by Kathleen Bradean
I have a confession. I suck at fandom. If life were University degree, I’d have a bunch of survey courses and still no major. I like certain music groups, but I have no idea who the members of the band are, where they came from, or who they date. I go to at least three Galaxy (Major league soccer) games a year and watch more on TV, but I couldn’t name half of the line-up. I can’t think of a single television show where I’ve seen every episode.
When I see people with a consuming passion for something, I’m envious. How do you make old cars, a basketball team, knitting, Lady Gaga, renaissance life, science fiction, or basset hounds the focus of your life? How do you connect so deeply to a team’s accomplishments that you’re elated by their victories and destroyed by their losses? (Sure, I was elated when Spain won the World Cup, but that’s because I had money riding on them. That doesn’t count. I didn’t pick Spain out of love. I read a bunch of reports and determined that they were statistically my best bet.)
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a lot of things. As I mentioned, sort of the survey course approach to life. That leaves me free to immerse as deeply as I care to and then move on to the next shiny thing, but I wonder if I’m missing something by not giving my all to one thing. Fans have community where they share with other fans. With the internet, now they get to reach far beyond their cities and meet people from around the world who share their passion. And thank goodness they do, because it’s their fandom that keeps all the genres of music, television shows, books, and sports teams alive, so that I can flit by and enjoy them.