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The first fandom I was ever involved with was Duran Duran, starting when I was about 12 years old (1982). Looking back, I'm interested by how different it was from the fandoms with which I've interacted more recently, because my first fandom experience took place long long ago, in a galaxy far far away ... in which there was no Internet. Yes, I know it's shocking, but I really am that old.

Since there was no Internet, my so-called involvement in Duran Duran fandom consisted entirely of sitting around with my friends and squealing over the newest videos, collecting everything I could get my hands on, and exchanging letters (remember those?) with about a dozen different "Duranie" pen pals in the U.S. and U.K.

I wrote Mary Sue fics (though I didn't know that's what they were), but I don't think anyone else ever saw them, because there was no easy method -- such as there is now -- for embarrassing myself on a global scale.

I wore Duran Duran t-shirts to school every single day, like a complete dork. I got my hair cut like one of the members of the band. Basically, I was a true fanatic. But a very isolated fanatic, because there wasn't much opportunity to connect with other fans.

It wasn't until about 20 years later that I got involved in another fandom. In the meantime, I had a sort of brush with science-fiction fandom, just because several close friends were involved there. I also had a sort of brush with gaming fandom, because two boyfriends (one of whom eventually became my husband) were involved there and due to that connection I played an online game for almost a year.

But my own second real involvement with fandom didn't happen until I got involved with the online Buffy fan community a couple years ago. It's like a completely different experience, because everyone is so closely connected to each other. But, oddly enough, I've found that the things I like most about the Buffy fandom were the same things I liked about the Duran Duran fandom: connecting with individual people. I now get to know people through LiveJournal and/or emails -- instead of through paper letters -- but the result is the same: connection with people who understand and share an interest.

I'm not much involved in Buffy fandom anymore. I started pulling away because of the frequently argumentative politics. This fan attitude is good, but that one is bad or This character is good, but that one is bad or This interpretation is right, and that one is wrong. The whole thing pisses me off.

But I'm still glad for the people I've met and the friends I've made. I hope some will last beyond the fandom.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 4th, 2003 05:18 pm (UTC)
Lis has a "Biography Of The Band" type book about Duran Duran. One of those "Behind The Music" sorts of gossipy trashy things. She got it signed by the author.

Neil Gaiman.

When he signed it, Neil said, "Oh, my: I hope you didn't pay some sort of ridiculous amount of money for this." She assured him that, no, she bought it in a secondhand book store, mainly because she liked Duran Duran, and, at the time she'd bought it, she hadn't heard of him. He was rather relieved, and mentioned that he'd heard of a copy of that book going for over a thousand dollars on ebay. This terribly disturbed him, although somewhat less when he found out that the person who bought it was NOT an unbalanced Neil Gaiman fan, but an unbalanced Duran Duran fan, so he felt that he didn't have to worry too much about it.
Sep. 4th, 2003 06:00 pm (UTC)
I've actually read other embarrassed remarks by Neil Gaiman about that book, because I'm something of a Neil Gaiman fan. In fact, if I remember correctly, I sold a copy of that book on eBay when I was getting rid of all my old DD stuff. I considered keeping it, just because I was amused that he was the author, but decided that wasn't enough of a reason for me.

As a side note, Shannon and I considered inviting Neil Gaiman to our wedding, because we first got to know each other by discussing his Sandman series. :)
Sep. 5th, 2003 02:44 am (UTC)
Wow, that's remarkably cool, I had no idea :D
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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