As an academic, it is often very difficult to shut off the faculties I've spent the last fourteen years building. Since I spend almost every day of the week analyzing literature, reading or thinking about theoretical/philosophical texts, I generally use my brain in a very particular way. Turning that off is a chore, but a necessary one. In fact, it is often so difficult to turn off that even some of my colleagues have expressed dismay at the inability or unwillingness of other academics to turn those faculties off just long enough to have a "regular conversation." It's a problem I've seen, too, and it sometimes results in a distancing effect between those who can't turn it off and those that can. Since I'm so often engaged in everyday sf/f fandom, the exercise of flipping that little academic switch is, in my opinion, crucial.
One such exercise occurred last Sunday when I went with a friend to see Ant-Man, the last entry in Marvel Studio's Phase 2. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and if I can muster the words to say something intelligent about the film, I'll write a review for Totally Pretentious. Discussing the film on Twitter eventually prompted a brief discussion with David Annandale and John Stevens about the impact of "academic brain" on one's ability to enjoy a creative product. Read More