The Catch 22 of Fandom…

Last one for today I promise. (Bear with me, everything on tv was a rerun tonight, and I was enjoying a glass of red wine, which put me in a “thinky” mood)
So… What is it? The “Catch 22″? Well, you’ll just have to scroll to the last paragraph for that bit of wisdom ;-) (what a bitch eh?)
But before that, I just want to clarify my last post.

It wasn’t aimed at anyone in particular. It’s just that I’ve seen myself, my friends, my colleagues and my fellow fans being chastised and belittled virtually, for the last 24hrs in particular, for expressing their opinions and venting their anger/sadness over the mess that is IndyCar right now, and well, it really pisses me off. Here’s why:

A bunch of suits in a boardroom make a ridiculous move, and the victims, as always, are the fans.

So they take to whatever platform they are comfortable with (blogs, twitter, forums, etc..) and vent. Then as if on cue, something that I think is unique to IndyCar due to the circumstances of the history of the sport (i.e. the Split), the victims (fans) begin to cannibalize each other; this is followed by the staff, crew, PR, drivers, media… all jumping in, pointing fingers, choosing sides, flinging mud; all blaming each other for what happened in the past and what could potentially happen in the future while goading each other to “just leave then”, seemingly losing sight of the fact that we are ALL the victims here, and are all, in fact, on the SAME SIDE!

If everyone just stood back, took a breath, and listened for a millisecond, they would see that both reactions (positive and negative) are actually fear based.

#teamPositive remains stiff upper lipped and overly peppy out of fear of losing what they love most.

#teamNegative lashes out with “you’ve hurt me for the last time” vitriol out of, yup, you guessed it, fear of losing what they love most.

SAME SIDE PEOPLE!

Neither reaction is right or wrong, and admonishing anyone on either side of the argument is like telling someone how to grieve. Everyone has to process their grief in their own way.

Let’s for example say we are all at a funeral for someone who has died of, oh I don’t know… cancer.

Look around. There are the wailing ladies clad in black, tears a flowing. There are the “well, she’s in a better place” shoulder rubbers. There are the Uncle Jokey’s, drink in hand, laughing, some might say, inappropriately. And then there are the quiet, shell shocked mourners, quietly processing and taking it all in.

Now, imagine if you will being at that funeral and an all out brouhaha breaks out, with everyone screaming, blaming each other for grieving improperly! Would that happen? NO.

Everyone would allow their neighbour their space, and if anything, loudly and silently stand together saying “Fuck Cancer!”

Well, kids, IndyCar is sick. And right now, we are all at a loss for how to cure it.

Battling each other ain’t gonna find a cure. Instead of yelling at each other, we need to band together and demand a proper diagnosis and a cure from the doctor!

Believe me, it would be very easy to press the unfollow/block button and make all the detractors or people of differing opinions to mine just “go away”… (I know this because I’ve had my finger hovering on the button all day)

But to what end? What would it accomplish in the long run.

We’re family. Families disagree.

Try to keep in mind that the guy/gal who is pissing you off today, was the same guy/gal who high-fived you a few months ago when your favourite driver crossed the finish line, or who clinked glasses with you later as you recounted what a fantastic weekend you just experienced… together.

So please, lets keep this in mind over the next couple of weeks while we all process this and whatever else comes down the pipe. (cause you just know this latest crap is a two flusher)

If it helps, picture the internet as a giant local watering hole where we all gather to unwind and or recharge. Some days you’re gonna be the belligerent drunk at the bar, some days you’re gonna be the sober dude just chillin’ and observing, some days, you’re just gonna walk on by and do something else. But some day, soon again hopefully, you’ll the one laughing and partying with your friends.

And now, to the title of this post…

This is just an aside to those of you in positions of power (like any of y’all read this dreck) or on the “this is my livelihood” side of the fence, who arrogantly think the “fans” need to just chill and tow the party line in order that they may be “part of the solution not the problem” (curious that you think those fans voicing their opinions are somehow the problem)

Here is the Catch 22 to fandom, and it’s something you should all keep in mind…

The thing that makes fans the most reviled people when things go wrong (like right now for example) is also the very thing that makes us the most revered people when things are going right.

It’s called Passion.

and unfortunately it’s a package deal :-)

So if you want us supporting you and cheering for you in victory circle, then you’ll just have to put up with a little jeering elsewhere when it’s warranted.

and right now, it’s most certainly warranted.

Stay safe tonight everyone… Sally’s being a bit of bitch right now ;-)

One response to “The Catch 22 of Fandom…

  1. “A bunch of suits in a boardroom make a ridiculous move, and the victims, as always, are the fans.”
    yep
    I’m ‘stiff upper lip,’ trying to be optimistic, but I’m not dreamy/delusional or overly peppy. I’m irritated at the Hulman & Company board of directors, but … I hope that a leader with deep knowledge of motor racing and good experience in managing businesses will be brought in.
    What else should I do but hope?

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