Meat Your Fans, Jonathan

What if you have fans? When people know you, but you have no clue who they are. When they fall silent the moment you look at them. When they look up to you for reasons that are not in sync with the way you perceive yourself? On the one hand, classic fan-dom can be easily linked with the (inexplicable) rise of a celebrity-culture of musicians, actors and other-bulk-media-related personalities, but what if you admire people that are mostly invisible to the public? Who only have a voice, or opinion that strikes you, such as writers, bloggers and journalists. The nature of their performance is different. A performance for a, mostly, hidden public, that does not satisfy instant gratification, such as an applause does, a blockbuster-movie or a great deal of public attention. Rather, it seems to come from within, is not externally motivated and therefore, it seems to be more authentic. (Of course, not always. There are many publicists that attract public attention. I don’t include those exceptions on the rule I’m trying to invent here.) Although writing can lead to the aforementioned inclusion into a celebrity-culture, it is still a different feeling when you get your book signed than to sing along with your fave band in a public of thousands. Although lyrics can provide insight into a musician’s personality, writing immediately evokes a picture of the producer of those words, sentences and stories. And many times (when I speak for myself) there is a large discrepancy between a created image of that writing individual and real-life. Till date, I haven’t really indulged in being a fan of people, it’s mostly initiatives, venues, stories, countries, food, magazines and photographs. But, to look a bit further at the people behind your fan-isms, can be surprising.  Scroll down and you’ll find a little blogpost on the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, widely known from this Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. He is the first person that I have ever asked an autograph from, and it felt so uncomfortable and awkward. He is just someone. Like us. But the ‘us’ still feels different from ‘him’. He is shorter than I thought, extremely funny when on stage and incredible witty when answering strange questions posed by the Dutch public. I am not at all at ease with this little confession of being a fan, as you can distillate from my rational reasoning on the why’s and how, but on the other hand, when the writer gets to the public, the public can at least dare to meat the writer, instead of staying eternally hidden.

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