Aaron R. Davis
The newest trend for young dopes with too much time on their hands on Tumblr? Confessing.
I’m not talking about actual confessions, though enough of that goes on. There are many Tumblr sites set up for people to anonymously get things off their chest that, from even a cursory glance, you can tell are burdens to bear. These are people affected by bullying, or by abuse, or by indecision over their identity, or real fears in a world that is too often bleak and hopeless.
And there are sites that are heavily inspired by Post Secret or homages to Post Secret or whatever the classy word for rip-off is these days, where people submit images with ironic text, so we’re looking at a beautiful lake in Alaska and hearing about someone’s navel-gazing hipster loneliness. Whatever; if it makes someone feel better and I can easily ignore it, I’m not going to get in someone’s face.
And then there are other confessions sites. Lots of them, cropping up constantly, like lighters at a rock concert. Sites for kids who love the idea of confessing naughty or burdensome or unpopular secrets, but who don’t have anything interesting to say.
Actually, that last sentence there is a perfectly accurate description of Tumblr itself. If there’s one thing kids on Tumblr love, it’s themselves. If there are two things they love, it’s themselves and how meaningful they think their every opinion is. And if there’s a third thing, it’s anonymity. They love them some anonymity.
And so we have confessions sites for fans. Have something you want to say about Veronica Mars? Well, go to the Veronica Mars Confessions tumblr and finally have your say, with complete impunity, shielded by anonymity, about who you wish Veronica Mars had fucked during the run of the series. Or how you didn’t like Kristen Bell’s hair in the first season. Or how you thought Dick Casablancas was a totally misunderstood idiot frat boy. Or about how the show shouldn’t have been canceled, which is certainly something you’d want to hide your identity to say, I guess. One of those things. Any of those things. Hell, you’re anonymous, why not all of those things? It’s not like you’ve got anything important or interesting to say, so why not just say stuff?
That’s my problem with all of these fan confession sites. No one’s really confessing anything. They’re just talking to see themselves talk. They’re saying stuff they’ve been saying on their own blogs or to their friends or on forums or, I don’t know, to themselves for a long time. They’re not saying anything interesting. They’re just making a mockery of the entire idea of a confessional with their fan bullshit.
Seriously, you are not the first person who needs to unburden himself by saying that you don’t like the way people act like Aquaman is useless. I’ve been hearing it for years. Lots of people have said it, but they just said it. They didn’t find a picture of Aquaman staring at the water and then put a black box over his eyes and write a pithy comment about how misunderstood Arthur Curry is.
A Doctor Who confessions site doesn’t need anymore claptrap about the epic romance of Rose Tyler and the Tenth Doctor. I heard more than enough of that long before such a site existed. And I still do. Constantly. I actually can’t stand talking about Doctor Who online because of the high concentration of David Tennant fangirls who can’t get over it. The only Doctor Who-related confession that needs to be made is one I’ll make right now, with no anonymity at all: there was 40 years of Doctor Who before the show became the Hipster Sci-Fi Romance Hour, so some of us may actually want to mention Tom Baker or Jon Pertwee once in a while and not get shot down because all of the previous Doctors didn’t have a weird propensity for romancing the grown-up versions of women they held as babies or met as children.
I can’t think of even one reason there needs to be a confessions site set up around Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games novels, but there are actually five of them. That I could find. At least five sites, and they are all saying basically the same thing: Josh Hutcherson is going to be a great Peeta, I want to do Haymitch, I didn’t like Mockingjay. That’s basically it. No one has anything interesting to say about this marvelous series of books beyond not liking — and let’s face it, probably not being mature enough to understand — the third novel.
A Harry Potter confessions site is nothing more than a dumping ground for couples that the depraved shut-ins on Tumblr want to see have sex. That’s all anyone talks about with those books and movies now. Harry and Hermione should’ve gotten together, Harry and Cho should’ve been together, Harry and Ginny’s romance comes out of nowhere and makes no sense because I didn’t read the set-up JK Rowling had been weaving in since the first damn book carefully enough. It’s just shipper bullshit. Harry/Draco, Draco/Hermione, Snape/everybody within arm’s reach. Remember when slash fiction used to be confined to the dark corners of fandom and was considered an embarrassment? Now it’s practically a sport. Pro tip: 75 percent of Tumblr is all about kids talking about which fictional couples they want to see fuck. So unless you want to see post after post about how Sherlock and Watson are lovers (in any incarnation), or about how Kirk and Spock are a couple, give the whole thing a pass.
Do we really need a Star Wars confession site to whine about things that fantards have been whining about for decades? Oh, you’re the one who doesn’t like Ewoks. Oh, you’re the one who wishes Boba Fett had had a better death scene. Oh, you’re the one who thinks Jar Jar sucks. Oh, Mark Hamill was your first crush? CONFESSION!
Seriously, Tumblr, every time I think you’ve finally reach a hurdle of embarrassment that you can’t get over, you jump beyond it with a rainbow flying out of your asshole screaming “Look at meeeeee!!!!!!” You are now so caught up in the self-importance of your own opinions that a casual observer would think you were getting sexual thrills out of the whole endeavor. Looking at these sites, one can’t help but wonder if some idiot out there really thinks that being sexually attracted to fictional characters is in the same league of confessions as someone admitting that they know their brother beats their children or that they’re struggling with whether or not to pull granny’s plug. But if you think loving the Teacup Ride at Disneyland is a confession worthy of secrecy, you’re probably not that complex a person to begin with.
Come on, people. Really confess something. Teacup rides? Feh! Tell me that you once got fingered by Pluto in the Disneyland parking lot, or that you sold one of your kids to a visiting foreign diplomat just to buy an E-ticket for yourself. Those are confessions. I don’t want to hear that you’re angry that George Lucas fiddled with the Star Wars movies some more on Blu-Ray — you’d have to be some kind of super-idiot in the first place to not know that was going to happen, since you’d be ignoring the pattern of every video and theatrical rerelease of those films in the first place. No, I want to hear that watching Obi-Wan cut Darth Maul in half gives you a raging boner every time you watch The Phantom Menace. I want to hear dark, secret, embarrassing things. You know: CONFESSIONS.
Stop being a fan and start being interesting.
Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org