June 29, 2003

Again?

You know how you write your great romantic epic where Lex or Clark is seriously involved with, engaged to, or even married to, a woman? Then he realizes that actually Clark or Lex is the one for him, instantly forgets about his romantic partner (and administers her a stern rebuke if she protests about his abandonment of her), and walks off into the sunset with the other man? You know how you think it's sweet and romantic and oh-so-wondrous, because theirloveissopureittriumphsoverall?

It's not. Because you've just made one, and quite possibly both, of your dashing romantic heroes INTO A GIGANTIC ASSHOLE. And while it's certainly acceptable--and quite possibly in character, especially for Lex--to write one of your protagonists as a walking horse's ass, that's not a shiny happy feelgood romantic ending.

If you've got such contempt for your own gender that you can't write a story without celebrating their being trounced, humiliated, and defeated by men--if you're so hopelessly indoctrinated that you believe that men's desire is the most important thing, automatically trumping any other emotional attachments or any commitments that may conflict with it--get into the 21st century, please. What you are writing is misogynistic, and there's no excuse for it. If you don't get why anyone would object to the idea that a man who dumps his wife or excoriates his girlfriend for getting in the way of his love for another man is somehow a sweet and likeable guy, I've got some basic literature for you. It starts with the Seneca Falls Declaration.

Posted by Sarah T. at 11:52 PM | Comments (9)

Fandom: the next generation

From a friend:

"While [child] was playing tonight, he announced "Here comes Superman! Is there a problem? I can fix ANYTHING!" Then he stopped, looked worried, and said, "But Bob the Builder can fix anything!" Another pause; "Superman can fix anything!" Pause; "But Bob the BUILDER can fix anything!"

Poor kid, a crisis of faith so early... I didn't say "But what if Batman, Spiderman, AND Bob the Builder fought Superman TOGETHER, *THEN* who would win?" :-D"

Posted by Sarah T. at 08:47 PM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2003

Harry Potter and the Hormones from Hell

J made her triumphant return from England two days ago, bearing the garish-yellow-covered book, which she was kind enough to lend me. ("They have the adult version with the serious cover for people not to be embarrassed to have on the subway," she said, "but I'm not ashamed to read children's books!" I knew there was a reason I liked her.)

I only read about 200 pages last night, due to being generally hot and miserable, drinking gin and tonics to alleviate the former, and having to stop to pay attention to the cat from time to time...

JKR is a great distractor. Just when I'm thinking that the wizarding world probably deserves to be conquered--for its offensive Sorting policies, for its stubborn refusal to see if it could exploit Muggle technology--she throws in a character like Prof. Umbridge, and instantly I'm screaming, "SAVE HOGWARTS!"

Posted by Sarah T. at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2003

Two short points

I don't like fandom awards, because I don't see how the benefits outweigh the costs. That said...

* If your problem with the SV awards is the nomination process--that you think deserving stories are being overlooked--then perhaps you should consider that (a) nominations are open to all and (b) it would be inappropriate for other people to nominate stories that they didn't think qualified. Therefore, if you don't like the list of potential nominees, the person you should be blaming...is you. Only you can nominate the stories you think are deserving, and no one is stopping you from doing it. It may be widespread in fandom to assume that you're entitled to have someone else magically produce what you want and that if you don't get it, you're the victim of a clique/conspiracy, but that doesn't mean it's any less silly.

* I looked at the stories-by-category nomination post. There were at least fifty authors nominated (I got bored and quit 2/3 of the way through the post, when I hit that number). Fifty. Do you really think fandom is even capable of sustaining a homogenous clique of fifty people?

Posted by Sarah T. at 02:56 AM | Comments (4)

June 24, 2003

I've *never* written such an unrelentingly angsty story. It's not like I'm jumping to angst, either; I'm taking tiny little steps, and angst is there. Post-X2 Bobby is just *miserable*. Woobie.

Posted by Sarah T. at 05:10 PM | Comments (1)

I'm trying to think of a more depressing reason to like slash than 'I think men are just cooler and less icky than women, and if I can rewrite men to be like women, girls won't be needed at all!'

...I'm failing.

(For all the craziness of fandom, which is just the craziness of the human race, I think of slash as fun, exciting, moving, sexy, subversive, beautiful. So it makes me sad to think that some people seem to regard it primarily as a method of expressing their own self-hatred.)

Posted by Sarah T. at 12:47 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2003

"It doesn't matter whether God exists or not--you're still gonna kiss his ass!"

If you *must* run creepy horror-movie ads, Hollywood, please do *not* run them at 3 am. OK? Have a little pity on us strung-out solitary late-night TV watchers. At least I recognized the 28 Days Later ad from the theater (where I sat through it for every screening of X2, brrrr) and was able to turn it off in time.

"Brights." You have got to be kidding me. They certainly are very proud of themselves, with their self-congratulatory name and their worldviews "free of supernatural and mystical elements." Look. I'm an agnostic. I have never had an experience of the divine that would compel me to overlook the inevitable contradictions and limitations of any human intellectual system that would attempt to embrace it. However, I am not so tremendously arrogant on behalf of my species as to believe that this universe is so adequately described by strictly rational means that I can pride myself on being free of those icky supernatural elements as if they were some kind of nasty social disease (and if you don't know the difference between "lacks," "is free of," and "does not contain," you probably shouldn't be styling yourself a "bright," now should you?). A great many intelligent, well-educated, good people hold religious beliefs of varying stripes, and though I disagree with them, I try to exercise some basic respect. The universe is just too great a mystery for anyone to be putting on airs about how well they understand it.

So, perhaps before you label yourself a "bright," you'd better think about whether you want to be implying that everyone else is dim.

Posted by Sarah T. at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2003

If you want to laugh until you absolutely cannot stop, catch the Oxygen reruns of Melrose Place. It just...words cannot convey. Young girls becoming hookers, and their sensitive yet creepy johns! Scary rehab centers! Monotone reactions to tragic deaths!

I refuse to believe those clothes, and that hair, were ever in fashion, though. REFUSE.

If this show was aired now, they would slash the hell out of Matt/Mike. The sensitive gay guy always trying to save the slimy heterosexual? SEKRIT NUB.

Posted by Sarah T. at 06:39 PM | Comments (2)

June 21, 2003

And everything seems beautiful when you're young and pretty...

"Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns."

If you have any fondness for TMBG at all (much less sekritly believe that "Birdhouse in Your Soul" is one of the most perfect pop songs ever written), you should definitely check it out. Just don't tell anyone the name of the film unless you're ready to have them think you're going to a porno...

Posted by Sarah T. at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2003

Oh, and the person Hank (woobie!) is debating on TV is addressed as "Mr. Shaw." Sebastian? That would certainly point the way to a Phoenix storyline in the next film (in addition to the rather more blatantly obvious pointing everywhere else). However...if I'm not mistaken, Shaw Industries also built the Sentinels.

Hm. I think 30-foot purple giant robots in live-action might be a hard sell.

Posted by Sarah T. at 02:51 AM | Comments (2)

Yes, I went. Too bad a young lady with a racking cough attended, too. Here's a hint: when you find yourself hacking up a lung more than once per scene, it's time to LEAVE. Or at least eat a damn cough drop.

"If I don't have a subplot, it's going to have to be all *atmospheric* and shit!" <--actual thought that just went through my brain

Posted by Sarah T. at 01:49 AM | Comments (1)

June 19, 2003

Am currently engaged in ferocious debate with self.

You see, though I rarely go to first-run movies, I love the experience. I love the otherworldly quality of a good movie theater, I love the way you can just disappear out of your own reality for several hours, I love being swept away by the big screen and the uber-sound system. I love a big enthusiastic crowd and I love the luxurious sense of being alone in public that comes when I'm the only one in the theater. It really is an experience that's impossible to repeat at home. The only thing I don't love is the miserable quality of so many films, as set against the high price of tickets and concessions.

So...I've been to see X2 three times. Today is the last day before the nice theater drops the movie to only impossible evening showings (times that would have the movie ending after the T stops running). The second-run theater is picking it up, but the second-run theater is frankly dilapidated--not to mention I'd have to cross picket lines, as their projectionists are on strike. X2 is not the best movie ever, but it's a strong action film that exactly fills my escapist needs. In short, this is really my last chance to enjoy the X2 version of the movie experience I've described above. Therefore, I want to go tonight.

However, due to having unexpected student loan payments descend upon me, I am very, very broke. *frowns* It's a sad day when escapism is so damned expensive.

Posted by Sarah T. at 04:47 PM | Comments (1)

June 18, 2003

I would, in fact, spend the summer in slavery to someone who wrote me good Ben Stone/Miz Shamballa Green fic. I have resigned myself to the fact that it isn't going to be me who writes it. C'mon, opposing ideologies, years of conflict, grudging mutual respect...it's almost like enemy-slash!

Posted by Sarah T. at 05:27 AM | Comments (0)

*sigh* Is it the weekend yet?

Rented X1. Toad survived his fall; Sabretooth did not. SO HAVE I WRITTEN, SO SHALL IT BE.

Posted by Sarah T. at 02:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2003

I've found some movieverse stories I've really liked, and I've gotten some nice feedback (I'm especially appreciative of the people who took the risk of writing to a complete stranger and fandom newbie with constructive criticism). Still, I'm a little surprised at how small and quiet the Movieverse fandom has turned out to be. I distinctly recall the fandom being one of the bigs after the first movie was released, and for a good bit afterwards, but I checked xmenmoviefanfic and in May 2003--when the second film was released, which should have brought a flood of fic crashing down like Alkali Lake after the dam burst--they had only about 175 posts. By comparison, L3 in that time had about 120, and L3 is definitely not the biggest list in the SV fandom *and* is fic-only, which XMMFF is not.

What happened? Most people seem to have liked X2 as much or more than the original (usually more--and I completely agree with them!), so it's not simply a case of a stinky sequel offering no inspiration. Was it that the fandom was built on Wolverine/Rogue, and X2 offered very little in that direction? Possibly...but is the W/R claim really accurate? Was it the lack of any compelling romance with which to build the mounds of schmoop on which most large fandoms rest? To my eye, the two most compelling and potentially romantic relationships in the film were Charles/Erik and Erik/Mystique. One involves two older people, something for which your average romancer tends to have little enthusiasm, and the other involves an older person and a determinedly nonhuman-looking person, another sticking point. Logan/Jean, again, was kept subplotty, and Jean is too beautiful, adult, and intelligent to appeal to rather than threaten the fic-writing crowd as an avatar (speaking very generally here!). Some determined slashers seem to have made a go of John/Bobby, which comes closest to fitting the slash ideal relationship, but they actually had very few lines together in the film, which limits the pairing (wait til X3, though...!). Are there flaws in the fandom's infrastructure that have discouraged expansion? I was startled to learn that the one fandom-wide archive had very nearly ceased to be, and that even now there's no autoarchive. But it's pretty rare these days for supply not to follow demand quickly when it comes to archives.

Or...what? These are observations from the outside, of course. What do people who've been *in* the fandom for a while think? Am I insane and it's actually quite a big, active fandom? Are there other reasons? Anyone? Miss P.?

Posted by Sarah T. at 06:40 AM | Comments (12)

"Repent? Are you kidding? Or are you high?"

I'm trying a second run at S1 Oz, which didn't really grab me on a first viewing. I'm still not dazzled; it's hard to do "disturbingly gritty" without slopping over into "soap opera for boys," as someone should point out to the Shield writers.

However, I like Jefferson Keene's story. It gets one thing right: the experience of God can really fuck you up.

Posted by Sarah T. at 01:13 AM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2003

Updated the recs. No, this is not an accidental repeat post...

Posted by Sarah T. at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2003

Argh!!!! Continuity error! *ritually flays off strip of skin* Why didn't anybody tell me?!?!?!

On a happier note, Hothead Paisan's cat is the cutest fictional cat ever.

Posted by Sarah T. at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2003

Oh, and I saw it for the second time yesterday, and it was just as squeetastic. I love that Rogue was ready to throw down with Magneto over the hair remark, despite the odds. It was spunky. Dumb, but spunky.

Posted by Sarah T. at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)

Happy birthday to Destina!

Urges I have to write Charles/Erik keep being blocked by the safety interlock in my head designed to prevent me from writing the same damn thing over and over (one of my biggest, and least rational, writing anxieties). Apparently, something in me feels they're just too much like Giles and Ethan. And, sure, those two couples resemble each other more than say, Charles/Erik resembles Buffy/Angel, but really. This interlock needs better specificity. *kicks it*

Posted by Sarah T. at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2003

When I find out who it is that writes the software that manages to sneak into perfectly good stories and introduce grammatical errors at the time of posting, that person shall suffer.

Also, people are hilarious. Someone tried to post a rule-breaking post to L3 while still under moderation for a previous violation of the rules (which usually only runs two weeks for a first offense). That's obviously someone not even remotely interested in the rules, so I unsubbed her and wrote her an email telling her why. Her response was basically, "Fine! I was gonna leave *anyway*!" Because that's generally why you post to a list--because you can't stand it and are ready to unsubscribe. *snicker*

Posted by Sarah T. at 09:51 AM | Comments (2)

Reversal of Fortune holds up very well for a film some of my younger comrades *significant looks* have never heard of. I like the gleeful culture clash that's not resolved entirely in favor of the Americans. Jeremy Irons clearly actually got the Oscar for Dead Ringers the previous year, since no one could bring themselves to give a Best Actor nomination for a horror film and the guilt lingered, but it was still a strong performance.

Also, Susan Tedeschi's cover of "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," is fabulous.

Posted by Sarah T. at 02:42 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2003

Whee-hoo. Check that. I definitely won't post the story-in-progress to the Magneto list, because the moderator has declared the pairing in question to be "sick." In some detail. (Not that she's forbidden posting it, but there's no reason to make the effort in such case.)

This sort of thing...yes, it tires me out. Certainly, a spate of movieverse Xavier/Artie stories in which a (contemporary) relationship was presented as healthy fun and games would be appalling, and I could see how a person could say, "The pairing usually seems to be written this way, and that's just wrong." However, there's no reason (setting aside whether it would be in character) that one couldn't write a Xavier/Artie story that was a well-constructed, disturbing, heartbreaking tale of how pedophilia ruins the life of the victim. Would that be sick? I think not. And that's in the most extreme and vile case of exploitative, cruel, illegal, immoral sexuality (adult with pre-pubescent who is completely dependent on him as a caretaker). Magneto/Pyro--a pairing of an adult with a teenager/young adult (no reason to think that Pyro isn't past the age of consent) who has volunteered to be a student, a footsoldier, a hanger-on (the movieverse canon leaves the nature of their post-movie arrangement essentially undefined)--is nowhere close.

You'll notice that for all my deep and extended problems with Spike and his reception in some parts of fandom, I've never said that one couldn't, in theory, write a good Buffy/Spike story. I've recced Buffy/Spike stories. Hell, I wrote a Buffy/Spike story.

"A story which depicts an immoral/sick action must itself be immoral/sick" might work for people coming out of certain intellectual and religious traditions, but it is a pretty goshdarned unsophisticated position for a modern-day writer of fanfic, especially if she ever writes villains. Gah. This is the sort of thing I expect to have to deal with from my grandmother, not fellow-fans.

Posted by Sarah T. at 07:57 AM | Comments (2)

So, yes. Came straight home, slept til 3 am, woke up and poked at the story. Succumbed to intense peer pressure to give up the total fade-to-black at the end. Now, it's a fade-to-grey. Still PG-13, though, I think.

The Magneto list does not look movieverse-friendly. Oh, well. Movie!Magneto is definitely not comics!Magneto (as if he weren't a giant moving target, anyway), but it bothers me less than it bothers other people. In fact, I take an odd pleasure in thinking that I've just written my first two Magneto stories, only about ten years after I encountered my first real fanfic ever, the Magneto-centric Kid Dynamo, on rec.arts.comics. (Yeah. Just rec.arts.comics, not racm, or racmx...if that doesn't date me, I don't know what does!)

I know better than to post a story at 6 am. Always post the next day, after you've had time to repent!

Posted by Sarah T. at 05:58 AM | Comments (4)

June 09, 2003

So, I am so punchy and wired at this point that I'm breaking my personal rules and looking at fanfic at work and...the XMMFF archive? Has pairings categories for Charles/Erik and Erik/John. Well and good. But there's no listing for Erik/Mystique!

The hell? It's not a slash archive. And Erik/Mystique is a canonical relationship.

I do not understand fandom. Except in the way that I totally predicted that people would prefer Magneto to Xavier, and tend to hate Xavier and treat him like a fascist. When it comes to good and evil, fans are tediously predictable.

Posted by Sarah T. at 03:24 PM | Comments (3)

dancing very slow

I really, really need to remember that, as primitive and intense a pleasure it is to stay up all night writing, it is an equally primitive and intense misery to go into work having gotten zero hours, zero minutes of sleep. If I post something utterly incomprehensible somewhere today, that is why.

I have always looked at the X-Movieverse with bemused detachment. It feels odd to be in Victoria P.'s fandom! Even for a brief visit. I don't see how the movies can sustain extended writing, unless you try to graft on the comics continuity. But a story, or, it seems, two? Sure, why not? It's nice to feel a little bit of the infamous "new relationship energy" with a fandom again, inasmuch as I'm positively ancient in SV.

I have a kink that is easily mistaken for domesticity: the "ordinary-day" kink. It's not that I pine to see my boys settle down and buy curtains; that's just dull. It's that I'm intensely curious to see how extraordinary people do things like wash the dishes or take out the trash, and ordinary life for most people does involve living in a household of some kind. I think I'm pretty intrigued by and attuned to weird households for a nonpolyamorist, inasmuch I spent some of my toddler years toddling about a left-wing religious commune. How do a pack of globetrotting mutant terrorists share a house? And how gay can it possibly be?

Posted by Sarah T. at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2003

Added an X2 story to the site, Custom Cannot Stale. International mutant terrorists need love, too!

Posted by Sarah T. at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

And Protect and Serve (SV) is finally up.

Posted by Sarah T. at 04:00 AM | Comments (0)

New recs! SV and XMM2.

Posted by Sarah T. at 03:11 AM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2003

My last four stories have all been het. Well, maybe you could call "Protect and Serve" gen with a side-order of slashiness, but the other three are pure het, and all of them are about the intense relationship of a woman with a man.

The hell? I mean, I'm always perfectly happy to write women when it seems appropriate, but it's the m/m relationships that ping for me, that sting me on to write and explore.

Maybe I have been secretly replaced by Tina Grier!

Posted by Sarah T. at 07:04 PM | Comments (3)

*bounces*

Sarah says: X2 fifty times more fun than original! Will see again!

Nightcrawler! Squeeeeeeee! I nub my fuzzy-elf. And a director who cares enough to do things like sneak in throwaway references to Xian and Project Wideawake.

*bounce*

Posted by Sarah T. at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2003

I'm starting to get the appeal of being in a boyband fandom.

Not the actual boyband part, mind you. Just the pleasure of having a fandom that allows you to wake up some mornings, look at your friendslist, and be reduced to incoherence by a picture or a story of cuteness. And then run off to discuss it in detail with all your friends. Fictional fandoms really don't offer this in anything like a similar degree.

Man. MR is a somewhat attractive man. Have I ever mentioned this?

Posted by Sarah T. at 12:19 PM | Comments (4)

It is a sad thing, to be born with a hacker's addiction to the rush of sekrit power you get when your program does something useful, yet lacking in the talents and mindset that would allow me to actually achieve that state more than occasionally. I rarely get anything done, yet I stay up typing "pico foo" "./foo" over and over again. *shakes head*

Posted by Sarah T. at 02:50 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2003

Happy birthday to Viridian5 and a belated happy birthday to...oh, man. Nestra? Damnit. I always get her and Shrift mixed up (witness the time I accidentally sent feedback to the wrong one--how embarrassing!).

Also, congratulations to everybody who is graduating, and everybody who's supported someone else through graduation this year. I had to wait for the young folks in their caps and gowns to cross the street before I could this morning, and instead of being impatient, I got verklempt.

Posted by Sarah T. at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

*sigh* Ever read a story that's generally quite good, except for the ugly scar of slasher's-misogyny disfiguring the whole thing? And you know it's not a misinterpretation, because it's all over the rest of the writer's work?

There's just nothing you can do about it. You can't raise someone's consciousness in a single carefully-worded feedback letter. There's no way you, basically a stranger, can get someone to rethink all of the cultural beliefs about the relative lack of value of women--the way it's acceptable to shove them aside, pretending they're worthless or evil, when they get in the way of fulfilling male desires--that they have somehow completely managed to avoid any reflection on throughout their life, just through a little constructive criticism of their fanfic. Thinking yourself clear of the uglier and more destructive aspects of our society's construction of femininity is one of the major life projects, not something a fellow-fan can bring preemptorily to your attention like an awareness of the difference between "discreet" and "discrete..."

...And yet their work could be so good if it ever dawned on them that girls are people, too.

It's very frustrating, is what it is.

Posted by Sarah T. at 07:08 AM | Comments (0)

It just occurred to me that the people who insist that the SV writers and actors are struggling to smuggle out to the world a story of gayness in defiance of the cruel and restrictive producers and network...

...are esoteric readers.

Aggggh!

No wonder I can't stand 'em.

Posted by Sarah T. at 04:38 AM | Comments (1)

June 04, 2003

Goofy pairing of the day: Zeke Stone and Piper Holloway.

C'mon, it'd be cute! If Satan showed up while they were pitching woo, Piper could just freeze him.

Posted by Sarah T. at 07:00 PM | Comments (1)

Happy birthday to kstanley! We've only met the once, but I feel that time spent trying not to look at MR's package when it's exactly in your line of sight is quality time.

Posted by Sarah T. at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2003

Huh. Denis O'Hare, who played the schizophrenic lawyer so movingly in the L&O episode "Pro Se," also played the guy who brutally attacked an insane homeless man living in his neighborhood in an episode two years earlier ("Volunteers"). I wonder if there's a story there.

Posted by Sarah T. at 08:02 PM | Comments (3)

I really can't participate in the Great Debate Over Warnings, mostly because it just depresses me every time I read that a considerable number of people don't want to be deeply affected by what they read. Maybe it would bother me less if I had the impression that these people were getting a deep emotional engagement from some other art form, but I rarely do. I certainly respect the wish of people with PTSD to avoid triggers--no one should be expected to suffer an outbreak of illness as a result of reading fanfic!--but to go through life expecting a diet of only bland comfort from the art you experience...it just seems a wish to impoverish your life in a sad way. Certainly people have the right to do it, but why would you want to?

I wish more fanfic made me cry, and not in the "bleeding from the eyes because I've dug them out with a rusty spork after reading a story where a guy managed to fit his own and his father's cocks up his own ass at the same time" sort of way, either.

Posted by Sarah T. at 05:15 PM | Comments (3)

June 01, 2003

First, I apologize to everyone I owe email. I've had a nasty cold for a week plus now and I'm running at 1/3 normal speed.

Interestingly, as I'm trying to catch up, I'm looking at an unusually high number of feedbacks that request sequels. For Buffy stories written nearly two years ago, no less. How very odd.

Second, damn, the ending of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon still kills me. Even in the what-the-hell-were-they-smoking dubbed English version.

Third, reading scholarly analyses of BTVS is almost enough to make you stop believing in the quality of literary criticism altogether. To see so many scholars get it so painfully wrong is really disheartening.

Posted by Sarah T. at 12:32 AM | Comments (0)