So, the Nathan Fillion panel was sort of the perfect con-ending panel, and very much the sort of thing people come to expect from Nathan Fillion in that he used it to invite in people he’s worked with and made it as much about them and their time together as it was about himself. It’s also a good reminder that Gina Torres has one of the best-ever laughs. We haven’t often gotten to see the two of them together in a fandom/convention context, and the fact that nearly twenty years later they’re still so warm with other is emblematic of what people seem always to say about how he tries to captain a (television) crew. Included below is my first-ever picture of Nathan Fillion, from the Browncoats Backup Bash of 2006; a scheduled fan-run convention had fallen through and imploded in a most spectacular fashion at the last moment, stranding a hotel full of Firefly fans with no event. Except that various people started working backchannels, and fans who weren’t even there started donating money, and suddenly that night half a dozen cast members — led, of course, by Fillion — walked through the lobby doors and hung out for several hours. This was my fandom home for a decade; and Fillion always will be our captain.

People are sharing their photos from previous editions of San Diego Comic-Con, and I’ve been browsing through my old Flickr albums (I’ll post some stuff later); my con-going period was from 2008 through 2012. That last year was the tenth anniversary of Firefly and that means 2022 is the twentieth anniversary — it would also be the twentieth anniversary of WHEDONesque. I’m getting sad about the fact that I’ll never again be able to go, because that would be the next one to target, in recognition of what had been my biggest fandom and my home base fansite during my most heady fandom years.

One nice thing about doing a rewatch of the Justice League cartoon is that it isn’t immediately about Darkseid. Doesn’t he only show up once in two seasons? Growing up, Darkseid was still a big deal, but he didn’t show up constantly. I think there was one iteration of the Super-Friends which featured Fourth World characters.

Two years ago today, when I was writing on Medium instead of blogging, I reposted my look at an unfilmed Joss Whedon project, which I’d originally posted on a short-lived blog incarnation almost exactly a year prior. It’s among the posts I’ve imported here at their original dates. If you’ve ever wondered about Goners, here you go. Comments are closed on that original post, but open here; if you’ve any questions that aren’t answered there, feel free to ask.

Olivia Ovenden’s examination of nostalgia for Esquire — if you can get around all the talk about Friends — had me mulling my thoughts about aphantasia, SDAM, and my emotionless memory.

Nostalgic memories are intimately bound up with emotions, and by accessing the former, we trigger the latter. That’s why studies have shown our fondness for the music we listened to as teenagers – and gradual, Grandpa Simpson-like rejection of new pop as we age – is as much a function of our neurology as our capacities as music critics. When we’re younger, we feel emotions more strongly, especially those linked to cues from music (only love and drugs top it for inducing a cascade of the pleasure chemicals dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin). Young brains are more plastic, and that cocktail of neurotransmitters, coupled with music’s increased importance as a social bond when we’re young, embeds it with strong emotional memories; the song that played when you had your first kiss, say, is imprinted in your brain like a handprint in wet concrete. When you hear it again 30 years later, that memory is activated. Nostalgia rushes through you. Similarly, smell and taste – think of Proust’s madeleines – can have the same effect.

While I’ve got a Nostalgia category here on the blog, my actual mental experience of it doesn’t function like the above at all, presumably because of my inability to mentally time travel; I can conceptualize my memories but not visualize or revisit them. It’s true that I’ve populated my Apple Music library with as much music from different periods of my life that I could think of, but none of it specifically conjures up feelings of one sort or another.

The familiarity I experience from old music, old movies, old television shows, or old photos and blog posts, again, is more conceptual than actual.

The only time, for example, I ever remember past events causing me an emotional response was when I showed my college girlfriend a videotape which happened to include footage of both my dead family cat and my dead maternal grandfather, neither of whom did I actually, grieve over in any typical fashion at the time of their respective deaths; I did, however, openly weep at the videotape.

My brain required an outside prompting — an external visualization — to experience what other people apparently naturally experience from memory alone.