Don’t Picket the Funeral: The Lost Finale and its Anti-Fans
And with that, Lost is over. Predictably, my Twitter feed came alive last night as friends and colleagues tried to make sense of it. Equally predictably, the anti-fans were out in full force. There were those who never really liked the show anyways and wanted us all to know it, there were those who thought the finale sucked and needed to discuss it, and there were those who loved to hate the show publicly and who saw this as their best chance to make that hate even more public.
I’m not going to discuss the actual finale here, since a whole host of people with more words and thoughts than I have already done so, and, quite frankly, I want to sit on it a little longer before I pass complete judgment. Go here to see other reviews linked. What I want to discuss instead is those anti-fans.
Specifically, I find myself wishing we could institute a short mourning period for fans of a show once it’s over. I get anti-fandom, and realize that it’s as valid a cultural practice as is fandom. It would be ludicrous, and more to the point outright worrying, to suggest that one should only love the media – dislike and hate are necessary, especially if we ever want it to get better. Anyone who tells themselves that they’re a fan is definitely an anti-fan of something else, and anyone who isn’t a fan of anything is (not only a sad, sorry human being, but also) definitely an anti-fan of at least something else. So anti-fans aren’t going anywhere, nor should they.
But how pleasant it would be, though, if we could accept that fans need some time to decompress, to let go, and to savor the memory of their beloved show once it’s gone. I’d pose that if, as an anti-fan, you’re unwilling to honor that love in the small way of shutting up and letting the fans have a day or three, your anti-fandom has become an ugly beast. It’s now first and foremost dependent on ruining others’ experience, and it is supremely untrusting that those others truly find something worth loving in the first place. It is a radical narcissism. You know those jerks who picket funerals saying the deceased is going to Hell? That’s what you’ve become.
Granted, I say this now because I am a Lost fan. Some might question my use of the word “fan,” since I’m not in a Lost community, I don’t produce Lost fic or so forth, and the only time I’ve spent on speculation boards is when I’m studying them. But I consider myself a fan. As such, the naysayers are pissing me off and ruining my buzz. This is a self-interested plea, yes. But please feel free to throw this back in my face in the future – when Grey’s Anatomy ends (and boy will that be a good day), I promise to shut up and let the fans have their day or three. Which is not to say that I promise to like the show, because my understanding of the cultural studies project was not that we all had to like everything, nor that we all had to agree with everyone’s likes. Let us vigorously disagree, and if you want to know why I dislike Grey’s (apart from it causing an outbreak of students who can’t spell my name, that is), I’ll gladly tell you. I may tell you even if you don’t want to know too, because I’m invested in my answer. I just won’t do it after the finale.
So how about a moratorium on Lost hate till tomorrow?Tags: anti-fans, finales, Lost, Lost finale