fan_eunice: (MARTHA)
( Dec. 30th, 2007 03:51 pm)
Life is weird sometimes. I just had a really great conversation with [ profile] merryish over coffee this morning about privilege and fandom, only to come online afterwords to discover yet another round of racism and Who, umpteenth thousand verse, same as the first. And it occurs to me that I'm not a very good ally. Because I generally don't talk about this stuff very much in public. A lot of it is for the reasons previously stated in this LJ that I cling to my squee like a life preserver and, frankly, it's difficult for me to engage with things that will harsh it. But that's the thing, isn't it? The reason I can watch my shows the way I do is because I'm watching from a privileged position. That's just...true. In the same way that, intentional or not, the fact that my show, this show that I love for so many reasons, continues to perpetuate racist and sexist undertones is also...just true.

I'm not quite sure how to resolve that conflict between needing a place of escapism and recognizing that the very place I'm hiding is also capable of being exclusionary and hurtful. I do know that I don't want to be silent. I don't want my squee to be taken as an endorsement of troubling patterns. And when those troubling patterns are pointed out, I don't want to be counted on the side that waves it's hands in furious denial and pretends they don't exist...because there they are. And if we're not willing to see them, how on earth will we ever get around to fixing them?

I think it's possible for squee and awareness to co-exist. It has to, because we are so deeply steeped in this shit all around us, that if it weren't there'd be nothing left but anger, and I can't live like that, much less be fannish like that (and again, is this because I have the privilege to say that? How nice for me.) I dunno. I don't have the answer, not for me, not for fandom. I wish I did. I do know that arguing that the conflict doesn't exist at all, that the hurt doesn't happen, isn't on the list.

Mostly just...thinking out loud here. And wishing I were stronger or smarter or less selfish about all of this.
This is what I'm wondering about today as I go about getting ready to do the whole con thing. There seems to be a fairly predictable pattern in 'ship wars, in that they are generally at their ugliest while canon is still open, but that once canon closes there's this...thing that happens following the final explosive bang of however it ends up canonically. Namely...given anywhere from a few months to a few years (depending on just how ugly it got) 'shippers in a closed canon tend to start identifying with each other as shippers more than by the 'rightness' of a given 'ship, if that makes any sense. There's a fair bit of "wow, we were rather silly, sorry about that time I called you a delusional moron, that was a wee bit fucked up of me" that goes on, and while long standing grudges certainly remain, the tone of the thing calms down to the point where there's more cooperation than not in keeping the fandom itself alive as first priority. New fans are more likely to be cautioned not to start up old wars or pick at healing scabs, with a certain amount of community dissaproval aimed at those who do. Assuming the fandom doesn't fade away post-canon, it's often the most relaxing and enjoyable time to 'ship fannishly.

So, what happens when your canon never closes? Even if Doctor Who is cancelled tomorrow, history informs us that it's going to come back in one form or another. Another tv series, a movie, books, audios, etc. The odds of having no new canon are pretty slim. does this go down? Do the proponents of 'new' 'ships eventually get absorbed into the 'old' camps, learn to play together nicely, and then grumble about the kids on the lawn when the next set of wars fire up? Or does everyone dig into trenches and stay there, popping up to occasionally throw grenades at each other on an increasingly crowded battlefield? Not having been in old school DW fandom, I don't know if there are clues as to how this settles out in the absence of a defined end point to new source material. Something like [ profile] loves_them_all certainly points to efforts to find a common point of calm, as well as 'no bashing' rules on more prominent communities and so on. But the continued open canon still leaves the door wide open to the kinds of things that tend to spark off the nastier blow ups. Theories? Thoughts? Old school fans with insight on how these kinds of dynamics have played out before?
fan_eunice: (magic box)
( Oct. 18th, 2007 01:30 pm)
Am going over almost finished vid of past, and yeah, I think I'm going to finish it. Am also remembering intensely why I do love Rose so much. One of the frustrating things for me about...all this fandom crap, is that when it comes down to it Rose the character was the thing that drew me in to New Who. It was the Doctor who then made me fall in love with the whole universe, but it was Rose who made me fall in love with companions, which was my starting point. Without her, I probably wouldn't have watched long enough to fall for the Doctor and what all that led to. And I love her for that. So much. So the thing is, when I hit fandom and I kept reading all this stuff that implied that people like me didn't love Rose because I didn't 'ship her in a specific way, or because I found that Rose was the just the first, but not the only one to show me how the role of companion was to mash all sorts of buttons of hurt. Probably more than it should have, it's only fandom after all, right? Thing of it is, it's sort of childish for me to then be "Well, fine, who needs Rose ANYWAY, you can have her." which I find myself doing more than I really want to. I just..want to be in a place where Rose is again part of my big whomping companion love, that Doctor/Rose is one more playground to explore the Doctor/Companion dynamics I find so compelling. It bothers me that, although the fandom stuff is not what stalled my Rose vid (I was still in my bubble of one when I was making it), it was actually a factor when I dusted it off this morning and wondered about finishing it. It shouldn't be. So, I'm going to do my best to not let it be. Thus endeth my ramble.

Also, new Supernatural tonight that I am home for, so yay other show to talk about too! I kinda want to post about Pushing Daisies, but I"m not sure what to say other than that I am utterly charmed by it, maybe next week? I also have a Heroes post rambling somewhere in my head that just hasn't yet gelled into a real post.
fan_eunice: (Proud Loonies)
( Sep. 6th, 2007 02:15 pm)
Yay! I keep seeing lists of love popping up and it is making me ridiculously happy. MORE PLEASE.

I also want to say that while I have little use for things like 'ship wars and character bashing, I do appreciate that fandom has started talking about Big Important Issues and how they relate to us and our shows. Awareness is important and we have a dominant culture that seeds nearly everything we watch with troubling messages and, short of turning off the TV all together (you will pry my remote from my COLD DEAD HANDS), it's not avoidable. Acknowledging that is one of the ways we move towards changing it. What it doesn't have to be is exclusive of also recognizing what's fun, what's entertaining, and what can be made to be fun and entertaining with a bit of a fannish push. It's okay to say both "This show is sometimes problematic for these reasons" and "I love it."

The balance is a tricky one, but for all that fandom often makes me want to bash my head against the nearest hard surface sometimes, I do have faith in us.
fan_eunice: (Default)
( Aug. 15th, 2007 10:18 pm)
This looks like fun (grabbed from [ profile] cereta

Comment with one of my fandoms, and I'll reply with:

01. The first character I first fell in love with
02. The character I never expected to love as much as I do now
03. The character everyone else loves that I don't
04. The character I love that everyone else hates
05. The character I used to love but don't any longer
06. The character I would shag anytime
07. The character I'd want to be like
08. The character I'd slap
09. A pairing that I love
10. A pairing that I despise
The good: Spent today at Indiana Beach with [ profile] vagabondage and holy crap that was awesome. There were roller coasters and cheese fries and I won enough tickets playing skeeball to trade in for purple fuzzy dice. But that wasn't the best part. No.

The best part was Pirates Revolt: the Pillage of Paradise Island. That was the name of the water show. Where the plot (and I use that term loosely) depended on a rift in time to bring the pirates. And oh were there ever pirates. There were pirates doing ramp jumps on waterskis! Pirates on jetskis! Pirates diving from very high towers! There was a hot pirate queen! Cheesily choreographed fights...fists and swords people. Bad jokes and puns! A loserboy pirate named Bubba who was a total idiot and kept getting knocked out and was thus clearly created just for ME. And then? THEN? Just when I thought it couldn't get any better? A ninja showed up and burst into flames. You think I'm making that last part up. I'm totally not. I cannot fully express in text just how AWESOME this thing is.

The bad: I came home overflowing with the kind of joy that only flaming ninjas can provide...only to hit my friendslist and be reminded of just how much people SUCK sometimes. What. The. Hell. Why do I live in a world where it has to be pointed out that equating interracial realtionships with goatfucking is racist? How is that not the most obvious thing in the world to avoid? You'd think that wouldn't even require being a marginally sensitive or aware human being to grok. Apparently I was carrying too much faith in humanity. And okay, I get how someone might not be immediately aware that a word carries an extremely offensive history and might use it without any ill intent, but refusing to acknowlege harm or change it after you've been made aware moves you from the category of clueless to deliberately racist asshat mighty quickly. And even when you weren't aware of that particular word's meaning? Defining two people having sex as deviant for no other reason than one of them has darker skin than the other? FAIL. Categorizing two humans having sex with human/creature sex for no other reason than one of the human pairing has darker skin, regardless of what word you use to define the category? FAIL FOR ALL ETERNITY. I just keep staring at the whole thing going...what? No, seriously...what? This is a question? There are people confused as to what's upsetting and rage inducing about this? I really wish I could kill people with my brain sometimes.

In conclusion: The world needs far more flaming ninjas and far less racist fuckwads.
I hate being sick. Woke up on Saturday with a scratchy throat and a small fever. By Sunday morning I was in full hack/cough/sneeze mode that hasn't let up since. Which has nothing to do with my fandom thoughts but I'm whiny when I'm sick and if I have to miserable, dammit you all have to hear about it.

Right, so fandom thoughts for a Monday morning. It's sort of amazing to me how hypersensitized hanging out in fandom can make people to one aspect of a show/movie/book (especially 'ships or characters that provoke strong reactions), often completely out of proportion to the actual amount of time devoted to the thing in canon. Not that I don't think obsessively focusing on or picking apart the details isn't a good thing. Hell, it's part of what makes fandom so fun and how we bond.

But just from hanging out among various fannish communities (and this has happened in every fandom I've ever been around), you'd think that vastly more amounts of screen (or page) time is devoted to whatever the thing is than ever really is. It's like the constant hyperfocus and discussion tunes us in so strongly to whatever that even the smallest mention gains far more weight and, I dunno, presence than everything else. An objectively short scene ends up feeling like, and being discussed as though, it's taken up half of the story when really the overwhelming majority of the time was spent on the search for whoozits or fighting demons or aliens or completely unrelated relationships or characters. And when it's a character or ship that irritates you, and you've just spent several hours arguing about it with people who obsessively love it as much as you dislike it (or vice versa) it really does feel like that one or two scenes is the end all, be all of what makes or breaks the story.

It worries me how easily that kind of investment (positive or negative) in any one aspect or character can just...shut everything else out. When I go back and rewatch or reread something after the intense furor and focus has died down I'm always surprised at how little of the Big Fannish Focus ever shows up, and how many other interesting or potentially enjoyable things I completely missed on first watch. I'm not sure how you solve that, or if it's even a good idea to. What would fandom be without the thrill of devoting hours to decoding what a single look means? Or doing a happy dance of joy around your living room and rushing to express OMGCAPSGLEE with fifty other people over the tiniest bit of backstory that supports a theory or fic idea? I just kinda wish that it was possible sometimes to at least step back and recognize that how we talk about a story really, really, really does affect how we see it. And even though we wish Character X would die in a fire, or that references to this or that 'ship were banished forever and ever to the dimension of puppets, and we know that their fans will be utterly obnoxious for the next three weeks over that five minutes, it honestly was just five minutes and not the five hours it felt like.

This is Eunice on cough medicine. Carry on.
fan_eunice: (Default)
( May. 18th, 2007 10:32 am)
I've been reading through some of the various discussions about the commercialization of fanfic, which is IMO a very bad idea for all sorts of reasons other people have expressed way better than I could, but it got me to thinking about art as commerce in general and the ways in which the current system of distribution are failing and frustrating both artists and consumers. And I'm wondering if it isn't time to bring back some very old ideas with new tech twists in terms of how we make sure artists can both create and, y'know, eat. 'Cause heres the thing. I don't think artists/writers/musicians are going anywhere, but what is going away are the massive profits corporations make off them and the control they have over them. I can't see that as a bad thing.

So how does an artist make a living without relying on the current system? What would the new system even look like? One idea, what about the return of patronage? Except this time around the new tech allows not only the rich and powerful to support and direct art, but anyone with five bucks and a paypal account to chip in and contribute to what they find valuable or important or entertaining, and the means to find them through message boards, websites, online communities and so on. We've already seen something similar happen successfully with blogs in particular, where often readers/users contribute to the continuation of a site, and pay the "salary" of a full time blogger through fund raising drives and tip jars in combination with traditional web ads and sponsors.

What if similar participatory networks and patron supported communities for artists were the primary access point for consumers? And feel free to tell me I'm a total idiot and why in comments. I'm sure there are all sorts of pitfalls and/or better ideas than mine out there. I just wonder if the fear that if people don't have to pay up front for access that they won't pay at all is really true. Or if it's a matter of who they will pay and how. Yeah, it's true that if someone can download a song for free they are less likely to pay 20 bucks for a CD produced by Big Record Company. But does it also follow that they would be unwilling to fnancially support their favorite artist in other ways that ensured continuing access?

I dunno. I'm probably just talking out of my ass here. I just see this whole wealth of potential in the way the internets work to give more access, more control, and more freedom to both artist and consumer. The issue of money so often seems to come down not to how Jane Writer or Mary Musician will make a living off her art, but how Big Corporate Interest will make a profit off her work. And they just aren't the same issue.

I think what it comes down to for me is why should big business should be the gatekeepers of what we read, what we listen to, what we look at and how it's presented? Have they really been all that great about protecting artist's financial stability or artistic freedom? Can we do better? How? (these are not rhetorical questions, I'm actually asking here).
fan_eunice: (Default)
( Apr. 22nd, 2007 08:02 am)
I went and was social! With actual other people. Go me! [ profile] celli hosted a fangirl game night (because she rocks like that), and much fun was had. 'Cause, how can you not have fun with 16 fangirls in a living room? Well, I suppose you could not have fun but you'd probably be dead. There were games and SPN (Dean, ya big dork..I *heart* you) and fannish squee and talk of fanfic and I always forget just how delightful it is to be in a room where people have to be reminded not to talk too loudly about BSDM Care Bears porn in front of open windows. Fangirls are the best people in the world I tell ya.


fan_eunice: (Default)


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