Sunday, November 17, 2013

Moving On

Being in a fandom is kind of like being in a marriage.

In the beginning, things are shiny and new, and you love every bit of it. You love the characters, the outfits, the settings. You even love the villains. You love the way everyone interacts, the plot, the writing.

There are good days - days when you're riding the high of a successful episode or movie - and there are bad days - days when you turn on the news to find your favorite actor has just called some hapless photographer a cocksucker.

Still, you love them.

Time progresses, and things get rocky. Plot flaws burst forth. Writers get drunk or high or whatever and end up writing stupid shit that pisses you off.

Still, you love them.

You love them completely. Recklessly. Passionately. Fearlessly.

Your fandom, regardless of its bad points, is your familiar place. Your cozy home. These are the people you understand, and, you're convinced, the people who surely understand you. You fit with them, and there's no notion of ever *not* being with them. This is your life. This situation will continue, infinitely.

Then, something happens. The show is cancelled, or one of the principals passes away. Your life is inexorably changed. Nothing from that point forward will ever be the way it was. Ever.

Eventually, you find a new fandom.

You try very hard not to make comparisons, because that would just be unfair. You love this new fandom for what it is - you don't judge it for what it lacks. You fall into the same cycle - good days, bad days.

And you love them.

You love them passionately, completely. But not fearlessly. Not recklessly. Oh, no. Because now, you're smarter. You know what might happen. So no matter how often you profess your love, no  matter how often you say "this is my life," there's that little voice in the back of your head that says "Until it's not anymore. Until it's over." Because now you know - *over* is a possibility.

Still, you understand that, though you didn't stop loving the first one, you can't make new memories with it. There isn't any more looking forward to next week's episode. There isn't any more new items out for Christmas. There isn't any more TV specials. All you're doing is replaying the old memories. And as sweet as they are, you understand they can't sustain you. So you move forward with this new fandom, because there isn't any real choice, is there? Evolve or die.

But there's always those ghosts lingering. Always that hint of something someone else would've said. Always that knee-jerk that brings you back to a moment you'd shared that, although not quite like the one you're in, is close enough to make your heart squeeze and make you wistfully smile.

And the new knows. Especially if it's the same genre. It knows it may win some of those old fandom's followers, but there's always that place in your heart they'll never see. That place they'll never know. That place of fearless adoration they'll never reach, because they're not your first fandom.

They'll get that validation from plenty of others - for some people, they'll be that first. That shining, glittering thing.

But for you, that shining, glittering thing will always be The Other. And no matter how many years go by, no matter how many actors do stupid things publicly or feud with each other, The Other will always be shining, glittering, beautiful in it's spectacular glory. And it will always hold sway over you. You will chose repeats of it over new episodes of shows you like to watch. You'll see the first two minutes of an episode, and you'll excitedly whisper "Oh, this is a good one!" just like you do for every single one. Because they're all good ones. They're all locked there, in your heart, etched in the fibers of your being like iridescent scars. They've all left their mark, and you are changed, for the bad or good, by every one of them. what new Trek fans don't understand. The Reboot isn't just "another" franchise to us. It's not TNG, or Voyager, or DS9, or Enterprise. It's different, because it's so much like what we loved.

It's our second marriage.

Our first ended in death. And now we've foraged on into this new, frightening territory. There's a number of reasons behind our willingness, not the least of which are loneliness and curiosity. We've been Trek starved for so long, and in walks Chris Pine. And his eyes are different, and he's younger, but he's somehow...Kirk. That essential something that makes up our Captain is there, hiding behind those dazzling sky eyes of his. And there's Zachary Quinto by his side. And he's definitely not our Spock. But there's that eyebrow quirk, and that silkily delivered "Fascinating." And it's so much like what we knew that we're drawn to it, like moths to flame. The Reboot is shiny and sexy, sleek and exciting, and we're caught up in it before we even know what we're doing.

But it's not the same. And it's fearsome hard to keep that perspective sometimes. And it's fearsome hard not to shout that out sometimes. Not to scream at them "You're not who I knew! You'll never be who I knew!"

But the reality is...they're not trying to be. There's a definite illogic to attempting to live up to something you could never amount to, in trying to grab a love and a loyalty that isn't rightfully yours to grab. And so they don't try to, because they understand that place The Other holds for us. And they don't mock us for it, because maybe...just maybe it's the same for them.

They simply walk in, touch our shoulders and whisper, "Here we are." And if we take their hands, we know our lives will never be the same again. They hold for us the beautiful combination of the promise of new things and the cherished honoring of the old.

And just like that, we're remarried. All over again.

It's not a decision we make lightly - it's simply the only decision to make.

After all...logic is logic in any 'verse. And we do love our logic.

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