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)
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 (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.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Oh my word, I just read the best Sentinel fic I have EVER read. It just hits me in so many happy places. So I HAVE to rec it. (I mean, I already stayed up an hour and a half later than I intended to. What's a few more minutes?)

Distant Journeys, Unknown Lands, by Martha and Lemon Drop. http://www.852prospect.org/archive/archive/3/distantjourney.html

(Slash, Jim/Blair)

What it's about: What Blair and Jim do after The Sentinel By Blair Sandburg. I know, I know, everyone and their mother does post-TSbBS fics, but this one does it right

Why it's worth reading: There's two - no, three main elements here that are all brilliant, and then put together in one story it's just...perfection. First of all, it deals in a believable way with the aftermath of Blair's press announcement. Running into someone he knows from academia in the grocery store and finding out first-hand what it means to have the academic community consider him a cheat; getting hounded by a reporter who is far too interested in the story; these types of details feel far more real than what many fics do, handwaving it as being essentially unimportant in their quest to get Blair to be a real cop. Second of all is the setting of much of the fic, a lovely old house in the country that's also slightly creepy. The feel of the place comes across so strongly, and I don't want to say any more about this for fear of ruining it. Thirdly is how well the emotional side of things are dealt with, the friendship between Jim and Blair being clear and inescapable all the way through, the slashy side of their relationship being worked in seamlessly, the clear affection Simon has for the two of them, the friendliness of the people Jim and Blair meet during this summer... it all rings true.

And combine all of the above and you get a fic that's totally worth squeeing over. So. Read it already!
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Ahahaha, I forgot what this is like.

Beginning to watch a TV show I've never seen before, I don't know what the usual feel of the show is. So when the show goes in a direction where there could SO be something embarrassing about to happen (or something the character should Not Be Doing because it is going to End Badly), I have no idea whether they're going to go there or not! So of course my brain is all like, "they're going there!" So I have to pause the video and go somewhere else until I can forget the trauma of it and keep going.

Gah.

In some shows, I end up having to do this through EVERY SINGLE EPISODE, which is a little annoying. It's what I do in every SGA episode I ever watch (and SG1 too). I mean, rationally speaking they're not that bad, but somehow it just GETS to me every time I watch those shows. So each episode has at least five instances of me pausing and cringing and going away to read fluffy fic for a while before I can continue.

In Due South it's a lot more regulated. So I generally skip past nearly every time that Fraser has to interact with Thatcher, and many times that Fraser has to interact with Frannie (and actually a goodly number of the times he interacts with ANY attractive-young-woman), but other than that I'm good to go.

And in Man From UNCLE it's all so old-fashioned and silly that I don't actually get any embarrassment-squick going on there.

But I don't know Sentinel well at all yet, so I'm sitting here going "oh noes I can't watch?" and still have like 20 minutes to go in the episode -- the very first episode I've ever seen of it.

Hmm, actually, now that I think of it, not all of my pausing has to do with embarrassment; a goodly portion has to do with worry. There is a REASON I will happily seek out spoilers, and it is this: I HATE not knowing if a situation is going to turn out okay. So right now Simon and his son are about to go down a trap door where there are potentially Indians being held captive by men with guns and a grudge, and my brain is going "oh noes it's going to go TERRIBLY WRONG" even though I know perfectly well that there's no way the show would kill them off.

So I'm sitting here trying to convince myself that really, Simon and Terence (or whatever his name is) will be fine and it'll all turn out well in the end. Okay. Deep breath, self. I'm going in.

sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
OH MY WORD I FOUND A SITE THAT HAS EPISODES OF THE SENTINEL ON IT! *hyperventilates of glee*

Uh, er, hi! I'm back from my vacation, and have stopped being QUITE so busy what with the beginning of the new school term. So I've wandered back over here. Haven't had time to catch up on my friends page yet, but will do so soon.

But really, all I have to say right now is W00T SENTINEL! I get to actually SEE it! (well, all but the first season, apparently...)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Oh for crying out loud. I am such a fandom butterfly. Or possibly magpie. At any rate, I am so very easily distracted by shiny fandoms. I have now officially started on a kick of The Sentinel fic, having, until two days ago, known nothing more about the show than that it was a commonly-slashed show in fandom. But now I'm all, "Jim! Blair! In love and being awesome!"

At least I can console myself that I don't abandon my previous fandoms whenever I find a new one. So I guess magpie is the better analogy after all. Instead of flitting from fandom to fandom, I collect them and hoard them carefully in my nest.

Now excuse me while I go bury myself in TS fic.


EDIT: AUGH, I just went looking to see if I could find the episodes online to watch, and none of my trusty streaming sites had it! And I couldn't find any episodes on Youtube either! And my library doesn't have the DVDs (or VHS even)! AUGH!

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