On being a rabid fan...

And so, I was wondering what makes a "rabid fan." For example, why am I a rabid fan of Joss Whedon or Seth Godin or Steve Taylor or for that matter Ross Perot (back when he ran for office)?

Why are people "rabid fans" for Obama?

It occurs to me that any time you've been thinking something and someone gives you words to articulate it, your affection and appreciation for them exceeds normal bounds.

For example, in college when I first heard Steve Taylor's music, he put words to all of the frustration I was feeling in the schism between my faith and what I was seeing in the church. How did Steve know, I truly, truly didn't "Want to be a Clone"?

Ross Perot was a voice outside of the status quo political system. (Much as Obama is now.) It felt like such a relief for someone to actually admit how screwed up the system really was without blaming the other political party in some sort of career-advancing move.

Joss Whedon stepped outside of the tried and true and created characters that were flawed and yet extraordinary. They were people we wanted to know because we could relate.

Seth Godin has taken marketing to a level that actually respects the people we are marketing to. They aren't "marks" or "assets." They are "people." That integrity resonates.

The interesting thing to me in considering this is that I'm not sure any of these men knew they would strike such a chord. I don't perceive that they were looking for the "next big thing." It appears they were simply being true to themselves and telling their own stories.

As it turns out, they learned that their stories were shared. But I bet they didn't know that in the beginning. Which makes the whole thing even more worthy of screaming and asking for autographs.

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Maira Gall