FANDOM FLAMES: When annoying fandoms strike!

I’m a part of many fandoms these days. So many, I can’t name them all. However, there are a few in particular which just have annoying elements. Annoying fandoms are not a foreign concept to many; every fandom has its own annoying people, concepts, and aspects. And I should clarify, when I say annoying fandoms, I don’t mean the entire fandom is annoying, but it can be a good chunk of one. Usually, the being annoying is centered around ships that must happen, or ships that mustn’t happen.

There’s a problem with that mentality, of course: as a fan, you have no control over what the creators’ think, say, or write, and you never will. Even if it offends your sensibilities, creators can and will do whatever they want, within the bounds of what studio executives demand. They’re pretty much Ron Swanson with his “permit” on Parks and Recreation.

And this isn’t a bad thing, annoying fandoms: creators having free will, divorced from what the fans want, is important. There needs to be a wall between fans and creators, and unfortunately, with the increasing intrusion of social media and the intense rudeness on said social media, that wall is pretty much gone. While I don’t endorse creators yelling at fans about their shipping habits or, in some cases, honest and fair critiques, I do think creators have a fair amount of room to push back politely, whether through their own voices or through the writing on their shows. Not Aaron Sorkin lemonlyman-ing, when he wrote an entire plotline on The West Wing about how Josh Lyman infiltrated a fan site, but rather writing what you were planning on writing in the first place.

I don’t wish to come down on annoying fandoms harshly; mainly to chastise them a little. Please stop filling the tags on social media with complaining, shipping manifestos which can trend towards yelling at anyone who dares not to see the brilliance of your ship, and just hating on any other ship or character who dares comes towards your faves. Some of us just want to see pretty pictures, or well-crafted gifs, or ships and characters other than the “approved of” ones.

I guess what I’m saying is, just let people live and enjoy what they want, minus universally offensive ships. You’re not always right. Neither am I! That’s part of the fandom. That’s part of the fun of actual discourse. We should engage in dialogues more, instead of merely yelling about the things we don’t like. Also, if you really don’t like something, filtering the tag or the phrase or the ship name is right there: use it judiciously.

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Let’s just live, stop yelling at each other, and enjoy the pretty pictures.
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