Know your ‘place,’ and your ‘worth’
The fandom is always giving a fuss of one fan's worth, which includes his or her financial capability when it comes to either buying merchandise or attending events, and his or her talents that can be a good use for the fandom. To put it simply, we have those capabilities. The only problem is that we show our pride first: "I have more money than you," "I have visited more events than you," etc.
Remember that this ain't the "greatest fan" contest nor the "wealthiest." This ain't a race for being the "number 1" for their kami-oshi neither. You have your own worth. No matter how little, it is still the thought counts. When MNL48 became more successful because of these efforts, everyone wins.
Shirogiku, a character from Cabasuka Gakuen and played by NMB48's Shiroma Miru, once said that the internet is a cruel place. This is indeed true. With the advent of social media, people now have that vast power to be what they can be. However, they became warped.
One of the worst things people obtained in terms of using social media is their ability to do something "out of their bounds." MNL48's fandom is out of exception, esp. If someone violates the 'love ban.' They have the time in the world to either dig deeper into one's profile to see if she breaks the rule or if she was proven to do so, they will condemn her to death by mudslinging through private messages to their social media accounts. It is as if whether if it is on Facebook or Twitter, 'witch-hunting' is a norm in the fandom.
In the opinion piece entitled "Boundaries of a fan," <published April 28, 2020> its author wrote about the most important rule for a fan: understanding the word, "respect." Whether if it is physical or in social media, fans should really understand and impose respect towards themselves and their idols, which includes knowing their 'place' and their boundaries in the fandom. This includes what they would say to them or what they are doing.
But, in reality, no matter how many times they would utter the word, they couldn't 'walk the talk.' When would they ever learn? When someone gets hurt? When someone gets stalked? If they have the ability to promote the group in SNS, they should have the power to stop this cycle. They should be better than any 'anti' crawling in the dark side of the web. Or rather, they should be better humans.
Photographers of different MNL48 fansites are complaining that other people are stealing their content while cropping it to make it their own. In order to prevent that, most of them decided to put either a large watermark in their photos or scatter them in it.
Imagine seeing the photo of your kami-oshi from them, but their face is covered by a watermark.
Let this be a lesson.
The author would like to end his column with the first lines of AKB48 Team K's "Stand Up," from their 4th theater Stage, "Saishu wa Bell ga Naru:"
“Saa tachiagare! zetsubou no sono tanizoko kara saa arukidase! kanashimi to namida no ato kara saa tachiagare! kizutsuita karada wo okoseyo! saa arukidase! mou ichido sugata wo misero yo!”
<" Come on, stand up! From the depths of that despair Come now, walk on! From the trails of sorrow and tears Come on, stand up! Raise up that battered body of yours! Come now, walk on! Once more, show what you're made of!">
Despite being a Theater Song for an idol group, this is a song of standing up for what you believe in and fight back, esp. in this time and age where a higher power decided to shut you down and not to speak in opposition.
You have a voice—time to use it.
Stay safe, and have fun!
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views held by the entirety of PAKSA MNL and fellow MNLoves.