Introduction: I catch your eye, you get my drift. We barely know one another, and yet I can tell that there is a lot we have in common: for one, we’re reading this Blogling.* We are married to the Mop, ordinary yet exceptional Mopsters. You (all of you) and I are otherwise regular people. Sure, we’re weirdos and that may show. But on any given day, we may not even notice one another, too absorbed by something or other.
I don’t know about you, but I get a bit excited when I see someone wear Мишка. Maybe because I live in a city where there are zero retailers for the brand and generally not much fashion sense. But I assume that the average Мишка-wearer and I may eventually share at least a basis for conversation. It’s a distinctive mark. Something. Or other. That’s exciting. Not that the conversation will happen. Not that I want it to happen. Not that the conversation will be enriching. But if it just so happens that we have a common acquaintance who would just so happen to introduce us, well, the conversation will be struck. The awkwardness will dissipate much faster than if we had have had that common ground. That’s one less person I have to worry about in the crowd, and I’m sure (some of) you can understand how that feels. I hope you feel the same.
But this column will not be about proverbs, oh no. But it will be a column, oh yes. In which I will gather the flocks, pick the pods, dim the wits. Sub|cult|ures, freaks, nerds, geeks, otakus, fanboys, juggalos, whovians, I’m sure you’ve heard of them. Which leads us to the title of this post. If you’re still with me (crossing fingers), you are probably aware that anything we can do the Japanese can do better. Not they’re smarter than us. On average, we’re all average. But Japan has allotted a lot of room in its society to weirdness, it’s a FACT. And here’s proof: Japan has the word “dōjin” that just designates a group of people that share an interest, preferably non-mainstream. Of course, it happens for everything from teletubby cosplay to so-called remix culture to African politics fanfic to macroherpetophiles to WHATEVER YOU NAME IT BECAUSE IT’S JUST THAT ALL-ENCOMPASSING OF A TERM. ”Circles” in Google+? Yeah, that’s dōjin.
So many terms already, why oh why do we have to bother about borrowing one that’s hard to pronounce? (I recommend it by the way)(From now on you should assume that I only speak in dōjin assemblages)(I will redirect any later comment to this post for reference) Because we are talking about an entirely different ontological beast. While your ordinary ΛΛΛ or ΩΜ nerd herd has felt the need to solidify and find recognition in legit markets, the dōjin hits and runs, it is self-serving. It is entirely emergent: there is no attachment to a space or a time, dōjin just happens when someone partakes in something that other someones do. Yes, your existing cohort is probably a dōjin in many respects. Yes, dōjin will meet at your local Comicon (I miss Hateball) or on the internets to discuss the latest news in their realm of interest (thence) and perhaps generate some lightning. But aside from that? Dōjin are only dōjin by virtue of their recumbency of the same stream of information. It is a culture with a half-life. A zygotic ouroboros. It fully embraces its own entropy whilst blurring the lines between the in and the out group. It exists in fact, before someone slaps a name on it for it to exist in words and be all practical and junk.
So yes, there will be reviews, round-ups, interviews, one-offs, of the things that fascinate me and hopefully will titillate you. I expect to run out of original things to present pretty quickly, so expect this heading to be also pondering of the wider nature of subaltern existence and space immense.
*This is what I call a post on the Bloglin; the Bloglin is populated by a swarm of Bloglings; posting a Blogling is called “bloglinging”, reading a Blogling is called “bloglingering.”- Gnou