Apr. 29th, 2015

pfeffermuse: (Gone But Not Forgotten)
Maybe it's because I don't keep any close ties with my blood relations (for reasons too complicated to go into), but I feel a deep sense of loss with each passing of one of my fannish favourites.

I chose Bing Crosby for this particular icon, because I had the opportunity to know Der Bingle in the last few years of his life. I was more familiar with Big Band/Swing music as a kid, than I was with rock 'n' roll. So when my mom took me to one his last concerts, I asked her to help me write a fan letter. After that, we corresponded for about two years before his death. Whether I actually knew the real Bing or merely an actor pretending to be interested in the life of a young kid, I'll never know. But, of course, I prefer my memories of this very sweet gentle man. (And yes, I know all about the history of his first and second families.)

I've seen other fans ask why their peers are interested in the actors beyond the roles they've played. I'm not sure I can give an answer to that. For me, it's to thank the actor for creating a character that was so compelling that for a few moments each week, I was drawn into the landscape they inhabited.

In that magic place hidden behind the glow from a TV picture tube, I could escape the world around me. And believe me, when you grow up in a generation where geeks and nerds are not looked upon with anything but disdain, it was a wondrous place to be.

When I wrote my first fanfic (not about Bing, though), it opened a new universe for me. Yes, it was a horrific Mary Sue -- and it took time to grow out of that phase -- but it was a place where I could do or be anybody I chose. I still write some Mary Sue fic (of course, I use the more mature "avatar" verbiage), and it's still just as much fun. It'll never go beyond my hard drive, but I don't care.

We've lost a lot of childhood icons over the past decade; we're sure to lose more. But, as long as fandom keeps writing or giffing the characters they portrayed, they'll always be there frozen in time, with our memories of them as fresh and exciting as they originally were.

That's one of the many reasons I think that now that fandom has all this technology at its fingertips, fandoms old and new should be introduced to each other. It still is one of many points where I get mad at OTW and its lack of outreach to both older and younger generations of fans. Yes, fandom is never stagnate, but there is room for everyone in here. It shouldn't just be about what the BNFs view as important today, but what the BNFs/MNFs/NNFs viewed as important yesterday, and what they'll view as important in the future.

And yes, I know Fanlore exists, but without outreach to those small fandoms, who's going to tell their stories, and tell them honestly.

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Pfeffermuse

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