Fandom is more than just puppies barking

Reading this comment from Ursula Vernon on File 770 made me sad:

And then we had Requires Hate and I was gobsmacked. I had no idea who most of these people were but holy crap, what an awful thing. And then SP3 happened and what the hell and then even more awful people come out of the woodwork and sure, Beale’s always been a whiny troll but who are these people like Williamson with those horrible insensitive jokes and all these sad little opportunists going “Notice me! Notice me! Let me hitch myself to this wagon! Notice me!”

And it’s all very discouraging. And the longer I stay, it seems like the more horrible things come out, and I wonder if there will ever be an equilibrium reached.

This is not what fandom should be like, but unfortunately assholes are everywhere, even in sf fandom. But though they’re currently the loudest and most visible part of fandom, they’re not the whole of it. It’s only human to talk more about outrage than about all the everyday kindnesses that pass unnoticed, which is why British fandom has its Doc Weir award. Most people you meet in fandom, online or real life, are just normal, decent human beings. Which can be hard to remember when all you read about is a small part being incredibly nasty about having to share fandom with people who are not like them and don’t like Nutty Nuggets.

But there’s also the point that much of the sound and fury generated by those Puppies is a reaction to the fact that fandom is changing and getting more welcoming to people who may not just dislike Nutty Nuggets, but don’t like breakfast cereal at all. It’s a backlash against the idea that fandom can improve, grow more diverse, not remain the playground of a bunch of paranoid, spoiled, rightwing brats.

3 Comments

  • The Leader of the Packet 6/29 | File 770

    June 29, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    […] “Fandom is more than just puppies barking” – June 28 […]

  • Cat

    June 30, 2015 at 7:16 am

    The thing is that (speaking purely for myself, since non-Puppies are not a “side” and don’t necessarily have much in common except disapproval of slates) I actually like a lot of the Nutty Nugget aspects of SFF.

    I just like other things *too* and don’t want to be stuck eating *nothing* but Nutty Nuggets. And furthermore I think people who don’t like the Nutty Nugget side of SFF are still fans and the stuff they like should also be available. I want the breakfast buffet to exist, even if scrambled eggs makes me look hastily away and move to the other side of the table.

  • Martin Wisse

    June 30, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Sensible. Scrambled eggs are the devil’s food, especially in hotels catering to sf cons.

    But I like nutty Nuggets as much as the next bloke, unless it’s Brad — I got a weakness for the Honor Harrington books frex — but I just recognise that wanting the familiar over and over and over again is an impulse most of us grow out of by age eight or so.

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