As we all know, an incident happened at a handshake event where two AKB48 members and a staffer were injured because of a violent event-goer.*
Well, in the heat of the moment, I pretty much vented in a post that added further clutter to the stream of scheduled posts for the day.
Well, now that my head is cleared, I can actually live up to the post’s title and keep calm and support AKB48.
48thful, this is for you.
As a fan of idols and celebrities and media in general, I have seen and heard many a horror story about berserkers sending a peaceful event meant to strengthen the bond between the adored and the adoring into anarchic chaos. That sacred pact between the idol and the idolater has been shattered in that fateful event with consequences that’ll send ripples across the idolverse as we know it.
Now, let’s start by putting it (the post in relation to the news) into context.
Early Saturday, I was told by my mom about the killings at Isla Vista. It became an afterthought in light of the sad motive and the fact I heard it before an outing to celebrate a friend’s birthday. After a somewhat hectic Sunday, I hopped onto Idolminded to read the news for the day, hoping to find more insightful pieces and content…
…Only to be greeted with the news of the tragedy. It’s weird that it shocked me, even knowing AKB48 and the personal knowledge that some fans can go too far.
(I’m looking at you, “bronies.” Back in my day, that was a term of pride!)
However, even knowing the injuries are minor (certainly because the security and staff did their jobs!), it doesn’t change the fact that the dynamic’s been altered. I apologize for the rashness and clutter of that day.
In hindsight, I probably should’ve bumped it back (even knowing my schedule and plan). However, my feelings became too much to contain on Skype and I could not bottle them up into 140 characters. I slowly calmed down as I crafted my post, but the rawness was too much. (Then again, part of the point of these “emergency updates” was to provide a more timely response as many of the posts I make tend to get scheduled days to weeks to months ahead or just require a lot of time to make. That is why that survey post looks the way it does.)
Looking at it now, I feel ashamed to have written the first rendition, even if I said my peace in my piece. I knew I’d have to write a better, more composed entry as I was acting off of initial information (even if it was hours late) and I was too lost in my emotions to think straight. I’ve even found, realizing hours later, what I had meant to say with my solidarity statement.
Trying to make sense of all of the violence in a chaotic world. I suppose it’s times like these that we realize why we like idols, why we cling to them so and cheer them on as they chase their hearts’ desire. When we’re feeling down, they can ease our pain and get us on our feet again.
Come for the girls and the music, stay for the inevitable fuzzies.
A (now deleted) post on Delicious Cake Project places many of factors best, even somewhat influencing this very post (to the point where I’m saddened I couldn’t/didn’t jot down those very factors). Also, I read somewhere that the best way to combat bad fans (or “fans”) and PR is to create good PR with good fandom. As a Robot Chicken sketch said:
Shame on you! You’ve all forgotten the true meaning of fandom. We should take joy in our love, not argue about them.
Fans, don’t let the actions of one man (and the resultant bad press) silence your good deeds. Silence grows like a cancer. Don’t help them to bury the light. Show the world that these things are not typical of the dimension we live in.
Come on, everyone line up for a hug. Let’s tear down some emotional walls.
AKB48 prided themselves on being “the idols you can meet,” a bold one given the invisible wall between us and them. *cues the Pink Floyd music*
You can’t imagine what it’s like to be a 48G girl. You have to audition, be a trainee, get into the group proper, and basically fight your way to be able to be recognized. Reason AKB48 and the rest of the 48G Universe has their claim to fame as “the idols you can meet” is because of the distance between performer and audience. This’ll certainly be a brick in the wall, but the 48s are taking great risks in trying to bust down those walls and establish connections.
Incidents like this are why these walls, these boundaries exist, but that is what makes the 48G so remarkable in their attempt to reach out to their fandom directly. The rest of idoldom followed suit.
While this incident will certainly thicken the wall between (48G) idols and their fans, we must not let this build walls between fellow fans and the public. Tear down the wall!
Consider me a fan for taking a risk in this fan closeness, even knowing that there is someone out there looking to create another cultural earthquake like this one. I had always considered getting into AKB48 and I know they’ll be fine (because idols are renowned for their resiliency, even the sickly ones).
Now what song would work for a good occasion like this (besides Sugar Rush)? (I thought of starting at the beginning, but would that be wise?)
Screw that, now’s not the time to be talking gateways.
Let’s concentrate on building bridges as fans united in our fan of idols, our idolatry.
If you’ll pardon me borrowing some lines from the competition:
You are not alone
Everyone is here
Eagerly wishing for peace
Hey you, don’t tell me there’s no hope at all.
Together we stand, divided we fall.
Love and peace,
*Fortunately, all is well now and the girls (and the staffer) have been released from the hospital. Unfortunately, many idol hand-related meet and greets have been cancelled. (UFA, in their infinite wisdom, decided to fight the fearful climate and let the show go on.) Further updates can be found here and here.