Faithful readers may remember my idiosyncratic definitions of fanboy/girl
. Okay, maybe you were all trying to forget. But never mind. I may have been onto something back then.
Next time I get accused of having "broke" Tezuka or Harry Potter
, I'm going to invoke certain consequences of Thompson's theory of mediated quasi-interaction
--namely as it relates to over-identification with and dependence upon the distant other. People who see fit to rain verbal abuse on my virtual head whenever I complain about Tezuka's misogyny and Rowlings' mediocrity are clearly people unable to separate their sense of their own individuality from the object of their fannish devotion. They think any attack on their beloved fandoms is an attack upon the very core of their selves.
Well, I'm sorry...but people whose identities have become so inextricably wrapped up in a product of the mass media that they lash out whenever it is denigrated are pretty pathetic, doncha think? Especially when, from a non-fannish point of view, so many of those products are so profoundly flawed. Luckily for me, inasmuch as I am a fan of anything, I'm a fan of the act of reading in general...and reading is not, categorically, a form of dependence upon the distant other that merits much censure from any front these days. Even if I have
come to be over-identified with my love of reading, no one is going to conduct a serious assault of my sense of self over the purported ills of reading. (If I lived in the 19th century, however, it would be a rather different story.)
But quite frankly it shouldn't matter if what you love is reading "great" books or watching "great" monster truck rallies. Even if you are over-identified with your fandom, is your self really so fragile that it cannot withstand the occasional blow? If it isn't, we're just beginning to scratch the surface of your personal problems. Besides, ask yourself this: Is the truest, most respectable love about refusing to see another's faults? Or is it seeing their faults clearly and loving them unconditionally anyway? Jesus and the Buddha, at least, would argue the latter. (Not that I'm religious or anything, but I think it makes a good point.)