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Here is where things stand in 1D Land.

Basically people are in shock by the fandom staples that have been ripped away in the last few weeks. Elounor. Ziam. Zouis. And oh yeah, Zayn.

Topic 1: The Fandom:

After the announcement was made on Wednesday, the fans rallied to Zayn in their grief with massive support. The official statement framed the departure as due to hardship and stress. It said that Zayn couldn't cope with the attention and fame and wanted to be a normal 22 year old... (Oh really Mr. Malik?)

"AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik" trended for like, three days...

It's the fanart that devastates the most.

<-- Click for full size, it's really gorgeous. And think about what this is portraying. "A little boy from Bradford" awash in the love of a stadium full of people.

<-- It's the dates at the bottom that really rip out the heart.

But that was Wednesday and Thursday... Things can and will, turn on a dime.

Topic 2: Zayn:

On Friday Zayn gave an interview to the Sun, of course.

He said multiple times in said interview that he had to leave because it didn't feel "real" to him anymore...

And he's also been papped, every day, going into Naughty Boy's recording studio...

Do these sound like "normal 22 year old" things to you?

Nah. And it doesn't sound that way to the fandom either. The mood has changed. It is crystal clear that Zayn has flounced to go solo. Obviously. And he's been telegraphing his intentions in a passive aggressive manner for months.

First He didn't show to voluntary social events like Jay's wedding and Niall's football match. He didn't join the others in doing the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Then he started not showing up for actual, critical work related events, most notably the actual album launch concert last November in Orlando... He claimed he had a "tummy bug". hmmmm.

<-- We didn't quite know it yet, this was the shape of things to come.

During the concert in Perth, Zayn didn't come back on stage for the encore. The other boys said he wasn't feeling well. Oh, that excuse again. But an hour after the concert, he was on a plane to L.A. while Harry, Liam and Niall were flying off to their next concert destination. (He did make it to Japan in time for the first concert there. But still.)

Clearly, something was up. I personally think they all knew what it was BUT... it appears that Zayn turned the plan on it's head by flouncing early instead of riding out the Asia/Africa tour which will end in Dubai on April 4.

Dubai. Which was supposed to be so special because of Zayn. Where most of the fans are Muslim, like Zayn. Where Zayn was clearly the main attraction because of his heritage.

Zayn flounced to go solo before Dubai. And fans are pissed. And not just those in Dubai.

Topic 3: OT4

The term OT4, which felt painful on Wed. and Thurs, is now seeping into the fandom, first a like a trickle, then a creek, now, like a wave. Anger is setting in.

<-- This kind of thing is starting to happen

Support for the Four is being rallied.

And... There was an answer to Zayn's interview on the People Magazine website...

Some Knives were showing.

"He told everyone in the band and management that he wants to live a normal life and the next thing you know he's going into music studios and doing interviews with tabloids," a source close to the band tells PEOPLE.

"Everyone feels a bit misled and thinks he was lying about wanting to live a normal life," the source adds.

As the remaining members of the band close ranks and look towards recording a new album, the source says, "everyone feels played by him. Louis and Zayn are friends and will talk but the rest probably won't."

Oh boy, did you read that last sentence? A million OT5 dreams shattering. And SHIPS. Oh............... See my item below about ship mourning. It is real.

The OT4 will be on stage in Johannesburg, South Africa in a few hours. The eyes and ears of the Pop Universe is going to be on them. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say. (They'll be classy.)

Topic 4: Liam

As has become the custom, it was Liam, still playing his endearing role as the Responsible One, who addressed the fandom in it's grief to give reassurance. He said on Twitter:

In light of recent events I think this is important to say.

For the past five years now I’ve been part of something so special I don’t think any of us really understand, something that can mean the world to people and put a smile on the face of our fans even in the darkest times. To a lot of people it’s just a bunch of silly kids in a band but to the people involved it means so much more.

This last week has been some of the worst times, possibly the worst it’s something we are all deeply saddened by. It’s sad to think for the time being we won’t grace the stage as five bros or have the same fun on a tour bus or laughs in a hotel together that we have over the years but I’m super sure us and zayn will always remain the closest friends

I guess what I’m really trying to say is it’s far from over. When we very 1st became successful we all agreed that one direction had become much bigger than each individual member that’s why I feel like right now it’s ok to be sad and upset but I do ask everyone who is a fan of us to please keep ur faith in us I’m sure there’s a lot more to come all love.

This was very reassuring to the fans. This helped them, it really did. Some are especially clinging to the "for the time being" line because denial is strong...

Topic 5: Harry

A lot of people feel like Harry is the big loser here. Zayn has sucked all this media attention away, and at the moment, it feels as though it's Harry Who? For nearly five years, Harry has been the media focus. Everyone expected that he would be the obvious one to go Solo. And Zayn has stolen all the thunder. It feels like he's "left behind"

I don't know what he's going to do, once the tour is done and this 5th album is done, but whatever it is, it will have to be dramatic. Larries are very hopeful and excited....

Topic 6: Ship Mourning

Here is the 1D Ship Pairing List. Please don't cry.

Ziam <--- OMG!
Zouis <--- omg...

The ship mourning is real. And as you can see one of the ships effected is one of the hot buttons - Ziam. The Ziam shippers are probably the members of the fandom who are most in denial. They are theorizing their asses off. My heart goes out to them. They are clinging to the idea that this is all a stunt, to get rid of Perrie and increase ticket sales. (They'd let Zayn skip Dubai for a stunt?) But they gotta do what they gotta do. They're in pain.

The Zouis issue is also painful because they are so obviously bros who actually hang out together. Did I ever mention that both have a "Bus 1" tattoo to commemorate the tour bus they shared together for three years? WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

It's not just the theoretical idea of these ships in fanfiction that people are mourning, because obviously, fanfic can be written until the end of time. It is the fact that there will no longer be any new on-stage shippy moments to cherish for these pairings...

And those who Tinhat Ziam, they are almost certainly not going to give up their belief. Tinhats don't easily give up... So I think they're just going to assume that Zayn & Liam are secretly living together, and we just won't get to see them any more because shhhhhh, it's a secret.

The reduced list hurts to look at...


Final Item: Yoko Ono

At the moment, Perrie and Naughty Boy are in a battle to be crowned the Yoko Ono of One Direction. I guess that is a semi amusing note with which to end this.

More to come soon as developments warrant. I also have thoughts on Zayn's solo career. I think he'll be successful.

Posted March 28, 2015
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