Judy Garland “Fandom” – Part 1

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The world of Judy “fandom” has always been a strange one. People of the generation born around 1950 and before have always had a strange competitiveness with each other, and a strange self-bestowed importance about having ownership of news and information, as well as media before (or instead) of anyone else. They used to hoard things. Even nuggets of news information – information as mundane as record (and later CD) track listings, upcoming media releases, and the like – allowing only a select few – or no one at all – access to this information. Their entire identities became dependent on the “I have this and you don’t” mentality, and their control over how this information and/or media was disseminated. This odd behavior, and especially the ownership, has been drastically challenged by the Internet. Anyone with a computer now has the ability to send anything over the Internet, around the world and back, within seconds. As we all know, news information is spread like wildfire, and forwarded and re-forwarded again and again. Often times reappearing in one’s inbox multiple times from multiple sources. For those folks of the fandom ilk I spoke of above, this destroys their ownership and thus chips away at their identities.

I was reminded of this recently. On Monday, April 16, 2007, a long-time poster to several of the various Judy Garland discussion groups and “lists” out there posted an image of a faux DVD set of “The Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland Signature Collection” (see image above). The poster had actually gotten the image from another poster over at The Home Theater Forum discussion group. That Home Theater Forum post was just the image, with no explanation, taken out of context from my own Judy Room news page. The poster’s excitement was valid, as it did look as though this set was real – the image is that good. When I saw this post on the groups that I’m a member of, I immediately sent a response that said:

FYI – as gorgeous as this image is, it’s actually a “faux” set designed by “alexinbelgium”, one of the VERY talented artists over at The Judy Garland Message Board. It was done as part of a fun “contest” for folks to submit their ideas for DVD Cover Art. Just thought I’d clarify – I don’t want people to look for the wrong thing online or in video store! Although I think Warner Home Video should hire “alex” to design their DVDs. 🙂

As far as I know, no official artwork has yet been released.

The original poster then noted that he was wrong, that it was “a fake”. Everyone loved the faux set. Everyone thought “alex” did a great job with it. Nothing much happened. No one seemed to mind that it was “a fake” once they realized the context in which it was originally presented. Everyone moved on. Everyone, that is, except for Max Preeo.

Poor Max. He blew a gasket when he saw this post on another list. He immediately responded in a hostile manner.

As Mark [last name removed] posted, the alleged boxed set is completely bogus. Someone went to a great deal of effort to mislead people (the “artwork” looks authentic, but isn’t remotely close to the real thing). George is looking into having the Home Theatre Forum thread on this Bogus Box investigated and shut down. The coming set will *not* include any Judy-Mickey films other than BABES IN ARMS, BABES ON BROADWAY, STRIKE UP THE BAND, and GIRL CRAZY. It *will* include a number of terrific extras, to be announced soon.


Good grief! “mislead people”? “shut down” the thread? Did Max not read the clarifications of what it was? Within days, the following was then posted, forwarded by Max, who was still irate about the “faux” set:

From the owner of HomeTheaterForum:


It has come to my attention from the folks at Warner Brothers that the information posted in this thread, including the cover art, is totally erroneous.

We are looking into whether this information was purposely manufactured or if it was posted because of something that was posted elsewhere.

In the meantime, you can understand why we have closed this thread.

We deeply regret when things like this occur. As is the nature of the Internet, once in a while there is going to be information posted here that is not correct. We are very fortunate that studios like Warner Brothers monitor activity here and can quickly notify us when incorrect information like this is posted.

Ron Epstein

I guess Max sounded the alarms over at Warner Home Video about this horrible deed!

See what can happen when one image is taken out of context from one site and posted to another? But the story doesn’t end here. Nope. Max discovered that the photo ORIGINATED here in THE JUDY ROOM! So, he decided to target me.

PART 2 – coming tomorrow – goes into detail about just how insane these fans, or self-appointed experts, can get!

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