Tag Archive | Fandom

Fun and thoughtful fandom links for your quarantine reading

Made my last outside-the-home trip for the foreseeable future, to Walgreens for meds and a couple other supplies. The shelves were out of thermometers…but on my way to the checkout I passed a couple of clerks discovering 4 of them from a box they just unearthed in the back. So I finally landed one.

(Didn’t feel feverish, but it was nice to have the numbers to back it up. Also, clocked in at a slightly lower temperature than what the Red Cross got last Tuesday, suggesting I was already ramping up to the obvious fever I had Wednesday. But, yeah, all good now.)

Day Job is closed until further notice. Fortunately, part of their emergency-closure protocol is that we all still get paid. Every employee in every job should have the right to that. And those of you staffing pharmacies and grocery stores deserve higher wages and hazard pay.

All links from weeks/months ago, with no current events whatsoever:

Jenny Nicholson really nails a lot of what I thought was weird about Frozen 2. (It’s pretty enjoyable anyway, but still.) Plus a pitch for an alternate version that would be a lot of fun.

“Hence the Fansplaining Shipping Survey, which we launched on April 2, 2019, and discussed in Episode #97, “The Shipping Question.” It ran until April 16th and ultimately attracted 17,391 respondents. […] You can read the questions, download the raw data under a CC BY 4.0 license, and explore the cleaned-up data through an interactive visualization. This is the first of several pieces we’ll write analyzing the results.”

“The Language that Gets People to Give: Phrases that Predict Success on Kickstarter.” (One of the lessons is, that title should say “buy”, not “give”. It’s not a donation, it’s a preorder!)

“The point of me recounting all of this is to try and illustrate how much of the current hostility over fan content probably stems from that loss of content control. The toxicity of the purity discourse has made it hard for some of us to look for the root cause.”

The survey asked for participants to indicate what [online social-media fandom] platforms they use/used from a given list, and also to indicate a date range (e.g., Tumblr 2006-2018). I parsed those date ranges in order to determine for a given platform how many of our participants were active in a given year. ”

This document is made with the intention of keeping track of the issues the community has with [SmackJeeves] as it stands, be it from what functions the site has (or lacks), to issues with loading the site. Anyone is free to add issues they’re aware of that aren’t listed already.”

Meet the genderqueer asexual who has cataloged over a thousand mostly-queer webcomics.”

I happened to go over and check, and reader, it must have been the Sale Charts Gods looking over me, because what did I find except Raina Telgemeier’s new book Guts at the very top of the chart. Not the graphic novel bestseller list, not the kids bestseller list. THE REGULAR OLD BOOK/BOOK BESTSELLER CHARTS, with 76,216 copies sold that week. Looks like that 1 million copy first printing was a good idea.”

“On The Subject of Noncon Fanworks”

An excellent essay about darkfic and sexuality (cw: author discusses her own trauma/abuse history). Centered on Sherlock fandom, though the general ideas apply no matter what characters you’re writing about.

I wanted to highlight this part:

If, instead of normalizing the existence of fics that portray noncon and underage, we make these themes taboo, if we pathologize them, if we require noncon works to be kept in a separate archive, if we insist that it be labeled with derogatory terms like “rapefic,” then what will happen is that writers who think that their work has “a bit of dubcon” in it will not tag it as such, in the hopes that it will fly under the radar and they won’t be banished to the leper colony with the filthy rapefic fans. This will have results that neither the responsible creators and consumers of noncon, nor the people who dislike it and categorically oppose it, want: that someone who doesn’t want to see noncon will see it.

I wrote the above paragraph close to a year ago, and my predictions are already coming true. I have seen noncon and underage fanworks being posted without appropriate tags and warnings. Some of these inadequately tagged fics are being posted by the same people who accused me and my fellow gender politics panelists of being rape apologists and pedophiles. The creators of these works defend them as being somehow different than the works the so-called rape apologists create, because they themselves were underage when they drew the fanart or wrote the fic, or because the work features the right” pairing, or the “right” kind of non-consensual situation, or because they don’t “eroticize” the noncon aspect, or because there’s a sufficient amount of comfort to offset the hurt, or for any number of other reasons.

It’s framed as a prediction, and maybe with respect to Sherlock fandom it is, but for fandom in general it’s nothing new. I remember wrestling with the same kind of cognitive dissonance more than a decade ago:

“Okay, I like stories where characters get hurt, but that’s a Bad Thing to enjoy. But I also like the emotional payoff when characters are rescued at the end! So when describing this, I should emphasize the rescue part. Imply that any scenes with pain and suffering are just a necessary evil on the way to the morally-acceptable payoff. Or, hey, maybe don’t mention the suffering at all.”

That mindset not only discourages people from warning for dark story elements, it stifles the general discussion about them, so that even if you want to warn, you can’t pick up the vocabulary to do it well.

I remember one fic of mine — it had a brief sex scene, and it was consensual, just incredibly unhealthy. Potentially very upsetting! And the only warning I put on it was a general sexual-content label. Partly because I was erring on the side of what looked more Morally Pure, but also because it was neither “non-con” nor “sex that is positive and affirming and healthy in every way” — and I didn’t have a handle on how to articulate the situations in between.

Fandom in general should be a place that helps people figure this stuff out, not a place where people get shamed and shouted down for trying.

Points of interest.

Diana Wynne Jones on the differences between writing for children and writing for adults, and why the latter isn’t as freeing as it sounds like it should be.

Turns out you can stream a lot of video on VLC. Awesome.

Maid cafes have their beefcake counterpart.

Seems the term “BNF” is much older than I thought. Here’s some meta on the subject (contrasting it with the now-defunct category of “Neofan”) from 1954.

Awesome natural stuff: Immortal jellyfish that age and regress and re-grow; artificial reefs made from things like subway cars; the world’s biggest known caverns, underground spaces large enough to hold a New York city block.

Congress Spotted Leaving Gay Nightclub. Aw, Onion.

A gathered history of Disney’s relationship with the Oz books, and all the failed projects along the path from getting the rights to actually putting something together.

Historically accurate interpretations of Disney Princess outfits. Shiny.

As long as it’s still January, so this isn’t too ridiculously late…

Who else is making fandom New Year’s resolutions?

I have two. First, to post general-type meta questions in my actual journal. My first impulse when I started turning over this post was to ask at fail_fandomanon, because that’s what’s been feeding my need for general panfandom discussion lately. Then it hit that, oh right, there’s no reason people would avoid talking about this kind of thing logged-in, and this is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been griping about Metafandom lacking these days. Be the change, if you’re not part of the solution, etcetera.

Second, to make every chapter of this fic I’m working on pass (a) the Bechdel Test and (b) the race!Bechdel Test. It has seven core characters (eight if you count the talking cat) and four of them are female, so the standard Bechdel pass was kinda going to happen whether I paid attention or not. On the other hand, they’re all white except for one. (Not counting the cat either way. Although it does have white fur.) So far there are enough POC secondary characters that it hasn’t needed any shoehorning, just a little extra planning.

(To forestall the usual Bechdel complaints: yes, it’s a simplistic mechanical test; no, it isn’t a guarantee of non-failyness; no, it isn’t going to strike a blow For Great Social Justice. I’m mostly just doing it to see if I can.)

Haven’t broken either resolution yet — but then, it is still January. (It is, right? Good. *hits post, quick*)

Happy 2011!

I’ve come to the conviction that nobody actually manufactures New Year’s commemorative spectacles or paper hats. They spring forth fully formed once any given party is in full swing, in a kind of celebratory parthenogenesis.

(Note to well-meaning and increasingly-more-tipsy fellow bar patrons: A person can be reading a book without being tense, or failing to enjoy themselves. And if you think I didn’t dance at all, you obviously weren’t paying attention while Lady Gaga was on.)

I seriously considered doing that year-in-review fic meme that’s going around. Then I considered the length of time it would take to go through everything posted in (the fic journal’s new name) last year and count the words and evaluate the relative merits of first lines. Then I considered scrapping the whole idea and drawing sexy fanart instead. You can see how that turned out.

Over at ff_a, people are wishing each other Happy New Year in as many languages as possible. They’re up to 32 as of this posting.

Dictionary.com tells me that a Scottish term for New Year’s Eve is Hogmanay. This pleases me.

Happy new year, everyone! May your days be merry, your sorrows be small.

meta: fandom

How the standardizing of the Tokyopop manga format redefined the whole category of “manga” on US shores.

Nobody Ever Admits They’re A BNF – it is ridiculous how true this rings.

A frankly glorious reminiscence about the dawn of fandom on the Internet, with five pages of commenters waxing nostalgic about the days when Altavista ruled search and everyone was on mailing lists.

On the other hand, a program from a slash con in 1993 demonstrates that, even before the Internet, fandom was pretty much exactly the same. (Panels on hurt/comfort, inter-fic plagiarism, fannish racism and misogyny, and, yes, the ethics of RPF.)

Speaking of RPF – people were writing it in the ’70s for teen celebrity magazines…and getting paid for it. Sexy shirtless illustrations included.

And, looking forward on a depressing note: A federal appeals court ruled that the FCC cannot impose net neutrality. In other words, Internet providers can restrict your access to whatever they choose (in this case, Comcast wants the authority to block its subscribers from using BitTorrent). This…is not promising.

New favorite word: “kakistocracy.”

The Obamas are the first First Couple young enough that they grew up with Sesame Street. Our President geeks out over Elmo, you guys.

(Also, he is never gonna give you up.)

BriWi has a music series. It’s called BriTunes. His message on the intro page, rather wisely, says “I didn’t name this thing.”

Iran protests, then and now: a three-decade gap, two photos, one bridge.

A few examples of how racial bias is a factor even in situations like “colorblind” application processes.

An artist turns a skin disorder (her skin immediately puffs up whenever it gets scratched) into really cool photographs.

Somebody needs to get Jon Stewart this tie.

Thoughts on creating a fandom will. It’s a good idea. (I will probably never get around to it, but it’s still a good idea.)

And, to end on a shiny note: Jai always makes the most gorgeous icons.