I was not a popular kid in school. Not that I was bullied or anything, just mostly ignored, and since I lived chiefly inside my own imagination and books, that didn't bother me as much as it should have. Being awkward and a loner, I never really caught the wave of popular opinion, so it was only years later that I realized most of the things I loved were shoved into niche fandoms or heckled by mainstream popular culture. And then of course, there were the things I loved that were later shown to be problematic or created by problematic people. But try as I might, I couldn't just turn off the deep affection. Turns out love is a really hard thing to kill.
So anyhow, "unpopular opinion" week on SFF Seven has given me an excuse to list a few of my personal loves that are very, very not loved by others (and that's okay*):
- Firefly. Yes, it's Whedon, yes it's weird in that a bunch of non-Chinese-looking people speak Chinese even when there are no Chinese-looking characters in the show. Yes, that joke about Shepherd Book's hair was uncomfortably racist. I know these things. I know we can do better. And I still love the show.
- 80s rock n' roll with its avalanche of problematic lyrics. "He must've been about seventeen," in "I Love Rock n Roll," pretty much the entirety of "Dude Looks Like a Lady," the slut shaming in "Once Bitten Twice Shy," and the creepy pedo vibe in, well, several Police songs. I am embarrassed to admit I still sing along with these -- and others -- when I'm alone.
- Midriff-baring shirts and low-rise bell-bottoms from the 90s. Man, I thought I looked good. (You can laugh. It's okay.)
- Reylo. Okay, yes, the relationship was toxic, and yes, Rey would have been much better off with Finn who is a cinnamon roll and a hero and better looking, and no I do not appreciate how this issue has divided the fandom because it really isn't that important, but also the chemistry onscreen was delicious and has spawned more fanfiction than I want to confess to right at this moment.
- Orson Scott Card. I think he's a brilliant writer, whatever else he might be in his private, non-storytelling life. His early allegories are especially gorgeous.
- The Oxford Comma. I'm sorry, the serial comma is semantically necessary and none of you AP-Style-loving heathens will ever convince me otherwise.
- English desperately needs a second-person plural, and "y'all" is right there, doing the work. Might as well make it official. (I also like "all y'all" as an extension.)
- Stephen King will be remembered as the 20th century literary great of the English language just like Shakespeare. Updike can suck it.
- Chihuahuas can be the sweetest little dogs. I don't care how many times you got bitten by your neighbor's toothy deathhound, my Chihuahuas are tiny pacifists who just want treats and a nap. Proof:
* Omitting the serial comma is actually not okay, no matter what I said up there (photo from a page of Steven Pinker's The Sense of Style):