A friend is making a quilt for me (!) and as a last-minute addition asked for some favorite quotes and books and TV shows to add some details. You’d think that’d be a simple request, but it sent me into a tailspin of self doubt and embarrassment (do I want fandom all over a quilt?) and a whopping dollop of ohmygodiloveeverythingtoomuchwhydidileave. Anyway. She’s been sending me machine embroidery patterns for stuff like SPN and Merlin to make sure the images match the shows and my sense of the aesthetic and that + having now been away from fannish worlds (i.e., canon, tumblr, writing and reading fic) made me realize just how many of my ideas and memories of these things I love passionately and relied on for solace and happiness and friendship and beauty exist ONLY IN MY HEAD. Like, fandom participation basically overwrote canon in my memory. It’s not just that the shippiest bits stick our more than they actually exist, although they do. I was also confusing quotes from the show with titles from awesome fanfics. And there’s a buttload of stuff from SPN, for example, that just doesn’t resonate with me (an apocalypse mytharc fan and deancas shipper) the way the it would for an early-seasons or Wincest fan. Like, even though hunting is obviously badass and totally integral to the show, I had to stop and think about it (”Hunting people, saving things. The family business.”) as what represents the show, because my first thought was, like, idk, this:
And, god, I had to pretty much stay away from Trek and X-Men entirely because I can hardly see canon through the forest of on-screen eyefucking. Like, do I really even love X-Men or just Erik/Charles? I mean, sure I love it. Grew up with the cartoon. Think it’s an important exploration of the value of people and how to practice tolerance, embrace difference, and move forward despite cultural and personal challenges. But I mean.
There’s also this:
So. You see the problem.
Oh wait, more problematic? This is Star Trek to me:
Emphasis on CPine’s crotch.
(Side note: What the hell happened to the 900,000 gifs that used to exist of Jim plastered against a broken console, heaving breath back into his lungs post-emotionally compromised Spock? And why did I never save one? Huge oversight, fandom. NEVER FORGET.)
What was I saying?
Right. So, mega universes that mean a lot of things to a lot people, and I am not AT ALL intending to trivialize or overlook their multiple layers of importance to anyone or even myself. I’m just saying that images (and quotes) that make me ~feel~ things about these stories are not easily captured or particularly shareable ones.
Point is, that’s what got me thinking more seriously about reconnecting with fandom recently. I don’t like that it’s not part of my life right now, but somehow I haven’t found a way to fit it in between or with the new community and new people and new jobs and new house. (Never thought I’d miss being a gov’t desk jockey … ) And it feels particularly hard to come back to these universes when what I love about them seems so distant now, so very and overly specific to me and the ways in which I learned to love them. I feel like there’s an overwhelming amount of catching up and bias-shedding to do. What are the new interpretations to love? Where are the other people who love them? Not to mention I’m empty-handed.
(Is it weird to have anxiety about the thing where lots of people go to escape anxiety? Well, here we are.)
Anyway. There’s a smart meditation on trappings of fandom memory and actual canon and broader fandom content that could/should be done, but my brain’s not there yet.
Mostly I’m just saying, hey fandom, ’sup?