Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Your Fandom isn't My Fandom and That's Okay

Geeks are geeks but they're not all knit from the same cloth. What used to be niche hobbies that required hours of investment and digging through comic book store boxes or record store shelves are now easily accessible and commonplace due to the Internet. Being labeled  a geek is no longer crushing social stigma but now almost passe as even prime time TV embraces geek culture. But that's a problem, sometimes, because the non-geek try to paint us all with the same brush, and then it gets ugly.

I am a Star Trek fan. I'm not a hardcore Trekkie like some people are (some would stop me dead right there and correct me that the term is Trekker but I really don't care. I'm from Maine and that ending R is just too hard for me to manage) but I've seen every episode of Star Trek Voyager, most in their original run (yay college) and a ton of Next Generation in reruns (they're both available for streaming on Netflix, happily). During my summers home from college I used to watch the original series on SciFi before they dumbed down their name to appeal to a broader audience. Star Trek IV is one of my all-time cheer-me-up movies. I... never bothered with DS9. And we'll pretend Enterprise never happened. But slip up and call it Star Wars? Fuck you. Fuck that shit. I hate Star Wars. Ugly-ass shallow story about good vs evil with an annoying backwards-talking gremlin.

She'd beat Darth Vader and all the Jedi too, those pussies, all without mussing her hair.

I'm also an anime fan. And even within the anime fandom, you get vast differences. Some people like mech, some like yaoi/shounen ai (man-on-man romance), some like shoujo (magical girl) and some like straight up hentai (porn). Now, there are merits to the different genres, and I've watched them all (except the really dark gory genre I can't remember the name of but has a surprising amount of fan art). There was a time where I was absorbing as much shounen ai as possible because, well, I'm pervy like that. But art means a lot and I won't watch anything ugly, no matter how good the story. My friends in college loved Cowboy Beebop and I just couldn't watch it. The art was ugly. I'm not a huge fan of mech, but when you combine good art and good story like in Evangelion, you have me huddled in front of a computer for 48 hours straight watching the whole thing (including 2 movies) on bootleg disks, completely mindfucked at the end. I won't deny people their tentacle porn or bloody  cut up... stuff, it's just not my fandom.

Hellsing, on the other hand, is 100% my style

There are some fandoms I just don't get. Like Dr. Who. I have a bunch of friends who are positively ecstatic about it but I just don't get the big deal. Maybe it's because I tried to watch one of the really old episodes and I thought "this is just stupid and ridiculous" but it never caught on. Same with Monty Python, and here is where I usually get crucified by geek-kind. I hated Monty Python and the Holy Grail. God I thought it was the most awful, boring thing ever that about halfway through it I turned my attention to a flame war with another person in a forum about betta care. Yes. A flame war about fish care as opposed to watching that movie. Maybe I don't like British comedy that much, except for Absolutely Fabulous, which is amazing, because alcoholism.

I'm a casual gamer, very casual comic book reader, owner of a huge collection of fantasy novels. I watch professional wrestling. I have friends that are Dr Who fans, Star Wars fans, Lord of the Rings obsessors, Gundam fans and Yugi-Oh players. Sure, we may get into little spats over fandom, but overall I've found (and there are always exceptions) when you're an outcast member of society, despite differences, when like calls to like, you still can play nice. But still. Fuck Star Wars.

But Spaceballs is always  okay in my book


  1. Amen. Never a big Star Wars fan. Non-geeks and geeks alike can't seem to get their heads around that. Geeks are geeks because we like our own things. We are not by definition, cool or popular. Trying to push popularism on geekdom is a recipe for disaster.
    And it IS Trekkie. A "Trekker" is one who actually goes on said trek. Plus, it was Trekkie way before people took offense and started calling themselves "Trekker". Like that's going to soften the social stigma of being a Star Trek fan.
    I love Star Trek, by the way. Couldn't get into later seasons of DS9 or Voyager at all. I loved "Enterprise." Until season 4. I can't scrub that crap out of my brain-wrinkles.

    1. The whole thing behind Star Trek was space exploration and DS9 just... sat there. It was a space soap opera and man, I tried. Just like I tried with Enterprise from the very start, but a Vulcan who emotes is just a Romulan in my book, no matter how hot she is. I think I liked Voyager so much because there was a wealth of strong female characters. You had Janeway and B'Elanna, then Seven of Nine, and the Borg Queen who is one of my favorite baddies. It was Star Trek saying "women and female aliens AREN'T just something for Captain Kirk to bone."