Friday, December 03, 2004

Paying the price

A few years ago, I was thinking of writing a Popcrazy article about what you get for your money when you join celebrity fan clubs. (Sometimes I pretend I'm doing important pop culture research just so I have an excuse to spend money on something dumb.)

This Ask the Answer B!tch column from E Online reminds me why I lost interest: celebrity fan clubs are damn expensive.

Back when I joined the official Buffy fan club, I paid $30-something and received just three issues of the poorly-written Buffy magazine. This was partially my fault, because I signed up just as the show was moving from The WB to UPN, and I think my money got lost in the network cracks. I never received the Buffy fun pack I was supposed to get when I joined, and my complaint letter went unanswered.

Around the same time, I spent another $30-something to join Mary-Kate and Ashley's official "fun club." I got a box of twin-themed stuff in the mail, including a low-quality mouse pad with their photo, a little foam brush to keep my computer monitor dust-free, a cardboard membership card to carry around in my wallet, and a booklet with the lyrics to all of their songs (which I'll admit provided at least 15 minute of amusement). I also got an invitation to subscribe to their magazine (now defunct), because a subscription wasn't included in my membership fee. I never heard from them again, so instead of joining a fan club, I felt like I had been tricked into purchasing a box of overpriced M-K & A junk.

From the E article:
"Remember," scolds Dell Furano, whose company, Signatures Network, runs fan sites for Jessica Simpson and others, "recording artists don't make as much money now, because of piracy, so many artists are looking for other sources of revenue."
That quote makes me want to poke someone in the eye. (Dell Furano, I guess.) I think fan clubs should be free, or at most, cost like $5. And instead of a pile of junk, you should get some kind of insider info, so you feel like your star respects you and isn't just trying to suck every possible dollar out of your wallet.
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