Lately, this blog has been anything but controversial. At least, my posts have been very bland, very vanilla. It is not that I’m against anything controversial or am afraid of dicey topics or commentary. After all, I teach social studies, specifically United States History, which is filled with topics that can result in differing, passionate or even angry responses. Likewise, I have worked on the ground on political campaigns. This means that I have talked to members of the public on the behalf of the candidate and some of the public are not always kind. Therefore, my avoidance of controversy is not due to fear.
Over the course of this blog, Rhonda and I haven’t avoided controversy. We have tackled some of the tougher issues within fandom and within Duran Duran fandom, specifically. Some examples include discussion around the stigma that female fans receive, the lack of respect for Duran Duran as a band, how DDHQ runs things like presales and the fan community, social status, fans going after fans, competition, etc. Many of these topics that I mentioned caused a heck of a lot of feedback, both positive and negative. A lot of fans did not appreciate some of our commentary or conclusions. Some even, perhaps, felt attacked and came after us as a result.
Despite some of the horribly negative reactions those blogs led to, I do not regret writing them. I learned a LOT about fandom and about our fan community through the process. Really, that was the a big part of writing some of those dicey blog posts. I wanted to learn what makes fans really tick as I knew what makes me tick but I didn’t know about others. In reality, I felt like I had to push some buttons to get a full picture, to fully understand. On top of that, I hoped that bringing up tough subjects could help. By getting some of the worse aspects of our fandom out in the open where we could discuss, question, and eventually change those aspects. At least that is what I hoped. While I can’t say that I was super successful, I know I tried.
Now, though, I am not motivated to bring up new controversies. While I have seen various postings, articles, etc. about Duran as a band or one or more band members this week, I am opting not to bring them here. As I stated earlier, it isn’t because I’m afraid of negative feedback. I just see no purpose. It would not help me understand fandom any better and it definitely wouldn’t help bring the fan community together. More than that, though, it would do harm. Negative postings or articles won’t help the band succeed or do better. I don’t believe that all press is good press. Maybe that works with some artists, at some points in their career but I don’t want that for Duran now in 2017. I want the press surrounding them to be about their amazing live performances or about their incredible songwriting and superhuman longevity.
For me, personally, my fandom recently has been renewed. It wasn’t like I had fallen from the band or had lost love for them but I wasn’t getting excited with them either. I just felt comfortable in my fandom. Now, I feel both comfortable and comforted with and by my fandom. On top of that, I also feel that giddiness, that excitement, that sense of fun that fandom should bring. Why talk about anything that will kill those feelings for me? Right now, I need my fandom to be my happy place, my safe place. If I chose to bring a meaningless controversial topic over here, I threaten the joy that surrounds my Duranieness.
That said, I recognize that controversy means more page views, more outreach on social media. It equals more traffic to our blog, and to our social media accounts. Yet, that isn’t why I’m here doing this. It isn’t to be popular or to be cool or to have the best or most interesting Duran news. No, I’m here to express and to understand my fandom and others’ fandom. We are here to try to bring the fan community together and to give fans a safe place to express their feelings and thoughts. If that means that we skip over some topic of another, I’m okay with that.