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Author Topic: Why Are You A Klingon Fan? -For Class Paper  (Read 4896 times)
Capella
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« on: 12 11, 2008, 11:48: PM »

Hello all Klingon fans and Klingons!

I am an anthropology undergraduate at Rutgers University, participating in a graduate-level class called Language As Social Action. My final paper is a discussion of the Klingon fan community in general and their adoption of the Klingon language in particular. I would appreciate it if posters here would be willing to answer some questions for me and PM me with the name they would like to be credited as (it may be a forum name and not a real name).

I know that people are leery of giving out information on the internet because of the potential for "freak" stories. I want to assure you that this is not for public consumption like a magazine article would be; anything you tell me will only be read by you, myself, and my professor. To assure you that you will not be misquoted I will send you the section of the paper in which you are quoted, and if you want more assurance or simply are curious I will send you the entire paper if you would prefer. I can by PM provide my real name and campus email address (and a way to contact my professor to verify that I am indeed doing this project legitimately) if that would further reassure you that this is a legitimate academic paper, and not an attempt to mock fans. I've been a Star Trek fan as long as I can remember. I would never mock fans.

A sample of what I'd like to know:

-What attracts you to the Klingon culture?
-In what ways do you participate in Klingon fan activities?
-Do you speak the Klingon language? If not, why not? If you do, why?
-How do you feel when people mock your fandom?

 I am also interested in the intersection of gender and fandom, and as a result commentary from female Klingon fans would be particularly valuable. However, as stated above, ANY Klingon fan should feel free to PM me with commentary. I would like all submissions to be sent by Monday, by Tuesday at the latest, as the paper is due on Friday and it needs time to be revised.

I hope that this request is not unwelcome. As stated above, I am doing this for a legitimate class, not for mockery, and you DO NOT have to use your real name or give me any identifying information.

~Capella
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Qunchuy
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« Reply #1 on: 12 12, 2008, 02:57: AM »

Let's get one fact out of the way immediately: I am not "a Klingon fan". I'm often mistaken for one because I speak the Klingon language. So I'm probably not someone you're looking for answers from, but I'll answer anyway just in case you find it useful.

What attracts you to the Klingon culture?

I am not attracted to "the Klingon culture". I have always had a tendency not to engage in idle chit-chat, but that's about as far as my "Klingon-ness" goes. I'm certainly not a fan of weapons, hand-to-hand combat, live food, or excessive drinking.

In what ways do you participate in Klingon fan activities?

I don't participate in "Klingon fan activities" -- As I said, I'm not really a "Klingon fan". I do attend the annual conference of the Klingon Language Institute, where we have fun activities that might border on Klingon fandom. I do wear a Klingon forehead and uniform on appropriate occasions -- which means on Halloween and when doing things like performing an excerpt from the Klingon translation of Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing.

Do you speak the Klingon language? If not, why not? If you do, why?

I do speak Klingon. I speak it well enough to be able to spend an entire day with other similarly fluent speakers and never need to resort to English.

I speak it partly because it's a really interesting little language, one that challenges assumptions about how languages are "supposed" to work. It's easy enough and small enough that it's possible to learn it in its entirety. But the main reason I speak it is that I find most of the other people who speak it to be an interesting mix of folk from a wide range of backgrounds who share a somewhat skewed zeal for the joys of language.

How do you feel when people mock your fandom?

When they do it out of ignorance, I feel a need to correct their mistaken understanding of what speaking Klingon means.

When they do it out of *willful* ignorance, I feel frustrated by their clinging to false beliefs and by my inability to get them to accept reasoned discussion.

When they do it out of faux indignation, I feel complete detachment from the situation. I have learned to avoid engaging roleplayers in real-life debate, because I never know whether they simply don't understand logic or whether they are just arguing for the sake of argument.

When they do it out of *true* indignation, I shrug and casually mention other similarly nonproductive hobbies before dropping the subject.
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qoSagh
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« Reply #2 on: 12 17, 2008, 08:21: PM »

Ok, I will also take a stab at this. I think mu answers will be a little more mainstream.

What attracts you to the Klingon culture?

First and foremost the work that has been put into developing this culture. Klingons started as simply "The Bad Guys" but unlike any other villain, they seemed to resonate with the fans. This lead to allot of fan fiction as well as authorized works in the form of novels and comics and role playing games. There is more about the Klingon culture available than there is about any other Star Trek race, except of course for humans. One discovers this soon after seeing their first Klingon.

Second is of course interesting fact, that despite being seen as villains and barbarians, Klingon culture is actually quite strict about following rules and doing the right thing. It is very interesting in a role play situation, to be able to play the bad guy while always doing the right thing.


In what ways do you participate in Klingon fan activities?


Times have changed, and for the most part my activities are currently on-line forums and creative writing. At one time, I was at either a Convention, or a Live Action Role Playing Event every 2-3 months. This brought much chance to experience the culture, through living it for very short focused periods of time. From this I met many of my closest friends, and even my wife of 15 years.


Do you speak the Klingon language? If not, why not? If you do, why?


I never really picked it up, both because I have only a passing interest in languages and because when I got started in Klignon fandom, we only had the first edition of the Klingon Dictionary and no KLI. Learning the fledgling language was an uphill battle at the time. Also the original but less developed Klingon language of klingonaase still reigned supreme, among my fellow fans.

How do you feel when people mock your fandom?

I find that people do not really mock Klingon fandom per se, they more mock Star Trek fandom in general. This is largely due to the various stereotypes of Trek fans and the way they have been portrayed. Sadly I have seen some people who live up to the bad images and others who can only aspire to them. Within Klingon fandom, I have found a greater percentage of people who are more grounded in other pursuits.

The only ridicule I have ever really seen directed at Klingon fans specifically is from other fans, who are generally less tolerant of some of the more creative interpretations of what it means to be Klingon.

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qoSagh qlIStIy
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« Reply #3 on: 01 11, 2009, 07:01: AM »

Hello all Klingon fans and Klingons!

A sample of what I'd like to know:

-What attracts you to the Klingon culture?
You want to know much, I have nothing to hide. Many things attract me to the Klingon Culture, Certianly originally there is a striking simularity to Samurai Culture on the surface. Another culture that I am scholor of. However I think it the strong differences that it has with normal human society as of the current time. Honour and Duty are very much core values, something that I would say I share with Klingons but I see as being something not well ebraces by current Human society. There is also the Klingon Directness, a certien general in your face kind of behavior that is very refreshing. Lying is far less favourited by Klingons who much rather tell you how it is. There is a level of honesty that I find appealing in basic Klingon Culture. Not to say they don't lie but rather it the exception rather than the rule. And perhaps there may even be something to be said about agressive females.


-In what ways do you participate in Klingon fan activities?
does this count? I remember debate on IRC and E-mail exchanges but I never reall did much with others. Perhaps it will change I would asume that this dies count Forum use?

-Do you speak the Klingon language? If not, why not? If you do, why?
I just getting back into it. I don't speak it I never been those Immersive people willing to learn a language that only a couple hundred people speak at all well.

-How do you feel when people mock your fandom?

I want to kill them and Make Necklaces out of their neck bones! [Ok I am kidding] Really it does little other than make me think they are small minded. I have more than one fandom, I never seen the reason to belittle anyone's fandom.

 
I am also interested in the intersection of gender and fandom, and as a result commentary from female Klingon fans would be particularly valuable. However, as stated above, ANY Klingon fan should feel free to PM me with commentary. I would like all submissions to be sent by Monday, by Tuesday at the latest, as the paper is due on Friday and it needs time to be revised.

I hope that this request is not unwelcome. As stated above, I am doing this for a legitimate class, not for mockery, and you DO NOT have to use your real name or give me any identifying information.

~Capella

I am male for you unstated question.
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torqey
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« Reply #4 on: 04 25, 2009, 05:31: PM »

-What attracts you to the Klingon culture? Klingons are not refined and aren't afraid to party!
-In what ways do you participate in Klingon fan activities? None, at the moment. By looking on these forums everyday, I hope to learn of some I can participate in.
-Do you speak the Klingon language? If not, why not? If you do, why? I am in the process of learning. I want to be able to confuse my friends and speak with other Klingons.
-How do you feel when people mock your fandom? I know enough Klingon to throw out some pretty nasty Klingon curses without them knowing what I said. I feel that people who mock it without knowing much about it are ignorant, diluded, trying-to-act-cool-and-not-geeky wannabe jerks. I pity them.
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« Reply #5 on: 02 04, 2010, 02:08: PM »

Even though I know this is well past the reason for this topic, I would like to share my general views on "Why Are You A Klingon Fan"?

Why Klingon?

Throughout the years, STAR TREK has grown in popularity. Ever since the first episode of Star Trek, The Original Series (TOS) through Star Trek, the movies and Star Trek, The Next Generation (TNG) up through and including Star Trek, Deep Space Nine (DS9) and Star Trek, Voyager, the acceptance of Star Trek as a whole has grown in leaps and bounds. It spans all ages, all racial cultures and even nationalities. Star Trek is watched the world over whether it be in syndication, movies or video.
 
During this growth of notoriety, groups and organization have come to pass. Some of these groups are fan clubs of specific stars of Star Trek, while others have developed into fandom organizations based on Star Trek’s Federation. The Federation, a league of worlds with the goal to develop cooperation and unity in the universe and the diversified races it encounters. There have also been those organizations that have been based on the concepts of Starfleet, Star Trek’s exploration and military branch, that their structure is based on a rank promotion system utilizing participation of it’s members with club activities. There are even others groups based on different races and cultures found within the universe of Star Trek. Klingons are one of these races.

With all the diversity of the Star Trek universe, why consider Klingons? In the TOS, the Klingons were portrayed as an adversary. It was said by some that Starfleet represented the United States and the Klingons were the USSR and that TOS represented an analogy of this struggle between the super powers of the time. With the rebirth of the Star Trek movies and TNG, Klingons took on a much different view. During the time difference between TOS and TNG, the Klingons had developed an alliance with the Federation. It is later learned that the treaty was due to an industrial accident on the moon, Praxis. This caused the Klingons to be forced into this alliance for the survival of their race. Because of the Khitomer Accords, the Klingons had developed into an uneasy ally. So the Klingons were not the enemy anymore, at least for the time being. As TNG matured, the mysticism of the Klingons became more noticeable because of the character known as Worf, played by Michael Dorn. As the character developed, Klingon philosophy was learned from his standpoint. Through this growth, the concepts of Klingons became more known. The Klingon race, being based on a warrior society, whose concepts are based on dedication to duty and strife for honor. Klingons would prefer to die in battle, a glorious death, for family and empire. This is closely related to the concepts of the Samurai. Much like the westerners depicted the Samurai as barbaric savages and visa versa, so does Starfleet depict the Klingons as a savage race? Ignorance in concepts and beliefs cloud the true nature of a race.

Still, why consider the Klingons? Those involved with Star Trek fandom can belong to the Federation and Starfleet to enjoy the concepts of these groups. Those who choose to be Klingons consider the ideas of duty and honor to be good virtues. They take these notions and enjoy life for now! They utilize duty to help others, as many Klingon fandom organizations assist with charitable events. Many Federation and Starfleet groups also perform this function, but it is the Klingons who are highly visible and usually command the attention at these events. Many times, friendly rivalries are used by both, Klingon and Starfleet, to promote and event. From an "Honor" thought, many view it as a method to keep alive the idea that seems to get lost in the present day’s discord for ambition and power. These ideologies are used by many to express camaraderie with others and be united in a common bond.

Being Klingon is unique! Anyone can put on a Starfleet uniform but to become a Klingon requires much more creative talent and ingenuity. Being Klingon is not just the uniform or makeup but the attitude to be honorable in one’s deeds and perform one’s duty to bring honor upon their organization, chapter and last but not least, themselves. It is having fun being something not of this world and having a great time doing it. To be Klingon is not determined by size, gender or age, it is the spirit of being different and unusual in the everyday world and carry on the concepts that Star Trek have portrayed. After all, a future like Star Trek is much more appealing than that of a holocaust.

Klindom

(Klingon + Fandom)

What is "Klindom"? What are "Klingon" and "Fandom"? Klingon is the alien warrior race from Star Trek. Fandom is the good-fellowship of individuals who enjoy the concepts, characteristics and views of a specific topic or topics. The combination of Klingon and Fandom is "Klindom". A dear friend, Sue Frank also known as Adm. Kishin zantai-Rustadz, created this acronym that has become unique.

Klingons in general have gained lots more notoriety over the past years. Most episodes or movies that have a Klingon connection seem to draw more attention because of the alien cultural aspects of the warrior race. It has touched on a whole new breed of fandom that has utilized their talents to portray this unique Star Trek race.
 
Out of Klindom, many talented individuals have written stories about Klingons. Many ceremonies and rituals have been developing to add more to the Klingon mystic. Drawings and images have been created which add to the visual appearance. Even forms of music and plays have been developed to represent the idea of a Klingon Opera. A Klingon CD game has been developed to allow the player to experience a first person view in the life of a Klingon. It utilizes something that no other race in Star Trek history has fully ever had before; it’s own specialized language.

The Klingon language has grown in popularity because of the unique difference in it, from other languages. In Klindom, it has even help span previous language barriers with other countries. A member of Klindom in the US can converse with a member of Klindom in the world without having learned that individual's native tongue. Simply by conversing in Klingon.

With developments in makeup, it is easier for an individual to alter his or her appearance and take on the look of a Klingon warrior. Also the design and development of costumes have aided in the metamorphism to Klingon. Each article or accessory has been created to accent the overall appearance. Only those not familiar with Star Trek, would not recognize a Klingon warrior when they walked into a room.

Out of this specialized fandom, groups and organizations have developed. These organizations give an individual the opportunity to share their ideas about Klingons and blend with others to develop other aspect of the Klingon culture that has not been seen in the episodes or movies. The creative talents of Klindom have introduced a variety of different formats to add to the Klingon mysticism. Each group shares the common bond of Klingons but have their own unique method of sharing these thoughts. No one group is right or wrong and many of the groups share this association when brought together at events. In most cases, the differences between them are due to personal bias and nothing more.

Through these groups of Klindom, many charitable organizations have been helped and many a movie patron has had a special memory added to their movie premiere. True, there are those who believe we are a bunch of weirdo's that live, breath and sleep Star Trek but how are we any different from a sports fan who dresses out in the colors of his or her favorite team and act a bit crazy at sporting events. We each have likes and dislikes and it is these differences that make us all unique.
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Qapla' balth je' (Honor and Success)

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« Reply #6 on: 10 28, 2010, 07:54: AM »

Hmm, good question. Strength is more attractive than weakness I suppose. & not specifically physical strength, but mental, moral & spiritual if you will. Based somewhat on Viking culture which had/has a very basic difference compared to Christian philosophy, that being self reliance. In other words, to attain Valhalla, one must achieve entrance through valorious deeds. It is not given, it is earned in other words.
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« Reply #7 on: 04 15, 2013, 11:23: PM »

being made fun of? hah i laugh in there faces and stab them with my bat'leth
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