I have discovered that being a fan, in the fan situation, makes me feel quite uncomfortable.
I went to a ‘meet Jasper Fforde’ night some weeks ago. I’d been looking forward to it for a month or so – his books are great, he’s Welsh, it was going to be great. And it was: he was very entertaining, spoke like he writes – all rambling and funny and cross-referenced.
The problem with the evening was not Jasper himself, but everyone else there. No, not true – not everyone – just the people who asked cringe-worthy questions and generally fawned over him. Which, in a way and to be honest, I would have liked to do, had I been able to think up an appropriately witty question or remark and manage to get myself noticed (which, I admit, might not have been hard, since I was in the second row – only not in the first row because I thought that would be just too pathetic).
So the people who annoyed me and made me want to cringe really only did so, if I am to be truthful, because they did what I wanted to and didn’t because I thought it would be a bit embarassing. I took an elitest view to the whole thing and decided to look down on these people who seemed so desperately eager for the conversation and approval, in some form, of this author whom they admired so much (as if I didn’t).
So fandom and elitism are not placid bed-fellows. You can probably expect more dissertation on this in the future, as it really is something that disturbs at the same time that it fascinates me.