Six Degrees of Stalkeration


We drive into this town, all these resurrected rock stars start stalking us, it’s hilarious and strange because a lot of these people really looked like the people they were trying to look like.

~ Steven Weber

 

No long-term contract needed!

I saw this one coming. In fact, one day I intend to write a book about the many times I’ve gone on crazy, madcap adventures worthy of the Coen Brothers via the Blues Brothers channeled through the Marx Brothers. If you have a title for it, let me know. I might just go with Soon To Be Mrs. H.M. Murdock.

For those neophytes out there, I am *not* a celebrity stalker. I have no intention of going to the object of my attention’s home, lighting myself on fire in his/her driveway to get attention, or receiving a tattoo with his/her name to proclaim my undying love. I may be nuts…but I’m not stupid.

The sad part is, there exist a great many of these people in the world. There are the infamous ones (John Hinckley and Mark David Chapman leap to mind), and the poor twisted souls the news agencies seem to talk about when nothing else newsworthy is going on. Whatever way you slice it, stalking is wrong and there is never any excuse for it.

I thought I’d compile a humorous list of degrees of “stalkeration.” Think of it as the various color codes for awareness put out by Homeland Security, if you will. If you get to “chartreuse,” you’re just a hopeless carbon-based life form with no chance at redemption. Move out of your mother’s basement now and get a frickin’ life.

"And Murdock, when I saw that last stalker..."

A short disclaimer: I do have objects of affection, but I’ve never gone beyond meeting them, from across a table, at a licensed, bonded public appearance. Well, there was that one time I drove 12 hours straight through a snowstorm…but THAT was different.

1st Degree

This is perfectly healthy, and normal. You may have a password that is some variation of “IHeartSoandSo,” or a picture of SoandSo on your wall or locker. Most people find themselves in this category. You watch your favorite show, read your favorite comic, and talk about your crush with some regularity. Those who know you well know *never* to call or IM or text when your favorite show is on.

2nd Degree

What we might call the “merch” degree. Chances are you have a t-shirt or two, or some other item of clothing, related to your crush. If one isn’t available, you might have made your own or perhaps you wear an item of clothing he/she is known for wearing (a certain pair of shoes, a fedora, etc.) Your friends buy you a calendar featuring the cast of your favorite show or movie, or get you that neato coffee mug for your birthday.

3rd Degree

This is when it starts to get interesting. You have your fandom, and your instincts tell you you’re right. You find the message boards relating to your crush, and it’s almost a religious experience when you discover that others (gasp!) love SoandSo just as much as you. You start to look forward to the discussions you have with your pals all around the world about the tiniest minutiae…whether SoandSo’s costume stitching is the same from episode to episode, or what SoandSo’s motivation might have been in episode 72.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...The B-Team!

 

4th Degree

I’m currently right below this degree myself (maybe it’s fuchsia on the Homeland Security chart? Electric blue?) This is when you actually start venturing beyond the comforts of your home, or your mom’s basement, to explore the wonderful world of fandom. You plan vacations around personal appearances at conventions of your favorite actors. Not only that, but you start to design elaborate costumes (cosplay) to look just like your favorite characters. This is what the big cons, like Comic Con and Dragon*Con, are all about. They’re Meccas for comic, film, gaming, and fantasy geeks. Go to at least one in your lifetime, even if you’re not a fanboy or fangirl, if only to understand how we think. Trust us…meeting some obscure C-list actor in person is akin to a “normal” meeting The Beatles. And how.

 

 

5th Degree

Getting to a very dangerous spot here. This is where the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and that’s not healthy. You start imagining naming your hypothetical kid(s) after SoandSo or one of SoandSo’s characters. Worse, you might start to write fanfiction involving yourself in an Avatar-style role (this is called Mary Sue or Gary Stu, depending on the sex.) You may write long letters to your object of affection, asking him or her obscure details about a movie filmed 20 years ago or whether he/she is single. Tattoos and permanent modifications, including vanity plates, fall into this category. (For the record, much as I think the idea of a vanity plate that says HWLNMAD is cool, I wouldn’t put it on my car. I must be getting old.)

I'm ready for my next near-death experience!

6th Degree

Repeat after me: you do NOT want to get here. This is when the authorities, be it convention security, bodyguards, or law enforcement, have to get involved. This will land you on the Most Wanted List and/or Entertainment Tonight. Trust us, the whole world does NOT want to know about your unhealthy obsession with SoandSo. Love them all you want, but don’t hurt anyone or be an obnoxious jerk. Stay in your mother’s basement and all will be well.

This is a germ of an idea I had for my book. If you are a fanboy or fangirl, I’d love to get your anecdotes (you would by all means be credited.) 10 years on the convention circuit, and it feels like it’s been a day.

And on that note, I have to check and see whether my own beloved SoandSo is appearing near me soon…

Got comments? Drop me a line at WikusandMurdock@yahoo.com!

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on November 3, 2010.

2 Responses to “Six Degrees of Stalkeration”

  1. 4th sounds about right for me… 😉

  2. Very interesting stuff you’ve got here haha. I’ve always wondered about things like that myself. I think you’d have to make a case for teenagers or tweens, too, as they might fall into that 4th or 5th category of ‘OMGILOVEYOU’ status but never act on it. Does that make sense?? 😉
    But all in all, I really liked this entry. You make some interesting points, and I certainly know what you’re talking about. I’d like to believe I’m in the 2 range, but it’s probably 3 haha. When you have a friend w/ the same interests, phone calls get pretty ridiculous. 😀
    Again, nice entry!

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