Dude, Show Your Manners: Good Fandom Behaviour

So, this is an editorial type thing and I think it’s going to be a bit more on the rambly side than how we usually do an editorial round these parts because, well, this one is a lot more of trying to get the thoughts collected together and put them in the right order. Also because sometimes life is rambly, and we need editorials to match that occasionally. The common stereotype of the geek is that we are lacking in basic social skills, and are afraid to venture outdoors in the natural sunlight. I’m pretty sure that last one is just vampires, bro.

See, the thing is your average geek, nerd, or whatever terminology you want to use is just as social as whatever people do that is considered ‘normal’ by the mass of society. Why does that make me sound ready to start a revolution? Perhaps I’ve listened to too much in the way of Les Misérables lately. Anyway, that’s not really the point of this editorial, though of course we here at Fandom Wanderers strongly recommend that you go listen to the music of Les Misérables as soon as possible. Oh, and to read the Brick! We always encourage reading here at FW.

But right, point, get back to it. [Please. -Ed.] This past weekend, your friendly neighbourhood Z was inviting out to a socialising event. I know, I know, I was surprised by it as well. A few of the people I know were holding a cosplay meet, and invited me along because I’d never really been to one before, and they knew I had an interest in seeing what one was like. I dressed as Wednesday Addams, and it was kick-ass, thank you very much for asking. But again, not the point. The point was I was invited along to this cosplay meet, and as I had nothing else pressing in the schedule I went, well, might as well, and decided to wander along.

And this is where the title of this editorial starts to come in, and I mean on both sides of the fandom specturm. First of all, I have to hold my hand up and admit it, some of our number probably did get a bit carried away with the hijinks. In order to make it easier for everyone, it had been decided to meet at a public place; in this particular case the local train station where most of the transport areas surrounded. Here’s a quick piece of advice for doing this, guys and gals and others, try not to get carried away and attract the attention of the place’s security. Long story short, there was was squeeing, some hijinks, then we were politely asked to get out and go stand at the door instead. It was just a good thing it was a nice day.

Truthfully, I think there is a lesson to be learnt on both sides here. See, I’m not going to say that the security were in the wrong for asking the group to move along, but at the same time, I’m not exactly saying they’re in the right. The train station used is often used for big groups to meet, and this group was rather small in comparison to some of the groups that gather inside the station. That being said … I don’t think we can say that the groups are blameless. And this isn’t me being all THIS PERSON DID THIS and ruining what was a fun day, but more a sort of general observation on fandom people when a number of us gather. The security men were just doing their jobs and frankly we can’t blame them for that, no matter how unfair it seemed at the time. But it does bring up an interesting point, which I raise to you now:

People, why is it on both sides of the fandom spectrum, we seem to lose sight of basic manners when we’re over-excited? It’s an issue that always seem present, but no one can really recall any smaller moments of it, just really big incidents. But, it’s a thing, isn’t it? Either people at conventions or any other type of ‘geek’ even will be overly polite or it will appear as though they have forgotten that basic manners exist and are there to be used. So what, I hear you ask is this piece about?

Well, to sum it up as simply as I can: Wanderers, when being out being your awesome fandom-filled selves remember that not everyone is in on the in-jokes and memes, and other such things that run around fandom. Yes, I know, it seems very odd for me to be telling you this but it’s surprising how easy it is to forget. What seems like an innocent in-joke to you and your friends could look like something very odd indeed to the outside world, and we want to embrace the outside world, and make it aware that fandom is a nice place to be.

I know, I know, it can be hard because sometimes, well people just don’t get it and then there are the odd looks, and the stares and the mutters, and we’ve all heard tell of the cosplay consent movement that’s sweeping the rounds but that’s not the point of it. Fandom members are just as likely to be rude back to the muggles, and when you think on it, that’s really not not something we can be doing with.

Remember that there are people out there who are going to look and yes, find it a bit odd, but they’ll be curious and probably come ask about what you’re doing. Be polite, be friendly, and above all?

Dude, show your manners.

Z McAspurren (manners matter)

This entry was posted in Issue Twenty-Four, Wildcards and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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