Inspired by this blog post about the podcast The Dork Forest, my buddy Lauren challenged me to pick my top four candidates for stuff I could talk about for a really long time and not get bored even though everyone else would be super bored like whoa.
Now, I am quite an enthusiastic person. I am earnest. I enjoy things wholeheartedly. Even my ironic pleasures are actually secretly just things I really like. I like liking things!!! And this is a quality I enjoy a lot in other people. Even if I have no interest whatsoever in Royal Mail Christmas stamps since 2003, if you care about the subject so much that your eyes light up when there’s an opportunity to semi-naturally bring it up in conversation, I care about it too, okay? At least a tiny bit. (If I like you.) Fandom is a joyous thing, absolutely not to be left as an embarrassing relic of one’s teenage years. And fandom runs deep. In this blog post, I will reveal my four chosen dorkdom obsessions. In doing so I will also be revealing four fragments of my very soul.
In no particular order…
Listen up. Animorphs is NOT those stupid memes about Snoop Dogg or whatever. Animorphs is a trailblazing work of YA sci fi genius, encompassing the uncomfortable truths of human nature, guerrilla warfare, mortality, our relationship with Mother Nature, cinnamon buns, empathy, fatalism, sacrifice, what to do when you get sprayed by a skunk, the meaning of freedom, identity and adopted cultures, feminism, and blue aliens with eye stalks. It’s gory. It’s hilarious. It’s moving. It’s about six teens who turn into animals. There’s a lot of goofy, ghostwritten nonsense in there too, but don’t let it fool you. Animorphs is as dark as you’d expect a series co-written by Michael Grant to turn out. Also, deliciously nineties. I first read Animorphs as a kid; I remember the series finishing when I was about eleven. I reread it on a whim at 21 and couldn’t believe how nuanced and heartbreaking the stories and characters were. These idiot teenagers with a death wish. I don’t think I’d be the same without these books, honestly.
HANNIBAL I MEAN WILL GRAHAM I MEAN HANNIGRAM
It is costing every ounce of my self control not to just post 3826193 gifs right here right now I mean okay I guess I can post some right, I mean it is my blog rIGHT
Right. So NBC’s Hannibal is a gorgeously weird, critically acclaimed police procedural/high romance/nightmare kaleidoscope of horrors and I love it a lot. Main character Will Graham is a tiny sad man who knows a lot more than you’d like/he’d like about murdering and owns seven dogs. The Toast did a superlative “If Will Graham were your boyfriend” which tells you all you need to know about him. One day Will Graham gets offered some free psychiatric care and thus ensues the GREATEST ROMANCE EVER COMMITTED TO FILM. Will and Hannibal’s terrible love literally causes me physical pain. No, literally.
In conclusion, I read a whole book about Will/Hannibal, I could definitely talk to you about them for a full hour.
THE CRANE WIFE (2006) BY THE DECEMBERISTS
I love the Decemberists, they are the band of my heart, and I once sent Lauren the following ask on tumblr:
Look at the compassion with which she responded to my outpouring of emotions. What a gem.
It has been a longstanding ambition of mine to drink red wine in the bath whilst listening to the entirety of The Crane Wife album. Did you know that Lin-Manuel Miranda loves this album too, and sang along to it in his first ever Periscope? DID YOU? Did you know Patrick Ness wrote a novel inspired by this album and called the Decemberists the greatest band in the world? Did you know that one time, Colin Meloy remembered me? I love this album so much I once compared it to yaki udon. It’s just great. Other people would argue Picaresque is their best work, but The Crane Wife is so adventurous and eclectic it’s the clear winner for me. Even the bonus tracks are gold, by which I mean CULLING OF THE FOLD, the song that got me into the Decemberists. And this is the album that has ‘O Valencia!’ and ‘Sons & Daughters’ and ‘Summersong’ and basically it is just the best ever.
Yep, two December-themed musical entries! I care intensely about Christmas – sometimes I genuinely tear up just thinking about Christmas – and as a chorister of many years, one of the best bits for me is always the singing. I have a particular recording of Britten’s Ceremony of Carols bookmarked because the soloist makes me cry. I have really strong feelings about the triplets in ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’. I’m an advocate of the Reginald Jacques ‘Away in a Manger’ arrangement. I own 3 Carols for Choirs books and feel that’s not really enough. I live in equal fear and awe of the ‘Hark the Herald’ descant. Christmas carols are my lifeblood and I am sad I don’t get to sing them all year round. It’s one reason I’ll never complain about putting on Christmas concerts in November! Much like enjoying the autumn leaves while they last, you’ve gotta actively enjoy every moment of carolling because it’s over before you know it. Even carolling on Christmas Day is tenuous, I reckon. Christmas Eve is the peak, and relatedly, after years of the Coventry Cathedral Form of a Servant service, I’m going to feel weird about a Christmas not heralded by Tavener’s ‘God is with us’.
Yeah. Christmas carols: serious business, my dorkdom.
That concludes the glorious list of things I care too much about! Hope you all enjoyed.
Lauren also challenged me to guess what made her list. I don’t think I can possibly guess accurately, because she is just into too many things all at once and I don’t know how she does it. But here are some things she likes a lot:
BONES off of Star Trek – idk who he is really but she made me go to the midnight screening of the new film and once I sent her a laminated postcard of Karl Urban
JAKE/AMY off of Brooklyn 99 – which I’m not sure is an ~obsession~ but it is definitely a ship she ships pretty hard!
BROAD CITY – probably she only talks to me about this a lot because she really wants me to watch it
FANDOM HISTORY/INTERNET ARCHAEOLOGY – who doesn’t love digging into the history of fan cultures on the internet?!?! this is very much a shared interest, also how do I qualify as an internet archaeologist please
GHOSTBUSTERS – I nearly forgot this somehow but Lauren really likes Holtzmann, obviously