Thanks for this week’s strip go once again to Paul Williams!
I honestly hope that I’m not the only here to regularly encounter thee moments. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones in which, two turns into a perfectly adult conversation that began with you critiquing the emerging literary motifs of BattleStar Galactica as if the latest episode were a Toni Morrison novel, you find yourself slipping into the awkward straights of childhood nostalgia and uncomfortable revelations.
Fantasy has hit the big-time, even if you’re a thirty year-old reading a book written for an eight year old. So us Tolkien fans who braved the ridicule of our peers to bask in the tales of Middle Earth during recess actually come off as a bit hip… to our un-ending shame. Dungeons & Dragons and Larping have never seemed so mainstream. Even pulp sci-fi seems to be on its way in, no matter how campy.
Smurfs are so lame that they’ve passed into retro chic, visa vi Robot Chicken, as have Transformers and most of the Saturday morning line-up of the eighties. G.I. Joe references might still be a bit jarring (Go Joe!), but that’ll only last until the big screen rehash. Even Anime, which seems to have just hit its stride, is only about two year away from being the latest conversation starter. “Oh, man. Do you remember that series about the pervvy school teacher, Great Teacher Onizuka? I used to download that off Suprnova before anime was even cool!”
Still, there remain narrow shoals of obscure fandoms that, brought into conversation in the wrong company, are certain to earn you a classification normally reserved for the middle-aged Japanese business men who dress as Sailor Moon and insist on flashing their panties at Gaijin with cameras… It’s all a bit of a minefield with our generation. We want to be good sheep, as were our parents and their parents before them, but the information age has provided us with far too many shepherds.
For those of you out there, who, like myself, find it difficult to navigate these rocky waters, I offer you this consolation.
1.) The words “donkey porn” will ensure that your Unico, your Labyrinth, and your She-Ra will go undiscovered and uncommented upon, because, as certain as those who find the disks are to disbelieve the label, they will be equally terrified of discovering that the labels were not in jest.
2.) You are not alone. Your pseudo-fandoms of one, scattered far and wide and hidden in shame, will one day pass into the mainstream like fantasy, pulp sci-fi, d&d, manga, and every other dark secret of our kind that came before. Stay strong, in anticipation of the day that Micheal Bay is locked out of the Little Pony franchise and forced to come searching for alternatives…