io9, an amazing sci-fi blog and member of the Gawker Media empire, posted today about a livejournal community called Fandom Secrets. Fandom Secrets contains cyber postcards from fans of various TV shows, movies, even bands. But these people aren’t just fans; they’re people slogging through the trenches of fandom.
For the uninitiated, fandom is when you love something so much that it nearly takes over your life. If it’s a TV show, fandom means you watch every episode, own the DVD box sets, can detail any character’s back story in your sleep and will relate anything and everything you talk about back to the show. Fandom is the nice word for obsession. Fandom Secrets is a place where equally nerdy dorks congregate and admit to each other that they are just as odd and strange as they fear they are. But it also allows uber fans to embrace their strangeness and, in a way, accept it.
I’ve dabbled in fandom. From bands to movies to anime to TV, I’ve experienced fandom in all its forms and degrees. Once I bought a cigarette lighter bearing the likeness of my favorite Dragonball Z character. I can recognize most of the writers of Late Night with Conan O’Brien and tell you their names and what frequent characters they play. I still look for the special edition X-Files Barbies whenever I’m in a store. I’m a huge nerd. I don’t think anything will ever change that.
I’ve outgrown most of my fandom obsessions. I don’t know how or why it happens, one day you wake up and it doesn’t matter quite as much as it used to. You let it go. You move on.
In honor of Fandom Secrets I’m going to reveal a fandom secret of my own:
I miss The X-Files. I miss it so, so much. I’m sad that I don’t know what happened to Agent John Doggett. I admit that I DVR every episode they show on the SciFi channel (2am est!) And sometimes, when I’m bored and ignoring my actual writing, I wonder what a new version of the show would be like. Would a new agent be assigned to the unit and descend into the basement office to find the “I Want to Believe” poster faded but still tacked to the wall? Could Scully (a hero to nerd girls the world over) come back? Would it be the same without Mulder?
I don’t apologize for my fandom. To anyone reading this, whether your love be wrestling or Hanson or Joe Biden, hold your fan flag high!