Urban Dictionary defines fangirling as:
v. the reaction a fangirl has to any mention or sighting of the object of her "affection." These reactions include shortness of breath, fainting, highpitched noises, shaking, fierce head shaking as if in the midst of a seizure, endless blog posts, etc.
As in, Lurking on the margins of the theater after the show, I fell into anxious fangirling with the other attendees as we brainstormed what we could say to Rachel Maddow to leave an impression.
Edward or Jacob? Gale or Peeta? One Direction or Bieber? Harry and/or Ron and/or Hermione? These are dualisms that fangirls thoroughly and tirelessly confront on-and offline. Offline, fangirl coteries might most accurately be called flash communities. Think: Midnight premieres of popular teen movie franchises, Comic Cons, LARPing, book signings, and concerts. But primarily, fangirls do their communal campaigning online. Think: Fan sites, fan fiction and fan art repositories, and inexhaustible, open blog conversations.
I trust that at this very moment, some brilliant internet researchers like danah boyd or the Pew Internet project are working tirelessly to unpack the social, political, and economic significance of the phenomenon of Fangirling, but for now, I just want to fangirl about meeting Rachel Maddow. Note: Online expression of fangirling often comes in the form of .gifs (or moving pictures).
Image A & B: Fangirling can often come in the form of emotive .gifs
A little bit about her: Rachel was born and raised in Castro Valley. She went from being a Rhodes Scholar and Oxford PhD to being a superstar political commentator with her own nightly news show. I have watched the show without fail since the 2008 election season, and last Thursday, I got to meet her. The event, an interview facilitated by the charming and hilarious Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), was part of Maddow's book tour for the debut of Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. It's currently #1 on both the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle Non-Fiction Bestseller's lists.
Image C: Drift
Image D: Before Meeting Maddow via Drew Altizer Photography
Image E: During-Rachel and Me
Image F, G, H, I: After