Catastrophising for nerds

I’m an anxious person, and in any situation, my brain will always leap to the worst case scenario. Even in situations, eg fandom, where the stakes are extremely low, if there are even any stakes at all.

So here are some things which I am worried about in the world of nerd-dom!

1. Continuum

I keep having this anxiety dream where it turns out that I forgot to pay the convention’s public liability insurance, so it has to be cancelled and it’s all my fault.

I did pay the insurance. I’ve checked. Thrice.

So now I’m moving on to worrying about other things, like, what if there’s a fire at the venue, or a really nasty argument in a panel, or someone doesn’t like an event and wants to have a polite conversation with me about it?

2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

This is kind of where my current of fannish anxiety began. Here is a short list of things which I’m worried — or, more ridiculously, pre-emptively angry — about:

  • The Discourse that will ensue if Kylo Ren is anything other than wholly, irredeemably evil, with Pepe stickers on his helmet and a series of alt-right talking points to address to Rey.
  • The (likely) possibility that Kelly Marie Tran’s character and her sister are going to be love interests for Finn and Poe, which will probably lead to white fangirls directing horrible misogyny against two women of colour inamongst the legitimate criticisms of queerbaiting.

3. Star Trek Discovery

Growing up a Voyager fan means your expectations can never be low enough. I adored the Discovery trailer, and desperately hope the series lives up to its promise — but just in case, here’s what’s keeping me awake at night:

  • What if Michelle Yeoh’s casting is a big fake-out, and she’s killed off in the first episode? After all, she’s not commanding the USS Discovery, and we didn’t see the actual captain (Jason Isaacs) at all in the first promo. Sure, IMDB and Wikipedia say Yeoh’s contracted for 13 episodes, but both have been known to be wrong!
  • What if the trailer was a slightly different kind of fake-out, and the series is actually Mostly White Dudes?
  • Or what if the network retools the series to cater to the Mostly White Dudes whining about SJWs ruining Star Trek?
  • I remember Enterprise after all. I mean, I remember enduring four episodes before ragequitting a Star Trek for the very first time.

4. Australian genre TV

  • What if season 2 of Cleverman doesn’t fix its issues with women, and also gives us more tedious white person nonsense?
  • What if season 2 of Glitch also doesn’t fix its issues with women, and gives us more stories about Sad White Men?
  • What if this new Tidelands series turns out to be totally racist, ie, “vicious half-humans” in a “primeval landscape”, this sounds like it’s going to end up in “gross portrayal of Indigenous people” territory?
  • What if the upcoming Netflix adaptation of Journey to the West manages to be even more racist than it looks already? What if Stephanie goes on a killing spree targeting everyone who calls it a remake of “Monkey Magic“, a “Japanese legend”? What if I have to crowdfund her bail and legal representation? I don’t have time to do that, I’m busy worrying about hypotheticals!

Now, none of these things may come to pass! Sometimes my expectations really are too low — for example, when I read the latest Megan Whalen Turner novel, I was like, “Oh, lots of people are going to be mad about [THING], and I agree it could have been better, but I’m already bored at the prospect of scrolling past The Discourse.” And instead, so far, lots of people have been like, “Well, [THING] was a bit annoying, but it’s not the end of the world.”


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