Why "They Just Want Attention" is No Excuse (Updated)

 Why "They Just Want Attention" is No Excuse (Updated)

[originally posted on March 6, 2015. The message of the original post is the same here, but I’ve edited it for clarity].

There are a lot of things that make me righteously indignant in life. People who don't signal when they turn left. Racism. Churches that favor talent over righteous living (I’ve written a few stories about this).

The Value of Stuff - FROM THE ARCHIVES

Tonight, when I walked into my apartment, my roommate asked me what was wrong. When I said nothing, she gave me that "your pants are combusting" look. And she was right: I was upset. I hadn't gotten in a fight with anyone, I am within the normal range of the "behind on homework" bell curve that dominates college, and I have been having a wonderful week. However I was upset, and it took me a moment to place why I was stressed. I was getting stressed out about a book.  A very pretty, fancy book, that I am told is rather valuable, but at it's heart, just a book. More specifically, a book that belongs to me.

Why Anne Shirley Is the Queen of the Nerd- and Fangirls

[originally posted on December 26, 2015]

I've noticed that people seem to think being a super-fan started in the 1950's and 60's, when both comics and The Beatles were all the rage, and when kids suddenly had free time and when they also stopped listening to their parents. As amazing as early comics were (you know, the pre-war stuff that's utterly impossible to find), and as awesome the rise of Rock and Roll must have been to teens at the time.... the super-fan had already been around for quite a while. To prove my point, we're going to look at the ultimate Nerd and Fangirl: Anne Shirley, or Lady Cordelia, or Queen Anne (a nickname given by her friends because she is fabulous). 

You can see the intense Fangirl stare from here.

You can see the intense Fangirl stare from here.

Do you doubt me? Let's examine the evidence.

1. Anne spends a huge portion of her books quoting from other books. You cannot tell me that fangirls don't just walk around making references to things CONSTANTLY. 

"My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes. That's a sentence I read in a book once, and  Isay it over to comfort myself whenever I'm disappointed in anything." - Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 5


2. Anne starts a "story club" (read: olde-fashioned fanfiction) with her friends, and then supplies most of the plots and characters.

If there is a group of fangirls who all belong in the same fandom, one comes up with the fanfiction/headcanons, and the rest approve or disapprove. Also, in the book, Anne cries not only when they read the stories in the Story Club, but Anne actually cries when she writes. She's got fandom feels if anyone does. 

Ruby Gillis just wants lovemaking in all the stories [ Anne of Green Gables,  Chapter 26]

Ruby Gillis just wants lovemaking in all the stories [Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 26]

3. Anne does not take books or book adaptations lightly. 

Anne comes downstairs multiple times in tears because of something in a book. Fandom Feels. In that same vein, she wants to live the story through adaptations, but... 

"But it's so ridiculous to have a red-headed Elaine [a heroine of Camelot]... I'm not afraid to float down [a river] and I'd love to be Elaine. But its ridiculous just the same." - Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 28

Still, Anne let acting win over looks, which is always the preferred fandom way. After she nearly dies reenacting a funeral, she says flat-out that the only romance is in stories. Boom. Fangirl quote right there. 


4. Diana Berry is her best friend. 

Diana is a reason in and of herself.

Diana is a reason in and of herself.

Diana gets a subcategory because she is the ultimate best friend/fangirl sidekick.

  • Diana's stories have too many murders because she doesn't know what to do with side characters. I am vaguely reminded of Moffatt here.

  • Diana is a shipper. She's been Team #blythecarrots from the beginning.

  • Diana went to Matthew's school of critics. Translation: Anne wrote it, it must be brilliant.

  • Diana is going to get her own blog post one of these days.

  • One of Anne's favorite things about Diana is that she has a cool name. Look it up, it's in the book.

5. Anne calls herself Cordelia for YEARS, because Anne is a "commonplace name." 

This was such a big deal to her that Diana actually named her daughter Anne Cordelia. I'm definitely revisiting Diana in her own post.  

6. Anne KNOWS life is a stage, and takes tragedy accordingly.

See: carrots incident, the hair dye incident, the Mrs. Lynde incident, the drunk incident, the Haunted Wood incident, and basically the entire first book. 

7. Anne is head of her class. 

Even with all that reading she does, Anne has time to be the best in school in most subjects, and constantly in... guess what subject... English. Except sometimes she indulges in light reading (Like Ben-Freaking-Hur) instead of her history homework. #myactualhighschoolexperience

8. Anne just wants to read about romance. 

I'm convinced Anne would love romantic TV shows as well, but what's important is that Anne doesn't want actual boy drama. She just wants to read about it. And obsess about it. But only the fictional kind. Gossip drives her crazy. 

9. Anne stubbornly refuses to let go of her romantic ideal for OVER TEN YEARS....

Sherlock. Winchester brothers. The Doctor. Need I say more? Romantic ideals are the life of a fangirl. All nerds and Fangirls know that feel.

"Tall and handsome and distinguished-looking -- dark, melancholy, inscrutable eyes -- melting, musical, sympathetic voice -- yes, the very hero of her dreams stood before her in the flesh." Anne of the Island, chapter 25

... Then she marries her hot nerd friend with a sense of humor. 

Girl wrote the book on denying true love for years. And the book of Sass. 

And finally... 

10. Anne leads her life like she's a heroine of a story. HER STORY. 

She's the Queen of the Fangirls because Anne is always Anne, will always be Anne. She loves her books, loves her friends, and gets the fandom feels. She is supportive of her friends' interests, bravely pursues her own when no one else is following, and is all-around the heroine and Queen of Nerds, the ultimate Fangirl. And the best part is, she doesn't even know it. She just thinks she's a nerd. 


I heard a fantastic quote about human beings the other day:

we are clever, but we forget. 

That's exactly what we do. As a species, we figured out how the planets move around the sun, but I still ask for the date in class. As Americans, we live in a country with plenty of available food and shelter, plus resources for the sick. And yet, we need a day to remember that we are fortunate.