SagSousuke continues the community dialogue about idols, burnout, and redemption, discussing when idols have failed him. It’s a fascinating read for me, mostly because it’s so different from the other experiences I’ve seen.
First, there is the notion that the CONCEPT of idols fail SagSousuke: that is, the attitude and mood that defines idols. If anything, I think Brian and I both held on to the concept of idols even as individual idols failed to do anything for us. But then, I have us both pegged as capitalist wota – to use SagSousuke’s very useful taxonomy – and that kind of wota would seem more prone to loving the machinery of the idol industry even when the cogs aren’t particularly interesting.
Second, SagSousuke writes that he winds up returning to the same idols after his brief lapses of disillusionment. It makes sense, since it’s the concept that fails him, not the idols themselves. But again, this seems quite different from what I’ve experienced: redemption always comes with a bit of novelty for me, finding the next new thing that brings back the spark.
As for WHEN SagSousuke finds himself unhappy with idols, I can relate to that completely. He says it’s cyclical, based on the end of the school semester. While I wasn’t a wota at the time – much more a fanboy and otaku – the end of EVERY semester in graduate school was a crisis of faith for me. I would rant and rave at anyone within hearing distance that I was done with grad school, it wasn’t worth the grief, and so on and so on. Then I’d get an extension on whatever final paper was due that I couldn’t finish, I’d walk around with a shit-eating grin on my face, and everything was okay until the following end of semester.
SagSousuke strikes a familiar note again when he opines that it’s him failing the idols and not vice-versa – that is, it’s the situation in his life that changes, not the idols and what they’re doing. Certainly, there are times when idols can fail their wota – for instance, by going on a downward slide of crap songs and poor marketing decisions that last years upon years as they shed their most interesting members and let the blandest female possible lead them but thank God she’s finally graduating this month – but more often than not, it seems to tie in with developments in the wota’s life.
I won’t go so far as to say idols are conceptually immutable, but the formula is fixed and rarely changes in any meaningful manner. So how we react to that idol formula – what we like about it, what we don’t – may change over time, as we mature and see the world in an ever-evolving manner. It also may change what we seek out in idols, what aspects work for us and what doesn’t.
So, I’m curious. What kind of wota do each of you think YOU are? How did you reach that conclusion, what indications are there in your own wota life?