sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Thing One: Why is "Ray" such a popular name among things that people get fannish over? It's not a particularly common name in real life -- at least, I've never personally met anyone named Ray -- and yet I count at least four fandoms with Rays, for a total of five Rays. Probably there are more, too, that I just haven't run across yet....

(Due South: Ray Vecchio and Ray Kowalski
Bandom: Ray Toro
Generation Kill: Ray Person
Pros: Ray Doyle
Other fandoms: ????)


Thing Two: ...so I now have a new winner in kudos out of fics I have written. The Swoodilypooper fic finally beat out the Inception fic. DUDE. The Inception fic? Is of a reasonable length, fits relatively well with fandom's usual interests, and is, I believe, one of my better-written fics. The Swoodilypoopers fic? I dashed it off in, like, half an hour. But now it has more kudos, and a FAR better hits-to-kudos ratio. A testament to the powers of nerdfighteria? A testament to the degree that John Green himself is invested in the marriage of Bald John Green and Other John Green? Both? :D


Thing Three: You know what is always weird? When there is a song you sang in choir ages ago and you've never heard it outside of choir so the only part you're really familiar with is your part. So when you hear the melody on its own years later you think to yourself, "The tune is ALL WRONG." Because CLEARLY the tenor part is the tune, amirite? *headdesk*

(Yes, I am a lady and I sing tenor, SO THERE.)

(well actually sometimes I'm alto and sometimes I'm tenor, because tenor goes just a little too low for me to sing comfortably, and alto goes just a little too high. My voice does not map onto the traditional parts-divisions. It is kind of annoying. I just wanna sing in choirs!)

(all else aside though, I am glad I do not sing soprano, because hearing how harmonies fit in is just really cool and I get to do much more of that as a non-soprano because sopranos almost always get the melodies. Harmonizing is exciting!)

(now I'm trying to think of what song it was that PROMPTED me to think of this all, and I cannot remember it for the life of me. All I can remember is that the tune did something complicated across the first page-turn and we spent AGES hashing it out.)
sophia_sol: Photo of Gerard Way with arms like \o/ (Bandom: Gerard: \o/)
...DUDE. I just realized I haven't really posted about bandom for like TWO WEEKS. Hah, no, this does NOT mean my obsession has abated at all. I'm just...slowing down on New Exciting Things I need to share? Or something. At the very least, I'm getting over how ~amazed~ I am at how amazing everything about bandom is. (For example, the fact that Gerard Way gives me all the feelings is not news. And everything I read about him, whether him the actual person or him the fictional character, just gives me further feelings. But I'm mostly not actually surprised by this anymore. (mostly.))

So have some bandom Things!

Thing One: Today I discovered that since having read this excellent fic about Panic's song Nine in the Afternoon, the song is no longer a cheerful song for me. Huh. Apparently it was a very convincing fic!

Thing Two: The other day I successfully recognized a Cobra Starship song on the radio! I was very proud of myself. Operation: Learn Popular Music is at least partially successful!

Thing Three: So now I like at least one Gym Class Heroes song, as I continue to spread my acquisitive gaze further and further across bandom. I'm not a fan of all their stuff, though. I listened to Stereo Hearts and was like DUDE UNEXPECTEDLY AWESOME, and then I listened to Cupid's Chokehold and was like, I guess that's okay, and then the next two songs I tried were both songs where I did not appreciate the portrayal of women. So I gave up. But I actually and genuinely love Stereo Hearts. And this is not a genre of music that I ever thought I would enjoy! So that's kind of mindblowing.

Thing Four: Have some bandom recs! Because I like to share the love! (and yes, the fic I mentioned in Thing One is also a rec. You should read it too!)

Timê, by [livejournal.com profile] airgiodslv. William/Gabe. AU, historical, set during five different time periods. In which William and Gabe have a long-standing musical competition, and everything about it is amazing zomg.

O Canada, by [archiveofourown.org profile] emilyenrose. Patrick/Fraser. Due South crossover. In which Pete finds Canada in Chicago, and I die laughing. (alas, this one is very short. I dearly wish I could read the whole story of what would happen after this!)

Don't Fear the Reaper, by [livejournal.com profile] dancinbutterfly. Gerard/Frank, but mostly about Gerard. In which Gerard meets Death, and this fic is just a world of lovely.

Making Other Plans, by [archiveofourown.org profile] skoosiepants. Mike Carden/Kevin Jonas. Disney RPF crossover. In which Kevin quits showbiz, gets a divorce, goes to college, starts a band, and gets adopted by crazy people, and I can't stop grinning for the awesome.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Okay so I'm not caught up on Doctor Who yet which is a tragedy but apparently my deep love of bandom fic transcends my ability to make myself stay in one place for long enough to watch Doctor Who, I DON'T EVEN KNOW. Because DOCTOR WHO. It is my ONE TRUE TV LOVE.*

WHATEVER. I'll be all over that tomorrow. Just you wait, Doctor Who, I am coming for you.

But this post is about something different!

By which I mean even more bandom things!

(I can't even. Every time I'm at my computer for more than like five minutes I find myself clicking back over to my "things to post" gdoc and adding yet more rambly thoughts about bandom because I have all these thoughts. Also feelings.)


Thing One: There is a picture from a My Chem photoshoot wherein Frank is holding a puppy. And do you know why Frank is holding a puppy? Because everyone was grumpy and didn't want to be doing a photoshoot, so Gerard left and CAME BACK WITH A PUPPY. To make them smile. IS THAT NOT THE MOST ADORABLE THING EVER?

(and I'm not even talking about the puppy here. GERARD. THAT IS WHAT IS ADORABLE.)


Thing Two: You know what is a mindfuck? Reading bandom fic and then accidentally going back too far in someone's fic tag and seeing their old posts about Due South and getting super confused over the references to Ray. Because CLEARLY Ray is a part of bandom. And then I'm like OH RIGHT DUE SOUTH HAS TWO RAYS OF ITS OWN.

Which means! I've already read the fic where Gerard is Fraser's illegitimate son. And I've got definite intentions to read the epic bandom/Due South fusion because I fully believe it will be amazing. But there totally needs to be fic about the three Rays. I'm just saying.


Thing Three: Um. So. Totally not into incest, right? But. Apparently, as long as the fic treats it as creepy and wrong, in the context of lots of creepy and wrong, I am capable of enjoying it? Like. The Gerard/Mikey serial killer au ficlet? I am ALL OVER THAT. Whyyyyyyyyy, self?

(also. I had heard about that concert with Gerard and Mikey and Mikey's chest but my memories deceived me into believing it was about Gerard fondling Mikey's chest. And then I was reminded, with video evidence, that IN FACT Gerard unzipped Mikey's jacket and licked his chest. WHAT EVEN, GERARD WAY. DO NOT ACTUALLY WANT.)


Thing Four: I only just recently realized that not!fic as a thing is actually largely a bandom thing. I mean, I have previously seen things like "here is a story that I am not writing", and then a brief synopsis or scene or snipped or something, but those are not very common. But in bandom, not!fic has become codified as a thing of its own right and it is everywhere. Enough so that I picked up on the total normality of it and wrote and posted some myself without even realizing the inherent bandom-ness of it.

But I kind of love the idea of not!fic as a thing that people do and that people enjoy, because it's a way more low-stress way of putting your stuff out into the world, so it's great that this way of doing things isn't, like, looked down on or anything. <33333 bandom for running with it so hard.



*no seriously. ONLY TV SHOW EVER which I am actually capable of keeping up with the canon for. I still sometimes can't believe that I have actually watched five and a half whole seasons of it. Because that never happens to me.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I think part of the reason I am babbling about bandom so much here (god, I have babbled so much about bandom here, and this is only a small fraction of the babbling I am doing in my head) is that I can't babble to Essie, because RPF is not a thing she is comfortable with and I am ~trying to restrain myself~ (and, um, not always succeeding SORRY ESSIE I AM DOING MY BEST I JUST HAVE ALL THESE FEELINGS).

SO HAVE MORE BANDOM BABBLING.


Thing One: Dude. DUDE. So yesterday evening I had the vague thought (when I was bookmarking a Patrick/Bob fic and thinking to myself "oh look another pairing to add to my list", and then it turned out I already had four Patrick/Bob fics bookmarked) to check just how many bandom ships I have bookmarked so far. And I was at 104. ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR different ships! And this number is only going to go UP, I am perfectly sure! This is ridiculous. But all of the ships are awesome. I CAN'T EVEN. (today I read epic-length Frank/Gerard/Grant Morrison. I don't even know who Grant Morrison is besides Some Important Dude In Comics, and I don't care, because the fic was awesome.)


Thing Two: AHAHA, every single time I listen to FOB's Folie a Deux, and the opening few seconds of "I Don't Care" start playing, I think to myself, "ooh, I really like this! I should go see what song it is, so I can remember!" and then I switch over to iTunes and headdesk because RIGHT. THIS ONE. I ALREADY KNOW I LIKE THIS ONE. (I do the same thing with the line "I wanna scream I love you from the top of my lungs, but I'm afraid that someone else will hear me" -- YES OKAY IT'S "The (Shipped) Gold Standard" I SHOULD GODDAMN KNOW THAT ALREADY)


Thing Three: Every time the opening of "Sing" on MCR's Danger Days starts up, my brain interprets it as the opening of the Due South theme song. EVERY TIME. Even after SIXTEEN TIMES of listening to the cd. I can't even judge anymore whether the openings of the two songs are actually at all similar, or if my brain is just making mad connections of its own, but I CANNOT HEAR ANYTHING ELSE.


Thing Four: Okay, I just checked my bandom tag, and apparently I've only actually posted about bandom 15 times, and the first post was like a month and a half ago, so that's not really THAT much. Or maybe it is a lot. I DON'T KNOW. Anyways. I've been in bandom for A MONTH AND A HALF. DUDE. It does NOT feel like it's been that long! I still feel as much in the early obsessive stages of fandom love as if it were only a few days ago. BANDOM: APPARENTLY IT'S MY NEXT BIG THING, GUYS.

Maybe it's just a, mmm, a summer thing? Last summer I picked up Highlander, and the summer before that was Due South, and the summer before THAT was Man from UNCLE, and -- okay, SGA wasn't the summer before that, SGA was in the middle of winter, but SGA was the fandom that started all this so it's allowed to be pattern-breaking. (and Doctor Who was -- well, the summer before the summer before that.) And these fandoms are more or less a Greatest Hits list for me. I THINK I MIGHT HAVE A PATTERN, is what I'm saying.
sophia_sol: black and white drawing of a man playing guitar beneath some trees, with text saying "Stan Rogers in the yard again" (C6D: Stan Rogers: in the yard again)
Oh look, finally more podfic! I recorded this one, um, well before Christmas, I think? But then I didn't have the time to do the editing, and I put it off, and put it off, and now finally I have completed it!

Fic: Katabasis
Author: [personal profile] aria
Reader: [personal profile] sophia_sol
Fandom: Due South
Pairing: Fraser/Kowalski
Length: 1:24:27
Summary: "I talked to your dad, I went through this place called the Borderland, I had a boat ride, I fed a wolf a doughnut, and I told stories for your soul," Ray interrupted. "This does not mean you are not insane."

Download at Sendspace
Download at the archive
Download podbook version at the archive, courtesy of cybel
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (DS: Ray: inside I'm a poet)
Dear lord. Okay. I was listening to Johnny Clegg and Savuka/Johnny Clegg and Juluka today while cleaning my room, and actually sort of listening to the lyrics for once. And a song came on, and I stopped dead in my tracks and went, DUDE, that song is SO about Fraser and Victoria. Because it was. And then out of curiosity I went online and started looking at the lyrics for the rest of their songs, and um, apparently they really like themes that are relevant ALL MY FANDOMS, because probably half their English songs could be EASILY interpreted in light of them. Six Highlander songs, five Doctor Who songs, three Inception songs, three Due South songs, and one each about The Man from UNCLE, The Sentinel, and Sherlock Holmes. DUDE.

JOHNNY CLEGG I ALREADY LOVED YOU A LOT AND NOW I LOVE YOU MORE.


My list, for my own future reference )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Thing One: Teehee. This evening I was visiting my Supernatural-loving ex-housemate, and I hadn't seen her since before the end of Season 5, so of course I had to get her to update me on all the lolarious things that happened at the end of the season. And lolarious it was. THAT SHOW. OH GOSH. I kind of adore it from my careful outside-the-fandom not-watching-it position. It is just SO GREAT. All about the brothers' MANLOVE, and their ANGST WITH MANPAIN, and their ANGER AT RELIGION. With bonus Castiel-the-angel calling someone "assbutt". YEAH.

I absolutely could not watch the show and enjoy it (I have seen bits of episodes and that is ENOUGH FOR ME. I will just watch the clips my ex-housemate points me to as being particularly hilarious, and stop with that), but hearing about it from an inside source who simultaneously loves it and finds it hilarious? Basically my ideal relationship with the show.

Once the new season starts again, she promises to send me emails each week updating me on what's going on, and I look forward to it muchly.

(Oh! Also! That show just LOVES TO BE AS META AND FOURTH-WALL-BREAKY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. Spoilers for Season 5 finale )

Thing Two: Also, this evening I acquired the first season of Farscape. WOOHOO! Do not have time to begin it right now (the schoolwork! It overwhelms! Already!) but I am SUPER-EXCITED for it! (Man, after all this build-up I'm creating for myself before beginning to watch Farscape, if I find myself not hugely a fan of it that would SUCK)

Thing Three: Getting back to work on my Delicious Organization Project means coming across links that I bookmarked a year ago, and getting seduced into reading them, and remembering things like HOW MASSIVE MY LOVE FOR DUE SOUTH IS. SRSLY. SO MASSIVE. THAT SHOOOOOOW. <333333

Thing Four: Have I always been THIS CAPSLOCKY? It is kind of ridiculous.

(shh, it is a secret, but I never actually use the capslock button when I am doing caps. I press the shift. Even when the words involve things like apostrophes, for which I have to carefully release the shift for that one keystroke. Is this weird? Do most people genuinely use the actual capslock key? I just can't do it, because I hit the shift key AUTOMATICALLY when a letter is supposed to be capitalized, which makes it UNcapital under the influence of capslock, and then EVERYTHING IS WRONG.)

Thing Five: Huh. It is very interesting to read for the first time a book that is so much in the public consciousness as Robinson Crusoe. I mean, who doesn't know about Robinson Crusoe's man Friday, whom he discovers exists when he sees a footprint upon the beach? But to read the actual novel, these events happen rather differently than one might expect. He discovers the footprint, and is immediately hugely fearful! He is afraid it is the devil, or perhaps cannibals, or perhaps savages, and he hides himself away and he increases his fortifications and he places cannons around his protective walls! After fifteen years alone, his immediate reaction upon knowing he might meet another human being is fear? That is not a very optimistic view of humanity, Robinson!

Also, it takes more than TEN YEARS after seeing the footprint before he ever even meets Friday. And Friday isn't the only other person on the island; there's all sorts of cannibals/savages who come there occasionally, and Friday was originally a prisoner of them! In fact, the footprint was likely one of theirs, so Robinson was right in his instictive fear!
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
There's approximately ten million things that I want to be talking (...writing) about right now. This is the problem with being away from the internet for several days!

Thing One: To begin with, I was in Ottawa on Tuesday, and got to visit my oldest internet friend while there, and it was excellent. Of course.

But alas! Although we visited the Parliament buildings, and saw Mounties, I did not get a picture of myself with one, because by the time our tour was finished the Mounties had left for the day. *sadface* At least I got to see a statue of Dief? (he looked remarkably two-legged....)

Thing Two: Things that are hilarious: reading serious angsty fanfic, in which a city is put under martial law, and misreading "martian" for martial; watching the last episode of Sherlock with someone who hasn’t seen it yet, and getting to laugh at the expression on their face when they realize that yes, the episode ended there, like that; discovering that I'm actually incapable of leaving any list with only two points in it, because it feels incomplete.

Thing Three: if you are at all interested in both Sherlock and Doctor Who: THIS PICTURE. Anything I say would be superfluous.

Thing Four: I have discovered the best possible way of watching Buffy. See, I know that I do not have the staying power to keep myself watching for seven whole seasons of a tv show. But I want to watch Buffy. So! Combine this with my not-caring-about-spoilers and [livejournal.com profile] sentientcitizen’s having already watched all of Buffy, and we have the perfect solution. Whenever sentientcitizen and I are in the mood for watching something together, she just thinks through what episodes of Buffy she thinks I would enjoy, and we choose one and watch it together.

cut for a bunch of blather, including various Buffy spoilers )

Okay, imma stop talking about Buffy now...

Thing Five: Listening to music that I haven't listened to in a looong time is dangerous, because I start madly associating it with fandoms. I got TWO songs about Methos from one CD. (The CD is The Road To Santiago by Heather Dale. Cut for Highlander spoiler ) And "Hunter" is totally Methos/Duncan.)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (DS: Ray: inside I'm a poet)
Every now and then I start thinking about, if I were the sort of person to do vids, what songs I would vid with what fandoms? And I can say categorically that I am never going to get into vidding, so all it really means is that whenever certain songs pop up in my iTunes shuffle it makes me smile, because it makes me think of a fandom I love. And besides, it would be really hard to vid some of these anyways, so they're better just as mental images.

Good matches I've come up with over the last couple years )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Serious Academic Face)
I was studying this afternoon for an exam, and I had a sudden brainwave.

So there's the apocafic genre, in which an AU is written about the end of the world in whatever fandom. And I love it. But "apocalypse" doesn't actually mean "end of the world", it means "revelation". As in, something that has been revealed to you. Works in the apocalyptic genre usually take the form of a vision, or a journey to heaven, with various incomprehensible things and signs that usually get explained to you by an angel. They can be either spatial or temporal, meaning they can mainly focus on what the heavenly realm (or the underworld) is like, or they can focus on what the end of the age will be like.

And now I really want a literal apocafic, where, say, Daniel Jackson when he ascends gets a tour of the ascended realm by one of the other ascended beings, and the whole time he is just fascinated by it and keeps on making comparisons with the apocalyptic genre of literature, much to the frustration of his guide. Or where Fraser explores the whatever-realm-it-is that Dead!Bob is a part of, with Dead!Bob acting as his guide -- and, well, Fraser would probably ALSO be making the sorts of comparisons Daniel would be, though with less anthropology. Or even something in a fandom where the canon doesn't have something canonically heaven-like. It would be AWESOME.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (O'Neill's Dark and Stormy Mission)
Ohmygodohmygodohmygod I just found out about a DOGSLEDDING weekend I could go on in early March and it would be so so so awesome but it costs money I don't have! *cries a single crystal tear of anguish and emo*

(also it is the weekend right before a major essay is due so that would make it doubly a bad plan....)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I was sitting in class this evening, failing to keep my brain focused on what we were supposed to be learning (I mean, my PROF doesn't even like the dude we were studying in class today!), and my brain drifted in the direction of fandom. And it really connected with me for the first time that hey, my topic of study actually interacts with my fandom interests to a certain degree!

I'm in religious studies, which applies to fandom a lot less than some other degrees (literature, history, stuff like that...). But it means that when I DO come across a story that integrates religion into it in some interesting or relevant way, it makes me REALLY FRAKKING HAPPY (I'm such a religions nerd). Not enough fandoms or stories do this!

I mean, in most tv shows, the canon never bothers touching on the character's religion. It's just sort of assumed to most likely be the usual Western vaguely Christian Protestant thing without any actual caring about it. But in real life, religion is vastly important to a huge number of people! Religion has a huge influence on what a lot of people do and say, even if just in reaction AGAINST religion! (I could at this point take a long side-trip down the path of discussing various scholars of religion, and viewpoints that religion is inherent within humanity, and stuff like that. I could even tie it in to the class I was actually not entirely ignoring this evening! But you probably don't want to hear it. Mircea Eliade is confuuuuuuuusing.) It is a shame that so much TV avoids this! Of course, it's not entirely surprising, since religion is a topic that gets a LOT of people really up in arms. But still. TV shows do all sorts of other controversial things! Religion should't be left in the corner!

I found out the other day that one of the later episodes in Sports night, which I have yet to get to, features characters being Jewish, and actually participating in a Seder meal, and it being all relevant to the plot and the character arcs and stuff. And when I heard that I just about DIED of glee. It has reinvigorated in me a desire to actually watch to the end of Sports Night (I was shying away, because I knew about all the angst and drama that is to come, and I have a hard time dealing with angst). I just have so much love for the fact that Sports Night actually says something about (at least some of) the characters' religions.

In another example, I believe that The Sentinel's canon does say that Blair is Jewish, but then (tragically!) it goes nowhere with it. And actually, The Sentinel deals a fair amount with native Peruvian belief in the form of the idea of the sentinel, and Jim's spirit animal, and the Quechua shaman, but the show never approaches it from the perspective of religion, which is such a waste of marvelous possibilities!

Occasionally Christianity gets featured in some small way in a tv show, like that one episode of Due South that was about the faith-healer girl, but it's never shown as important to the main characters.

(as an aside, this makes me thing that, despite my knowledge of BSG as a Dark And Gritty Show (which doesn't overly appeal to me) I am rather tempted to watch it -- because religion IS important to the characters. Very important! It in fact drives much of the plot! Which is way cool to know it exists in one show, but really, I don't know if I can stand quite that much unrelenting Dark And Gritty.)

BUT. Where canon falls down on the job, it is fandom's job to step in, right? Right? Fandom fixes TV's habit of ignoring any iteration of sexuality that is not heteronormative. Fandom fixes TV's habit of glossing over the details of the characters' sex lives (which... I don't really need to see, actually, but fandom is still there to fill in the gap!). Fandom asks the interesting questions about gender roles and stereotypes. Fandom recentres the main point of the story on human relationships (which are, after all, so important to "the human condition", as my grade 12 English teacher would say) instead of meaningless action plots. And so, presumably, fandom is there to fill in the religious gap too.

Well, it is, but only very rarely. I occasionally come across a fic that actually deals with religious questions, and it makes me disproportionately happy. Sometimes I read fic where there's background religious content, and even that makes me ridiculously pleased. But most often, religion is ignored entirely. Even in shows that DO, in whatever small ways, engage with religion.

I've read fics that actually delve into what Blair's Jewishness means to him, and it is FASCINATING. I've read fics that make Ray V's hypothetical Catholic background important in his life, and I love it. I have read fics that try to figure out what religious background the main character might have, and it is amazing. I read an SGA AU fic that placed Rodney and John as Jewish students of the Torah, and it blew my tiny mind with glee at its existence. But all of this is a rarity among fic.

The sad thing is, I have never ever come across any other fans online with the same interest in religion, so there isn't even any way to perhaps find rec lists for fic to do with religion or anything. I'm left to go through fandom on my own and just hope to stumble across fics about religion.



Footnote: I recognize that there is probably fic out there written expressly for the purpose of trying to convey the Truth and Rightness of the author's religion, but I don't hang out in the parts of fandom where that would exist. And I don't count that to be fic about religion; it's proselytization in fanfic form.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Fraser/RayK Duet)
I don't even want to think about how late I'm up, but I just have to say: I have just been introduced to the joys of filk and it is beautiful. Listening to someone singing Northwest Passage with added slash? MAKES MY DAY.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Serious Academic Face)
I was thinking today about what it is that appeals to me about each of my fandoms. And for each one I would think that, well, this or that or the other thing is cool, but it's really all about the characters that I stick around. And theat then prompted another question in my mind: if the thing that appeals to me most in any given fandom is the characters, then why is it that the overwhelming majority of my fandoms are SFF? I mean, ALL shows have characters, and presumable there are many non-SFF shows that have interesting characters. And yet out of my current fandoms, only one of my main ten does not contain fantastical elements (that one being Man From UNCLE). I could with very little effort find a list of at least that many popular fandoms that take place ntirely in the mundane world, and yet I seem to have no interest in them. So. Why?

I suppose a part of it is that the fantastical elements add a measure of being-able-to-write-about-anything to the stories I read. It allows the characters to be placed in a much wider variety of situations. Except that doesn't really hold true for a number of my fandoms. For the most part Due South fic takes place as a cop drama in Chicago or as a romance story in northern Canada. The general surreality of the show might add some interesting set dressing, but the bare bones of the story are generally the same. And ditto with The Sentinel and most stories being set within the world of the Cascade PD.

Hmm. Interesting. I'm finding that this post is requiring me to invoke rather more Narrativium than I expected to make it work. I can't get any farther into my fandom-by-fandom analysis because it isn't really WORKING. So, okay, I guess my original premise must be flawed, and that as much as it might be the awesome characters I find myself interested by, there is some part of the SFF aspect that also attracts me.

Okay. In SGA, when writing, it's very handy to be able to just use a random Ancient artefact or off-world custom as a catalyzing incident. But that makes little difference to me as a reader. As a reader, one of the things I think I love most about SGA is the multiplicity of universes, and how thoroughly fandom has embraced them. There's AUs by the bucketful in every variety imaginable, and that's just so delicious to read.

In... oh, drat it all, I just really can't make this work. I don't KNOW what to say about most of my fandoms! Because really, when I think about them objectively, they don't NEED the fantastical elements to be awesome. Plenty of the really awesome stories in all my fandoms don't even make any use of the fantastical elements. So basically I'm sitting here clueless. I hate it when I'm unable to figure something out, but it looks like I'm not really succeeding here. It'll have to stay a mystery.

Ray vs Ray

Aug. 17th, 2009 10:18 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Fraser/RayK Duet)
Well, I didn't quite end up doing the research I mentioned at the end of my last post. I was totally going to rewatch some episodes of Due South, only I got distracted by shiny, shiny fanfic and ended up only watching one episode: Mountie on the Bounty. BUT! This turned out to be a highly useful episode to watch, AND the fanfic ended up being relevant for my research! Because, for the first time in my Due South experience thus far, I ventured into the realm of reading fic about Vecchio as well, as opposed to just pretending he didn't exist. And I discovered that in fanfic form he doesn't bother me NEARLY as much as on the screen. And in fact I REALLY ENJOYED a bunch of the fics I read about him. I even read Fraser/Vecchio slash and LIKED it! And Ray/Ray slash! I even read threesome.

So, interestingly, this only goes to further validate the theory I had.

When I took my first wobbly steps into Due South fandom, and found out there were two Rays and that people argued over them bitterly, I knew to the depths of my self-righteous heart that I wasn't going to be one of those people. I would be open! And accepting! And then I started watching Due South. I loved Kowalski, and Vecchio just annoyed me, and even after a good half-season he hadn't stopped annoying me. So, I figured, that was that. My tent was pitched on the Kowalski side of the battlefield.

But why did I have such strong and immediate reactions the way I did? There was very little sense to it, and it seemed clear from fandom that both Rays were perfectly likeable. So what was it about Vecchio that put me off so strongly?

I thought about it for a good long while, in my usual must-analyze-everything-about-myself style. And I realized something. It's about tone of voice. For some reason, every time Vecchio says anything he comes off to me as sounding supremely annoyed, and not in a "I love you but you're a freak" sort of way but in a "I can't believe I'm hanging out with you" sort of way. I mean, I KNOW that's not the case, given what Vecchio does in the course of the series. That's just the way his voice comes across to me. Kowalski on the other hand, does not come across that way. He spends much of Mountie on the Bounty (see, I told you it was useful!) very annoyed at Fraser, but somehow it's okay because he ALSO has moments where totally exuding the "I love you but you're a freak" vibe. And even the stuff in MotB is less "Oh god I hate you" and more Ray trying to come to terms with how freaky his life has gotten lately. And so he had his freakout over the course of the episode, but then he comes to terms with it, the Fraser-endangering-his-life-in-wildly-bizarre-ways thing. So Kowalski does not annoy me, even when he's acting pissy at Fraser too.

BUT. When reading fic, there IS NO TONE OF VOICE. Therefor it is possible for me to read Vecchio and not be annoyed by him, because the things he says and the things he does are all perfectly acceptable and interesting character traits when disassociated with the "Oh god you're so annoying" tone of voice. And therefor it is possible for me to really enjoy fic about Vecchio.

This makes me feel very happy -- I am vindicated! I am capable of being openminded about the Rays! Yaaay!

Only, y'know, I'm still fairly OTPish about Kowalski and Fraser. Just because I'm capable of liking Vecchio doesn't mean I like him as MUCH....
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Today as I was driving home from church, I saw in a parking lot two men walking by wearing military gear. And I had my usual reaction, which is an instinctive recoil. And immediately thereafter I realized how very much that my real-life feelings about the military differ from my fandom feelings, and weird it is for the two to be housed in the same mind.

See, I'm a member of one of the historic peace churches (to be specific, I'm Mennonite), which means I've been raised all my life to believe that violence is always wrong, that war is always wrong, that there is never an excuse for killing people. And the military trains up its members specifically FOR killing people. So it's no surprise that my instinctive reaction is a negative one. I see a person wearing camouflage and I immediately think less of them (I don't MEAN to, it just happens. It's an example of my prejudice at work, I know.... -- but I guess it's just a manifestation of my strong dislike of any sort of official sanction to kill people).

On the other hand, a goodly number of the fandom I'm a part of actively endorse a more militarized perspective on things, or at the very least they don't entirely condemn violence. The fandom I follow the most, SGA, has approximately all of its characters as either a PART of the military or working closely with it. It can't help but support the military's views on things. And indeed it doesn't: throughout the show, although some problems may be solved through less violent means, John and his gun (or other people and their various deadly weapons) are shown to be valued. People going and killing other living creatures is VALUED. The Atlanteans actively seek to kill the Wraith, to entirely and utterly destroy them, even though the Wraith are a species of highly intelligent, sentient, sapient beings, and even though there are examples of Wraith who aren't entirely negative (f'rinstance, I haven't gotten that far in my watching yet, but I hear rumours of a character named Todd who is actually a Wraith with nuance. Which proves that Wraith aren't just some evil faceless Big Bad. They've got feelings and motivations too).

And SGA isn't the only one.

Star Trek XI might exist in a universe where supposedly much of the bad and the violence has been eradicated from society, but that doesn't stop the movie from downright glamourizing fights and killing on occasion. Sulu fencing on the drilling platform, Spock sending his little ship to blow up the Narada and everyone on it (despite the fact that the vast majority of the crew likely didn't even 'deserve' to die!), etc.

Due South focuses mainly on the police force, where deadly violence is generally discouraged, but that doesn't stop the main characters from shooting guns at bad guys (and what are guns for but killing people?) -- heck, even Fraser who doesn't have a gun permit in the States gets at least one instance (that I can think of) of getting to use a gun.

The Man From UNCLE has all SORTS of violence going on, and although the main characters might usually use the "UNCLE Special" which merely knocks people out, it doesn't stop them from getting violent in other ways, and even using bullets on occasion.

Basically, all of my favourite fandoms support the exact opposite viewpoint of my real life one. And though I might cringe to see military or violence in real life, in canon or fanfiction when I see a favourite character doing something particularly badass I cheer them on. When Sulu kicks Romulan ass at swordfighting, I'm gleeful. When Ray Kowalski threatens to kick someone in the head I think it's funny. When the Atlanteans manage to blow up Hive Ships, I'm relieved. When guns come out, no matter the fandom, it's inevitable that things are going in an exciting direction and I anticipate it without compunction.

In other words, fandom screws with my moral compass, and now that I've noticed, it makes me uncomfortable.

I know that when one spends a lot of one's time reading/watching things with a particular characteristic it's difficult to avoid picking up that characteristic, whether it's something as harmless as picking up new slang, or something as deep as an entire worldview. And I spend SO MUCH time in fandom (seriously, it's a little worrying how much time I spend watching back episodes of tv shows or reading fanfiction). I've picked up the word "shiny" from Firefly, I've picked up McKay's habit of snapping his fingers from SGA, I've picked up a far greater tendency to use bad words (at least in my head) from all the fanfic I read. I know that reading so much fanfic has made me much more blase about things like BDSM or unusual kinks -- I used to be terribly naive and would have been horrified at the slightest hints towards bondage or powerplay or whatever, but now I see it all as perfectly acceptable personal choices. I know that getting involved in fandom has made me a lot less uptight about the idea of sex before marriage.

All these ways in which I know fandom has affected me aren't too worrying: the first ones I mention aren't a big deal at all, and as to the last two points, I'm glad I'm less uptight, more open towards other expressions of sexuality, and I think it's made me a better and more accepting person in general. But when it comes to other things, ways that I haven't yet noticed I've been affected, I get a little worried. How exactly has fandom changed me? I first got involved in my early teenage years, a time of great personal growth and change, and I'm sure it affected the way that growth progressed, in ways that I am unable to see.

I'm not overly worried at the moment about the whole violence vs pacifism thing, because that at least is something that I'm aware of. And although I may cheer on violence in TV shows, I don't think it has yet affected my opinion of real-life violence. I still oppose war, I still disapprove of using violence to solve problems, I still get nervous when I see a gun in real life.

But beyond that, I worry that I don't put enough "wholesome" things into my head, that all I'm imbibing is fluff and violence, that I'm not allowing myself the opportunity to instead read things that will expand my mind and make me think critically. I know that's not entirely true: two of the books I'm currenty reading are one on walking the pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago, and one about interfaith relations. And in the last month I read a very interesting and thought-provoking novel about inter-gender friendship and whether it inevitably must become romantic.

Okay, I no longer really know where I'm going with this post. I think I just had to get my thoughts out, and my thoughts don't have a tidy conclusion yet. It's all too fresh in my mind still. So here comes an abrupt end.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
In my last post I talked about how I imprint on certain fandom pairings. Now this is true to a certain extent, but only to a certain extent. And since then I've been thinking about the tendency of humans to create narrative structure out of things that don't necessarily fit. So okay, I see something that looks like it might be a pattern, might make a good story, and my brain rearranges the shape of reality as I know it in order to make me be able to fit my life into a narrative device. And people do this all the time, not just me. Although our world might not run on Narrativium the way the Discworld does, our brains certainly seem to.

This was brought forward in my mind when yesterday I was thinking over that post I'd made, and realized what I'd done. I had made the obvious correlation between my behaviour in Due South fandom and Stargate: Atlantis fandom (ie, read a fic about a particular pair of people, fell desperately in love with the ship to the exclusion of all others, proceeded to overdose myself on fanfic, and then finally start watching the show), and then thought to myself that I obviously had a pattern going there and went on to try to fit the rest of my fandom into the mold as well. But they don't fit, or at least not well. And some don't fit at ALL.

Take Doctor Who for example. I love Doctor Who dearly; it's my second fandom ever. And yet when I was first introduced to the fanfic in it, I found myself left kinda cold. I didn't like the fanatic Rose/Doctor shipping going on. I totally didn't see it. And I didn't see Doctor/anyone-else either. In fact, I pretty much see the Doctor as a biromantic asexual who's deeply in love with each of his companions but always holds himself a bit apart because he knows they can't be a part of his life forever (or even for long). And the fanfic for that? Basically nonexistent. And I don't really have the desire to read it either. So that obviously doesn't fit in with my pattern at all.

Neither does Harry Potter, my gateway drug into the wonderful world of fandom. This one has a different way of not fitting. For HP I do love reading fanfic. But the first ship I came across, Harry/Ginny, I like but am not very fanatic over. In fact, the ship that I obsess over is one that it took me several years to get into: Hermione/Snape. My first several introductions to it I was mildly creeped out even. But I eventually (obviously) warmed up.

The other two fandoms I mentioned in that entry, MUNCLE and Star Trek, don't fit as well as I made them sound, either. I just forced them into the pattern by ignoring certain info (like, for instance, that MUNCLE only really HAS one possible pairing, so what else would I imprint on? And that in Star Trek, although I ship Kirk/Bones, it hasn't stopped me from also reading Kirk/Spock with great enjoyment)

So when I carefully go through every fandom of mine, it turns out that actually Due South and SGA are the only two that DO fit the pattern well. I managed to create a theory out of only two data points: truly execrable science on my part. But it made for a good story.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Before I even started out in the Due South fandom, I had heard about the Ray Wars. At the time I thought it pretty silly for people to get so worked up about fanon pairings. I'd never before seen much in the way of shipping wars in my previous fandoms (well, except for the Harmony shippers versus Harry/Ginny shippers in HP, but I never paid much attention to that whole war since I didn't care about it -- I was, and continue to be, an HGSS shipper). So when I finally decided to give in and find out why everyone was so into Due South, I told myself that I'd be open-minded and appreciate both of the Rays. Surely if both of them were interesting enough to have such fanatical followings, then it wouldn't be difficult for me to find both of them interesting.

Yeah. Guess how well that worked out for me? I had forgotten to take into account my tendency to, well, imprint on the first pairing I read in any given fandom. So I was doomed the moment I set my metaphorical foot into Due South territory. In SGA, the first fic I read was Rodney/John, and guess what my SGA OTP is now? Ditto with Man From UNCLE and Illya/Napoleon, and ditto with the Star Trek reboot and Kirk/Bones (DESPITE entering fandom with the intention to be traditional and ship Kirk/Spock!), etc etc. The first fic I read in Due South was a story called Chicago's Most Wanted, by Speranza (link: http://www.trickster.org/speranza/CMWanted.html), and it was Fraser/RayK, and I immediately and irrevocably became a Fraser/RayK shipper. It didn't help that the fic was an example of one of my absolute favourite fanfic tropes, the amnesiafic. The fic was amazing enough to singlehandedly make me decide to pursue Due South as my new favourite fandom. And it made me come down firmly in the side of Ray Kowalski, despite all my good intentions. I'm doomed to be an OTPer no matter my fandom, it seems.

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