pfeffermuse: (Feral Fan)
Pfeffermuse ([personal profile] pfeffermuse) wrote2015-04-30 10:39 am

. . . And then You Add a Hint of Bitters

I'm not a big drinker: never have been, never will. Too many family members were alcoholics, and the childhood memories of the odour of rancid beer and sawdust from accompanying my father into those dimly lit Irish pubs in Inwood and Washington Heights (where the bartenders always poured me a Shirley Temple freebie) put me off beer for life.

In college, when we had chug-a-lugs, I would be the only one in the group to get a dispensation to do mine with Pepsi or Ginger Ale. Except for the buzz from alcohol, honestly I have no idea which carbonated beverage -- beer or soda -- would have been the hardest to do in one big gulp. Like taking that first dive into the ice cold Atlantic on a hot June day, you still come away with brain freeze.

And stepping back into the icy waters of namespace fandom, I worry about "brain freeze" there, as well. What do I say? What do I do? I've been mostly a lurker for about a decade now. A search will turn up posts under this handle, though not many on my journals (I'm still no good at keeping a diary. I was an active poster on both Fandom_Wank and FanFic Rants, prior to drifting away when dogpiling unsuspecting newbies became the sport du jour.) Now, I post a bit on FFA; an anon space just feels safer.

Online fandom isn't, at least for me, what it was -- ye ghods -- nearly twenty years ago. From an anthropological standpoint, it's been a fascinating evolution: from relative anonymity on UseNet, to some form of self-identification on message boards, to a more community minded identity in groups and shared website spaces, transitioning backwards somewhat to journaling spaces (where you could keep the undesirables out, if you so desired), and now almost instantaneous gratification via Tumblrs and Tweets, and the hierarchical distinctions among BNFs, MNFs, and NNFs.

I doubt I'll ever attain more than NNF status -- though the benefits to being a BNF are compelling. But I just don't have that nature. Fandom for me is an escape from the mundane, the ordinary; not that it makes one extraordinary to be part of it. It's just a different land to be chartered, one where one can as easily meet a nuclear physicist from India as one can a housewife from Indianapolis.

For one brief and shining moment, it's Camelot . . .

Then we wind up rolling in the dirt over A/B/O, OTPs, gen/het/slash, vs AO3, etc. In a space where we're actually open to freedom of expression, we still never quite escape the worst of our natures.