God, I love being an asshole. It just comes naturally to me. I’ve talked about this before, but man, people are so uptight. They dismiss me because I use a lot of four-letter words and never listen to anything I say. There was an incident a couple of years ago in which the father of a friend of mine scolded me because I called one of my friend’s friends a bitch. Never mind that she was acting like one—all he cared about was my use of naughty language. I don’t want to come down too hard on him because I still talk to him sometimes and he’s a truly wonderful man, but I will never understand why cursing is so taboo for some people. Personally, I just think it’s a lot of fun. Fuck ass bitch shit cuntrag dickhole douchetard…I could go on. My favorite phrase is “batshit insane”. I heard a friend say “fuckshit insane” once, and that’s pretty awesome as well.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about Doctor Who lately. This is hardly news, as the only topic I spend more time thinking about is sex, and if I spent as much time fucking as I do watching/listening to/reading about Doctor Who in its many forms, I’d probably…eh, let’s not go there. The point is that I really hate some of the newer fans. Really, really hate them. I’ll put it this way: If you were a total fag for, say, Spider-Man, you might be inclined to teach the people you know who aren’t as into him about him. If someone who’d never heard of him spent a week reading every Spider-Man comic they could get their hands on, then suddenly started quoting and referencing him at every opportunity, you’d get a little uppity, wouldn’t you? Maybe you’d tell them that while you appreciate their newfound enthusiasm, they should lay off a bit, since they didn’t know Doctor Octopus from the Green Goblin up until recently. But then they go a step further, not only talking incessantly about Spider-Man but taking it upon themself to “educate” everyone around them on the awesomeness that is Spider-Man. Wouldn’t you just want to clobber them?
That’s how I feel about Doctor Who. I had never seen a single episode until a little over two years ago, when a couple of friends urged me to give it a try. Since then, I’ve seen the first five seasons of the New Series, at least 50 of the 150-plus serials that comprise the Original Series, watched a lot of Torchwood (a spinoff series), and listened to dozens of radio plays that may or may not be canon, but are awesome nonetheless (including one radio spinoff.) I do not know enough about Doctor Who. In fact, I’ve barely scratched the surface. That’s why my Spider-Man example is relevant. I’m not a comics geek, but I know that one could spend literally one’s entire life reading Marvel Comics and still have more to learn. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: what defines a connoisseur is not knowledge, but curiosity. Many of the Doctor Who fans I know think that spending a few months watching and rewatching the same old David Tennant episodes is enough to qualify them as a Whovian, but I’ve got news for them: if you think you know enough about Doctor Who, you don’t know enough. It’s kind of like quantum theory.
The funny thing about Doctor Who is that it’s the only geeky area of interest that I know of that seems to breed fans of this low caliber. I know Trekkies who have seen almost every episode of every Trek series, yet even they show a bit of humility. I’ve seen every episode of The Original Series and Next Generation and am currently on season three of Deep Space Nine but even then, I don’t try to educate others about Star Trek. There’s just so fucking much to learn. Perhaps it’s because Doctor Who had only a cult following in the United States up until the New Series premiered in 2005. Perhaps it’s because the New Series strikes a chord with fans who are so frenzied in their passion that they just can’t help themselves. Either way, I’ve learned to separate my opinion of the New Series (ugh) from my opinion of its fans (ugh to the nth degree.) Maybe I’m just an entitled nerd, but when I hear some of them claim to be obsessed despite not being able to name a single Doctor from the Original Series, let alone having seen a single episode, I take it as a personal insult. If you’re one of the non-annoying New Series fans, good for you. Go on doing what you do. If you’re one of the annoying ones, kill yourself. I’m not sure if I’m joking.
If you’re wondering why I spend so much time and energy raging about something as innocuous as a cheesy English sci-fi series, let me explain that this is about a lot more than Doctor Who. This is about the future. I am an aspiring writer. At the moment, I have several hundred pages of short stories and unfinished novels and plays taking up space on my desktop along with a memoir (yes, a memoir.) How we evaluate the defining genre fiction of this age will shape how we evaluate it in the future. If my opinions about what should be expected of one of history’s defining sci-fi franchises are drowned out, what are the odds that anyone will want to read my writings on any other topic? They have all, in some way, been influenced by Doctor Who. My obsession really is that all-consuming.
There’s an expression that I like to use for the point at which a person stops living their life the way the world has told them to and starts to have an impact on the people around them for a change. It’s the title of this article. It’s the feeling of finding a job after spending weeks, months, even years banging on doors and handing out resumes in the hopes that somebody, somewhere will notice you. It’s been slowly happening to me for a while now. But Doctor Who fandom, from where I’m standing, has been at sub-zero levels for a long time now. It is up to everyone with a sense of curiosity to change that. If you are not possessed with an insatiable hunger to know anything and everything about the Whoniverse, you are not a Whovian. If you are not possessed with an insatiable hunger to know anything and everything about the universe, you are not a human. And for all of the bile that I spit at non-humans, I’m not going to waste my time with them. They’re dead already.