This might be completely unnecessary, but Rhoda's bored, and there's this nice, convenient blog right here waiting for me to post on it, so here goes nothing:
I did not come up with the term "motley" - at least not as it applies to myself - on my own. During my senior year in college, I spent a semester abroad in London, and in my Shakespeare class (one of two - the other was more literature-based, this was more drama-and-local-history-based; yeah, I'm that kind of nerd) I met a girl called Elisa who decided it suited me. "Motley," of course, is a word generally used to describe the outfit worn by the "fool" character in a play. These days it conjures up an image of a brightly colored, hat-with-bells-on, harlequin style court jester. But originally, the word refered to a raggle-taggle assortment of pieces that are indeed, brightly colored, and sometimes fun, but often mismatched and nonsensical. Think early Madonna or Cindi Lauper if they'd been transplanted to Elizabethan England, and you'll about have it. Better yet, think of Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight, because that, my friends, is modern motley. (Motley-punk, if you will.) (Incidentally, I threw the 'Core' on the end just because I thought it sounded cool. And that's really the only reason.)
Still with me so far? Good. So in the Shakespeare class, our final project required us to select one scene from one of the plays we'd studied that term and perform it for the rest of the class. Elisa and I chose a scene from Twelfth Night, and I took the role of Feste - the fool. (She was the heroine whose name I forget and can't be bothered to look up at the moment - she was in disguise and attempting to get into a party by way of matching wits with me, guarding the door.) As I didn't have a court jester's outfit on me at the time, we went old-school with the costumes and I just threw a bunch of random things together, as many layers as possible - rainbow-striped knee socks, red-white-and-blue pinstripe waders, green-and-purple plaid over gingham, a fuzzy hat and a bright pink jacket. Oh yeah. I went all out. After class that day, we were meant to go on a mini walking tour of London with our teacher to check out the important sights in Shakespeare lore. I was a little worried that I'd stand out in that nutty get-up, but Elisa assured me that A) this is London after all, everyone dresses weird, no one will notice; and B) in a weird way, it totally suits me. I am a bit motley.
So then I started thinking about that. She's right - I am motley. I don't fit snugly into any particular category, but I choose what I think of as the best bits of many, many different ones. A few examples:
I have gothish tendencies, but I can't call myself a full goth. I don't care about The Cure, I don't always dress in black (although it happens by accident sometimes), and I don't (always) hate life. However, I do read quite a bit of Victorian poetry (Browning and Tennyson are faves), I think cemetaries are romantic, and I love, love, love vampires.
I'm not a total comic nerd because my collection isn't anywhere near full and the only reason I know about Watchmen is because they're making a movie of it now. But I did read a lot of X-men growing up, I have a full set of Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels, and I take a firm stance on the Marvel vs. DC debate. (DC, dammit. Two reasons: Batman and Vertigo. So there.)
I'm well-versed in science fiction, but I'm not a full-out geek for two simple reasons: One, I don't have the time or energy to devote to the scientific theory behind the fiction; Two, I still have a lot of reading to do that may or may not happen depending on where my priorities go book-wise. However, I can recite Isaac Asimov's 3 Laws of Robotics from memory (and am familiar enough his 'verse to know that the Will Smith movie was a fucking travesty without even having seen it), I've read Orson Scott Card's entire Ender saga, and I own a director's cut DVD of George Lucas's THX1138.
I'm also afflicted with what I've affectionately named The Fangirl Gene, and that takes up a lot of time, especially on the internet. More on that later.
So you see, I don't know everything there is to know about any of my beloved fandoms. That doesn't mean I love them any less. It means I have a short attention span, my obsessions come in bursts, and I devote myself to different aspects of fandoms for different reasons, and occasionally come back to one to pursue a line of inquiry I hadn't previously been interested in. I'm a motley. I have a thousand different bits and pieces, and they may not look like they all fit together, but they all fit me.
Gold stars and instant friending for anyone who actually read that whole thing. Show of hands? Anyone?