What I’ve Been Reading: Strawberry Pop-Tarts and Moonie Codes

It’s been a little bit since I’ve made a blog post, so I thought I would fix that. I’ve mostly been busy with working, getting ready for the new semester, and mindlessly surfing the internet. 

That last point, however, spurred me to write this post. I stumbled onto a Sailor Moon wiki called WikiMoon, which not only had information about the various series (series-es? serii?), but also discussed the fandom, as well. Two things about the latter interested me.

The first was the Save our Sailors organization/campaign, which strove to keep the first English dub of Sailor Moon on the air. One of their foolproof tactics in order to convince the Powers that Be to keep the show on was…to convince people to go out on a particular day (December 14, 1996, to be exact), and buy as many unfrosted strwawberry Pop-Tarts as they could. One of the threads about the “procott” features people describing their experiences doing so, and of course, because this is the Internet, the anti-SOS people who think this is a dumb tactic and the procott people get into an argument.

Okay, at first glance this seems ridiculous. Why would *anybody* think that buying Pop-Tarts would help keep a show on the air? Granted, Kellogg’s was a sponsor at the time, but  I would think at least some people within SOS would have thought, “hey, maybe this is dumb and we should concentrate our efforts differently.” Then again, I wasn’t there. I’m only a spectator on the outside looking in 20 years after the fact. If any Sailor Moon fans who were around at the time can give me more context that could help me wrap my brain around this, please, tell me in the comments or on Twitter @abyssalCompiler.

The second thing that I found even more fascinating, however, were Moonie Codes, ASCII strings that conveyed a Sailor Moon fan’s opinions and feelings concerning various Sailor Moon related things, and personal information as well. These are really interesting to me since they’re an example of fans creating new meanings around symbols (in this case, a series of ASCII characters), and using said symbols to communicate to one another. To the casual observer, they look like garbled text or some kind of error, but to a Sailor Moon fan during the time these codes were used often, they meant quite a bit more than that.

In other news, I should have a couple of new stationery posts soon, so look out for those!


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