Cucumeri condiendi sunt is a Latin verb construction known as a passive periphrastic, which is made up a gerundive (a verbal adjective) used with “sum” (Latin for “to be”). It functions to indicate obligation or necessity. For instance…one might say:
Armitage amandus est
Armitage MUST be loved…
(maybe so, but that ensemble is another story)
When a Latin speaker was trying to communicate absolute necessity of something, the passive periphrastic construction was the strongest way to do it.
Cucumeri condiendi sunt
The cucumbers must be pickled
Indeed they must…cucumbers wait for no man, woman or media event. When they are ready, they are ready.
All in all, I sealed over 40 jars of cucumbers pickled in one form or another (that doesn’t include the several gallons that are cooling in refrigerated versions of the same in various kitchens) over the last week or so. Having put Picklepalooza 2016 behind me, I’m glad I decided to do it, despite dragging my feet on the front end. Bluntly, the pickles were really pissing me off. You see, everything about the pickles is on the pickles’ schedule. The pickles don’t care if I have other things to do, Cucumeri condiendi sunt when they condiendi sunt.
As I bowed to the pickle pressure, I also reflected that perhaps this is in part what bugs me so much about Armitage press events…the sort of implicitly necessary nature of them, and the fact that everything about them is on someone else’s terms. As a fan, in theory, I want to participate in things related to Richard Armitage, but barring a few notable exceptions (the original Hobbit premiere is one) I invariably find myself somewhere between repelled and resentful of the whole media blitz operation.
A big part of the issue for me is that I simply don’t have the option of being able to dedicate live time to events like the Epix TCA Event where images and commentary flow out across several hours from various venues and segments of the event – they always conflict with some other obligation. Invariably, if I try to pick things up piecemeal, I’m always left with the impression that I’ve missed something, or worse, I get totally overwhelmed with the magnitude of both the material coming out and the swell of response to it. Presto! There I am, either resentful that I missed something, or repelled by hoop-la and the chatter. This is something that I have struggled with intermittently in my own approach to fandom – which may or may not ring a bell with others.
I’ve come to a couple of conclusions on this front. Like the pickles, I will always have very little control over the timing or magnitude of the event. However, unlike the pickles, which will turn and rot if they are not attended to, thanks to the efforts of so many other fans, those images and interviews are captured and can be sampled at a time and at a pace that I set. This is a really important aspect of my fandom, that is, that *I* get to define it…that there is no “right way” to be a fan, no fandom scorecard recording participation or whether I like a suit or not…that what works for others may not for me, and vice versa and that my definition of my fandom is an ever evolving thing. You know what?
That is just fine.