If there's one thing being sick does really really well, it's... well, actually,it's make me an emo, mood-swingy bastard, who has to blow her nose every fifteen seconds. It's like being a raging cokehead, except without all the fun parts. If there are two things being sick does, however, the other one is fuck up my sleep schedule. The boss-lady is also on vacation right now, so I've no pressing need to be up before noon at any point. I spent a couple days honoring my late rat, and all the pet rats that have gone before, by hiding under the blankets and eating macaroons. Believe me, it's the sort of thing he would have done. Now I'm just sort of tired of being up at 5am, when all the world is dead.

Cramming things into my brain helps some. It also helps that Supernatural is made almost entirely of mood whiplash and plot twists, which means that if I'm watching one of the arc episodes, I can't tune out mentally, or I miss cool stuff. If I'm watching one of the filler episodes, I can't tune out mentally, or I miss cool one-liners. I have no idea what I'm going to do when I run out -- normally I'd go through fanfic archives, but the selection at AO3 is disappointingly true to Sturgeon's Law.

Moggie is, of course, still forwarding snapshots of her favorites. 90% of what I have so far figured out about Misha Collins is explained more than adequately by the ramble in this video:

"Subculture" instead of "fandom" and talking about the evolution of communities is academic jargon. He's a soc-sci geek.

If you know any social sciences people -- that's social sciences, like sociology or anthropology, not social work, which is a different critter altogether -- then this makes a lot of his notorious weird make perfect sense. One of the major requirements for a soc-sci degree of any kind is to check your normality at the door, and that's assuming you brought any in the first place. There's a running bit of snark in the squishy-people fields that the psych majors are all there to figure out what's wrong with themselves; it tends to be true, but if you think about it, the joke implies that being aware that something is crooked in your noggin in the first place is the thing that makes you want to find out what it is. The soc and anthro majors are much the same, except that it's external. Figuring out that there is social machinery is the thing that makes soc-sci people want to know how it works.

Most folk aren't really aware that there's any kind of process to begin with, in pretty much the same way that fish aren't really aware of water. In order to spot it, you have to be able to look at it from an outsider's viewpoint -- which often stems from being the neighborhood weird kid -- and the more you know about it, the more you tend to ask the questions that made them consider you the neighborhood weird kid in the first place. Chicken, egg, etc.

There are some notable differences between branches, mainly down to academic philosophies. Both disciplines have people in both camps, but in general, anthropologists tend to think it's better to be as neutral and hands-off as possible, integrating and interacting with the culture they're studying as an assimilated insider, if at all, so as not to disturb the flow. Sociologists are more inclined to interact with people from the outsider position, and to lay out and analyse their own personal observations and biases along with the rest of the work rather than trying to remove them. The writing style is also slightly different. Anthropology papers tend to be somewhat stiffer, on account of that whole "uninterested outside observer" thing, although not nearly so much as they used to be. Editorializing is more acceptable in sociology papers, where it often comes out as very dry sarcasm.

(It's only in the writing, trust me. Most people in social and behavioral sciences can be quite cheerfully whackadoo in person -- one of these days, I'll tell you guys all about the anthro class where I met Moggie.)

In other words, anthropologists tend to want to watch people pushing each others' buttons, whereas sociologists tend to want to go push the buttons themselves, to see what happens. Potayto, potahto, but the ivory tower crowd does sometimes get into fights over it.

From what I've seen, I'd put Collins more on the sociologist-y end of things. Mog dug me up some video from his earliest cons. While he seems to be totally okay with having four hundred complete randos staring at him and screaming off and on for like an hour, he's not really sure how much he's allowed to interact with the crowd. He really wants to play Weird Banter Ping-Pong with the whole mass of people, but he's not sure whether they'll like it or think it's rude that he's not getting on with being a performing monkey or not get it or what. He yammers back and forth with pretty much everyone -- amusingly enough, the fact that he does actually seem to want to pay attention to all this means that he can get away with running his panels on a 'shout your question randomly from the audience' basis, rather than making people line up. The less gatekeeping there is, the less competition there is, and the less competition there is, the more good manners the crowd spontaneously remembers to have.

Collins does definitely like talking to people. He gave his phone number -- well, he gave a phone number, to a phone in his possession -- out on Twitter once, in connection with a gigantic scavenger hunt thing. This is not a thing you do unless you really feel like fielding voice mail from the entire internet, all at once. tumblr posted it so fast it was practically retroactive. Predictably, he got slammed with about forty kabillion messages, but more than one person on Mog's dash did actually get him to pick up. Given the fandom's reputation, I imagine the screaming could be heard a few light-years away.


  1. If you're willing to abandon AO3 for livejournal, try my SPN fic recs list at http://rock-chick-333.livejournal.com/934.html. I can only stand to read badly-written shit on a very occasional basis *cough*kink-specific*cough* so hopefully it will turn Sturgeon's Law on its head for you.

    I find Misha Collins *fascinating*. When I'm not in the same room as he is, and can people-watch him objectively, that is. When I'm in the same room, I get kinda flattened by the snarky personality and the weirdness and the impishness, and actually talking to him is... well, the couple of times I've done so (and Christ, I *hope* I managed not to live up to the SPN fangirl reputation in the actual moment), his astronomical amounts of charisma set off such mental flails that nobody got a word of sense out of me for literally hours afterwards.

    Also, his missus is teh awesome. Her PhD thesis, OMG.


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