Fandom

I know I’m way behind in blogging. I kept almost blogging, and then thinking nothing I had to blog about was of interest to anyone. This is a writer’s trap, I know, and also made me wonder if it was a sign of depression. And then I thought, “no, it’s not that my life is inherently uninteresting, it’s just uninteresting now“. So anyway, probably more blogging soon.

But I do want to do some media reviews, and although this is kind of the opposite of a review, I wanted to note that we did watch all of Our Flag Means Death and really liked it. I enjoyed it just because it was a silly pirate show, but then I heard it got very gay and spent a good part of it waiting for ‘things’ to happen, and they didn’t actually happen until the very end. But I did like it a lot, and have no problem enjoying the sight of Taika Waititi in leather and full beard.

But I have been so tickled at the huge response on social media from all sorts of (but mostly queer) people getting hit right in the feels by the show. A point I’ve seen over and over is that we all picked up on the gay coding, but have so often had Lucy pull the football away, so didn’t trust it until the queer coding actually panned out in the story, and what a relief and delight that was. But fans are analyzing everything about the show, including color palettes and costume choices, and … well, let’s just say that clearly, I missed a lot and need to watch it again. But the enthusiasm – the dissection, the fanart, the analysis, the sheer joy of discovery is such fun to watch.

(Here’s a great article that encapsulates the takes I’ve been seeing.)

I’ve dived (diven?) into fandom in a big way only twice – into Harry Potter in the early 2000’s, when fans were doing incredibly clever things like Nocturne Alley, a HP roleplaying game that played out on LiveJournal and which was an addictive read every morning. And then in 2017-8, when Dream Daddy was released, and was so charming, unusual and hilarious – but left so many open questions and what-ifs that it fairly demanded fanfiction, fanart and RPGs. A year of reading DD fanfiction (like any fandom’s fanfiction, some of it was dreadful and some of it was fantastic… and some of the best never got finished) then turned me to reading M/M romance in general and (for good or ill) that’s half of what I read now.

I spent about a year paying attention to Tumblr, because a lot of the best DD stuff was there. And was astonished at the number of very young artists who were producing really great art. I’m tempted to go back, because I suspect it’s flooded with OFMD fanart. Except that, as I hinted, I wasn’t hit in the feels quite so hard as this new rabid fandom, I’m just delighted that a new piece of art has sprouted a whole new community. Youngsters and not-so-youngsters often get their creative feet wet in fandom and then start creating original content – and I am all for that.

So I’m anxious to see where OFMD takes us. And yes, I think I need to watch it again, slowly, with an eye towards detail.

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