How fannish do you get? How upset about fandom can you get? I think I had a pretty good reason to be jumpy and emotional after getting a string of anonymous hate mail but I always tell myself that direct disagreement signed with an LJ signifier shouldn't bother me. It sometimes does, though, because I'm human and people can be unintentional or intentional shits. And I know for a fact that my opinions can drive people up a tree (from whence they will pelt me with apples ... it just so happens that I like apples... I make cobbler of criticisms if I can.... never mind that concussion I got once from a Golden Delicious).
After promising myself I wouldn't write any more Bleach essays, I want to write a memoir of shipping insanity and life on the forums. My forum heroes are people like syneiam who have such a good sense of humor about fandom. I try very hard to be a model of politeness on forums but about every other week I feel the urge to type "ARE YOU AN IDIOT?" --which of course, I don't.
There's an extreme pc attitude that wicked_liz mentioned in one of her responses to my Authorial Intent essay that would have us all nod and bow that say that all opinions matter and my socialist democrat self is all for that. All opinions matter is quite different from all opinions are valid. All opinions contribute to the pursuit of truth and to the enjoyment and worthiness of the whole social enterprise of communication and discourse. I sometimes like to think of a good discussion, even one where no resolution or compromise is reached, as a third entity that floats over the heads of the arguers. A good dispute has its own soul.
But feelings are quite another matter, eh? In a frisky mood, I asked the husband the professional philosopher, "But all feelings are legitimate, right?" to which he snorted a bunch of incomprehensible stuff I'll have to argue with him about later. I had a therapist once (one of the two who died on me--there should be a "My therapists keep dying" support group) who said that all feelings are legit, even hallucination-inspired terror.
I wonder. How legitimate are feelings that are inspired by shadows? Or paranoia that someone is out to get you? Should someone try to change these feelings in someone else--is it ethical to interfere in the sanctity of of whatever anyone wants to feel? (It's Elul for Jews here--a time when apologizing is required of folks and I'm wondering if I should leave some people who would prefer to keep disliking me to their dislike... )
Before I wrote fandom essays I used to write a lot of letters to the editor and once, at some child-development and parenting magazine, there was a scathing essay against a much-beloved parenting doctor-author and most of the essay was centered around how "judged" this mother felt. "Why can't we all support one another?" The author wrote. I wrote back something about what was wrong with debate or disagreement--why is is that women, especially mothers, would go into these fits of insecurity if their practices or opinions were challenged. Men disagree all the time--then they go out for beer. Disagreeing with the validity of someone's argument does not ipsto facto constitute an insult, put down or judgement of the other's worthiness.
The author responded that my response sounded very "judgemental." *roll eyes* Am I the only one here in this subculture dominated by women who write yaoi and who appropriate text and who live for the illegal expressions of imagination that are not even a blip on the mainstream radar---am I the only one here who thinks that arguing can and should be fun? Why so many fandom kerfuffles? And why the passionate expressions of hurt feelings (guilty here--I've had my feelings hurt more often than I can count--but usually because someone thought I was being mean when I only meant to be contradictory).
So, a poll.
I've had my feelings hurt during Bleach debates
I refuse to answer on the grounds I may be incriminated
It's part of the fandom territory
I've been made uncomfortable but not really hurt, no
I willfully try to cause pain toothers
A couple times, not often
other (explain in response)
Other peoples' fandom opinions
usually interest me
interest, bore and irritate
make me want to jump in and offer an opinion
make me plot to discredit them
Make wish I were Kenpachi so I could will without conscience
add to the fun of fandom
add to the horror of fandom
other (explain in response)