dear_fanlanders (dear_fanlanders) wrote in fan_landers,

Fanning The Flames

Dear Fan Landers,

Often I am struck with the urge to set fandom on fire. What should I do?

Incensed (but contained)

Dear Incensed,

Being struck with a strong desire to set fandom on fire and then to cackle with mad glee as the flames consume everything in their path is not unusual. Don't fear that you are in any sense out of the ordinary for entertaining this fantasy! However, it is important to recognize that a fantasy is all it is. Should you ever find yourself flicking a lighter near your computer screen in the hopes that the tubes are filled with nitroglycerin, matters will have certainly gone too far.

Fandom is not a restful place! Each day brings new fanwanks or flamewars, and if you are seeking them out--or if you innocently stumble across them on your flist--they can be so engaging (or enraging) that they are easy to fall into and far more difficult to escape. Articulate and passionate, fans can carry an argument well past the point of absurdity and thence past the point of cat macros. It's not surprising to find yourself in a situation where pyromania appears to be the only answer.

But, Incensed, there are other and better ways to deal with fandom! Venting to a sympathetic IM window is often the first step. Fortunately, your friends often wish to set ablaze the same things you do. If the issue of the day matters deeply to you, then a response post in your own journal (with metafandom either carefully encouraged or carefully discouraged from linking) might be the way to air your opinions.

Failing that, remember your happy fandom bubble. Be it a specific episode of your canon, a novel-length fic that can absorb your attention, a story you are writing, or a picspam you are building to express your joy about a pairing or show, your happy fandom bubble can protect you from incursions of srs bzns. Write a drabble in which characters are transmogrified into baby animals or everyday household appliances! Create a manip which demonstrates your pairing's resemblance to torrid romance novel covers! Vid a song so bouncy and happy that toe-tapping will inevitably follow! Hopefully, you will find that your firestarting tendencies will fade into the background.

Should all these techniques fail, gafiating is a smart option. If fandom has become less a place of escape and more a place to escape from, turn off your computer and walk away. It can be difficult with the post button so clickably near, but taking some time to breathe and consider deeply can be very liberating. Gafiating takes will power, but it is a tried and tested method of learning to love fandom again: absence makes the heart grow fonder. If you find that your life is better when you don't fear becoming Emperor Nero, then perhaps your gafiation will become permanent. More likely, however, you will recall all the things that make fandom great, and, rested and relaxed, you will feel ready to return.

That is, until fandom incenses you once again.


Fan Landers
Tags: gafiating, happy fandom bubble, srs bzns
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