I came across a set of tweets from Jen Williams this morning…
I will never understand the urge to harsh a squee.
you see someone enthusing about something they love. You think, "I know, I'll tell them I think it's shit. They'll appreciate that."
Or, just don't. People love different things. It's okay.
I agree with completely with what’s being said here. I do. I’m not a monster or anything*. But… I think I can understand it. There have been times when I see people raving about a film or book, saying the exact opposite of what I feel, and the urge to kill their squee is powerful.
Just before I go on, when I’m talking about a ‘squee’ in this post, I’m referring to a demonstration of love and excitement about something, usually connected to science fiction or fantasy in some way.
I can’t speak for squee killers everywhere but for me, encountering a squee I don’t understand can be a painful experience, creating a sense of distance between me and person doing the squeeing.
I’m used to not fitting in. Superheroes and magic and giant robots are enjoying a time of relatively mainstream cool these days but it was not always so. Growing up, I learned to be careful with who I shared my passions with and those friends who also loved things like Star Wars, Babylon 5, Dungeons and Dragons, Amber, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and running around the woods in silly costumes were rare jewels indeed.
And with those friends and the wider geek community I have a feeling of belonging that I often don’t in the wider world.
I’m used to people not getting what I love but when those people are in circles that I consider to be ‘my community’ or ‘my tribe’ it can be almost unbearable.
Conversely, when people I respect squee about something I think is terrible, it’s also unbearable. I feel like maybe I don’t understand them after all, maybe they don’t understand me.
That’s when the Dark Side become tempting.
Perhaps, it whispers, if you were to point out to them why the thing they love is rubbish, they’ll realise their mistake and then unity will return.
Somehow, their squee makes me feel insecure. And I think that’s the point of all this. Squee killers are moving from a place of insecurity because it’s rare that they simply offer their opinion with a comment like:
“Yes, the effects in Prometheus were excellent, although I must admit I found the representation of the scientists hard to believe and that made it harder for me to suspend disbelief.”
Instead going for something like:
“Prometheus sucks in every way! The plot is rubbish, the characters laughable. And how did she run with that injury? And why didn’t she run sideways! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! And if you think otherwise you’re a ****weasel!”
I think this is because a squee comes from the heart. It’s a primal thing. And geeks don’t just like their fiction, they adore it. More than that I think we identify with it. For me, it is far more than just entertainment. I often hold fiction and the creators of said fiction up to my own moral standards and that can make me a tough audience.
But when I enjoy fiction, it feeds me in a deep way. Or it makes me feel warm and smile. Sometimes I actually feel it changing me as I read it and when that happens I want to share those good vibes.
I want to squee.
My name is Peter Newman and I’ve gone ten months since my last squee kill.
*Before alcohol only.