As 2013 is ending, I also reflect on what I’ve learned from fandoms in general (in my case, largely Arashi). Obviously, this is a ripoff of Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.
Share everything. From links to photos to videos and everything else. But always respect the rules of the original uploader and be mindful that Johnny’s arm is very long (remember how they took out the Arashi photos from this year’s JE holiday exhibit?).
Play fair. Fandoms are filled with passionate fangirls. But if you’re going to engage in a fanfight, make sure that you are sensible and make your case coherently instead of just saying “%$£^@ get lost!” I myself enjoy intelligent discussions about fandoms but I hate being dragged to debates with fools because they will only drag you down to their level.
Don’t hit people. Most of the fandom activities happen virtually, especially in the case of international fans, and in this social media world, so the hits would be virtual too: blocked, unfriended or cyber-bullied. Of course there are times that “hits” would be warranted and I totally recommend blocking.
Put things back where you found them. In this case, credit. I am sometimes guilty of this too especially when I save say, a photo, and use it later and forget the source. Of course, if it’s a JE shop photo or a magazine scan, common sense tells you that the credit should go to JE or the publication, but there are those who scanned or uploaded who are particular about this.
Clean up your own mess. If you create trouble or misunderstanding, then clarify it if it’s going to help the situation. Otherwise, hold your peace.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Oh, aren’t we all guilty of this one way or the other? Sumimasen, Johnny-san.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Gomenasai, Johnny-san.
Wash your hands before you eat. Or rather, wash your hands before you smudge that precious DVD or LE album that you just splurged on because you know, they’re not exactly cheap. And those photos and posters, be careful!
Flush. Be good to your hard drive and buy an external drive and constantly clean your desktop. You’re welcome.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Fan service and a dose of Shukudaikun or CxDxG no Arashi are good for you.
Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Watch your idol’s varieties and learn something from Aiba’s experiments, draw like Riida (or Sho, depends if you want artistic or abstract), and sing and dance (it’s about time to take out that FUNKY tutorial again) to concert DVDs.
Take a nap every afternoon. Which I doubt you’ll do because, really, time is better spent watching videos and going through tumblr for those entertaining gifs.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Fangirls need to stick together
to fight fangirls from rival fandoms to petition JE to open an international fan club, among many other things. Or at least to keep from being hit by a speeding bus because you’re too busy ogling a billboard from across the street.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. One word, or rather, one name: Aiba.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we. So what do we do? Be an ultimate fangirl now and fangirl like there’s no tomorrow!
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK. And appreciate the beauty and wonder that is our idols.
Here’s wishing a fun-filled fangirl life in 2014!!!
© Yasminka Lee (blogging since 2001). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the contents in Orange Jasmine Purple Yam without permission from the author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Yasminka Lee/Orange Jasmine Purple Yam with appropriate link to the original content.