To some, this statement engenders a visceral negative reaction. Many people want to be admired for what they do, and some people, such as authors, musicians, and actors, depend on it for their livelihood. But there are different levels of fandom. Some are healthy and appropriate, and some are extreme, bordering on harassment.
The word “fan” is a shortened version of “fanatic,” meaning marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion. It comes from the Latin fanaticus, the definition of which I like even more: insanely but divinely inspired. The spectrum of fandom ranges from admiring and appreciating someone’s work, to being influenced by them, to trying to emulate them, to worshiping them, all the way to trying to become part of their lives.
Of course, that first question is a biggie. Some people go their whole lives without figuring that out. There are many aspects to what makes up a person, and we all need to explore them for ourselves.
We also have to decide how to express who we are.
When I play music, I have a set of what I call my “gig shirts,” which are colorful or otherwise interesting. Lately, I’ve been thinking, “Why can’t I wear these shirts when I go out or get together with friends?” I wore one of them at my family’s Thanksgiving get-together and my brother Jimmy asked, “Does the store where you got that shirt sell any men’s clothes?” (HAHAHA!!). But the point is, these shirts aren’t what I normally wear.
It’s very interesting to see how the lingo changes through the years and how phrases that are firmly associated with a certain subset of society (e.g. surfers, bikers, environmental scientists) explode into common usage.
For example, I started thinking about this entry and have since noticed that I use the word “dude” a lot.
It’s not intentional. I have no idea where it came from.
I’m not proud of it.
But is it in affectation? I can honestly say that I do not say the word “dude” to elicit any specific response or present myself in any particular light. But it begs the question, when is a figure of speech (or action or fashion statement) an affectation?