(The excellent book I'm currently reading, Fundamentalist World by Stuart Sim, analyzes the rise of fundamentalism in various social aspects. It's a bit more about the "how" of fundamentalism than the "what makes it tick", but also worth your time.)
The (allegedly) universal agenda of fundamentalism consists of:
- Men are dominant, rule the joint and make the rules.
- All rules must apply to all people, no pluralism.
- The rules must be precisely communicated to the next generation.
- "they spurn the modern, and want to return to a nostalgic vision of a golden age that never really existed." (spiffy fascism/fundamentalism parallel made here)
- Fundamentalists deny history in a "radical and idiosyncratic way."
Holy smoking crap.
1.) Men dominate. -- Well, duh. Sure, there are more geek girls out there now than there used to be -- primarily because of Legolas' non-threatening sexuality, by the way. He's the boy-band of medieval fantasy heroism. Still, it's generally a strutting, macho joint in the hardcore fan bases.
2.) All rules must apply to all people, no pluralism -- we've all seen hundreds of these posts: "Anyone who doesn't agree with me that Kirk/Picard/Sisko was the best captain, is an IDIOT and ISN'T A REAL STAR TREK FAN!"
3.) The rules must be precisely communicated about the Next Generation -- Well, how much more specific ... wait ... oh, sorry. "to the next generation." Again, easy. How many "these are the great writers/books" retrospectives do Marvel and DC alone crank out in a year? Never mind the sci-fi "Seasons One through Four are great, Season Five is crap, Season Six has it's moments ..." conversations at each con.
4.) "they spurn the modern, and want to return to a nostalgic vision of a golden age that never really existed." Such the softball. Go back, reread the soul-shattering genius of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Seriously. Try. It's like a spastic chimp hitting my pineal gland with a sockful of pennies.
5.) Fundamentalists deny history in a "radical and idiosyncratic way." -- "I'm looking forward to Episode Three."
Game, set, match.
All this allows me, in my quest for buzzwords, to create a new one: Fandamentalists.
" ... (noun, pl.); fans who violently believe the only valid interpretation of any entertainment source is a dogmatic adherence to their favorite version of that source. Any change to the smallest detail is inherently unacceptable (see also "heresy") and met with frantic scorn. See also Hal Jordan and Klingons, bumpy vs, smooth.
Thanks for your attention. Sometime this week, I'll clarify what I meant by 4th Generation Media. And those words aren't strung together at random because they sound cool; I'm quite specifically pulling ideas from this paper and applying them to modern entertainment.