What is this thing called Fandom?

Traditionally fandom is the state of mind that us ordinary folk find ourselves in when we become enamored of an entertainer, whether an actor, a musician, painter or author. It's an old tradition, as old as monarchy's, when the king or queen were considered by the common folk with affection and/or reverence. Today it's a much bigger ball of wax than it used to be. The thirst for knowledge about the subject of the fandom, for news of what they're up to, to catch a glimpse of them, in print and on film has created a thriving business for a certain ilk of photographer, not-so-affectionately called Paprazzo - or just 'Paps' for short (not said with affection either). These paps find buyers within the media, usually magazines, whether print, television network or cyber in nature, that strive to feed that fan-addiction, and yes, these publications can be part of the vicious circle as well. Fandom is an Ouroboros.. 

Harmless enough at first glance. But one must remember that fan's root word is fanatic. While most fans are well meaning, there are those among them who are actually dangerous to those they're addicted to. And while most in the public eye understand that their activities are of interest to their fans, they are finding it increasingly difficult to have anything like a private personal life, thanks in great measure to the twin evils of fan's thirst for knowledge and the pap's willingness to slake that thirst in whatever manner may be necessary. It has become a dangerously intrusive business. The entertainers are chased mercilessly from their homes through the streets to their destinations, paps lie in wait outside of restaurants and stores, hotels, at vacation spots, anywhere the 'chatter' indicates the presence of someone that is worthy of the 'media machine'. Both the entertainers and their pursuers have been injured, and there's at least one instance that it's suspected a death was caused by such pursuit.

Yes, the entertainers understand that they owe a certain debt to their fans, and the majority of them are willing to pay that debt through the entertainment they provide, whether it be a new film, book, a concert or display of artwork. Through public appearances at media events, charity fund raisers, promotional junkets, they will even often appear at high profile 'hot spots' where it is known that they will be seen, photographed, approached for a snippet of an interview. This price of fandom is reasonable, expected. But more and more often they are being stalked when they're going about the business of their everyday lives by paps who seemingly seek to catch them at their most awkward moments when they least expect or wish to be caught out. The price of fame say you? Really? To be under the microscope 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, year after year? Are you a fan who thinks this?

Then you will not wish to waste your time here for this is not the kind of place that you seek.

There are many kinds of fans and many levels of fandom, and some of us barely qualify for the label. There are fans who will travel across country to be present at a media event, there are fans who collect memorabilia, fans who write fiction. And among the fans who write such fiction there are different levels  as well. Those who write their stories and cloak them in false names and locations and situations and publish them as fiction. Those who write about the entertainer 'in person' and then publish their stories out here in cyberspace. Those who write such stories and keep them to themselves for their own pleasure. And there are many more who write such stories about the characters created by the entertainer, characters from books, movies, television programs. Many of these are published at a site here on the 'net that I will provide a link for below. It can be an enjoyable pastime, both to write and to read. This site is among those that barely qualify, it merely flirts lightly about the edges of fandom.














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