John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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Once more into the breach

OK, this is the more or less the last thing I intend to say about Will the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby? True Adventures in Cult Fandom by Allyson Beatrice. This is a passage I alluded to in my previous post, but I thought it deserved its own turn in the spotlight. From pages 51-52:

     PBP stands for Posting Board Party -- The Bronze posting board to be exact. It was an annual gala of epic proportions thrown by Buffy and Angel fans, for Buffy and Angel fans. The cast and crew of both shows would attend, along with four hundred or so fans from around the world. There was an auction to raise money for charity, and open bar in the VIP Lounge, very loud live music, and some sort of buffet buried in a back hallway somewhere. It was a gorgeous clusterfuck of a bash that everyone seemed to adore.
     Everyone, that is, except about sixty or so of us Bronzers who thought that perhaps things had gotten way out of control with PBP. Sixty compared with four hundred likely seems a small, disgruntled, bitchy minority. And we were. The day-to-day reality of The Bronze was that we only had about a hundred and fifty or so folks stopping by the forum every week at a regular clip. Sure, there were hundreds of lurkers who read the boards religiously, but we were there providing the daily fodder.
     PBP started out well enough. Generous handfuls of Bronzers showed up at a Hard Rock Café in West Hollywood and hobnobbed with producers and actors. It was way before my time, so I only heard anecdotes from those who were there, but it seemed like a good time. As the fandom grew, so did the party, and it became a distorted shadow of its once-intimate self. Old-school Bronzers would look around and wonder, "Who the fuck are these people?" No one knew.

Despite what I've written here in recent days, I neither like nor dislike Allyson Beatrice. Based on her own description of herself, I know I disapprove of some of the things she's done, and it seems we a difference of opinion when it comes to the nature of fandom and what it means to be a fan. But I don't know her. Some people can gin up hatred of people they've never met simply because they're on opposite sides of some issue (page 54: "I also became acutely aware I had chosen a side. Suddenly, the PBP Committee was my enemy, and though I had never met any of these people, I hated them all."), but I've never had the knack. But if I did dislike her, I don't think I could have made her look worse than she does in the three paragraphs posted above. I've rarely if ever seen a more extreme example of elitism and self entitlement. I would call her brave to paint such an unflattering portrait of herself... but at the same time I wouldn't be at all surprised if she doesn't realize that it is unflattering.

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