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27 September 2006 @ 08:49 pm
Fandom of One  
I've come to believe that I'm very much a fandom of one. That in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn't always mean it's a good thing, either.

We all come to shows for a reason and that reason is unique to each person. I got hooked on Smallville for the Kents and the mythos. I started watching Stargate for Daniel, mythology, and the team. I got hooked on X-Files because of the unsolved mysteries feel to it. Luke Skywalker dragged me into Star Wars. But for other people they might find Lex Luthor fascinating. Or maybe Teal'c. Or maybe Han Solo. It all depends.

Naturally, we seek out people who like what we like. Daniel fans search out Daniel fans. Clana fans seek out Clana fans. Skinner fans look for other Skinner fans. Shippers fall into shipper groups and slashers fall into slasher groups. Gen people seek gen people. It's not diferent than the real world where like seeks like.

But there is a downside. Cliques form. Groups become posessive and develop superiority complexes. Doesn't matter who you like. It's inevitable. You either fit or you don't.

And this is where I fall into trouble. I don't consider myself a shipper, so I don't fit into the shipper groups. I don't consider myself a slasher, so I don't fall into slasher groups. I tend toward gen, but even gen is segmented and fractured, as well as being heavily ignored and dismissed as not as good as ship or slash.

For example, in SG-1, I dabble into Sam/Daniel, but I don't really fit in with Sam/Daniel fans. I dabble into Sam/Teal'c, but I don't really fit there. Heck, I dabble in just about every pairing except for a couple, but I don't fit into any of them. I'm just the outsider that comes by every so often and contributes, but because I don't fully embrace the group mentalities, I don't ever really fit in there.

As a gen person, I tend to get sidelined. I don't buy into a lot of the slash standards. And my views of friendship between characters seem to differ a lot more than the standard norm.

I'm stretched over various places without ever feeling like I've come home.

There's nothing wrong with being unique. I like my views. I like how I read the show. And I don't expect everyone to read it the same way. And I honestly do enjoy knowing so many people that view the show differently than me. It's refreshing. It challenges me. And it keeps me on my toes. None of us should have to feel like we have to conform just for the sake of feeling like we belong. Ugh, no. But it can sure get lonely when you realize that you can't really be pegged into any one place in a fandom. In those moments, I tend to feel very much like Cameron with it just being SG-me.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
sela21k: Hmmm....sela21k on September 28th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)
Interesting. I've often felt that I was a fandom of one.

When it came to the group divisions I think of myself as not being a member of any one group except when it came to being a Jack fan and even then, my impression of Jack seem to be a bit different than standard. I'm not a shipper, per se, although I have fun with the different ship fanfic as long as it stays fun. I'm not a thunker although I like to ogle the guys every so often on GW. :) I don't think I'm that hard core about anything connected with the show itself. I'm not about to pull out someone's hair over whether or not John gets with Teyla or Weir or neither. I didn't get bent out of shape because Jack was sleeping with Kerry and I really liked Pete. *ducks* To me it's about the fun of the whole thing and I try to flow back and forth among all of the groups in fandom - most anyway. I'm not into bondage, slash or femslash so I don't read it. I am however just discovering what OTP3 really means and am trying to decide about that, LOL!

I guess what I'm trying to say is, you're not alone. I enjoy your fan fiction and I love talking back and forth with you here at LJ. You don't have to fit into any group. I like you because you're you, not because you're one thing or another. Just be you. I think you're great and I've glad you're one of my flist. :)
Working for the Mandroid: Runmoonshayde on September 28th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much :) The sentiment is the same on my part.

I am a fan of the team. I just love so much that I find it difficult to be labeled into any one category.

And even though I sway toward liking Daniel and Jack the moment, it doesn't mean I can't be critical of the characters or the actors who play them. And that doesn't always go over well in certain circles.

I have my own likes and biases, of course. But it can feel lonely from time to time. But I like knowing people that are different than me. And when we are civilized about it, discussion can be fun :)
Nialla: Whedonnialla42 on September 28th, 2006 02:04 am (UTC)
Everyone is a fandom of one. No one has exactly the same tastes in liking a show or its characters, and tastes change too. Even when I've found a group where I halfway fit, there's almost always a subconscious feeling of, "How can they like XYZ if they like ABC? I like ABC, but hate XYZ!"

So you pick and choose bits of various groups and make your very own comfy quilt of fandom, that looks nothing like anyone else's.
Working for the Mandroid: Jack and Daniel (Urgo)moonshayde on September 28th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, of course. That's life. But it doesn't mean it can't frustrating from time to time ;)
Jenn: jack-grinsurreallis on September 28th, 2006 02:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, it can be difficult to find other people who think the same way you do. I've found some good friends, but it took me a while. Quite a while. And even now, we disagree about different things.

I definitely feel I fit in, so to speak, but not always. Because I'm so willing to ship different pairings all the way and not just have one OTP, I don't quite fit into the neat little mold of most groups. On the other hand, I'm pretty shippy about those pairings I *do* like, and that seems to be where it's easiest to fit in, the shippy/slashy groups. Although, it took me awhile to find a S/J segment of the fandom that I could tolerate and actually enjoy. Eesh, the crazeh!

But really, unless you're either pairing-focused or character-focused, it's harder to find other birds of a feather. :(

But we like you just as you are. :)
Working for the Mandroid: Readmoonshayde on September 28th, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
Ugh! I sound like I'm whining. But I'm just thinking.

See, I consider myself pairing-focused, character-focused, and team focused. But I don't have any one that defines me. I can easily jump into the Teal'c pool, the Sam one, the Jack one, the Daniel one, the Cameron one, and I've been known to stick up for Jonas in the past.

I'm focused but all encompassing at the same time, does that make sense?

Maybe today I totally fangirl Jack. But that doesn't mean I think any less of Daniel or Sam. Or maybe, today I am squeeing over Sam/Cameron but it doesn't mean they are my OTP or I want them to happen on screen. And because I don't ship Sam and Jack, it doesn't mean I don't like seeing those two characters together.

I often feel like I am in limbo.

I love knowing people that have different views than me. It's just that sometimes I lack that sense of comfort that other people can get in their little niche ;)

But yay for everyone liking each other ;)
Jennsurreallis on September 28th, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
Okay, see, I get that completely. I still tend to have that problem in fandom too. I guess it's because, like you suggested, most areas are pretty dedicated to one pairing or character, and even though a lot of those fans might have secondary interests, they're really focused on that one thing. And yeah, you like it too, but you're also *just* as into the other interests as well, and that can leave you feeling a bit alone.

I got that/still get that now. If I'm among S/J fans, I can't really discuss Daniel. If I'm among S/D fans, then sometimes just admitting a S/J interest is suicide. I've learned to mention Sam as little as possible among most J/D fans. Eesh. But I like them aaaaaaaall!

And really, even among the multi-shippers, of which I consider myself a big one, there's preferences.

And I didn't think you sounded like you were whining. I've written similar observations myself. Sometimes I think it'd be easier if I just picked one pairing or character and went with it. Actually, I *know* that fandom life would be easier, but it just wouldn't be as interesting. Still... sometimes I still think about it.
Working for the Mandroid: Familymoonshayde on September 28th, 2006 08:39 pm (UTC)
I got that/still get that now. If I'm among S/J fans, I can't really discuss Daniel. If I'm among S/D fans, then sometimes just admitting a S/J interest is suicide. I've learned to mention Sam as little as possible among most J/D fans. Eesh. But I like them aaaaaaaall!

It's one of the things that gets me the most and I'm not primarily a shipper. I can't talk about Sam with my J/D friends. I can't talk about Jack with some my S/D friends. I don't know many S/J people--the ones I do are cool--but I've seen some things said about Daniel in those circles.

And let's not get to fic where the "competition" tends to villianized, whether it's Sam, Jack, or Daniel.

Very sad.

And yeah, it would be easier to settle on just one thing. But it's not as fun.

And I'm far far far too contrary by nature to do it anyway ;)
ParisNTripFan: realparisntripfan on September 28th, 2006 02:37 am (UTC)
I have to agree that I don't think you are as unique you seem to think. I think there are more of us "floaters" (for want of a better term) People that are only part of a group (or various groups), but who don't agree with the majority of the group on all issues.

There is nothing wrong with this. There are a number of groups where I agree with some of the people on some things and disagree with the very same people on other issues. I always worry slightly when I see a group that is to much in lock step.
Working for the Mandroid: Couragemoonshayde on September 28th, 2006 03:50 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm not claiming to be unique. Just it can get lonely from time to time. People who float around are slippery by nature, so finding them to talk to is trickier than finding someone who is deeply entrenched in a character or pairing.
Ael L. Boltmartyfan on September 28th, 2006 03:41 am (UTC)
Personally, I prefer reading fic from people who don't quite "fit" with the cliques. It's less predictable, and that's always a good thing. Originality is key, and if you have certain OTPs and write them all the time, it's pretty obvious where you're going to go. It gets boring. And everyone will interpret the characters differently (just using Daniel as an example, I've seen him portrayed as heterosexual, gay, bi, and even asexual, and I've seen him paired up with just about anybody and everybody, or no one at all, ever).

I kind of feel sorry for the rabid OTPers. They shut out a lot of good fic simply because their favorite pairing isn't in the story. It's fiction, for God's sake, not life or death.
Working for the Mandroid: Figure Outmoonshayde on September 28th, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)
I do wonder how much fic and discussion people miss out because of OTPs. I know I must miss out on a lot of good stuff because I don't bother with Sam/Jack. There must be some good decent team stries out there that has hints of Sam/jack but because I am sensitive to it, I miss out. It's my own fault.

But I think about others that are more OTP bound than I am and I find it limiting. But maybe not for them since we all have our own interests.
Ael L. Bolt: Jack/Sammartyfan on September 28th, 2006 07:30 pm (UTC)
I'm the same way about Sam/Jack. I'm sure there are lots of good fics out there, but the Sam/Jack focus is so heavyhanded, I can't stand it. It's the one pairing that I wish never existed. It's like people think they can't have any sort of friendship unless they're boinking each other.

I used to be prejudiced against Jack/Daniel and refused to read any, but I got over my slash-phobia after awhile and there are actually a LOT of excellent stories in that category that aren't just "And they dun sex." A majority of them seem to end that way, which annoys me, but that's besides the point.
aizjanikaaizjanika on September 29th, 2006 05:22 am (UTC)
Well, in that regard, I don't feel that I miss out on anything by having an OTP. It's definitely a personal preference. I honestly don't enjoy stories in which Sam is a main character, for instance, not even when I loved Sam as a character. I don't think it's missing out to avoid things you dislike or that would irritate. I mean, I'm not going to see Jackass (the movie), and I don't think I'm missing out on anything. *g* Obviously lots of other people are enjoying that movie, though.

I feel the same way about TV shows. Everyone seems to like House, but I'm not even remotely interested in it, even though it sounds like a show I might like. I don't have time for it, for one thing. In that regard, maybe I am missing out, be we only have so many hours in a day or so much time in life. When I was young, I finished every book I started no matter how much I hated it. I'd never have turned off a movie before the end. Now? I don't have the patience for it. I'm halfway to 90. *g* I don't have time to read a book I'm not enjoying any more. hehe

I feel the same way about fic. When I started out in SG-1, I explored it all--including ship fic of all kinds. I've read at least some stories of probably every type and pairing--including kid fic, weird vampire stories, BDSM (definitely not my thing--probably my biggest turn-off), and anything else you can imagine. As time has gone on, I've realized that some things appeal to me and other things don't. The show, too, has changed for me.

I don't think it's limiting, except in the fact that not many people see Daniel as I do, so it has been difficult to find fic that I actually liked, once I'd read tons and tons (i.e. many views, many versions of Daniel). After a while, I got tired of exploring the many versions of Daniel. *g*

Some people could ship or slash Daniel with anyone, and I think that's okay, but that's never going to be me. I've liked Daniel with three people: Jack, Sam, and Mitchell (all not necessarily as ship or slash--I actually have usually preferred gen, even for Jack/Daniel a lot of the time, but I just want the story to be focused on them).

I can't stand Daniel/Paul Davis, for instance. I could see Daniel/Jonas and read a few of those back in the day, but it was never my favorite pairing. (I'm not forgetting Daniel/Teal'c, but that's just not my thing, even though I love them together on the show. I think they have one of the very best canon relationships on the show--or did until season 10--and I mean that in a very gen way. *g*)
crazymadjo on September 28th, 2006 04:17 am (UTC)
That's always been how I've felt in every fandom, which is why long ago I decided that I don't friend fandoms - I friend people. Because really, the show is just a starting point for getting to know somewhat like-minded individuals, and hopefully clicking with a precious few of them. "Fitting in" to a group or being one of a crowd has never been something I've been good at.

I totally agree with you about the 'village mentality' that seeps into all the little sub-groups in fandom. My group is cooler/saner/superior to your group. It's human nature, I guess.
Working for the Mandroid: Fanboy Autographsmoonshayde on September 28th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
Studying fandom from an anthropological perspective (I can't help myself) is fascinating. The politics, the hive mentality in some places, everything mimics RL so much.

I wish more people were about friending people and not the fandoms. It's more fun that way!
aizjanikaaizjanika on September 29th, 2006 05:23 am (UTC)
Studying fandom from an anthropological perspective (I can't help myself) is fascinating. The politics, the hive mentality in some places, everything mimics RL so much.

Not that I know much about anthropology, but that actually interests me more than the show itself, and it always has--even in previous fandoms. *g*
crayonbreakygalcrayonbreakygal on September 28th, 2006 05:39 am (UTC)
It's what I call a floater in RL. You don't necessarily fit in anywhere, but you can hang with them all because of your knowledge. In my opinion, it's not a bad place to be. It all depends on your mindset at the time. I've shipped many different characters of different fandoms. But that doesn't mean I don't like other ships also and will read them with abandon. You're the one who pointed out Daniel/Elizabeth, which I'm now starting to love. I started out liking Daniel on SG-1 at first, but now I'm into Jack at the moment. But lately I've been leaning towards Sam. See, it all changes with the times.

Working for the Mandroid: Daniel/Weir--The Lookmoonshayde on September 28th, 2006 03:41 pm (UTC)
I like having a variety of interests. And at heart, for SG-1, I am very much a team fan. I love the team. They are work so well as a unit.

At various times of the week, I can be a Sam fan, a Jack fan, a Daniel fan, a Teal'c fan, a Cameron fan, etc. But since I love the team, I never abdanon the rest of them for very long ;)

Like I said, I like my views and I like that I can easily slide around. But it can be lonely sometimes , espeically when you want to go somewhere and feel nice and comfy.
MegTDJ: Daniel Tasty - gawgic_hilarymeg_tdj on September 28th, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC)
There are times when even I feel as though I don't quite belong in the Dan/Jan clique, and I'm supposedly the queen of D/J. ;)

I think everybody's going to feel that way unless they force themselves to adopt their opinions to someone else's view. Which is stupid. You don't need to think exactly like someone else to form a bond or just have a good time with them. Probably once your stress level drops and you feel better able to relax and just enjoy fandom again, it won't bother you so much.
MegTDJ: Hugh Facepalm - janainemeg_tdj on September 28th, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC)
Adapt, not adopt. Sheesh...
ridin' the star mile: believestargazercmc on September 28th, 2006 11:24 pm (UTC)
I think a lot of it is that people like us who flip back and forth and don't really focus on one thing are also the types of personalities who don't get militant about pushing our beliefs on others. When I see people who push their pairings/beliefs/ideas at the abuse and expense of another person's, rather than make a big fuss, I just move along looking for another group of people who are more open-minded.

I'm pretty sure I've found a good number of individual thinkers now, and I keep finding more and more all the time. For me, finding people who think like me isn't a priority -- I prefer to work towards being the type of person who sees another POV as something worth being around.
aizjanikaaizjanika on September 29th, 2006 04:55 am (UTC)
I feel that way about Stargate, too. Nobody feels about it how I do, and I can't really explain it. I never felt exactly the same as other Daniel fans. I've loved the slash, but I don't really see Daniel the way other slashers do, for the most part. It's rare to find a fic in which Daniel is portrayed the way that I see him. I never really fit in over at OS or at TWOP and definitely never at any of the other places I checked out.

When I first dabbled in SG-1 fandom, I joined all the groups--even shipper groups and Daniel/Sam and everything in between. It was the militant views that turned me off after a while, though--even on the Daniel fan side. (I'm not talking about OS, but about some of the Yahoo Groups.) I suppose I got a bit militant about some things for a while as a reaction to that, too. *g* I dislike feeling pushed or bullied, so I tend to push back. Ack. I'm trying not to do that any more, but honestly, I just stay away from all the places where I see those attitudes.

And I honestly do enjoy knowing so many people that view the show differently than me. It's refreshing. It challenges me. And it keeps me on my toes. None of us should have to feel like we have to conform just for the sake of feeling like we belong. Ugh, no. But it can sure get lonely when you realize that you can't really be pegged into any one place in a fandom. In those moments, I tend to feel very much like Cameron with it just being SG-me.

Yep. I've felt that way for a long while, so that's why it's nice to have some friends who, while they don't feel exactly the same way, will at least allow me to express my views, though that group seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

I love meta discussions, but they are so rare nowadays because everyone has such an emotional attachment to their views that they tend to take it all personally if you don't like what they like or if you like something they don't like, or you just feel like a freak, or it just makes people sad if you don't like the same things.