quinara: Sherlock Holmes thinks porn is boring. (Sherlock porn is boring)
So, this was just going to be a reply to [personal profile] rahirah in a conversation we were having, but it got a bit long, so I thought I would put it here. It's meta-esque, but I don't claim that it actually says or argues anything effectively... It's mostly just a ramble about literary theory and Mark Watches.

I said: There is something interesting to be said, actually, about the way Mark's analysis works with postmodern/post-structuralist ideas - he basically approaches things in a dogmatically moralising nineteenth-century way, but he defends that approach, from what I can tell, through a twisted application of Foucault's ideas about discourse... But I have a feeling fandom doesn't care about that.

And [personal profile] rahirah replied: If you won't write it for fandom, write it for me!

Your wish is my command... )
quinara: No Kicking Penguins (Penguins)
Has there been a better thing on television in a long time? I really don't know because this is just so clever. I can't even sum it up, just...

OK, so we start with the industrial revolution, with all its dark satanic mills and dreams for the future - are we Blake dreaming of a world without industry (just cricket), or Caliban!Brunel dreaming of a world of noise and riches? No matter the answer we go through to the 50s (ish) anyway, getting noise and darkness and yet achievement, the Olympic rings wrought out of steel.

We then get to 'Second to the Right and Straight on till Morning': the NHS, children, fantasy literature and the moment between sleep and waking - still caught up in dreams and nightmares. Through jazz and the outfits this is also definitely pitched as a historical transition between the Industrial Revolution and the digital age pageant later. It's like an investigation of what the Industrial Revolution produced - the end of infant mortality as a fact of life (labour, if we imagine child labour, transforms into children being looked after in bed and at GOSH) plus the rise of literacy. Put these two together and the main threat to childhood shifts from actual death to fantasy figures, Voldemort like a pantomime grim reaper and Mary Poppins the image of childcare and education. Everything ends happily like a fairy tale; 'childhood' as a safe bubble away from work and threat is banishable even as a nightmare. But this is even undercut by the nurses doing folk dances, as if they're pretending to still live in the idyll. Which we know has gone.

This establishment of childhood and safety then inevitably spreads to produce Youth Culture as a whole in the digital age, which gets it's own celebration in 'Frankie and June Say Thanks, Tim'. (The whole ceremony is about handing over to the next generation; the narrative of the show is about how that happened with cultural authority.) But even that's shadowed by this tension between illusion and reality (all the dancing backdropped by fictional representations of life that is constructed media culture, embellishing on children's literature), and this sense of darkness. I can't catch all the lyrics in the chronological montage, but it's so heavy once you get past the romance:

My sketched transcription... )

So even with this massive upheaval, from rural idyll through industrial pain through childhood's invention and welfare and Teh Yoof taking control; the shift in power from Top Hat Man to Multicultural Dancing Everyone, we're still caught up in this dark, fearful, shifting space between reality and illusion, dreams and hope and dissatisfaction. (The defiance in this section - And we don't care / I just think I'm free / We will be victorious - only comes to segue into uncertainty - Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.)

... So, that's just how I read it (expressed very badly). But I can't help but think it's one of the most interesting national portraits I've seen in a long time. I like this bloke Boyle... :D

(God, I have do something today... Why haven't I done anything?)
quinara: Cartoon Giles cleaning his glasses. (Giles cartoon)
The podcasts for [livejournal.com profile] writerconuk have been put up, by the wonderful Audio Video! It's all very exciting. If you want to know what WCUK is like, or just listen to people talking about fandom, do check them out!

I'm on there with my Fanpoetry Talk, in particular. When I get home, I'd like to make a video with my Powerpoint Presentation, but for now I've uploaded the .ppt file here, which you might like to follow along!

[Quinara - Fanpoetry Podcast, WCUK 2011]

(Massive shout outs to [personal profile] mere_ubu's Spaiku, [personal profile] sobsister's sonnet and [personal profile] fulselden's ballad in here!)

quinara: Profile shot of Olivier from FMA:B, mostly of her hair. (Olivier profile)
I haven't really mentioned my love of this to anyone but [livejournal.com profile] shapinglight, I don't think, but then I saw that [livejournal.com profile] penny_lane_42 had posted her thoughts and they got me thinking. And thinking. And thinking some more. And then I was going to comment on your post, Lirazel, but everything got long and tangential, so I'm here instead!

The Hour thoughts, at ramble. )

All in all, I might well have to get the DVD.
quinara: 'You may be silent, but this will shut you up,' says Andrew. (Andrew ninja)
I've been a bit busy running around with things over the last couple of days, so, while I managed to read quite a bit, I didn't have the time to comment very much. And now I've forgotten where I've been, so if you think I might have read something you've written, I probably did and probably thought it was great? Sorry for being useless. *slaps wrist*

In other news, I'm doing a talk at [livejournal.com profile] writerconuk in August, and worked out that that subject I could most easily be enthusiastic about was fanpoetry! So that's what I'm talking about. But! I would love to get some wider opinions on it, so please take my anonymous poll:

Inform the world! Get thoughts off your chest! )

Also, do feel free to freeform ramble about fanpoetry in the comments, either on LJ or DW, and link the poll to people. I'd love to hear your thoughts! It's probably reasonably obvious that I'm a massive fan of the stuff - but maybe it's less obvious that I think loads more people could and should get involved with writing it, because it doesn't have to be complicated or difficult. I think it's great for getting inside characters' heads or looking at certain situations, where the same subject matter in prose could be really static and boring. Viva fanpoetry!
quinara: Spike's car driving down the road. (Spike car)
In which I say more stuff!! I was a bit more upbeat this time - and hopefully more comprehensible...

17 minutes of me.

Stuff I talk about: Spike (yay), Angel (sorry), Buffy-Giles (yay), Spuffy (yay), S3 (...yeah).
quinara: Wishverse Buffy in a white frame. (Buffy Wish white box)
I quite like the condensed version of this, with it all in one go, but I also quite like the audio version [livejournal.com profile] snickfic did... So I had a go. It went wrong, so I tried again [ETA: and it's the old version I'm talking about when I say I'm trying for fewer tangents, not Snick's, who was very much on message! Didn't structure that mental paragraph very well]. It didn't change much. I dunno; I feel like a lot of this has been said before, and I end up, for some reason, a little po-faced-serious and I don't talk very quickly and I'm not sure I ever manage to say things I wouldn't edit and reconsider if they were written down, but - it might be interesting? Feel free to clock out if you get bored.

It's about fifteen minutes long and does questions 1-5.

In case you want to work out whether to listen, I talk about S7 (yay), Sleeper (yay), Key by the Devics, as used in Crush (yay), Buffy (yay) and Willow (er, boo?).
quinara: Wishverse Buffy in a white frame. (Buffy Wish white box)
I've been mulling over [livejournal.com profile] shipperx's post and here is where I've ended up.

Having your consent taken away is not the conclusion to a story. It's a pernicious misunderstanding of rape that continually paints it at the end point of a narrative where someone goes out/gets drunk/wears a short skirt, when actually it by definition cannot be something you ask for (even) as a consequence of your actions. (Trying) to rape, on the other hand, is (though just look at the way agency on that side of the equation is so often elided away in reporting of rape). That's why, as much as I hate it, I can accept the AR as being part of Spike's story in S6 - that's where he ends up after a whole season of getting gradually more screwed up (and, yes, it's fair to say that Buffy did have a part in that but this does not mean she's responsible for her own victimisation - because being victimised is a forced removal of responsibility and agency - and that's all I'm going to say about the AR so I apologise if that doesn't make immediate sense to you).

As it is, in S8, with Buffy (and Angel?) we have no agent, apparently. (Distorted base urges =/= an agent.) And so, for the last four(? five? fifteen?) issues we have either been shown a story that belongs to/is about somebody we don't know and can't see (unless it's Angel, but things seem to be saying he was still deceived?), where the plot's cogs (mummy and baby universe etc.) slotting into place and porny sideshows are more important than character arcs, or where, if this is still is 'Buffy's story', having your consent taken away can supposedly be (a consequential/conclusive) part of a narrative. I like none of these options.

[And now I vanish for the day!]
quinara: Wishverse Buffy in a white frame. (Buffy Wish white box)
[Precursory tangent: Yay! WriterConUK MidiMeet tomorrow! Many apologies if I miss comments on this from mid-Friday through to Monday – I’ll be replying today and hopefully tomorrow morning, then after that as soon as I can. :) ]

[livejournal.com profile] angearia had a post the other day about the Scythe and why that’s an appropriate name for the weapon Buffy finds in EoD. I think her explanation works very well, but I was struck by the impression that it didn’t wholly take into account the external-to-text issue that the shape of the scythe was not a done deal. In terms of the way the weapon was introduced, it may have tied worlds together nicely to have Buffy’s ancient slayer weapon be Fray’s ancient slayer weapon, but it’s not as if there weren’t other options or ME couldn’t have ‘artistic licence’ in the transition from comic to screen. (After all, I imagine that red enamel blade, or whatever it’s meant to be, would have remained fairly distinctive.)

The confusion therefore, around whether the scythe (or sith!) is really a scythe or whether it’s an axe pretending to be one, strikes me as something that cannot be easily resolved. Because there’s actually a lot at stake.

Psst – I think she’s railing on 'Chosen' again… )
quinara: Tara walking in the Slayer's desert. (Restless desert)
Though various flips and wriggles across cyberspace (/my DW netork), I came across this post, where someone I don't know quoted somebody else I don't know saying the line:

"[A]ll literature, highbrow or low, from the Aeneid onward, is fan fiction."

On the one hand, this is a very nice sentiment and, you know, in the context of the qualifying definition Michael Chabon provides, true. On the other, however, I find myself yet again amused/annoyed that apparently the Greeks were actually divinely inspired in the verve and originality of their literature. Or maybe this guy is just a really big fan of Catullus or something, but, if we play the averages, I suspect he might probably hang with the crowd that thinks Terence's Menander 'translations' were completely unchanged in their move to Latin and Ennius' tragedies just copied the oldies despite making drastic changes even in the fragments we have.

But none of those are major parts of the Western textual canon! you might say. The Aeneid is just making a big point, because everybody's heard of it! Apart from the fact that every fifth century tragedian was essentially writing fanfic too, and, oh yes, yet again we see Homer as The Original Source Text Of All Texts Ever. Because, you know, the Muse actually came down and told Homer what to say: 'he' was completely free of all outside influences - it was only when the Aeneid came along that the fanfic began. Uh huh.


I'm not even sure why I'm ranting about this. I love Homer and all his cleverdick ways (and he, whoever he was/were-in-the-plural-creators, really was a clever bastard), but, for heaven's sake, if everything from the Aeneid onwards is fanfic, then the Iliad and the Odyssey bloody were too.

IN OTHER NEWS: What do you think my fic says about my id?
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
I get so sick of the idea that one group (shippers/Spuffies/random subset) has 'taken over fandom'. Usually, it seems to me, what people actually mean is that the shippers/Spuffies/randomers are producing lots of discussion and fanworks and making their part of fandom an active and fun place to be, when other places have gone a bit dead.

I mean, can you 'take over' a story by reacting to it? Maybe if you try really, really hard you can dominate the discourse (or not so hard if you're trying to dominate discussion from a position of societal privilege) - and, obviously, shipper sets have been pushed off big general boards in the past - but I don't think any fandom clique has the power to take 'control' of fandom, what with the internet always having another corner to talk in.
quinara: Buffy's sad-looking profile from Villains. (Buffy profile)
As a tangent to [livejournal.com profile] angearia's post on Buffy and Forgiveness I've been trying to formulate how I actually see Spuffy in S7. Thankfully, Tara pretty much had it nailed in Entropy, with one or two minor adjustments:

Things fall apart. They fall apart so hard. You can't ever put them back the way they were. You know, it takes time. You can't just [rely on each other because no one else is quite so dependable ] and expect... There's just so much to work through. Trust has to be built again, on both sides. You have to learn if you're even the same people you were, if you can fit in each other's lives. It's a long, important process, and [you can't just skip it, because otherwise all you're doing is shagging through the mistrust until one of you gets shot, which isn't a long-term solution].

I don't think I have anything insightful to add to that, really, so my meta's basically stalled before it's begun. But, just for a bit of personal colour, I'll say I'm optimistically cynical, so I don't think they had finished negotiating the process by the end of Chosen, but at the same time I think it would have been perfectly feasible for them to make it into a stable, only-new-issues-plz relationship by the end of a (hypothetical) season that came after. The immediate things I see that they had left to fix, after all, are relatively simple: for a start they needed to normalise their sleepy cuddles into something that wasn't coloured by 'the world might be ending - there's no need to visualise the future', and then they needed to make headway into the scary realm of actively attempting leisure activities, rather than 'I need to sit in the quiet - do you need to sit in the quiet? - let's sit in the quiet'.

Not that I'm trying to knock sitting in the quiet, I hasten to add, but it's a difference of planning to spend time with someone because they are someone and spending time with someone without planning partly because they aren't everybody else. 'I can be alone with you here' says something important, but it's a lack-of-negative rather than a positive. And while clearly Buffy and Spike were seeking out each other's company by the end of S7 (which is a step up), they equally weren't making plans and only negotiated things (like where Buffy was sleeping in Chosen) as and when it was necessary to do so. Short-term stuff =/= putting all their issues behind them. (And oh, hell, did I just argue that what Buffy and Spike needed to do was agree they were 'going steady'??)

So, yeah, that's where I am, I think. S7 Spuffy: means to an end, the conclusion of which we were so rudely deprived of. Still my favourite Spuffy season though. ;)

ETA: Off for pizza (yay pizza!).
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
There was an interesting post I read on [community profile] fanlore this morning about how the latest news (that 'fan fiction' has been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary) from [community profile] otw_news should affect Fanlore, which while part of the OTW is supposed to be self-reflective of fandom, rather than looking in from elsewhere (so, the question is, is 'fan fiction' actually the standard way people write the term in fandom, or is it interchangeable with 'fanfiction' or is 'fanfiction' actually the norm - note that that's actually a separate issue to 'fanfic').

I don't agree with [personal profile] khellekson that "fan is not a prefix. Turning the two words into one elides the active work of the fan by making the entire word about the artwork"; I think fanfic is practically an entirely different process to 'fiction', with a different start point, goal and end point, so having an entirely different word makes sense. But that's just a difference of opinion - what I found more interesting was the general squee that 'fan fiction' was now in 'the' dictionary. I hadn't realised it wasn't!

But that would possibly be because, for me as someone in the UK, it's been in 'the' dictionary, ie. the OED, for five years. (I know that says draft, but various other places say it was added properly in December 2004; please correct me if you think I'm in error.)

Besides finding it a little peculiar that apparently US English speakers were without any point of legitimate reference at all before the addition of the term to MW, this got me wondering, in relation to Fanlore and fandom in general, what do people in non-English-speaking fandom and indeed people in English-speaking fandom for whom English isn't their first language call (what apparently is properly referred to as) 'fan fiction'. Do you compound or not? Is it always a loan word or do you have your own terms (this probably sounds ridiculously naive, but despite my FF icon I've never really been involved in fanfic/discussion for a non-English fandom)? Is there another convention elsewhere in the world?

And what do people do more generally? I'd love to hear from my flist and any random passers-by.
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
So, last week [livejournal.com profile] shapinglight was chatting about the new E4 programme Misfits. I'm not sure this deserves the 'meta' tag I've given it, but is much more reflective on the premise rather than an actual plot review.

I just watched Episode 2... )
quinara: Spke standing over the Chinese Slayer, with the caption 'Slayer' at his feet. (Spike Slayer)
*has potentially unpopular opinion*

For some reason, I've been writing a lot of 'what I know' recently - places I've been and experiences I've had. None of them have been exact situations that I've lived, but compared with the usual stabbing in the dark I'd say we're in 'what I know' territory. The thing is, I don't think it's made me write any better than I might have done otherwise. Certain aspects have certainly been easier, but to me it's doesn't feel like the words have come out with any new sense of sparkling truth to them.

It's led me to realising what I thought was possibly true for a while: I really don't get on with 'write what you know' as a maxim. It might work for novels, because people probably have more to say about what they know, but in fandom, where you're having to work with someone else's world, I don't think it's particularly useful. The Buffyverse is almost completely alien to me - I've never been to California; the relationships aren't like ones I've been in, either familial, romantic or between friends; I've certainly never interacted with a vampire. Short of drastically changing the verse in some way, or limiting myself to writing outside the canon characters, I'm almost always writing what I don't know. But I don't think it's put me at a particular disadvantage. (That's not to say I don't bring things in that I do know about, because I do, but I equally toss in utterly random crap because it serves the story. I don't think one should be preferable to the other.)

And, more than that, I can't help but feel that 'write what you know' gives people the excuse not to branch out from their own experience - or, at lease, people with normative life experiences anyway. Because, with TV (etc.) the way it is, a lot of people are going to be forced to write what they don't know if they want to write fic. 'Write what you know' might as well be 'write what we know (but only if you can pretend that you know it)'. It rubs me up the wrong way.

For example, I always thought that I shouldn't write any graphic sex scenes until I had, you know, had sex. But then I came to realise I wasn't intending to do that in either the near or distant future, whereas I was writing fic where sex could be an extremely crucial moment in the story (mostly unpublished stuff but the point still stands). So I started writing what I didn't know and, really, that made my writing better.

Basically, why encourage people to limit themselves unnecessarily? I'm not saying that it might not be a useful suggestion in moderation, but I wish it wouldn't be seen as some sort of universal truth of what makes good writing.
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Echo Omega)
It was going to happen sooner or later... Yes, I spent the evening writing Dollhouse meta. Quite long Dollhouse meta, that may or may not make sense and has a rather general feminist chat as it's opening. And it doesn't cover nearly as much as I would like to one day.

Unfortuately it has spoilers for pretty much all the first series (apologies to [livejournal.com profile] shapinglight, whose comments are part of what made me want to write this; I'm sorry you can't read it yet - er, if you would even want to, that is...). I'm very sorry my style is so bombastic - feel free to comment with snark, rants, queries and any other form of communication.


Ready to Rinse and Spit: 'Dollhouse' and Cultural Narratives. )
quinara: Wishverse Buffy in a white frame. (Buffy Wish white box)
This has probably come up before, but apropos of the Bangel discussion on [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle's journal I've been wondering about Riley (don't all fall over in shock now!) as a foil for Buffy, with Biley basically being for Riley what Bangel was for Buffy. I mean, we meet Riley as someone relatively new to the whole supernatural gig who becomes involved with much more experienced supernatural-gigger, his association with that person problematising his previous assumptions about the supernatural. He even has two friends, one of whom's fairly supportive, one of whom doesn't like the new influence. It's pretty much Buffy S1.

But, while Buffy has Giles-Joyce, Riley has Professor Walsh. And, while Buffy has to deal with Darla hanging over Angel, Riley has to deal with Angel hanging over Buffy. Unlike Joyce, Professor Walsh is actually killed when she gets too close to the supernatural; unlike Giles, her traditionalism is unrelenting and Biley is pre-emptively threatened when it seems 'risky'. As for Darla vs. Angel, Angel stakes Darla, while Buffy never fully rejects Angel in Riley's presence.

It's sort of like the death and the influence gets swapped, leading to S5 when the stories become the reverse of each other - S2 brings an intensification of Bangel, while S5 shows a collapse of Biley. And I think there's some sort of commentary there, but I'm not entirely sure what it is. This is Buffy's show, so surely if it says anything it's saying it about Buffy, but I really don't want to see it as making her 'more' to blame for Riley's leaving. Maybe something to do with their differences making them irreconcilable, though in several ways they're similar? *shrugs*


quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)

April 2014

  1234 5


Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags


RSS Atom

Style Credit