Another oceanside chat for people who enjoy them. Apparently quite a few people enjoy them!
I get started talking about a pen friend and a phone friend, good stuff and various reasons things in communications have been clogged.
General pep-talk about the current upbringing in kids to the previous upbringing I experienced with pretty crappy distractions that weren’t as bad as now, but still pretty bad.
I make it very clear here that I never wanted a parasocial relationship with my listeners. I wanted a social one. And? I still do!
However much the technology changed to alter anyone’s sociability? It didn’t change mine!
Why letter writing is very, very, important, even now. How the friends I’ve finally made in this have rewarded me with great company. (The whole reason I began this series.)
A little study time with a DS episode, a wee, wee bit of Magda… and then: “*Spoiler*”: The phases of Quentin Collins, very basic: 1969; Evil Ghost (dead), 1897; Playboy (alive), Killed (dead), Zombie (dead/alive), Not Zombie (alive), Werewolf Curse (still alive), Magic Portrait takes curse and then he is immortal (indefinitely alive). Then fun chat about Kitty Soames.
More on the topic of the non-canon romance, Julia/Barnabas phenomenon. Very calmly expressed. As well as my experience with healthy rejections and unhealthy reactions over the years. (A little more Jo March too.)
Sprinkled in this are thoughts on a new “hero” of mine: Tim Wu. (I’m just not sure where all I mention him, pardon.)
I wrap up with sober thoughts over more concentration on maintaining the help, pulling away from commercial sites, and focusing more on personal life, correspondence and friendship.
Yep, I’m here to provide another solution to a problem. The problem? Confusion.
I keep noticing stats for my Julia/Barnabas inquiry and log entries on that topic so I figure this is an appropriate time to explain something new I discovered about the phenomenon on my journey here.
When I took my grievances to pen pals on paper I got a startling reminder of how wacky things are with fans of Dark Shadows. Several good pen pals confidently told me, “Oh! You’re getting heat for a fanfiction work? You MUST be doing a NON canon romance!”
I had to do my best to put it as mildly and as simply as possible, “Umm… no… I’m getting heat for a much more twisted reason than that.” (I’m doing a complicated canon romance that is actually the main romance for the show, as well as two film versions, a revival show and an un-aired pilot of another revival of it.)
So with the non-canon romance of Dr. Hoffman and Barnabas Collins, I got pretty wiped out seeing the pushing of it in the name of “Women’s Liberation” or “strong women”. I think they missed the point of both. (Or as my Auntie related, “The women’s movement at the time [1960’s] looks in retrospect like a very bumpy road where the critical left turn at Albuquerque could be easy to miss.”) And I believe that is why many fans of Dark Shadows get rather shy in admitting to it, because if they disagree with the non-canon romance fans, who are more loud than numerous, they get this weird demonizing as if they are against Women’s Lib or strong women. Then that gets super confusing to even describe, so they don’t!
Of course, I’m the type to ask, “WTF?!” and actually mean it.
I hate dismissively simplified answers to things. It’s almost like anti-education and will often result in people not being able to take care of themselves. It’s easier to mock and belittle others for a lack of knowledge or experience than educate them and train them to be successful in life. (And tons of kids get this now, which burns my biscuits too.)
So, you may be asking, “Why are these Julia/Barnabas romance stories so numerous?”
People do put them together for a variety of reasons, of course. For some it really IS their “thing” and they enjoy it and do long sagas, get fulfilment, and because they do they don’t really bug anyone to take an interest unless that person already has one. (Like me, they might look for the people interested in something specific and have not a cow or even a calf over rejection.)
Still there are a lot of bonus extras and new attempts to “make it work” between these two characters which gives one the idea it is “popular” due to the numbers alone.
A frequent response to each one of these Julia/Barnabas romances is “Oh, finally!”
However, an “Oh, finally!” of a convincing story only needs a few versions or even just one.
Whereas a non-convincing scenario has a very short life. It doesn’t relieve people for long.
So? Gotta make another one.
It reminds me of a very short drug high such as whippits (laughing gas) or crack in extreme cases. One has to repeatedly partake to get “high” and it never lasts long. (I’ve never done crack, by the way, and only laughing gas once at the dentists’.)
This particular non-canon romance story doesn’t satisfy for long because at some point one returns to the original and sees, once again, a total lack of interest in one partner. So? Write another story, or get angry at the character.
I, myself, become most grateful for Louisa May Alcott, Little Women and Jo Bhaer née March when I see this. It was an uncomfortable lesson to learn with Jo March but I learned it and Professor Bhaer is a pretty groovy dude.
So if you’re wondering why the Julia/Barnabas stories are so numerous? That’s pretty much it. Short-lived satisfaction. And I would love to hear from once-upon-a-time Julia/Barnabas fans that they came to this conclusion too a long while ago. I think it would relieve all involved to hear it.