Original post: The Rules of Love, Meditations on Fandom
I am full of love. Love for many different characters, series, plots, media, and fandoms. Because I’m an analytical sort, I try to discern trends and tendencies within the great pile of different interests that I have, and I have emerged with some definite trends, but more and more I find that the “root” of love for a fictional thing is inscrutable.
Why? Because while I might be able to predict if I would like something/someone or not, often these predictions fail. I don’t like *every* example of something I have a proven tendency to like, and may even find myself falling for a trope I normally loathe. Just like real life, we need plans and predictions to invite stability, but many of these fall apart if you look too closely.
Or consider the issue of cliche: each iteration of the cliche might hold something special for a certain viewer, who is otherwise uninterested in other examples of the cliche, despite them supposedly all being “the same”.
As to flaws, I always seek to find awareness of a work or character’s flaws and never to shy away from acknowledging them. There are times when I feel a certain character’s actions are indefensible, but I maintain a strong attachment to them despite never feeling the need to lift a finger against their detractors. Why do I do this? I don’t know, really, but it’s an essential part of me.
I also believe that one should not only seek out the “best” of everything. To only search for perfection is to lead a cold, mechanical life. The way I go about it is that something hits you or it doesn’t–it doesn’t matter how good it is, to an extent. We are all human, and that means we are imperfect.
Perhaps because I do not seek perfection, and think that different things can be equally enjoyable, I don’t have one Most Favourite Character or Most Favourite Fandom, and what exceptions there are to this general rule of rankless love have been a long time in establishing themselves as such.
Finally, there is the issue of simple resonance–a thing that might have little value to others, but that you become attached to in a deeply personalized, idiosyncratic way that might make sense only to you, but makes a *tremendous* amount of sense regardless.
Love is a wonderful thing.