I’m still caught up with a heavy workload this week, and any creative downtime I’ve had has been devoted to writing Jeweler Richard fic (it really is filling a big old void in my life right now!). So there hasn’t been an awful lot of time or mental energy left for a full blog post. Several times, I’ve jotted down ideas for things to write about, but so far I haven’t been able to pull anything together to make an actual essay.
Instead, I’m offering up some short mini-rants. Because despite my Jeweler Richard Fan Joy, there have still been several fandom annoyances this week that I want to get off my chest.
Fan Creators Owe You Nothing
About a year and a half ago, I had a creative splurge when it came to fanfiction. I was caught up in a wave of Kouda Kouji content, reading every fic I could find where he got to do anything more than sign a sentence at someone, reblogging every bit of art that crossed my feeds, and writing a number of Kouda-centric fics.
It was fun. I enjoyed having a relatable character to write about and finding a fun little corner of a massive (and sometimes disturbing) fandom to hang out in.
But fandom moves pretty quickly these days, and just because I was into something a year ago, doesn’t mean I’m going to be into that thing forever.
Unfortunately, I’ve received a string of anonymous messages on Tumblr from someone who seems rather disgruntled that I’m not making Kouda content anymore. So have several other Kouda bloggers. I don’t know if they’re all the same anon, but it feels like it.
Fan creators don’t owe you their time, their effort or their creativity. We create because it makes us happy. Sure, sometimes we might ask for prompts or suggestions, but we are not obligated to follow up on them. If a writer or an artist asks for prompts, go ahead – you can even ask if a creator is willing to accept prompts. But that creator is not contractually bound to produce content catered solely to your requirements.
Same goes for creators who post WIPs that they don’t finish or don’t touch for a while. Our interests and attentions move on. Real life gets in the way. Sometimes we just change our minds or get bored. We’re allowed to do that. Fandom is our hobby, not our job. If you’re being given something for free, you don’t get to dictate what you want. Creative works are a gift, not a necessity. Stop hassling us.
The Big Bang Theory made it hard to be an atheist.
Okay, this is going to come a little bit out of left field (is that the right saying? I’m British and I don’t care for SportsBall). But remember that episode of TBBT where it’s Christmas but Sheldon won’t join in because he doesn’t celebrate Christmas? Yeah, that’s how I feel about it. Same for Easter, Valentine’s Day, Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day), Saint Patrick’s Day. As secular as they’ve become, they still have their roots in Christianity, and there are a few of us who don’t join in with those celebrations because we’re not a part of the Christian faith, even though we might be from Christian families.
But that one episode took that approach to faith-based celebrations and turned it into a huge joke. Now, when someone asks me if I’m doing anything for Valentine’s Day and I say “I’m not Catholic,” it’s like I might as well have said “No, I don’t believe in hearts or the colour red”. There’s this assumption that (a) everyone does these things, and (b) they have nothing to do with Christianity.
There is a small element of schaadenfreude in seeing previously pagan celebrations which were appropriated by Christians gradually losing all their Christian focus, but that doesn’t mean they revert to their original faith-based meanings. They just become empty, meaningless, corporate cash-ins aimed to make people spend money on things they don’t need.
I only celebrate the Feast of Saint Mark-Down (February 15th, whatever day comes after Easter, and December 26th).
Sometimes I Forget That Real Life Isn’t Like Online
I had to fill in an Equalities Monitoring Form this week. It’s a thing that some workplaces do to evidence how diverse their staff are and to ascertain what levels of support they need to have in place for marginalised/minority groups or people with accessibility needs.
Except…sometimes some companies are about five years behind online culture when it comes to genuine understanding of minority groups, acceptable terminology, and making people feel included and welcome.
I’m now facing the prospect of not just having to start a new job but also of having to come out all over again to a new group of people. I’m in a better position now than I was when I started my current job, in that I feel much more comfortable in asking people to use my pronouns and in explaining why gender diversity matters, but explaining your pronouns to colleagues is massively different to putting your pronouns in your bio. So, too, is figuring out whether it’s safe to wear a Pride pin at work, whether it’s safe to mention the gender of your current or ex partner, or dealing with questions about why you’re single and childless at the grand old age of 39.
All these little things make an already stressful situation extra stressful, and I hope I have the fortitude to get through the next couple of months and transitioning into whatever new job I take on.
This. Just this.
Bakugou, put some shoes on. This image makes me irrationally uncomfortable every time I see it.