The Snob’s Speech

Wow, what a year, huh? Is it just me or have the last few years ended with “wow that was a terrible year let’s never do that again” and then we as a collective species just keep topping ourselves? I don’t mean in the fandom specifically – in general, it’s been a difficult and trying year. Hell, just choosing a Top 5 Most Depressing Things That Happened This Year would be extremely difficult, and you pretty much already know the basics, so I won’t waste your time or mine retreading depressing shit, but suffice it to say – this year sucked.

And while it’s hardly the national-level news that most of the worst stories from this year have been, no small part of what made this such a shit year were the revelations that came out this spring about how some of the most beloved and respected wizard rockstars had been abusing not just their position and power, but abusing women and girls. This came at a time when it was hard to deny that the fandom was winding down, and it felt like such a kick in the teeth. I’m sure I’m not the only one who questioned if wizard rock was worth it. If it was ever worth it.

For someone who was not actually a wizard rocker, I put an inordinate amount of my time, passion, and energy into this fandom for a good chunk of years, and it was hard not to think – what was the point? Everything from the hours I spent obsessively updating the long-dead Wizrocklopedia wiki, to the money spent, to starting a blog and writing thousands upon thousands of words (some of which were spelled correctly!) seemed pointless. The fandom died anyway, and then we found out that some of the people I respected most as musicians and artists were manipulative, abusive, frankly evil little shits. A large bulk of my life had been centered around this community, and I had inadvertently ended up spending not-insignificant portions of my resources supporting people I now find morally repugnant.

So yeah, wizard rock was a pointless crock of shit, and we should all feel like assholes for ever thinking it was anything more, and for recklessly bringing other people into this swirling maelstrom of feces and horse semen.

The end.

Except…

That way of thinking misses one very important point – wizard rock was never really about the rock stars. This is something I’ve only recently come to realize. And it is true that there is an overwhelming perception that wrock is all about the Wizard Rock Heart Throbs, a perception that led to the kind of instances where girls and women in our fandom were manipulated and abused. This is a perception we all had a hand in creating, and we are all to blame for it. But that perception wasn’t reality. Because wizard rock was never really truly about the rockstars. It certainly wasn’t about the indie wrockers. It wasn’t even about the books or the music.

Wizard rock was – no, wizard rock is about the people, the stories they have, and the lives that were changed.

Wizard rock is about the woman who was 12 when the book series ended, but still goes to every show she can, and takes her little sister with her too.

Wizard rock is about the girl who realized she could sing, and the boy who realized he could play.

Wizard rock is about the friends made at cons and only occasionally contacted on Facebook.

Wizard rock is about the friends made at cons and eventually married.

Wizard rock is about the relatively conservative girl who not only had her views changed, but realized that she’s bi.

Wizard rock is about the woman who never really had friends, even on the internet, who is now involved in 35 different fandoms, some of which you’ve probably never heard of, and has close connections in all of them.

Wizard rock is about the embarrassed boy who always had trouble with reading but loved stories and loved music and found friends who didn’t shame him for preferring the audiobooks.

Wizard rock is about the trans man who found his true voice, and found some true friends.

Wizard rock is about the girl who organized local shows who became the woman that organizes international charity work.

Wizard rock is about the father who raises his children on this glorious, terrible, wonderful, awful, unique music.

Wizard rock is about waking up at Wrockstock in the wrong cabin, and people you’ve never met offering you a blanket. And some rum.

Wizard rock is about the girl who sneakily (and sometimes guiltily) made friends and connections online against the wishes of her parents, and ended up having a safe space to come to and arms and couches to run to when she came out.

Wizard rock is about the person who rediscovered a passion for writing, for critiquing, and for getting into fights on the internet.

Wizard rock is about the girl stuck in a melancholy haze after the end of Deathly Hallows who decided to put her feelings to music, and learned valuable coping mechanisms in the process.

Wizard rock is about the kid with the shitty acoustic guitar, an on-board laptop microphone, and some poorly-thought-out lyrics sitting in their room, about to take a step that will change their life forever.

Wizard rock is about the friends and the brothers and the kids and the lovers and the heartbreak and the loss and the joy and the births and the deaths and the mistakes and the consequences and the lucky breaks and the dead ends and the new opportunities and the experiences you wish you could forget and the experiences you never will.

Wizard rock is about taking bad experiences and not letting them break you, and taking crazy ideas and letting them make your life so much better.

Wizard rock is about you. Wizard rock is about us.

That’s what wizard rock is all about, Charlie Brown.

See you next year.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. g2-430661cc56bc3f0182da97c8ac1fa572
    Dec 31, 2014 @ 18:50:49

    OH. i needed that. i really did.

    i’ll be frank. i’m not ready to let go; i don’t think i’ll ever be. wrock has shaped so much of my life for such a long time, and it will be – has been – heartwrenching to see it dwindle and fade. but you’re right! it lives on in me, and in all of us. i’ll try to be worthy of its legacy.

    happy new year, snobby me dear.

    Reply

  2. Scott Humdinger
    Jan 01, 2015 @ 15:14:25

    Are you growing up? Because that is the most coherent collection of sentences you’ve ever written. 🙂

    Seriously though, thanks for this. It sums up many of my own feelings.

    Also, I don’t think wrock fandom is dead or dying. Just changing, shrinking, moving on. 20 years from now we’ll all look back on these times and just think “wow”. Our kids and grand kids won’t believe we were ever that cool. 🙂

    Reply

  3. Christie
    Sep 28, 2016 @ 08:29:58

    This is a good post 🙂

    Reply

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