"I can come out of the closet now!" I tell Eric Forbes, dancing up and down when I met him last week. "The HR Director of my company wrote a book and he went public about it on NST. I believe I can come out!"
"Oh good," he immediately says, "does that mean you intend to use your real name from now on?"
I thought long and hard about it. Then I scrunched up my face and said, "Nah. Not for this book I'm writing for you. Too many real life people involved."
Anyhow, Eudora Lynn, or Lin, is a name I've used for years when writing for Cleo, Her World and a lot of other magazines. And to think I coined it because I used to use a Search engine called Eudora on the WWW, back before Google was ever invented.
Here's another abbreviated chapter from my new, yet unpublished non-fiction book for 2008. This one appeared in the Star today, which again I would have probably missed had not Chua Kok Yee sms-ed to say, "Hey, you're Eudora Lynn, aren't you?" Too bad I can't link the cute artist's caricature that went with it.
Who says only teenagers go gaga over stars?
By EUDORA LYNN
I’m pushing 40, married and I still fall into horribly juvenile obsessions with movies, TV and celebrity. I know, I know, my life is so lame, it needs a psychedelic wheelchair. I can’t stave off these obsessions no matter how hard I try.
But honestly, when I was nine, it was as difficult to be a fan as it is for a caveman to understand the concept of iTunes. Back then, I had a major crush on Christopher Reeve. You know, the Superman before he had his multiple returns in Brandon Routh, Tom Welling (Smallville) and Dean Cain in Lois and Clark.
Of course, it wasn’t easy to be a fan in those days. First, you had to bug your parents to take you to the cinema to watch Superman and mind you, they’d only take you once. Cinema was a big thing those days; we didn’t have multiplexes. There was just one huge cinema and everyone had to queue up to watch (gasp) the same movie.
Then you’d have to wait for videotape. You might have heard of it. They are those bulky things before the invention of VCDs and DVDs. In those days, we only had one VCR per house (not two DVD players in every kid’s room like you do today) so you had to fight for viewing rights. And if you watched the same videotape over and over, it would get fungus-y and green-flecked and totally destroy your VCR tape head.
We’d also collect magazines and newspaper articles for scrapbooks. These would yellow with age and turn into something an Egyptian mummy might call chic. You’d leaf through your mother’s old newspapers, wondering: “Where the heck did that yummy photo of Chris Reeve go?”
The articles on your faves were also periodic, and so fandom was a draggy process necessitating the patience of a full-time mum with 14 kids.
Yup, those were the pretty grim things we did as a fan in those days.
What would we do without the tube?
These days, it’s a complete turnaround.
Recently, a friend got me hooked on watching TV’s Prison Break. I bought the DVD Season One box set to please her (“Okay, okay, I’ll watch it just to get you off my back”), and left it vegetating on my shelf for six months before I finally settled down to watch the first episode.
And wham! I was hooked. The plotting is incredible, the pace frenetic and the script twists and turns like a badly-designed section in old Petaling Jaya. But in particular, I was hooked by the gorgeous lead actor with the incredibly green, trembling knee-inducing eyes, Wentworth Miller.
I can wax on and on in extremely graphic terms about the delectable Mr Miller, who has a face one can look at forever, but this G-rated article (and newspaper) isn’t about that.
So what does one do as a recently converted fan?
That’s right. These days, one Googles.
One flick of a mouse and I’d learnt everything I needed to know about Mr Miller: every magazine article, every topless photo shoot, every Wikipedia entry. Oh, he’s a Princeton graduate and Golden Globe Best Actor nominee – wow. Oh, he’s half-Black, half-White though you wouldn’t know it to look at him – wow. Oh, he comes from a family of famous Yale professors, lawyers, African American emancipists and Rhodes Scholars – double wow. Oh, like any other spectacularly handsome single actor, he might be gay – pffttttt.
You tube, I tube
After one Googles, one YouTubes.
Another flick of a mouse and I have multiple downloads of Mr Miller on various publicity interviews around the world – Miller on Ellen DeGeneres, Miller in Korea, Miller in Australia, Miller on E!, Miller playing the fantasy guy in Mariah Carey’s music videos, Miller insisting rather heatedly and emphatically he’s not gay.
And after one YouTubes, one does the necessary evil if one has the ultimate patience. That’s right. One gets one’s husband and brother to download yet-to-be-seen-in-Malaysia Prison Break episodes from BitTorrent.
Never mind if they take a day and a half to stream – you get to go online the next day and chat about it on the multiple fan forums with like-minded people from Scandinavia and Swaziland.
Feel like bashing the screenwriters for killing off your favourite characters? They’re online too, peevishly reading what you have to say about their latest plot shenanigans. So post a hate message on a board and watch them squirm to defend themselves. Or post a love message for Mr Miller; after all, he’s been known to go to Internet cafés to Google himself every few weeks.
Oh yes, the fan world is one gorgeous liquid interactive mess today.