fan_eunice: (Default)
( Jul. 12th, 2008 11:56 am)
Following up, now I'm thinking of the kinds of love stories that do work for me. Not the ones I make up in my head when I do that 'shippy thing, I mean. The ones actually told on a screen or in a book. Because I do actually have what would seem to be a contradictory kink for a good portion of the romantic comedy genre. So I went thinky about it, trying to pick apart how that works for me. And where it does is generally in a specific kind of romcom. The ones where the protagonist starts the story chasing or hopelessly mooning after what she (or he, but most of the times in these stories it's she) thinks is her One True Love Soulmate or Perfect Partner, often to ridiculous and obsessive levels, and without any real consideration of who that person actually is. There is a then a partnering up with an unlikely or unexpected match for whatever plot reason (sometimes specifically to win the object of desire), with the two of them working together in the midst of whacky hi-jinks misunderstandings and growing confusion over developing feelings, and a conclusion where one turns to the other and is all 'Oh, hey,' Generally followed by kissing.

And, I like it because, to me it feels like a spoof on the whole concept that true love is this destined thing that you can recognize and all you have to do is want it enough for it to be true. That you don't have to take into consideration who you actually are or who they actually are or how that would fit together for real even if you did get there. And the 'who you are' part can show up in someone discovering through these silly adventures things they never knew about themselves about what they like, or what they were forcing themselves to think they were like. I have some twitchyness over 'whacky guy shows uptight frigid woman how to loosen up' and other dodgy concepts that sometimes accompanies, but I do like the underlying idea that it is good to re-examine the things you tell yourself about who you are and what you want, and that getting too tied up in one perspective can hold you back. I like to think, though I'm probably reading against the text here, that the ultimate lesson here is not that there is only one right person for you, but that if you believe there is you may just miss out on one who could be. That sort of thinking leaves me confident that anyone who could make that leap isn't going to depend on just that relationship to make them happy.

To go with examples...Sleepless in Seattle doesn't really work for me, even though the story is rather adorable, because at the end I'm pretty much yelling at the screen 'But you don't even know him, look, ditch the fiancee who isn't working for you, cool...but for fuck's sake this notion that your whole unsatisfying life will be solved by some dude in Seattle is barking mad'. While You Were Sleeping does (aside from some moments of fist shaking wondering why she couldn't just go travel the world by herself), because it so completely busts up this fantasy idea of the 'perfect partner' by making him perfect because he is IN A COMA (this will never not amuse me). French Kiss, yes, despite the above mentioned twitchyness over 'cool guy loosens up rigid chick' because Meg Ryan's obsessive planning over her perfect life with her lost fiancee is a different kind of 'perfect partner' fantasy that ignores reality. And on and on.

I really have no idea where 'His Girl Friday' fits into this mix, because I love that one LIKE PIE, but it does not follow the same formula, along with quite a few other screwball comedies of the same era. I'll have to think on that one.
fan_eunice: (Default)
( Jul. 11th, 2008 10:49 am)
I'm trying to sort out in my head what I mean when I say that I am not a romantic. Because I'm really, really, really not. It's not that I don't believe in love, or that love is a good thing, or that love can be the motivation for wonderful things. And I love to 'ship, it is fun and it makes my heart go melty and fills me with glee. It's that, what is an absolute truth to me is that love is not enough. Not on it's own. It doesn't exist in a vacuum, and to ignore or dismiss everything else that goes into living for just one thing just strikes me as nothing more than a set up for absolute disaster. And it's not just choosing a romantic partner that I mean. Something like, say, a high school basketball player who has no backup plan for the rest of their life other than 'Get into the NBA' leaves me with the same horrified 'oh...honey, no' feeling, regardless of how talented or dedicated or motivated they are. Because shit happens. And maybe it isn't sexy to be practical when it comes to dreams, but I've just seen too many people, including myself, get crushed like a bug and left with nothing when they weren't. Having one thing you are dedicated to above all else, be it a person that you love or a specific goal or dream isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's having nothing else to fall back on, and no recognition that you should. Not taking into account the real obstacles and evaluating the actual risks and coming to terms with how you might deal with that and just trusting that if you want it enough everything will work out in the end...that's a good way to get everyone around you, including, maybe especially yourself, hurt. It makes me twitchy in real life, and it makes me twitchy in fictional stories.

And maybe that's not a good thing, that I can't let go of that for fiction. I mean, I can believe in all manner of ridiculous things in the name of my stories, my real life belief in pacifism certainly doesn't stop my utterly gleeful love of things blowing up and people getting punched in the face in a fictional context. I don't know. But there it is. I actually do enjoy a love story, I am a sucker for 'shippy glee, I'm also going to always going to see either thing as an uncomfortable tragedy if I feel like either partner sees it as the end all, be all, of their existence. Part of the reason I 'ship is because I want my beloved characters to be happy. An impending feeling of looming disaster just doesn't bring the glee. It might be a good story, and one that I enjoy for all sorts of reasons, but it won't be a love story for me so much as a cautionary tale.

Or it is possible that I have no heart and a shriveled soul. I'm not ruling that out, for real. Sometimes I feel like the scowling killjoy in the corner when I see people sighing happily while I'm doing the equivalent of 'oh really? and will love pay the rent or buy your food and what exactly are you going to do when one of you dies horribly in a car crash, huh?'
So now I'm thinking about why I do get so...twitchy when any of my preferred pairings threaten to become canonical, even as I'm squeeing. That they have very little chance of becoming canon is actually one of the big draws of slash to me. And also what toppled me back over to some het pairings in Doctor Who. I didn't always used to feel that way. And I still do enjoy canon pairings...just not fannishly as a general rule. Breaking it down, when a pairing crosses the line over into canon from UST there are a few options.

1. The relationship develops exactly as I'd want it to. This would be the John/Aeryn experience for me. This is...nice. I won't deny it's a bit thrilling to see it unfold on screen like that. But apart from a bit of post episode flaily squee hands it pretty much eliminates my motivation to do anything like read fic, or to meta, or most of the obsessive fannish type things that usually accompany a 'ship for me. Because, there it is. Right there in text, on the screen. Nothing further from me required but to sit back and make some happy sighing noises. That's awesome and all, but it's the interactive nature of fandom which is why I'm here. What if is always more exciting to play with than what is.

2. The relationship develops on screen in ways I wouldn't prefer. That'd be Spike/Buffy for me for those of you playing along at home. Perversely I'm more likely to hang on to a 'ship in the fannish sense if this is the case from a desire to fix it. But I'm also a bit of a canon whore, in that while I'm all in favor of jumping off from canon at any point to play, things that have happened in text have happened. Which means that unlike a 'shipper fic that I don't care for, where I can just hit the back button and forget about it, I have to work around what's given on screen. Or completely reassess my own take on it. There's fannish fun to be had in them thar hills, to be sure. But really, I'd rather have those myriad of options play out extra textually because then I'm never stuck with anything I can't just brush off.

Either way, it sort of feels like the show itself is horning in on my fun. I watch my shows for the story and for the characters. I come to fandom for my 'ship whore needs. If the 'ship is part of the story then it might function as an illumination of character or dynamics in ways that I can play with fannishly, but not as a 'ship whore if that makes any sense at all. The exception being, of course, the OT3 (which is probably one of many reasons why I loves me some OT3) in which the canon 'ship becomes one unit on a different subtextual playground.

So, um, yeah. Kissing in trailers might cause me to make flaily hands of glee, and no doubt quite a bit of actual episode squee, but there's also a part of me going "well, shoot...who do I play with now?" accompanied by a bit of pouting. This is probably completely nonsensical and silly, but there you have it.

Now I am off to eat cookies and finally get started on that Buffy rewatch.
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.
My reaction to the fact that the full article containing the dimwitted statements by RTD is now available to read? LALALALALALA I'm not reading it, and you can't make me. Wow, that feels good. I can seriously feel huge chunks of my fandom angst just sort of fall away knowing that nothing anyone involved with the show can say will affect the way I see it, because I'm not listening anymore. Seven days until Kylie and the Titanic and stuff blowing up! Yay!
Here's a question, it's Doctor Who related (surprise!) but you don't have to have to be a Who fan, or even have seen it to answer it (might actually be interesting to see how someone without show context would answer). Thing is, I know that much of my opinions and reactions to Doomsday are directly related to my particular relationships with my parents and my son, and I'm curious how different people might contextualize the same decision. So, if you feel like answering,

What would have to be on the table for you to cut yourself off voluntarily from your parents forever (no phone calls, no visits, no contact whatsover, they would not be allowed to know anything about your life or where you are and vice versa with no chance of a reconciliation ever)? I don't mean an argument or a fallout, I mean the relationship stands as it is and you have to make a choice between it and something else. What is the tradeoff you would consider worth that sacrifice (if you would even see it as a sacrifice)? Related, would you consider yourself close to your parents, and how would that affect the nature of what it would take to get you to make that decision?

And on the flip side, if you are a parent, what sort of things would you find acceptable for your adult offspring to cut themselves off from you in the same manner? Under what circumstances would you actually encourage them to do so?
fan_eunice: (Default)
( Sep. 9th, 2007 04:15 pm)
Subtext is awesome, tons of fun, provides endless opportunities for speculation and entertainment, and is all around one of the best toys in the toybox when it comes to fannish pursuits. You know what subtext isn't? Text. That's how come there's the "sub" in front of it. And what I really can't figure out is why that's supposed to be a bad thing. Explicitly textual pairings are fun and all, but there's a limited number of places to go from there fannishly speaking most of the time. You lose control over how and when and why and where your favored pairing gets together, and that's got some serious disadvantages as far as what we do.

One of the reaons I came tumbling back down on the het side of the fence watching Doctor Who is, oh, hey subtext, awesome. Subtext that has very little chance of becoming text...more awesome. The Doctor himself is one big ball of alien subtext with motivations and feelings that we never, ever, get to pin down entirely, 'cause they aren't human. COOL. The options are pretty much unlimited as to where you can go with that, and I find myself completely resistant to arguments that would box it in. There are eighteen gazillionty shows where you can see a standard het romance develop, quite a few of which I enjoy a lot. But how many give you the chance to play like this? I really, really don't understand the urge to take that away.

It's like, you know my lego theory of fandom? To me this is like getting a whole pile of different shapes and sizes and some of them glow in the dark and some of them sparkle and some of them are bendy and then complaining because there isn't a picture on the box to copy exactly. And then deciding that if there was a picture on the box, it would be of the thing you just built, because it's obvious that the bendy thing and that glowy thing go together like so, even though the bendy thing and the sparkly thing fit a different way, so clearly, all other creations are inferior. And that's when I get the urge to turn into a two year old and kick your blocks to pieces. Which is definitely not a cool reaction, and it's one I'm trying to work on 'cause life is more fun when all the bendy, sparkly, glowy blocks are in play. conclusion, 'ship wars are stupid and subtext rules.
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: (KITTEN)
( Sep. 4th, 2007 10:36 pm)
I picked up the Dark Is Rising from the bookstore the other day because I never read it as a kid, and I felt bad for all my friends that were horrified at the movie previews. I am now joining them in viewing the promos for the movie with a big old "WTF, no seriously what the fucking fuck?" look on my face. Because the story as it is in the book is delightful and would make a fantastic movie so I completely fail to understand what they were thinking. On the plus side, I'll be getting the rest of the books in the series, so I should thank the movie for that even if I'm never going to go see it.

I remain absolutely thrilled about the scheduling decisions for 2009 and series 5 of Doctor Who. I actually found myself baffled that there was a negative reaction at all. Two years of *confirmed* new Who, with the abbreviated season seeming as though it is geared towards long term planning to prevent burnout (from both the audience and the production team), long term planning that bodes well for even *more* new seasons. What's to be unhappy about? Granted, the possibility of keeping DT may be coloring my outlook on account of I am admittedly helpless in the face of the Tennant, but if they announced tomorrow that a regeneration was in the offing I'd still think this was a smart move. Doctor Who is unique in that it doesn't have a 'natural' run of x number of seasons like so many shows, the continuing flexibility offered by regeneration and companion-go-round gives it long haul possibilities beyond the standard. But avoiding oversaturation is key, and I would rather the occasional breather season than a non stop production run that ends up driving the whole thing into the ground.

Actually, I find myself baffled by the negativity of fandom in general lately (not in any way limited to Doctor Who). It's not that it's anything new, it's just sometimes I pop up from my shiny, happy world of sparkles and kittens and rainbows and realize that, wow, I really am living off in a world of my own when it comes to my shows. I'm not so much talking about existence of critical meta or discussions of's more...*ponders*. Okay, the thing is if I'm still watching a show and talking about it, then it's because I love it. And if I love it I want the balance of the time I spend thinking about it to be about the things that make me happy. My first reaction to anything I don't like is almost always "Okay, how can I fix that in my head so it works for me again." The moment at which the balance shifts and I spend more time focusing on what's wrong than what brings me joy is the moment at which I simply stop watching. And I don't look back, except with occasional wistful remembrance of what we once had. Clean break. Those of you who've known me awhile have seen me do it before, and I'll do it again. This is often not at all how fandom as a whole functions, and I just get to the point sometimes where I want to look around and see people talking about what they love more than what they don't. I also want a pony.
fan_eunice: (Default)
( Aug. 30th, 2007 01:37 pm)
I continue to avoid working on my own vid (which still sucks) by thinking about vidding. Procrastination rules.

Okay, so song choice. I'm curious how people define a "good" song choice for a vid. I'm all over the map about this. So much of it is subjective, personal musical taste combined with individual character interpretation, that it gets difficult to point to any set of rules and say, "yes, this is what you should think about when choosing a vid song."

What kinds of things make you, as a vid watcher, think "GREAT song choice" when you see a vid? Are there any universal constants? How do you distinguish between personal taste and a song choice that just doesn't work for you, but that works in context of a specific audience, and a song choice that is just flat out a bad idea?

Help me waste time and learn something in the process please. :)
I have officially dropped into the yearly post VVC funk. One of the pitfalls of being surrounded by, and focusing on, amazing vids and wildly talented vidders is the inevitable crash when you start comparing yourself to the field. This is entirely unproductive and pointless, of course, but it's a hard thing to kick out of sometimes. Learning from your mistakes and picking up ideas and techniques is a good thing...doing it without tacking on "because I suck" is kinda tricky.

One of the hardest things about learning anything is that the more you learn the more you realize how much you don't know. I remember the first vid I ever made (which, what the hell was I thinking, Another One Bites the Buffy. With a random barn door transition. *facepalm*) and it was all, "Oh my god, you can put MUSIC...who KNEW?" And I sort of miss that clueless and giddy glee. I also really don't, because it's actually much more satsifying and fun to me this way. I think I'd get bored with vidding very, very quickly if there wasn't something new to learn, some goal to push for. And it's thrilling to watch other people hit new levels, and do cool new things, and to watch with awe at an insanely well crafted vid that hits right there.

Remembering it's not a race is a bit harder. I can only make the vids I can make, at the level I am, and that's okay. No vid I ever make is going to be good enough for me, and that's okay too, because it's what keeps me wanting to learn, and what leads me to that insanely addictive rush of understanding something I didn't understand before. That's really what I'm here for. I get that, and on good days I even feel it. And then there are those days you watch a vid that is so amazing your first reaction is the urge to chuck your computer out the window and give up forever. Or you see a newbie sail right past you in skill level on their first or second vid and wonder just how dumb you are.

I'd like to find a balance...using that desire to be better to push myself into growing and learning as a vidder without letting pointless jealousy or comparisons stop me in my tracks. I want to be able to look at one of my vids and think "That's the best vid I could make, at the time I made it." and be proud of that and what that means. Because that is cool no matter how far there is left to go. I'll let you know if I figure out how to do that.
fan_eunice: (Default)
( Aug. 23rd, 2007 08:16 am)
I'm about to start writing up disc two, and still feeling a bit weird about doing these so I'm talking it out. One of the things I've always loved best about VVC are the full show and disc reviews that always come out of it. A big part of Vividcon is talking openly about what did and didn't work for the viewer...both at the con during formal vid review or panels, informal discussions, and after the con in review posts. Unlike other forms of vid release where it's generally expected you won't hear from anyone who didn't like your vid unless you specifically ask, Vividcon has always been a place where if you send your vid in the assumption is that it's on the table for discussion. I think that's an incredibly useful tool for us as vidders because it allows for a broad range of opinions that form a jumping off point to work on our weaknesses and get a better idea of what's effective and what's not. And also who it's effective for (a vid that appeals to some people for whatever reason may annoy the crap out of other people), which is crucial in answering questions like who the target audience for a specific vid is...if I'm trying to reach the most number of people I might vid something differently than if I'm directing it at a very specific group of people who have the same read on a show or character that I do or preference in vid styles or music choices. This is all really good stuff. The more of it the better as far as I'm concerned.

I also remember the first year I sent a vid to Vividcon and read several such full reviews in which the reviewer did not like my vid. And, y'know, regardless of context that's never easy to hear. It's that feeling that has caused me to chicken out for...three years running now on doing any of my own show or disc reviews. 'Cause vidders? In general we are a big raging ball of insecurity on the best of days and who wants to poke at that when you know that it takes a pint of ice cream and many tears to friends before you can settle down and look at things from the bigger picture to sort out "someone didn't like my vid" from "someone didn't like ME." Or to recognize that one person not liking your vid doesn't mean it doesn't have an audience, or that they don't want to see more vids from you (just not that one, heh). Even if you do want people to do the same for your vids and think it's valuable (after the ice cream).

I'm not sure I have a point here because it's a tricky balance. I'm a huge fan of the kinds of communal critical discussions we have. I want more people to talk about honest reactions to vids post VVC, so I'm finding it more and more difficult to justify not doing that myself. Which is why I'm not letting myself weasel out this year. I'm also a huge fan of most of the individual people behind the vids, and knowing these kinds of discussions can be...bruising, makes me wince. When I'm trying to write up my own reactions, and when I'm reading other people's. So, yeah..I just kinda wanted that out there.
I'm going to do a full review of my VVC discs once I get my big screen TV to watch them on, but I wanted to do a specific rec of Women's Work by sisabet and Lum because it is so powerful to me on so many levels and I'm going to try, and probably fail to be articulate here in explaining why. It's disturbing, yeah. Very. And it's angry. I love it for that. I love that it expresses so clearly that feeling of helpless feminist rage I have every time I stop and really look around at how far we are as women from being fully recognized as people in so many ways. How deeply ingrained it is and how so much if it is what I can't do anything about except try to survive it.

I should say that I like Supernatural. Quite a lot actually, even though I generally don't post much fannishly about it. And I'll absolutely still be watching come the new season and talking about all the things I like about it with other people. Thing is, this vid stopped (if it ever was) being about Supernatural for me very shortly in to it and became a distillation simply of what's wrong with the images of violence against women, especially the sexualized images of violence against women that we're all just soaking in constantly. Because it sells. And there's nowhere you can go to avoid it. Why Supernatural? I don't dare try to speak for the vidders, but I'll say if I was going to make an angry feminist commentary on women in media...right now I'd use Doctor Who. Why? Because I love it. And I'm gonna say it again. There's nowhere to go. Nowhere. That thing we love, whatever it is will inevitably be problematic when it comes to women because our society is. We're incredibly good at repurposing text in fandom. It's what we do. I love that about us. We have the power to take the best bits and weave them into something new that really is just for us. And I love the shows we love for giving us more than enough material to do that, sometimes in just incredibly awesome ways. But sometimes you have to step back and go "Damn, that's fucked up." This vid does exactly that. Damn. That's fucked up. And we live there.
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.
[ profile] laurashapiro made a cool post about how her reading DW fic mirror her experience in the dS fandom which got me thinking about my own fandom experiences and then combining that with the other stuff I've been thinking about lately and led me right back to the days of Buffy fandom and the realization that Ten/Rose has become this weird mirror to the way I experienced B/A...and for many of the same reasons. Except this time the process has happened in reverse. And it all comes down to two things I posted about earlier...the way we talk about things in fandom affecting the way we watch, and my absolute loathing of Soulmates 4Evah 'shipping.

In both relationships you have a rather, er, vocal contigent of 4Evah 'shippers whose arguments...well, they make my skin crawl. With B/A, I didn't start watching the show until 5th season and had been heavily exposed to them before I saw the first three seasons. The end result was that the first time through I had a near allergic reaction to the pairing and a gut level response of DO NOT WANT to any hint of B/A discussion or fic. Then a couple things happened. First, I met and became friends with quite a few B/A fans who were not coming from the soulmate place, many of whom had cool things to say about the relationship and gave me an in to thinking about it in a different context. Second, Myrtle and I made a B/A vid which did even more to cause me to rethink the filter I was seeing them through, and that if you tilt your head this way...huh, something interesting to chew on there after all. Third, my love of threesomes and the practically built in one of Buffy/Spike/Angel meant I pretty much had to come up with some justifications for B/A I didn't hate since I don't OT3 without being able to back all three of the incoming relationships. End result? I went from running away screaming at the mere mention of B/A to the place I am now...while I wouldn't necessarily call myself a 'shipper, I am fascinated by the relationship and the ways it could work. I have even been known to read B/A fic where Spike wasn't anywhere nearby (I know! Me!) And when I rewatch earlier episodes now I find I actually (and I will deny this if you tell anyone)...well, sometimes I coo and go "awwwwww" at them.

Ten/Rose? Completely opposite trajectory. I watched series one and two of DW in total fannish bubble that consisted primarily of me, myself, and I. Before I started reading around fandom I thought they were freaking adorable together and while I was on the fence about romantic potential I was all over the fact that Rose and the Doctor loved each other. A lot. I loved that they did. I also thought they were doomed and kinda dysfunctional and I was fascinated by the way that played out. And then I cried and cried and cried and cried at Doomsday when the doom arrived. Given my history and the way I love to 'ship, I should've ended up jumping on that boat with both feet fannishly. Instead I ended up running smack into a wall of 4Evah soulmates. Like garlic to a vampire dude. Picture me cowering away from my computer screen muttering "nononononononoooooooo". I have a hard time even talking about Ten/Rose as a 'ship anymore without feeling a slight recoil even though it has nothing to do with what I saw on screen or my own perception of them as a pairing. Reading 'shippy fic about them is near impossible even when I want to because I'm flinching at the possibility it's gonna go down the soulmate road at any moment.

If I were a totally rational human being, I'd be able to include Ten/Rose in my 'ships on my terms regardless of how other people 'ship them. I think someday I will again once the fandom itself is less volatile and reaches that place where everyone sort of chills out and bonds. 'Cause dude...freaking adorable and dysfunctional and love and hugs. Just...not right now. I'm not that rational.

Obligatory disclaimer: This is my issue and I accept full responsibility for my own discomfort and have no expectations that anyone 'ship anything differently than they want to or that makes them happy. Seriously. I have no doubt that my love of any number of 'shipping conventions makes other people just as nuts as theirs make me.
fan_eunice: (Default)
( Jul. 24th, 2007 02:15 pm)
Still plague ridden. You know what would be really cool? To sleep for longer than an hour at a stretch before being woken up by dripping or rattling phlegm. Why, yes, I am a big whiny baby. Also, I completely forgot what day I was supposed to have the needle biopsy of my lumpy thyroid and I missed the appointment, so now I have to reschedule that.

Now that my slash seems to be temporarily broken and I've gone all hetshippery again I've been puzzling over why True Love 4Evah never really bothers me in slash but drives me absolutely nuts in het. I don't mean characters getting and staying together bugs me, but the idea that there is only one person who is the true and proper or even just best match in the entire universe. I loathe the word soulmate and everything it implies anywhere near my het.

As to the why, I figured it couldn't be that my general life philosophy is that there is no one single person for anyone, but that relationships are a matter of choice (and sometimes we make really good choices that keep us happy for the rest of our lives and that's cool, but the loss of one partner doesn't imply there isn't another one who is equally a good match in different ways out there). If it was just that it'd drive me to the same kind of frothing at the mouth when I encountered it in m/m slash and it doesn't.

And then I realized that it wasn't at all complicated, the why. It's that even in fantasy the idea that any woman would be forced to choose betwen one specific relationship, or any relationship for that matter, and settling for living an unfufilled life makes me want to stab things repeatedly. I cheered when we found out Buffy was off dating immortals and having a grand old time in Italy, and that her ending up with either Spike or Angel isn't a given. I will have to supress a desire to punch you in the face if you tell me you think Rose is off pining forever in the alternate universe and not figuring out there are plenty of adventures to be had and potential partners to canoodle and a life to be lived that's just as cool as what she may have had with a certain Time Lord. As much as I want Max and Logan to discover a way around that whole "touch me and die" thing they've got going on, the idea that they have to or Max will be forever unhappy leaves me depressed and cranky.

The, in the real world this sort of thing isn't expected of them, isn't supposed to be their one life goal that they pin all their exepectations for future happiness on, isn't drilled into them. They aren't supposed to wait around demurely or compromise themselves in order to land (and keep) one of these loathesome fantasies. So putting them in that position in fic, while not my favorite thing in the world and likely to cause me to roll my eyes, just doesn't push the rage button.

In conclusion, girls rock and any hint of a suggestion that they need a man in any way to be "complete" is stupid as hell.
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.
This is the part where you all whisper behind my back "Good grief is she still going on about Martha?" and start staging an intervention or something. Because yes, yes I am. Blame [ profile] taraljc for having interesting conversations at brunch that leave me rolling things around in my head that I need to write out to get a handle on.

Martha, The Doctor, and Rose )
fan_eunice: (emo time lord)
( Jun. 27th, 2007 05:00 pm)
I really should be finishing cleaning my house. Instead I'm (surprise) randomly thinking about Doctor Who. More specifically the Doctor's sex life, or lack of thereof. Yes, I know this is a topic that has been done to death...but hey, I'm new so I'm still working these things out in my head. And while I wholeheartedly approve of fannish created hot and dirty Time Lord porn involving any number of human characters, I waffle on the question of Doctor/Human, er, relations with the Doctor as presented to us on screen.

The presence of Jack tells us that cross-species romping in the Whoverse is, as a rule, really no big deal so that obstacle is off the table. Here's where I get stuck. What I can't quite reckon is does the Doctor view humans as a different species or a lesser species? If it's the second then the argument kind of ends right there for me and I imagine he views companions getting the hots for him the same way I do when my dog tries to hump my leg. Mildly annoying, but hey it's a's what they you shove them off but still buy special doggie treats and scritch them behind the ears 'cause they are cute and cuddly and you love them to bits anyway because they make good pets and friends. I might tell my cat that she's gorgeous and mean it, but then it doesn't exactly mean the same thing as if I say it to one of you, ya know?

Ah, but if it's the first then it's a whole 'nother can of worms. Technologically backward, shorter lived, or not as intelligent doesn't necessarily equal lesser, after all the Time Lords might have the advantage there but we have plenty of evidence that they could be right bastards and not at all lacking in flaws. Is the ability to see and manipulate the universe on the big scale better than being able to do the same on the small one...or just a matter of perspective? And granted, it's a difference in perspective that brings all sorts of other issues to the table about power balances and lack of understanding and all sorts of dodgy and painful questions...but it doesn't rule out the possibility that someone might try. Or at the very least have a moment of "OMG my companion(s) are kinda hawt...just the once then."

And thirdly, there is the possibility that he thinks of humans as lesser and is wrong. Or, I suppose fourthly thinks of them as different, not lesser and is wrong...which, wow you could write some really depressing and twisted fic on that theme in which the Doctor goes for it only to slowly realize that he's attributed equal status to and is having sex with what is essentially a pet. I don't think I'd want to read it, but you could.

So, a poll I guess.

[Poll #1011274]


fan_eunice: (Default)


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