April 05, 2009

The Line Between A Fan And An Idol

The duality of the relationship between a fan and an idol has recently become an interesting topic to me. After reading Frankenstein for my English class, I started to notice a slight comparison between fire and this fan-idol relationship. (In the book, the duality of fire was creatively used to describe the nature of knowledge.) The fire gives off warmth and light to those around it, similar to an idol. In this case, the relationship is positive. However, what happens if one gets too close to the fire and even extends a hand into the fire. Fire is able to provide warmth and hope but at the same time it can inflict pain to both the idol and the fan.

An idol needs fans to survive in the harsh entertainment industry. The number of fans an idol has is an indicator of the idol's popularity. The more fans an idol has, the more valuable the idol becomes. Without fans, an idol would just fade away into the background. The support of fans then becomes very important to idols.

Fans support their idols emotionally and financially. By emotionally, I mean sending birthday cards, presents, or encouraging idols to press on. After all, idols face the same things that we face; pressure from work, tight schedules, etc. By financially, I mean buying cds, drama dvds, tickets to their concert, etc. That's the way it should be, a healthy fan-idol relationship.

However, there are some fans that go overboard. They overstep the fan-idol boundary and in the process they get hurt and the idol is hurt as well. One very tragic example happened just last year or so. A fan sacraficed nearly everything so she could meet with her idol. The fan's family sold everything to provide finanical support for their daughter's trip to Hong Kong to meet her idol. In the end, the fan's father committed suicide and the fan went back home. People, you've got to face reality and snap out of fantasy.

Recently, I read this comment on youtube that disturb me. A lot. This poster commented that [he/she] will slit this artists' throat just because of a jealous pairing. This particular comment shocked me so much I just had to write something about this overly fan obession behavior. There's absolutely no reason to write something so violent as that. Even if you dislike a certain artist for whatever reason, you shouldn't act like this.

There was another news regarding Fahrenheit's Calvin. A fan had threatened to commit suicide because she thought he had a girlfriend. Don't you think this is a little over? I don't mind if my idol starts dating or gets married. I'll feel very happy for him or her because despite the harsh entertainment environment, the fact that they found someone whose willingly to share that pressure and workload and all those negative things that come with fame, it's a happy news that should be shared.

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