Neutrality and the Unheard Woes of the Omnifan

This is true, but this is also not true. Do you see the aforementioned sentence as two arguments, or just one?

It has been a long time since I last wrote. The rigorous clacking of keyboard keys and the weaving of ideas that boggle the mind and soul of the Japanese visual media consumer ring faintly in my mind as I stare intently at the blankness that is the Add New Post page. Alas, these thoughts that are constantly swirling my mind are demanding an outlet of protest, for they have been suppressed for far too long.

What am I talking about, exactly? What ails the elusive enigma to the point of unprecedented resurrection? That is, simply being, the dissection of the very existence of the omnifan.

The omnifan is an entity of fandom based on the concept of how a person interprets something. In the omnifan’s case, he or she is an entity that exists to accept every plausible idea, every possible context, and every single opinion. An omnifan does not stick to one idea, concept or interpretation, but rather it creates an amalgam from all the possibilities in order to create an acceptable answer. It does not discriminate on the morality of an idea, nor does it reject its differing polarities when it comes to interpreting them. Everything is possible, therefore an interpretation is limited only by the boundaries of one’s imagination.

This, if we go by the principles of post-structuralism, deduces an omnifan’s as a being of neutrality, which brings us to my case. If we are to leap beyond the boundaries of Japanese visual media fandom and into the inner workings of communities and the social media that make them work, the omnifan is the most creative, the least believable, and the least to be liked. Why? Because the omnifan tends to accept every interpretation as a possibility, they tend to walk on the gray line when it comes to everything. The sentence “I like (insert X here).” is interpreted as “I like it because it’s a good X.” or “I like X because it’s as bad as Y.”, or “I like it just because.” or even all of the above. They perpetrate the “A is deep” and “B is grimdark” posts in 4chan. They lump in every single interpretation that the other types of interpretative strategies (the focused fan and the discerning, respectively) believe in and attempt to make sense out of them, which mostly doesn’t sit well with the aforementioned. The omnifan revels in the certainty of uncertainty, and that means rejecting reality and substituting one’s own, based on how the environment and circumstances are perceived.

Lo, and behold, for what seems to be the omnifan’s strength also proved to be the omnifan’s own undoing. This double-edged sword not only bolsters the omnifan’s creative thought processes, but also degrades him or her to a demographic so uncertain that it cannot label itself, a demographic that cannot be accepted because it accepts everything. Anything an omnifan says may or may not hold any meaning because it is neutrally diverse; it is theoretical and utterly shallow unless proven by fact. Worse, the possibility that omnifans are actually right is extremely rare. And in the cases where they are, people still won’t believe them, or at least have a hard time accepting that the one gear they believe that is the most essential is as irrelevant as the others that comprise the entire clockwork that is the plot.

However, let us take heed that human nature is subject to constant change. We are not permanently pegged into this kind of self-categorization. We are, after all, a species that is inclined to evolve over time. Therefore, it is safe to say that the woes of the omnifan may be as short-lived as a moment’s thought.

But how certain I am on this, I have not the slightest clue.

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  1. I think everyone should take something from this; being open to consider any interpretation of something and not shutting anything out and trying to identify the merits of any particular thing are good habits.

    So a more moderate interpretation of this phenomenon can actually help avoid homogeneity in criticism.

    • I agree re:moderation in interpretation. Though it does have it’s perks, an all-accepting point of view does have its downsides, especially if your aim is to really overdo it.

      • I quite agree again – any acceptance of multiple readings must be discerning and accept some are more useful.

  2. I don’t see what’s so special. This so-called Omni fan is still a human being, and assuming a group of them, some are bound to be more persuasive than others, or make better hypothesis than others. That’s true for any other group.

    • That’s one way to accurately put it, but do note that being persuasive doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a generalist when it comes to everything. Notable people who use this kind of approach when it comes to interpretation do encounter problems when it comes to explaining how they see an idea, but then again, other elements (the audience, most especially) also factor on how it is accepted.

  3. I really should work checking my own blog into my daily routine. Rather than, like, sleeping on the couch until bedtime.

    Let me see if I can make it more complicated. Being “actually right” isn’t a concern of the omnifan; right and wrong aren’t pertinent to the simple fact that many interpretations are possible for a given thing. That in itself is the cool thing about art. At risk of sounding unfashionably post-something, the point isn’t to merge all known interpretations into an uber-interpretation; the point is ambiguity itself, being able to hold on to contradiction. It’s okay for the omnifan to take issue with interpretations based on misinformation, I suppose, but the criteria for misinformation aren’t that strict.

    I think omnifandom can be a hard sell because it rings of hypocrisy. Doesn’t the omnifan personally prefer one interpretation over another? Well, yeah, probably, on an emotional level during consumption. It’s really just a matter of not wanting or needing to be right, and thinking of art either as a fluid thing or not as an object at all, but as something one does to an object. Art is a shelf, and you set all your crazy shit on it next to everyone else’s crazy shit and step back and say, hey, cool. That’s some crazy shit there.

    Per omo, it’s also going to depend on the rhetoric of the persuader.

  1. Neutrality and the Unheard Woes of the Omnifan (On Super Fanicom) « Rainbowsphere
  2. Interpreting Interpretation: Part 1 | Chromatic Aberration Everywhere
  3. Interpreting Interpretation: Introduction and Fans (Redo) | Chromatic Aberration Everywhere

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