Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Murky Retrospect on Fandom: So I got Kicked out of the CT Fanclub.

So I got kicked out of the Celtic Thunder Fanclub.

And if you were to ask me, "Jo... what on earth? Why? How did you get kicked out of the CT Fanclub?"

I would tell you two reasons.

1. Officially... because they have a weird rule that all opinions have to be wrapped in unicorn glitter, and as you can imagine, I'm not great at that. I have always been a bit irreverent -- and honest.. but with pure and loving intent. It's why I get asked for my opinion. (Okay, I also got kicked out because I told them off when I realized that kicking me out was the endgoal. Full disclosure.)

2. In actuality... I got kicked out because I'm an elitist old-school fan who refused to follow rules that Sharon would never have asked or expected me to follow and the admins of the fanclub didn't much like that I challenged/ignored their authority.

My reactions to this have amused and interested me.

In part, there was indignation. "But it's me.  You can't kick me out. It's me."  lol I was one of the original 30 members on Celtic Thunder's website. It was my idea to develop the fan forum - which I did myself. I had Sharon's admin password until the ISP people were like, 'Umm, lady... that's not a great idea..." and she just gave me admin rights on my own account instead. I have been invited to more things that I could ever tell anyone about. And, whether it's true and earned or not, I feel a great deal of ownership of the CT fan community.  "I built this place and these whippersnappers think they own it?"

You can laugh. It's okay. I didn't say my reactions were necessarily reasonable. Reactions usually aren't.

I vented a bit. I vented a bit to my friends. I vented a bit to Twitter. I vented a bit to Facebook. I vented a bit to the producer and castmember I have always counted as my confidantes.

Probably the response to my ejection that cut through my indignation the most was "...and that's a bad thing because...?"

And they were right. That fanclub was not a healthy place for me to be and it was taking up far too much of my headspace. I'm just not the kind of fan who can exist in a worship echo chamber anymore, and that's the only kind of fan that had a place.

But, also, lying there at the bottom is this... There is a part of me that is sad that the me that I am --  enthusiastic, irreverent, loving and supportive, but also snarky and obnoxious and impatient-with-stupid -- was not okay enough to be there.  That a Twisted-Up-Into-a-Lie-Me would have been okay... but the real me just would not suffice.

And that the place that I built myself no longer wanted me.

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