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fan types

I've had a theory for a while that there are two fundamental types of fans - the intellectual/analytical kind, and the emotional kind, and major fan conflict and wank can arise when these two types interact, because they approach fanning differently, and therefore have a difficult time understanding where a fan of the other type is coming from.

(Actually, I think it's broader than just this; I have a hunch all fannish personalities can be classified on a multi-axis system similar to the Myer-Briggs personality typing, but with axes particular to fans, e.g. social vs individual interest, or producing vs absorbing. But Intellectual/Emotional would definitely be one of the elements, and one of the bigger sources of conflict, in my experience.)

Intellectual vs Emotional Fanning

Intellectual fanning is analytical in nature. You engage with the text by examining it, evaluating its good and bad points, dissecting its themes and purpose. Such examination can be in-canon (inventing backstories to explain character traits, questioning and explaining away plotholes) or outside-canon (nitpicking, analyzing the writing/direction). Intellectual fans tend to like meta: critiquing (positive and negative), nitpicking, polite friendly debate with reasonable arguments.

Emotional fanning is engaging with the text with your heart more than your mind: to prefer to feel more than think. Character love and character hate, OTPs, personally identifying with a character (or wanting to meet them and live in their world, as with Mary Sues and self-inserts) are elements of emotional fanning. Emotional fans tend to like squee - or bashing, the anti-squee, discussing what they love or hate, and what they'd like to do with it.

Intellectual and emotional fanning types come on a spectrum - most fans indulge in both to a certain extent, and while most fans I know seem to have a preference for one style or the other, most emotional fans do enjoy some meta - it's fun to talk about what you love! - and most intellectual fans do love their shows and chars - or why else would they want to meta about them at all? Both fan types are productive - I know of fanfic and vids inspired as much by the urge to meta as by devotion to a pairing or character - and we all enjoy fanning, even if the source of that enjoyment might differ.

But conflict can arise when people don't realize that what they are getting out of fanning is not necessarily what another fan is getting out of it. An emotional fan may have a difficult time understanding the pleasure of critiquing something they love (I've had people question me outright about why I meta, especially why I'll do negative meta for a series I like. I've had to explain that I find such analysis genuinely entertaining - I love a good friendly debate, I like the process of assembling an argument, finding data to support my conclusions. It's fun for me! But not everyone is so enamored of research.) Likewise, intellectual fans can have trouble understanding why emotional fans get so, well, emotional about their shows and characters (I have friends who don't understand why I have OTPs, or why I'd even watch a show when I detest one of the characters in it. *coughLanaLangcough*)

On Fan-Conflict

Obviously there's a lot of sources for fan-conflict. Intellectual fan debates can escalate into cold (or flaming hot) wars if neither side is willing to back down; emotional fans will turn their passion on one another if their pairings or character tastes conflict. Emotional fan conflagrations tend to blaze up quicker because they're more emotionally charged from the start; but they're also more likely to burn out fast as a lot of emotional fans aren't into protracted debate and so both sides will mutually decide to ignore each other. Intellectual fans might get into open flaming less, but more spectacularly so when they do, since intellectual fans tend to be long-winded.

But I've seen blow-ups occur when intellectual and emotional fans clash and misunderstand one another. An emotional fan might post squee (or bashing) which an intellectual fan might take it as an invitation to debate and comment back with a long, considered refutation (such as they would enjoy getting themselves) while the emotional fan was really looking for some shared excitement. Or an intellectual fan might post a thoughtful critique of a favorite episode which an emotional fan might take as an attack and flame them for, while the intellectual fan was really looking for reasonable argument.

The intellectual fan who gets flamed tends to dismiss the emotional fan as crazy obsessed - who gets so emotional over a TV show? - and might feel hurt/offended/angered that someone seems to hate them just for stating an opinion. The emotional fan who gets an essay back might think the intellectual fan who wrote it is crazy obsessed - who would put so much thought into a TV show? - and may be uncomfortable answering, because emotional fans tend not to indulge in meta as much, and therefore might not be as practiced at marshaling arguments to defend their opinions.

I think it can be difficult for an intellectual fan and an emotional fan to actually have a debate, for a good reason: you can't debate emotions. Intellectual fans think about their opinions; emotional fans feel them. Intellectual fans tend to want to consider why they like a series, or why they don't like it; while as emotional fans more confidently know they like it, or don't, without needing to ask themselves why. They might even find it insulting to be asked - questioning their tastes means you're questioning their personal selves. It's like asking someone to defend their reason for liking chocolate over vanilla; it's nonsensical.

On the other hand, I've rarely seen intellectual fans argued over to an opposite side, no matter how involved the argument (I can't think of a time I've been convinced to change my mind, not when it was any opinion I actually cared about, at least not in fanning); for all we might enjoy marshaling reasons to explain our likes and dislikes, when it comes down to it we pretty much all like something because we like it...


Most people have a tendency to interpret everyone as coming from the same basic place as themselves. So intellectual and emotional fans both tend to make assumptions when dealing with a fan of the other type.

An intellectual fan, confronted with a hostile emotional fan, tends to assume that the other fan is overly emotional and taking things too personally. Sometimes this can lead to ad hominem arguments - interpreting the emotional fan's behavior as juvenile or pathological, assuming they're a drama queen or a "speshul snowflake", that to be so passionate about a TV show, they must be this excessively emotional in all aspects of their lives, unable to separate fiction from reality. This might be true - but more likely the emotional fan derives enjoyment out of getting so emotional over just a TV show, out of being able to put their passion into something that's not that meaningful, but that they can control.

To an intellectual fan, something like character bashing can come across as not only mean-spirited but downright dangerous - what if the bashers hate a real person as vituperatively or violently as the fictional character? What's hard to understand is that emotional fans can find such bashing cathartic because the hated character is fictional; it's the same harmless pleasure offered by violent video games. Likewise, while an OTP fan may seem unreasonably hurt by a canon pairing that denies their OTP, they have the OTP to begin with because they enjoy it; it's part of their emotional bond to a show.

On the other side, an emotional fan confronted by a disagreeing intellectual fan tends to assume the other fan is being hostile, deliberately provoking a fight. For an emotional fan who is looking for fellow fans who share their enjoyment, anyone who disagrees, however well-worded and thought-out a disagreement, looks like a troll; what other motive could they have for harshing on the squee? To an intellectual fan, an opposing viewpoint is simply another fan stating their opinion; but to an emotional fan, an opposing viewpoint can seem like another fan is telling them that they are wrong for feeling the way they do about a character or an episode or whatever.

Emotional fans may not realize that an intellectual fan is intending to show them respect when they offer their disagreement - they're inviting an argument, acknowledging a fellow fan's opinion by asking them to support it. The other fan might even be playing devil's advocate, or looking for reasons to be brought around to the emotional fan's side, but that's not always what it looks like, depending on how strongly the argument is worded.

Of course, this isn't always the case. Sometimes the emotional fan might be right to believe they're being baited and attacked. Sometimes the intellectual fan might be right to believe another fan is unbalanced in their fannish obsession. But a lot of times they're just coming from a different place. I'm pretty lucky when it comes to this, because I fall right about in the middle of the spectrum - I enjoy the dickens out of meta, but I'd classify myself more as an emotional fan. While I like to reason out arguments, I feel first; I experience my favorite character love and my OTPs too powerfully for me to type myself as an intellectual. So when someone is hurt because I've dissed their OTP, I know where they're coming from and try to apologize as best I can, but I'm almost always up for a good debate. Though sometimes I find myself confused, mid-debate, because for all my arguments, really I'm trying to explain why I'm feeling the way I do, and that's never easy...

ETA: meganbmoore makes a good point that "intellectual" has some negative connotations; "analytical" is perhaps preferable as a more neutral descriptor.

ETA2: Reading over the comments (which have been marvelous, thank you! My analytical side is overjoyed with the meaty responses - if you enjoyed reading this theory I definitely advise that you continue on to the comments, a lot of smart people are making a lot of great points) I worry my essay might have muddled a crucial point: intellectual/analytical fans are emotionally involved with their shows and fandoms. I believe intellectual and emotional fans get equal pleasure from fanning; the difference is from where they derive their enjoyment. More clarification here. Also, it should be stressed that this isn't a binary designation, but points on a spectrum - I think most fans are both analyticals and emotionals, but most seem to have a general preference for one or the other.


( 210 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 5th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
I love your crunchy, delicious brain a LOT. ♥ You are quite awesome!

I don't really have anything to add, except that I wish I knew exactly where I fall on the spectrum! I do tend to be mostly intellectual, in that I don't really do OTPs, or the kind of character love that could keep me interested in a show I hated. But! I do a lot of pure squee that I don't want harsh. Of course, that might be due to using fandom as a happy place... And there's the warm and fuzzy love for h/c which I just can't explain, and the way I fall in love with shows for no apparent reason, I just. Love them. With all my heart, and it defeats every attempt to really explain or debate.

So - I'm an intellectual fan who takes a lot of pleasure in emotional fanning? *g*
Oct. 5th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
whee, glad it makes sense! Gnine advised me that the first draft came across as too patronizingly proscriptive, and while I tried to dampen that, I'm still a bit worried it sounds like I'm passing judgment when I'm really trying to observe (...well, and to tell people to stop flaming and get along! Which maybe is a bit patronizing, but...I can't help but think we'd get along better if we just understood where everyone was coming from? ^^;;)

Anyway - I think to really determine intellectual vs emotional you'd have to survey a bunch of fans, figure out their tastes and how they fall...the personality scales are descriptive, and they need lots of stats to properly describe. I kind of think you might be in the middle - I don't think all emotional fans have OTPs necessarily, more that's one outlet for emotions, but there are others, too. You do have favorite characters, though, yeah, not as strong as me...but the anti-squee-harshing is more an emotional thing, and you're more sensitive to that than me? Hmmm....!
Oct. 5th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
That was really interesting to read, thanks! I'd add more, but I'm a quite monstrously emotional fan. ;)
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:18 am (UTC)
Hee, yeah - this is why I wonder if I am an intellectual fan after all, because long-winded doesn't begin to describe me ^^
Oct. 5th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
excellent and insightful post. i think you're right about all this. it rings very true to my experience. i'm always on the emotional end of life (and therefore of fandom) and tend to get rattled when someone wants to debate anything with me. sometimes i have felt aggressed-upon, when it was probably more as you describe, an intellectual fan wanting to engage but on a level on which i'm not at home. next time that happens, i'll try to remember your post. :)
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
Yes, I love debating - to a certain extent, and then I have to pull out before I get too emotional about it - but I have friends who really aren't into it. They can do it when pushed, but it's not fun for them, and fanning is supposed to be fun, as far as I'm concerned! When replying to an intellectual fan, I'd advise keeping your replies polite but brief, to discourage further argument (and I think it's polite to say, "I don't really feel like debating this, sorry.")
Oct. 5th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
the emotional fan derives enjoyment out of getting so emotional over just a TV show, out of being able to put their passion into something that's not that meaningful, but that they can control.
That makes so much sense (for the record, I classify myself more as an emotional fan, too). I wonder if emotional fans are more likely to be focused on a single show in their posts, VS intellectuals who like to discuss, compare and contrast the story telling techniques of multiple shows?
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:25 am (UTC)
Hmm, I think you might be onto something here! I know for me personally, I can watch and enjoy multiple shows, and I do compare and contrast them a lot - but I can only really be in fannish love with one show at a time. So right now I'm watching Traders and SPN and Psych among others, but SGA has my heart...even when I'm comparing SGA to the others.
(no subject) - boogieshoes - Oct. 7th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 6th, 2008 12:00 am (UTC)
Good analysis.
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:26 am (UTC)
Hee - I like observing fanning too much, I fear! ^^;
Oct. 6th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
This is so beautifully spelled out! It's something that's been dawning on me as I've engaged in livejournal fandom (previously I'd been in groups or boards), but without quite getting what I was realizing. Because I adore, I mean adore tearing into things I love: analyzing the nuts and bolts and the whos and whys. And I especially love to chat with people who don't agree with me. (Actually, what I most love is when groups engage, so even more ideas and theories get spilled out.)

And... there was a time or two where I commented on a post with an "ooh, that's interesting, here's how I saw it differently" and didn't get a response or got a sort of coldish response and I realized, eep! not the sort of post wanted. So I slunk away, and I felt kind of bad because I felt like I'd... well, harshed a squee or squeed a harsh, or whathaveyou, without meaning to. Which wasn't my intention at all. So I've been a bit more careful about looking to see what kind of discussion is wanted.

And this explains exactly what the difference is! :)
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:41 am (UTC)
Yes - I think livejournal fandom is weighted a bit more toward the emotional side...not that there isn't a ton of meta going on too, but the personal ties between people tend to make for a more emotional environment, perhaps?

And yes, it can be hard to understand that another fan doesn't enjoy something that gives you so much joy! (I've noticed a similar divide when it comes to responding to fan-works, too - like the common debates about concrit of fanfic, when some people crave it and some people think it's rude and uncalled for; both sides are applying their standards to the other group...) I really like debating with you because it's clear you enjoy it as much (or more!) than I do; I never feel like you want to harsh my squee, or that I'm at risk of harshing your squee. But such detailed examination might seem intimidating or even aggressive to a fan not expecting it...

--Which doesn't mean I think you should stop it by any means, just, yeah, make sure you know it's welcome before you indulge! Which you know already...(I wish emotional fans, too, would be more comfortable just saying, "sorry, this isn't my cup of tea!" - it can be difficult to say that to an earnest debater, because it can feel like you're conceding the argument, rather than just walking away...)
(no subject) - horridporrid - Oct. 6th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 6th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
Great way of looking at this!

For me, being fannish about a show means having an OTP, reading fanfic for it, and being emotionally involved. I can watch and enjoy shows -- and even read fic for them -- without having an OTP, but without an OTP there's no emotional bond. I'm all about character interaction; sometimes I don't even notice the plot. Which is handy with shows like Smallville and SGA, because it means I'm less likely to trip and fall into plot holes.
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC)
Hee - some of this came from a conversation with the bro yesterday - we made the mistake of showing him SGA, because he loved SG-1. He was...not impressed. And keeps insisting it's not a good show because it's so predictable, none of the plots are at all original. To which I can only blink and admit um, yeah, totally true, but why are you watching for the plot? Who cares about plot, there's Rodney McKay! And John's in love with him! What more do you need?
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
Yeah...I don't think most fans think their type is better, especially, so much as that they don't quite realize the other types even exists. I've seen emotional fans wondering how anyone can truly fan on a show without an OTP; I'm seen intellectual fans thinking that only immature teens could get so worked up about OTPs and things. And then, a lot of us are a blend (I'm wondering if I'm more on the intellectual side than I thought, because most of the commenters here are self-identifying as emotional, when I think it should be more a 50-50 divide...either that or my essay was unintentionally slanted toward the emotional side, so people don't want to be called out as intellectuals? Hmmm...)
Oct. 6th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
Hah! I've said "Thanks for sharing your story" and gotten back "You're welcome, I think."

I can end up being overly intellectual, I guess.

Thanks for giving me some perspective one that one.
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:52 am (UTC)
There's no such thing as 'overly intellectual' in general, I don't think; it's only in specific interactions. When you're dealing with an emotional fan, it's better to try to tone down the intellectual analysis, but with a fellow intellectual fan, you'll probably both enjoy the hell out of yourselves by indulging! But figuring out another fan's preference when you don't know them personally can be awful tricky...
Oct. 6th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)
I think my biggest "conflicts" aside from ship vs not (heh) have been in arguments with people who want to explain what they see in an episode in the context of canon no matter what the production considerations might be. For example, a character is barely in an SGA episode because he/she is filming another ep in which he/she is central. I'll see fans argue about, for example, "Rodney should have gone back to Earth with John! What is his problem!" when it's clear to me it was a production decision, not meant to reflect on the character. So maybe two sub-sets of analytical fans are those who prefer to find canon reasons to explain everything versus those who step outside canon and seek to understand what the writers/producers were up to. Not that one is better than another...

I tend to be more toward the emotional side, which includes getting emo about what the producers/writers are up to. :)
Oct. 6th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
Hmmm, yeah, I think you've got a point about in-canon vs outside-canon debates, though I wonder if they're actually a different axis...I think those can be emotional or intellectual, really. An in-canon intellectual would argue the legitimacy of the plot reasons given (Rodney had to help the kiddie planet) while an outside-canon intellectual would cite actor unavailability. While as an in-canon emotional would get mad at Rodney for letting John down, and an outside-canon emotional OTP fan would get mad at the writers for not writing a more convincing reason (As a mostly outside-canon emotional OTPer myself, I was disappointed Rodney couldn't be in the ep more, but happy that they'd given him such a caring scene...)

I tend to be more toward the emotional side, which includes getting emo about what the producers/writers are up to. :)

Yeah...myself, I have a tendency to view things I like inside-canon and things I don't like outside-canon. So John loving Rodney is obviously true and I'll track where it started (we believe he realized it somewhere around "Tao") but Rodney's thing for Keller is just badly written romance, not what the chars really would feel XP
(no subject) - auburnnothenna - Oct. 7th, 2008 12:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - astrumporta - Oct. 7th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - therck - Oct. 7th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xparrot - Oct. 7th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - therck - Oct. 7th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sedesdraconis - Oct. 8th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 6th, 2008 08:01 am (UTC)
I have a similar problem with writing, because I tend to write popular OTP-type pairs but from an intellectual (I might say querying or curious?) perspective, not an emotional one. 'Emotional' fans who click the link invariably feel betrayed, because I take the 'ship and the characters apart to see what makes them tick (or not), instead of keeping the OTP sacred. Personally, I think I need to warn for that, but I'm never sure of the wording....
Oct. 6th, 2008 08:53 am (UTC)
Yeah, I keep a cautious distance from your fics, because as good a writer as you are, they tend to clash with my OTP sensibilities. ^^; Especially in fic-reading, I am much more an emotional fan; I will take a ridiculous happy ending over fascinating dark meta fic any day. I don't always write what I like to read, however... The odd thing is, I actually like non-OTP relationships as well - I've found I really rather like writing stories about failed or failing relationships, people trying to make things work and not being able to manage it. I just can't bear reading it done to my OTPs - I'm a part-time intellectual fan, I guess? (Of course some emotional fans love sad emotions, too; people who eat up angst and love to cry over death fic are emotional fans, just with different tastes in emotions. And here I suspect I'm an emotional reader but an intellectual writer, because I've never cried over a death-fic I've written myself, for all I dislike reading death-fic because they make me depressed.)
(no subject) - busaikko - Oct. 6th, 2008 09:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xparrot - Oct. 6th, 2008 09:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - busaikko - Oct. 6th, 2008 10:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xparrot - Oct. 6th, 2008 11:22 am (UTC) - Expand
rambling rambles of rambleness - busaikko - Oct. 6th, 2008 11:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: rambling rambles of rambleness - xparrot - Oct. 6th, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: rambling rambles of rambleness - busaikko - Oct. 6th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
I see your ramble and raise you a ramble! - xparrot - Oct. 6th, 2008 02:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 6th, 2008 08:40 am (UTC)
i think you and i are similar types of fans. i like meta too, but i don't like OTPs because they fascinate me or anything, i just like them because i like them. it helps if they seem plausible or i get vibes from canon, but i still have to LIKE them both as characters and as a couple.

i know very intellectual fans too, though, and i think my best clue is that i tend to relate better to the emotional ones. DON'T BE MESSING WITH MY OTPs, OK???

XD still, i think the best rule of fandom is that you're out to enjoy the experience, not to ruin anyone else's. if more ppl would just take things a little less seriously, we could probably avoid a lot of nonsense, oh sigh.

Oct. 6th, 2008 09:12 am (UTC)
Oh, yes...a lot of my best fan-friends are more intellectual types, and I have great discussions with them, but they tend to give me weird looks when I flail about my OTPs. And I have a hard time explaining exactly what I'm seeing, that it's not just that I think a relationship is intriguing, or that I like both the characters so it's fun to get them together; it's that I love their love, that it makes me squishy inside, and traumatizes me to see it broken...(it's extra confusing for me because I started OTPing as a gen fan, and still will do gen OTPs, to the confusions of slashers - I don't always care if my OTPs have sex; I just care that they're each other's Most Important Person. Gojyo can sleep with as many women as he wants, as long as it's always Hakkai he's coming home to...)

And yeah, sometimes I better understand other OTP fans - even if you have a different OTP than me, you tell me you love a couple, I'm not going to try to argue you out of it! Respect the pairing, dude!

That being said - I think there is a problem sometimes when peoples' definition of enjoyment clashes. To an intellectual fan, inviting a friendly debate is a fun way to fan, a way to share their enjoyment with other fans; but an emotional fan might not read it that way. Or a fan might leave concrit on a fic because they honestly like getting detailed concrit on their own fic, so they think they're being friendly - but an author who doesn't want concrit isn't likely to take it well. So both sides end up upset and baffled at the other fan's rudeness, when they were just being polite...it's a mess!
(no subject) - sally_maria - Oct. 7th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xparrot - Oct. 8th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 6th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
LOL, I should totally say something intellectual, but OMG , I AM SO EMOTIONAL! right now!

(my state still didnt stop me from pimping your meta to your own com *g*)
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
Hee! (thanks for the pimping, is much appreciated! ^_^)
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
You make alot of very good points here. I definately fall closer to the emotional end of the spectrum.

And is it just my reading, or should these to points;

in-canon (inventing backstories to explain character traits, questioning and explaining away plotholes) or outside-canon (nitpicking, analyzing the writing/direction).

be the other way around? Apologies if I'm just mis-reading.
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, given the prevalence of OTPing and such, I think there might be more of us emotional fans out there - though the intellectual fans tend to be more verbose and perhaps better known!

Ah, I didn't really properly define in-canon/extra-canon. "In-canon" here refers to examining the text from within the text - in-story explanations, as opposed to outside-canon, which is looking at the text as a TV show (or whatever) - looking at the production, actors, special f/x, whatever. For example, in-canon, Lex left Smallville because he (supposedly) died; outside-canon, Lex left because Michael Rosenbaum quit the show. (Nitpicking can actually be in-canon or extra-canon, so I misspoke myself there a bit.)
(no subject) - blisstasteful - Oct. 6th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
I am both an intellectual and emotional fan of your meta. *beams* Seriously, I read personality psychology for fun, even though I generally get bored of dry academic texts. I don't claim to know individuals in fandom very well, but I do make distinctions of types of fannishness, and it's pretty much like figuring out puzzle pieces and see where they fit, not for the convenience of typecasting or labeling people, but in simple acknowledgment that we are all part of this and that we all belong here one way or another, and hopefully when organized altogether somehow we make a pretty picture.

I've been waiting for someone to make an honest psychosocial analysis of fannish behavior without REAL ISSUES giving everything a more colored context or pushing a point towards a certain judgment. (Which is why I prefer staying in the fandom sidelines, not because I'm spineless and unprincipled, but because I just like having to think without there being some debate scoring or high stakes over vested interests.) Frankly, I'm pretty much content to bask in the disjointed company of people who find meaning in fandom, and I feel like my life is made richer from being exposed to the mere existence of it already. In inspiring each other to think and feel, it can be a painful process and friction is unavoidable. But if we're reminded that we each bring our own objectives and messy selves into this common realm of wonder, then there might be less hurt.

Despite many unwritten guidelines, we haven't really got a firm definition on what good fan behavior consists of or what good fan is, but my idea of it is working together towards enjoyment and betterment through outward expression of inner creativity. Or in emotional terms, it's having all sorts of fun with others in doing what you love.

Er, I didn't mean for all of that to come out, esp. since I should be sleeping by now. To summarize my personal view: Fiction is my catharsis. I geekily squee at your meta. :D
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
Hee - I love pop psychology (was a psych major, yo!) and analyzing people, though, as much fun as I have with it, I do get nervous about doing it, too - worried that I might come across as passing judgment, as you say. And personality typing is a tricky business, because I think it's fine when it's purely descriptive, just observing what people are like; but it's dangerous if people try to make it prescriptive, if you try to say, "this person has trait X, so that means they will do Y." Because you can't predict behavior...which is why I tried to sprinkle many "may"s and "might"s and "can"s throughout the essay; I never want to be caught saying that everyone of one type thinks or acts in one way, because that would just be ridiculous!

And I like interacting with both emotional and intellectual fans (I say I'm emotional, but more of my friends are intellectual type, I think!) - both types bring a lot of great stuff to the fandom table. It just makes me unhappy when those differences that should bring us joy cause friction instead...what I hope for is not for emotionals and intellectuals to stop talking, but for them to understand one another so that they might talk more, share more...

...all that being said, I still can't bear OTP-breaking fic. Breaks my wee heart, it does! XP

(now go to bed! which direction are you off from Japan? it's going on 3 AM here ^^;)
(no subject) - attaccabottoni - Oct. 6th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
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