sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Went to see the new Man From UNCLE movie with my dad this evening! An excellent use of an evening. The movie was shallow but shiny and a great deal of fun.

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Okay, I'm weak. There is that meme going around with all the titles of one's WIP files, and I am going to do it. Though really I do not have many compared to a lot of people!

Here they are:

-All china_shop's fault
-The Who Wants to Live Forever Affair
-Elizabeth Bennet, Longwing Captain
-Koschei the Deathless fic
-DVD commentary of Love is a Mystery
-Love is a Mystery sequel notes
-Atlantis Adventure Canoeing
-bingo: Doctor/Master

(the fandoms are, in order: WC, MFU, P&P/Temeraire, DW/fairy tales, STXI, STXI, SGA, DW)

Some of these I have already talked about, back in this post, but some of them are new. And there seem to be two varieties of the meme, one of which you can ask and I will give you one line from the fic, and one of which you can ask and I will talk about the fic. I am willing to do either or both, if you have any interest!
sophia_sol: black and white drawing of a man holding a page that says "List: -dudes -swords" (HL: list: -dudes -swords)
Today I was reading a WIP of mine I'd kind of forgotten about. I actually didn't even remember how far I'd gotten in the story. So I was reading along, happily fascinated by what I'd accomplished thus far, and then I unceremoniously reached the end of the completed stuff. And now I feel all bitter, like I would if I'd read an abandoned WIP by someone else on the internet. I mean, I know equally as much about what would happen next.... C'mon, author! Finish the damn fic already! Except the damn author is me, and I haven't a clue what to write.

I think my problem is that I really like my premise, and I've got some plotty stuff, but I don't know what the climax of the fic is. And without knowing that, I have nothing that I'm building towards, it's just "and then stuff happened", and I'm all out of stuff that I know happens.

(this would, in case you're curious, be The Who Wants To Live Forever Affair that I talked about back in this post.)

In other news, OMG TORCHWOOD. By which I mean, they've released the name and premise of the upcoming series of Torchwood, and it looks FASCINATING and exciting and I am all shivery in anticipation. Also, now I really want to read Highlander fic based on this premise. I know, I know, I have a weakness. Highlander crossovers well with EVERYTHING!

Speaking of which. Highlander/Dresden Files crossovers? SHOULD EXIST. Just saying.

Meme!

Nov. 15th, 2010 12:11 am
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (DW: Master: hello madness)
A WIP meme! Because they always look like such fun when other people do them, and these days I actually have enough files that begin with the letters "W", "I", and "P" to do it.

Of course, just because they're WIPs doesn't mean all of them are likely to ever be FINISHED. So here they are, in order of most likely to least likely.

Inception, Highlander/Man from UNCLE, SGA, Doctor Who, and Star Trek )
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)
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.

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