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.
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)
( Sep. 27th, 2007 03:23 pm)
Seen and ganked from all over the place. Cut tagged to spare those people on my f'list who are all "dude, I wish she'd just SHUT UP about Doctor Who already"

the who 'ship meme )
fan_eunice: (KITTEN)
( Sep. 23rd, 2007 06:12 pm)
There are days when I am pretty sure I'm watching an entirely different show called Doctor Who than the one other people see. Like, maybe my copies are from an alternate universe? Or I'm inhabiting an entirely delusional bubble of some sort. Which, I've decided that's okay. I love my show. Mine is the one with the time traveller who has a big giddy crush on the entire human race and wanders about the universe getting in and out of trouble and is wonderful and flawed and sometimes has Big Emo Trauma issues, and species misunderstandings that cause him to mess up, but he's glorious just the same. And there's this whole group of amazing, strong, beautiful women (and some men) that he has loved, and more that he will love, and every single one of them has something unique and precious to offer, and I love them too. He's going through a rough patch right now, my Doctor, and sometimes I want to shake him 'till his teeth rattle, 'cause it doesn't work, trying not to love them as much as he does, he loves anyway, and it just means they leave sooner. They all leave, all of them, one way or another. But, oh, don't they just shine in that brief moment he gets to have them.? I can't see less love, limited love as the solution here. I can't. I won't. Doctor/Companion in all it's various permutations and complex, messy glory. That's my 'ship, and sometimes I want to see that as romantic, and sometimes I don't, and the show I watch lets me do it either way. 'Cause it's bigger than that. So much bigger. I think I'll keep my show, even if maybe I'm just watching it wrong. It makes me happy.
fan_eunice: (emo time lord)
( Sep. 10th, 2007 09:35 am)
I was talking with [ profile] pipsqueak the other day about how much the current state of the 'ship tension in Doctor Who fandom reminds us so much of The Really Ugly Years of Buffy fandom (wanna see my scars? Adored Angel, loved Riley, Spuffy 'shipper, *and* a Spike/Angel slasher, *and* a Buffy/Spike/Angel OT3 'shipper...there was a time I couldn't go *anywhere* without being hated by someone).

Which led to me cracking myself up this morning trying to place all the players in terms of 'ship identity (not personalities or character, though that might be fun to do). So, if, in relationship terms only, Doctor=Buffy and Rose=Angel and Martha=Riley....does this mean Donna will be Spike?
fan_eunice: (emo time lord)
( Aug. 6th, 2007 08:42 pm)
Dear LJ,

My girlfriend is a batchipper. It was just an innocent trip to Target with my [ profile] merryish. But then on the car ride home I found out she's all hearts and flowers true love 4EVAH Doctor/Rose. I'm pretty sure this is in direct revenge for the Richie thing. You should be proud of me though. I was very, very good and managed to smile and everything (okay, it was a grimace but it was *close* to a smile) when I heard all about the little house where they will live happily forever after with the TARDIS in the garage and a white picket fence. I did not even try to leap out the window. See how supportive I am? I think I should totally win girlfriend of the year award. And I'm not even going to back out on my promise to try and like Alec more, even though I could and be totally justified.

But really it's all okay, 'cause she said she'd totally understand if I ran off and left her for David and Sophia. I had to agree to her running off with Jared and Jensen in return, but I think that's a fair thing to ask.

And then she dared me to let LJ know I was dating the enemy. Let this be a warning to you all. Sure that fangirl is really cute, but you just NEVER KNOW do you?
[ 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.
fan_eunice: (KITTEN)
( Jun. 29th, 2007 06:22 pm)
Oh fandom, why do you hate me so? Once upon a very long time I go I had the joy of being a Spike fan and Spuffy 'shipper who adored Angel and was strangely fascinated by Buffy/Angel, and thought Spike/Angel was ten kinds of hawt. There was a period of fandom in which I think there were very few places I could go to share any one of these things without at least one of the others being called horrible names. We won't even mention the fact that I *heart* Riley.

*peers at Doctor Who fandom*

*whimpers and has flashbacks*

I'm just here for the hugging people! The hugging! Someone hug me?


fan_eunice: (Default)


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