What struck me about this week's reading is the discussion of fandom amongst "high" and "low" art. As I read Pearson's piece, I thought to myself: was I guilty of building a hierarchy within my own fandom? Do I even think of myself as a 'fan' when it comes to Henry James, Emily Bronte or Harold Pinter? Or discuss an opera that had been loved for centuries with "Cabaret"? I was particularly struck by the different terminology we use to describe what we love...the difference of 'buff' vs 'aficiandos' are HUGE. It immediately presents a class divide that is obvious, yet subtle. It made me think of a particular incident, where I was arguing about a film with a friend of mine, who is slightly older than I am, and prides himself on being Harvard educated and a "connoisseur" of culture, arts, and anything considered of superior value than others. So, basically, he's one of the biggest snobs I know. It was over Les Misérables (2012, the one starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway), which I was rather dismissive about it, believing it felt too long as a film as there is no intermission as there would be on stage. My friend, however, thought it was the most brilliant musicals in recent cinematic history and my dismissal of it is due to my lack of knowledge. His specific line is: "It's like discussing Wagner with a person who doesn't even understand opera!" Likely aware of my fondness for pop culture and not really a fan of opera, it was interesting that he thought it was best to say I was wrong about Les Mis because he wasn't a Wagner 'appreciator'.
I also liked the discussion of class and fandom...particularly striking was the Crabapple's piece about her high school experience and how different the treatment of the shooters should the school was in a more 'urban', minority neighbourhood. As an Australian, school shootings are surreal enough for me, but it is interesting to see how the outcasts, minorities and the weirdos are immediately considered a threat. If a white jock shot up a school, I doubt all jocks would immediately be judged as a group that could threaten a seemingly perfect society. I'm looking forward to discussing more in class about this.