I have to admit that I did not expect this kind of garbage - because that's truly what it is, garbage - from BSG fandom. I am not condemning all of the fandom. I'm sure there are some folks out there who, like me, are merely bemused and a little disgusted by the whole thing. I also need to preface this by saying that by and large, BSG fandom has been one of the most considerate, polite, open-minded, non-wanky fandoms I'm involved in. Maybe I just don't hang out in the wanky parts, or maybe I missed the wank, but either way, consider this: within a week of me starting to participate in SW fandom, I'd had my first flamer/batshit person, while I'd gone over a year in BSG fandom before I encountered anyone even remotely crazy, and said craziness wasn't even directed at me. It has been, for the most part, very refreshing.
The funny thing is, I've actually seen more batshit stuff since the end of the show than I ever did while it was running. And that's what I'd like to address - namely, what the hell happened?
Sure, a lot of people didn't like the finale. I didn't like the finale. But it seems like that was the dividing factor in BSG fandom. It seems, from what I've seen, that you either liked it or you hated it. There are very few people on the fence (again, from what I've seen). I believe that some of the people who liked it were a little bit too cocky, a little eager to shove that in the faces of those who were dissatisfied. I also believe that some of the people who disliked it seemed to feel that just because they hated it, all others should share their opinion. As you might imagine, there was a lot of nastiness on both sides toward each other.
There was also a lot of discussion about who had "won" and who had "lost." I saw statements bandied about like The A/R shippers won and The K/L shippers lost and The K/S shippers won and Kara lovers lost and Laura lovers lost and BSG women lost. And that raised a question for me, one that I'm still asking to this day.
Why does it have to be about "winning" and "losing"?
Look, people, this isn't a game. You don't get two points if your ship ends up being canon and there's no trophy if your favourite character survives. You can be happy, sure, and I'm denying no one their happiness. What annoys me is the same thing that's annoyed me about fandom ever since I became involved in it: people who want to foist their opinions/beliefs on others who do not share those opinions/beliefs. People who want to rub others' faces in the fact that one ship is canon or one character survived. I don't know why it matters so much. I don't know why there is so much obsession with gloating over someone else's perceived unhappiness or misfortune.
Sure, everyone likes a big healthy dose of schadenfreude. Goodness knows I'm enjoying mine at the moment at the expense of a hockey team called the Toronto Maple Leafs. ;) But that is different, in my view: that's sports, that is a game. But when you start berating others for not holding the same fandom opinion that you do, or laughing at them because their favourite character was killed and they're upset about that, you've crossed a line, in my opinion.
I should add that I haven't yet watched The Plan. I do not intend to do so until its official release on October 27th. (This is partly due to my own apathy over various real life things and partly because I feel so horrible for the creators and other folks who worked so hard on it that it was leaked - but that's a whole 'nother rant in and of itself. Heh.) I've heard various things about it, from various people, and I've also been privy to some of the wankstorm that's erupted in its wake. Some of that storm I've avoided due to my fear of spoilers, so I may not be getting the whole picture here. But this is what I see.
I see (some) Kara/Lee shippers upset because another pairing is apparently getting its moment in the sun. I see (some) Kara/Sam shippers gloating because there is more of a focus on their ship than there is on any other. I see both sides sniping at each other and acting immature and ridiculous. I see, in other words, people pissed because other folks don't share their opinions or don't like what they like. Same old story.
I see Kara/Lee shippers saying things like "K/S cannot be epic because Kara/Lee is the ONLY EPIC SHIP ALLOWED IN BSG!" And I want to yell at them to get the fuck off my side, because they sure aren't helping me present myself as a logical, non-batshit shipper. Just because your opinion is different from someone else's, it does not mean that you get to demean that different opinion or belittle its existence. The person who holds the different opinion has just as much right to hold it as you have to hold yours. For instance, I'm a multishipper. I like both Kara/Lee and Kara/Sam. Does that make me a delusional nutcase who ought to be thrown in an insane asylum? In the eyes of some people, yes. But I don't think so. I think it just means I've got a different opinion. So I like two supposedly mutually-exclusive couples! Should I be drawn and quartered for that? No! Because it's just a different opinion. I am not a threat to you just because I hold it. If you think I am, you need to get over yourself. (And hey, if we're going to get into semantics - well, karate0kat says it better than I ever could regarding the which-ship-is-more-epic debate, so why don't you go check out their post?)
I see Kara/Sam shippers saying things like "STFU K/L shippers, Kara/Sam won!" And I want to fucking disown them. PEOPLE. It is not about who won or lost. Sure, you interpret canon one way. What about those of us who interpret it - yes - differently? Again, we're not evil. We're not out to get you. We're not any threat to you. We just. Hold. A. Different. Opinion. That's all there is to it. (And hey, if we're going to get into semantics - Sam rode Galactica into the sun, and Kara poofed out of existence. How does that constitute winning? Sure, they might be together in the afterlife. But canon doesn't tell us that, and if we're basing our opinions strictly on canon, how can we definitively state that they ended up together?)
In any case, I am not here to debate semantics. I don't really take a position on either debate - which ship is more epic, and which ship "won." Because, as the above ought to indicate, I find both of those debates pretty damned pointless. Sure, they'll keep the fandom going for awhile. But they will also alienate us, divide us, cause friends to turn against friends. Who needs it? Who needs all the wank, the swearing, the personal attacks? Why does it have to be this way? Why can't we just return to our mature, responsive selves, who are open to discussion and to the consideration of different viewpoints within the context of the show?
Or am I just dreaming in Technicolor here?
I sincerely hope not, because I would like BSG fandom to return to the way it was when I first became involved in it. I like that aspect of fandom. It was what made me, for a time, consider possibly leaving SW fandom for greener and more peaceful pastures. I guess maybe now I'm getting to see the darker side, and I'm pretty damn sick of it already. All the virtual ink spilled in insulting and belittling each other and each others' ships isn't worth it. Trust me, it isn't. Joe Smith isn't going to change his opinion just because John Jones tells him that Ship A is better and he's an idiot for liking Ship B. It will only perpetuate the wank. And that, as we have seen, is a bad, bad thing.
Maybe everyone should just become a multishipper, like me! The icon is quite correct: we do complain less, I think.
But I'm not going to make you become a multishipper. Then, I would be forcing my opinion on you - and that's just not kosher, is it? ;)
*Insert requisite disclaimer here about all of the above being merely my opinion, this rant not applying to all BSG fandomers, etc. I have no desire to start even more wank, as should have been made quite clear. :)