Volume 16, Number 22
March 23, 2010

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Eda ErdemI'm Your Biggest Fan!

Isn't it totally weird to absolutely, genuinely, unconditionally love someone without even meeting, speaking or seeing that person in real life? All of a sudden you become a loyal,  loving, caring  person for someone that you don't even know. You practically start stalking this person, you “fan-tasize” things that will most probably never come true. It doesn't even have to be someone, it can be something. It's just amazing how far one can go.

We are all fans! You are no exception, admit it! We can become a fan of just about anything. I think Facebook proves me right: there you can become a fan of anything from  ingrown toenails to farting in public. Come on now, you are bound to become a fan of one of these two even if you're a fan of nothing! 

Janeites are among my favorite fan groups. Their ultimate aim is to cherish the memory of Jane Austen, her works and every detail of her life. Just imagine a bunch of women (or men, if you like) having tea and chatting over weddings and weather. Mostly weddings though, since all of Austen's novels end with at least one wedding. Of course all these conversations are in Austen's unique language which sounds something like "To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment."

If you ask me, Trekkies are the very definition of fandom. They are the fans of the Star Trek universe. They have international fan clubs and conventions where they speak the Klingon language. They also have cool light-sabers! I've wanted one of those for so long, I keep hoping and dreaming to find one on my front door. Most of the time they are told to “Get a life” but these people already have a life! Angelina Jolie, Colin Powell, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Barack Obama are among some of the most famous Trekkies. I confess, I also have a hopeless crush on Dr. Spock. (I hope I don't suffer from the painful consequences of this confession.)    

And of course there are sports fans. Football as you know, is a big deal. I never got the idea of it, but I know how important it is for many people. Painting your face, putting on the jersey of your team, screaming at the top of your lungs and, in some cases, showing your behind could have a certain thrill to it.

Oh, and let us not forget the Twilight fans. The number of these fans, which are mostly teenage girls, keep increasing day by day. Awkward requests such as "Edwaaaaard, bite me!" and their high pitch scream comes hand in hand with the saga. Sometimes I can't help but feel sorry for the movie cast, after all life itself has become a Twilight movie for them...

The Japanese have a special term for people obsessed with animes, mangas and video games. They are called Otaku. They read mangas 24 / 7 , live on animes  and run around in awkward outfits. Some are obsessed to such an extent that they even consider having their favorite character tattooed on themselves.

Fan Labor is something I have difficulty understanding. When I say fan labor, I'm referring to all creative fan productions. Fan fictions, music videos, drawings -- everything you can think of. I never got involved in Fan Labor. I never got the point of it, but I'm sure there are those who are very good at what they do. I personally don't feel comfortable reproducing someone else's work. I assume Fan Labor creates some sort of satisfaction for those who couldn't find the ending they expected or the scene they hoped to see.  

Harry Potter fandom, Doctor Who fandom, Furry fandom, Tolkien fandom -- the list goes on and on. I'm not even talking about being a fan of certain someone like Brad Pitt, one of you professors or Lady GaGa, especially not Lady GaGa.

I can't help but wonder how "fan-tastic" creatures such as our selves have come to live in such a hateful environment. Wouldn't it be marvelous if more of us were to become fans of "peace"? Plus, since there seems to be no current author of it I wouldn't have a problem writing my first fan fiction on it.

Oh, and if you're wondering what I'm a fan of, I'd have to say cheesy endings, but I bet you already figured that out. Seriously, could an ending have become any cheesier?

By Eda Erdem (TRIN/IV)

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