No Drambuie tonight dear, I have a headache. At least it’s not one of those killer migraines that makes Goku hurl Kamehameha one after another under my left eye. Probably muscle tension from knowing that there aren’t Bleach chapter spoilers to wait for this week. And strain from having been directed to fandomsecrets this morning.
And damn it all to hell, I thought fandom had come a long long way from the days when on my old DBZ board I had to manage complaints from members who found avatars depicting yaoi kisses offensive and asked me to remove them.
Well, I didn’t remove the avies. I thought it was just ridiculous that some fandom administration was supposed to cater to everyone’s prejudices, kiss all boo-boos acquired because of bias or taste, and manage all little speshul snowflake feelings in a temperature-controlled freezer.
And this morning I read that someone is just sick and tired of IchiRukis being so superior and holier than thou about their canon-ness as a foregone conclusion and how it’s just hurtful to slashers that these people don’t express a little more humility.
My response? Grow a spine. You’re responsible for your own feelings. I’m not going to advise any of my IchiRuki friends to pretend to be humble or be anything other than who they are. They’re smug bastards many of them. Deal with it
I was once told that it was “stupid” of me to “go on the Internet” and say that I thought IchiRuki was pretty much a done deal in Bleach. Well, what’s the worse that could happen to me if I’m wrong? I’m wrong. No skin off my back. My self-esteem isn’t tied up in that one proclamation. This same person who seemed appalled that I was so bold as to predict an ending of Bleach has gone on the mighty Internet and posted plenty things that would embarrass me if I’d posted them, so I guess we’re even.
When I got into the Bleach fandom some five or six years ago I remember noting how there seemed to be a lot of multi-shippers—and in fact, lots of het shippers who were also yaoi shippers. Lots of yaoi fangirls told me that IchiRuki was their first het ship because “Rukia was a worthy shipmate.” I was tickled as could be with the sort of groovy tolerance I hadn’t seen in my previous fandom (the DBZ shipping crowd tended to divide along the lines of high romance Bulma/Vegeta and high kink Goku/Vegeta—I personally loved both, being the little sicko I am). But then as soon as I tiptoed into Bleach yaoi corners and started writing a good deal of IchiIshi fic, I started getting hate mail and a couple yaoi-fangirls found my IshiHime shipping offensive enough to yell at me for demeaning Ishida’s character.
Is everyone just bored because school’s out right now? Was there a lot of family holiday stress and you’ve got to take it out somewhere? I’ve noticed an upswing in pissiness in my Bleach fandom. If only we had the very embodiment of pissiness Byakuya and the very unpissy Kenpachi fighting Wrath personified in Yammy right now, maybe we wouldn’t be turning against one another.
Anyway, for anyone who wants this community to change and be less “IchiRuki-ish" or whatever, it’s up to you to contribute your essays and ideas and comments and fics. The fandomsecret poster claimed to be afraid of being eaten up alive if he or she dared express his concern over the massive IchiRuki smugness in the Bleach fandom. I do think the poster is right about that—our members would be like sharks to blood if people dared asked them to pretend to be more humble. But the truth is that if you don’t like something, you can work to change it. That’s how it goes in personal and social relationships, politics, and yes even fandom communities. Speak up, write comments, don’t be a coward. Silence is death.
Hey, when stepping out into the big bad scary of the Internet, I go armed with Urahara’s advice (it doesn’t always help me but just thinking of old Hat and Clogs makes me smile and put it in perspective that I’m about to argue about a Japanese comic, not the fate of the world):
If you dodge, “I won’t let them cut me”.
If you protect someone, “I won’t let them die”.
If you attack, “I’ll cut them”.
Well can’t you see…
… the resolve to cut you reflected in my sword
Don’t be afraid. Put on your headband of Great Justice and make the Bleach fandom what you want it to be.