"You're going to love this," the email from my senior editor began. "Someone actually sent feedback on the review you did of Queen of Swords a couple of years ago. Get out your asbestos underwear."
The comment read:
I happened to put in a search for the now defunct show The Queen of Swords. I came upon your website and Teri Smith's commentary about the show and about Tessie Santiago. I think that her assessment was unfair. Her comments about Ms. Santiago were not really very nice at all. (Jealous, perhaps?) And, as for Valentine Pelka, I think he portraited the perfect villain [sic]. Teri Smith apparently likes the show entitled Highlander. Well, I have seen that show also and it is not exactly based on fact neither (LOL). I enjoyed the 22 episodes of The Queen of Swords and wish that there were more episodes. (However, the Zorro people messed that up!) I enjoyed The Queen of Swords for what it was. I expected a little bit of fantasy when I tuned in. I thought that all the actors did a fine job. Oh, and by the way, I did not notice that Ms. Smith said anything about the Captain of the Guard. (Ms. Smith probably thought he was "hot" -- snicker, snicker.) Could it be that she doesn't like Tessie because Tessie is not "beefcake", but, instead is a very young and very attractive young lady -- LOL???? Sometimes people are envious of what they are not. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...........
Geez. First, let me just say, I'm straight. I don't watch movies or television shows for the actresses. However, since, the writer seems dead set on it, I guess I could say something nice about Tessie Santiago. Here goes: As an actress, she's a great restaurant hostess. Happy now?
Ah, fandom. In my misspent not-so-youth, I occasionally morphed into that odd creature known as a "fan girl." In fact -- and since I can hear my senior editor cackling -- I might as well go ahead and confess that every so often I still do. Say the magic words "Methos," or "Robin of Sherwood," or (pant, pant) "Dylan Hunt" and you pretty much need an industrial-sized wet-dry vac to suck up the drool.
Yet my transformation never went beyond heavy breathing and a few reams of fervid fan fiction. And yes, since I'm confessing: I even Mary Sue'd a time or two. Or three. Years ago, I might add -- I stopped writing fan fiction in 1999. And I prefer to think of those past literary efforts as training for the fantasy I now write and hope to sell.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
But I digress. Back to that Queen of Swords feedback and fandom. The feedback in a strange way dovetailed with my wanderings through Live Journal's weird and wonderfully weirder world of fan fiction. I found beautifully written Pirates of the Caribbean slash (Jack Sparrow and Commander Norrington) and not so beautifully written Little Mermaid trash (Ariel and Sebastian -- can you say ewwwwww? I knew you could…)
On Live Journal, and indeed, all over the Internet, there exist huge communities of fans who seem to live for nothing more than to write entire libraries of fiction devoted to their obsessions du jour. They also seem to exist to pummel the bloody electronic hell out of each other. Man, do these guys hate each other. Not only electronic -- word on several email and Live Journal lists relates tales of feuding fans physically duking it out over whether or not Harry Potter should be boffing Snapes or Draco. Now that's entertainment.
One shouldn't be surprised by the venom, I suppose. Flaming existed in fandom all the way back, I suspect, to Ancient Greece:
Fan Girl #1: "What do you mean, you think Hera and Calliope are hawt! You sniveling satyr! Everyone knows Hera gets it on best with Hecate!"
Fan Girl #2: "Hah! You're just jealous 'cause everyone on our scroll list liked my 145 chapter saga of Hera and Calliope fighting the Sphinx in Atlantis and having lots of steamy sex way better than your puny scribblings!"
For the sunny month of June I declare a truce across the land. Let all frenetic fan girls' and frothing fan boys' hearts be filled with love and joy as they relax around the pool or on the beach. Let each and every one enjoy their addictions without rancor or malice towards those who disagree on who should be screwing whom. Or what.
And may you all put away your asbestos underwear in exchange for a comfy pair of shorts. 'Cause, like, you know -- that stuff itches.
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