I can’t believe that anyone thinks it is actually necessary to have this conversation, one that suggests that fans are life-avoiding losers. This statement in particular is utterly wrong: “And yet, it [fandom] is, by definition, a bit different from hobbies like cooking or learning an instrument in that fandom is in the service of someone else’s creativity rather than one’s own.” Aside from the fact that fandom is inherently creative within its own ranks, have you ever known of a creative success who did not start out as a fan? If everyone who disparages fan culture would just read Tolkien’s “On Fairy-stories,” perhaps they would understand the error of their ways and begin to grasp the life-affirming gift that is Escape.
I am speaking to you now, Harry Potter generation. Become the greatest generation. Show the world what fandom can do! The weapon we have is love.
“I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which ‘Escape’ is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?”
If, in spite of its defense of fandom, the article in Slate left a sour taste in your mouth, watch this and wash all the unpleasantness away.