I've been involved off and on with fandom since...ooooo...grammar school (that would be pre-teens for you non-U.S. people). I can't say for sure, but definitely almost that long.
And I have to say, before this week the only Perfect Storm I knew about was the one I lived through back in 1991 when the No Name nor'easter battered the New England coast and killed the crew of the Andrea Gail out of Gloucester in the People's Republic of Massachusetts.
And yet, here I am, staring at what is possibly a true Perfect Storm in the virtual world of fandom culture. It is amazing and terrifying to behold.
( Wake up, because I think there's something at stake...Collapse )
Which gets me thinking: and it's something that I think we've all overlooked.
Look around you. Look at your FList. Instead of seeing that FList as a bunch of single pages, think of them as a list of individuals. And each one of those individuals have FLists of their own.
Then think about how fast information flashes across LJ — be it fannish stuff, or memes, or wank. Think how it sometimes jumps out of or into fandom, or communities with specialized interests, crossing not just the boundaries we put up via our interest lists, but also some real life barriers, like...geography, language, and national borders.
Then I want you to think of how many people are here. No, think about it. There are almost 13 million people here. (Source: LJ stats.) Sure, active bloggers are somewhat less than that, but even if you cut that number in half, that's still roughly 7.5 million people.
Do you wanna know what that is, kiddoes?
Now before you laugh it off, I want you to think about something:
Remember how back in March 2006 there were a bunch of protests over draconian actions (both real and proposed) taken with respect to illegal aliens in the U.S.? Remember how one of those protests involved 15,000 L.A. students who staged a walk-out and school administrators were caught off guard because there wasn't even a rumor this was going to happen?
Wanna know how they organized? MySpace.
A social networking site.
In fact, the social networking site that was the primary target of the so-called "MySpace Bill." The same bill that got shot down by mass action on the part of the online community.
Now I ain't sayin' that maybe my fellow U.S. citizens on LJ should be getting organized. And I ain't sayin' that maybe my fellow U.S. citizens should be dousing their friendly neighborhood Congress-critters with, oh, their opinions.
But wouldn't it be kind fun of we did?
I mean, people on LJ raised such a ruckus over Mary Jane and FanLib that people outside of our little world of LJ (not to mention outside of our little world of fandom) actually heard us bitch about it.
Now think of what we could do if we decided to start stomping on proposed laws that are not in our best interests.
While I'm not a Firefly fan, I truly can't think of a better call here:
I think that it's time we all aim to misbehave.
ETA: Thanks to mpoetess from pointing out that the fight over the so-called "MySpace Bill" happened last year. The original text has been altered to reflect that change. A big thank you to mpoetess for correcting me.