Thursday, 10 May 2012

Fandom plagued with delusional and obsessed fans? | Regarding the fake ‘official’ fandom incident

Despite how this week is so filled with many happy news, pictures and videos of Kim Hyun Joong’s successful fan meet in Singapore last Friday, we are having some little hiccups here because of another side issue that has been creating some unhappiness and discussion among the fans, particularly fans in Singapore. As a fan myself… I got to say I feel the same way…..

Honestly? Fans like THIS are the reason why many of us are afraid to let other people know that we are fans. Not because we are ashamed of being fans, but because there are some fans who are not only unpleasant, delusional (not to mention lying through their teeth, but that might just be part of their delusion. Hmm.), they are also extremely LOUD (Please see HERE cc: Ling), which unfortunately reinforce the negative stereotype of fans as crazy and delusional people who do stuff like stalking their idols.

I mean, honestly it’s fine if some fans want to spend their entire income purchasing their idols’ merchandises obsessively. It’s their own choice. Some fans just happen to feel they don’t mind doing so, and can even afford to do that. And really, I think it’s even fine if some fans want to do stuff like hiring a cab and stalking their idols around the country. I guess everyone has a right to do whatever they want with their own money and time.

Yeah, do whatever you want but it’s definitely not okay when there are fans who do crazy stuff and go on a newspaper to talk about it, as though they’re proud of it, and worse, misrepresenting the rest of the fans who may not do stuff like that, not to mention how we also frown upon such stalking activities, due to the likelihood of it causing harm and danger to the star.

Thanks to crazy fans who do stalking and portray obsessive and delusional behavior such as the group mentioned above, the rest of us are forced to deal with the negative representation of what we as fans are and do.

It gets even more serious when these fans openly accepts payment from other fans to join their ‘official’ fan club, possibly conning innocent and unknowing new fans out there who may not be as well-versed with the fandom. Fans, please be careful before making any payment to anyone anywhere, no matter what they say, always check twice, trice, about how legitimate they are.

And okay, maybe we’re being overly worked up about this. Maybe these people are ignorant, new fans too who have no idea that an OFFICIAL fan club recognized by KEYEAST already exists, by the name of HENECIA (Korea and Japan). But how should we explain the fake notice that they have the audacity to write and post it up on their webpage? (in bad English. I know English isn’t their first language, but can’t you at least try to fake it more, I don’t know, realistically? Like follow KEYEAST’s usual format or whatever?)

If it wasn’t for this blatant lie here, I would have kindly written off these fans as delusional and wacked, but otherwise harmless and ignorant about the fandom to not know any better; creating a fan club and calling themselves official in this manner.

But faking a notice to try to ‘prove’ this lie? A lie upon another lie, not to mention how this email also uses the names of KEYEAST CEO, KHJ and his PA without their consent or permission. Girls…. I’ve seen your pictures and you guys don’t look like young kids. Do you know that this makes yourself liable for legal action, due to wrongful and unauthorized usage of another person’s name and identity? Are you sure you don’t know any better or is there some other funny reason why there’s a need to try to fool other fans in this way?

I guess the thing that kind of pisses me off as a fan is how misrepresented I feel. Fans are already having a hard time being treated seriously, and over the years we have all made progress – in terms of the charity that we do to try to help KHJ. E.g. LKHJ has done a charity project (remember the ‘socks’ project?) to help the victims of the Japanese Tsunami in 2011 last year.

Fans have also established some form of proper conduct unofficially among ourselves – such as how it is unanimously agreed that obsessive behaviour such as stalking is frowned upon. Peer pressure kind of helps to remind fans to control their temptation to stalk him, and if they really do, they at least keep a safe distance far away and give the star the privacy and comfort that he deserves.

Fans have also gathered their power and do a lot of support activities, such as bulk buying to support his albums and digital sales. Fan clubs have even collaborated to try to do support activities during KHJ’s official events, such as preparing small gifts and tokens to give out to all the fans.

For this fan meet especially, there has been some kind-hearted fans who have donated money to help the younger fans who couldn’t afford a ticket, so that everyone could go and attend KHJ’s event together and have a good time.

As fans, we have worked hard to make progress, partly because we believe this will help Hyun Joong in a realistic way, and also because I think subconsciously everyone is really tired of the negative stereotypical image that other people often associate fans with.

I mean, hello? Fans are not just crazy people who have no life and spend all the time queueing, buying merchandise, screaming and worse, stalking their idols okay? I’ve met a bunch of incredible people with respectable careers; many of them are highly educated, some even hold positions in higher management, some are married, have children and families and they have other things to do in life than just dreaming about Kim Hyun Joong, okay?

It’s kind of insulting to belittle fans and assume that just because we scream a little at concerts and fanmeets, this automatically assumes we’re all crazy, failures in life and have nothing better to do.

I would say some fans I know are even more successful than most people I know out there who AREN’T fans. This is not to say that being a fan makes you more successful. But just as we fans don’t judge non-fans, don’t we deserve the same treatment too? None of us are judging your hobbies either, so why judge ours?

Let’s say you’re a stamp collector and you are happy to pay thousands of dollars to collect a stamp, which is no more than a piece of paper to some people but whatever, we aren’t judging in the same way, we’re happy to pay to go watch a concert or fly to some other countries to watch them.

Why should certain hobbies be considered more ‘sophisticated’ while others are just delusional and obsessive? Talk about double-standards yeah?

We’re happy and we’re not crazy. We know there are other things more important in life other than collecting an autograph. We do other things too and as fans, we have all made a lot of progress towards being the kind of fans that support our stars realistically, in a way the benefits them and hopefully also benefits society.

Most important of all, we know that after that two hours of screaming and cheering in the performance hall, we go back to our reality, where our lives belong. Mothers go back and tuck their kids to sleep, working adults go back and prepare for the next day at work, and student fans go back and pick up their books and notes again.

It’s hard for others to see that sometimes, because fandom has long been associated with some kind of delusional and fanatical element that it’s hard for most people to judge it fairly. It’s fine, because we know we’re working hard and one day others will even come to see how normal we actually are.

I guess it’s annoying to have some random group of fans coming by and moving all of us a step backwards by going on paper and waxed on about their stalking activities, oblivious to how disturbing that is for Kim Hyun Joong who is just as much a human as we all are, and don’t deserve to be disturbed on his private time outside of official events.

And worse, they have to lie about it and make up fake notices to try to get people to follow them. That’s just wrong.

I’m really glad that KEYEAST gave us a very timely reminder than there is only ONE official fan club for Kim Hyun Joong, and this fan club is called HENECIA. Please refer to the translation of their notice, much thanks to Quainte501 for doing it up. In future, I really do hope there won’t be any of such misunderstandings and strange fan clubs popping out of nowhere to claim themselves as official. Do whatever you want, but don’t label it official and lest misrepresenting the other work that we do for Kim Hyun Joong in the fandom, okay?

For new fans who are hoping to join a fan club to support Kim Hyun Joong, the next round of membership for HENECIA 2012 will be coming pretty soon, once the 2011 membership is up. So please keep a look out for this! ^^ Let’s support Kim Hyun Joong in a way that truly helps him, and doesn’t sully his name or the fandom in any way. ^^

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