Heheh.. Stamp Collectors.
I am torn between Twlight fandom and Furries... the furries catch the brunt of things often enough, so let's go with the Twitards.
I survived the rec.collecting.stamps reorganisation flamewar. Barely. But the losing side would probably have been less embarrassed by the whole affair if they'd just dressed up as mascots instead...
Hobbies can be deceptive. When I was an AOL Guide, I remember watching the regulars of Needlepoint Chat absolutely decimate this poor 14 year old kid with a copy of AOHell. It was almost a mercy killing when I bumped him offline. ;-)
And I've survived many a usenet comics and usenet basketball flamewar. I'm here to tell you that the crazy bird ladies can be much more volatile than either one. I mean, they get scary and start trying to fuck with you in real life if you piss them off!
Still, I think for the long haul, the furries and the anime crowd still are the golden standard by which all weird internet obessions are measured.
I'd actually heard of furry fandom and of anime when I first got involved with fandom back in the mid to late 1980s, when the Internet was still a twinkle in Al Gore's eye*; in fact my first exposure to the concept of anime as "cartoons that aren't just Kid Stuff" from an article in the "Listener" - the local TV listings magazine - about Akira when it first came out some time about 1986. The general impression I got of both groups then was that they were weird, in the same way that Trekkies were weird (and of Whovians**, the less said the better).
The main thing different about being on the internet now, rather than being in a group of people who meet at the pub once a month, is that I actually now have friends who are furry fans and are anime fans, and yes, they are weird, but in fairly much the same way that I'm weird with my shelves of classic Who DVDs and cases full of SF, fantasy and assorted books; and that they're still people well worth calling friends.
* yes, I know he didn't actually claim to have invented the Internet, but it is still a good story.
** I have considerable Whovian sympathies myself, but the general impression within SF fandom at the time was that they were people who didn't operate on the same level as "normal"*** fans.)
*** Yes, I am aware of the irony in saying this.
The thing about anime and Furries is that they seem to attract a higher proportion of whackadoo to normal obsessed fan than, say, we nice, rational people who will sit up all night passionately debating just why
the Hulk should be able to kick Superman's ass back to Krypton. ;-) (The next time you talk to Foe on #comicbooks
, ask him about "Beast vs. the Entire Marvel Universe" or "Cyclops: Leader or Looser?" - and no, I did not typo or misspell there. ;-) Or, perhaps, "Spit or Swallow". I don't think her was ever involved in the Green Lantern Wars.)
True story. Once, ten or so years ago, I was at a work social club function. A considerable amount of beer had been rented*, and much of it returned, and we were sitting around in small groups blithering on about nothing in particular, as we tend to do while half trolleyed. At one point, apropos of wherever the conversation had staggered, I mentioned that, a couple of years previously, I'd been at a science fiction convention. (Silicon, Dunedin, 1994, guest of honour Barbara Hambly, who was great value). Another of the group looked at me, did the whole googly eyes thing and said: "You're one of those". I pointed out that a lot of what went on at the `con involved drinking, listening to Bat Out of Hell and making embarrassingly bad attempts at doing the Time Warp. It just so happened that all three of these had also been done at the social club Do in question.
Of course, these days Rocky Horror is so mainstream that there's a statue of Richard O'Brien in full Riff Raff regalia prominently displayed in Hamilton City... (and if you don't believe me, I can show you the stamp. Yes, there's even a stamp).
* You don't buy beer, you only rent it.
Usenet was a fairly weird place all in itself (which doesn't mean I don't still have friends - even off-line - that I first met on Usenet, and I definitely regret that my new internet provider doesn't have a Usenet service). I'll have to actually write my reminiscences of the r.c.s reorg flamewar down some time, because it was bizarre (how bizarre? People were hacking into police computers and posting their opponents' criminal records onto the group - and those were the "good" guys...)
Ok, that's a special level of crazy, and if I'd heard the story before I voted, "Stamp Collectors" would have rated higher. ;-)
Let's just say... I have no problem believing everything I am told by reliable sources about Twihards or Crazy Bird Ladies, because I've seen worse.
I also forgot (it's been a while) that it's largely because of a stamp collector that some newsgroups became unusable... nothing actually to do with stamps, but someone who happened to have once been a stamp dealer in Edmonton, Canada, was also one of the worst Usenet anti-Semites around (who had a particular hatred for the Nizkor Project) and spammed endless screeds of drivel about Jews and Armenians (who I didn't actually think were interchangeable groups, but it shows how much I know) to selected Usenet groups.
You should contact David Ball -- I still get my Usenet through him.
(If you don't quite remember him, he used to be on ABML.)
There are still ways to get on Usenet, and some of us are still there. :)
Twilight fandumb is terrifying... I should link you to a web board that details all the attacks some of these psychos have perpetuated on people that dislike their precious P.O.S. "books"
I think I've seen a few of them linked to from elsewhere... they tend to involve scary youngsters with scissors or stuff like that, don't they?
One of my personal Bad Habits is to refer to Mr. My Little Vampire as "Michael Cullen". Who isn't a vampire, but is just a former Minister of Finance (i.e. the Lord High Beancounter) and who is about as exciting as a load of wet concrete.
National Lampoon has a parody of Twilight out called "NightLight". It's hilarious.
I picked other for the 2nd one because of the anti-vaccine people.
Damn I should have remembered those... even in the last couple of weeks I've read about how much damage those wackos are doing to "herd immunity". Not to mention that this whole "vaccine=autism" thing is a proven fraud cooked up by someone wanting to sell his own particular snake oil...
One of the girls I work current mission is the controversies surrounding H1N1. She's even applauding me for not getting it. I'm like, I don't need to get it. Plus, for all the ZOMG, the regular flu has killed 100x more people in the same amount of time H1N1 has reared its head. There are other diseases and virus and bacteria that are much more insidious than H1N1.
I don't get 'flu vaccinations either, but that's mainly because... well, I'm single with no dependants and being the office Weird Knowledge Guru isn't exactly something that's a matter of life and death. There are people with far more priority than myself, and only so much vaccine to go around.