Home > Rambling > The Bad, the Worse, and the Ugly

The Bad, the Worse, and the Ugly

I have a very simple question to pose to you today. (Perhaps not so simple, given that I’ve been mulling over it for the better part of two years.) What is a bad fan?

Fans can be generally defined as people who fanatically like something – but what actions separate the good from the bad?

Is it a person who doesn’t financially support the artist, but downloads everything instead?

Is it a person who wants to become a major player in the fandom and resorts to harassment, stealing, and other sorts of wank in order to spread their name?

Is it a person who is delusional regarding the subject of their fandom, such that they believe s/he is their *~*ONE TRUE RABU*~* and may even stalk her/him, if the option is available?

Is it a person who likes only one part of the whole, instead of the whole?

Is it a person with absolutely nothing to contribute to the fandom other than inane and potentially insulting commentary?

Is it a person who automatically jumps to insults and derogatory words (see: bitch, whore, slut) when referring to people they dislike?

Is it a person who is insultingly outspoken about what they consider immoral only so that s/he becomes known as a major speaker on the fandom in question?

Is it a person who, despite being a fan, abuses language in their fanhood? (Note that this is not the same as not being proficient in the main language in which you are communicating – usually English. See: “hi minasan ginki des ka” as an opener, usage of the word “bakka” in reference to an idiot instead of the proper “baka”, random usage of the terms “kawaii” and “kakkoii,” and ending every other sentence in “ne.”)

Is it a person who may like the fandom in question, but are very outspoken regarding parts they do not like?

Is it a person who thinks that they have the right to judge who is a “true” fan and who isn’t?

Is it a person who is truly fanatical, someone who is almost rabidly unforgiving of anyone who holds a different opinion in regards to their fandom, even in a public forum for the open discussion of the topic?

Is it all of the above?

Or is it something completely different?

You tell me.

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  1. anon-san
    03/25/2011 at 4:25 AM

    “Is it a person who is truly fanatical, someone who is almost rabidly unforgiving of anyone who holds a different opinion in regards to their fandom, even in a public forum for the open discussion of the topic?”

    This might not be a bad fan but a very annoying one. Because they don’t understand the public forum etiquette and are unable of a good conversations because all the negative comments are wrong no matter what and they see themselves as the gods who are supposed to turn them down.

    • Kimitsu
      03/25/2011 at 1:51 PM

      While I agree with you that in most cases, this would only be an annoying sort of fan… without naming names, I had an episode with a person of this sort where while civilly disagreeing and not once badmouthing KAT-TUN, she immediately insulted me, AVTechNO!, and Vocaloid as a whole because in her eyes, KAT-TUN could do no wrong and all AVTechNO! wanted was fame by slandering her precious boyband. (This was the plagiarism scandal near the end of 2010, and AVTechNO! was not the person who pointed it out or even made a big deal about it.) Even other overseas KAT-TUN fans in that post were none too pleased with her, because in short, she herself was giving KAT-TUN and their fans a bad image. Now with this (albeit extreme) example in mind, I ask again – is that a case of a bad fan?

      Less specific, is being annoying is a hallmark of a bad fan?

  2. Ryo
    03/25/2011 at 5:03 AM

    Good questions made, ones that begs good time to reflect on.

    However, I need to ask this – who decides the measuring ruler of being fan? Some may consider that by not being a true fans is being a bad fan. Some may also say being a true fans IS being a bad fan. Some even say being a moderate or casual fan as NOT being a _real_ fan.

    Another thing is that all those questions made in the post are from the supporter’s point of view. What about the performers/artistes ? Don’t they get to ask which type are bad fans or not?

    Case in point: Google up “Yang Lijuan” and her adoration of HK star Andy Lau.
    http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20070416_1.htm

    Is she a good fan or a bad fan? Or is she a true fan? Does Andy Lau consider her a good or bad fan? So who does have the final say anyway?

    IMO, each to his/her own opinion. Nobody can have the right to judge.

    Peace

    • Kimitsu
      03/25/2011 at 1:51 PM

      There is definitely no ultimate right or wrong answer to this question. I agree – everyone will have their own opinion and certainly I have no right to judge if someone is a bad fan. I may very likely be guilty of some of the behaviors I’ve seen being related to “bad fans” myself. That’s why I’m asking the question, and asking readers to tell me.

      However, as probably most of us aren’t artists, I do think we can only approach this from a supporters point of view. What is fanaticism? What are the limits of showing your support? Is it okay to exclude consideration of outside factors in your personal devotion? Internet fandom makes it easy to be both isolated and united, so I think these are important things to consider when interacting in any way related to fandom.

      • Ryo
        03/27/2011 at 8:28 PM

        I am not advocating a point of view here. So I understand what you mean when you say that you think from supporter’s point of view, since I belong to the same category as well.

        But IMO, fanning is okay as long as it does not bother other people. Over-obsession for example it not a hallmark of a true fan or any fan in my personal view.
        Not only the person becomes a bad fan, it also becomes an annoyance to others, as you say. Just a quote from Andy Lau regarding his stalker-fan – “I don’t mind fans being devoted to me. But I do not need fans who do not love themselves first before loving me.”

  3. 03/25/2011 at 1:08 PM

    I tend to agree with most of what you said here, but there is one point I really disagree with. And that point would be, “Is it a person who doesn’t financially support the artist, but downloads everything instead?”

    In no way, shape, or form do I think downloading everything makes you a bad fan. The truth is not every fan out there can afford to support their idols or artists as much as they would like to. And I don’t think they should be ostracized because of it. Me for example, I’m 18, I live with my parents, and I don’t have a job. And because of that I only have 1 H!P CD,1 JE CD, and a few pictures. However, I consider myself to be a pretty big idol fan. I only have about 3 Jpop CDs, and 4 Jrock CDs and still consider myself to be a pretty big Jpop and Jrock fan.

    I also don’t think someone’s overall lack of Japanese skills makes them a bad fan either. It seems like about half of Japanese music fans can’t actually speak Japanese. Fans who can speak Japanese, or at least some what speak Japanese, might find their improper use of Japanese annoying, but it doesn’t make them a bad fan. It is extremely difficult to learn a new language, and you can’t fault someone for not being able to grasp the language that quickly.

    • Kimitsu
      03/25/2011 at 1:52 PM

      I probably should have included it in the post, but rather than my personal opinion, this is more a list of behaviors I’ve seen attributed to “bad fans.” Actually, I think that particular one came from a discussion I once had with Raid (who, in his consumerist glory, was very proud that he bought all he could.) I know my share of fans who will only buy part, but not all, and I can’t judge them as bad fans. I purchase CDs but never listen to them because I’ve already downloaded the MP3s – and despite having once made a post on the subject, I’m still not sure whether my buying CDs is an attempt to alleviate the guilt and be less of a “bad fan.” It’s a very touchy subject, especially when copyright and record companies are (and they inevitably will be) involved.

      As someone who has studied Japanese because I’m so interested in its pop culture, I do have to admit a personal irritation with lack of Japanese skills blatantly shown without at least an intent to improve. (This might also stem from anime fandom days, so it’s a long-running grudge.) However, I think instead of being an attempt to learn the language, the cases where this pops up are usually about creating an image – of being cute, being “fluent,” or maybe being more attached to the fandom in question. (While my examples were Japanese, I do recall that some Germans once made a post to teach fanfic writers about their improper use of the German language in Gyakuten Saiban/Ace Attorney fanfiction.)

      Whatever the case, can it be said that being annoying is a hallmark of a bad fan? I’m curious to know.

  4. 04/06/2011 at 4:48 PM
  1. 03/25/2011 at 12:12 AM
  2. 03/27/2011 at 8:59 PM
  3. 04/11/2011 at 3:08 AM

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