rockinlibrarian: (sherlock)
In celebration of the long-awaited U.S. return of THE JOHN WATSON SHOW I mean Sherlock, you knew I meant Sherlock-- I need to confess something to you. I, kind of... HATE?...Sherlock Fandom...?

*phew* okay, got that out there. You see, whenever you want to get something like that off your chest, you're inevitably aware that every one of your reasons is hypocritical or selfish or hypocritical or irrational or also maybe hypocritical. And yet SOMEHOW you need to get it out. To WORK it out. To work THROUGH the irrationality to figure out what your problem REALLY is.

Maybe my problem is my uneasy relationship with the entire idea of fandom. I grew up before the Internet. I grew up keeping my various obsessions, with Les Miz or Ducktales or Madeleine L'Engle or Gadget on Rescue Rangers or my crush on Fred Savage (who ME? Get a CRUSH? On a TV STAR? NO WAY) or whatever, a kind of shameful secret. I didn't KNOW anyone who loved these things the way I did (or even at all). Therefore IT WAS WEIRD OF ME. It was weird of me to FEEL so much about imaginary things (or real people I didn't know: because frankly I thought it was weird of the OTHER girls to be hanging up pages from Tiger Beat and sighing over any of the New Kids on the Block or the other Teen Supposed-Heartthrobs in there-- Fred Savage WAS in there, too, but that was part of why my own feelings freaked me out). I'd see a reference to one of my Favorite Things out in the world and I'd BLUSH. I was a closeted obsessive, hiding my intense feelings just because they DIDN'T MAKE SENSE to me.

So I see these kids online and realize they ARE just like me, but they've found an outlet that I never had. So maybe I'm... jealous?

I AM jealous of SOME Sherlock fans-- or some People In General-- of ANY age, I can say. Maybe the adults even more so. Because it's such a THING to love the show SO much that you CAN'T WAIT FOR IT TO AIR IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY and so you find a way to hack the BBC to watch it, or download it illegally ("while preordering the DVD, I PROMISE!" and I don't doubt it but...). I just can't imagine that watching it immediately is THAT IMPORTANT. It's coming. In fact, for U.S. fans, it's been less than THREE WEEKS this time. WAY better than last time's four months. Meanwhile, I've got so many other things on my plate that I just can't justify going though all that effort for a TV show that IS COMING EVENTUALLY. So while all the impatient fans of the world make me want to shout, "Oh come on, why can't you just WAIT?!? Don't you have ANYTHING ELSE to occupy your time?!?" what I'm really saying is "Gee, I wish I didn't have kids to work around all the time when it comes to free time. I miss those days of viewing-marathons and opening-night movie-goings and otherwise-seeking-out-things-I-like-as-soon-as-possible-on-whatever-schedule-I-like." Sour grapes. But then what most gets me is the assumption, after that (or even beforehand-- "Oh come on, PBS," go the comments, "You KNOW we're all going to see it before you show it"), that ALL TRUE FANS would have done everything in their power to see it immediately. Even the PRODUCERS made that assumption at the New York "premiere" of Season 2! And I feel insulted. Who are YOU to decide who a true fan is?

Although okay, maybe I'm NOT a True Fan. I love the show, but I'm an obsessive fan of, not the show, but one of the costars. And I'm a little weirdly protective of My Martin. And it bugs me how many people insist on seeing him only as John Watson. It bugs me how many people can't MENTION him in an unrelated setting (Hobbit discussions, mostly) without also throwing in something about Benedict-- not even just the Bilbo-and-Smaug thing, I mean discussions that aren't about Ben at ALL, and they're like "Ah, Martin's great, so is Ben," and I'm like WHO'S TALKING ABOUT BEN?! Though I thought the Bilbo-and-Smaug questions were getting old, too. (His answer at the DoS Premiere, starting at 45:08 here, about "Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney in the 'Ebony and Ivory' video," just filled me with joy, though. MUSIC GEEKS FOREVER. Which speaking of which? THIS is the greatest thing Martin has done this year, dangit. DOES NO ONE ELSE APPRECIATE MARTIN'S UTTER MUSIC-GEEKINESS BUT ME? Is it just that I so rarely encounter anyone who IS a bigger music geek than me? See what I mean? This is extremely important and it has NOTHING TO DO WITH SHERLOCK!) But this is, of course, my most hypocritical argument of all. I get frustrated because some people are all, "That's a guy in my favorite show!" while meanwhile I'm all, "That's a show my favorite guy's in!"

Maybe this all comes down to that FineLineBetweenLoveAndHate. PASSION is irrational. Maybe if I hadn't gotten so used to holding my passions in, I'd feel less conflicted about them existing in the first place-- for me or for other people. Maybe this is all part of me still needing to make peace with my hypersensitivity, as I discussed last week. I feel things LOUDLY. I not only cry easily, I fall in love easily. I'm Emotionally Pansexual (which is kind of an oxymoron. I'm ...panPHILIAL?). And part of me is still trying frantically to CONTAIN these emotions somehow, and ends up trying to contain the emotions of the rest of the world, too.

I often wonder what I would have thought of the Beatles if I'd been around in the '60s. Would I have stubbornly brushed them off as stupid pop stars all those stupid screaming girls were being stupid about? Or would I have fallen in love anyway, and tried to downplay it BECAUSE I didn't want to think of myself as one of those Stupid Screaming Girls Being Stupid? Or would I have been screaming? -- nah, THAT I can't see. I actually hope it's the middle option. Because that's what I'm doing right now, isn't it? Trying desperately to claim my fannishness and yet make clear that I'm not one of "THOSE" fans? And in that case, maybe I'd be hypocritical and irrational and stuck-up... but at least I'd still have the Beatles to love.

Date: 2014-01-21 09:27 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] (from
LOL know what you mean. And the kid thing is a huge problem here. We have yet to catch up on Sherlock--not because we didn't love it, but because there's no easy time without the kiddos possibly going to wake up or adults falling asleep.

Date: 2014-01-22 12:10 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
There are so many times I read something online about some shows people are watching while reading books while holding down both a day job and a freelance writing gig while hanging out online, and I think, "HOW???... oh wait, no kids."

But then, I actually had a comment the other week-- it was Justine Larbalestier, I'd commented on a blog post, I forget what about EXACTLY, but I had wondered something about having the confidence to write crappy first drafts when you had so many other life issues taking up your time, mentioning that this had been going on since I'd had kids; and she responded something just really UNDERSTANDING, that she couldn't really say because she didn't have kids and she knew from other people what a drain that could be; and something about it felt so nice, like she really respected me and that I DID have issues she didn't completely understand-- I'm not sure how to explain, but I felt very, well, RESPECTED I guess is the best word. Because sometimes I just feel like the rest of the artsy fan-sy world is like "TOO BAD! You took the boring path! You have given up all things fun!" Which isn't true either, but... anyway. I'm not even sure what I started talking about.

Date: 2014-01-23 12:38 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I find, for me, I am a better fan if I'm not obsessive, which sounds weird, but bear with me for a moment ...

When I first discovered Doctor Who, I fell head-over-heels in love with it. Complete obsession. Ignored any warning signs that it might have flaws, nope, perfect show, beyond entertainment, this show Means Something. And then ... then I got to the episodes that SHATTERED that. And I was crushed. This show that I thought was So Special was, after all, just entertainment. (Nah. You're ordinary*.) It broke my heart, and I ended up hating it for a while. Now that I've watched some of the Classic Who episodes that are available, and I've come to understand it was always meant to be just entertainment, and that it was me who built it up to be something more ... I can watch it again and enjoy it, and even feel my way toward being a fan again, but a calmer, more reasonable one. And that's so much better. I'm not demanding something of my show that it was never meant to give.

Whereas Sherlock, I could see its flaws right from the start, and I enjoyed it anyway, and I don't go into it with expectations of THIS MUST BE PERFECT BECAUSE IT IS SHERLOCK, and so I don't feel the need to throw things when it veers off the rails at times.

And maybe some of it comes with maturity. I saw each LOTR movie five times in the theater, and have ranted every place imaginable over the desecration done to Faramir's character, to Elrond's (I initially typed that as Eelrond, which is now thoroughly amusing me), even to Sam's. The Hobbit movies? So much more relaxed about them, despite loving the book even more than the LOTR books, and I seriously don't even care about Legolas and Tauriel, and Thorin being noble instead of greedy and selfish, and the main reason I'm bothered by anything is when they don't properly utilize Martin Freeman's acting talents (come ON, it would have been SO MUCH better to have Bilbo save the dwarves from the spiders, as it happened in the book). Ten years, marriage, moves, kids, heartbreaks, growth ... I guess maybe I'm spilling my passion on Real Life so much now that there's not a ton left over for Fandom.

Which doesn't mean I don't still love it. Just ... it's in its proper place now, I think.

*couldn't resist the Moriarty bit there.

Date: 2014-01-23 05:22 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
See, one thing people who are Active in Internet Fandom have over me is one of them would SO go out and make a funny "Eelrond" gif now instead of just badly WANTING to make an "Eelrond" gif. I might actually try to accomplish that if I don't finally make myself do Useful Household and/or Professional things instead today.

My sister was worrying about me a couple weeks ago when I was squeeing out over Martin's radio show stint linked above, like for a moment she was honestly afraid I was going to drop everything and run off to London to TRACK HIM DOWN AND MAKE HIM MINE. I'm like No, seriously, it's okay! I can separate fantasy and reality!* Granted, to be honest, I DO have a seriously bad crush, and it IS as intense-FEELING as the horrible unrequited crushes I used to get on people-I-actually-knew-whom-I-actually-HOPED-to-HAVE-a-real-relationship-with, but that's not the basis I have for Real Love anymore. This is. ( Life may not be as exciting a roller-coaster ride as fandom is but it's a whole lot DEEPER an experience.

You know, I think that's WHY I can gush about the things I love online now, but was so embarrassed about my obsessions in my youth that I could barely even admit them to myself-- because I didn't really have a life, so my obsessions WERE, for the most part, my life, and I was too close to them-- or they were too close to me-- to put them out there. Now I can fit them neatly into a "this is for fun" slot in my life. And most LOUD fans ARE younger, so their passions are still super-tied-up in their very sense of IDENTITY.

So it's possible I would have been an embarrassed closet Beatlemaniac in the '60s, never hanging UP a magazine picture but nonetheless memorizing the look of Paul's Dreamy Eyes ( to ponder upon in my own head where no one could see it (note: I in fact DID have that linked picture cut from a magazine and hanging in my room, when I was a LITTLE older of a teenager and not QUITE so embarrassed by my passions and the Beatles were of course no longer the Latest Teen Craze so I didn't feel the need to distance myself from the other screaming fangirls). And definitely not screaming. Cowering in horror from screaming. But sighing a bit inside.

*What's funny is my sister has since discovered Sherlock, and now has a crush on Benedict.


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