Another Day in SubUrbia
By Bryan McGucken
I am using this space to deliver my final words as a "Daria" fan. Eric Bogosian once wrote in his postmodern drama SubUrbia that "...idealism is guilty middle-class bull shit." In the next line he writes "...cynicism is bull shit." Over the past two and a half years or so, I thought this line to be the biggest crock of them all. It's good to give the rest of the world the finger, after all, isn't it? I read scores of "Daria" fanfiction stories and even wrote two of my own. Over the past several months, however, it has become increasingly apparent in my mind that the majority of "Daria" fans are just like any other crazed fan. Needless to say, we've gone from that hunky slacker Trent Lane, to that goddess of Lawndale, Daria Morgendorffer, to that not-as- shallow-as-we-think Quinn Morgendorffer, to the granddaddy of all fan fantasies, (cue the mystery organ music) EVIL TOM SLOANE!!!! Well, I'm here to go on record as saying that I'm sick to flipping death of it all!
People! For God's sake! It's just a bloody television show, and definitely not the best thing since sliced bread! It's not like we haven't seen it before, from Dana of "Step by Step" to Tippingdale Dink of "Doug."
Make no mistake about it. I'm aware, as everybody's favorite critic CincGreen puts it, that there's a bit of each of us in every fanfiction story on Outpost Daria and Fanfiction.Net. Nevertheless I find this highly disturbing. We're living our lives through a television show...cardboard cutouts, cheesy animation, and some of the most negative dialogue I've heard in years! We all talk about how we're a bit like Daria, or would like to be. This is utterly ridiculous because that's not what the show was intended for. Glenn and his production team created the show as a satire, and nothing more! He is simply poking fun at the possibility, whether actualized or not in his opinion, of someone so cynical that the entire world is hell to her. We've taken this concept and twisted it into our own deranged idea of what life should be about. As CincGreen points out, life is unfair. Yet this is no reason to slam the door in its face!
What's worse, when the show doesn't go the way we want it to, we say "screw you!" to the writers and rewrite history. Naturally, the classic example of this is Evil Tom, as I mentioned previously. I've read stories where Tom gets thrown out like yesterday's fanf...whoops, I mean garbage and Daria scoops Trent into her arms and they ride off into the sunset. Frankly, there are times when, after watching certain later episodes of the show, that I think Daria should take a thrashing at the hands of Tom for her rotten attitude.
You may have noticed that the name CincGreen has appeared more than once in this manuscript. You may be wondering how (s)he fits into this fiasco. If you aren't, that's fine too. It started after I submitted my first "Daria" fan story, "A Kiss for Quinn," to fanfiction.net. Some weeks later, I logged on to see if anyone had reviewed it. To my interest, I found a review by a person calling herself CincGreen. Under her signature was the phrase "Amateurish is too much of a compliment," followed by the URL for the entire review. After reading it, I thought, okay, this is just her opinion, and it doesn't count for jack squat. I figured if she was so interested in criticizing things that weren't wrong with the piece, especially since there were things wrong with it that she could have criticized, then it wasn't worth my time worrying about it. Thus I went back to the "Start" page to see what she had to say for herself. She pointed out that if there were fics that were decent, she'd let us know...and that if there were fics that Daria and Jane would rank on, then by George she wouldn't spare the rod! Well, it occurred to me to ask her: "CincGreen, have you actually met Daria or Jane? I mean, do you know these cardboard animations and haven't told us about it?" I say again: It's just a bloody television show! I know there are fics which this individual enjoyed, but come on! This visit to CincGreen's home page was the culmination of my disgust with the "Daria" fan community in general. Just so you all know, this post is not a rant against CincGreen specifically, and certainly not against all fans of the show, though frankly I find CincGreen's attitude utterly despicable anyway. It is just a rant expressing my frustration. Television shows were designed for our entertainment, not our social advancement, at least not in the strict sense of that term. Thus I must respectfully bow out of the fanfiction community. I hope you all enjoy "Daria"s continuing run on Noggin and perhaps the National Network without me. To all the friends in the fan community that I've made over these past few years, you are still my friends, but we'll just have to find other things to discuss. I thank those of you who were supportive for your kindness and encouragement. On that note I bid you all farewell.
January 27, 2003 11:27 P.M.