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I'm in hibernation mode, I think, I'm so sleepy all the time. All that cold can't be good for the soul. Where's global warming when you need it? And will push-up bras ever go away again? Picked up fingerless gloves (for work, *sigh*; early 18th century building, high ceiling, impossible to heat) at H&M, though.

And I feel so very blah about writing at the moment. My mind is like... something sticky and very, very slow moving? I'm even running out of metaphors. I'll type a couple of sentences, a paragraph, and then start wondering if whatever I've written is 1) even English, and 2) worth writing about, at which point it either gets deleted, or joins the other 'unfinished'-tagged entries.


Oh, and Merlin. As long as I was watching shows on (German or Austrian) TV, I always was anything from a year to... a lot longer than that behind everyone else; spoilers? *sarcastic laughter*. In fact S2 Torchwood, S4 DW and Merlin were the first shows where I followed fandom and fanish debates, squeeing and wanking in real time. So it's still kind of weird to see the adorable slashy little show that only a handful of people were watching, but that kind of got under your skin despite yourself and then suddenly turned out out to be surprisingly good and you found yourself writing meta even when you thought you never ever would, suddenly on the way to become the Next Big Thing, and watching or not watching suddenly becoming a question of ethics and whatnot...

On that note, I think I also just realised why I'm completely unsuited for fandom. With very few exceptions canon is canon is canon in my mind, and that's what mainly interests me about a show. There is no independent version of Jack or Ianto or... say, Harry Potter, in my head that's better or deeper or more complex or more whatever-it-is-that-people-are-(allegedly)-looking-for. And if it's complexity that they want, why do they so often disregard whatever complexity is already present in the source material? Why does (e.g.) so much of the Torchwood fanfic - oh, all right, admittedly this is a bit of a wild generalisation since I have given up looking for good fanfic a while ago, so everyone please feel free to prove me wrong and point out what I've been missing - fall back on clichès and simplify rather than complexify or explore? On the whole, the more I like a show, the less I'm interested in the fanfic, and vice versa, to the point that the fandoms where I read the most fic are those where I've only seen a few episodes, or am not familiar with the source material at all.


And I simply refuse to panic or even worry about the future of livejournal at this point. Granted, economic crises and all that, but I've simply seen this whole The End Is Near! thing one time too often.


Eh. Russian homework to do, which I'm not allowed to feel blah about.

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
rivier
Jan. 8th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
You probably won't be surprised that I agree with you on all of this, most emphatically of all on the essential integrity of the canon of any fandom. If the canon allows for - or deliberately creates - spaces to be filled by the audience, then I'll do that (in my head or by fic). If the canon includes things I feel uncomfortable about, I'll work with them insofar as they don't break my enjoyment. So, for example, though it took me a while to reconcile the Season One Torchwood's relationship angst, with Ianto in the end so clearly and helplessly entranced, and Jack perfectly truthfully able to declare to Real!Jack that there was no-one else in his life at that moment... I DID reconcile it! They weren't equals in the relationship then, such as it was. Which, indeed, is why Owen's barbs were able to provoke such an atypically passionate reaction from Ianto.

And if the season Two canon had continued with a sexually interested but emotionally indifferent Jack, and a doggedly besotted doormat Ianto - I guess my interest in the show would have waned somewhat, because that relationship in particular fascinates me so much, and I would find a passive, victim-y Ianto considerably less appealing than the clearly complex but reasonably self-interested young man we do have by the end of the season.

If canon itself is the thing in a fandom that's harshing your pleasure, I've never understood the logic of stomping right through it and creating something which is no longer fanfiction in the sense that I understand it. There is room for an AU which essentially plays intelligent what-ifs with the characters and circumstances as we commonly understand the,. But not so much, for me, in either the kind of rewriting which changes substantial aspects of character (Gwen seducing Jack, say) or that which transplants characters into an entirely un-canon universe (Jack and Ianto as two librarians on Saturn, say). If what you crave is librarians on Saturn, either find a fandom where you can take the canon there without losing sight of the point of origin, or write your own universe!

And ITA on not panicking over lj, either. People seem mad keen to throw up their hands in horror on the evidence of a half-mangled Chinese whisper these days. Oddness.
solitary_summer
Jan. 9th, 2009 12:16 am (UTC)
Sometimes I think this might have something to do with the whole Death of the Author thing, which (IMO) too many people seem to take as an excuse for sloppy reading and simply not paying attention to the text as a whole, and instead take the bits they like and forget about everything else. Which is an attitude that personally I don't understand because for one thing I tend to find authors interesting, and for another not all interpretations are equally valid - especially not those that blithely ignore context and whole parts of canon.


The one time I came close to almost apologising to myself and everyone else that I was still watching the show every time I wrote about it was with Andromeda, but even then it was the premise of the show itself and the relationship between the characters that kept me fascinated - that is, until it got so bad that I finally stopped watching.

fpb
Jan. 8th, 2009 06:45 am (UTC)
I think you will find that if you read my HP and Buffy fanfics, there is no need to alter anything to write rather good stuff.
solitary_summer
Jan. 9th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
I haven't read any HP fanfiction at all after HBP and really most of it in the hiatus between GoF and OotP - after that it became such a closed canon with such a strong author's voice that I simply lost interest...
fpb
Jan. 9th, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
Well, have you read mine?
shardsofblu
Jan. 8th, 2009 07:08 am (UTC)
I'd have to say WORD on everything here, especially that part about disregarding a show's own canon and complexity. Involvement in fandom should be fun and enjoyable to oneself first and foremost, I know many others have said this before anyway, but I just don't see any point to keep on watching something that doesn't give you any of that anymore.

It's also highly irritating to see some people who continually and dramatically proclaiming to the world on just how much they hate this show, and yet still tunes in every week anyway. I don't mind comparisons of these shows being like a drug addiction, but it's just offensive and plain disturbing when they're done in actual seriousness.

...you found yourself writing meta even when you thought you never ever would, suddenly on the way to become the Next Big Thing, and watching or not watching suddenly becoming a question of ethics and whatnot...

I first got into the show simply because someone of my flist keeps posting fun cracky stuff about it and I always need more. ;) But since my first episode was actually The Beginning of the End, the show started out as dark and serious enough for me to have thinky thoughts about it. Merlin has quite the right balance of being genuinely entertaining and having depth so far and I hope they keep that up.
solitary_summer
Jan. 9th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
There have been a couple of fandoms (most notably Andromeda) where I came close to prefacing every post with 'I don't know why I keep watching, but...', but it was still something about the show itself that kept me fascinated, and when that disappeared I simply stopped watching, which seems the logical course of action, but apparently not to everyone.


Merlin has quite the right balance of being genuinely entertaining and having depth so far and I hope they keep that up.

I hope so, too. I'll admit what bugged me a bit about that post about how people shouldn't migrate into Merlin fandom wasn't so much the pointing out of race and gender issues (I can definitely see where she's coming from there, even if I think she exaggerated a bit), but the general insistence about how it's bad tv and the only thing that might make it watchable is the slash factor, because I've heard that too many times about Torchwood already, where it isn't true, either.
shardsofblu
Jan. 10th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC)
...how people shouldn't migrate into Merlin fandom wasn't so much the pointing out of race and gender issues...

I have to admit that I haven't come across the post you're referring to (do you still have the link?) but it does remind me of this awesome one: http://mskatej.livejournal.com/206217.html

...the only thing that might make it watchable is the slash factor, because I've heard that too many times about Torchwood already, where it isn't true, either.

*nodsnods* I'm a very active fan of SV and while I freely admit that it's certainly not the best-written shows around, with continuity problems and plot holes big enough to drive a car through -- I still don't think it's fair to say that the ONLY good thing about it is the pretty cast.
solitary_summer
Jan. 11th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
This post. (Resonse. More discussion.) Part of it seems to be motivated by the fact that she doesn't want writers to migrate from SGA fandom to Merlin, which kind of undermined the point she was trying to make. And part of it is simply based on assumptions, because we have no idea yet how killing (assuming she's really dead) Nimueh will affect Merlin. I may be wrong, but I suspect in S2 there might be an arc where magic becomes not just flowers and fluffy kittens and protecting the people he loves for him, but something a bit more dangerous and ambivalent.


I admit I haven't watched SV past S5, mostly because it was getting to the point where Lex's arc became too painful to watch (How much will it break my heart if I do go on?), but I completely agree, it always had very good bits beside the... less good ones.
shardsofblu
Jan. 11th, 2009 07:46 am (UTC)
Ah. Now I see what might have prompted this post that I commented on yesterday, when it got linked in the SV newsletter. :p But in response to the original post itself, the examples she raised to make a point about Merlin being a misogynistic show are inaccurate at best. I mean, Uther is just as unhinged as Nimueh is when it comes to magic. Merlin is just as dark and morally ambiguous as Morgana is. Gaius can be very apathetic and disregarding of his culpability. Arthur is very much a strong character, but at certain times still needs someone to give him that final push to do the right thing, which is Morgana herself for most of the time. And it's Gwen who has been unequivocally portrayed as the moral touchstone of story so far.

There's quite enough complexity for all of Merlin's characters to appreciate their motivations and course of actions, whether we agree with the show's execution or not. Sometimes I think the cry fouls at a show being misogynistic is just a little too often that I can't seem to take the arguments without thinking there's another whole agenda behind them, like in the post I've referred to in my previous response.

Yeah, Smallville can be crazy painful and not in a good way too. S3 is probably the only season I'd never watch again. They went way overboard with trying to woobify Lex, and it ended up serving no one. But in the later seasons, I think they've gotten their act together somewhat -- making him completely cold, competent and leaving no room for doubt that he's in full control of his faculties and conscience at the same time. And I can appreciate that.


Edited at 2009-01-11 07:47 am (UTC)
solitary_summer
Jan. 11th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
I'm ready to believe almost everything anyone says about fandom and its internalised misogyny, because I've seen it in myself, to an extent. It used to be so much easier to identify or empathise with the male characters than the women - I still have no real idea (although maybe a few vague theories) why.

What does it even take for a male character to be really disliked by fandom or even criticised to the extent female characters are all the time - especially if he's pretty?
shardsofblu
Jan. 12th, 2009 05:26 am (UTC)
What does it even take for a male character to be really disliked by fandom or even criticised to the extent female characters are all the time - especially if he's pretty?

The million dollar question. I don't know much about how it goes in fandoms other than SV, but it's enough to last me a lifetime.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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