Avoidism orginally was a tongue-in-cheek philosophy, promulgated by mundane humorist Roger Price (March 6, 1918 – October 31, 1990), creator of Droodles, in his book In One Head and Out the Other (1951). It was picked up by many fans, notably Lee Hoffman, during the early 1950s.
In Prician Avoidism, practitioners did not (as one might suppose) simply avoid people or things, but rather got others to avoid them. Price cited an uncle of his as being the Ultimate Avoidist, since he had a speech impediment which caused anything he said to come out sounding like, "I had one grunch, but the eggplant over there," which led him to be avoided at all costs. ("I had one grunch...." became a popular catchphrase both within fandom and in the macrocosm.)
In fannish usage, Avoidism became conflated with the Gandhi-following folk of Eric Frank Russell's "And Then There Were None" (Astounding, June 1951), and basically meant avoiding other fans or fanac. See MYOB.
Later, the term came to be applied to doing fanac to avoid mundane or unpleasant duties, such as writing entries for Fancyclopedia 3 instead of doing one's paying work. It is sometimes said that no fan projects would ever be completed were it not for Avoidism. (See also Daugherty Project.)
|From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959|
|(Price:Hoffwoman) Not originally fannish at all, but a philosophy devised in a rather stomach-turning book, In One Head and Out The Other, this doctrine became confused/associated with the Gandhi-following folk of Eric Frank Russell's "And Then There Were None". It inspired an APA, MYOB, and an Avoidist Movement which avoided amounting to anything. Tenets are those implied by the root word. Lee Hoffman explains that three types of avoidism are distinguished: (1) pure, (2) applied, and 3) active, or Activist. In pure avoiding one avoids everything except eating, breathing, and metabolizing. In applied avoiding one avoids as many things as possible. (Bus drivers are good at this sort of thing, like avoiding people waiting at bus stops.) Active avoidism isn't true avoidism and is practiced to Publicize the Cause, or as an exercise in Avoiding. Under active avoidism there is the subgroup Counteravoiding; to counteravoid vegetarianism, for instance, one eats meat. Leeh concluded: "A last word on Avoidism: I had one grunch but the eggplant over there".|
|This is a fanspeak page. Please extend it by adding information about when and by whom it was coined, whether it’s still in use, etc.|