I finished my second full-series rewatch of Supernatural this weekend. (I actually rewatched the series once already, but stopped at 5×09 because I didn’t want to watch what happens in 5×10. So I went back to the beginning and did a highlights-only rewatch of the whole thing, this time through to the end.)
The show is a lot better when you skip the boring MoTWs and the blatantly sexist moments. (Does anyone know how to edit .mkv files? Because “99 Problems” would be a pretty good episode if it weren’t for the three lines that make me want to puke every time I hear them.)
5×16, “Dark Side of the Moon,” actually made me cry, which I think is my first time crying at a SPN episode? This SPN obsession happened so fast, I think it took a while for my emotions to catch up. The thing that got me was the first memory Dean relives in heaven, setting off fireworks and Sam hugging him. That kid that plays young Sam is fantastic, and just, the simple experience of making Sam happy and being loved by Sam means so much to Dean. (Plus the subsequent juxtaposition of that innocent joy with the flashback of Dean and Sam being shot to death in their beds was such a horrific commentary of how miserable their lives have become at that point.)
The other thing that hit me is that I’m really happy with the ending of 5×22. I’ve been rewatching with Dean’s final scenes in mind, looking at the threads that build up to it, and I think it’s very well-developed, moving, and effective, because:( spoilers for SPN 5x22 )
In slightly more shallow news, I have been watching this for like five minutes straight. Um.
Last night I watched Supernatural 5×09, “The Real Ghostbusters.” You guys, I freaking love this episode. It’s the most accurate and flattering depiction of a fan convention that I’ve ever seen in the mainstream media.( A long rave about why The Real Ghostbusters is a love letter to fandom )
Two posts that resonated with me, both reacting to the discussions surrounding the racist J2 fic. They both pretty much say what I was thinking after banging my head against my desk due to reading a bunch of comments to the effect of, “Won’t somebody please think about the feelings of the poor racists?”
So if the choice is between some of us being uncomfortable while the rest of us being blissfully unaware, I say FUCK THAT SHIT. I am not invested in, nor will I buy into a system where only some of us get to be comfortable and that on the backs of other people. We can ALL be afraid and uncomfortable, as far as I’m concerned. Or we can ALL be comfortable, but either way, we’re doing it together or I’m going to keep speaking out, raising hell and harshing squee. Because I’m in this too. And as much as you, I GET A SAY.
So if people are scared, I say, “Good! Join the club!” If people are scared of what to write, I say, “Good! Maybe they’ll fail less if they think more!” If some people leave fandom because it’s too hard to think someone might disapprove, I’ll point them toward the long line of people abandoning fandom because it’s too hostile of an environment to make it worthwhile and say, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!”
I think it’s this hypocrisy – I can say whatever I like, even if it hurts a lot of people, but nobody can call me on it or they’re SO MEAN/having a chilling effect/infringing on my “rights” – that really frustrates me and makes me fear for humanity, because it’s just so fucking entitled and moronic and it makes me want to set the people who argue that way ON FIRE WITH MY BRAIN.
Oh boohoo, so you have to think a little bit about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it before you say it. Your life, so hard! If you claim to be any kind of writer at all, YOU SHOULD ALREADY BE DOING THAT, regardless of the fact that it can also help to MAKE YOU A BETTER HUMAN BEING because it leads to you NOT HURTING OTHER PEOPLE (as much, and unintentionally).
I went to a meeting of the Supernatural NYC Meetup Group a couple weekends ago. We met at 11am in the childrens’ resource room of the Brooklyn Heights Public Library (srsly) and marathoned several Dean episodes via a laptop hooked up to a projector. It was a bit… surreal. (Also I’d slept only three hours and got up early on a Saturday, so I was barely functional, in addition to my usual pathological shyness in social situations.)
It was fun to watch the show with other real life people. The organizers obviously worked hard to run the event, and everyone was very welcoming to me. I’m not sure if it was the right place for me, though. I’ve been trying to put my finger on why and I think it ties into the posts I’ve been reading recently on metafandom about two different approaches to fandom, affirmational vs transformational. I’m pretty firmly on the transformational side, especially when it comes to something like Supernatural, which I find incredibly problematic, and which I’m into for the fandom and fanwork and fan criticism at least as much as for the text itself.
The Meetup group was pretty firmly on the affirmational side, at least as far as I could tell (some of the others were shy, too). Only one person acknowledged being into fanfic and she did so like there was something embarrassing about it. There wasn’t much discussion and what there was wasn’t critical* or analytical–it was very positive and focused on the actors and on behind-the-scenes trivia.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this–it just hit me that what I wanted wasn’t just real life people to watch the show with, it was real life people who share something closer to my approach to fandom. (Again, I mean no offense to the people there.)
ANYWAY. The point is that I’ve been absolutely fascinated by the discussions about the differences between affirmational and transformational approaches to fandom, because they put names on phenomena that I’ve been aware of for a long time but haven’t been able to articulate. If you’re interested, this post by obsession_inc is a great starting point. I’d also recommend this post by oliviacirce and this particular comment thread, and also this post by damned_colonial. Obviously, there’s overlap between the two approaches, and the definitions are still being hashed out, but there is definitely something really interesting to explore here.
Also, kaigou took this as a starting point for a post about the structural differences between the two approaches to fandom–how affirmational fandom places the author at the center and how transformational fandom is far more decentralized and chaotic, complete with these amazing diagrams. (It takes a while to figure out but they’re definitely worth looking at.) I’m not sure if I agree with her conclusion about anti-fanfic pro-writers feeling threatened by BNFs, but I love her illustrations of how fandoms evolve to center around fan-created ideas, and how far removed these fan-created zones can be from the canon’s creator or hir intent.
It really rings true with my experience of Supernatural, which is that I’m far more interested in learning what soundingsea or netweight think about the show than about what Eric Kripke does, and I’m infinitely more interested in reading jolielaide’s fanfic recs than in reading tie-in novels (the Meetup group is also doing a tie-in novel book club, which I couldn’t be less interested in). I think it also explains why I’ve always felt so much happier at fan-run conventions, the ones focused on fanworks and the voices of fans themselves, rather than at those pro cons where you worship at the altar of your superiors and if you’re lucky they’ll validate your life by acknowledging your existence (often for an offensively large sum of money). (Sorry, some residual bitterness there.)( a bit more about the meetup )
I'm kind of boggled that so many of my friends are getting into Torchwood. I mean, yes, there's bisexuality, but the show is so badly written. I'm just hoping that people will follow the Torchwood trail back to Doctor Who, and see how much better that show is, and discover the slashtastic awesomeness of the Doctor and the Master.
Today's fic recs:
John Simm did an interview in which he confessed to having worked as a cage dancer when he was young and needed the money. No, seriously! So versaphile wrote fic in which a young inexperienced David Tennant meets cagedancer!Simm. And then they have some of the hottest sex I've ever read. And the end almost made me cry. Read it here: Kiss Me Quick.
versaphile also wrote more Doctor/Master. (versaphile, I swear I am not stalking you. I just kind of want to live inside of your brain.) Three for a Wedding. It's actually Doctor/Master and Doctor/TARDIS, and it's extremely disturbing, but it's the good kind of disturbing.
yahtzee63 wrote The Yankee's Loot, in which the Tenth Doctor picks up Scarlett O'Hara as a companion. And it works, brilliantly, because she perfectly captures Scarlett's inner voice. That woman is a sociopathic megalomaniac, and somehow you can't help but love her. I'd never have imagined that these two fandoms could be combined, but Yahtzee makes it work.
Here's another Life on Mars fic that I greatly enjoyed. It's like an episode--70s police show plot, entertaining dialog--just with the bonus of gay sex. You wouldn't think those things would blend together so well, but, obviously, they do. (Sorry, I know there's tons of slashy police show fandoms out there, I've just never been into one before.)
I've been following the metafandom discussions about the Organization for Transformative Works, and I continue to think that it's awesome. One of the things that boggles me about the internet is that people just take for granted that things disappear. You can read a story that's stunning, life-changing, brilliant, and then look it up one morning and find that it's completely gone.
( here is me rambling on about the OTW, as if you haven't read enough about it already )
[Cross-posted to InsaneJournal]
Of course, I should have written last night's paper earlier, but chenanceou is in town and I couldn't miss hanging out with her. Last weekend we had a Pirates viewing at drujan's place, which was very fun, although we ended up stranded there until nearly 5am because of the snowstorm.
This weekend a bunch of us (chenanceou, jerrymcl89, drujan, jaydk, and I) went to see Big Fish. I actually thought it was really good, which is rare for me, since I usually don't like movies that lack action or sci-fi. I thought it was very well done, very creative, and very sort of "heartfelt," in a real way, not a cheesy Lifetime movie way. Also, at the end, all four of us women were crying. Awwww. (I wonder if Spike redemptionists have a greater likelihood of getting emotionally involved in movies or TV?) Then we went to eat at GoBo, which has really yummy vegan food, so I was happy.
We're doing a great big huge super important urgent project at work, which, in combination with finals, is really stressing the hell out of me. So, naturally, I'm going to take my lunch break to babble about fandom nonsense.
Weirdly enough, I've been archiving a lot of Spike/Buffy on my site recently. This is coincidence, largely because I've made an effort to catch up with some older authors whose work I hadn't gotten to yet, and they've tended to be S/B oriented. (I also contacted a few slash writers, but they haven't written back to me yet *hint hint*.) I'm not back on the Spuffy ship or anything like that; I still find Buffy to be one of the most repulsive characters I've ever had the misfortune to encounter. But I do try to judge each story on its individual merits, and I also think it's easier to perceive actual human qualities like, say, the potential for compassion (for someone she doesn't see as an extension of herself or as a useful tool) in the Buffy of earlier seasons.
But I am looking to get back to other pairings and more recent stories, so if anyone has any recommendations for current writers that I'm missing out on, please let me know. The extent to which I seek out new writers has been rather limited lately, so I'm sure I'm missing out on some great fic. (I do, btw, plan to play a bit of catch up over the holidays, once finals are over, though I'll also have colloquium preparation to worry about then, too. *cue panic attack*)
( thoughts on that pairing meme )
That was a crappy way to wake up.
London Hellmouth got recommended on BBF. Yay! If you had trouble getting to it yesterday, it should be working fine now, so check it out. Wonderful story.
Also, Carolyn Claire's Thirst completely kicks ass as well. Spike/Xander, post-Gift, very creepy and sexy. She does a really wonderful job of creating a place and an atmosphere and a mood ... you really have to read it to get what I mean.
I have so much wonderful stuff to archive right now; did I mention how glad I am that Spike's on Angel? But I'm spacing it out, because if I archive everything at once, some stories will slip through unnoticed. So ... going slow. (If you're waiting for me to archive something, that's why it might take a little while.) I wonder if I archived too many long stories at once in the last few days ... is it too much to read? (For those who usually read a lot of what I archive.) Just curious if anyone has an opinion. I worry about these things.
( very tentative thoughts on kinks and anti-kinks )
I kind of come from a mailing list culture, where you just jump in anywhere with your opinion and you can have vehement debates with someone without it ever getting personal; you can agree with them on one issue one day, and disagree the next. And maybe you respect their ability to debate intelligently or maybe you're really irritated by their juvenile tactics, but you don't dislike them just because they disagreed with you. Disagreement is what the place is for; there wouldn't be any discussion otherwise, and how boring would that be?
Whereas I get this feeling on LJ that it's kind of questionable whether you should disagree with someone at all. Debate becomes really personal; you don't have a moderator stepping in saying "Debate the post, not the poster!" so you end up with blanket statements like "anyone who thinks that is clearly morally depraved," the loudest voices get heard, people take offense and form into factions, etc.
I think the personal nature of LJ is both a strength and weakness. Originally I liked it quite a bit, because it was cool to get to hear about people's lives and non-Buffy thoughts, whereas on a discussion list you don't really get to know people that well. But it also turns personal in a really ugly way a lot of times, in a way that (moderated) mailing lists don't.
And I'm also just curious about etiquette. What's more important, the "journal" aspect or the debate aspect? For example, if someone posts something that you really disagree with, should you reply in their comments and share your disagreement? Or is that considered rude, because you're invading their journal with your disapproval (or whatever)? It's kind of sad that so many posts are followed by 50 "*kiss kiss*" "I love you!" "You so rock!" type comments, without any real discussion or disagreement.
And if it is rude to disagree in someone's journal, should you then take your response into your own journal instead and post it there? Because that creates a problem too: if you identify the person with whom you're disagreeing, you're kind of starting something that may be taken much more personally than just a debate over an issue. You could lose friends over it. And if you don't identify the person with whom you're disagreeing, then a whole ton of other people might assume that you're really posting about them, and then they get defensive and upset, and you get a whole big kerfuffle.
And another thing I was just wondering about is whether it's okay for two people to engage in heated debate in a third person's journal. Are those two people being rude to that third person? Or is it acceptable; the topic has been raised, so why not keep the debate in one place?
( my insecurity issues )