18 2 / 2012
TL;DR: We download / steal unavailable content not because it is the best content, but because we have to work for it and only a small number of people will do that work. For that reason, we can use that as a test with which to define our sub-culture. But I don’t know what it means that that sub-cultural entrance involves not only work…but theft.
I disagree SO HARD. The reason so many Sherlock fans outside of the UK watched Sherlock illegally is because if they hadn’t, they would have had to wait months until they could legally watch it. And by that time, the first wave of excitement and fannish squee about Sherlock would largely be over. Who wants to miss out on the fannish sharing and squeeing and theorizing about how Sherlock survived just because the show won’t be legally available outside of the UK until months later? And this doesn’t just go for Sherlock, this goes for any TV show or movie.
But my point is, we choose to care about Sherlock…why? I know it’s good…I frikkin’ love it, but I think that’s not the whole story.
I’m asking us all to look a little deeper at our preferences, at our interests, at our culture, and it’s often very difficult to see even one level deeper than how we generally experience the world. But that’s what Nerdfighteria’s about right, a more complicated understanding.
Why do we watch Sherlock while other of our peers are perfectly happy with American TV? Why does our culture make this collective choice. “It’s a really good show” is not the whole reason, it never could be. I think it’s because we want our choices to define us, and by choosing Sherlock we get to say more about who we are.
We say that we’re willing to work for our enjoyment. We identify with the culture of the fandom. We convey our ability to utilize the internet to access content that otherwise we wouldn’t have access to. We’re identifying ourselves not as citizens of a country but as citizens of the internet.
We’re saying “This is us, this is who we are.” These choices define us and they define our culture, and I think it points to something very interesting going on. I’m just not 100% on what it is yet.
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