I was introduced to Fred in 2008 when I was asked to write a commentary about his wildly successful video oeuvre for Teacher’s College Record, “the voice of scholarship in education.”
A common practice within fan studies, particularly the brand that celebrates the utopia of participatory culture, seems to be to coddle and celebrate the work of nascent artists and citizens, but after watching hundreds of Fred fans’ videos and tens of Fred’s, I found that this huge body of work rarely exhibits anything like empowering possibilities. Sure, I could stretch my interpretive chops to find them, but why do so, given that failures, meanness, and poor imitation are the most common, and popular, forms for these newly minted participants, our sacrosanct children? Why honor cruelty? Why commemorate the paltry?
Published in Transformative Works and Cultures, 2012-03-15
Vol 9, Special issue on Fan/Remix Video
Topics: Critical Internet Studies | Digital Production | Feminist Media | Highlight | Pedagogy | Queer Media |