For those of you who follow that sort of the thing, you know how spanky wanky and weird fandom was this past weekend and for those of you who don't ... eh, don't ask. *Throws holy water on you and blesses you with ignorance,* I'm just glad that Real Life kept me away from my Beloved Cyberlife with caregiver interviews (we found the perfect nanny for my daughter!), a search for a lost cat (she came back!) and a broken washing machine (the husband fixed it, broke it and fixed it again! Hallelujah!). I was too busy to find time to read all the fandom goings-on and, better yet, too scattered to find words to comment. If I'd made a comment, I invariably would have said something I would've regretted and then I would've had to apologize and ... hello? Has anyone seen my high horse? Oh that's right, I don't own one although whenever I make a fool of myself in public you'll see me riding atop this pony.
Isn't he cute? I'm going to hop on him now and brag a little because while all the hullaballoo about ships was going on this past weekend I got the most timely request from a PhD candidate at The University of Edinburgh. She's writing a journal article (as well as chapters towards her PhD) about the practices of reading shounen manga! No lie. At first I thought someone was pulling my leg but I checked her ( Lesley Gallacher) out, and we exchanged some emails. Apparently she's going to quote me and some posts from this very community in her writings because she believes that "fan analysis in this area is often far better than what academics have come up with." I'm so tickled by this, especially since she said she was including ideas about shippers, UlquiHime and how fan communities attempt to identify "crack" versus "canon." She also said that she'd send me the final draft of the article so it can be posted here and argued over. Stay tuned!
Of the many silly things I heard from the fandom bruhaha this past weekend, two had to do with misconceptions of academia and may have been (or not) deliberate jabs at fan people with degrees who dare to practice upon Japanese comics some analytical strategies learned in school. One silly statement was "logic is in the eye of the beholder" and I had to laugh because if that were so, then no one would ever fail my husband's Introduction to Logic classes. The other silly thing was "you don't need a college degree to read shounen manga." It would require that I go into some lengthy maneuvers of logic to explain why this statement was a diversionary tactic from an original ship war that was about the likelihood of canon and not about who's got the shinier qualifications in manga literacy but of course not, no one needs a college degree to read literary manga. The fact remains, though, that some of us do have those degrees and have a helluva lot of fun with them and our comics. Unlike the husband I'm not so fortunate as to be employed in my field at the moment so I scratch my literary itches with Bleach, and sometimes I evaluate posts on fan forums by criteria similar to the ones I'd use to grade freshmen compositions. I'm having a grand old time, and I'm honestly trying not to hurt anyone's feelings but heavens forbid that I ever EVER try to curb an opinion or pretend to be anyone other than who I am for fear of making some reader feel stupid.
Hell, I'm a queen of stupid--I write pr0ny fics and make embarrassingly lurid over-bright digital fanart and squee and writhe and go through all those fangirling rituals of sexual readiness whenever my favorite characters brandish their pointy weapons!
So, really, Fandom, don't be scared of me and other people who climb into the sandbox while wearing our little tassled hats. Some of us like to show them off but others are merely absent-minded and forget to take them off for playdates. And don't judge us too harshly when we use our diplomas to scoop sand into said graduation caps. We don't know any better than to play with the toys our parents bought us. Someday I may be buying a university education for each of my own children and I'm going to try to be understanding if either of them wants to play with his or her degree in the casinos instead of the ivory towers.
Oh and one more thing--I will pass along to my children what I learned from my days on the Internet: Don't post in anger.
Have a lovely Rukia fanart before I go. Peca did one for Rukia's birthday this month that's so lovely!
This entry may have not made any sense at all--I have an MFA in poetry which may be equivalent of a higher degree in not making sense, but please enjoy this peaceful, serene art: http://peca06.deviantart.com/art/Rukia-s-belated-b-day-art-151518444