In the past I’ve been a fan of various actors. My fan experience however, only went so far as seeing movies or television shows in which the actor starred, reading the occasional interview and watching if they were going to be making a red carpet appearance.
All of that changed when I became a fan of RA. Google and I became close pals, I went out of my way to read or watch all of the interviews that were available, and I started lurking on blogs. The blogs provided me with a sense of belonging, even though I never commented. I thought to myself, “Hey, there are other people as interested in this guy as I am!”
Eventually, I started my own blog. It started out as a place to post about various issues, but morphed into being mostly about my favorite actor. Over all this experience has been wonderful. I’m made some friends and begun to spread my wings creatively.
But the last few days have made me question whether or not I really want to be a part of such a community. Maybe I’ve led a relatively sheltered life, but I genuinely didn’t expect some of the hateful things I’ve seen of late. I just wonder when we cross the line from simply expressing our opinions to being at least borderline bullies.
Don’t mistake me, I think each and every person is entitled to their opinion. And I welcome hearing said opinions. It would be ludicrous to think that we would all be of the same mind on controversial subjects. However, maybe it was the way I was raised, but I expected better. I expected divergent opinions to be expressed with a modicum of common courtesy and respect. Perhaps my vision is skewed, but some of the comments I’ve read are so vehement or so very specifically directed that to this blogger at least, they come across as personal attacks.
I’m still thinking all of this through, but I don’t think I’ll ever be participating in a fandom wide event again. There are people I know and respect, and I think they may be enough for me.