A question popped up on an OL FB page today that, again, got me to thinking. It was a question that has been asked and answered many times and some opinions won’t change no matter what. Some people who answered were obviously frustrated and got a little snippy. This particular issue, and several others, can be huge points of contention within certain factions of the fandom. That is too bad but not really what I wanted to address.
The person that asked the question was new to the fandom and had no idea the hornets’ nest that particular question can bring on. While many of the ‘book people’ have been around for 20+ years, and many ‘series people’ have been around for a couple of years – many more may be brand new and don’t know all the idiosyncrasies of this particular fandom. Impossible you say? Not so much.
Everyday someone new gets cable and maybe splurges on the premium channels so now has access to STARZ. They stumble upon Outlander, watch it and are hooked on the show without ever knowing before that moment it existed. They go hunting for other fans to share their glee with on social media.
A current die-hard fan finally convinces (pick any possible relationship) to give the show and/or books a try. Brand new fan. No idea the politics the fandom has going.
We all just came off a MAJOR award weekend. While it was disappointing that OL didn’t win any of the awards nominated for, but it was a huge boost in visibility. Caitriona, Sam and Tobias were SEEN and recognized. The show was talked about and promoted. I saw comment after comment on twitter the day after the awards saying ‘oh I hadn’t heard of that show (mostly Mozart in the Jungle?), I must check it out!’….so doesn’t it stand to reason people will be saying the same thing of Outlander?
All of us have to admit that there has been some pretty – harsh stuff – going around the fandom at various times. We are all unique people with our own visions and ideas – which means we aren’t all going to agree on things all the time. Discussion about differences in the show compared to the book compared to our own ideas of how we envisioned them is wonderful! Various facets of the same thing. What I am really hoping for as we prepare for S2 is that we can discuss these ideas without getting nasty with each other. No bigger turn-off to a new fan than infighting.
I keep repeating it – Courtesy and Common Sense. I repeat it for myself as much as anyone else because I too get frustrated and angry and say things I shouldn’t. Please let’s be kind to each other! Let’s respect each other and differing points of view. We don’t have to agree with each other to respect each other, we just have to be willing to listen to other POV’s. We don’t have to agree with them, but if each of us expects our POV to be listened to and acknowledged, then each of us needs to do the same in return.
I know for a fact we have lost at least a few ‘fans’ over infighting and nastiness. I myself have dumped out of groups and walked away from SM for a time, and I wasn’t even around the really bad nastiness.
If a quote from a cute rabbit won’t make you think twice:
“If you can’t say something nice – don’t say nuthin’ at all”
How about a request from a truly gracious lady and our living Lady of Lallybroch: