Top 7 Frustrations I Have With Fandoms or Trying to Be a Part of One

People are fans of at least one thing. There are sports fans, movie fans, anime fans, literary fans, so on and so forth. I understand why people join fandoms because humans feel a need to belong somewhere. It’s only natural for people to feel that way whether it’s being in a group, convention, or even some online forum.

However, I have become so jaded and disillusioned with how fandoms can be.

Toxic behaviors, double standards, negative experiences, and zeal to fundamentalist levels are just a few that can turn people away from liking something or being a part of a larger group of those who supposedly enjoy the same thing in theory. With this list, I’m talking about my frustrations and negative observations with various fandoms. The thing is I rarely call myself a fan of something even if I may give something a high score on this blog. Maybe I’m more detached than I thought.

Let’s not keep messing about and get into my thoughts on the matter.


7: Questioning one’s fandom AKA “You’re not a REAL fan!”


This is one I’ve been noticing and it’s just stupid. I’m not talking about posers who are trying to fake it to get clout. I’m talking about someone who is relatively new or hasn’t experienced any and everything about that particular fandom. It could be someone who hasn’t read every book or side story of a certain franchise or may not remember every actor involved with a particular series. I’m not against fans doing their homework to learn about something about what they like, but some of the attitudes and elitism is very infuriating and very petty. I swear people really need to have more empathy instead of some metaphorical peeing contest on who is the better fan. It’s no wonder why outsiders can find some fandoms to be childish because of some of that behavior on display and it’s just sad seeing adults even in their 30s and 40s doing this crap. These same people should really know better.


6: Fandom schisms/civil wars

These are so petty and egregious it’s not even funny. I know the Star Wars franchise has been a punchline especially in the Disney era which various fans taking sides about the movies and various storylines. However, it’s not the only example I can think of. I can think of music fandoms mainly when it comes to member changes (different lead singers being the big one) with which line-up was the best one. Some of those conversations end up being straight up flame wars. Why should there be any kind of partisanship going on like political parties? It’s fine to have legit criticisms as opposed to being a sycophant, but barking until one is blue in the face as to what side someone should be on is just childish. If people had the same kind of fervor when it comes to important issues such as race relations, the environment, or poverty to name a few, then the world would be a much better place if it was put to constructive use.


5: Vote brigading

This is something I’ve seen more recently in different circles. For those that don’t know what vote brigading is, it involves collectively giving positive or negative scores for games, movies, series, books, etc. for a review site or the user ratings setting. Some people do this to inflate the numbers of the things they like or flame it to death especially if they don’t like a certain creator or person involved in that work. This has also been used as malignant stanning or as part of cancel culture. It stuns me with how organized these faceless avatars can be to make something look better or worse in regards to their fandom or others. I actually reviewed a movie that was subject to fan bridging on a lie and that was Birth of a Nation (2016) where people flamed in the online voting booths because of that false accusation towards director/actor Nate Parker. It’s interesting how people are politically unaware, but get in formation when it comes to entertainment to these polls. SMH.


4: Fandoms used as cliques

I understand that some fandoms can be tight-knit. I have nothing against that. What does tick me off is how people use their own fandoms as some kind of exclusive VIP club or inner circle to keep people out. Let’s call it what it is. This is some high school drama crap and what’s sad is when I see adults do it who should really know better. I definitely saw this firsthand in the music scene which made me so disillusioned on many levels and I have to stop myself before I trash certain genres. Even I felt like I didn’t belong to certain fan groups just because of some different opinions on matters or feeling like my thoughts on something didn’t matter even if it was positive. Back then, I was more of a people pleaser which I won’t lie about, but excluding others for something super petty or for worse reasons (racist, sexist, ableist, etc.) to keep someone out is beyond uncalled for. It’s no wonder why some people become jaded when they don’t feel safe around certain fan circles.


3: Making unjustified claims of something being a ripoff

Let me destroy some pre-conceived notions about me. I DON’T call everything a ripoff despite what one may think given some of the movies and series I’ve reviewed on here. With that being said, it annoys the crap out of me seeing people calling something a clone when it’s not deserved. I remember years ago where I was made fun of for liking La Dispute by two different people because they thought that band stole mewithoutYou’s style (and this is coming from someone who liked both bands!). Sure, both of them incorporate spoken word elements in their music, but mwY aren’t the first band to do so. Japanese band Envy beat them to it by eight years and you can even go back even farther to The Last Poets who make Aaron Weiss and company look like sheltered suburbanites in comparison. These accusations get under my skin like how some people think Antz is a ripoff of A Bug’s Life despite coming out first, RahXephon stealing from Neon Genesis Evangelion, or Anastasia being an “expensive Disney ripoff” to quote Nostalgia Critic. Ironically, that quote came from his Top 11 Villain Song list and I’ll let you guess how I can destroy that argument which what song was featured on that video as a form of his hypocrisy. When I do call something a ripoff, I back it up with facts, evidence, and logic instead of just making blanket claims.


2: Sycophancy

It’s one thing to like things, but to ignore all the flaws is just idiotic. Here’s an uncomfortable truth. Not everything is perfect. Even the stuff I give 10/10s may not be ranked that high with others. Why do you think I have an Adjustable Point System for all my reviews? I could call out certain movies or series that seem to get a free pass for their shortcomings or even problematic material in or outside of the movie or series there, but that’s not the point. Critic-proofing is a very counter-productive method because everything that’s created is subjective. I’m sure people hate my blogs or some of my own creative projects which I’ve learned to accept years ago. This is just another form of idolatry which is very ironic no matter if anyone believes in a deity or not if one wants to bring spirituality into this. This who stan culture or simping for shows or people is just mind-numbing and this problem has only gotten bigger from what I’ve seen.


1: People who only live for their fandoms


There’s nothing wrong with being passionate, but don’t let that passion turn into obsession. I can’t believe people could be this obsessed with what they like. It’s like their only identity of sorts with nothing else to live for. Once again, these are adults doing this nonsense It’s no wonder why I’ve shed so many former interests because I didn’t want to be that person. Sure, I don’t hide the things I enjoy whether it’s considered highbrow or even lowbrow, but I don’t want to be that guy who is ONLY known for the things I enjoy because I don’t want to be some shallow person like that. Something about it disturbs me with people see their fandoms as their only guiding light or possibly doing stupid or even illegal things for the love of whatever show, movie, or character they like. It’s also why you see a wide variety of material on here from different countries, genres, and types of things I watch. I’m no one trick pony, so I want to prove that I have a diverse an eclectic set of interests and hopefully that shines through in Iridium Eye. I just hope people can realize that a fandom isn’t the only thing worth living for.

What are your thoughts on this matter? Feel free to leave a comment on this post.

6 comments

  1. You’re telling it as it is. (Hi, I’m back. With a new blog. Because I need a new start. I’ve missed you.) I’m a bit cautious when it comes to fandoms. It can get ugly very very fast. One uncomfortable opinion and you are out in the cold and you might even be bullied and attacked. Happened to me when Yuri on Ice was a huge success. That became so toxic I still suffer from anxiety when I hear or see someone post pictures or posts about the anime. Sadly. Anyway, great post. I agree with you in pretty much everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Lina! Nice to see you again on WordPress. Thanks for the comment! I don’t blame you for feeling cautious with certain fandoms in joining them or having a contrary opinion. I’ve been bullied for liking things and for not liking things. I even had to deal with a comment expressing concern for not liking some movies and I did my best to logically explain why I didn’t like those examples. I haven’t seen Yuri on Ice, so I wasn’t aware of the toxic fandom. Sorry to hear about what you went through there. Thanks for checking out my post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s just insane how people think. And what even possess people to tell someone that their feelings are wrong? It’s just weird. And when it’s under the disguise of concern it’s even worse. I mean it’s not a strangers place.

        And thank you! Of course I’ll check out your post! I like what you read. 🙂 I just got back so I’m gonna try and catch up. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to get my blog to work. It’s amazing how much you forget after being away for a little while. 😮

        Liked by 1 person

      • Very much so. Some of them tried to make me feel insane for liking or not liking something depending on what it was. Concern trolling is devious with how subtle it can be as well as it being low-key psychologically abusive.

        You’re welcome. It’s cool that you wanted to check out my posts. I saw you read some of my other ones like my Top 7 list of characters fans are reluctant to call ripoffs. That was a fun one even though some people correctly guessed a couple of them. I also had some anime reviews like Gunbuster and Cybersix recently. I’m sure you’ll get back to the swing of things when it comes to blogging. Of course, the new block system has thrown everyone for a loop.

        Like

    • Same here. It is so weird when adults get into these kinds of drama. I even see people online who are older than me arguing about things like band line-ups or storylines on HBO shows. WHYYYYYY?!?

      Liked by 1 person

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