xparrot: (karkat omg yikes)
So currently in SPN fandom there is a good-old fashioned...shipping war? Gen war?--there is a contretemps going on, and I feel the need to rant here because otherwise I am liable to get into something on tumblr, and who wants that?

Cut for those who don't want spoilers for the current season of SPN or don't give a fig about the show, which is wise of you, keep that up! Those who care, or enjoy reading about dumb fanwank, continue... )

In conclusion -- SPN continues to be the oddest fan experience in that, as frustrating and flawed as the show is, it still delivers to my id far better than the fandom...
xparrot: Chopper reading (books)
Trying to join up with mainstream Supernatural fandom is weird for me. Usually at this point in fanning I'd be devouring fic, and/or writing my own. And it's not like there isn't a ton of SPN fic out there - it's the largest single fandom on AO3. But finding what I want to read is difficult...not least of which because I'm not quite sure what I want to read. For all its flaws, SPN is almost a Type A fandom for me in that it gives me pretty much everything I want to see. (Along with plenty I'd rather not see at all, however...)

The other problem with the fic is that I'm out of step with a large part of the fandom - and particularly with the Dean-fan side of the fandom. I adore Sam, I really do (especially the character he's become - he's developed quite a lot over the seasons, more than Dean, in compelling ways. And Jared Padalecki is made of adorable and has gotten a lot better as an actor.) But while Gnine is a Sam-fan, Dean was always my favorite and apparently always will be. Even if I spend large chunks of the show wanting him smacked...that's part of his charm. I do love the assholes. And that always puts me in an odd place in a character-fandom, as I'm often inclined to side against my favorite - I'll take Sam's side over Dean, or Thor's side over Loki. This doesn't seem like a contradiction to me, because it's still all about my favorite, just from another angle...

But more than that, I don't fit with the Dean-fan side because I'm not, as it turns out, a Destiel shipper. Which is weird because I love Castiel... )

So, any recs for gen SPN fic?
xparrot: Chopper reading (books)
I've been thinking more about the end of the Mass Effect trilogy, and by the fan reactions to it that I've encountered online as I look up vids and fanart. (Among other things, I found these essays, from a fan who uncompromisingly loved the original endings even pre-extended cut, a fascinating read. This post isn't anywhere near as thought-out or high-concept, and the way I fan is quite different, but it does echo some of the ideas mentioned in those.) Spoilers for the ending of ME3 )
xparrot: (b5 shadow)
Tumblr is weird.

For a whole lot of reasons, but for me one of the biggest ones is how...disconnected I feel from it. I'm constantly encountering things on it that surprise/confound/irritate me, but I rarely feel comfortable bringing them up on tumblr itself, because I feel like any opinion I express there is liable to be reblogged and taken out of context and get me flamed in six months because dating on folks' blogs is erratic (really now what's the point of a blog with no visible dates?!) Safer to just stick to squee and baby elephants. (and other animals. but baby elephants, guys!)

On lj I rarely felt this hesitant to express myself, because it's a platform I feel comfortable debating on (sometimes a little too comfortable, apologies; but I did get better...) I'd always have the comments to explain myself if I mispoke, and if I was really worried about being misunderstood, I could f-lock. It's definitely possible to debate on Tumblr, people do all the time; but it doesn't work for me personally, to reblog rather than having comment thread discussions, and to have no way to limit yourself to a personal social circle.

Anyway. Am thinking about this at the moment because Welcome to Night Vale fandom has a lot of Opinions, some of which confuse me quite a lot...

concerning WTNV fic tropes and the comparative fluffiness of OTPs )
xparrot: (wormholes suck)
Happened to see on a few different places on my flist that old classic conflict between squee-fans and "hate"-fans - fans who love something and focus their fanning on what they love (whether or not they acknowledge its flaws) vs fans who are annoyed/frustrated/outraged by something but keep watching and discussing it anyway. While no one really questions squee-fans, "hate"-fandom can be baffling for those who prefer to simply ignore the things they don't like.

Having been down the hate-fandom road before, I think the reason hate-fans stick with it is very similar to the reasons anyone sticks with squee-fanning: because it's an enjoyable, creative, social activity. Hate-fans fan together, share their outrage, write the stories they want to read, in general bond over their irritation.

more ramblings... )

This rant brought to you by Linkara and his hilarious, insightful screeds against bad comics - I love me some delicious comicbook fanboy rage (especially when it comes with a good dose of feminism and highly amusing narration)!
xparrot: (kid loki)
Spoilery spoilers for part 3 of Everything Burns.

re: Ikol )
xparrot: (kid loki)
[So [livejournal.com profile] gnine and I rewatched The Avengers and had a long conversation about what Loki was actually doing, and [livejournal.com profile] gnine (as is her wont, Smallville fans may recall) figured it all out!]

Whether Loki is the villain you love or the villain you love to hate (or just hate), there are two things about him that nearly everyone seems to agree on. One, Tom Hiddleston makes an awesomely compelling supervillain; and two, Loki's apparent masterplan in The Avengers makes no damn sense.

So here's a plan that does! [Detailed spoilers for the Avengers, on the off-chance you haven't seen it yet.] )
xparrot: Chopper reading (clex - so your place?)
(aka Xparrot is metaing again, run awaaaa~~~~y)(aka why don't I have a Loki icon yet?)

On my flist the question was posed, why is Loki getting so much love in Avengers fandom in spite of all his wicked deeds, while so many heroic characters are vilified for much less severe character flaws? Which, as a long-time villain fan, I just had to jump in and say:

fans have different standards for different fictional characters (no spoilers for anything, all generalizations) )

Or, tl;dr version: villains aren't heroes, what fans like in a hero may not be what they like in a villain, and that's okay.

Leaving the most important question unanswered: why do I still not have a Loki icon?

And to reward you for enduring my rambling - or if you just want to just skip to the good stuff - have an awesome and hilarious and adorable Avengers fic featuring redemption via a kid!Loki who, while not quite the comics char I so adore, is close enough to yet elicit dolphin noises from me (literally; I scared the cat last night reading it...) Plus it's got cute gen teaminess and h/c and an awesome tags list and a fantastic Clint POV and did I mention hilarious?

Amateur Theatrics (26585 words) by favicongalaxysoup
Fandom: The Avengers (2012), Thor (2011)
In which Thor’s primary problem-solving method (a mighty blow from Mjolnir) fails to have the desired effect on a magical artifact, and his secondary method (a mightier blow from Mjolnir) proves to be actively disastrous.

on fanfic

May. 13th, 2010 11:24 pm
xparrot: Chopper reading (Default)
So as you might have heard, various pro fantasy authors (Diana Gabaldon, GRR Martin, and Katherine Kerr among them) have been speaking out about how fanfic is disrespectful to actual money-making authors (because you're not a real artist unless you're making a buck with your art), is illegal (because apparently copyright law is what they say it is, as opposed to what's actually on the books), immoral (and akin to rape and/or white slavery, because one's original characters are like one's children, and for someone else to dare write their names feels just like having your kids abducted and sexually abused), gross, and inherently inferior to original fiction.

Obviously I have a few mild opinions on the matter. But it's the last point that I keep getting stuck on. Putting aside [livejournal.com profile] bookshop's straightforward rebuttal that there is an enormous amount of derivative/transformative literature out there by distinguished professional authors (Bill Shakespeare was such an immoral hack, you know), the fact is, fanfic is not the same as original fiction. A lot - the majority, perhaps - of fanfiction would not work as original fiction.

And it's not because fanfic is inherently bad fiction, or that fanfic writers are talentless wannabe authors who lack the creativity to write their own original characters/worlds. There are a lot of stories that, by their very nature, require that the reader already be familiar with the characters or the world.

Read more... )
xparrot: Chopper reading (Default)
(Most of this post came up in a friends-locked comments dialogue with [livejournal.com profile] horridporrid, who very patiently explained her views until I finally got where she was coming from. I've been lax in keeping up with the rest of the debate, so it's likely this has already been stated elsewhere in this debate. But anyway.) Putting aside issues of writing standards and mocking other fen, it seems the big problem with the term "Mary Sue" is with its imprecision and its gendered nature. The basic concepts, I feel, are sound - but we need another word for it.

As I see it, there are 3 differing but related definitions for 'Mary Sue': )

The thing is, all three of these definitions are valid critical concepts - even the last, while quite subjective, can explain why a story may be unsuccessful for much of the audience. This is not to say that they're justifiable reasons to trash a young writer's confidence, but they are extant and common tropes in fiction (fan and otherwise), so it makes sense to have a label for them.

The problem with the current label is that while such chars can be male as easily as they can be female (Rodney McKay could certainly be considered one!) defining them with the gendered term "Mary Sue" means that female chars are much more likely to be described as such; it became an easy go-to criticism of female chars, while rarely applied to male chars, a very unfortunate double standard, especially if it means that writers become hesitant to write female chars (afraid that they'll be labeled "Mary Sue"s) while not giving the same consideration to male chars.

So it seems to me we need a new, gender-neutral term for this concept. Any thoughts?

ETA: Apparently ElfQuest had "Wottaguy/Wottagirl" for the original Mary Sue - much less gendered, maybe I'll start using that!
xparrot: (b5 shadow)
I know there are people in the world who do not love their fellow human beings, and I hate people like that.

--Tom Lehrer

Recently it seems like the latest big fandom is Fandom - that the majority of fan-related discussions I'm seeing on my flist are not about series or characters or pairings but on trends in fanfic, and trends in responses to fanfic, and metaing about trends in fannish meta. It's rarely squeeful meta, either; there's some fanfic recs, but most of it is about how this aspect of fandom is problematic or that behavior is harmful. And it's not that these are bad topics, a lot of these issues are important to people, and it's good to open or continue dialogues about them. At the same time, lately it's been feeling like many fans - myself definitely included! - are doing more talking about fandom than actually fanning. And more than that, some of this meta to me comes across as very critical, not just of fandom trends, but of the fans who participate in such trends - it is really hard (maybe impossible?) to criticize a behavior without passing some sort of judgment on the people who do the behavior. Which tends to leave me feeling:

There are fans in Fandom who judge their fellow fans, and I think that is totally wrong!

Which isn't really true, because as I said, I think that a lot of these discussions are important; and a lot of them aren't trying to pass judgment anyway but simply offering opinions and talking about personal experiences and wishing things were different about their communities, which is all cool...but I miss my fannish experience being more about "Coolest ep EVAH ZOMG!" and "I have the most CRACKTASTIC AU in my head" and even "oh man did the writers drop the ball? on my foot? from 100 stories up? or was that just me?? :P" and less about "I don't like it when other fans do This."

...and yes, self, part of the problem, much?! >.>;;; I need a new series...I've watching a hell of a lot of TV lately, but none of it has struck quite the right chords; not sure if it's the shows, or it's me, or a combination, but it's awful frustrating, to want to be out sailing but to have no ship...
xparrot: Chopper reading (dw donna snow)
Just read a comment on my flist by [livejournal.com profile] copracat in which she made a fascinating point about character bashing in fanfic, which I wanted to expound upon.

It's a well-known phenomenon in fandom, that any character who comes between a pairing will be hated by some fans of that pairing. While it's not the only source of character hate, hatred of the interloper is perhaps the number one reason for char bashing. Sometimes the hated characters will simply be absent from fanfic, or otherwise ignored. But sometimes the chars will be bashed - portrayed in extremely negative, often wildly OOC ways, as scheming, selfish shrews out to ruin love affairs. When it comes to m/m pairings, such romantic interlopers are nearly always female characters (since almost all slashed male chars are canonically heterosexual, so their only canonical romantic partners are female. The reverse can be true with femme-slash pairings; Joxer was hated by some fans for being a potential threat to Xena/Gabrielle.)

[livejournal.com profile] copracat points out that such interlopers are a standard trope in romance fiction. How this carries over into fandom... )
xparrot: Chopper reading (dw donna snow)
So I accidentally-on-purpose read (well, skimmed) a MUNCLE death-fic today - well-written, clever, heart-wrenching. It wasn't angst-ridden; the opposite, really. (It was [livejournal.com profile] azdak's "Divided Halves" if you're curious.) And it broke me, as they usually do, and not in the good way, but in the makes-me-mopey and -flaily and -writing-essays-instead-of-my-[livejournal.com profile] sga_genficathon-story-which-is-due-Thursday way. I love black comedy, and death-badfic just cracks me up; it's the good ones that kill me and my fragile OTPer heart.

musing on death-fic )

In other news, watched the Twilight movie with the MST3K fangirl squad of [livejournal.com profile] gnine, [livejournal.com profile] naye, and [livejournal.com profile] acchikocchi, and vaguely horrified myself by not hating it. Edward & Bella are as stalkerifically wrong a young love as Romeo & Juliet, but since they are teenagers (sort of) it doesn't bother me overly much, and oh! the emo! The director was so, hmm, sincere about the prettiness - so very shoujo, I could almost see the bubbles. And the sparkling was almost as hysterical as promised.

But the Cullen family was just so freakin' adorable I couldn't even laugh at them. A big happy vampire family! That plays baseball together! And cooks Italian! I've seen plenty of vampires trying to get on/stay on the wagon, but never a whole vampire family. Edward can actually depend on his vampire sire, and listens to him about the saving of his favorite hamburger true love...so much trust! Awww~!

Also saw the Who Easter Special. "I love you! I love you!" AHAHAHAH <333
xparrot: Chopper reading (muncle shack)
I've been on an old skool kick of late, and have just for the first time discovered the joys* of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

The thing about some of these old fan shows, they ran on subtext. Not the nudge-nudge wink-winking of Merlin, but the less deliberate stuff - and not just slash or UST, either. Most character elements are more inferred than stated. There are no clear backstories, just miscellaneous hints, supplied to move an episode along and forgotten afterward. Relationships - not only romance, but friendships or rivalries, or anything else - are strictly professional, because we never see the private relationships, or private sides of professional relationships - the characters are their jobs, and we almost never see them on downtime, never see them not working. Most character development is incidental, often accidental, an inadvertent byproduct of a plot twist or clever line.

It can be frustrating; it makes the characters less convincingly real people, more silver screen idols, icons rather than human beings. It's also fantastically fun, for a fangirl, because it allows for the subtext game, the careful close watching, gleaning for hints, ferreting out the little clues that describe these characters' true selves, describe what they really mean to one another.

Don't get me wrong... )

* To wit, Illya Kuryakin. He is l'essence de fangirl bait in a tiny blond package of snark. He is fangirl bait before it was common knowledge that fangirls could be baited; he is perhaps the proto-bait, or one of the first. Spock, Daniel Jackson, Dean Winchester - they all have a bit of Illya in them. Rumor has it that David McCallum** received more fanmail than any other MGM actor, and watching four decades later, I have no question why.

** And yes, since you asked, as an NCIS fan, it is fantastically brainbreaking to be fanning on a much-younger Ducky. Not that I didn't love Ducky all along, but there's loving the cute little old ME, and then there's Illya. My fangirl heart, she twists and flails. Especially since David McCallum retains much of Illya's mannerisms and pretty much the exact same voice (once he dropped the light faux-Russian accent of season 1.***)

*** Whyyyy~ did he drop the accent? It was adorable!!

OTP poll

Feb. 27th, 2009 07:13 pm
xparrot: (sga mcshep chibi)
I've seen OTP ("One True Pairing") used a bunch of different ways around fandom, sometimes leading to confusion and misinterpretation. I'm curious what the general trends for its use are.

(For this poll, please answer the way you personally use OTP, not the way(s) you may have seen it used by other fans.)

[Poll #1356482]
Thank you for feeding my statistics lust - and of course, please comment if you've got anything interesting (or, heck, boring XP) to add. Y'all know how much I love the talky-talky!
xparrot: (wormholes suck)
I've seen a couple discussions about the negative turn SGA fandom has taken, re: McKeller, people, mostly Keller fans (or at least not anti-Keller fans) who are feeling actively driven from the fandom by aggressive character/pairing hate. They feel this is a recent trend, and I concur; while SGA had its share of past wank, I think it was one of the lower-conflict fandoms for its size. And if that's changed now, then I blame shipping. Or rather, canon shipping. more raving than ranting )
xparrot: Chopper reading (sga atlantis)
Concerning the divide in the SGA fandom at present - cut because I'm trying to figure out some stuff; if you're in a squeeful holiday mood right now, just ignore this! )

Now I'm going to go wake up the sis and bro in the other room, and we can open the Christmas presents we left until after we got back from Hong Kong! Yay, presents! (Also, Hong Kong is wonderfully warm this time of year, and delicious. Christmas dinner was roast goose at the best Chinese restaurant I have ever been to. Oh man. SO TASTY. But someday I have to go on an Asian eating tour with people who actually eat seafood; [livejournal.com profile] gnine is allergic and the bro doesn't like it, so I was left drooling over pictures of crab and shrimp and shellfish but not ordering any because I can't finish whole dishes on my own...)
xparrot: Chopper reading (sga atlantis)
I've been in a very meta mood lately. And thinking about character love and character hate and the like/dislike in between has illuminated a general writing/storytelling principle for me, one that I think TV shows might ignore or mistake at times, and one that needs close attention paid, because I think writers (professionals as much as amateurs) sometimes confuse it:

"Everybody likes a character" is not a way to make that character be liked by the audience.

The key is - it's not a way to make that character be disliked, either. It's actually an emphasizing storytelling device, reinforcing the feelings the audience already has, but it's often mistaken for a positive or a negative one.

I actually like this device myself, but... )

On Keller

Sep. 24th, 2008 10:26 pm
xparrot: Chopper reading (sga atlantis)
So people can join the discussion - [livejournal.com profile] gnine posted a long essay on our problems with Keller's character. Feel free to jump in and agree or disagree as you will!

[livejournal.com profile] gnine and I have discussed this at length, and she's covered most of our main points, referencing specific episodes. We're not trying to change anyone's minds about the character; really, we're more trying to offer explanations for people who don't like her but can't figure out why. Reading over the essay and comments, I think the biggest question for me comes down to Why Keller? )

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