I made a promise to myself to take a couple of concentrated hours every weekend to work on my fandom projects. Last weekend, I went to a coffee shop, made myself comfortable and got to work. I thought that being away from home helped me to stayed focused. Unfortunately, this weekend, the weather is not cooperating. It is April 14th. Spring should have sprung. Yet, here I am with a winter weather advisory that features freezing rain, ice, wind, and snow (reports vary from 2-5 inches to 6-9 depending on the temperature). Great. So, I’m not leaving my house. Despite that, I’m keeping to my plan.
I decided to focus on fandom research before blogging for two reasons. One, it is easy enough to put the blog first which often means the rest gets pushed aside. Two, and more importantly, I had no idea what to write about. I hoped that working on related projects might spark a topic. Indeed, it has!
I had been searching YouTube for just the right video to showcase both Duran Duran and their fans. Sounds easy, right? Not really. I still really haven’t found something perfect but I did run across this video here:
I am sure that most of you will recognize these video clips as they are clips from Sing Blue Silver. Most notably, they are generally clips in which fans, female fans, are screaming. While that might be interesting enough, the description of the video read, “Fascinating and terrifying. This is a video I edited of various girls going absolutely NUTS for Duran Duran. This footage was filmed between Nov 1983 and April 1984, during their massive world-wide tour. For context, this was all filmed before The Reflex single was even released in April 1984. The video for that song was filmed near the end of the tour in March 1984 at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. I was barely a toddler at the time but I have clear-as-day memories of girls in my neighborhood having a similar, almost venomous passion for this band.”
Fascinating and terrifying? What exactly is terrifying about this? I’m not sure I’m following. Then, the creator describes the passion for the band as “venomous” passion. Venomous as in poisonous? Hm…None of the comments on the video seemed bothered by the description but I have to admit that it doesn’t sit well with me.
Are screaming female fans terrifying? Is there something scary about that group? If so, what? Do they have the capability of biting or stinging as the term venomous assumes? Now, I admit that I definitely could have been one of those screaming fans in 1984 as my best friend and I at the time did plenty of that so maybe I’m taking it personally. Yet, is there really something wrong with screaming for a band you like? What about when you are a kid? A teenager? An adult woman?
The fact that the screamers on the clips were mostly (almost all? All?) women and girls really makes me suspicious about the description. Is this somehow putting down women and girls or it is really just about putting down the level of excitement? Based on my research about fans and fandom, I’m well-aware that fans get a bad reputation of being hysterical and crazy but describing a group of fans who are mostly women as “hysterical”, “terrifying” and “venomous” seems like a step beyond that.
What do you all think?