Page 1 of 3From Alice: Well, I'm not exactly sure what's going on lately, but at Chicago Con this weekend while trying to share reports from the con, I got to see the uglier side of the online fandom. And that was after seeing that ugly side for a few weeks before, and hoping that I would find some solace at the con. I did, but it came from a guy named Jared Padalecki, who gave some incredible words of encouragement to a fan that had dealt with thoughts of suicide. I'm not suicidal, but those words could be applied to anyone who was suffering from a bad situation. One like this.
Because of all the insanity, I was sent three pieces to consider for publication. Two were from staff writers, Far Away Eyes and Bookdal. The other comes from Sauyma, who's done guest pieces for us. I've decided to share them all here in one article, or what I call one big reality check. Because SPN Family, we need one.
This first part is an open letter from Far Away Eyes:
Open Letter To The Supernatural Family
Dear Supernatural Family,
I tend to hang out on the fringes of things, happily avoiding much of the conflict and fray within this fandom. But lately, I feel as if I can't simply do that without tripping over all the fighting---and so I must say something because in so many ways silence implies complacency. Silence implies agreement. Silence does not stop things.
I am not going to expound on the idea of shipping---ship, don't ship, I don't really care. I'm not going to tell you how to enjoy the show. That's been part of the problem in this fandom lately. So many vocal fans are telling so many other fans that this or that view is the only view of the show and that any other view is wrong or blind to the truth or however it is worded that ends up with blow ups. And that has to stop. That's what I care about. I care about the fandom wars and about who is right and who is wrong and how there's this line in the sand and if you cross it to one side or the other you're labeled as being for or against this or that and therefore less of a fan. I think it needs to stop and stop right now.
Even more, we have some vocal members of fandom taking it not just to other fans, but to the creative team. That. Has. To. Stop. Right. Now.
We are very blessed in the Supernatural Family to have the access that we do to our cast and crew. Not many fans in other fandoms can say that they have had the opportunity to meet the stars of their show. Not many other fans can say that they've had the chance to meet and hang out with the crew that works its magic behind the scenes for their favorite show. Not many fans in other fandoms can say that they have had conversations on Twitter so easily as we have had with various cast and crew members as we have had with our show. It's special. This relationship should be treated with the utmost respect. We should approach this relationship between us the fan and the creative team behind Supernatural with gratitude and love---not demanding this or that or being angry in voicing our opinions. We should always be respectful when we talk with them---even if we're voicing a criticism. It's only right and fair. We, the fan, have no right to demand anything from them or anyone on the show. So stop it.
In the blink of an eye, we could see the open relationship we share with them disappear. They could leave Twitter. They could decide to no longer attend conventions for fears of facing hostility or anger or never ending demands. And that would be the greatest tragedy of it all. We're lucky. Beyond lucky. We have something that is so special and so wonderful. Why are we allowing our worst to taint what is our best? We should be championing the better side of our Family. The side that makes me proud to be a part of it.
Our Supernatural Family is a generous, smart, kind, and beautiful fandom with many different views and passions and beliefs. When we are a united force, we can accomplish anything. ANYTHING. We can get our boys on the People's Choice Awards and win Best Fandom. We can raise over $30,000 for St. Jude's in honor of Thomas Padalecki's birth. We can rally around one another to help Gabriel Tigerman when he's in his time of need after his wife and child struggled. We can break world records with GISHWHES and help Random Acts build an orphanage in Haiti. We can do so much good in this Family. As they say, once you're in the Supernatural Family, you're IN to stay.
I am blown away by our talents, too. So many of us produce fantastic art. Or writing. Or videos. Or other various projects that are inspired by this show. We're talented. We have so much to offer to the world and to one another. Instead, we're allowing the negative side and the fighting to take things over and taint what wonderful potential we all have to make this fandom and world a bit better. Sure, Supernatural is only a TV show, but you know what? We in the Supernatural Family know that it is more than that---not simply because what it puts on our screens---but how it brought so many of us together. So many of us have beautiful friendships and memories that were forged because of this show---and that's the legacy that we should celebrate instead. That's where our fandom is powerful. In Family.
And let's be real for a moment. Supernatural is in its ninth season. ITS NINTH SEASON. We did that. Us. The Supernatural Family is why we have the ninth season---and possibly more. We didn't get this show this far by fighting so viciously with one another. No. We did it together, supporting the show with everything we've got. And while we've never all seen it the same way, we can remember to be respectful of one another, of those who make the show, and ourselves.
Please, Supernatural Family, let's stop fighting. Let's remember that “family don't end with blood” and set aside the anger. This show is about love. Let's honor that.
Far Away Eyes