Wednesday, November 5, 2014

When is it Okay to Fangirl?

...I thought that, just for fun, I would compile a brief list of when (and when not) to fangirl. I find it a tricky business myself, but I hope this helps.

When to Fangirl...
~~at home during the day when you see something exciting.
Tom Hiddleston is coming to Shreveport? *cue squeals*
Your wonderful Australian friend is coming to visit? *cue squeals* 

exception: when an important family member is napping or suffering from a headache. The high-frequency noises can cause significant irriatation and/or pain. In this case it is wise to place a cushion, a hand, or some other muffling device over the mouth to prevent sound escaping. If this course of action is ignored, a sibling may volunteer to oblige you.

~~when with friends
Fangirling, like any other sport, is more fun in a group. If the area permits, fangirl away.

exception: when the majority of the group in no way share the fandom being fangirled over--especially if they're not fans because of family or conscience-related restrictions. That's just rude.

Obviously, it's all right, or I wouldn't be here.
or something like that...
seriously though, you can't exactly smash your face on the keyboard in 'real' life. And sometimes that's the only way to express yourself adequately.
I especially condone the tactful taking over of Tumblr posts...

'just Sherly things' are a particular favorite.

~~When you meet Charles Dickens

~~In public
You love your fandoms; why be ashamed of them?
exception: in very tight spaces, such as automobiles. Or anywhere your screaming might carry, really.
exception 2: when your social skills have not developed past the point of creepiness (this mainly applies to attempts to make contact with a fellow fan).
exception 3: when mental fangirling causes awkward facial expressions.
When it's NOT okay...

~At Random Moments when Someone is Speaking to You: 
I know, I know--it's hard. I personally have a sort of mental pinterest board that I scroll through when I'm bored (no pun intended--just this once).  I'll suddenly come across something funny and fandom-related, and just burst out laughing, no matter the time, the place, or who I'm supposed to be listening to.
did I also mention it is okay to use as many Sherlock gifs on your own blog post as you want? 'cause it is. can get awkward. If anyone has a remedy for this (besides actually listening), I'd be grateful.

~Weddings and funerals. Just don't.

~In the theatre.

Unless you do it very quietly. This is another hard one.

~When you see a favorite character's look-alike in public. This is the most difficult. Once in Destin we saw--and were forced to interact with--someone who looked EXACTLY LIKE MR. TILNEY. 
A very tricky situation to keep under control--we nearly lost it when he did the smirk. Keep calm and carry on, I suppose...

Well, there you have it--a quick guide to the appropriate place to express your appreciation for your fandoms. This is by no means exhaustive, so if you have any more, let me know. 

This also applies to fanboys, just to clear up any confusion.  

Do you have any tips on controlling fandom-related outbursts when forced from your lair?  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Oh look! It's tomorrow!"

...that's what happened when I started this post, and it's also the reason you didn't get any post today. Or yesterday. Whatever.
Time and timing aside, here is the next in the Four Fandoms in Progress. Your clues were, Musical. Girl. Misunderstood.  
a random picture of Eponine to prevent spoilers in people's feeds

...which totally doesn't cover every hit musical ever.
All right, here's a better clue: it rhymes with Cricket. Kind of.
Guessing game's over!
When I first heard of Wicked, I must confess I rolled my eyes, as I usually do with misunderstood villain-type plots.  I just don't care for them, and they're usually quite far-fetched, if not just wrong. I've never been a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz, to my knowledge (though I read a few of the sequels and enjoyed them), and a musical spin-off explaining why Dorothy was really the villain seemed a bit unnecessary.
Ha. hahaha.
I'm still no expert on Wicked--I've never seen it live, I don't own anything related to it, and I don't really have an extensive knowledge of every Elphaba ever.  But I have watched the entire play, thanks to a bootleg video on Youtube, and my fellow family members keep singing some of the songs ceaselessly. That's a good sign, right?
 I was concerned about the magic at first (see my concerns about HP) but 1. Elphie obviously has a natural talent for magic, which I'm fine with, and 2. This is Oz, not Earth. So, with my conscience satisfied, and with the recommendation of several of my closest friends, and my math teacher, of all people, I set about checking it out (la! A rhyme!).
Let me say this: my mother will probably never like this musical. Here's why--there's no movie or concert recording that she can watch. There's no way for her to see/understand the whole thing (I think we all agree that needs to be fixed ASAP). The other reason is the style of the music--it's that Broadway belting style that grates on her nerves so badly. It does take some getting used to, and Idina does make my spine do a weird little dance (and not in a good way) with some of her vocal manipulations. Oh, and did I mention that it's Popu-lar (see previous post about my family's attitude towards hype)?But I can live with that. However, mother dear, if you can't, I completely understand. And I apologize for all those times you have awakened from slumber with "I'm flying HIGH, DEFYYYYING GRAVITY!" already. Those times are probably not over, alas.
So, some random bits...
~~like I said, I haven't seen clips of every cast ever (yet), but my favorites right now (and possibly forever) are these gals:
~~I also like Alli Mauzey's Galinda, even though she is frighteningly giddy sometimes...

 ~~speaking of Galindas, I also like what I've heard of Annalene Beechey

 ~~I adore the costumes in this musical, particularly--you guessed it--G(a)linda's. Here is a couple of lovely posts about the costumes.  The Popular gown and the Bubble gown are particularly lovely.
I even attempted to replicate the spirit of the "Popular" gown for Halloween. It was all very last-minute and the sweater, alas, was necessary because of the chill in the air. And my curls are unfortunately not visible.
with my dear friend Gabbi, who used to have a lovely Elphie braid but chopped it off before I was interested in this crazy thing. *sigh*

 And what is this strange thing I find on the internet?

...could this possibly be a BLUE 'Popular' gown?  I need one. 

~~I love that it's a musical about two girls. Not two boys and a girl, not two girls and a boy*, not two girls and two boys, two girls.  And they sing together. It is ridiculously hard to find fun duets for female voices! Usually one of the singers is forced into playing tenor or baritone, which can be mighty straining and unfit for public performance. I had such high hopes for Frozen, but it did kind of let me down in that regard. Wicked, on the other hand, has "What is This Feeling?" and "For Good," one funny, the other serious. I LOVE IT.

*I know, I know, there's Fiyero. But frankly I found him to be the weak spot in the whole thing (unless played by Aaron Tveit). Please don't shoot me.

~~I just really like the story--it's a great look at everything from the power of the media to loyalty and hypocrisy to how (not) to deal with roommates. 

And with that, I am (hopefully) off to watch an installment of the next featured fandom. Here's a hint: unlike the previous one, it doesn't rhyme with Cricket. Happy guessing!
Have any of you lucky ducks seen Wicked? How did you meet this musical? Are you a fan of Fiyero?  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

4 Fandoms in Progress, part 1

I thought it was high time I gave a brief overview to some fandoms I've been 'working on.' By working on I mean checking out, watching, reading, listening to, etc.--as opposed to have watched, have listened to, have seen live, have gotten the tee shirt,* etc.  This post has turned out to be much longer than I anticipated, and so I am stretching it into multiple posting opportunities. Yippee.
So, without further fuss...
1. Harry Potter
Ah, yes, the controversial one. Woo-hoo. As I was (well, am) growing up I rarely heard this series spoken of in anything more flattering than sarcasm, a metaphor for going with the flow and doing stupid things. Part of this is my family's general aversion to anything with a lot of hype (Mum's INTP and Dad's ENFJ with a very slight feeling preference. We tend to view humanity as a whole as being less-than-bright, and ergo anything that humanity in general likes must not be terribly intelligent. Faultless reasoning, no?). Of course, I have inherited a lot of this contrariness, and when you're contrary to what's contrary to most people, you get a double negative, ~~, which means you get a positive. Thank you, logic.
So, one day, I decided I would give HP a shot. It helped that our goodwill has a neat policy on paperback purchases--buy one for $.25, or buy five for a dollar. Dear Harry's first volume helped my miserly little self avoid paying five cents more per book. I've gotten much worse books to make that noble 5 before...
The proverbial elephant (not Gavroche's, alas) in the room with Harry Potter, at least in my circles, is the 'witchcraft.' I don't have time or inclination to go into my justifications here, but let me say that I don't think what Hogwarts teaches in any way resembles what twisted man might try to do to gain demonic power. It's an inherent, inherited ability.Witchcraft is a bit of a misnomer here. I'm not saying I'm completely fine with all of it, or that I want my younger siblings running around waving wands and screaming spells (since when do I like it if they're running around, screaming, or waving anything?); I'm just saying that thus far, I see nothing shocking or 'polluting' going on thus far.
And if I read one more 'Christian' article on why Harry Potter is demonic and is going to eat the children who read it, I may just explode.
^ and if you want something amusing, watch this. ^
      Now that the elephant has been shot, let's talk about the fun bits in no particular order!

~~I love J.K. Rowling's writing style--it reminds me of Roald Dahl and Rick Riordan (I'm aware that she came first, blah blah blah, but I read Percy Jackson years before I read HP.). She has all the charm** of the former, the engaging tone of the latter, and the hilarity of both. Very nice indeed.

~~And may I add that I had no idea the whole thing would be so very...British. I knew it was British, of course, but not that British. I love it. Most of that sort of fiction that I read is very, very American.
~~The Weasleys--I love them. I have had it from multiple sources that our house is somehow reminiscent of the Weasleys' home. I can't quite figure it out--we only have two redheads (quite enough if you ask me) and we certainly don't have troublemakers. Ahem. Maybe it's the gnome problem. Pesky creatures. But seriously, what's not to love about a family of redheads with lots of chickens and no money?

~~Hermione--I feel for that poor girl. During the first part of Prisoner of Azkaban  she reminded me of the year I tried to take VPSA classes and CC at the same time. It was an amazing but incredibly exhausting term and I don't recommend it to anyone without a Time Lord or equivalent.
I think Hermione had been my favorite character so far--perhaps she ties with Ron?

~~Hogwarts. I told Mom, 'It's like VPSA for wizards!' actually get to *meet* people. But now is not the time to start pouting about the EOTYG again.
It can't get more fun (?) than a giant old school in a giant old castle filled with giant old secrets and lots of curious young wizards. Unless there were a library. Oh wait. There is. :D

~~In general, this whole experimental exploration has just been loads of fun, and I am excited to continue. Alas, I only grabbed through book three from my dear uncle's collection, and the library doesn't have book four. So here I am, just (oh so calmly) twiddling my thumbs and waiting around for a random trip to Mississippi or the library to actually get the book I want. I'm thinking the former is more likely. I NEED ME BOOK, PEOPLES!
Let's just hope I survive to finish it. And who knows? Someday I may even watch a movie adaptation. Or eight. You might actually get some pictures someday. But right now, I'm just lurking around the Internet avoiding spoilers. Or trying to.
And I haven't even put a toe into the real fandom yet. It's so big, it's kind of intimidating--this thing is only a few months younger than I am. My sister and I have already had one public fan sighting. She was wearing a Gryffindor shirt, but we were too timid to speak to her. I feel like I'm on the brink of something huge, something exciting.
I need that fourth book.

So, what's your opinion on the popular wizard? Is it worth the price of obsession?
And if any of you experienced fans are reading, what do you call yourselves? Potterheads?
And has anyone run across a MBTI chart for HP that they think is accurate? Or do you just happen to have an opinion on the types of the characters? I'd love to hear it.

*actually not entirely true because I don't wear T-shirts. Oh well.
**charm...I think it's charm. Not sure what else to call it.

And be sure to stick around for part 2! In the style of Gatiss and Moffat, here's three one-word clues: Musical. Girl. Misunderstood.
That's not ambiguous at all...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Did You Miss Me?

..ha. I bet you all thought I had given up on this crazy thing, didn't you?
Well, it never said there had to be 30 posts for 30 days in a row!* 

because in fact it was supposed to be 31 posts 30 days in a row. Details.

Anyway, I decided that I would simply divide my 30-ish posts into the first week of each month (it took me about three weeks into October to decide this). So, this week, expect your feed to be graced with a post each day (hopefully) and then you have to wait three weeks.
Or what if I turned the three weeks into years and ended with a cliffhanger? That might be fun.
Thankfully I'm not Moffat.

So, since I don't actually have a topic for this post other than to announce my return (Shut up, John! I don't want everyone to know I'm still alive! Promise you won't tell anyone?"), I need your help. Is there anything/anyone/anyfandom in particular you would like me to write about? I can't guarantee your wish will be granted, but I can try if you will!  After all...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

You need people of Intelligence on this sort of Janeite...Tag...Thing

...since I am feeling particularly uncreative today, and dear Evie tagged me quite some time ago, here is an almost unheard-of event. Catherine is doing a tag.
Sorry about the weird highlighting; it does that when I paste stuff. :\
~~Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
Check! Thank you, Miss--er, Mrs. Brandon. Be sure to check out her lovely blog. 

~~Tell how you were introduced to Jane Austen and share one fun fact about your Janeite life (this fun fact can be anywhere from "I stayed up all night reading Emma," to "I visited Chawton and met Anna Chancellor.").
~~Answer the tagger's questions.
Skipping the last two steps because I am lazy...
Fun fact: I have stayed up all night several times sewing Regency gowns, usually while watching some JA adaptation.
I was introduced to Jane by...wait for it...wait for it...
The 2005 Fake P&P. 

Not by watching it of course; Mum got it through Netflix for whatever reason and was watching it with Dad. I was curious about it and was told that the book was on her Kindle. So I read it.
...and this was pretty much my reaction.

~~How many JA books do you own?

I own a 'master copy' (leatherbound, Barnes and Noble--Christmas gift) of seven of her novels (the big six +Lady Susan), which I adore, and I have at least one paperback copy of all her six big novels (I have an extra Persuasion if anyone wants one). I have an additional copy of Persuasion (I've got enough to stock a small bookclub, apparently) and P&P in hardback. I pick them up at Goodwill whenever I can. Mery gave me The Novels of Jane Austen in One Sitting, and I have a teeny decorative version of P&P on a necklace. 
I'm not obsessed at all.

~What Austen character do you think you're most like?

I've taken different tests and come up with everything from Elinor to Elizabeth to Mary Bennet. In social situations I feel like Darcy--a bit snobby and even more awkward. It didn't say 'heroine,' just character!

~Have you read the Juvenilia?

Quite a bit. Not all, though. I love her plays!

~Favorite movie/TV adaptation of an Austen novel?

I'm a member. 
I also love S&S '95, Emma '09 and NA '07 (though we skip a few bits in that one).

What is your favourite Jane Austen minor couple?
Erm...Jane and Bingley.Would you rather spend a weekend with Mr Wickham or Mr Willoughby ?
Spend a weekend with? I assume in company. Erm, Willoughby. He seems to be the more entertaining one. 

You've been invited to a ball; what is your first reaction? 

EEEEEEK! and second, "I seriously need my dress trimmed out afresh."
If you could choose a Jane Austen home to live in what would you choose? Netherfield? Pemberley?
Certainly Pemberley. 
Brandon or Ferrars?
Brandon--he's so patient and honest, without being overbearing. I love Edward, but shame on him for deceiving Elinor, however accidental it might have been.Knightley or Captain Wentworth?
How dare you? Knightley, indeed! Mr. Knightley is wonderful and all others 'cept Percy pale before him.
Well, that was fun! Feel free to consider yourselves tagged, or go on with your day. Hopefully there will be something longer tomorrow. :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Question: With Which Miserableness to Start?

As most of you know or have guessed, I am a Les Mizzy. It began back in 2012 when I read the entire book* in our week of pre-Christmas break from CC and Veritas (don't try to do both at the same time. It doesn't work). My family did not see much of me. My introduction to the musical, which I love as much as the book, came a bit later. And now it's in the top 10 quoted things at my house. Anytime anyone asks anything about a sign of any sort, at least four voices chime in ''To rally the people, to CALL them to arms! TO BRING THEM IN LIIIIINE!"
I have a question for all my fellow miserables. If you're trying to introduce someone to the musical who is mildly interested, what means would you choose?
The 2012 film (which I have not seen yet)? I would think it might be a bit graphic and scare people away. And--how can I put this nicely--I have the soundtrack and the singing is not the best I've heard. But it does tell the whole story.
The 10th anniversary concert is my favorite overall cast (I mean, Colm Wilkinson as Valjean. Phillip Quast as Javert. How can you argue with that?) but Fantine's wig is terrifying and it (the concert, not the wig) leaves out huge chunks of the plot. *Huge* chunks.

And then there's this:

I do love the 25th concert, HOWEVER (and this is a big however), there's one teeny tiny gaping hole. It has a great cast, great costumes, even a decent set, but it also has this.
The Jonas. It's not that he wasn't a good Marius, it wasn't that he wasn't as good as Michael Ball, it's that he was a BAD Marius and couldn't handle the singing and couldn't handle the acting and couldn't even handle (hold) Samantha Barks's Eponine when she was DYING and...yeah. I don't want to think about it too much. *shudder*
But the rest of the cast is great (Karimloo, people!) and it includes a whole lot more of the recitative  bits than the 10th. So does the Jonas factor o'ershadow the rest as to make it unusable for introductions?

I've heard it suggested that someone read the book or listen to the 1988 recording all the way through. That sounds great, but they both require quite a bit more than the two or three hours that my hypothetical semi-interested person is willing to apply themselves to.

So, which one would you choose? Or do you have another idea?

*well, almost the entire book. After Hugo duped me into reading 200+ pages of Waterloo and the convent, I grew more careful. I skipped the sewers and Parisian slang.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

How to Protect Your Conscience While Fangirling

...between you and me, why can't people think?
As implied in my INTJ fangirl post, I was reluctant to enter the fandom life because, to quote the Parrot Sketch, is seemed 'Silly, silly silly!" I saw (romantically) obsessive posts about characters/celebrities and these people popped into my head...
...and then those who weren't having crushes all over the place were moaning about how they were born in the wrong era/world/whatever and wished a time lord would pop out of nowhere and save them from their meaningless existence.

To be entirely, embarrassingly honest, I went through some of this a while back with the Percy Jackson books. Shhh!
I have such a hard time controlling my tendency to fall into escapism, because, as this picture so eloquently puts it,
Life becomes misery while I pine away after fictional characters and worlds. It's like an eternal pity-party. I really didn't want to go through that again. Ever. So when I started becoming more active on the internet, I decided I would try to stay away from exaggerated media-related mania of all sorts. I would read the books, and that was all.
 Ha. Hahaha.
It didn't work. 
Since I discovered some fellow fans who did not seem quite as silly as the others, I decided to check it out cautiously.
I didn't--and don't, want to consume my media like some people consume soda--pop the lid and guzzle mindlessly. For one thing, it makes you burp. For another, you're drinking high fructose corn syrup and don't even realise it!  Here are a few guidelines I've made and try to keep for myself to prevent falling into empty-headed ridiculosity.* I've even categorized them. 

Real People
~~Don't look up actors' personal lives. You will probably learn way more than you wanted to know and feel melancholy and despairing of humanity the rest of the day. Or week.

~~This is a long one...
Differentiate between what people can do and who they are. Someone's talent/beauty/personality is a gift--what matters about him/her as a person is what he decides to do with it. 
Let's say that you're looking at a portrait. This one will do.
You can admire it on different levels.
You could look at it and think 'that's pretty'--admiring the appearance of the subject.
You could look at it and think 'how did she hold that pose so long? I would get so uncomfortable"--admiring the skill/ability of the subject 
You could look at it and think, 'that's a really interesting outfit and background'--admiring the set and content
You could look at it and think, 'oh wow. Those ruffles are great--how do they look so perfect? gah, I wish I could paint hair like that'--admiring the skill of presentation. 
At this point, unless you are an art expert or Sherlock Holmes, you don't know anything about the subject or painter. You're just enjoying the art for what it is, and not who created it.
I try to watch movies/shows the same way. All kinds of people have been given talent in so many areas, and they don't need to be 'good people' to have and use talent correctly. Don't get me wrong; it's doubly awesome when a good person is a good artist, or vice versa. But all too often people confuse the two.  
trying to avoid this...

I can fangirl about James Barbour's voice all day without for a moment implying anything other than that he has an amazing, well-trained voice.  That doesn't mean I think he's nice, or clever, or a role model. I can blabber on about what a wonderful actor Tom Hiddleston is without sacrificing my romantic ideals to him. I can pin as many pictures of JJ Feild as I like without thinking him to be an exemplary human being. I might just like his ears. And his smirk. Or the fact that he looks like Tom Hiddleston. Moving on...
You get the picture. I may jokingly swoon a lot, but I really do try to keep admiration of celebrities in check. Separation of the talent from the person works really well. Wholehearted admiration, from what I've seen, turns into unhealthy infatuation very quickly. And then you get stuff like this...
~~Analyze everything. When you like something, find out why.
 When you sort out the pros and cons, you appreciate the good and true in the story, but you also recognize any false arguments the book/show may be pressing on you. Eat the meat and spit out the bones.
Different people have different safe tolerance levels. I can separate the humanistic messages Les Mis might try to send me and concentrate on other themes (grace vs. justice, redemption, charity, etc.), or enjoy Sherlock, despite the language or twisted worldviews, while a friend or family member may not be ready yet--or ever.

You don't have to embrace everything to love a book or show--we should treat our media like we treat people (only we have more power of selection with media). When we really like someone, we acknowledge their faults and forgive them. Some people are good to be around because they inspire us to grow and learn and love. Some people we shouldn't hang around because they're a bad influence. It's a tricky business. So filter everything you take in. Think about it, compare it with other things--Bible stories, other books, movies, historical events, whatever, talk about it, discuss it.

 Only after I have things sorted out in my brain do I switch on the emotions and allow myself to fangirl. But when that happens, you had better look out.

 It's like checking your sleeping bag for scorpions before climbing in.

 In addition, you'll be able to explain yourself to others a lot more easily. Often I feel like I can't tell people I like certain things without them being shocked and horrified.
I can just hear "Oh, you're one of those..." running through their heads.
So, keep a disclaimer on hand.
Imaginary person 1: "Yes, I love Doctor Who."
Imaginary person 2:*awkward misjudgey silence* oh my gosh she's one of those brainless fans who slurp up all that evolutionary agenda without a moment's thought.
Imaginary person 1: "...I love how they explore sacrifice and love, and the historical episodes are really interesting. There are a few bits I don't agree with, but overall I think it's a great show. Have you ever seen any?"
Imaginary person 2: Hmm. This person has some good pointsMaybe the show isn't as bad as I thought. "No, which doctor should I start with?"
Not that actual conversations work like that, unfortunately, but it's still a good idea to have some idea in case anyone has questions, no?

Problems with Escapism
Ah, the biggie. It took me months, but I finally (thanks mostly to Omnibus) understood why the idea of belonging to my fantasy worlds appealed to me so much. It's linked to this idea:

~~When you find yourself wishing to be part of an epic, remember that you are. I'm not going to delve too deeply into this, but the Bible is seriously the most exciting fantasy story ever written, with the best Hero and the best minor characters. Only it's not fantasy; it's real. All the others, at some level, are just imitating. It's the only book whose 'fandom,' if you will, actually gets to live in its world and participate in the adventure. I personally find that a bit mind-blowing.

If you've made it this far, congratulations!

Do any of you have any tips for thriving in the clutches of fandom?

 *yes, this is a word. I made it up. You have my permission to use it as much as you like.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Obscure Fandom Day

Since I'm pretty dead from being in town all day, I thought a short post was in order.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you a book that I'm not even sure has a fandom!
 Some dear friends were kind enough to insist that we read this book; I'm sure glad they did. It's quite an intimidating-looking thing--not Les Mis heavy, but still pretty thick. In the beginning of the book whoever wrote the foreword said he took three days of steady reading to finish it.
So of course I said "Challenge accepted" and read it in two.
The Hidden Hand is fast-paced (for 1859), intense (yet still oddly lighthearted) and generally just fun. It's also American--see? I can read non-British things, if only on occasion. It's full of mysteries, abductions, broken hearts, grumpy old men, evil, mustache-twirling blackguards, Black Donald (I like him too much), and sass. Lots and lots of sass--mainly from Capitola, who is basically the opposite of a mild-mannered blonde Victorian heroine. She cracks me up.
I found it to be completely satisfactory in its ending--it has sad parts, but it neither sacrifices its characters to complete tragedy nor falls into the stereotypical happy ending trap. There are a lot of Christian themes woven in, not tacked on, which was impressive.
Its main fault is too many exclamation points! All the time! But we must forgive it its little quirks. We can't all be Jane Austen.
So if you've never read this book and are looking for something fun but not *too* fluffy, give it a try.   Jess and I are working on a dreamcast project, because there needs to be a movie for this thing. Once you read it, send one of us a note and we'll add you to the Pinterest board!
I hope I'm wrong about this book not having a fandom--now's your chance to prove me wrong.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Can INTJs Fangirl?

There you have it.

Actually, that's not true. As most of you know, I am an INTJ, which is hardly the fangirliest type--we have a general reputation of being sarcastic loners with no emotions whose only purpose is to take over the world.

Gee. Fun.
So, a few weeks ago, just out of curiosity, I did a Google search on the fangirling capabilities of the INTJ type. As I was typing, I found some interesting suggestions...

Another search proved even more interesting...
...apparently people have doubts as to our having feelings, or hearts, at all...
"I've been reliably informed that I don't have one."
...but we all know that's not quite true. 
True, INTJs are not 'emotional.' If someone asks how we are feeling, we might respond with a moment of reflection and 'fine,' because we literally don't feel anything at the moment--a perfectly normal state of being for us. When we're talking, we probably say something like "I think that that is not a good idea" where others would say 'I feel like that's not a good idea." Emotion is not a go-to state. And that's all right. An INTJ (or this one, at least) is 'happy' when her brain is occupied, usually on some hypothetical scenario or some long, twisty train of thought (usually philosophical, in my case). We think. We judge. It's what we DO.*  We don't normally feel sad--frustrated is a better word. If something's wrong, we try to fix it, or at least figure out how it could be fixed, or what made it go wrong in the first place. We aren't easily manipulated by pathos arguments.
This doesn't happen a lot to me, luckily. But I understand.

That doesn't leave much room for this, does it?
a gif of fangirling. Thanks, Pinterest.

Most INTJs probably feel--er, think, that fangirls/fanboys are completely ridiculous (to be fair, a good quantity are). They are disgusted by their gushing and blind adoration of flawed things.  For an INTJ to fangirl, she thinks she would have to turn her brain off. And thinking is everything. 

However,  the world does not and was not made to make perfect sense. It's messy. It's illogical. It's beautiful. A purely rationalistic viewpoint misses out on some of the best things this crazy life has to offer (read Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl for more information). There's nothing wrong with correctly moderated emotions. In fact, there's a lot right with them. 
This may sound ridiculous, but fangirling can actually be a sort of emotional exercise for the INTJ. When she enjoys something and exerts herself to show it, she is opening herself to others, making herself vulnerable--one of the most difficult things for an INTJ to do. When she talks to fellow fans, she's learning how to communicate better and even tolerate others' crazy feelings.  
When she obsesses over stories, she's not just gulping them down; she's analyzing every bit and her J (judging) is working like crazy. She's learning how to care about others, learning how people act and why they do what they do. 
And if a story makes her cry (which happens rarely), her understanding of pain and sorrow will become firsthand, without actually having to go through tragedy--when something breaks through the outer shell and touches an INTJ's heart, it usually leaves quite a mark. She'll learn how to deal with it. Maybe she'll even learn how to deal with people experiencing it. Catharsis, of sorts.
Even the Brain has his moments. 

So living in a fandom is quite beneficial to the INTJ, if she's careful.

As to the question of the capability of INTJs to fangirl, the answer is yes. However, there may be more going on than one would realise. 
 ~~An INTJ is likely to deliberately imitate the fangirls around her, because her emotions don't translate themselves well. She has to learn how to identify them and act accordingly. So, if you see an INTJ write 'SQUUUEEE!' in truth that was probably not her immediate reaction. 
~~the real reaction probably went like this: (after seeing an exciting announcement)
1. She reads the article
2. She verifies it by research from other sources
3. Her brain processes the implications of what she just read.
4. Here is where emotion starts to enter the picture. She feels a tickling in the pit of her stomach, and as she ate nothing to disrupt her digestion that day she assumes that it is excitement. She has read descriptions of such. Hmm. I think I am excited. I should alert my friends.
5. Hmm...I *am* excited. What do people say when they are excited? Ah yes. 
6.. She composes an appropriate response and sends it...

 ...although her actual response was nothing like the image she projects. She's not actually faking; she's simply trying to translate.
Well, there you have it, a quick guide to you INTJ fangirl. I hope this was helpful. And hopefully you also no longer doubt my credibility to post on the topic of fandoms, just because I have the personality type of Nietzsche or a not-short French dictator.** 

For further insight, remember that these are thought (at least by me) to be INTJs too...
Mr Darcy models my average INTJ fangirl/boy face. Lizzy taught Darcy about feelings and as a result he grew into the ideal of every Janeite today!
I'm only on episode 3 right now, but I'm loving seeing how Sherlock has changed since he became friends with John. He's still got a long way to go.
I love how Elsa goes through emotional developement--from hiding to 'let it go' to love.
Note: it has been pointed out to me that Elsa displays more INFJ-type qualities. I'm good with that, but I won't take her picture down because I like it.
and, of course...
our dear Jane. 

*bonus points if you guess this paraphrase's original source. Family members and Emery exempt. 
**if you thought of Horrible Histories and guessed Napoleon, you are awesome.
Disclaimer: I speak mainly from my own experience, thus the feminine pronouns.
 If you are an INTJ and feel I have misrepresented our type, please leave a comment--you know I love a good 'discussion.' Come to think of it, leave a comment anyway, angry INTJ or no.