Merry Xmas. A couple weeks ago I did an entry about my frustrations on why so many people in the fanbase were so awful, and why the term "Fanson" may as well be a 4-letter word. Nothing has really changed my feelings on that, but it would certainly be irresponsible for me not to show the other side of the coin as well.
So for this entry,I'm going to look at why this fanbase is so fantastic. There are a lot of reasons, and they affect both me personally as well as the world at large.
Starting at the highest level would be the obvious charity work the community has embarked on over the last (nearly) 10 years. Yes, the band is a massive part of getting the ball rolling, but realistically if the fans showed no interest or support for what they were presenting to us, most of these efforts would have died on the vine back in 2007. Realistically, it's obvious that a lot of people do it just because want to try to get a bunch of pictures with the band. But if even 2% of the people at every show are motivated to actually follow up on their own once they're out of the concert environment, it's going to make a difference.
In a different realm of the charity universe, it was impressive to see the community reaction when Ashley had her boating accident earlier this year (wrote about this in an entry here). Aside from her friends donating and drumming up support from others, people that don't even know her threw a lot of money into that fund to help cover her medical expenses. I saw her at the Dallas show and it was really impressive that she was already back at the concert game such a short time after the accident.
As selfish as the fans can be at times, they are also just as generous when it matters most.
Although I've met some deceptive and manipulative people that I would have preferred to avoid along the way, it is without exaggeration that I can state that some of the most valued friends I have are people I've met through this fanbase. There are some people I've known since the early 2000s I can't imagine NOT knowing at this point. To draw from my own quote from many years ago - this community has shown me the magic of having friends you've known seemingly forever, yet only see for a few hours a year.
I place some of these people right up there with people I've known since elementary school. Heck, even those who I never got that close to still come through for me at times. There was a period about two and a half years ago where I was absolutely at my lowest point, but didn't say much about it. There was a person I met at ONE show, well over five years prior and I had barely talked to since then that reached out to talk to me and was an absolutely invaluable contact for me for a few months. Random stuff like that doesn't happen in real life, yet it did in this case...thanks to knowing people I met through the Realm of Hanson. If I'm being 100% honest, I can say that the main reason I still travel to the occasional show is because I want to see my friends. The music aspect of it is just the awesome side benefit. If the day comes when the band decides they have nothing left to say musically, I'm still going to be close with some of my fellow fans.
On a broader level, it's just flat-out reassuring that at this point, no matter what city I'd travel to for a show, I'd have at least a few allies there.
I've got some plans I'm looking to execute on in 2016. One really cool idea I've had for years that I'm hoping to be able to pull off, but it's going to take a lot of preparation and probably some luck...more info hopefully coming sooner than later. If I can get it rolling it'll get this site to feature something besides just the blog stuff. Enjoy your New Years Eve (or go to bed at 9:30 pm, whatever you're into).
Santa has risen.
Blog title taken from Devin Townsend Project - Lady Helen
All the roads that once were right
Stay the way they are