2019/03/29

The Curse of Fandom

Fan

There are those who describe the fandom phenomenon as the circuses part of the bread and circuses of our age. That's not entirely accurate. Ancient Roman plebs didn't worship the gladiators sent out to distract them from their empire's fall.

In the crumbling American Empire, geek culture has been deployed to fill a different void than hunger or the need for entertainment. Modern comics, movies, and games superficially resemble entertainment, but they're actually filling the role once served by religion in Americans' lives.

The Big Men with Screwdrivers and the Nu Atheists were wrong after all. Kicking Christianity out of public life didn't usher in a bright, sexy chrome utopia. Instead of directing their pious energies into scientific pursuits, America did what everyone does absent Christianity: They turned pagan.

Human beings are wired for worship. If social pressure discourages worshiping God, those with less fortitude will worship trees, rocks, or even plastic figurines.

Religious identity was the engine that built the West, and it's still a major motivating force elsewhere in the world. What has happened in the American Empire is that Christian identity has shattered, and the pieces have been scattered throughout various hobbies.

Which was precisely what the main players in the Enlightenment wanted--to reduce religion to a hobby indulged in the home with no effect on public life.

People had hobbies back when the Church was allowed to matter. The sane ones didn't let their hobbies consume their identities. You might've liked gardening or stamp collecting, but you largely kept it to yourself outside the company of fellow hobbyists or unless asked.

The proper order of faith and entertainment has been inverted. Honk. Honk.

To see how people's identities have gotten mixed up in their hobbies, take a quick glance at the 'gate controversies popping up among various fandoms on a more or less daily basis. #GamerGate was the big one, but it failed due to infiltration by controlled opposition and exploitation by online grifters.

It's telling that every subsequent fandom revolt has enjoyed a brief honeymoon period before skipping straight to the "milked by grifters" stage. "If a man loses faith in God, he doesn't believe nothing, he'll believe anything," is illustrative here.

Few now can imagine--by design--a time when popular culture wasn't partitioned into myriad fractured fandoms. Sure, people had different tastes, but there were cultural touchstones everybody shared, and more of them.

Everybody tuned in to The Shadow. Everybody read Edgar Rice Burroughs. Everybody saw Gone with the Wind.

But a people with a shared culture and a strong identity is hard to conquer, so universal popular culture had to go. Fandom was the murder weapon used to kill Western culture.

This series of posts by author JD Cowan explores the subject in much greater detail. It's a lengthy read but well worth your time if you want to understand the massive snow job pulled on science fiction fans by elite snobs who thought they knew better.

Instead of putting up a united front, the scattered fandoms are isolated and relatively powerless. Hollywood learned the hard way that catering to fans alone isn't enough to make a film successful.

Fandom killed popular culture. It was a textbook case of divide and conquer.

Fortunately, there are creators laboring to forge new culture in the tradition of our ancestors. For a refreshing take on the mecha genre that clears away all the stale cliche cobwebs, check out my new martial thriller Combat Frame XSeed.

Combat Frame XSeed

Buy it now!

21 comments:

  1. JD knocked it out of the park with his series on Lundwall. The empty ur-culture calories that book contained starved a generation or two of imagination and wonder.

    But, of course, Fandom delenda est.

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    1. He really did.

      JD may not know it, but he's done the best work on the subject since Jeffro's Appendix N.

      Delete
  2. So what you are saying it that it's not actually
    >You're waifu a shit!
    It is in actuality
    >You're goddess a shit!
    That explains why the Rei shippers vs Asuka shippers conflict has gone on for so long.

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  3. That hardwired to believe thing is really important. It means none of us is immune to a faith (in anything) based thought process. Even (especially?) so called atheists believe in something. Whether it's scientism or socialism, or some other ism, they believe in it to the point that it is beyond argument.

    As to the fandom thing, a big fat yeah. Understand that I'm a "big men with screwdrivers" kind of guy. It's what I grew up with. I know now though that those kind of stories instantly ghetto-ize the genre. The pulps had/have much more mass appeal. Everyone knows who Flash Gordon is, few can name a character from an Asimov or even Heinlein book. Sorry my fellow Trekkers, but Star Wars won the Star Wars versus Star Trek battle.

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    1. Western Atheism has always been parasitic on Christianity. The death of nu-atheism has as much to do with Christianity's decline as any efforts of Christian apologists.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for the link! If you guys want quick access to the series I compiled them here: https://wastelandandsky.blogspot.com/p/science-fiction-illustra.html

    I'm not gonna lie. Doing that series put me in a bad mood. It's good it's done and out there but it was certainly not very fun to read and review that book with the knowledge that it was allowed to be printed despite so much asinine idiocy in it.

    Just goes to show that this Fandom mess is not new and has been going since at least the start of the 20th century. Fans invade their hobbies, divide and conquer from within, then begin to kill them.

    It won't stop until the culture bottoms out.

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    1. My pleasure. It is we who should thank you!

      Delete
    2. If JD's CON score is high enough, we should track down another set of pre-1980 Bug-Man SFF analyses for him to fisk.

      JD could produce the definitive work on the Big Men With Screwdrivers and Without Chests.

      But, of course, Fandom delenda est.

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    3. That sounds like one of the best ideas ever.

      Delete
  5. Hmmm, a Youtuber called The Distributist (also a Catholic by the way) made a series of videos awhile back detailing the rise of 'nerd culture' and what went wrong. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AweuePGKRKk

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  6. Years ago I was thinking about which emotions I like to express in my music and it was danged, mystery, wonder.

    Huh.

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  7. The mainstreaming of geek culture in the early to mid 2000's is where all of this went wrong. The sjw fandom infestation would never have happened if geeks were still ostracized for their hobbies. I'm just old enough to remember if you liked to play video games and liked comics you were considered a massive dork. If that was still the case all the things we enjoy would be left alone and even sites like The Mary Sue wouldn't exist at all. Double that for the Anita Sarkeesian's of the world. They are all just jumping on the bandwagon because it's the "in" thing to be apart of now. Essentially normies flooded the market and their sjw overlords looked upon our favorite hobbies with only one goal in mind: Destruction. The most frustrating part is they use the words inclusive and diversity to show how virtuous they are. When we know it's just a mask to hide the hatred they feel towards themselves and others.

    This was a bit much so I'll stop here, but this is something I've been thinking about for a few years now. Whenever I get a chance to dialogue about it I do. Keep fighting the good fight.

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  8. Did Gamergate fail though? It had a pretty big effect on the industry at the time and ruined the reputation of the big developers. Just because the maak has slipped doesn't mean things will move at lightning speed. Even The Last Jedi was a hit.

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    1. It did. Take a look at the video game industry and games journalism today. They are manifestly worse than in 2014.

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    2. Sure, but even that isn't actually a bad thing. They were forced by Gamergate - partially - to go hardline with their leftism and now are starting to see the results in sales, if slowly. Indie games are the wave of the future and I think more and more people are starting to see that.

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    3. All of which is tangential to the question.

      GamerGate's stated goal was not to make the big studios go hardline with their Leftism or supplant AAA with indie.

      AAA was already collapsing under its own weight, with our without GG.

      Delete
  9. I'll admit, I'm no Father Zossima. That face needs a punch. Maybe that's what he's reacting to offscreen.

    Folks want a strong cultural horse to follow, one that's not going to buckle under the previous fire of relativism and snark aimed at anything traditional. Though things will probably get around to appreciating functionality over social dysfunction before there needs to be any real PR push to show someone's hobby circle the qualities of Aquinas and clean living vs Reddit snark, DMT, and "Bruh, Marvel."

    Problem being that the more clown world, the more likely the countervail will be arrogant and ultimately hubristic in the original sense. Pray for a Theodosius vs. Justinian II.

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    1. Relativism was the Left's favored tactic in the 90s. They discarded it in the 2000s because Christian influence on the culture had been weakened enough for Lefty to take off the mask and reveal his fanatical devotion to the death cult. Now we see Mammon, Moloch, and Caesar directly attacking Christ, as in New Zealand.

      Re: the need for social proof, you're correct. Never underestimate the innate human need for order. Americans' avowed preference for democracy will only last until the lights go out in Clown World.

      At this point, there is no avoiding Balkanization and/or a strong man dictator stepping in and restoring order by force. The only question now is this: Will he be our dictator or theirs?

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