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Fandom Swallows its Tail

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Filk Music [30 Mar 2004|07:20am]

[ mood | curious ]

I was wondering if any of you have heard of Filk Music or know anything about it. I am interested in learning more about it as a form of vocal music and how it is performed, distributed, written, etc. Thanks!

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[23 Mar 2004|02:11pm]

Alright. Maybe I will try another approach. If fandom does not bring meaning to your life how does it create meaning? Or if fandom does not create meaning in your life do the relationships you form through lj and such create meaning? What does fandom mean to you?
16 comments|post comment

[20 Mar 2004|03:10pm]

[ mood | curious ]

Hello all.. I am new to this community and I am interested in learning more about fandom and what it means to people. I am doing some research for a sociology class about alternative ways that people find meaning. So I guess I am interested to know what you all think about fandom and meaning. Does it bring meaning to your life? How does it bring meaning to your life?

Thanks so much for your help!

5 comments|post comment

[26 Feb 2004|04:45pm]

The ever-interesting cathexys posted some of her musings on whether slasher is a sexual identity, and whether or not slashers should put their money where their mouth is and start "coming out." Unfortunately, the post is locked, but that's no reason not to start some conversation about it elsewhere. So:

1) Do any of you see "fan" as part of your identity (or one of your identities)? Either way, what are your reasons? Have you made this identity public? Again, reasons?
2) For those of you that read or write slash, chan, or have a particular affinity for any other type of romantic/sexual relationship in fanfic, ditto all of the questions above.

In case anyone's interested, here's my response to Cathexys's question about taking slash as the basis of a sexual identity:
Read more...Collapse )
17 comments|post comment

[30 Dec 2003|10:45am]

It's been a little quiet on here lately, but my friendspage is full of discussion about the latest self-mocking fandon fad: BNF deathmatches. (See lotr_deathmatch, hpbnfdeathmatch, and svbnfdeathmatch for example.) The principle seems to be pretty simple- someone (in the case of the LOTR one, the creator is anonymous) draws up a list of 64 BNFs (criteria for inclusion unclear), organizes them into sets of 16, and sets them up in elimination matches. Anonymous posters comment on who they think would win and why, and the organizer tallies the votes and announces the winner. Presumably, the final winner will be crowned Ultimate BNF, or something like that.

Now, some people are highly amused at the concept, a lot seemed to be baffled by their inclusion on the challengers list, some are playing along, others bowing out. But the comment threads are starting to get vicious.

So weigh in: what do you think about the concept, the execution, the particular communities, the way people are conducting themselves? Love it, hate it, feel completely indifferent towards it? I'm curious. All input will fly. [ETA: within the limits set in the community guidelines, of course. I trust everyone can keep this civilized.]

I still say I'm waiting for the Big Name Meta-Fan Deathmatch, so we can really watch fandom deconstruct itself to death.
2 comments|post comment

Teacher! They're oppressing me!!! --Discuss. [08 Oct 2003|04:53pm]

Has anyone else noticed how very, very gendered fandom is? And by "gendered", of course, I mean "gendered feminine." (Ain't it always the way.) Think about the context-specific language we use. "Fangirl" doesn't merely refer to a girl who is a fan, it refers to a certain way of being a fan that is considered girly. It's even become a verb, "to fangirl" (which makes me wonder if non-femme-identified people can be said to fangirl). And the net-speak we semi-satirically employ (e.g. "squee" and "OMG") is (at least in my mind) stereotypically feminine (and also stereotypically adolescent). In the larger cultural context, obsession with characters or actors in a media source is considered a female/feminine trait (though it's important to notice that the association is sometimes reversed for obsession with science-fiction).

More on thisCollapse )

So how did fan culture get this way? And is it fan culture "at large," or is this a phenomenon specific to blog-based fandom? Can we or should we do anything about it? Because right now, our language and modes of interaction can exclude some fen or render them invisible, but as Riki Anne Wilchins (and half the rest of the activisty planet) has noted, identity politics sucks.

Please, please weigh in.
6 comments|post comment

[14 Sep 2003|04:39pm]

In one of my fandoms, there have been a few works posted recently (one of them epic and long-awaited, the other mine) that explore BDSM sexuality and issues of power/control in a fairly complicated way. The responses to them have been strong and extremely varied. Since we're a meta-fandom community, I'm curious to know how you all see BDSM being used in different fandoms and subfandoms. Is it written a kink for gratification purposes? Portrayed as an orientation, a lifestyle? Is there much exploration of the different roles, how power works within them? How are different uses and explorations of BDSM received by fen? What are your thoughts?

ETA: After thinking about this for a while, I wrote a brief essay on kink in fandom, header warnings, and consent in the author-reader relationship. I didn't want to crosspost, but it's up at my journal, and I'm interested in what you think about it.
1 comment|post comment

Zero to Sixty in Three Seconds [05 Sep 2003|09:06pm]

I'm not sure if this is a Blakes7 phenomenon, or simply a depravity shortage among certain writers I've encountered--I'd be interested to hear from other fandoms. At one time I would never have believed that I'd skip the sex scenes, but I've read all too many sex scenes that, IMO, just aren't dirty (i.e., they do nowt for me). Three fingers and touchdown within two minutes of the time the last sock hits the floor.

Is the synecdoche "anal intercourse" = "male/male sexual expression" an export of a belief that PIV = "real" heterosexual sex? There's also an element of ageism--midlife males are very, very unlikely to have a second erection in the shower which inevitably occurs forty-five seconds after the orgasm...
15 comments|post comment

RPS/media slash vs. FPS [01 Sep 2003|09:23pm]

[ mood | curious ]

I went fandom hopping again tonight. I used to be in Harry Potter and then switched to LOTR RPS. Tonight I went back over to HP for a few moments. And I was struck by how different it feels to read HP vs. Lotrips.

I'm wondering why it's so different. HP feels more fictional, less immediate, less hot to me. (Yeah, I'm reading smut.) The writing is just as good, but it's different somehow. I think it goes beyond the fact that I've got much clearer visuals in my mind to work with as far as Lotrips goes.

I'm curious. Are there any other people who read RPS/media and literary slash? What kind of differences have you noticed in the writing? Particularly does the level of sexiness feel different between the fandoms?

8 comments|post comment

One of these things is not like the others... [01 Sep 2003|09:13pm]

[ mood | thoughtful ]

At a fan gathering not so long ago, I was asked my fandoms. After stuttering through a list of ten or so, the questioner referred to me as the 'WB girl.' I watch/write in Everwood, Smallville, Harry Potter, and The O.C., not to mention about five other fandoms, but it started me thinking about the characters and stories to which we as fans are drawn.

Why, for example, am I drawn to fandoms with younger characters? I admit to being interested in beginnings, innocence, and the process some call 'coming of age,' so that partially explains my fascination with younger characters. As does my age, I expect: I missed some older fandoms like Due South and Blake's 7, and haven't yet gotten around to trying them.

But are we drawn to experiences we've had, or to those we're most interested in having? Is it simply how we prefer our escapism, some of us wanting spaceships and other planets, some an idyllic and simplified teen world?

Moreover, does this preference have anything to do with the characters we're most drawn to writing? My fandoms often involve first times for the characters, growing up, discovering adulthood and its complications--as do the stories I write. Do y'all also find these preferences affecting your fannish work?

*goes back to writing O.C. smut*

4 comments|post comment

But At Least No Kitties Were Eviscerated [25 Aug 2003|08:44pm]

What, exactly, is there about MarySues that so chars the fanly cheeseburger? It's true that I've observed one of the identifying characteristics of fandom is the ability to froth at the mouth over amazingly trivial things, but real or alleged MarySues are a disproportionate Flame Magnet. I know that many analysts have pointed to the irritating perfection of the classical MS, but I've seen the peasants run up with torches merely because an original character had an important role in the story and both she and the writer happen to have two X chromosomes.
12 comments|post comment

Intro and a couple of questions [25 Aug 2003|08:48am]


So I was pointed here by executrix. My original fandom for actually writing in is 'Blakes 7' although I read fic for most of the media I'm interested in. I'm currently writing a long fanfic for manna's Administration series, which is interesting as I have the author and her beta advising me on edits. I also write a lot of original fiction and I am tending to move more in that direction, mostly concentrating on dystopian futures with non-standard action hero archetypes and noir-ish mysteries.

So the questions...

Several of the intros here and on a newish mailing list I joined seem to take reading slash as a given and writing slash as almost a given. Now I know quite a few fen who do neither and they have some very interesting views on canon and characterisation but might be put off posting if they feel themselves to be out numbered. So why are slashers so much more vocal, even on multi-genre lists/communities?

As for me most of my fanfic is technically slash but it contains too much plot/politics/action-adventure and/or not enough sex for the slashers but I'm never going to take away the right of characters to be whatever sexuality they damn well want just to make sure my stuff counts as gen. And I read far more gen than slash or het because I can't relate to the way most relationships are portrayed in fanfic (well there's more to it than that but it would take a whole other post to explain).

Which sort of leads me onto my second question... what about stuff that doesn't contain any sex but isn't suitable for general audiences because of violence/swearing/drug-taking/whatever being depicted in it? In the world of B7 print-zines there are a few zines for grown-ups that don't have sex but do have an age restriction but I've not seen definitive umbrella term for that sort of thing. And how things get defined on the web seems to boil down to individual web-things. What do people think? Do we need to come up with a new set of classifications (including one for stories with queer characters but no explicit sex) or do we just stick with what we have, unsatisfactory though it is?

16 comments|post comment

and for the record, my thoughts are, what? [05 Aug 2003|03:03pm]

can someone (or several someones) please explain mpreg to me? it doesn't squick me, but i am totally baffled by it. why write it? why read it? is there an emotional appeal? a sexual one? both? neither?

if you know anyone who reads/writes mpreg and would send them over to this post, i would be much obliged. so far, my discussions about this have just been me and spiritkitty (who doesn't read it either) saying "... what?" repeatedly and with varying degrees of intensity. i also want to know what people think of mpreg on a more meta-, gender-role kind of level. why write impregnation stories with men? how is gender, and relational gender, written in these stories? what differentiates mpreg from, say, wing!fic?
12 comments|post comment

[30 Jul 2003|11:20am]

Another introduction. Are you tired of them yet? :)

I'm Jude. I'm in the Harry Potter fandom, Artemis Fowl, and several others; I write, I occasionally draw stick figure porn (ping me if you want some) and not much else. I'm heavily addicted to (though currently only the basics) sociology, and linguistics. I learn, though don't fluently speak yet, several languages. Most of them are dead/dying.

But anyway. I really want to know what people think of the following: How much power does a BNF have? Would you describe that power as hegemony? And what/who gives them that power?

I've got several views on the matter, but I wanted to know what other people thought about it, and see how what they thought changes my opinion of it. :)
7 comments|post comment

Nature of "Fan" [29 Jul 2003|05:50pm]

[ mood | excited ]

Short introduction, general question.

I'm Ene. I'm mostly involved in the HP fandom, although I've been known to experiment in LotR and X-Men. I'd like to think of myself as unsquickable (and hey, that might be a discussion later about the nature of "squick" and where we draw our proverbial lines). I write drabbles, and ponce around with a bit of art, and RP.

Anyway, my question stems from the notion of authenticity. I, myself, wasn't involved in the Harry Potter fandom until after the first movie came out. I'd read the first book, and it wasn't compelling enough for me to keep reading. However, now I'm downright obsessed.

So, my question is: What makes a "true" fan? What is the essence of being a fan? This question includes the driving forces behind being compelled to create works of art, writing, music, RP, et al. Also, why is it valuable to some to be able to say they were "in on it from the beginning"? And, still more, why are some people turned off by the idea of a fandom because it's popular? Is this valid?

3 comments|post comment

first question! [29 Jul 2003|04:18pm]

[ mood | whee! ]

welcome to Fandom Swallows its Tail! due to a convenient loophole in the guidelines i wrote, it's not a requirement that you introduce yourself on first posting. so while you should all follow lifeinwords' sterling example (see below), i am opting for the less-intimidating short version. *grin*

hi. i'm the maintainer/co-moderator. i started this place with liw because i've discovered i'm far more interested in fandom it[self? selves?] than in any one thing produced within fandom.

and to kick us off, here's my first question: as written in slash, are the male characters really just horny, less neurotic chicks with dicks? have at!

ETA: i know this question sounds extremely simplistic (i phrased it that way on purpose), but there are some deeper levels that it touches on. check out the discussion- i'm really interested to hear what people think about it.

13 comments|post comment

Posting Guidelines [29 Jul 2003|04:05pm]

Welcome to the Fandom Swallows its Tail. If you're a new member or this is your first visit, here are some things you should know:

The Way It IsCollapse )

Got questions? Leave a comment, or email f_s_i_t@hotmail.com. Thanks!
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Meta squared [29 Jul 2003|04:32pm]

Allo all, I'm your friendly soon-to-be-co-maintainer, lifeinwords, and while this is not my first community, it's certainly the one about which I'm most excited.

I'm an academic, so I'm happy to jump in and analyze absolutely anything fandom-related, but here are a few of my current interests:

Besides the commonly acknowledged hierarchy of coolness in fandom, how do people perceive and deal with the more hidden hierarchies, such as transitioning between friend groups, between betas and writers for whom you beta (if you happen to feel that either group isn't challenging you,), and how do you connect with the people whom you admire, BNFs or not, in order to take your fannish production (whether it be art, fic, or even discussion of canon) to a higher level?

Confession time: I don't give seriously critical fb. Why? If I start a fic that hasn't been spell-checked, isn't grammatically correct, or just makes no sense, I don't read it. Sometimes I read for kink or comfort, and sometimes that fic isn't what I would call very good. Why don't I take the time and energy to help writers get better, especially those who need it? Why do I instead expend my energy praising really good fic, or making notes on tiny typos in almost-perfect fics? Why don't more of us offer to beta, to give good crit, to make fanfiction a better medium as a whole?

Am I a bad person because I read and enjoy chanslash? Am I crossing social or ethical lines of reality/fantasy and encouraging the sexualization of children, just because I read it? Or, as Madeline says in Quills, am I able to be such a 'good girl' in the world because I'm sometimes a 'bad girl' in fiction?

Right then. Basics. I read, I write, I beta, I meta, I dabble in icons, and I'm a self-described panfandomwhore. Main haunts are Buffy, Harry Potter, Smallville, Everwood, Sports Night, and lotrips. Am on AIM as much as is humanly possible, and I love chatting with new people.

Now let's get this thing going! Who brought the slingshots? *g*
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