Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I don't understand extreme fandom. While I can get caught up in TV shows occasionally (and will even fess up to owning the Barbie and Ken "Mulder & Scully" dolls from my XF fandays), my love for celebrities, music, shows, movies and authors never gets to an intense level.

As I've complained about mentioned before, my co-worker Michelle went on a two-week vacation to England. What I might not have mentioned is why she took days off without pay to do so: she is a Darren Hayes fan.

Now, I've never heard of this Darren Hayes before. And, quite frankly, even though she mentions him often, I still haven't really heard of him. I haven't heard any of his music or come across Darren Hayes stuff on the 'Net. However, it doesn't matter that I haven't heard of him. Michelle not only has, but she is stalker-ish in her love of him.

And it's that stalker-ishness that lead her to England. I don't understand the details... I do know that she has a website dedicated to him, and that she is also an active member of his fan club. I believe it is through these two connections that she was given an opportunity to get VIP seats to his concert in England.

Concert? Did I write "concert" in the singular? Well, yes, because that's initially what I thought was happening. But no, it turns out that she followed him from gig to gig for two weeks in England. And this isn't the first time she's done so, either.

I just don't get it, much in the same way I never quite got the Dead Heads, who spent nomadic lives following the Dead around from concert venue to concert venue. Or the way some people get it in their mind that certain celebrities are their soul mates, even though they've never even met.

I sometimes wonder where extreme fandom comes from. This desire to just plunk most of ones time and energy into the lives of celebrities (or movies. Or TV shows. Or...). For example, I never really "got" fanfic. Yeah, I know... fans write fiction stories using their favorite characters from TV shows or movies. But... I don't see the point in it. For one, the stories often replace what the essence of the show or movie is about with often inferior setups, storylines and characters. Of course, more often than not the author fantasizes that they are the hero (or the love interest). I can kind of understand that, I guess... but still, it seems like a waste of talent, time and energy to me.

The same with fan websites. In the beginning days of the Internet, I think fan-based sites served a purpose. The 'Net wasn't quite that popular yet, so these sites served as places for fans to keep abreast of the latest news, new releases, etc. However, now that most TV shows, movies, and celebs themselves have their own sites, fan sites seem trite and silly; pathetic homage to people who, in most cases, aren't worthy of such worship. Seriously, how many Britney Spears websites does the Internet need?

I went over to Michelle's fansite for Darren Hayes. It's kind of cheesy and definitely has that "homemade by geocities" look to it. As I looked at the first page, I saw this proclamation of love for Darren, based on some song he has out about being "good enough." She holds him up on a pedestal because he once sang about body image.

Well, I can't fault her for that... it's better than some Brit singing "You're Beautiful" over and over again. I mean, yeah, like that has substance. Still... the whole fan scene is a strange one to view from afar. She talks about him like he's her best friend, she worships him like he's the Second Coming, and she surrounds herself with pics of him... on her desk, on her computer, even has a bumper sticker on her car.

Even though she acts like a 14-year-old with regards to Mr. Hayes, I can forgive her that, though, because she did come back from England. And I do need her here, Darren Hayes pictures or not.

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