Tuesday, October 9, 2012

BebopBatch or: how being a fansquee broadens your horizons

I apologize for my lack of posting here; I got caught up doing some fictional writing this weekend and neglected to finish a post here. And then I got caught up working on this lame I/O psychology project (my God, I've found the one part of psychology I truly, truly cannot stand) and having to accept the fact that I have essays for class to write and midterms I should "study" for (I use scare quotes because I'm not sure I can call how I prep for psychology midterms studying). Anyway, here I am, here this is, I'll stop rambling.

With the mention of Kpop and Gangnam Style previously, I was reminded of something I found months ago, threw in a blog draft, and never wrote up a post on it. Which is a shame. So, without further ado...

Whilst browsing Facebook one day, I was looking at updates from the GHA (Gallifreyan-Human Alliance, a local Doctor Who fan group based at the University of Minnesota) and found this post:

Utterly disoriented, I went to the Facebook page and became even more disoriented. First off, the photoshopped pic of Cumberbatch with curly (but not quite Sherlock-curly) hair completely threw me off, because it looked familiar to me, like I knew the person in the photo, but not like "oh, hey, that's my favorite actor;" more like, "Hey, I went to high school with that person." That kind of familiar. Which was utterly bizarre and made my head hurt. Secondly, I had no idea what Cowboy Bebop was. First impressions made me think modern musical about the wild, wild west. Wrong. So wrong.

Before Wikipedia, I merely would have shrugged and shoved my confusion aside. But because Wikipedia exists, I was discover just what Cowboy Bebop was:

I was sort of kicking myself when I found out it was Japanese anime. Several of my friends from high school were/are huge anime/manga fans and I have some limited (so limited I really shouldn't mention it but going to because I have at least read a manga) knowledge of it. I felt like I should have heard of it before but hadn't. I mean, bounty hunting cowboy space traveler, dealing with themes of existentialism, ennui, and loneliness? Yeah, totally should have heard of this.

(Brain still trying to register this photo as an image of a person I've met. Stop it, brain.)

It's incredible the number of things I've been unaware of and then suddenly I'm exposed to it and I'm left wondering, "Wow. I've gone through how many years of my life not knowing something like this exists? What a shame." Generally I've had this revelation with books and music for the most part (especially because I've taken to listen to the Current, a local radio station that has the most fantastic music library known to man, and thus have been having my ear drums blown by great songs I never knew existed) but now it's a constant stream of thoughts like, "Wait, Steven Moffat made a modernization of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and I'm just learning this now?!" and feelings like, "Where would I be if I hadn't decided to buy that Michael Chabon book or watch Midnight in Paris?" and various cries of dismay such as, "Do Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch have to keep doing roles that are totally interesting and engaging so that I spend my weekend ruing the fact that Netflix's instant play selection is rather lacking from their cinematography?" and "Will I ever get caught up in Doctor Who when I keep watching other TV shows that are recommended to me?" But the big two are: "Why do I keep buying books when I still have a pile of books I haven't read?" and "God, Bon Iver is so great. How many times can I listen to "Skinny Love" on repeat until it's unconsidered unhealthy?" (Answer to the Bon Iver question: The limit does not exist.)

I've certainly realized in the past month or so that there's a lot of things I'm aware of, a lot of things I care about that were unknown to me a year or even just a few months ago. And that the list of things I'm interested in reading/watching/listening too/seeing is growing exponentially. Of course, some of this is due to being in college, surrounded by a multitude of texts and a series of opportunities I wouldn't get elsewhere (ex: going to see an Italian rock star named Jovanotti at First Avenue. Why? Because why not?). But also, being on social media sites like Tumblr and interacting with fans makes a big difference. Thanks to my friends Ashley, Paulina, and Kelsey, I've heard about books and ideas and films and fanfics I wouldn't have otherwise. Thanks to seeing posts on Tumblr that referenced something I'd never heard of before, I am now aware of thousands of texts I wouldn't have been otherwise (however, I still have zero idea what the heck Homestuck is). Because I followed people like Gingerhaze on Tumblr, I am now utterly addicted to the webcomic Nimona and constantly checking it, even thought I know it's only updated twice a week (but it's fantastic, I just like looking at it and reading it anyway).

Basically, being in a fandom has expanded my awareness and interests in about a hundred different directions, and I'm going to end up spending the rest of my life reading and watching and exploring all of this. And it couldn't please me more :D

No idea what this book is actually about, but I feel the urge to appropriate the term to my own uses...

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