Sailing Away

Ships. They pull in and sail off, come and go.

And some of them make absolutely no sense.

I’m not talking about your average boat. I’m talking about relationships, specifically in books, TV shows, and movies. People see two characters who they feel should be together, and boom! A ship is born. It’s the biggest thing in fandoms lately, and it shows no sign of stopping.

The ships don’t even have to be characters that are in a scripted relationship. Sometimes they’re between characters that don’t have any romantic chemistry. Sometimes they’re even incestuous.

Why do we ship? Why do some fans rabidly defend their ships, often to the point of full-on fan wars? I mean slur-slinging, trash-talking, hate-mailing wars, all over fictional characters that may never have been in a relationship to begin with.

It’s a strange phenomenon, one that I don’t fully understand. At times I can see the chemistry that creates a fanborne ship, but for the most part it’s beyond my comprehension. Why invest so much energy in a fantasy world, especially one in which the thing you fantasize about doesn’t exist? Some fans even write fanfic (fan-authored fiction–a topic for another day, perhaps) or fanart (fanfic for the artist set) depicting their favorite ship.

I suppose I’m something of a purist. If the characters are written as being in a relationship, fine. If they’re written/played as having chemistry, okay. But non-canonical, non-romantic couplings that don’t make any sense? That just doesn’t jive with me. I don’t even like canon relationships without some sort of romantic vibe there to spark a ship.

The rabid nature of shipping also baffles me. You take a relationship that isn’t established and defend it to your dying breath. Friendships can be made or lost due to fandom ships. Is a fictional relationship really worth that kind of cost?

I, for one, don’t think so. I think shipping could theoretically be fun, if taken as the make believe that they are, but certainly not to the extent at which people are willing to go lately.

If your ship leaves the dock and sets sail, for the love of all that’s holy, just let it go. Don’t get in heated fights with someone you don’t even know over a fantasy. It’s not worth it.

Sew here I go again

It’s that time again! Back to the cosplay sewing.

This morning I cut out the pieces for the tunic that my husband will wear. I’m hoping to be done with that this weekend so I can get started on drafting the pattern (aka making shit up) for the cloak. I have a pattern for the hood, but for the rest I’ll have to sketch most of it and come up with a way to put it together.

I may or may not have to line it, which will make it quite hot to wear, but I don’t know if I can pull off the bottom part with the contrast blocking without lining it. Maybe something lightweight? We’ll see.

I’m feeling much more confident in my sewing skills the further I go with this project. I don’t feel as skittish about following the patterns and I’m almost certain I can pull off the cloak.

This is going to be an amazing convention year for me and my husband. If I can finish these cosplays, I may try to convince him to have professional photos taken at one of the cons we go to.

Die Hard

Fans. Short for “fanatics”…and many fans more than fit the definition of the word. But what makes a fan so crazy for a particular TV show, author, movie, comic book, etc.? What drives a person to extreme levels of love or hatred over fictional worlds and characters?

People who are immersed in fandom take their devotion to almost inhuman levels. They create social media identities that are intertwined with the fandom, often so engrossed in their obsession that their own identity is lost in the madness. Posts with fanfic, fan art, memes, and clips and GIFs of their favorite thing encompass the entirety of their fan profiles, with little to no hint of an individual personality.

There is only the fan.

Now, I’ll admit to being obsessed with certain shows or books. I’m a fan of the new Doctor Who, that’s for sure, and it has become a part of my identity. A small part, but a part nonetheless. Do I become entangled in fan battles about the show and its canon, about whether Rose or River is a better match for the Doctor, about which companion is the “best”? No, not really. Does that make me any less of a fan? Some would say so.

The psychology of fandom is a mystery to me. Then again, I dropped my psychology course in college because the professor was a bore. Lol I still wonder sometimes what kind of personality is drawn to this level of immersion into fantasy worlds. Can a person’s home life really be so bad as to be overwritten by fiction?

I know that I myself had a hard time of things growing up. I became obsessed, in my own way, with certain books or TV shows or comics. I didn’t let them become the entirety of my identity, as some of these fans seem to do, but then again I grew up in the age just before the social media explosion. Are these fandom profiles I’m seeing really as fanatic as they seem? Or are they just secondary profiles, places to escape from the real profile for a few hours a day?

I shudder at the thought that these are, in fact, the fans’ primary profiles. Is social media somehow to blame? There were die-hard fans before social media, that’s for sure. I just wonder how far is too far, and how long it will be before the fandom engulfs the fans.