From try-hard to die-hard, here is a guide to who likes what and why.
How to be a Kanye West fan
You grew up idolising Radiohead, then decided you wanted to get laid.
HOW TO BE A WAGNER FAN
‘After all, what is Nazism but a leitmotif persevering?’
How to be a Hamilton fan
Perturbed by a HuffPo article about how Walt was a Nazi, you decided to put your Disney Spotify playlist on to ‘Hidden’ and search for a musical you could obsess about healthily. Now, four years later, you are trapped in an editorial feud over the Wikipedia article for Aaron Burr.
How to be a Christopher Nolan fan
You were born in 2001.
How to be a Simpsons fan
You’ve been dead since 1996.
How to be a British politics fan
You just love The Thick of It so much. You know all six episodes of The Day Today by heart and can list every post Chris Grayling has ever held. Clocking off at five as the country crumbles around you, you can’t help but smile: it really is just like The Thick of It.
How to be a American politics fan
You have American cousins, so it’s not like you have no connection to it. You often ask people where they were on 9/11, when you were ten and living in Oxfordshire. You and your friends all read the LBJ biographies together; these days you discuss Nate Silver articles at the pub. You know the names of all the gerrymandered districts in Florida. You’re already talking about 2024.
How to be a Friends fan
Your last boyfriend just didn’t get you. He didn’t understand that you’re just that little bit different. You used to do crazy things, like give the wrong name to the barista in Starbucks, or have Netflix pyjama parties with all your friends. The boyfriend before didn’t understand you either. You lie on the sofa rewatching the Ross/Rachel arc of season 2. It’s been 15 years. You still can’t decide which one you are.
How to be a Louis Theroux fan
You spend your office lunch browsing RightMove and you like to go to Pop Brixton on the weekends.
How to be a Louis C K fan
Come again? Who? Did you say Louise Gluck? No idea who you’re talking about. And even if I did, I definitely didn’t find him funny. Ever. Even when you were allowed to. So I can’t help you. Bye!
How to be a contemporary Shakespeare fan
You are never, never, never, ever, ever bored of the homoerotic subtext!
How to be a Terrence Malick fan
You have two books by Heidegger on your bedside table (What is Called Thinking and Being and Time) lying, unopened, next to the Castanospernum you have featured twice on your Instagram.
How to be a Cormac McCarthy fan
See the pomegranate. The sun high and the earth racked with day’s second feast. Disembowel its glistering seed and carbuncle, spawn of a ruby amniosis. Plunder the thesaurus, script tentacular and running like the egg-speck of a spider’s innards. Pause. Plunder again the thesaurus. Pause again. Worry you might not be pulling this off.
How to be a sneakers fan
You clean your shoes with a toothbrush.
How to be a come DIne WIth Me fan
It’s not enough to stare into people’s souls. You want to see them suffering, too.
How to be a PEEP SHOW fan
You tell yourself you’re a Super Hans with your mates, a Johnson with the ladies, you might even admit to being a bit of a Dobby with your girlfriend, but deep down you’re Mark. Always, endlessly Mark.
How to be a Marvel fan
You loudly assert your individuality by expressing opinions about the most popular franchise of all time on websites that use your personal data to predict what they should sell back to you. You get a lot of targeted ads for the DVD of Infinity War.
How to be a Michael Kiwanuka fan
You work in digital strategy and spend a lot of time browsing Mr Porter.
How to be a model railway fan (I)
From out of your childhood, you hear it calling. You have a long-term girlfriend so you can get away with this. She thinks it’s cute, because she is decent and loves you above all other things. You don’t love her half as much as you love the tunnel-to-level-crossing section of your freshly laid track.
How to be a Jeff Koons fan
You own a townhouse on East 71st and Park and you spend summers in Sagaponack and winters in Lyford Cay.
How to be a Mark E Smith fan
You are an adjunct professor in sociology at Goldsmith, University of London, specialising in urban spaces, social life and post-industrial theories of identity.
How to be a cryptocurrency fan
You will look back on your current debt as the good old days.
How to be an Elon Musk Fan
You have three computer monitors, two (2) companies registered under your name awaiting seed capital, and no girlfriend. Most of your time is spent trying to prevent your mum and your dealer from finding out that the other one exists.
How to be a KAWS fan
It’s not fandom, it’s the grotesquery of fandom. It’s the fandom of the grotesque as it’s mediated by modern commercialism. It’s the spatialisation of modern commercialism’s mediation of grotesque fandom. It’s the refusal of a commercialism of personhood mediated through the excesses of mass image. You hate it. You’d kill your grandmother to attend the private view.
How to be a Taylor Swift fan
You have been uniquely blessed to live at a moment when the gatekeepers of pop culture fell over themselves to invite you into the inner sanctum. Things will never get this good for you again.
How to be a Tarkovsky fan
Yes, you know. A cliché. But the reality is this: you’ll happily stop talking to your dates about Stalker when they stop sleeping with you.
How to be a brutalism fan
You go on day trips to look at Trellick Tower and exchange emails about Ernő Goldfinger with other men. You sign petitions to stop the careless destruction of suburban leisure centres. Your only interaction with the social security system was when Weiden + Kennedy put you on furlough. One day, you will inherit a £1.6 million Georgian townhouse in Camden. Your BFI membership is about to expire.
How to be a model railway fan (II)
You have 17 bodies in your basement.