Teaser: Do you know what I LOVE, when I feel supported, when I feel like people are behind me and believe in me, when people cheer me on to do my best. But what happens in a world of performers without an audience or fans?

 

Today’s podcast is on the importance of being a fan.

 

Today we will talk about:

Are we self obsessed?

What is a mark, and is it cool to be one?

What would the world look like with more fans?

 

Welcome back to the podcast! So the goal as of the writing of this was to record two podcasts today, we will need to see how that goes… But I recorded the DACA podcast and had some technical issues (of my own making I might add) So I need to re-record that and see if we can this one on Fandom in as well!

 

So the podcast so far is not doing anything too spectacular at the moment. No giant download days but I have not been able to promote it as much as I would like. We are sticking to the plan  to get a few one hit one topics built for the next few weeks. But we are now over seven months into the inclusive activism podcast project and I am wondering how things are going? What do you like what do you not like…? Please remember you can email me at inclusiveactivism@cox.net or leave me a voicemail at 860-576-9393. I would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Also remember to rate and review us on iTunes, or Stitcher, or if you could please share the podcast on social media, All these things go a long way to making a significant difference for us here at the inclusive activism podcast. Also please subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play as these are great ways for me to show “proof of work to potential sponsors”. It would also go a long way in getting my producer Sara paid for her work someday too!

 

So checking in on my Activism:

Starting and closing Emerging Leaders and finishing COM101 respectively.

Looking at trying get a film screening at ASU West Camps about the effects of Native Mascots.

Took students to a screening of Below the Fold for Hispanic Heritage Month

And will be meeting some friends tomorrow to do some more good work around the folks from Anytown!

 

Self Care:

Lift X4 a week which was great

Got 1X Cardio done this week camelback mtn, but no focus other wise

And Meditated for 1X for at least 10-15 mins but that isn’t going great either

But I did get to sleep in and rest for awhile unexpectedly which was good

And did some arts and crafts for Dia De Los Muertos which was fun – although still undone

 

So on to the podcast for today! On Fandom and how they do the damage – and how we buy into them, and what we can do to widen our out-group connections…

 

 

First thing: Why do I think there is a scarcity of fandom.

I think it is a bit cultural right now, I think it is part of parents getting a sense of their identity as being do it all parents which has put a hyper focus on children and their developments and achievement which has made a culture of being very self-interested. Parents blog about the experience of being a parent and then measure themselves on their successes by the achievements – or secretly deficiencies of their children.

 

I also feel that social media rewards me centered self-sharing. With Insta’s hearts, with Facebook likes, and silly metrics like snap streaks – (side rant – don’t get it just days texted in a row – does this really mean you have a deep connection) is it public evidence of the depth of a friendship? I don’t understand it myself.

 

I see these things combining as a major part of our just look good culture. The focus is on looking like you have it all together – NOT on being a good or whole person. Not on helping or serving others it is mostly on looking like you are popular, knowledgeable, and successful. There is no value placed on true evidence of these things in a person’s life. A tweet doesn’t tell you about the pain of overcoming an addiction or getting out of a codependent relationship. Just like a before and after photo gives no appreciation to the follower if this was the result of a crash diet and crazy cardio or evidence of a true-life change to a happier and healthier person.

 

Additionally, it’s not ok to really like anything these days. Its seems like everyone is just tragically hip or too cool to get really excited about anything. Or maybe it’s a feeling of everything is just passé and that we live in a world that isn’t worth getting excited about. That idea is frightening to me. But I also grew up in the 80’s we loved getting excited about fandom. We when I was younger saw it as a badge of honor to get excited or loved the idea of being a biggest fan. Were as now I worry people are worried about getting called out for liking something.

 

 

 

Second: So what is it like to be a fan – a fan who isn’t worried about being judged or scrutinized for their fandom. Well I can tell you with a personal example it is WAY more fun than it used to be.

 

So when I was younger I was raised in young poor and frankly redneck circles. There is a certain pride that comes with being working class. And its something I think very few people know and understand about the working class pride. You came to work, you busted your ass, and you got home at a decent hour. You were not riche but you were probably at that time in the early 80s lower middle class (a social class that really doesn’t exist now)

 

So being a child in these circles exposed me to the really odd subculture of professional wrestling. Back in that day things were done kayfabe which meant it was all presented at real. The fights were real, the grudges were real, and the wrestling was all considered real not a work. Kayfabe was a term for keeping the behind the scenes part of professional wrestling a secret. And those who got swept up in the drama were called marks.

A mark was a fan who believes in the characters and events in pro wrestling. They were seen at times as a fan who idolizes a wrestler, promotion or style of wresting to a point others would consider excessive. The point is there were invested – shoot I was invested!

There is a new term called Smark – its stands for Smart Mark, these folks now about all the behind the scenes of wrestling but are still fans – however they derive joy from the critique of the show (how they decide who wins and who loses, who gets promoted who doesn’t, and how the production evolves)

 

This is the advent of an idea I will call the Meta-Fan. You are aware of more than one level of something working and attempt to enjoy things on many levels.

 

But that meta-ness means you are always aware of your own outward sense of displayed joy. You can’t appear to like something that is outside your own stated joys or loves. This sense of meta-analysis means it’s very hard to lose yourself in an experience.

 

Since we are all very aware of our own sense of being seen – we all self-monitor sense of our public selves and manage our fandom to be seen in the way we would like to be portrayed.
Do you see how this relates to what I talked about before about the worrying about how we look all the time instead of being good. Instead of being concerned about appreciating what we like, the people that we value, or what brings us life we can get worried about what people think about our liking.

 

Now let me point out – in our hyper critical culture we can get criticized for liking so many things: For example my stance of being an Inclusive Activist can mean that I should not or cant like: Professional Wrestling, the NFL, or even MMA. BUT I can like those things while also advocating for better ways or better practices rather than just pledging blind allegiance.

 

Also on a slightly different note – imagine a world without fans. None of your favorite movies, your favorite TV shows, No website, No comedians, No podcasts, No blogs – no entertainment period!! What a dull dreary world!!

 

Lastly – For more fun we need more Fandom! We need more fans in this world. In a hypercritical space, in a place where we are all over observed we all self inhibit ourselves from some of the things we love and appreciate the most.

 

I love teaching about leadership. I love showing how to create new thinkings around diversity and inclusion. I love playing flag football and I love working out. And in the spaces and places where I thrive the most I have fans.

 

Timo is a huge samoan guy that plays on our flag football team. He could easily be a scary or intimdaing man if it were not for his near constant smile on his face. He is as strong as can be and could easily block me with one arm if I were to pass rush against him. HOWEVER when I am playing defense and if he is resting on the sidelines I am always hearing Timo cheering me on. I think some of it is because I am older than him we are both tribal people and he does so out a bit of cultural respect, and I invited him to play with our team too. But either way I see Timo and way more skilled than me in many ways, And Sat Morning in and Sat morning out I always hear the big man saying “C’mon Rowdy, Get them Rowdy” Which is SO cool, Because how often do you hear grown men who are peers cheering for each other?  Timo reminders me to cheer more often.

 

Jason is my workout partner, and when we lift there are times when I think I am done, when I think there is nothing left. And he will tell he I know you have one more! His confidence in me while I am in pain and doubting if I have anything left makes me push for ONE more, If I fail I know he is proud at my attempt to try, and he will keep me safe, if I get it he gets excited and pumped up at my visual effort her constantly gets more out of me.

 

The guy from Fry’s who is always excited to see me who exclaims, “Hey professor!” even though I am clearly not one. He sees the best in me, and it always make him want to be the best in himself.

 

These men in their fandom remind me I need to be that same fan of others. And with brutal honesty I will tell you I am not the best at this. I do great in situations and circumstances, when doing diversity and inclusion training, when on leadership retreats, at Anytown. But really, like day in and day out, I am not even just at ok with my words of affirmation with my fandom of the people I am blessed to send time with!

 

I need to be a fan. As my friend Jason said be a fan when out at dinner NOTICE the amazing service not just you but all the other people your servicer helps with thoughtful diligence throughout the night. Cheer on the checkout clerk, let them know you appreciate how hard they are working to get you and everyone else though that line. Cheer on those who are protesting for a better tomorrow.

 

Be a FUCKING fan of the people who are all working their ass off to make the world a better. Place be a unabashed Mark for them – Love and adore their work and their effort and let them know! One of my peer mentors this year tells people over and over all the time I appreciate you!

 

And please know dear listener – little fan of mine, I could never do this without you. Every day I wonder if this is worth it. Every day I think is this the best use of my time. But you here with me right now in this moment are worth it. You probably statically are the only person hearing me and I am talking to you my dear friend. Thank you so much for being a listener – subscriber, and a fan I have no idea what I am doing but I am doing it with and for you

 

So in review major points of this podcast were:

  1. Today we have a very look at me, give me feedback culture, with Facebook, with Twitter, Insta and Snapchat. The hyper focus on children made us a bit self-focused with attention
  2. A world without adoring fans – without people who are and are willing to mark out for things they like and care about would be a boring place
  3. We need to be better raving fans for things. We need to cheer on and support both the people in our lives as well as the people we don’t know. Everyone appreciates appreciations

SO if this made you think something, if you have a question or even more shocking a critique let me know. You can call me at 860-576-9393

 

This space is a place to talk back ask me questions, hit me with scenarios of how to react to situations real time. Depending on how good your stuff is I will give it my “first take response” or if it’s good it might be a future podcast!

 

Also as always if you’re interested in booking me to bring the power of inclusive activism to your organization you can always do so at inclusiveactivism@cox.net or you can learn more about this organization at www.inclusiveactivism.com