Here’s to the fangirls (and fanboys); I will never be cooler than you, because, well…I am you.
Here’s to the ones who have found that some form of art changed their life. It was a good book, a thrilling movie, a dynamic tv show or, my heart, a rock and roll album.
Here’s to the literature nerds who read something and felt the words jump off the very page and surround them and kept them wrapped up in chapters, unable to leave the story behind, and often, unable to tell where said story and reality differed. Here’s to the television enthusiasts who never miss a week of excellent screenwriting and storytelling and for years, follow the same characters and grow up with them. Here’s to movie-quoters and cinemaphiles who go to midnight premieres and dress up as cast members, who talk about directors like they are old friends and mentors, who get goosebumps upon seeing trailers for the first time and who have seen the originals of today’s remakes and foreign versions of classics. Here’s to yall! You love the characters, you love the screenplays, you love the dialogue, you love the authors, you love the cinematography, you love the memories you have associated with your movie or book or show and you love those that love all of it too.
Here’s to all of you– you make me feel so much less alone. You make me laugh sometimes with your dedication, but in the end, your passion is so amazing to me. In a generation of apathy and cynicism, you’ve found something you love and you’re not afraid of loving it so deeply and so brashly at times that you can’t help but be a little obnoxious. You found something else besides yourself, some little piece of art and you ran with it. You filled your days with it, planned your schedule around it, saw the beauty in it and it changed your life. You talk about it like it’s living and breathing and you love it. You LOVE it with every fiber of that beating heart in your chest, and I’m begging you, please don’t ever stop. Loving things should be much cooler than it is. It’s so cool these days to put down and criticize every single thing and your artform-loving heart gets crushed. Please don’t turn into that critic who may have made you reconsider loving what you love. We need more love in this pessimistic society.
And now, for the ones who I am associated the most with– here’s to the band fangirls and musically-obsessed boys; you crazy ones.
Here’s to the ones who talk about concerts like they are religious experiences (and find that they often actually are). Here’s to the ones who know the names of the four bass players the band has gone through since they started, the birthdays of their favorite lead singers, and have all the old eps and remixes memorized. The ones who buy the cd the day it comes out and listen to it for weeks straight. Here’s to the fans who frame ticket stubs and beg the security guard for the setlist taped onstage and ask for guitar picks and keep them in a scrapbook, no matter how nerdy.
Here’s to the music nuts. I am so grateful on my behalf and yours that some band or singer decided to put pen to paper and voice to microphone and instrument to pedalboard and then to an amp, as a result, made something that resonated with you. And it didn’t matter if they were the best-reviewed band on Pitchfork or Rolling Stone because they were yours and your ownership was important. Because you see, it wasn’t just another song; it was your song, your album, your lyric and your life in a melody. It made you feel young and old at the same time, alive and joyful and sad and scared and hopeful and connected. You played it on important days, you played it on random Tuesdays, you wrote the lyrics in pen on your hand in middle school or in puff paint on a homemade tshirt or in permanent ink in a tattoo. You used it to explain yourself and to express your feelings all at once.
Here’s to all of you, because you are my kind of people. I hope that one day we can all meet up and wear the ill-fitting band shirts we haven’t thrown away and tell all our concert stories. We can talk about that moment that the singer locked eyes with you or that time we heard a great song and it stopped us in our tracks or how we thought the last album was maybe too experimental but we still bought it or how we should have been alive or at least old enough to attend that one band’s shows during their good years or best era of music.
Here’s to all of you crazies, and may you never stop listening, never stop reading, never stop watching, never stop singing along, never stop believing in silly things like tv and books and movies and rock and roll and soul and pop and country and acoustic and bluegrass and metal and even dubstep and screamo and new-age synth.
However idealistic it may be, don’t grow up and forget what being a fan feels like. Don’t let people tell you you’re too old to truly love things with your whole heart, because I sure do think the world could use a whole lot more of you.*
(*As well as venues that accommodate for a whole lot more front row seats, so that we can all sit together.)