This piece isn’t aiming to slate One Direction, henceforth shortened to OD, because it’s not in my nature to take the cheap easy shots unless I’m in a nightclub. This is more about how fans of the band are actually dangerous for society as a whole, confused, read on.
A few days ago I logged onto Twitter and saw that Perez Hilton was trending worldwide, normally things don’t trend worldwide unless they’re, you know, global events. So it was kind of surprising to find that all he’d done is what he always does, spread rumours and shit thick enough to see from orbit. I don’t resent him for that, it’s how he makes a living, I can’t be mad at him for providing a service that millions of people obviously want.
Plus he has those puppy dog eyes.
The rumour Perez started was that Zayn was dipping his funstick into somebody elses sherbet. What followed was a torrent of abuse so thick you could easily have mistaken it for a Eminem song. Zayn left Twitter, then came back. In that time Perez received death threats, really unimaginative ones, which as we all know, are totally the worst kind. But here’s where I take my hat (I’m wearing a hat) off to Perez, he didn’t give a fuck. If not giving a fuck was an Olympic sport, Perez would have won the gold, and then thrown it at the person who came second, BECAUSE HE DOESN’T GIVE A FUCK!
Those are just two examples, there are literally thousands of these. The last time this many people all focussed on wanting one man to go kill himself it was outside a court ruling on euthanasia. But let’s just back up a second here, so what was Perez doing, plying baseless rumours, what a fucker! Oh wait, he published a video that may or may not have shown Zayn trying it on with a fan. That’s kind of different, sure it’s an invasion of privacy but that shit would have been leaked to YouTube, all Perez did was give it a shortcut to going viral.
But OD fans problem isn’t that he published the video, it’s that Perez was totally making shit up about the situation, something OD fans are totally innocent of.
But here’s where I go back to the title of this piece. OD fans aren’t reacting to Perez spreading rumours, they’re categorically refusing to hear anything bad about the band. Which is totally different. Scientists call it Celebrity Worship Syndrome. There are three levels worship, the middle of which is described as “Intense-personal” in other words, the sufferer has an unrealistic personal bond with the person they admire. If you don’t think the represents OD fans, well …
4 minutes worth of tweets, there are 72 thousand of them last time I checked.
Now I have no idea who @ZaynmyHumanEcho is, I’m sure they’re lovely and hope they don’t mind being used as my example. But that account is just one of hundreds doing exactly the same thing, believe me, I checked. But the problem is, it’s not supporting the band, it’s shouting over anyone who says anything bad. The only problem is that Perez Hilton can shout a lot louder.
It’s fundamentally undermining to the people you support if you band together to protect them from any and all criticism, it’s akin to admitting you don’t think they can stand up to legitimate critique. The same for refusing to hear anything bad about them, if you constantly tell someone they’re perfect and don’t need to change, that artist is never going to be able to grow and evolve, which is a death sentence in the music industry.
If you’re truly a fan of someone, if you truly hold them in the kind of light reserved for heroes and legends, scrutinise the fuck out of them. The reason legends exist is because somebody erased all the bad shit they did, if you do that, if you try to ignore anything bad, all you’re left with is an unrealistic figure no one can live up to, and if no one can live up to their example, they’re a pretty shitty role model.
Which is why OD fans are dangerous. Unquestionably following somebody and refusing to hear anything other than praise about them never ends well, unless it’s me you’re obsessed with, then it’s ok.