Last night my wife and I went to see the New James Bond movie. It was a decent enough movie but that is not the purpose of this post. When the movie was over, I wanted to talk about it, analyze the pros and cons of the movie, debate weather the villain was a good bond villain. My wife didn't tO the point where she said "I just want to watch a movie and enjoy it, I don't want to analyze it." So then that got me thinking, have I become such a fanboy that I can't watch a movie, enjoy it, and then simply turn it off. I'm not sure!
For me, talking about movies has always been just as important as watching the movie! When I was young and my parents would take me to the movies when we walked out I wanted to talk about the movie we just watched. That might be me talking about a fight scene I liked or it might be talking about how a character was, but I always talked abut it. Heck it might have been ralking about a trailer I had seen. That interaction was important to me.
I think as I have grown up, the concept of talking about the media I consume has become even more important to me. I suppose in a way it seems like a waste of time to simply watch a movie, TV show, or even read a book if you can't analyze it with friends. This dissection has become the pivot point of my fandom, and maybe fandom in general. The concept of discussion and analyzing the things we consume is. for me, the central idea of fandom.
I have said it before, that my favorite part of a convention is sitting on a panel and talking to the other people on the panel, and people in the room about what they think about something. The whirl wind of opinions give credence to the concepts and stories that the writers put forward. As fans isn't it kind of our job to dissect these things? I'm honestly don't think I react to anything else as much as I react to a good discussion of the merits (or flaws) or somethuing that I really like (or don't like)
Take the wheel of time (or any epic book series) for instance. I could not imagine reading those books in a vacuum. It would be impossible for me to read that last word and then just put it down and be happy that I had read it. The act of reading and consuming these media has been about building community for me. I can't imagine reading the last "Wheel of Time" book (that will be coming out in the early part of next year) without the community that has become something akin to a support group to me. The community becomes just as important (if not more important) than the media itself.
And that idea of fan community of course has evolved from people sitting in living rooms discussing things they love to doing it at conventions and gatherings, but of course then it moved to the internet. Forums and facebook pages, and even blogs like this one has become a way for me to express the things I like and talk about them with a much larger community. The idea of consuming media without a community is almost foreign to me now.
How do you consume media and participate in enjoying it, do you watch and consume in a vacuum, being happy that you had the opportunity to have that media and then leave it at that? Or do you dissect it and let it become more to you than just something that is turned off. Let me know I really want to know how the media you consume effects you!