Thursday, February 02, 2006

A fan by any other name?

I have never really considered myself a "fan" of anything in particular. Fandom, in my mind, has always been linked to mindless adulation, especially the kind that includes lots of squealing or body painting... I always had an extremely hard time writing essays about "what are you a fan of?" or "who is your idol?" or other such nonesense. I think my favorite essay was one I had to write in CCD back in 3rd or 4th grade. The subject was "Is Jesus your hero, why or why not?" I, of course, said I didn't think he was, and went on to give reasons why he wasn't particularly relevant to the things I was interested in. Heh. My poor catechism teacher. I found that essay this past summer while digging through a stash of my old papers in my parents' attic.

Of course, I didn't think the fact that I read every single Trixie Belden book or all of Lois Duncan's work, etc. had anything to do with being a fan. I read them because I liked them, and I liked them because they were good. Fans were people who got all excited about some sports team or tv show, even if the team always lost or the show was stupid. Clearly, I didn't have a very good opinion of fans, so there was no way I could clas myself as a fan of anything. Anyway. I think I'm becoming less jaded as I age. Thank goodness, I know, I know.

Last month, while Jay was off doing something crazy like climbing a mountain in the rain, I rented the movie Serenity - the SF movie by Joss Whedon based off the series Firefly that got cancelled before I had a chance to see it. I. Loved. This. Movie. I'm not even sure I can explain what I loved about it. It just got so many things right - the pacing, the backstory, the characters. I loved it so much that I did something that I have never done before and can't really imagine doing again. I put on the director's commentary and watched the whole thing again. And then I wouldn't let Jay watch it when he got home because I didn't want him to ruin it for me.

But it doesn't end there. I decided that I was clearly missing some pretty good stuff by cutting off TV wholesale. So I signed up for Netflix. (Yes, finally.) And I've got the Firefly tv series in my queue so I can see more. Once the floodgates opened, I found myself queuing up all sorts of TV shows - Band of Brothers, from HBO, South Park from Comedy Central, The Office from the BBC... the list goes on.

So maybe, just a little bit, I might, possibly, sort of, I suppose, understand what the whole "fan" thing is about.

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