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You [insert popular culture reference here] fanboys keep drinking the Kool-Aid
May 20, 2010 11:43 AM   Subscribe

I've considered myself a fanboy on occasion in the past, but it never occurred to me to investigate the history of the term. Technologizer's Harry McCracken (god I love that name) has a *far* more detailed and interesting look into the history of the term than I would ever have considered undertaking.

He also has a bit of a follow-up with some added info, including a 1969 Dragnet video which shows a stereotypical fanboy in action, though there doesn't seem to be mention of the actual term.
posted by antifuse (26 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yet another Apple thread?

;-)
posted by Artw at 11:48 AM on May 20, 2010


The new Batman series Brave and the Bold had an amazing meta-segment on fanboyism, taking place at a con and held by Bat-Mite.
posted by griphus at 11:48 AM on May 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


griphus - that's just flat out awesome.
posted by Artw at 11:52 AM on May 20, 2010


Mentioned in the "history of the term" link above, here is the entire Freakazoid short "And Fanboy Is His Name" [YouTube, part 1 (show opening until 0m40s), part 2]
posted by hippybear at 12:13 PM on May 20, 2010


My first encounter with the word was in a Giffen comic circa '92 or '93 -- Trencher, maybe -- where he went off on a rant against "Fanboys" and the collection craze -- and I'd always assumed that Giffen had come up with or at least popularized the term. What an interesting article! Thanks for posting it.
posted by Shepherd at 12:16 PM on May 20, 2010


Lobo had the whole "Bite Me Fanboy" thing going on in 1992.
posted by adipocere at 12:30 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


That'd be it -- thanks, adipocere!
posted by Shepherd at 12:34 PM on May 20, 2010


Harry McCracken (god I love that name)

I wonder if he has a relative who used to write for the National Inquisitor circa 1988.
posted by ersatz at 12:36 PM on May 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Meh.
posted by The Whelk at 12:47 PM on May 20, 2010


This is the awesomest post that has ever existed on Metafilter. Or, for that matter, anywhere. I don't understand why anyone would want to read anything else.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 12:51 PM on May 20, 2010


Is he related to Phil?
posted by pracowity at 12:57 PM on May 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh God, that Dragnet clip. I think that I may have delayed starting a comics collection of my own because of it. (On the other hand, just about any fanboy can console himself with the knowledge that at least he's not Stanley Stover.) Looking back on it, I wonder if Alan Moore got the idea to have Rorschach's mask made from Kitty Genovese's dress from the Crimson Crusader making his outfit and climbing rope out of his mother's clothes, which is even more fucked up.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:57 PM on May 20, 2010


Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

In fact, enthusiasm for almost anything has always seemed to be under one sort of criticism or another. It's odd that pure joy in something is considered weak or effete.
Not that the expression of that joy can't get a little goofy.

Buddy of mine's dad was watching "License to Drive" on cable and laughing his ass off.

Whatever.
De gustibus non est disputandum
posted by Smedleyman at 1:03 PM on May 20, 2010


One should strive to not use the pronoun "I" in a post unless it's a quote.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:20 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh one should, should one?
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:34 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


If one starts down the road of failing to conceal the fact that one's posts are made by a person with an ego, one runs the risk of making one's FPPs more and more personal, more subjective--more "gonzo", if one will--until one is posting about how one was somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when one's drugs began to take hold.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:51 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Smedleyman - the article ends up speaking well of the term fanboy, as something that has never had much bite, and that for a product to have fanboys (as called by others or self-imposed) means it is doing well.

Personally, I agree with the definition that includes both fanatacism for a product or brand, and oversight of the item's shortcomings. Or maybe they're the ones who give the other fanboys a bad name.

My story of an abnoxious fanboy: I was at an anime convention, which featured a number of directors, producers and artists from Japan. At one such panel, one guy dominated the Q&A session with a question on the features of a nuclear reactor, in a show that featured magic use and people flying. That was not a question of joy, but of detail-oriented obsession without thought for context.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:03 PM on May 20, 2010


Hey, I'm all about nuclear reactor details!
posted by Artw at 2:06 PM on May 20, 2010


One should strive to not use the pronoun "I" in a post unless it's a quote.

While we're killing off pronouns, could we avoid "we" in posts? I hate posts of the form "We've already seen" + a recycled link + some even weaker links on generally the same topic, as if WE just can't get enough of what WE are posting about yet again.

Ah. That's better.
posted by pracowity at 2:09 PM on May 20, 2010


But Artw, what about my question about the allusions to Magical Princess Circus and Alien Invader Omega?
posted by filthy light thief at 2:18 PM on May 20, 2010


Dunno. Are magical princesses any use as a neutron flow moderator?
posted by Artw at 2:20 PM on May 20, 2010


One should strive to not use the pronoun "I" in a post unless it's a quote.

What? Also I fixed the title.
posted by jessamyn at 2:34 PM on May 20, 2010


If one (the one mentioned above) is not aware that a term is insulting, is it?
posted by Cranberry at 3:08 PM on May 20, 2010


Artw, are they mostly water? If so their usefulness is a question of how densely you can pack them.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 5:14 PM on May 20, 2010


Here's the thing about nerd fandoms.

Nerds are not just into a thing. They are into being into the thing.
posted by Legomancer at 6:22 PM on May 20, 2010


More often, it’s a taunt, suggesting that the person in question is goofy and childish.

But... what's wrong with being goofy and childish?

That was not a question of joy, but of detail-oriented obsession without thought for context.

Actually, for some of us, detail-oriented obsession can be fun. We techies aren't all in it for the money, you know.
posted by Xezlec at 6:59 PM on May 20, 2010


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