Fair-weather fandom or jumping the shark?
I had a discussion with a friend on IM that got me thinking…
Is there a point that your fandom of something will break and you have to move on to something else? Or is it fair-weather fandom to give up on something after it crosses a certain line?
I`ve been this way about two things – the Dallas Cowboys and Star Wars. I liked Dallas when things were bad, when they did not make it to the play-offs and when they had losing records. Admittedly, that was when I was younger but I am the same way with the Panthers now. With Star Wars – same thing – during the mid-80s there was very little going on Star Wars-wise after the last movie and the toys ran out. Up until after I graduated high school, there wasn`t much other than the RPG that had come out. Then more toys were released and books and comics and Star Wars was suddenly revived. I stayed a fan through out.
So then Dallas loses Jimmy Johnson and becomes the Dallas Convicts with several players becoming problems with the law. They hire other coaches that I do not like become a team I do not recognize or have any emotional connection to. Some of their game philosophy changes and it is simply not the team I grew connected to. So I moved to another team that I had more of a connection to – the Panthers.
Where Star Wars is concerned – I really built up a lot of fan-hood. I bought a lot of stuff (not as much as others, but all of the RPG books, at least). I stuck to Star Wars for a long time, reading the books, the comics and playing the games. But with the released of Ep 1-3, the philosophy of the story, the elements of the story arch and the nature of the universe changed in many ways. In my eyes, Ep 1-3 were bad stories told very badly. And these elements affected the story arch as a whole, including the original movies. So this taints the whole universe overall. It`s not like I can pick and choose what I like and what I don` t because it dilutes the universe to my perception of it. Then it`s no longer Star Wars, but my Star Wars and it never was my Star Wars to begin with. It was Lucas`s and he took it to a place that was asinine and infantile.
So I have been systematically depopulating my stuff of anything Star Wars, especially Ep 1-3 related. Soon I will be getting rid of my Star Wars RPG stuff, if that`s possible.
Someone compared it to a band. Some people did not like Van Halen when it became Van Haggar. But they did not get rid of their old VH albums when things changed. But it`s easy to say that because music tends to be contained and new albums do not affect old ones in anyway. I am a fan of Metallica, primarily from the In Justice for All period to S&M. Anything before or after that, I am not a huge fan of. But that is different from Star Wars and from the Dallas Cowboys. A story arch and a fictional universe or a team make-up and philosophy are totally different from periodic albums.
So I stick to my guns. There is a point that a person`s fandom can be broken. There is a point that can cause a person to move to something else. For me, Star Wars is dead to me. I gave up on the Cowboys a long time ago. I feel my departure from those fandoms is justified.