elaby: (Anthy - Rainbow)
I know it's normal for peoples likes and dislikes to change over time. For example, I used to hate mushrooms. Now, I rather like 'em! I can't say I'd eat a whole plateful no matter how they were cooked, but I'd even purposefully put them into recipes now. I never really liked tea either, and now I'm absolutely bonkers for it. Along the same lines, I used to be really (really really) into anime, and now I'm only passingly into anime. I'll look at pictures if they come across my Tumblr dash, and I'll watch shows if they're recommended to me or if I know I'll like them, but it's not an all-consuming passion by any stretch of the imagination.

In spite of the fact that I know changes in interests are normal, I'm used to there being things that I've always liked and always will like - things like french fries and Tolkien. But I'm starting to realize, over the last couple of years and especially lately, that there's one thing that I used to adore and now not only am I not really into it, it even sometimes depresses me. And I liked this thing so much that the great majority of my media consumption (and therefore my entertainment, relaxation, and creative pursuits) revolved around it.

This thing is slash.

You understand, if you've been reading my journal for any length of time - particularly during the Holmes Era - that this was a fairly devastating thing to realize. How can I dislike slash? As I so often point out (when people would tell me that they "usually hate slash" but love my fanart), as a lesbian, my life essentially is slash - meaning a same-gender love relationship features heavily into it. But lately, the more potentially slashy pairings I come across in modern media, the more it depresses me.

I ran across the term "queerbaiting" recently. It's used in reference to those shows, movies, books, etc. that tease audiences with the potential of a romantic same-gender relationship but never actualize that relationship. Anime and manga are, and have always been, terribly notorious for this, but it's becoming more prominent in Western media as it becomes more acceptable to acknowledge the existence of same-gender relationships.

This concept pretty well encompasses my current feelings toward slash (when the term refers to potential relationships in fiction, not anybody else's fannish tendencies, which of course I heartily support one's freedom to have). It doesn't bother me so much in fiction that's historical, fantasy, or sci-fi, but I'm finding any contemporary media with slash potential to be more and more depressing. I think this is because in a contemporary story, there's every possibility (from a social and personal-identity-development standpoint) that the characters could be in a romantic relationship but the creators refuse to commit, out of fear of audience rejection or just plain manipulation. And I find that watching such things and picking up on the clues that used to delight me now only makes me sad and frustrated.

This comes with all sorts of complications. For example, I very much believe that two fictional people of the same gender should be able to have a close relationship without it being romantic. It's important to show that that kind of relationship exists in reality too. And I'm sure I could find exceptions to this where the slashiness doesn't give me feelings of despair. But the fact remains that lately, watching shows with extremely high slash potential and no real hope of actualization upsets me. And the fact that it upsets me... upsets me >_< I never used to care whether my favorite OTP had a chance in hell of ever happening in canon. I mean, it was always kind of a given that they didn't. I guess what's changed is that in our world now, the complete absence of established same-gender relationships in media is not a given. And I don't want it to ever be a given again.

I'm sorry to let go of this piece of my fannish history. It's not like I think I'll never get starry-eyed over two same-gender characters in a TV show or movie again, but things have shifted, and while I accept that this is how I feel now, I miss the time when it didn't bother me.
elaby: (Madoka - Sayaka Kyoko forehead touching)
(OMG two posts in one night! What madness is this?)

I've been thinking about fandom - shipping, in particular - and probably this is a fairly rudimentary conclusion to come to, but it was something of a revelation for me. I often feel guilty that, when it comes to Western-culture movies and television, I pretty much only ship guys (and the rare opposite-gender couple - I'm looking at you, Amy and Rory OTP forever). In fact, I've always favored male characters disproportionately over female characters. And I thought, god, that's awful! I'm a girl, for heaven's sake, and a lesbian at that, and my favorite characters are still all men? The sexism I show in my own entertainment preferences is disturbing.

And while it's true that this is sexist of me - I'm not trying to excuse it away - it's also a societally cultivated sexism. In mainstream TV and movies, there are far greater numbers of interesting, well-developed, central male characters than there are female. It's not fair, and we're trying to change it, but it's reality. And because of that, there are far greater numbers of meaningful relationships between two male characters than there are between two female characters.

In the end, that's what I ship for: meaningful relationships. I don't dare hope that same-sex characters will be shown in canonically romantic partnerships (lately I get frustrated and down-hearted and resentful of pairings that purposely flirt too close to that edge with no hope of actualization) but the meaningful relationships are undeniably there. Women on TV and in movies are so rarely given enough of themselves, separate and apart from the men in their lives, to develop meaningful relationships with other women. It's the Bechdel Test principle - in order to past the test, there have to be two women in the show or movie who have at least one conversion about something other than a man. This happens so rarely that female characters don't get to develop on their own, and so they don't get to develop the kind of heart-pounding, squee-inducing, shiptastic relationships with each other that men do.

I admit that I have a pretty small range of experience with Western TV and movies. The only exceptions I can think of are:

- Xena and Gabriele
- Inara and Kaylee

I've never even SEEN Xena. (I'm thinking I should remedy this.) I guess Willow and Tara should fall under this category, but they're TRAGIC and so I don't think I'd get much joy out of shipping them. LiveJournal friends, I know you've seen more TV and movies than me! What ladies do you ship, or consider shippable? I'd love to have a few more pairings to add to the list, just to prove they exist.

As an interesting side note, I have no trouble shipping girls from anime or from Western TV shows meant for kids, like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. And you know why? It's because MLP:FIM and Sailor Moon and Utena and Yuru Yuri and Madoka and the like PASS THE BECHDEL TEST. The girls in these shows are developed on their own outside of the influence of a central male naturally-more-important-than-them character.

That's it, I've got to find out if Xena is on Netflix.
elaby: (Rei/Minako - Swirly hair)
How about more significant first? I think that's a good idea. I read two articles the other day, found through [livejournal.com profile] glockgal's journal (where I find many of the most thought-provoking and self-improving things), about fandom perceptions and fandom's impact on people's lives. They're very thoughtful, informative, and important. Italicized quotes are from the articles.

iambickilometer on Dreamwidth writes META: Five+ Ways Being Transgender in Fandom Really Sucks, and Why I Stick With It Anyway

The title is self-explanatory, and this article is very well-written, helpful, informative, and ultimately optimistic. I learned a new term: cisgender means a person whose perceived gender conforms their physical sex and society's view of their gender or sexual identity.

You know what I want to see in source material? I want to see someone transgendered save the world, and pass while doing it. I want to see the guy win the transgirl. I want the genderqueer person in a position of power, kicking ass, taking names. I want the transguy to live happily ever after. I want to read or watch their stories and think, "Hey, maybe that could be me." I want other people, cisgendered people, to read and watch these stories and think, "Hey, maybe that could be me."

[livejournal.com profile] bookshop writes "i know you care for him as much as i do."

The title of this article, some of you may notice, is a line from Sherlock Holmes '09: Mary says it to Holmes about Watson. The article, which I can say reflects pretty much exactly what I think and feel, talks about how slash isn't just a treasure-hunting game, it's what we do to be able to see ourselves in fictional characters when there is a massive dearth of gay protagonists.

I don't slash because I like finding and pointing out homoerotic subtext everywhere I can. I slash because the stories I want, I can't have.

[...]

I don't want Holmes and Watson, House and Wilson, Merlin & Arthur, Blair and Serena, to make out onscreen because I am a slasher. I don't want it because I can go "aha!" and add that moment to my collection.

I want those main characters to fall in love and make out because it means that fans of their characters will have to come to terms with their gayness, exactly like they would have to do in real life. [...] The most empowering aspect of slash for me is that it takes beloved, known characters, and strips away their heteronormativity. Yeah, countless people have accidentally discovered Harry Potter slash on the internet, and gone "ACK MY EYES" and hit the back button as fast as they can, but that also means that for half an instant, countless people were forced to grapple with the idea that someone they loved was gay, even if that someone was a fictional character. And maybe they didn't get it, but maybe that moment brought them closer to acceptance or tolerance or empathy.


--

In less significant fandom news, I really really love this manga called The Last Uniform (Saigo no Seifuku). The art isn't spectacular, but it really gets better over the first two volumes, and the story is sweet and adorable and full of gentle girl-love in which the characters barely get as far as hugging one another. It's also very much about friendship, between the paired-off couples and between all of the characters, which is a nice change after all of the yuri, shounen-ai, and yaoi that's only about physical desire.

But it seems pretty evident that the third and last volume won't be released in English. *sadface* It's been since 2008 that anyone's mentioned it, and as far as I can tell from the publisher's forums, they were putting it "on hold" then because the first volumes didn't sell well. It's only one more volume! The second ended with a cliffhanger! BWAH! T_T

It appears to be available on the Borders.com website, on backorder, shipping in 2-4 weeks. I don't really trust this, since nowhere else does it say it's been published in English. And the thing is, I would take it in raw Japanese, in scans, anything. But I can't find any scans for volume 3, and my one known resource for Japanese books (www.sasugabooks.com) doesn't have it. Since it was a little obscure three-volume series from 2005, I'm not really surprised, but I had hoped they might be carrying it.

Anybody out there know any other Japanese bookstores I could navigate in English and order from online? Any manga sites that put up scans? I'm woefully ignorant about what's out there for raw scans, and I didn't have any luck searching for scanlations. Woe!

[Edit: For my own reference, Kinokuniya has the last volume if you search for it using Japanese characters. Not sure how to order yet.]
elaby: (Spock - Reboot Spock "?")
We have been busy! Busy like whoa, it feels. But we took the day off work today, which was incredibly lovely. Here are some things we've done lately:

Last Sunday I went to Salem, MA with [livejournal.com profile] caitirin, [livejournal.com profile] _melisande_, and [livejournal.com profile] i_esperanza. It was a beautiful day, and we went to the House of the Seven Gables and all sorts of stores. I got shiny new rocks :3 I got (yet another) piece of smoky quartz (a round clear brown-grey bubble which I just adore) and two pieces of spectrolite (which is apparently a hard variety of labradorite? Cool!) and a pinkish piece of moonstone, and... something else... some blue onyx (I think?) and another little very yellowy piece of smoky quartz. I just can't help it with the smoky quartz!

Then we went to this beautiful, huge park that was full of the most glorious trees. We met a very large doggie (an akita) and sat by the sea, and then I climbed a tree in my long skirt and I couldn't get down XD [livejournal.com profile] caitirin had helped me up by letting me step into her hand, but I didn't know how I would get down. [livejournal.com profile] caitirin wanted me to step on her shoulder and she'd lower me to the ground, but I was afraid I'd squish her, so [livejournal.com profile] i_esperanza came over to help me by letting me take her hands as [livejournal.com profile] caitirin lowered me down... but I put more weight on her than I did on [livejournal.com profile] caitirin and we all fell over in a heap XD Nobody was hurt and we all almost died laughing. It was pretty fabulous :3

I have this long list of fannish things I want to do, but I'm either too busy or when I have time, I'm like "Blaaaaah, I'd rather stare into the middle distance." So I thought I'd make a list in lieu of actually accomplishing anything!

Fannish things I want to do/finish:

- I'm working on a Holmes and Watson fic (nothing I've been requested to do, something different *shifty look*) and it's close to being done, but I just keep fighting with it because part of the time I think it's goofy beyond belief and part of the time I think it's predictable and boring. There are also moments that I think it's pretty okay, but they're less frequent.

- I also want to write fics based on the Holmes-and-Watson sentences I wrote: the one about them going sailing on the Serpentine, and about Holmes and Watson having to look after Mrs. Hudson's nephews. And I had this line! I swear I did! But I have no idea where it went. Somewhere in the sinkhole of my brain, I expect.

- I'm THIS CLOSE |----| to being done with this stupid Cody and Aldridge thing I've been writing for months on end. I stop writing it for weeks and the come back to it. It's so almost done! It just needs an ending! I want to finish and post it but I don't know how to end the blasted thing.

- I've made two or three Starsky & Hutch icons with text and all, and making icons out of live action things is really difficult for me. I want to make more, but that means making more screencaps, which means I need some long period of time in which I can play the episodes on my laptop. Bwaaaaah. But I really want to make them!

- I have to finish my Starsky & Hutch chibis! So's I can post them :3

- I have all these awesome ideas for pictures for a certain [livejournal.com profile] _melisande_, and I want to draw them aaaaaallll :D Muahaha! But I need some pictures for references and I'm worried about spoilers if I google for them XD *is going to anyway* [edit: Mission accomplished! Found pictures and didn't get spoiled!]

- I want to watch To Play the King again, onnacounta Colin Jeavons, and because [livejournal.com profile] caitirin hasn't seen it yet.

My fingers are all tingly! I wonder if it's because it's hot. *pats her icon of bemused!reboot!Spock*
elaby: (Spock - hand on ass)
Twenty Random Things Meme, tagged by [livejournal.com profile] caitirin. This will likely be heavily influenced by the fact that I've been at school for 13 hours.

Twenty Random Things )

A definition question for all you fandom-types out there: Is RPS (Real-Person Slash) absolutely literal, or does it carry a connotation of slashing people who you don't know are gay? What I really want to know is whether it's still called RPS if you're slashing two gay people who are together. For example, would it be RPS if someone wrote a fanfic or drew fanart about Ian McKellan and his partner? What about in a historical context, when people have been dead for a long time? Is Richard II/Blondel RPS? Why I'm asking is because I've started drawing a picture inspired by Byron's Carnelian poetry, which is about himself and, for lack of a better term, his college boyfriend. The definition won't change whether I draw it or not, but I was curious. To me, RPS has a distinct "probably not really gay" flavor, but then again I've only seen it in the context of the LotR actors (besides McKellan, who no one slashes, weirdly enough).
elaby: (Default)
I suppose this is what I get for going to bed with Harry Potter on the brain.


In
this dream, Draco had died. I haven't the slightest clue how, but I
remember thinking it was too good to be true (I was Hermione in this
dream) and that it must be part of the plot that he shows up alive
later. Anyway, the school was in a tizzy, and Harry and I were in this
large lecture room that resembles the ones in Ham-Smith, with tiered
seats and long tables instead of individual desks. Everything was made
of stone, though, instead of wood and plastic and metal. Dumbledore's
office was at the bottom of the lecture hall, through these wide doors,
and he had set up some kind of councelling/comfort thing down there
with a lot of chocolates. They were petit fours, actually. And a whole
lot of the kids were down there, trying to get chocolates rather than
being disconsolate about Draco, and Harry and I (I don't know where Ron
was) went down to investigate but we stayed at the back of the room.

Apparently
someone else was supposed to teach this class, but whoever it was was
in too much of a state to teach and so Snape was substituting. All of
the kids came back out and took their seats, but the door to
Dumbledore's office was still open and we could see Dumbledore and
MacGonagall through it, talking. Snape had notes for the class and he
started lecturing, walking around the room, but he kept happening upon
things in the lecture which would remind him of Draco - a snake (don't
ask me why), and some kind of creature Draco had had as a pet, and
various other things I don't remember - and he would stop talking,
collect himself, and then start again. Harry and I just kept shooting
looks at each other like o.o Snape also kept taking something out of
his pocket and then stuffing it back in. Then, finally, he got so
pissed off with the notes that he went down to Dumbledore's office, and
he went in and was going to talk to him, but he kept looking through
the doors and seeing all the students... and so finally he just stormed
up through the lecture hall and out. And we were all happy to have no
class.


It's come to my attention that it's been *checks* days since I was an obnoxious LotR geek. Let's try to remedy that, shall we?

More
evidence that Boromir was nice-ified in the movies. Not that I
particularly dislike the way he was protrayed... and I adore the movies
so much that this isn't so much a criticism as it's just an interesting
observation of the different ways they executed things. So in the extra
scenes in Two Towers, there was a bit which went something like this:

Denethor: Boromir, something important's happening. Go to Rivendell.
Boromir: But I don't wanna... I want to stay here, with my troops, and be heroic and self-sacrificing.
Faramir: Uh... I'll go, if the task is too menial for my sainted, altruistic brother, whom I worship.
Denethor:
No! You're an annoying, scrawny git who just wants to steal your
brother's accolades! Boromir, get your butt to Elvenhome.
Boromir: All right, all right. *sulk*

Now... that's not what Boromir was like at all. For evidence, I give you Gandalf from Return of the King (book.)

Denethor says... " '...My Boromir! Now we have need of you. Faramir should have gone in his stead.'
'He
would have gone,' said Gandalf. 'Be not unjust in your grief! Boromir
claimed the errand and would not suffer any other to have it. He was a
masterful man, and one to take what he desired.' "

Gandalf
also says of Denethor: "... whatever be his descent from father to son,
by some chance the blood of Westernesse runs nearly true in him; as it
does in his other son, Faramir, yet did not in Boromir whom he loved
best."

They didn't really switch Boromir and Faramir's roles so
much as they made Boromir a much less ambitious and selfish person, and
Faramir into a much less noble man who was driven for the most part by
trying to measure up to his brother and please a father who treats him
like shit.

By the way, [livejournal.com profile] caitirin, my little LJ pencil icon thing here at home is acting crazy, too... so I don't think it's just yours ^_^

elaby: (Default)
You know, that title really has far too many nasty implications than this post is going to warrant.

Excuse me whilst I, once again, rant about fans and Tolkien. Feel free, as always, to just ignore this ^^;;

I refuse to believe that I am a silly, brainless fangirl because I don't think Boromir was a bloody SAINT.

Okay.
They don't think he was a saint. But it just seems that all the
self-righteous smart people out there who have loud opinions about
Tolkien, the ones who talk intelligently about it and not the crazy
adolescent Legomance writers, all think Boromir is just so abused.
And yes. I cringe when I see stories in which he commits unspeakable
acts upon random members of the Fellowship and/or Mary Sues, just
because he's really the only one these writers would put in that role.
But STILL. If I have to hear one more time about how misunderstood and
abused and gallant and angsty Boromir is... I dunno what I'm going to
do. Certainly not rant in my deadjournal again, because that's this
entry's moment of bitchiness. Arg.

I found one fanfic where the
writer claimed to be vehemently sticking to book canon... and which
mainly consisted of Boromir yaoi. RIGHT. Slash and canon LotR is about
as improbable as you get. I mean, these people can go ahead and write
all the slash they want - depending on who it is, I'll probably read it
- but don't say you're upholding the tradition of old Professor Tolkien
himself. That's just crazy >_<

And I'm not saying that
Boromir is, as people mocking fangirls have put it, "EEEEEEVIL," but
he's not a nice guy. The first thing he does is make a great impression
of himself by putting down Aragorn, and it's beyond me why Aragorn is
so damn nice to him when he gets shot full of Orc-arrows, since all
they really did the entire time was try to keep away from each other's
throats. Yes, I know, Boromir redeemed himself by dying to save the
hobbits. I know. And I'm glad he did, it would have been awful for the
guy to have just been killed after exacting his Ring-lunacy on poor
little Frodo. But... geez. Maybe I'm just biased, because when you're
eight years old, you don't pick up on subtle nuances when it comes to a
character's moral identity, and I just thought Boromir was a JERK.
Maybe that's why I still don't like him. They made him into such a
sympathetic angst puppy in the movie, though, and you'd think these
purists would get all mad about that - since they get mad about
anything else done differently in the films - but apparently not. Or
maybe I'm just looking in the wrong place. Or maybe I'm wrong
altogether, and I didn't pay enough attention when I read the trilogy
over (and over and over) once I was a thinking adult. And that term is
probably still up for debate.

And I probably should be writing opinionated editorials when I feel like I'm going to cough up a lung O_o

*HACK*

Finished. Aah, bed looks good...



*wrote Simon flashback... a little one. Please by that opportunity, at least*
elaby: (Default)
Bear with me for a moment whilst I pretend to be intellectual and rant about unimportant things.

There's
a very small thing about Tolkien fanfic, Legolas fanfic in particular,
which irks me to no end... and that's the fact that nearly EVERY fic
makes a huge deal about Legolas being the "prince" of Mirkwood.

Yeah.
His father's Thranduil, the famed Elf King of Mirkwood from The Hobbit.
But not once does he (or anyone else, for that matter) refer to himself
as the Prince of Mirkwood. What IS it with these people, that they
simply MUST have Legolas be prancing about with heir-apparent
princeliness? It's not as if it must matter much to HIM, since he only
ever introduces himself as an Elf of Mirkwood. He only talks about his
father when the plot calls for it. Celeborn is the only one who says
anything about Thranduil being his dad, save Elrond when he's
introducing him (or the narrator, I don't remember.) No one treats him
like royalty. The Lothlorien Elves only treat him better and more
familiarly than the others (except Aragorn, of course) because he IS an
Elf, and their "northern cousin." It's like people just caught onto
that one little detail and run a marathon with it O_o Seriously. It's
not a big deal. The little fangirls who have their original characters
fall out of a tree and into the arms of the dashing prince of Mirkwood
make me wanna stab a pen into my temple.

But instead of listening to me rant, you should go see this girl's artwork. It's AMAZING. Gwah *_* The musculature... Hoo boy.

http://elfwood.lysator.liu.se/loth/s/a/sabrar/sabrar.html

I
don't know if Elfwood allows direct linking... so there's the whole
address. Pretty things. Lots of dwarves, which isn't particularly my
bag, but the elves are worth it.

Oh, and if you want to read
something about Legolas's prince-ness that's a lot more intelligent
than my rant, read this. I may have plugged it already, though ^^;;

http://www.istad.org/tolkien/legolas.html

elaby: (Default)


That being, finding LotR fanfic on fanfiction.net that does not suck.

I
admit, I've only gone through one page. There are twenty-five fics on
this page. Out of them, fourteen are not Mary Sues. Out of those
fourteen, five are "humor" (I use the term VERY loosely,) one or two
are history type things, a few angst/romance/contemplation ones, and
the ubiquitous scattering of nice and/or frightening slash. The single
one I read all the way through was... not bad at all. It was slightly
cheapened by the fact that the author added a chapter at the end to fix
stuff that had been contradicted by the Two Towers movie, but which I
am fairly sure didn't happen in the book at all... of course, I could
be wrong. The fic was also slightly redeemed by the fact that the
author wrote Tolkien-style dialogue and actually pulled it off. Which I
certainly couldn't do.

Suddenly have the very strong urge to
write canon-derived, camaraderie-oriented fanfiction with only the
slight possiblity of gratuitous touching to make shounen-ai fangirls
warm and fuzzy, not to indicate lust. Because it's nice to think about,
but any yaoi in Tolkien's got less of a chance than HeeroxWufei. I
mean, in a story when the actual established romantic relationships get
all but ignored. Not that that ever really took anything away from it,
for me... I'm too much of a fangirl to find very much wrong with the
actual story or the way it's put together. Just wish there were more of
certain bits ;)

Unfortunately, like so many things, writing
fanfic myself would require thinking. It took me months to write three
damn pages of CrawfordxSchuldich UST, and they aren't nearly as sacred
to me as TOLKIEN... heh.

From this venture I have learned... that if I want fanfic I'm going to have to look somewhere besides fanfiction.net O.o











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