Fandoms At Large: Are They Taking It Too Far?

Fandoms At Large: Are They Taking It Too Far?

I didn't know harassment played a role in fandoms as well.
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You might have heard of the word "fandom" and it being related to TV shows, anime, comics, and even book series. In very loose terms, the word "fandom" can be defined as a group of people who are generally interested in the same form of media and through that, ideas tend to be shared, fan art is made, and people come together because of the thing they're interested in. Fandoms generate art, cosplay, fan fiction, and even meet-ups where people can come together for events. So where did these communities emerge from and how do people interact with each other in these groups?

Luckily the Internet is here for that.

Across various social media platforms such as Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit exists these multiple fandoms where people can discuss and participate in their interests. Social media makes it really easy for people to connect with each other and generate these things for their different fandoms and even allows fans to be able to communicate with content creators. In a lot of ways, fandoms bring a handful of really good things to communities and even individuals. I can't speak for every fandom, but I've heard of numerous instances where people from certain groups get together and host events, raise money for charity, and generally just bring good things to those around them. However, despite the feeling of comfort being with people who are similar to you and being a part of such a big thing, can fandoms take it too far sometimes? Oh, they definitely can.

As I mentioned in a previous piece I wrote about the show "Steven Universe," one of the central themes that plays a big role in the show is the aspect of LGBT+ relationships and its importance. As someone with first hand experience, let me tell you, the "Steven Universe" fandom is huge. Every year I see more and more merchandise, cosplayers, and art made by fans because they love the show so much. Even I've been introduced to some of the most important people in my life because of this show. Because the show is centric around diversity and LGBT+ themes, the community is full of people from that group. This can lead to a few instances that many consider as discourse.

What happens when fans are so vocal and passionate about their favorite relationships and pairings from a show? Sometimes when things don't go their way, they get mad and recently, fans of "Steven Universe" have reached a really low point with their anger. Storyboard artist Lauren Zuke for "Steven Universe" has recently deleted and left her Twitter account after instances of being harassed for a few days. According to a Reddit forum, fans were upset at Zuke for writing the relationship between two characters, Lapis and Peridot, being like an old married couple as a "joke" in the recently aired episode titled "Beta." Ironically enough, they even accused her, a gay woman, of "queer baiting" the pair, which is defined by fans being teased of the possibility of certain relationships occurring but never actually happening.

A lot of fans are reaching out to Zuke in support, but the fact that people harassed a content creator for the show itself off of one of the most popular social media platforms used to communicate easily still baffles me. They're fictional characters, first of all, and I highly doubt that Zuke's intentions were bad towards any of the content she creates for the show, not to mention that this show portrays heavy LGBT+ material. So why do people in fandoms think this sort of behavior is okay? Why is no one stopping people from doing these things?

Fandoms may bring good things, generate a community, create content, and help people find a group to fit into and belong, but a lot of times people need to be reminded that sometimes their actions can harm people too.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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5 Songs to Add to Your Playlist This Month

Spring into finals week (and the summer) by "cleaning up" your playlist

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Here are some fun, fresh new tracks to check out as you finish out the rest of the school year and help you get out of your "music comfort zone!"

“Patience” by Tame Impala 

Genre: Electronic/Alternative

Tame Impala FINALLY released new music (!!), and this track is absolutely stunning. With frontrunner Kevin Parker staying on brand with the band's psychedelic, seemingly ethereal style, it sounds like a combination of 70s soft rock and waves of modern-day electronica, with Parker's voice drifting in and out in a kind of otherworldly, mellowed-out manner.

“Harmony Hall” by Vampire Weekend 

Genre: Alternative/Indie Pop

Vampire Weekend is also releasing an album, entitled "Father of the Bride", on May 3rd. From the looks of it, this track relates to the theme of marriage/weddings present in the album's title, and it is a fun, upbeat song that I have been listening to a lot in the morning as I'm getting ready for class! Ezra Koenig's voice is so unique and can cover a broad range, and I highly recommend listening to some of the band's other work as well ("Step" from their 2013 release "Modern Vampires of the City" is one of my all-time favorite songs!).

“Ready to Let Go” by Cage the Elephant 

Genre: Alternative/Alternative Rock

So many great artists are (finally) releasing new albums this year, and Cage the Elephant falls into this category. This track is an absolute banger and doesn't stray much from the band's style in that it includes a lot of loud guitar and dynamic vocals. Like Vampire Weekend, Cage the Elephant has been around since the early 2000s, and I highly recommend checking out some of their earlier work as well (big fan of their most recent album, actually!)

“Apple Orchard” by Beach House 

Genre: Indie/Electronic

Beach House is one of my favorite bands of all time, as I find a kind of an ethereal, beautiful sadness in the dreamy style of instrumentalist Alex Scally and lucid vocals of singer Victoria Legrand. This track is from their 2006 self-titled debut and is probably one of my favorite songs they've ever released. The lyrics are poetic and perfect for the post-finals enjoyment of spring weather, in that they preach relaxation and restfulness, and the song's electronic rhythms echo the essence of spring as well. If you like this song, then I highly recommend checking out the band's other albums as well (Depression Cherry is one of my favorite albums of all time).

“April Come She Will” by Simon & Garfunkel 

Genre: 60s Pop

No spring playlist is complete without a little Simon & Garfunkel! This song is a classic, its timeless, poetic lyrics capturing the epitome of the coming of spring and all its glory. In fact, I consider the entire album (entitled Sound of Silence) to be perfect for the pleasantness and feelings of renewal/natural revitalization associated with the coming months, so be sure to give it a listen if you haven't heard it before!

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