I've done a few little pieces now on how geeks are cool, comics are mainstream, Sweeney Todd razors are big business, etc. Somewhere in the midst of writing that costuming one (I think – the weeks blur together), I came across this article on Fan Glam, and it's been eating at me ever since. I had to write a response.
To sum up Fan Glam, the cool kids over at Io9 believe that there is little authentic geekery to be found in today's world. They point to Kristen Bell and JJ Abrams as the epitome of "fan glam," and the insane expansion of San Diego ComicCon as signs that fandom is so trendy, it is very nearly obsolete. "Their obscure desires are being converted into ironic commodities, their tastes transformed into sellable goo, and their dark, secret haunts opened up to the light of media frenzy. Here are the seven signs that fans have become glam, and that the world of fandom will never be the same safe place to hide with your action figures again."
Maybe I am way off (and I was a literature student, I tend to take an interpretation and run with it before I know what I've done -- it's like a form of dementia) but the impression I get is that Io9 believes geekdom has sold out. And I laugh aloud because only hardcore fanboys and girls could accuse our entire sub-culture of selling out. First Frank Miller, now the Star Wars lovers. And you know, it's just not true. We're a bit more mainstream now than we were – people don't immediately snigger when you say "a wretched hive of scum and villainy" aloud, and they don't immediately assume you live with your parents when they catch you watching the Iron Man trailer at work.