Different <-----> Same
Many of my friends from Uni days I met in the Fellowship of Middle Earth (FOME). Then there are other friends I have since made via involvement in the Australian Democrats (who keep in contact even if they have drifted away from the party). And now I am becoming acquainted with members of the Monash University Choral Society (MonUCS). These shared interests... fantasy and science fiction... progressive politics... choral performance... are all very different. One would assume that those met via these interests would all be very different.
They are. And yet I have noticed over time some things that friends from many and differing backgrounds seem to have in common. The number of times I came across party colleagues who it transpired were into Buffy or Discworld or Red Dwarf was surprising. And now I have been discovering similar common elements among many of the choristers. Frankly many of them are nerds. Is it coincidence? Is there something I am overlooking like the predominance of university backgrounds among these different groups? Or is it that a lot of these things are much more ordinary than I had come to expect?
Which brings me to another matter: The distinction between active and passive expression of ones interests. In groups like FOME there is a tendency among members to think that our shared interest in fantasy and science fictions sets us apart from the rest of the world. And yet that same interest is shared among many more than will ever get involved in 'fandom'. Many are happy simply to buy the novels and videos rather than feel the need to participate in a shared recreational experience.
On opening night for a new episode of Star Wars thousands of geeks in costume are seen parading into the cinemas. Then the next day millions worldwide do the same thing but in everyday clothing. I wonder if there is very much difference at all between us and them.
Labels: Life Experiences