Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Ramble + sort of story time about autograph hoarding culture

Quite lengthy ramble about autograph culture that has been bothering us for long time. Personally, I don't own much signed stuff. I've never understood the hype for someone ''famous'' (and I use that term very loosely) signing something for you. I mean I get, it IF you're a FAN but most interesting thing in this is that most of the people hoarding autographs are NOT FANS of the person signing the autograph and that culture is where we're focusing in this post.

Here's few stories from the phenomenon among people known as ''autograph hoarding''.

Story 1:
When I was in Primary school (I was about 9 yr old) the ''local celebrity'' and at that time Finland's strongest man Janne Virtanen had come to speak at my school about his career. I couldn't care less. After Virtanen had spoken, he asked if someone had any questions and one of my classmates asked: "When we get the autographs?"
Virtanen laughed and said he had postcards on his own (with his picture) to give away with his signature. Still, I couldn't care less but for my surprise 99% of whole school went to get autographs. It was shocking because I knew my friends didn't even know who he was and what he did before that ''lecture''. Their excuse on having that specific autograph was just case of having it and possibility to brag about it in the future. It's crazy that even little children are raised part of this stupid culture.

When Lind was working at kindergarten there was this one little girl (2,5 yr old) who was so, incredibly proud of her pink cap that autograph from Cheek (Finnish rapper)... This girl was so little that she couldn't possibly even know who Cheek really was. -,-

Story 2:
Second example comes from Lind's friend (she has a lot of these kind of experiences). Lind and her friend went to comic book fest. They had been watching the one new artist's interview and afterwards went to buy artists album from her stand. Lind's friend got the album. Stand seller was artist's publisher's wife thus having a close contact to the artist. Seller said after the purchase: "Artist is here at present. Would you like an autograph?" And bright light lit in Lind's friend's eyes. She started jumping in happiness all though she hadn't paid any attention to artist before nor read her comics.
All because she could get autograph to an album she just bought and found out. Artist herself didn't seem amused because it wasn't official signing session. Lind's friend didn't really get the whole situation nor she cared; she just had an autograph. It's the autograph that matters.. Apparently...

Story 3:
Then there's these people who do anything just to get an autograph. Just for the sake of hoarding.
 Lind's another friend got past VIP line, past hard core fans with her dad by being just plain rude (she was at comic fest). Her father lied everyone in line that they're allowed to do so (all though they didn't) and managed to snatch autograph all though neither of them hadn't seen the artist nor artists album or even characters before. On top of all this; She isn't really even into comics... These kind people steal limited spots that should be reserved hard core fans not just random hoarders who rudely just storm in just to get autograph... Because On comic book community sometimes autograph is even more important than album. 

Lastly I just point out what I wrote in my post ''Slightly underwhelming mooming happening'', Shortly, I'd say this kind of autograph hoarding culture has diminished the respect to the artists.
People don't realize the actual point of autograph and greatly wonder why, oh why! Artist wouldn't sign someone else's work as their own!?! Those people are so stupid; You can't sign someone else's stuff!
On a side note; The autograph we got from Tove Slotte to our moomin mug was not waterproof. Yep, you sign a mug with non water proof marker. Good job. Of course that wasn't Slotte's fault just badly organized happening as a whole.

Let's summarize this; The autograph culture is all about having the autograph. It doesn't matter who signs and what as long as you got the autograph. Why would anyone want to have autograph without any sentimental value? Aren't they supposed to be only for the true fans?
No, this is collector and hoarder culture. Sad, really.

On a side note; I don't encourage any kind of blind fandom. It makes target of admiration to perfect without any flaws and it removes individuality of the fan thus I prefer call it fandum(b). As an artist it's important to admire someone though. How anyone can admire you if you don't admire anyone?

Thanks for reading!



  1. I agree autographs can be a weird thing. I have one purse that is autographed inside from the designer and I love it but no one even knows its there but me. I think collecting autographs is kind of silly too especially as you said if they don't even know who they are.


    1. Glad you agree :) I don't really think autographs that have any real sentimental value are problem in any shape or form. For example your purse; you've supported designer + got something special within. It doesn't necessarily make it best purse in the world to everyone (like autograph hoarders hope everyone thinks) but that's not the point; it's special to you in different level that's most important part. Exactly how I think autographs should be treated: Something special for individual.
      Thank you for your comment, Rebecca! :)


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