Competing Fandoms

Hey everyone, I’m Kathy, and I’m a geek. I’m a complete nerd and I’m proud of it. I am a part of many fandoms: different authors, vlogs, television shows, web series and movies. I just really enjoy fiction – it is one of my favourite things in the entire world. I’ve even been known to play a few sweet video games in my time (spoiler: The Cake Is a Lie), although I get pretty aggressive about it so no one wants to play with me. Whatever, I have too many books to read, anyway.

What I really wanted to talk to you about is kind of appropriate for this time of year, because it is about harmony, peace on Earth, and also about two fandoms that I haven’t gotten around to subscribing to, that some people are really, super excited about. Maybe I would be excited to if I had more time to devote to learning more about them, but I just haven’t worked them into my schedule. Feel free to cheer if you are a geek when it comes to of either one of these fandoms. Don’t hide. Be proud of it! Today, I want to compare the fandoms Doctor Who and Jesus Christ.

The timing is appropriate because Whovians everywhere have just celebrated another, some people tell me Epic, Christmas special, not to mention the 50th anniversary last month, but also because the fictitious birthday of Jesus just happened, and I’m sure more than a few of you celebrated that one. In fact, I bet there are a few people out there who celebrated both!

Now, as fandoms go, these brands are both pretty popular. To use the current societal marker to indicate that you have made it big, Doctor Who has nearly 4 million Likes on Facebook and Jesus Christ has nearly 6 million Likes on Facebook. That’s pretty close considering the story of Doctor Who has been around 50 years and Jesus has been talked about for a couple thousand years, wouldn’t you say? Given a few more years, The Doctor might overtake Jesus in popularity. What they have in common is that each of them have countless websites, magazines, books, movies and spin off series devoted to their stories, and the fans of each are both very protective of their preferred protagonist.

If you’d rather compare them based on what they were able to accomplish during their lifetime, then Jesus is the clear winner. He lived, what, 38 years before he was killed off? That would be a pretty long life expectancy if the Bible were written by George R. R. Martin, but 38 is pretty young for a hero to be struck down. The Doctor is still going strong at over 900 years old, but there is a small catch to that logic. Maybe Jesus would still be around too if he could regenerate (resurrection is so not the same!). This just doesn’t seem like a fair fight. Perhaps each incarnation of the Doctor should be compared up against Jesus to make this a more even playing field.

I’d like to address a popular notion that I have always found a little ridiculous – and that is the notion that the actors who portray their characters actually are their characters and should be treated as such at all times. Talk about overshadowing a career! The guy who played the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld still makes appearances as that role! In the spirit of comparison, if we wanted to see a duel between The Doctor and Jesus, I’m sure that could easily be arranged between David Tennant and Christian Bale, right? How about Matt Smith vs Willem Dafoe? Yes, Bale and Dafoe have both played Jesus. IMDB that shit right now if you don’t believe me.

So, why haven’t I gotten around to learning more about these fandoms? They’ve both been in the periphery of my knowledge for quite some time, but the time to really immerse myself in either of them just hasn’t come around. I do know some of their sub plots, though, like how Jesus walked on water – although, come to think of it, I might have only remembered about that because it was redone on an episode of Misfits. Either way, he turned water into wine, and anyone who has ever been a student can appreciate that, so based on brief sub plots I have heard here and there, I understand his appeal as a hero to the masses. I’ve seen a couple episodes of Doctor Who, and really enjoyed the two-parter where The Doctor and Rose arrive in 1941 London during the Blitz and spent a lot of time trying to figure out why a strange child in a gas mask is repeatedly asking for his mother and terrorizing the neighbours. The Doctor really did some great problem solving on that one, and you could feel his high level of compassion, so I understand his appeal as well, even if Eccleston was one of the less quirky Doctors, and my quirk preference runs rather high.

Both fandoms are broken up depending on the preference of the particular audience member. Whoivans have 12 different Doctors to choose from, not to mention people who are hardcore fans of the different companions, and everyone seems to have a heated opinion about which one is better. And Jesus followers: God, where to start? People get just as upset if you put them in the wrong category as Whovians do when you mistake them as backing the “wrong” Doctor. For the Jesus fandom, you have Catholics *and don’t even get me started about the sub categories in that sect of fandom), Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox (hey, don’t look at me like that, I’m just reporting back from Wikipedia on that – I didn’t know that was an official name either), Church of the East, Protestantism (kind of like the class of Whovians who didn’t want an older actor the play the 12th Doctor, or the other sect that really wants the next Doctor to be a) a ginger and/or b) a woman), Lutherans, Pre-Lutherans, Anglicans, Calvinists, Presbyterians, Brethren, Methodists, Baptists, Charismatics – honestly, the list just goes on, but each of these sub groups was basically formed because they really love Jesus Christ.

It is my wish that the fandoms of both Doctor Who and Jesus Christ, let alone every other fandom, can just put aside their differences for a moment and really appreciate why they are fans in the first place. Sure, it is easy to over analyze every detail of the different facets of storytelling, but in the end, everyone just has love and admiration for their chosen franchise. Can’t that just be enough? Who needs to argue about who shot first, or who would win between a pirate and a ninja, or Robocop vs Terminator, or which old school console was the best, or Freddy vs Jason, or if sex with Superman would kill Lois Lane, or Alien vs Predator, Angel vs Spike, Trek vs Wars or Kirk vs Picard!? Can’t we just agree to disagree on the minor details, but overall agree that whatever sect of geekdom you subscribe to is fraking amazing!? Just think about it – every character you have ever loved, hated, lusted after, admired or wanted to emulate started as an idea inside someone’s brain. How awesome is that?! One day you think up a cool idea and a couple years down the line, and after a large amount of hard work on your part, that tiny idea has become something that people line up to read, buy, see, hear about, or have streamed into their individual homes without them even having to put on pants! Does anyone else find that completely amazing? Props even moreso to the old white guys who authored the Bible, because their fiction has lasted the test of time. I, for one, am extremely excited about the miracle of human consciousness! Can we all just be excited to be alive in a time when we can submerge ourselves in countless works of fiction, and have peace among us because we are too busy devouring the works in our newest fandom? That is my hope for all of you.

And just remember when you are passing judgement over someone else’s fandom, yes, of course, Jesus loves you, but the Doctor has twice as much heart.

As they say in John Green’s hometown, DFTBA: Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.


2 thoughts on “Competing Fandoms

  1. Pingback: AKIJAK: The 28 Before 28 Project – Update One | The Only Kathy Trithardt

  2. Pingback: Let’s Call It Research | The Quotidian Project

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