News from the Statesmen!


News from the Statesman


Pic source:

Art relies on fans, but is there an aesthetic that relies on itself to be masterpieces? Fandom, while it’s the best to savor, is a question that all have to ask. When I was talking with a friend we were debating the idea if the Wu-Tang Clan should make a double album to a sequel to their classic hip hop album Wu-Tang Forever. The pleasure of debating what the fans would want got me to ask the question, do we hold them in standard or are fans just adoring people who love what artists do? To gain a mass following has to be timing in the culture, and today there is no other way to say it, how do the fans own something and the artist doesn’t? But I caught myself saying, “They owe us this.” And I immediately stopped myself to savor the idea that I fell into a fan trap. Thinking that artists owe something to the world because the fans demand it. Ask any Star Wars fan about the Last Jedi, the Eighth installment of the Star Wars franchise, and many debates will arise. George Lucas created a bible on how to treat the fans, and treating them with respect is the first rule he created, when starting the Star Wars franchise. But how does this favor with someone who wants art but doesn’t want what the artist is giving them? Alan Moore debates that the “artists job to give them what they need, and not want” because “if they were the artist, they would know what they want.”

While having fans is a good thing, and shows that you can connect with people, the idea of artists owing something to people is an absurd idea. It’s like asking for a coke from a bartender and you get a Pepsi instead. Now, if that’s all they had, then that’s a different story, then choose something else. What is allowed is that artists making things that people sometimes disagree with. William S. Burroughs never considered the “audience” but was daring to create something that most others don’t want to see, is a new style. A compromise is that most artists do think of their fans, and while others concede to giving the fans what they want, but do they really give them what they need? Artists need fans, but how much do they need their criticism? The star of Game of Thrones took to the internet to have a poll done to counteract the backlash the finale of the last episode had. It’s hard to please people, for some would ask why should we bother? With the rise of the Internet, you have more YouTubers than ever. What allows fans to vent is the idea that they will be heard across the world, but how can fan backlash create a career on YouTube? If market revenue really needed the hatred of corporations, McDonald’s would be crowded with sexy models who think being fat is a crime, and should outlaw McDonald’s.

What others think is quite literally the opposite of corporations and artists think. For my standards, I don’t like the word corporation. It sounds too businesslike when I am the opposite of a businessman. I don’t think in numbers, and I rarely ever consult a calculator to solve the answers to life. In 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami, Tengo, the main character, is a math teacher and prides himself in the idea that math is “logical” and art “needs to go off the tracks.” It’s a desperate call to make sure art is never made. But fans aren’t just looking for what they want, they also need to see something from that artists, novelist, painter, to be inspired. Fandom is a reminder that not all you see is inspiring on first read, glance, or admiration. Sometimes I just want to google scenery from Rage 2 just to have that color in my head. I will play Wolfenstein 2 when I’m feeling all might fail with the world. We all need Art that comforts but also challenges us.

Yes, fandom is good. It shows that people are interested in your work, but do the real artists go and look for people to inspire them, or do they find themselves an inspiration to be seen? Has a constant elevation of artistry seen a downward spiral in what they seem to admit is the only thing that we all look for is Art? Art with a capital A.

But does fandom mean that the artist must relinquish his rights over to the fans? Art becomes something else to others, and they are in control of art when they think it’s their responsibility. Who gets up in the morning and thinks about writing their best every day? Not the fans. They act like they want to be a part of it, but they have to wait. Fans have to wait. Fans have to wait and debate what that artist might do. It’s not only unfair to think that while people are suffering, waiting for the next season of their favorite show, it takes a long time to make. Not only does this mean constantly rewriting the show, but allowing other writers and sometimes let the actors change the work to help it work with their dialogue. Sometimes a novel is more about getting the style right and making sure that it can fit within the context of the world. Fans must think artists are deviants as they sit and ponder what they do all day, and dreaming it would be fun for them to help the writer. The artist knows what he is doing. This is not up for debate.

This may sound like your older brother or Father talking to you like this, but pull up a seat and listen carefully. The writer, painter, and anyone who is in control of their art knows what they are doing. A complete artist would think he has it under control, but Fans aren’t so easy to believe that people know what they are doing. Fans think they have based their contempt in the way the writer is always thinking about himself. Yes, he does think about what he wants, and however it may sound like it’s not working for the fans, it may be working for the artist. People who complain about art online really do not have the slightest idea on how to make art or think it could work. Writing and making art takes a long time, whether there is a diligent enforcer acting like the coach getting the writer through the day. If a writer isn’t thinking about his work, he isn’t thinking about the fans.

The fans are what makes Art recognizable, but there is something that most fans forget about. Corporations. Just close your eyes and see Lucas Film logo in your heads and you will see what corporations look like. What makes this different is that what you see as corporations is what someone controls at the outset. The creator takes the time to put his work into copyright. It can take about six months to get a novel copyrighted, and however it shows, there is enough problems in trying to make sure the book is deeply corrected, or deeply disturbed in complications through the artists own desire entirely.

What makes fandom dangerous is that people are willing to debate it all day, but their tirades on the Internet do not help the people complaining. It only makes them look like children, and they always complain about “but it’s my money,” and when you sit back and think about it, you have to trust where art goes and you can’t complain all the time. It may get you views on YouTube, but this is because we are in a dangerous time where fans think they can control all the Art in the world. Yes, Art means something to a lot of people, sometimes negative, or positive, or a grey area where it can stay or go. A complicated person might have a deep relationship with Darren Aronofsky movies. Sometimes they just want to put on MSTK 3000 at night because they have trouble sleeping. It doesn’t stop the bad dreams, though.

What makes most Art unique is that it is from one person who has vision and clarity and the fans want vision and clarity. They want to be thrilled, made to cry, or be a better person after seeing something that moves them. The Fountain, by Darren Aronofsky, moves me in ways that I can’t explain. The lighting, the bombastic approach to finding a new way to be better in their art. Sometimes critics are wrong, and the audience is right, or vice versa. But what makes it constantly seem a different approach is vision, uniqueness, and style. If you have ever read Burroughs’s cut-up novel trilogy, his books are littered with an incoherent yet readable page that has no end or beginning.

What makes Art unique is taking a chance in a new direction. Nothing is ever allowed to make it beyond the date of purchase, but it means something if an artist put his time and love into it. Of course, artists have different strengths, and sometimes it means that some have more emotional burns than intellectual. Star Wars is by no mean an intellectual movie. Frederick Nietzsche demands more attention than say Star Wars. Seneca also. But it means that different things mean that not everyone is going to react to it the same way. Genre movies blend their ideology within their fiction. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus’s character, BJ Blazkowitz, is often at odds with the times he is living in and where he came from. But does that mean that translates often? Art has a sense of mystery to their art, and however mysterious it is, there is a sense of what the audience must interpret. Fandom is a recent revelation that comes when something hits a popular moment in the culture. The culture used to define what it means to be popular and successful. As Moby said on the Bret Easton Ellis podcast, “Eccentric people used to make things and they then would reap the rewards.” But alas, that culture doesn’t exist anymore. It left a gaping hole.

But it was 1992 that changed the whole of society. Yes, the Internet. It made companies go online and never put up a store ever again. Publishing industries had to adapt to the new rise in the e-book market, which didn’t necessarily destroy the publishing industry, but it created new avenues of business. It was not a bad thing to have your book published on an e-reader. Music and iTunes also helped people change the way they listened to music. But with the rise of most companies like Amazon, iTunes, it gave way to successfully create a new independent market.

But with new technology, comes a new wave of fandom. Fandom also means that people could complain, but people know what good criticism and bad criticism is. I am skeptical of it sometimes, but smart people do know, and if a reviewer has the balls to admit he might be wrong, I consider that an honest review. If English is not their second language, I don’t mind that someone will put out a middle of the road review. But again, fandom does discourage people from buying books they don’t understand. People should respect the author and what he or she has to say. But again, opinions are just opinions, but fandom can make people hate things for the wrong reasons. Fandom can make the audience seem destructive. It’s just Art. Everyone gets upset over different things.

For fandom to take over YouTube is beyond disturbing. It’s not like I don’t want them to have opinions. Everyone should have opinions. But people should know that opinions don’t matter at all. No one has to take opinions seriously. Why is the NYT Op-Ed even given a fair chance, because it seems like everyone has an opinion, but they have no other opinions than to discredit artists? The NYT Review of Books can destroy a person’s career, and they wonder why people don’t take them seriously. It’s not like they know this isn’t true, but fandom and reviewers can both do a good job of destroying artists lives.

The Wu-Tang Clan was banned off HOT 97 for ten years, meaning they couldn’t play their shows or play any of their records. It means a lot when someone hates your work. When the fans love you, it’s like you can’t do wrong to them. But once you piss them off, all bets are off. A question of whether love or hatred can sustain someone’s career is a foolish idea. Love is only about half of what you are worth. Hatred duplicates what you are in someone’s eyes. You can be an angel or a devil, and sometimes, playing both sides is worth it in a career. You can do whatever you want with your life. But fandom is what makes the knife in the artists back hurt. A common misconception is whether fandom is the case when someone can truly ever exist. We all are a spirit of the same flesh, so we all exist, so why does fandom matter?

Fandom is for people that could never write in their life. They look to someone else to latch onto and be a part of their life. It’s hard to fathom whether fans might be there or not, but they are not worried about us. They care when they hate us, and they can decry our work and shit on our faces, but then they get offended when we don’t look to them for guidance or wisdom because even that artist is the only one who thinks about getting up and fulfilling his duty to his craft. Fandom is sometimes ignorance too.

Fans only think they exist when someone else speaks through them. Fan Fiction is the denial of what the artist actually interprets in their own vision. To be a fan is to accept what that person does, even if they didn’t like it. The entertainment industry changed how people are going to survive economically. Sometimes people have to go against industry standards. That’s why I stop myself when I think artists owe me anything. I don’t want famous people to owe me another book, artist, or a device unless they wanted to make it for me and the rest of the world. All I do is write for the world, but they don’t read my work. Unless there is a silent chamber between my old and new testament work.

But compared to what most fans think, they have a little comparison as to what makes Art good or not. Opinions are subjective, and if more YouTubers realized this, maybe they wouldn’t go online and talk shit about Rian Johnson or GOT because normal people do not make art. Online blogging and Vlogging has made the idea of journalism, criticism, seem like an ancient art form that has been on the mountaintop held by a Chinese wise man, and now there is no mountain anymore because we create our own mountain. Journalism is not commonplace, but technology has helped people like me reach new avenues I would not be supported on. If we all had to wait for a publisher to accept our first art, comic, or whatever your passion is, no one would be happy.

Sometimes writing a book and putting it out makes people calmer than waiting on a publisher that doesn’t really care about you. And if you don’t like the “wear them out” method, you are going to not get published, back in the day, but now, people can put their art online and they can make money for themselves. Perceptions are best allowed to make others think they can control things. If a company owns your characters, you are screwed. But fandom, the onset of Internet culture, thinks the author doesn’t own it, but the audience does. Nope.

That misconception is what makes fans obsessed, passionate, and crazy for loving something they can’t control. A deception further allowed in the fandom community is the idea that however justified, we can attack the creators. This is not healthy for a fan community. You accept what they do, but you don’t have to be happy with the results. As much as I say this, nothing will ever make anyone happy. You can’t go out into the world thinking everyone will love you. You have to admire what people do, and if it’s not your thing, say so, but don’t dismiss what others think.

It’s fandom that makes the world interesting, and art can thrive because people are hungry for more Art, but is it because we are oversaturated that we feel that we don’t have to take time to invest in something that seems different? Here’s a line everyone says: “I’ll just wait until Netflix has it on.” But why do you need Netflix when all that you may see is not the same when you meet something you have never seen before but you are interested deeply, passionately, that you have to remove yourself from it.

I am aware that people love their movies, books, games, but somewhere, it took someone else to set up a company and make it their own. Tolstoy almost fell into the trap of letting his work go copyright free so that other people could read it. But why is there a right to say that fans own something when they don’t know what copyright is? They can make fun all they want, but it takes one person to change their mind. Just be open and present to a new idea. Don’t dismiss it. And yelling all day on YouTube, won’t help you in your career.

The slash and burn technique can only work when you are aware of what you are saying, and people who yell and scream on YouTube, are just another reason why fandom is beset by the same old problems in a digital era. People want control, but they don’t have it. Some advice: be open to new things. Let something happen. Don’t put your hands on it. Be free of control, and you won’t be controlled in the end.




Comments are closed.

Recent Comments

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner