On Tuesday we whipped up a short list of the things that we just don't get - genre (and non-genre) trends and fandoms and things and other nouns that mystify us with their appeal.
Today, the shoe is on the other foot. Here are a few things that we love - often with a disturbing passion - but we just can't explain why. As before, please join in - this is a safe place, and no one will judge you (much) for your fondness for Lovecraftian haiku.
1. Avengers Alliance. The Facebook game. God help me, I can't stop playing it. Anne can't stop playing it. We can't stop talking about it. I think we'd rather farm Command Points than eat. The release of Moon Knight was a capital-S-Significant Event in my life (shame he kind of sucks). I don't know what's happened to us. (Jared)
2. James Bond. Don't even get me started. The politics are regressive; the gender politics are beyond horrifying. The racism, the classism, the sexism. The over-reliance on risible wordplay and stupid gadgets. The 'Bond girls.' Motherfucking Skyfall. Every essential element of the James Bond brand pisses me off. And yet, (Skyfall aside - which, really don't get me started), I love me some James fucking Bond. (Anne)
3. The Emperor's New Groove. Yay! I'm a llama again! No touchy. I dunno. Someone's throwing things. Bring it on. Let me guess... you have a great personality. (Jared)
4. Period Dramas. Any good gender essentialist would find my tastes distressingly masculine. I like explosions and swearing and sex and rage and bad jokes and beer and big dumb stuff. But I also like understated romantic tension of the whale-boned variety. Two comely types staring longingly at each other across the corpse of a loved one/a twenty-seven-course meal/blood-stained battlements, over no fewer than eighteen lovingly-produced episodes set during the second Gladstone premiership/WWII/Black Death, only to have everything end in dementia/unhappy marriages to the wrong people/death? Bring it. (Anne)
5. John D. MacDonald. Ok, in fairness, I'm not the only one - there's this guy, for example. And occasionally I get emails from people who are fellow fans (very, very occasionally). His books, all billion of them, range from the truly dire to the merely issue-laden, but, damn - that dude could write a story. (Jared)
6. Disney princesses. I'm a sucker and I know it. Beauty and the Beast is the timeless tale of a girl, struck down by Stockholm Syndrome, who literally falls in love with an abusive monster. The Little Mermaid is about the spoiled brat who, at age 16, gives up her entire life and her voice in order to try to make a man fall in love with her. When was the last time you watched Sleeping Beauty? Did you notice that Aurora doesn't speak for the entire second half of the film? Not even when she's kissed back to life? In almost every Disney princess film, a heroine is initially presented as strong and interesting and then spends the rest of the movie trying desperately to rid herself of her pesky agency for the sake of landing a dude. I know they suck. I love them anyway. (Anne)
7. David Eddings. The all-powerful sorceress who spends her time sewing and cooking. The whiny child-like princess. The horrendous racial stereotyping. The talking wolves. The "why me?" farmboy. The most Chosen of all Chosen ones. The shameless lifting from Tolkien (and others). And, yet... I reread the Belgariad at least once every couple of years. When I'm sick, when it is snowy, when I just want to turn off my brain... there's just something immensely comforting about Eddings' oversimplified, anachronistic, four-colour, all-for-the-best superheroics. (Jared)
8. Cheetos. They're the color out of space. They don't taste like cheese. They don't really taste like anything. They're made of fully-hydrogenated, wholly saturated fat, with a good heap of sodium and probably a healthy dose of bug-parts. I am so lucky that they're hard to get in the UK, because, when presented with the opportunity to eat them, I am physically incapable of refusing. (Anne)
9. Dragonlance. I've defended it before, but that's mostly an exercise in rationalisation. Dragonlance was my gateway to fantasy and I read the hell out of it. The books. The games. The maps. The books of the maps. The books of the maps of the games. The (terrible) old computer games. The manuals to the old computer games. The fan fiction. The spiral notebooks filled with my own fan fiction. The notebooks filled with the maps of my own fan fiction. For several years, I spent more time in Krynn than Kansas City. I will always be loyal to Dragonlance, not because it is... good... but because of how it genuinely changed my life and the way I see the world. (Jared)
10. Broken things. Our house is bursting with stuff I brought home because I felt sorry for it. A 1940s book about setting tiny dried flowers in miniature arrangements (seriously, in thimbles and snail-shells)? We own it because I was charmed by the fact that miniature flower arrangement was once a thing that, today, no one cares about. That's the same reason we own any number of equally lunatic books from 1880-1960, innumerable broken toy soldiers and metal farm animals, busted lockets containing old photographs, un-paired salt shakers, and two really weird little rescue cats. What can I say? I'm a soft touch. (Anne)
What do you love - against all rational reason, common sense and, occasionally, dignity?