, which I absolutely adored, a lot of what was said, talked about, and written about by me was more critical in nature. Then, of course, the time in between All You Need Is Now and Paper Gods was problematic for me. I wanted so desperately for the band to capitalize on what I felt they created with AYNIN and was afraid that any or all momentum would be lost with too much time. My criticism or negativity definitely came from the best of intentions and with all the love I could muster but I just couldn’t or wouldn’t see it from the band’s side. I didn’t understand that the creative process could not rushed. Then, of course, I had plenty of ideas of how Duran could help themselves and offered many of them here on the blog. Some of those ideas might have been good, I don’t know. I can’t remember. No matter, now, I like to think that have learned some big lessons.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned during this album cycle is to just be more empathetic. I cannot possibly know what life is like for the members of Duran Duran. While, yes, I might have lots of ideas about how to approach this, that or the next thing, I have no idea whether or not those ideas are even possible. Some might and others might not be. I recognize now, though, that as much as I try to think about what it might be like to be in their shoes, I really cannot. I can only know what it is like to be in my shoes and to have my perspective.
Because of this realization, I’m truly picking my battles. Some ideas might still cause a passionate response in me. For example, a reader posted a quote in some Hawaiian press that the band is considering including Andy Taylor in the 40th anniversary celebration. That got a response from me. (For the record: I’m not a fan. It isn’t that I don’t or didn’t like Andy. I just like the band the way it is now and I worry that having Andy return in any capacity would cause problems for the band and/or Andy. I don’t want that.)
On the other side of the coin, I’m letting go of the little things. I’m not going to worry about who is modeling the merchandise, for example, or whether or not the right or wrong word is used in a tweet. None of that really matters to me. I get that those things might to other fans and that’s fine but they don’t to me right now. I realize that those little things that I could be critical of don’t change my fandom for the positive. No, in fact, they could make me less happy being a Duranie. I don’t want that. I want and need Duran to be my happy place.
Likewise, I’m also going to cheer things that the band or DDHQ is doing that I like. For example, I’m loved all of the tweets/posts/pictures of the band in Hawaii. While I could not be there, I at least feel as if I’m a part of it in some small fashion. It also keeps that small connection that I felt towards the band from the shows in Oakland and San Francisco alive. I appreciate that A LOT.
Overall, I don’t think I’m the same person or the same fan that I once was. Maybe, this change has come from my own experience with the creative process. Perhaps, it is that the reality surrounding me means that I need my fandom to be just a happy place. I don’t know. It could be a new maturity. I guess it could be a lot of things. If I had to say, though, I think this change is a good change and one that I’m embracing.