I think the high point in my fannish lifetime will always be, to me, SGA.
It's probably not true that it's the objectively best fandom that has ever lived. It had its problems: the utter dominance of McKay/Sheppard, the occasional flare-ups of wank, the obsession with convincing people that Joe Flannigan is the most beautiful person who has ever lived. My reflections on it are always going to be colored by the fact that it was a particular type of fandom that I hit at a particular time in my life.
But, seriously, it was a fucking awesome fandom. It was a fandom that made me hopeful about what fandoms could be. It was so full of thoughtful meta, ambitious sci-fi stories, fanworks that had the ability to be both deeply critical and celebratory about the original canon. It was also happening at the same time as racewank, which was both difficult and important to me. Race wasn't something I had been comfortable thinking about, growing up, and it was a rude and necessary awakening for me to go through. Acafandom became visible, and the discussion of fanworks as criticism came to the forefront.
It was a fandom that taught me so much, about how to write stories, how to think about stories, and how to think about myself. I don't know if we'll ever see the likes of it again, because it was just this confluence of super interesting things.
So how has fandom changed for me? The death of metafandom was kind of gutting, if only because it created a space for cross-fandom discussion, and it made it possible to feel like there was a singular Fandom, spread across our little fiefdoms. It was also an important space for discussing and policing fannish norms and offering advice on writing and posting and everything.
Tumblr obviously became big, and with it, I think I've lost a lot. We've gained things, GIFs and fanart and a more unwavering sense of social justice. But I feel like that sense of purpose I felt in SGA, that fic didn't just have to be fun and feelings-pleasing, but that it could mean things as well. Fan art could and should mean things. Fandom was a taking back, not just a leeching off of, the canons that it was based off of.
I wonder if something as depressing and as aching as Freedom's Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose could or would be as big a hit as it was in the Tumblr era. I don't know, and it makes me sad.
This entry was originally posted at http://thedeadparrot.dreamwidth.org/569309.html. You can comment there using OpenID or you can comment here if you prefer. :) comments there