The Spectrum of Fans

This past week I was reminded of the spectrum of fans.  This spectrum could be referring to age, location, political opinions and more, but, in this case, it refers to the spectrum of positive and negative.  On one end of the spectrum are those who seems to think that everything the band does is fabulous and that they can do no wrong.  On the other end of the spectrum, every move the band does is met with criticism.  Most of us live somewhere in between, I believe.  Nonetheless, this whole idea of a spectrum of this sort calls into question if both kinds of fans are good for the fan community or not? 

This idea that there is span of positive and negative fans started early in the week when I was on some social networking site and saw that a friend of mine had posted something about an actor she likes who just signed on to a new project.  I glanced at it quickly and planned to move past until I saw that she wanted people to comment on this new project, but only if the comments would be positive.  She didn’t want to read negative reactions at all as she just wanted to be excited and happy about seeing her favorite actor in some new show.  I almost responded to it, but not to react to the actor news but to respond to the no negative statements wanted comment.  I didn’t, though.  Then, a couple of days later, Simon hurt his back and the band had to cancel their appearance on Sirius radio.  Immediately, there were negative reactions to the news as some seemed to think that this would stop Duran’s ability to do a lot of promotion and to play shows, which would seriously harm their chance at success for this album.  Again, this type of reaction caught my attention and again, I thought about commenting, but didn’t. 

To me, both of these types of comments are extreme.  As far as the “I don’t want to hear anything negative” person goes, this seems not only silly to me but detrimental.  Are all moves that a band, actor, sports team or author does good moves?  I don’t think so.  I have seen Duran Duran make moves that I thought were fabulous and I voice that opinion here, on social networking sites or on message boards.  Like many Duranies, I was beyond thrilled with the reunion and expressed my excitement all over the place!!  That was a great move, in my opinion.  On the other hand, I have also seen moves that make me cringe.  For example, the decision to work with Timbaland was one that I questioned.  Now, years later, I might conclude that this was a bad move for them.  Yet, do all Duranies agree with me?  No way.  I’m sure that there are many fans who liked Duran with just Simon, Nick and Warren.  Maybe Warren was their favorite member.  I’m also sure that there are those who think that working with Timbaland was great.  Disagreements are going to happen.  Should fandoms just accept the idea that everything the band/actor/author does is fabulous?  I don’t think so.  Part of fandom’s goal, in my opinion, is to discuss what is good and bad.  I think this type of discussion keeps people involved and engaged and that once people become unengaged, then they will leave and the fandom dies.  Of course, the fandom could also struggle if every fan is on the other end of the positive/negative gamut.

Some fans always seem to find something to criticize about the focus of their fandom.  In these cases, it is almost like the band/actor/author/sports team can’t do anything right.  In Duranland, I,sometimes, feel like these fans are just sitting and waiting for the next move because no matter what the band does, it isn’t right.  It reminds me of those parents who aren’t satisfied with their kids getting Bs and As on their report cards because they should have gotten all As.  It is never good enough.  As much as I don’t understand the “let’s always be positive fans”, I really don’t understand the others.  Isn’t there something positive and good with the band/actor/author?  There must have been at one time or another or else I’m assuming that they wouldn’t have become fans in the first place.  Now, I’m not saying that people should stop having opinions.  I don’t think that.  I also realize that there are times when it might seem that all of the moves are negative but if that is all that there is, then why still pay attention?  Why still care what the moves are?  If they are all bad, why not just walk away?  Plus, I don’t think it does anything to help the fandom thrive, either, as this doesn’t lead to meaningful discussion either.  Maybe there can be some good conversations, but after awhile, people will stop listening or caring about what Mr. or Ms. Negative is saying.

Luckily, I believe that most people in any given fandom are somewhere in between these two extremes of all positive and all negative.  Most of us, Duranies, think that most of the moves have been generally good, but will agree that some haven’t been.  We like to discuss which moves are which.  People then engage in conversation and get to know other fans.  This helps the fandom stay alive as people get a personal connection and remain part of a community and a community with diverse thinking.

-A   

2 thoughts on “The Spectrum of Fans”

  1. Very good observation! In fact that group is a very alive gropu that pass through lots of transformations inside the band and outside. But the magic is that even with different members and different producers they always manage to create good music and gave superb shows. Andy was there in the great time and contribute to the classic songs. Then he goes away and Warren came in. The group produce some excellent records then Notorious, Big Thing,Wedding Album, Medazzaland was very different but excellent even if Simon was a bit in a creative crisis and if magic John was gone. Then Pop Trash… it began they produce it and the company decided that they had to change it all. I do love that album with some incredible tracks but always ask myself what it had been if it had stay the way the band wished it. Then Andy, Roger and John came back. Astronaut had some terrific songs some less good and it didn't get the success we all expected. And again Andy left the band. It was a bit sad, even more sad they didn't want Warren back. He keep the band together so many years and just seems to be looked like if the lack of success was his fault. I don't think so. Without him they didn't had much more success. In fact, i believe that the big probelm and for many years now is the lack of support from the record companies. They were forced to work with Timbaland and Timberlake that was a very bad move. Red Carpet Massacre is a great album the songs are splendid. But the production is far from what Duran Duran would have done. No more success, only one clip, extrem lack of promotion didn't get the band new fans and what was more dramatic some of the loyal fans were very disapointed. Now with Mark Ronson they found their sound again and All we need is Now is one of the best record of their history. But I don't understand why people are so dramatic about this is good this is bad. I think that this band is an incredible group of human being and superb musicians. I love each album with his own specific taste. Even Liberty have some great songs. I think that we should appreciate that during all that time those guys were true and passionate about their love of music. Lots of others would have quit or just being singing their old stuff. But still I would love to see Warren coming play his virtuousis guitar with John, Roger Nick and Simon. 😉

  2. Patrick, you have definitely proved my point about how discussion keeps the fandom alive and well! While I agree with you about Mark Ronson and AYNIN, I can't say that I'm a big Warren fan. I really like where the band is now and that definitely includes Dom.

    -A

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