We need fanaticism to counter balance apathy.
There is nothing more empowering than a belief in what you do, why you do it, or who you do it for.
*said as someone who ran a fan site for 16 years
I guess I would rather have the vibrant edges and a sense of civility that, frankly, has never been there(1) than the gray landscape of the middle.
(1) see various sources on the election of 1800 for a nice historical example
I think we agree but our scales of the edges and the middle might be different.
Now I think of it though, I remember when the most fun you could have was standing in the middle of a see-saw whilst your friends sat on the ends.... I don't think it would have been anywhere as much fun if everybody was standing in the middle and there was nobody on the ends to upset the balance.