Crushing on a fictional character

 

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Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? I have. I thought maybe it was just me but no, with a little bit of research, it seems others out there also do the same. There are a few I’ve kind of fancied on and off over the years. Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood, Lucifer from Lucifer and who knows how many female characters over the years. I remember as a kid fancying Cheetara from Thundercats. The very first crush, the first time I dreamed about a character was Lilly from sports Billy meaning I must have been around five at the time. That I can remember the dream still shows how powerful such crushes can be.
But of course I know they are fictional. They are characters within a narrative, they don’t really exist outside that programme. I’m not talking about the actor or actress portraying the character, I’m referring to the actual character. We connect with them, see something in them we are attracted to. Maybe their look, maybe the way they act. Of course there is nothing usually wrong with this, as long as we stay aware of them being fictional characters.

So does it have any value, these crushes? Well they help define us, define our sexuality. I wasn’t sure if I was bi sexual. I’d had a couple of encounters when I was young but for the most part all my relationships have been with women. But then I saw Captain Jack Harkness and wow. Ok I didn’t lust after him but at the time I made the comment, if I ever had to kiss a man it would be John Barrowmen. Ugg that sentence. If I had to. I realise my folly now of course. It’s not if I had to. The real sentence is I wouldn’t mind being kissed by him. This is of course based on a couple of things though. John Barrowmen is an attractive male. But partly my thoughts were based around the character of Captain Jack. His mannerism, his attitude. His open sexuality. Ok John Barrowmen himself is gay but even if he wasn’t the crush can still stand. The character of Jack is and that was who I’d image being kissed by. The same goes for Lucifer. Handsome and charming but I have no idea what actor Tom Ellis is like as a person.
But let’s talk about a more recent crush, one I’ve mentioned a couple of times. Luna Lakes.

 

 
It’s an interesting one. Because this is someone I have seen live, been in the same room as. An attraction defiantly built on looks because I can remember the first time I walked into the room for Drag Wars. She was one of the first people I saw. I didn’t know who she was or that she was one of the acts. So even from the start I didn’t know Luna was a fictional character or she was a person in drag. So a little bit of disappointment there (although my second thought after my first sighting was ‘definitely out of my league.’) Of course I have also seen Luna’s real alter ego. And yeah, he’s funny and kind of cute but no I have no real attraction to him, because again he’s not Luna, I don’t really know him. (Ok since writing this, it’s turned out to be a bit of a lie because I’ve come to realise I find him very cute.) It doesn’t chance the way I feel about Luna, I still look forward to any video with Luna in it. My heart still skips a beat if I’ve come close to her, I worry about what I look or sound like. It’s something which doesn’t happen with crushes on TV, after all it’s not like they can see me so it’s not like I have to worry about sitting around in my knickers and pyjama top. Why is it important that should I go and see Luna perform I look good? Is my hair nice? Am I blushing when she looks at me? Do I chicken out when I have a chance to hang out with her and run to the bar?
But just in case this is starting to sound a little bit creepy, don’t worry. I’m not pinning after her, I know in reality it’s the same as any other character I’ve seen on screen. Just in this case it’s actually someone I could physically interact with. Not in that way!

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It draws parallels to the posts I wrote on role models. We see something in the characters which we connect with. Something to aspire to. We know the person portraying them isn’t the same. William Shatner’s ‘Real Me’ song highlights this perfectly.
So what can we take from all this. Well we could believe we are sad losers, sit on the sofa wishing that person was real, but it isn’t the healthy option. And more importantly we should also keep in mind such characters are created. They may have traits and attributes which are just not available in the real world, so although you may go and a seek someone similar you are never going to find someone who is exactly like the fictional crush you have.
The guys I have mentioned, Captain Jack Harkness and Lucifer. Both tall, dark haired and handsome. A great sense of humour. The kind of person I could happily share a drink with and have a laugh. As for the women I’ve liked. Strong, independent, funny. I hesitant to use the word but sassy comes to mind. The kind of person I could happily share a drink with and have a laugh. Those are bits I can take and think ok, they type I’m attracted to.
And as for those fictional characters, well there’s nothing wrong with a health bit of fantasy

Separating Art from Artist

 

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It’s something that’s been on my mind recently. And before I get started I’m going to be talking about a person who may have created a character or series we like, a celebrity we look up to or even an actor who portrays a character that we like. Let’s start with that last one.

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Recently there have been stories coming out about Michael Weatherly. As a fan of NCIS I liked the character of Tony DiNozzo. Over thirteen seasons I felt I had come to know him. As such I also ended up watching Bull and again found a character I liked. And yet, if recent reports are to be believed Weatherly is not as nice as his characters. I feel betrayed, hurt. Am I a bad judge of character? How can this be the same person as DiNozzo or Bull. The reason is because both those characters are an act. When I see a photo of Weatherly, I see DiNozzo or Bull because I know those characters. I don’t know Weatherly. I’ve never met him, never communicated with him. He is for all intent and purposes a complete stranger to me. We identify with the character, we don’t know the real person behind character. It’s similar to what I talked about in my Musings on Death post.
So maybe Weatherly is not the type of person I’d want to sit down for a cup of coffee with. But does that invalidate the characters he has played. Should I never watch old episodes of NCIS with him in? The new series of Bull has started. Shall I now give it a miss?
Personally for me the answer is no. I still like the character of DiNozzo. He hasn’t changed for me, and Bull is an ass but I still want to see where his character goes next. It’s a case of having to separate reality from fiction. I don’t agree with Weatherly’s actions (if they are true) but it doesn’t affect my enjoyment of a character from a show. But it may stay in the back of my mind while watching, a slight shadow making its mark. But then that’s good. We shouldn’t simply forget and forgive.
But if you look at it in the opposite direction, we may see a character who is a terrible person on screen but the actor themselves as nice as pie. We don’t hate the actor for the character they are portraying.

But what about a writer. Recently there has been a storm of activity on Twitter regarding a comedy writer who has posted, what could be considered, transphobic views. But some of his past series have been ones I’ve enjoyed. I recently watched a couple of episodes of one. It’s still enjoyable but at the same time I felt uneasy I was watching it. And I could certainly see problematic undertones I hadn’t been aware of in my younger days. But there are also the great performances from the actors, the ones who make the characters come alive. The series will never be as fondly remembered by me as it once was and there is a little bit of disappointment in that.

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Talking of Twitter a comedian whose work I enjoyed also showed such tendency as the above writer. I had recently brought his autobiography. Should I now not read it, donate it to the local charity shop or take it out to the garden and burn it? Or maybe I should still read it. At least in this way I’ll get to know this person a little better. Maybe find out why they think the way they do. In the end I suppose it’s down to the choice of the person facing these dilemmas. And, I believe, either way the person goes is valid. I’m not going to say someone is over reacting if they decide to throw out their DVDs of certain series and I’m not going to judge if someone else says they’re a fan of the series.
But it is important to understand there is a distinction between the creation and the creator. Millions, including myself, still love Michael Jackson’s music and watch in awe at his dance moves and epic videos. He made important contributions to music, especially the development of the music video. But obviously as a person there were troubling aspects. So much so that the BBC banned his music from Radio One this week. But loving a person’s work does not mean agreeing with that persons views on life. I’m not a Jackson fan but I do like a lot of his music. I would also love to be able to dance like him, but I don’t idolise him.

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And if the person is damaged by their conduct. If they then struggle to find work, to be able to continue to create new projects then it will be their own fault. I’m not going to feel disappointed then. I’ll simply shrug my shoulders and carry on with my life. If their views are hateful or discriminatory then they must bear the consequences of airing these view in public. That is their choice.
It’s not like we are going to be able to fix them with a simple “Turn it off and back on again” attitude.