dolorosa_12: (emily hanna)
The marvellous [personal profile] st_aurafina has set up a new friending meme over at Dreamwidth. Click on the image, and you'll be taken to the meme!

Imzy

Aug. 24th, 2016 07:54 am
dolorosa_12: (Default)
I've noticed a lot of people on Dreamwidth have been trying out Imzy as a platform, and have been wondering about trying it out myself. It would be nice to move to the shiny new fannish platform ahead of the charge for once. I'm not sure it's going to take over from Tumblr (although to my mind the day that fandom moves on from Tumblr will be a great day), but I'd like to do what I can to hasten the move to another platform. I guess what I'm saying is, sell Imzy to me, people who are already on there. What do you like about it, and what do you think it does well?

Here's what I like about my current platforms:

Dreamwidth/Livejournal

  • The strong sense of community

  • The comment culture (i.e. that comments and discussion are welcome and encouraged)

  • The ability to form communities devoted to particular interests

  • The tradition of friending memes (and therefore the ability to keep on meeting new people)

  • Filtered posting; the ability to lock posts


  • Tumblr

  • The ease of posting/sharing images

  • The ability to lurk when you're not feeling up to a long, involved discussion


  • What I don't like about Tumblr (the lack of nuance in the conversations that arise there, the impossibility of actually finding community solely through its cumbersome tagging system, the almost active discouragement of communication and discussion, endless scrolling) is probably something I'm never going to completely escape online — if fandom is moving to places like that, clearly a large portion of fandom actually wants that kind of platform — but I'm hoping that Imzy might at least offer something of an alternative.

    So, those of you who are early adopters, how are you finding Imzy?
    dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
    This week's post is a little early, as my partner's parents are in town and I have to grab whatever time I have to myself when I can.

    I really liked this essay by Kari Sperring in Strange Horizons. It's ostensibly about Katherine Kurtz, but its broader point is that the 'women who made fantasy [and science fiction]' keep getting ignored, erased or forgotten in the genre's history.

    In a similar vein, Renay has written at Fantasy Book Cafe about recommendation lists that contain no women.

    Also by Renay, a review of The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan for Ladybusiness.

    This post by Tumblr user allofthefeelings is a reaction to a very specific fandom situation, but I feel it has broader applicability, given that it talks about unexamined preferences, narrative default settings, and representation (within texts, of fandom and of fannish culture and preferences).

    I have a not-so-secret love of '90s teen movies, so this post on Tor.com by Leah Schnelbach and Natalie Zutter about teen movies that adapt or draw on Shakespeare's plays was right up my alley.

    Abigail Nussbaum reviews Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho for Strange Horizons.

    Here's an interview with Zen Cho by Sharmilla Ganeson in The Star.

    My friend Raphael Kabo wrote this poem called 'Axis' for Noted Festival. He writes a lot about identity, alienation and place, which are themes very dear to me.

    Still on the theme of poetry, Athena Andreadis shared an older post on Sapfó (Sappho) of Lésvos.

    This is a raw, emotionally honest post by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz about the struggle to find her voice and courage after ill-treatment, silencing and the twisting of her words and judgement of her actions. I continue to be awed by her words, bravery and determination. SFF needs more people like her.
    dolorosa_12: (epic internet)
    I saw Guardians of the Galaxy two days ago, and, a couple of quibbles with certain narrative choices aside, thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't really have much to say on the matter, but my friends [tumblr.com profile] jimtheviking and [tumblr.com profile] shinyshoeshaveyouseenmymoves have been having a very interesting conversation about it which I felt was worth sharing. Expect spoilers for the whole film.

    This review of The Magicians by Lev Grossman by Choire Sicha doesn't really make me want to read the series, but makes a couple of points about writing women in fantasy literature that really resonate with me:

    “When I was writing the story in 1969, I knew of no women heroes of heroic fantasy since those in the works of Ariosto and Tasso in the Renaissance. … The women warriors of current fantasy epics,” Le Guin wrote in an afterword of The Tombs of Atuan, “look less like women than like boys in women's bodies in men's armor.” Instead, Le Guin wouldn't play make-believe, and her women were sometimes vulnerable, including physically. She refused to write wish fulfillment, even the wish fulfillment many of us crave.

    The first time I read the Earthsea quartet (as it was then), the stories of Tenar and Tehanu resonated with me in a way that was powerful and profound. I was fourteen or fifteen years old, and I think it was the first time I'd read stories that gave me a glimpse of how terrifying it was going to be to be a woman. They are not easy or comforting stories, and they showed a world that I was about to enter and told me truths I had at that point only dimly understood.

    Here is a post at The Toast by Morgan Leigh Davies about attending the Marvel panel at SDCC. It made me deeply grateful that my fannish interest lies in characters and not actors.

    This post by Mallory Ortberg at The Toast is deeply hilarious:

    Far be it from me to criticize the tactics of modern union organizers, but frankly I think the world was a better place when tradesmen organized to agitate for their rights in the workplace and practice esoteric mind-controlling spells at the same time.

    The Society of the Horseman’s Word was a fraternal secret society that operated in Scotland from the eighteenth through to the twentieth century. Its members were drawn from those who worked with horses, including horse trainers, blacksmiths and ploughmen, and involved the teaching of magical rituals designed to provide the practitioner with the ability to control both horses and women.


    (As an aside, if you're not reading The Toast, you're missing out.)

    Samantha Shannon has some good news. Her Bone Season series was intended as a seven-book series, but Bloomsbury had initially only committed to publishing three. But now they've gone ahead and confirmed that they will publish all seven. Samantha is awesome, as is the series, so I am thrilled.

    Speaking of The Bone Season, I made a Warden/Paige fanmix on 8tracks. I go into more detail about the reasons behind my choice of songs here.

    The [twitter.com profile] PreschoolGems Twitter account is one of the most fabulous things ever to exist on the internet.

    This particular A Softer World gives me life.
    dolorosa_12: (sokka)
    This post is brought to you by several recent events, and the memory of similar occurrences of the past five or six years. Consider, for example, the recent kerfuffle in Supernatural fandom which involved enraged fans harassing actors and CW executives over a storyline with which said actors and executives had no control. Consider YA author John Green ill-advisedly wading into discussions fans of Veronica Roth's Divergent series were having about its ending. Consider actor Orlando Jones' thoughts on his show Sleepy Hollow and how its creators interact with the fandom. And finally, consider [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire's thoughts on being included in Twitter conversations with fans and reviewers of her books.

    I'm having trouble working out where I stand on the creator-reviewer-fan interaction issue, and I think this is because of my own particular experiences. This got long, so bear with me.

    I'm sure I've mentioned before that I started working as a newspaper book-reviewer when I was seventeen, and that I basically got my first article published because I wrote a snotty, entitled angry letter to the books editor of a major broadsheet accusing her of not having read The Amber Spyglass before reviewing it. (In other words, I behaved just as badly as the Supernatural fans.) Looking back, it was an appalling thing to have done, but it did get me into a line of work that I found extremely satisfying.

    Before I got into online fandom (or writing reviews online), I had already been working as a professional reviewer for five years, and I continued reviewing in parallel with my online blogging. Reviewing by its nature involves lots of interaction with authors and publishers - I frequently had to contact them to request review copies of books, and I also interviewed several authors, either over the phone or in person. To date, those authors are: Kevin Crossley-Holland (email interview), Garth Nix (in person), Shaun Tan (over the phone), John Marsden (over the phone), Jeanette Winterson (in person), Gillian Rubinstein/'Lian Hearn' (over the phone), Sophie Masson (in person) and Anna Broinowski, the director of the documentary film Forbidden Lies (over the phone). I have also interviewed [livejournal.com profile] sophiamcdougall for my blog; she follows me on Twitter and LJ and we are Facebook friends, so when I reviewed her book for the newspaper, I disclosed this.

    I list all this to make the point that before I got into fandom, I was very comfortable interacting professionally with authors and discussing my interpretations of their work (with which, on occasion, they did not agree - I recall John Marsden shooting down a particular idea I had about his YA retelling of Hamlet. I stand by my interpretation and it didn't bother me that he disagreed with it). And since I've been in fandom/a review blogger, I've had extremely positive interactions with authors: it's how I got to know Sophia McDougall, Jo Walton has linked to my reviews of her work, Kate Elliott and Sarah Rees Brennan have done the same and participated in the discussion that such reviews generated, and I have participated in discussions on professional authors' or publishers' blogs without feeling unwelcome. Knowing that the authors were, in a sense, reading over my shoulder hasn't inhibited me in any way - in fact, it helped me to correct mistakes I had made (such as the time I wrote that Sophia McDougall's characters Delir and Lal were Christians, and she corrected me, saying they were Zoroastrians).

    I think it helps, however, that the writers with whom I've interacted are neither hugely well-known (i.e. they're not at the J. K. Rowling level), nor are they unpleasant people. They are not going to go all Anne Rice on you all of a sudden if you 'interrogate the text from the wrong perspective'. In my experience, they've linked to my positive reviews and corrected me (as in the example of Sophia McDougall with the Zoroastrianism) when I made errors of fact, and stayed silent when I (to their mind) made errors of interpretation (that is, if I interpreted their writing against their intentions). Nor do they have vast armies of readers who organise themselves into opposing factions and attempt to recruit the authors into their battles of interpretation.

    It's precisely because of these experiences (both as a newspaper reviewer and in my online interactions with authors) that I find it baffling, for example, when authors join in fan conversations about their works and are met with hysteria, accusations of 'inserting themselves into fannish spaces' and claims that their status as authors creates a power imbalance. I'm not talking about authors who go after negative Amazon reviewers or people who gave them only four stars on Goodreads. I'm talking more about instances when fans reblog authors' posts on Tumblr and then seem to get outraged that the authors respond. I like having discussions with authors, and if I tweet at them on Twitter, review their books on LJ or Wordpress or reblog them on Tumblr, it means I'm attempting to include them in the conversation if they want to be there.

    At the same time, there are so many instances where authors have behaved like entitled brats when interacting with fans. This ranges from Anne Rice linking to negative reviews on her Facebook page and encouraging her fans to go after the reviewers to Ryan Murphy writing mockery of a subset of his fans who didn't like particular narrative choices into Glee. I remember a particularly irritating incident when Karen Miller (who writes Star Wars tie-in novels) went absolutely nuts at fans DARING to write fanfic of them in which 'her' characters were, shock-horror, gay. I'd never read any of her books, and was not in Star Wars fandom, but joined the masses, attempting to get her to see her own hypocrisy. (It didn't work.) Conversely, I have also seen fans act like entitled brats when particular stories didn't go their way (see: Harry Potter and Avatar: The Last Airbender shipwars, although the authors involved didn't help matters).

    I feel like a good rule of thumb for creators might be to stay offline entirely unless they are comfortable reading criticism of their work. And I feel like a good rule of thumb for fans might be to refrain from posting material visible (or Googlable) to creators unless they're comfortable with the creators reading and potentially responding to their material. (And seriously, Teen Wolf fandom: don't engage the creators about Sterek unless you're prepared to hear any answer. Same goes for Dean/Castiel fans and Supernatural.) The vast majority of creators don't respond, in any case (Kate Elliott, Jo Walton, Sarah Rees Brennan and Sophia McDougall are the rare exceptions among the hundreds of creators whose work I've reviewed and talked about).

    The internet is not going anywhere, and over the years I've been online, I've seen the fourth wall slowly dismantled. It's not going back up. Some creators are going to be good at interacting with fans, some are going to be bad, and some are going to be Ryan Murphy. Some fans are going to be good at interacting with creators, some are going to be bad at it, and some are going to Tweet porny fanfic at actors (seriously, please, please don't do that). My conclusion is that I have no absolute conclusion: I personally enjoy interacting with creators as a fan and reviewer, but can understand why some people don't. Ultimately, I think we are going to have to take each set of interactions on a case by case basis: some will be positive, some will be neutral, some will be awful due to the fans' actions and some will be awful due to the creators' actions. Interactions, like the internet itself, are only as good as the people involved in them.

    What are your thoughts? I'm particularly keen to hear from those on both sides of the creator-fan divide.
    dolorosa_12: (Default)
    Further to my Buffy post, I was wondering about something I noticed in a recent fanfic search. This wasn't even strictly a Buffy phenomenon, since I encountered the same thing on a link journey started by Teen Wolf/Supernatural fic rec by [personal profile] thelxiepia.

    I do not get the appeal of 'all human' AUs based on supernatural canons.

    I mean, I am obsessed with stories of non-human characters interacting with humans. Vampires, angels, demons, gods, cyborgs, even zombies if done well. The only one that usually doesn't appeal is werewolves, and I've made an exception there for Teen Wolf because it's just so cute. The point is, I like the stories that arise when non-human beings have some kind of relationship with humans. I don't even exclusively mean the My Supernatural Boyfriend subgenre, although that can be fantastic. I just love the kinds of questions these character interactions open up: explorations of what it means to be human, whether human emotions and thought patterns are an exclusively human phenomenon, whether love (not just in the romantic sense) between a human and a non-human brings the non-human closer to humanity or makes the human monstrous, whether human morality is exclusively a product of human mortality. Etc. And it just seems to me that all-human AUs take all these things away.

    So, my question, born of genuine curiosity rather than exasperation, is why? What are people wanting to explore when they write or read these AUs?
    dolorosa_12: (epic internet)
    It was the post about tags, an innocuous, one-sentence affair that had got tens of thousands of notes, that finally did it for me.

    'People who put their comments in tags instead of in the comment section are my heroes,' the post proclaimed.

    It confirmed to me, once and for all, that Tumblr is not for me, its culture is baffling, and its platform ill-suited for the kind of communication that I want to have. Lest anyone misunderstand me, I want to state unequivocally that what I am talking about relates to me only, my problems and issues are my own, and I'm not seeking any kind of universality in this post. If Tumblr works for you, if you enjoy it, I'm very happy for you, and keep doing what you're doing! I'm talking about myself alone (and whingeing about Tumblr as a platform, to a certain extent).

    The background
    Although I've been using the internet since the mid-'90s, I don't consider myself to have 'been online' until 2007, when I was 22. My main online hangouts, since then, have been three forums, Dreamwidth/Livejournal, the comments sections of various off-LJ/Dreamwidth blogs, and my own Wordpress blogs. The off-LJ/Dreamwidth blogs (my own included) are entirely public, tend to have a narrow thematic focus (books, pop culture, publishing, feminism, author blogs). Interaction there is entirely based on having a conversation in the comments section about whatever the blogger has been discussing.

    The first forum I joined is a (relatively) small fansite for a closed canon (although the author has claimed to have been writing a spin-off book for the past ten years or so). Because it's a closed canon, there is very little discussion of the source material, and the more active threads tend to be about the other interests of the posters. There is also a section of the forum that is invite-only, and hidden to those not invited. The people I know from that forum (about 45 people) are also Facebook friends of mine, I've met most of them in 'real life', and when they have blogs, I also follow those blogs. We also have a dedicated IRC channel, where we talk about anything and everything.

    The second forum is also a small fansite, but its canon isn't closed. Because the source material is Australian, and for a variety of other reasons, the membership skews very heavily Australian, and female. Unlike on the first forum, where people are much more open about their lives and identities, the boards on this second forum tend to be much more focused on its source material and other texts, and the mods are very opposed to people revealing anything to do with their 'real life' identities in the public sections of the forum. It also has a hidden, invite-only section. Again, I'm friends with a lot of people from this forum on Facebook and other social media, and have met many of them in 'real life'.

    The third forum is concerned with fundamentalist religion, especially US-based isolationist, fundamentalist Christian patriarchy. Because of the sensitive nature of its subject-matter, most of it is hidden unless you're a registered member, but it also has off-topic sections. Because I'm a lurker here, my participation is much more superficial, and I don't know any of the posters in any other context, but I know that it has much the same culture as my other two forums - that is, people are friends off-site, and have had 'real life' meet-ups and stuff.

    I joined the LJ/Dreamwidth world as a uni student, initially because all my high school friends were doing the same as a way to stay in touch. Over the years, my LJ/Dreamwidth friendship group expanded with the addition of the aforementioned forum friends, and later with people I'd met through specific communities, friending memes, or just by searching through interests and introducing myself to people who shared similar obscure interests. LJ/Dreamwidth culture makes a lot of sense to me, because it distinguishes between locked and open posts, conversations unfold in a logical manner in comment sections, communities can define their scope as broadly or as narrowly as they like (e.g. they can deal with a whole canon, or just one ship within it, or they can deal with, say, a whole city, or one subculture within it).

    The point I'm making with outlining all these different communities that (pre-Tumblr) together made up my online world is that they were set up for conversations. It was up to you to choose how you wanted to converse - whether you wanted everything to be public or not, or whether you had a mixture of public and non-public conversations. If you wanted a more private or ephemeral conversation, you took it to IMs (IRC, I love you forever). It was perfectly possible to lurk and not participate, but if you wanted to say something, it was expected that you participate, to whatever degree you felt comfortable with. To participate in threads on a forum, you had to say something. To participate in a blogging platform, you had to post something, or comment on something.

    Tumblr culture
    To do so on Tumblr, you have to work a lot harder, and, to my mind, use the site counterintuitively. This is, in part, due to how poorly designed the site is as a platform for communication and conversation. You cannot reply to replies (which are essentially comments). Instead, you must reblog someone's post and add your response to it. This quickly leads to popular posts being reblogged with comments by multiple people, leading to multiple reblogs, each with their own separate series of comments, rather than one original post with all the responses unfolding underneath it. If you submit an ask to someone, that cannot be replied to or reblogged at all, leading to a discussion that is essentially limited to one question and one response. (People find ingenious ways to work around this, usually by taking screen shots of replies or asks and reposting them as pictures.) I cannot imagine, for example, hosting a friending meme on Tumblr - how could you, when by its very nature, a friending meme requires people to reply to replies?

    Secondly, Tumblr is entirely public. I think this has led people to be much more cautious about what they post. (There's nothing wrong with this. This is a sensible reaction.) And because of the lack of facilitation of conversations, you end up in a situation where you barely know most people with whom you interact. My Tumblr friends (excluding those whom I know 'in real life' or from elsewhere online), are people who I followed because their interests/the theme of their Tumblrs align with my own, or because people I know kept reblogging them and they seemed interesting. But beyond reblogging their posts, I don't interact with them at all, and I don't know how to even begin doing so.

    I feel that on forums and the pre-Tumblr blogging platforms, the 'rules' which governed communication were much clearer. You talked to people about whatever was being discussed, you didn't link to or quote locked posts, and it was up to you how much you participated. Participation was entirely within your control - you either made posts and comments, or you didn't, and you either locked/filtered your posts or you didn't.

    And then you come to Tumblr, where apparently it's not okay to add your thoughts to the body of a reblogged post, but instead you should confine them to your tags, where only you and your followers can see them, unless the original poster or some later reblogger should click through to your post and read it, and in any case they wouldn't be in a position to respond because no one can reply to replies anyway. If that's not killing communication, I don't know what is.

    And I know this is the fault of Tumblr as a platform, but platforms shape the culture of a community, and I can't help but feel that something is being lost. I know Tumblr works for some people, but for me, what the internet meant, what it means, is communication, an ongoing conversation, a way to deepen friendships and engage with people with whom I share interests. And I just cannot see how posting reaction gifs and replying to asks which swiftly disappear in a tide of REBLOGGING FOREVER is a way to do that.
    dolorosa_12: (Default)
    This has been a somewhat disappointing and frustrating week, so aside from mentioning that the snow is finally starting to melt so I can finally run outside again, I'm not going to talk about life stuff that makes me unhappy and instead talk about fandom stuff that makes me very happy indeed.

    Once Upon a Time spoilers )

    Pretty Little Liars spoilers )

    Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, spoiler-free )

    Musings about the Wars of the Roses )

    In other news, I simply cannot stop listening to this playlist:

    dolorosa_12: (Default)
    Fandom, I love you to bits, but do you think you could manage, just for once, to acknowledge that female characters exist?

    Sincerely,

    Ronni

    This post is brought to you by Fandom A, which seems to have reduced its most awesome female character to being a sort of cheer squad to the main slash pairing, Fandom B, which alternates between ignoring my favourite character and blaming her for the stupidity of her husband and son and only mentions my second-favourite (teenage) character when discussing which creepy old man to pair her off with, and Fandom C, which prefers incest pairings to writing about female characters (admittedly, the canon is horrible in this regard and tends to kill off every female character as quickly as possible).

    This post is also brought to you by the knowledge that if people wrote fic for my favourite mini-fandom, it would all be angsty incestuous pairings of the (male) Imperial family members, with a side order of woobiefied (male) villain.

    Bonus points if you can guess the fandoms.

    PS It's not so much that I want people to stop writing fic, making art and producing meta focusing on male characters. It's that I wish it could be supplemented with equally good amounts of fic, art and meta about female characters. I wish female-centric texts would become as popular as male-centric texts.
    dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
    I've been wanting to do a sort of 'social justice by the numbers' post, where I wrote about how well the things about which I am fannish handle matters of representation. For those of you who think that representation isn't important, I would urge you to educate yourselves, and in particular listen to people who aren't often well-represented in the media when they talk about how it matters to them that they are represented adequately.

    A quick word on my methodology. I've included a fandom/text in this post if it:
    a) makes me behave in a fannish manner (that is, that I want to respond to it in some way, be it with fic or meta or discussing it with other fans); and
    b) makes me want to revisit it again and again in order to find new things out about it.

    For this reason, only books and television shows are included, since for some reason films seem to have less of a fannish effect on me. I've suspected this is because I mostly become fannish due to characters, and although many films have excellent characterisation, I usually find that two hours or so is not long enough for me to become truly attached to their characters.

    I'm giving each fandom a Representation Score (for great social justice!). The way points are allocated is thus:
    A text gets one point for simply including a character from an underrepresented group (eg, a female primary or secondary character, a queer character etc).
    A text gets two points if such characters pass certain other tests (eg, if it passes the Bechdel Test, if a disabled character isn't there merely to teach the non-disabled characters a lesson about tolerance, etc - basically if they're not defined by their minority-ness).
    A text gets five points if said characters occupy an equal amount of screen-time as those of comparable importance (for example, if there is a show with three main leads, one of whom is straight, two of whom are queer, all three must get roughly equal amounts of the story).
    A text loses five points it has such characters, but resorts to stereotypes or handles their stories poorly (for example, if a character is Othered, if women are fridged).

    Obviously, my interpretation of these things is going to be subjective, and if I mess up, tell me. I am female, but in every other aspect I have privilege: I am white, I am middle class, I am straight, I am cis, I am able-bodied and I am neurotypical. I won't change what I've written (as I believe if you screw up in things like this, you should own your mistakes and allow people to see them) but I will emend my post and include people's criticism. So, let's get to it!

    (Note: there are spoilers for The Demon's Lexicon trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan, the Romanitas trilogy by Sophia McDougall, Galax-Arena and the Space Demons trilogy by Gillian Rubinstein, the His Dark Materials trilogy and Sally Lockhart Mysteries by Philip Pullman, The Pagan Chronicles by Catherine Jinks, Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.)

    Spoilers abound )

    I wasn't surprised that The Demon's Lexicon and Romanitas scored so highly. Their authors are very conscious of representation. In the case of Sarah Rees Brennan, her series' main focus is on identity and perception, while McDougall is concerned in Romanitas with power and dispossession. This is what McDougall had to say (in an interview with me) about representation:
    If you want a future where fiction doesn’t routinely perpetuate harmful stereotypes and ignore everyone except the white people, (especially if you are white yourself) you probably cannot assume your unexamined muse and your good intentions are going to do all the work for you..

    And this is what Rees Brennan said:
    Here’s a problem: the role Nick, Mr. Tall Dark &c, plays in the series is a role played by a white guy with a bunch of issues: that’s a main role we get to see every day, a role that gets forgiven a lot of things, a role that if I didn’t get right a bunch of other people would. Let’s face it, “White Dude With Some Issues” could be the title of seventy per cent of movies and books out there. (We switch it to “White Dude With Some Issues (Who Is My Boyfriend)” I think we could make it to eighty per cent.)

    I’m a girl, not a guy, and I’m white, not black, so in both cases I was writing from the point of view of someone I wasn’t. But there’s a lot more hurt to be inflicted if I got Sin wrong. And with writing, the chances of getting something wrong are high indeed. But it was something I felt I had to do. And it is something I feel like writers should do: write what they want and feel called to write, and write about the world the way it is. Writers should give every story in them a voice and a time to speak.


    I think more authors and writers need to be conscious of these things. I believe representation is extremely important, and I think even those texts that I've singled out for praise or scored highly here have further to go. Why do the texts aimed at children have no queer characters? Why are there no trans* characters at all? These are questions that need to be asked, and we need to keep on asking them until things change.

    _________________________________
    *Note: in some of these texts, the category of 'working class' makes little sense. I'll categorise them differently when the need arises.
    **Note: that's an in-show perception, and not a view I hold myself. There's no 'right' way to be sexual.
    dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
    I seem to be on a bit of a blogging roll right now, so here's a post about three things I've been musing about in relation to various things I've been reading in recent times.

    1. I still find Buffy empowering, in spite of everything

    Let's get this out of the way. Buffy fails on numerous occasions in matters of race, sexuality and even the feminism which its creator, Joss Whedon, claims. I personally think its storytelling is excellent, but I know numerous people who find it deeply problematic and even hurtful, with good reason. It is, to me, an example of a flawed story that nonetheless never fails to speak to me, and I know that I have in the past excused or failed to recognise its flaws due to ignorance.

    Chief among these flaws is one that feminists often raise in relation to all of Whedon's work: he ostensibly writes stories about 'empowered' women whose source of empowerment is overcoming some kind of trauma, usually a literal or metaphorical rape.

    And yet, for me, as a teenager and young woman, I found that particular story, especially as it was told in Buffy, extremely empowering. Despite having a relatively calm adolescence, with nothing worse than low-level bullying, I always felt broken (and indeed in my early 20s actually sought out situations that would give me an excuse for this brokenness). As such, the idea that out of brokenness came strength was incredibly empowering for me. I know now that we need stories about women whose strength is not simply an act of revenge, a side-effect of abuse or destruction, but back then, Buffy's was a story I needed to be told.*

    2. Leave Twihards alone!
    On a related note, I think the bashing of Twilight fans needs to stop. This is not because I think Twilight is a wonderful story, or that it's a terrible story but this somehow doesn't matter because it's 'light, fluffy entertainment' (nothing is 'just a story', and nothing is above criticism). It's because if I had been twelve, or fourteen or even eighteen when Twilight came out, hell, I would've been a fan too, and I think those of us who were introverted and 'only ever fell in love with fictional men' need to show a bit more empathy and compassion.

    You know how I said I felt 'broken' as a teenager? Well, I used to think the solution to that 'brokenness' was an all-consuming, all-sacrificing, transformative love. I read just the kinds of books to feed my rescue fantasy, and I thought if the right guy (always someone 'dangerous' and 'damaged') would walk through the door, all my troubles and angst would be over. As a fifteen-year-old girl, it's a powerful idea: that true love is obsessive and dramatic and will cause you to change completely, and Twilight simply taps into that idea. As a teenager I was reading Cecilia Dart-Thornton and Sara Douglass and Juliet Marillier and a whole host of other female romantic fantasy writers who fell under the umbrella of 'Celtic-inflected historical fantasy', and who am I to say that they were any less damaging to my ideas about romance and relationships than Twilight?

    I'm not saying that we should throw our hands in the air and give up criticising Twilight. No, we should criticise it until Stephenie Meyer is no more than a distant spot on the horizon of the YA corpus. But we should stop thinking of Twilight fandom as a new phenomenon and recognise that many of us read equally problematic books as teenagers, and gained equally disturbing beliefs about relationships because of them.

    3. Hufflepuff and proud
    I'm a self-sorted Hufflepuff, and actually only want to join Pottermore so that I can have this sort of officially confirmed. (I'm sad, I know, I know.) And while I know I'm overinvesting, it does make me sad (even though I know it's all done in humour), when people like The Last Muggle persistently bash my beloved house and the qualities that it epitomises.

    This criticism does have some validity. After all, loyalty - the key Hufflepuff trait - does have a dark side, as one may be blindly loyal and supportive where he or she should be constructively critical or antagonistic. But I think that kindness, compassion, hard work, fairness and loyalty are unjustly underrated, and that these are qualities (kindness in particular) that we ought to demonstrate, not mock or belittle.

    In any case, it seems to me that the whole Potter series is, in fact, arguing for a less rigid separation into houses, since people don't tend to only embody the traits of one House, but rather possess them all in varying proportions. Ultimately it takes representatives of all Houses, and the utilisation of the myriad traits they embody, to destroy the Horcruxes, not Gryffindor bravery alone. We are composite beings.

    But then that's probably just me being earnest like the Hufflepuff I am.

    _________________________
    *Also, I rewatched Season 6 - not a fan favourite - at a time in my life when I really needed it, and I seem to be alone among fans in thinking that it was a well-executed season whose story perfectly matched where the characters were in their lives. (I do recognise, however, that many queer fans found the Willow/Tara storyline distressing and a betrayal, and, though they don't need my validation, I think they have a valid point.)
    dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
    I seem to be on a bit of a blogging roll right now, so here's a post about three things I've been musing about in relation to various things I've been reading in recent times.

    1. I still find Buffy empowering, in spite of everything

    Let's get this out of the way. Buffy fails on numerous occasions in matters of race, sexuality and even the feminism which its creator, Joss Whedon, claims. I personally think its storytelling is excellent, but I know numerous people who find it deeply problematic and even hurtful, with good reason. It is, to me, an example of a flawed story that nonetheless never fails to speak to me, and I know that I have in the past excused or failed to recognise its flaws due to ignorance.

    Chief among these flaws is one that feminists often raise in relation to all of Whedon's work: he ostensibly writes stories about 'empowered' women whose source of empowerment is overcoming some kind of trauma, usually a literal or metaphorical rape.

    And yet, for me, as a teenager and young woman, I found that particular story, especially as it was told in Buffy, extremely empowering. Despite having a relatively calm adolescence, with nothing worse than low-level bullying, I always felt broken (and indeed in my early 20s actually sought out situations that would give me an excuse for this brokenness). As such, the idea that out of brokenness came strength was incredibly empowering for me. I know now that we need stories about women whose strength is not simply an act of revenge, a side-effect of abuse or destruction, but back then, Buffy's was a story I needed to be told.*

    2. Leave Twihards alone!
    On a related note, I think the bashing of Twilight fans needs to stop. This is not because I think Twilight is a wonderful story, or that it's a terrible story but this somehow doesn't matter because it's 'light, fluffy entertainment' (nothing is 'just a story', and nothing is above criticism). It's because if I had been twelve, or fourteen or even eighteen when Twilight came out, hell, I would've been a fan too, and I think those of us who were introverted and 'only ever fell in love with fictional men' need to show a bit more empathy and compassion.

    You know how I said I felt 'broken' as a teenager? Well, I used to think the solution to that 'brokenness' was an all-consuming, all-sacrificing, transformative love. I read just the kinds of books to feed my rescue fantasy, and I thought if the right guy (always someone 'dangerous' and 'damaged') would walk through the door, all my troubles and angst would be over. As a fifteen-year-old girl, it's a powerful idea: that true love is obsessive and dramatic and will cause you to change completely, and Twilight simply taps into that idea. As a teenager I was reading Cecilia Dart-Thornton and Sara Douglass and Juliet Marillier and a whole host of other female romantic fantasy writers who fell under the umbrella of 'Celtic-inflected historical fantasy', and who am I to say that they were any less damaging to my ideas about romance and relationships than Twilight?

    I'm not saying that we should throw our hands in the air and give up criticising Twilight. No, we should criticise it until Stephenie Meyer is no more than a distant spot on the horizon of the YA corpus. But we should stop thinking of Twilight fandom as a new phenomenon and recognise that many of us read equally problematic books as teenagers, and gained equally disturbing beliefs about relationships because of them.

    3. Hufflepuff and proud
    I'm a self-sorted Hufflepuff, and actually only want to join Pottermore so that I can have this sort of officially confirmed. (I'm sad, I know, I know.) And while I know I'm overinvesting, it does make me sad (even though I know it's all done in humour), when people like The Last Muggle persistently bash my beloved house and the qualities that it epitomises.

    This criticism does have some validity. After all, loyalty - the key Hufflepuff trait - does have a dark side, as one may be blindly loyal and supportive where he or she should be constructively critical or antagonistic. But I think that kindness, compassion, hard work, fairness and loyalty are unjustly underrated, and that these are qualities (kindness in particular) that we ought to demonstrate, not mock or belittle.

    In any case, it seems to me that the whole Potter series is, in fact, arguing for a less rigid separation into houses, since people don't tend to only embody the traits of one House, but rather possess them all in varying proportions. Ultimately it takes representatives of all Houses, and the utilisation of the myriad traits they embody, to destroy the Horcruxes, not Gryffindor bravery alone. We are composite beings.

    But then that's probably just me being earnest like the Hufflepuff I am.

    _________________________
    *Also, I rewatched Season 6 - not a fan favourite - at a time in my life when I really needed it, and I seem to be alone among fans in thinking that it was a well-executed season whose story perfectly matched where the characters were in their lives. (I do recognise, however, that many queer fans found the Willow/Tara storyline distressing and a betrayal, and, though they don't need my validation, I think they have a valid point.)
    dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
    This rant has been building in me for quite some time. Three things, however, convinced me to finally write it.

    First is the increased number of secrets posted on [livejournal.com profile] fandomsecrets along the lines of 'social justice types are ruining fandom'.

    Second is the number of people I've encountered over the years who react to any criticism of their favourite books/films etc with 'But it's just a story!!!!! Why can't you just ENJOY it?!?!'

    Finally, every so often I'll be talking to my boyfriend about a particular book or series or whatever, and he'll say something like, 'I don't know how you can enjoy anything if you're always thinking about these sorts of things [meaning a combination of social justice issues and general thematic concerns]'.

    I think he at least gets it now: that is precisely how I enjoy all texts. I can no more switch off that part of my brain than I could give up breathing. But I must confess that to the first two issues, I can say little more than 'huh?' Fandom, to me, seems to demonstrate that everything is interesting or enjoyable to at least someone. You like kids' tv shows from the early 90s? There's a comm for that. You want to make icons of a particularly obscure anime, or discuss continuity issues in Marvel comics or write porn about what band members get up to on tour? You'll fit right in somewhere. There's a corner of the internet for those who like men in tights, vampires who sparkle and knights who say 'Ni'. And if there isn't, you can make one.

    But if everything is worthy of enjoyment or interest nothing is above - or beneath - criticism. And, shock horror, it is perfectly possible to like something without thinking it's a paragon of perfection. In fact, sometimes it can be more interesting to like things in spite of their flaws.

    I enjoy some pretty problematic stuff. I love Supernatural, which has almost parodic levels of sexism, racism and the odd bit of homophobia. All its female characters end up either evil or fridged. Every PoC is evil. It is quintessential tale of a couple of White Dudes with Issues. And yet I find those White Dudes with Issues completely compelling. I love what it says about family, about sibling relationships, about how to be good (and, more importantly, to do good) in a bad world, about the tricksiness of words, about how to communicate when you mistrust the slipperiness of language and feelings. But the part of my brain that allows me to see and enjoy all these positive and interesting themes in Supernatural also enables me to see that there is much in the series that is deeply, deeply wrong and in need of criticism.

    I see no contradiction in being able to adore Firefly for the way its characters talk, for the beauty in the relationship between Simon and River and for its story of a family that is made, not born, while at the same time taking issue with a universe dominated culturally by the US and China with no Asians, and being absolutely disgusted with everything to do with the characterisation of Inara. I can admit that Buffy got me through highschool and is to a large degree responsible for my feminism while at the same time acknowledging that there are things that happened in the series that (rightly) hurt a lot of queer people.

    It is possible to love His Dark Materials because Pullman's language is beautiful and its characters are compelling and it gave me the words as a child to articulate my own atheism, while also noting that Pullman's depiction of organised religion is a parodic interpretation of the worst excesses of Catholicism. It's possible to enjoy The Vampire Diaries for its fantastic portrayal of female friendship, because Elena is just awesome and the series goes where Twilight feared to tread, while at the same time thinking that there's some dodgy stuff going on in terms of race and don't even get me started on the character of Damon.

    Because nothing is 'just' a story. Stories do matter.

    If you don't want social justice getting in the way of your squee, if thinking with some nuance about stories is so annoying that you can't enjoy them, well, fair enough. It's perfectly easy to avoid. Stay in the corner of fandom that suits you best. If you see someone criticising your beloved tv series, film or book, walk away. The internet is big enough for all of us.

    But don't you dare tell me I'm ruining fandom by talking about these things, that I can't enjoy texts unless I encounter them passively without criticism. To me, the unexamined text is not worth reading (or watching). That's just how it works for me. You stick to your corner of the sandbox, and I'll stick to mine.
    dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
    This rant has been building in me for quite some time. Three things, however, convinced me to finally write it.

    First is the increased number of secrets posted on [livejournal.com profile] fandomsecrets along the lines of 'social justice types are ruining fandom'.

    Second is the number of people I've encountered over the years who react to any criticism of their favourite books/films etc with 'But it's just a story!!!!! Why can't you just ENJOY it?!?!'

    Finally, every so often I'll be talking to my boyfriend about a particular book or series or whatever, and he'll say something like, 'I don't know how you can enjoy anything if you're always thinking about these sorts of things [meaning a combination of social justice issues and general thematic concerns]'.

    I think he at least gets it now: that is precisely how I enjoy all texts. I can no more switch off that part of my brain than I could give up breathing. But I must confess that to the first two issues, I can say little more than 'huh?' Fandom, to me, seems to demonstrate that everything is interesting or enjoyable to at least someone. You like kids' tv shows from the early 90s? There's a comm for that. You want to make icons of a particularly obscure anime, or discuss continuity issues in Marvel comics or write porn about what band members get up to on tour? You'll fit right in somewhere. There's a corner of the internet for those who like men in tights, vampires who sparkle and knights who say 'Ni'. And if there isn't, you can make one.

    But if everything is worthy of enjoyment or interest nothing is above - or beneath - criticism. And, shock horror, it is perfectly possible to like something without thinking it's a paragon of perfection. In fact, sometimes it can be more interesting to like things in spite of their flaws.

    I enjoy some pretty problematic stuff. I love Supernatural, which has almost parodic levels of sexism, racism and the odd bit of homophobia. All its female characters end up either evil or fridged. Every PoC is evil. It is quintessential tale of a couple of White Dudes with Issues. And yet I find those White Dudes with Issues completely compelling. I love what it says about family, about sibling relationships, about how to be good (and, more importantly, to do good) in a bad world, about the tricksiness of words, about how to communicate when you mistrust the slipperiness of language and feelings. But the part of my brain that allows me to see and enjoy all these positive and interesting themes in Supernatural also enables me to see that there is much in the series that is deeply, deeply wrong and in need of criticism.

    I see no contradiction in being able to adore Firefly for the way its characters talk, for the beauty in the relationship between Simon and River and for its story of a family that is made, not born, while at the same time taking issue with a universe dominated culturally by the US and China with no Asians, and being absolutely disgusted with everything to do with the characterisation of Inara. I can admit that Buffy got me through highschool and is to a large degree responsible for my feminism while at the same time acknowledging that there are things that happened in the series that (rightly) hurt a lot of queer people.

    It is possible to love His Dark Materials because Pullman's language is beautiful and its characters are compelling and it gave me the words as a child to articulate my own atheism, while also noting that Pullman's depiction of organised religion is a parodic interpretation of the worst excesses of Catholicism. It's possible to enjoy The Vampire Diaries for its fantastic portrayal of female friendship, because Elena is just awesome and the series goes where Twilight feared to tread, while at the same time thinking that there's some dodgy stuff going on in terms of race and don't even get me started on the character of Damon.

    Because nothing is 'just' a story. Stories do matter.

    If you don't want social justice getting in the way of your squee, if thinking with some nuance about stories is so annoying that you can't enjoy them, well, fair enough. It's perfectly easy to avoid. Stay in the corner of fandom that suits you best. If you see someone criticising your beloved tv series, film or book, walk away. The internet is big enough for all of us.

    But don't you dare tell me I'm ruining fandom by talking about these things, that I can't enjoy texts unless I encounter them passively without criticism. To me, the unexamined text is not worth reading (or watching). That's just how it works for me. You stick to your corner of the sandbox, and I'll stick to mine.
    dolorosa_12: (Default)
    I always seem to find myself defending slash. I don't really know why. I don't write slash (I don't write fic of any kind). I read it extremely rarely. On first glance, I don't appear to have any horse in this race. But post like this one from Gav Reads never fail to rub me the wrong way. (To be fair to Gav, he wrote this post as part of an ongoing discussion he was having with [livejournal.com profile] sophiamcdougall and others at Eastercon, and I think it comes from a curious-trying-to-understand-slash rather than a this-stuff-is-icky-why-do-you-write-it position.) [livejournal.com profile] sophiamcdougall's response goes some way in explaining why this issue matters to me. In one of her comments, she sets out the argument in relation to slash at its most positive and socially responsible:

    But a lot of people find that it is liberating. I know queer people who have found enormous solace in slash as they go through the coming out process and beyond. (I kind of AM such people). And I know straight women who have found it a space to shed inhibitions and create for themselves something mainstream culture is not very interested in providing for them, and they have felt liberated by that. It's pretty presumptuous to say that they're wrong about they're own experience.

    Of course, people write slash for a variety of reasons, and I've often felt that some of the unease or disgust people feel with it is due to the fact that it is a form of writing mainly written by and for women (cf romance novels and chick-lit), and in particular as an expression of female sexuality. It's indefensible to criticise it (at least it alone) on grounds of implausibility, as a relationship between, say, Harry and Draco is equally as implausible as one between Draco and Ginny (or, indeed, a gen AU where Harry and Draco have traded places).

    Ultimately, I think the reason why I constantly leap to the defence of slash is because I am someone who has spent a lifetime engaging with the written word. Nothing gives me greater pleasure. My way of engaging with words is to analyse, discuss, review and study. If slash writers' way is to write m/m porny fanfic, who am I to stop them?
    dolorosa_12: (Default)
    I always seem to find myself defending slash. I don't really know why. I don't write slash (I don't write fic of any kind). I read it extremely rarely. On first glance, I don't appear to have any horse in this race. But post like this one from Gav Reads never fail to rub me the wrong way. (To be fair to Gav, he wrote this post as part of an ongoing discussion he was having with [livejournal.com profile] sophiamcdougall and others at Eastercon, and I think it comes from a curious-trying-to-understand-slash rather than a this-stuff-is-icky-why-do-you-write-it position.) [livejournal.com profile] sophiamcdougall's response goes some way in explaining why this issue matters to me. In one of her comments, she sets out the argument in relation to slash at its most positive and socially responsible:

    But a lot of people find that it is liberating. I know queer people who have found enormous solace in slash as they go through the coming out process and beyond. (I kind of AM such people). And I know straight women who have found it a space to shed inhibitions and create for themselves something mainstream culture is not very interested in providing for them, and they have felt liberated by that. It's pretty presumptuous to say that they're wrong about they're own experience.

    Of course, people write slash for a variety of reasons, and I've often felt that some of the unease or disgust people feel with it is due to the fact that it is a form of writing mainly written by and for women (cf romance novels and chick-lit), and in particular as an expression of female sexuality. It's indefensible to criticise it (at least it alone) on grounds of implausibility, as a relationship between, say, Harry and Draco is equally as implausible as one between Draco and Ginny (or, indeed, a gen AU where Harry and Draco have traded places).

    Ultimately, I think the reason why I constantly leap to the defence of slash is because I am someone who has spent a lifetime engaging with the written word. Nothing gives me greater pleasure. My way of engaging with words is to analyse, discuss, review and study. If slash writers' way is to write m/m porny fanfic, who am I to stop them?
    dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
    I knew my productivity would kick in as soon as term ended and the sun started shining, and I was right. This week has been fantastic. Every day I left the house around 9am, got to the English faculty library, worked until about 11.30 (by which time I would have written 1000 words), then went home. Then I'd go for a run, then eat lunch. By 2.20pm, M would be home, and since it's the holidays, he's only working his morning job (no teaching out of term time, of course), leaving us free to do whatever we wanted in the afternoon. The only unfortunate thing is that we're both ridiculously poor: I'm waiting on my April stipend cheque, and he's waiting on being paid next week, so we can't really enjoy all our free time in lavish style. Oh well.

    Anyway, I actually came over to LJ to post some links. First up, a post by yourlibrarian on Dreamwidth about the ingredients for a particular fandom's success. I agree with the general argument, although I don't think it takes anime fandom into account enough (honestly, anime fandom is HUGE), nor of fandom that's not focused on fanworks. It's an interesting discussion nonetheless.

    Check out Ursula Le Guin's rather excellent blog post about swearing. (Unfortunately, you can't link to individual posts and will have to scroll around a bit on the page to find it. Obviously it's full of swear words and NSFW for that reason.)

    John Scalzi's got an open thread where commenters can recommend interesting writers' blogs. I think I'm going to have to check some of them out.

    Over at The Book Lantern, they're discussing Australian YA books. Actually, if I haven't mentioned it before, The Book Lantern is awesome. You should be following it.

    Finally, Pop Matters is doing a whole series of posts about Joss Whedon and his work. I've linked to the introduction.
    dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
    I knew my productivity would kick in as soon as term ended and the sun started shining, and I was right. This week has been fantastic. Every day I left the house around 9am, got to the English faculty library, worked until about 11.30 (by which time I would have written 1000 words), then went home. Then I'd go for a run, then eat lunch. By 2.20pm, M would be home, and since it's the holidays, he's only working his morning job (no teaching out of term time, of course), leaving us free to do whatever we wanted in the afternoon. The only unfortunate thing is that we're both ridiculously poor: I'm waiting on my April stipend cheque, and he's waiting on being paid next week, so we can't really enjoy all our free time in lavish style. Oh well.

    Anyway, I actually came over to LJ to post some links. First up, a post by yourlibrarian on Dreamwidth about the ingredients for a particular fandom's success. I agree with the general argument, although I don't think it takes anime fandom into account enough (honestly, anime fandom is HUGE), nor of fandom that's not focused on fanworks. It's an interesting discussion nonetheless.

    Check out Ursula Le Guin's rather excellent blog post about swearing. (Unfortunately, you can't link to individual posts and will have to scroll around a bit on the page to find it. Obviously it's full of swear words and NSFW for that reason.)

    John Scalzi's got an open thread where commenters can recommend interesting writers' blogs. I think I'm going to have to check some of them out.

    Over at The Book Lantern, they're discussing Australian YA books. Actually, if I haven't mentioned it before, The Book Lantern is awesome. You should be following it.

    Finally, Pop Matters is doing a whole series of posts about Joss Whedon and his work. I've linked to the introduction.
    dolorosa_12: (una)
    The title of this post deserves an Una icon because she is AWESOME.

    I had to do something about all the tabs I've got saved in Firefox, so you're all getting a linkpost. Aren't you lucky? The first is a discussion about whether epic fantasy has been 'feminised'. I think I came across that link via [livejournal.com profile] kateelliott. Then, I've got a couple of links relating to GLBTQ characters in fiction, and how outing characters in extra-textual spaces (webisodes, interviews etc) does not really address the problem.

    Then Patton Oswalt posted this article on Wired about the supposed demise of geek culture, and rodo on Dreamwidth and seperis, also on Dreamwidth pointed out that rumours of geekdom's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Those last couple of links are courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] metafandom.

    Neil Gaiman remains as awesome as ever, as does Jo Walton. Seriously lacking in the awesome, however, is Sebastian Faulks, who, in a BBC programme about the history of the English novel, claimed that Shakespeare's heroes lacked both personality and flaws. To which I say, have some Borges!

    Then I read about this (trigger warning for rape) and got even more angry. Thank goodness the good folks at Tiger Beatdown are all over it. (A couple of good other Tiger Beatdown posts on the subject: Sadie calls out the Democrats on their deceptive advertising with regards to HR3 and a post about contraception and abortion, and the problems relating to them in the US. (This freaked me out somewhat, since it's a subject about which I'd only been dimly aware. I had some vague idea that things were somewhat better in Australia, where I lived until 2008, and the UK, where I live now, but it suddenly occurred to me that I have LITERALLY NO IDEA about how such things work in either Australia or the UK. For all I know I could be wringing my hands with pity at the situation in the US and it could be just as bad here.))

    As a unicorn chaser of sorts, I hung around listening to this song by [livejournal.com profile] seanan_maguire. That made me feel a whole lot better!
    dolorosa_12: (una)
    The title of this post deserves an Una icon because she is AWESOME.

    I had to do something about all the tabs I've got saved in Firefox, so you're all getting a linkpost. Aren't you lucky? The first is a discussion about whether epic fantasy has been 'feminised'. I think I came across that link via [livejournal.com profile] kateelliott. Then, I've got a couple of links relating to GLBTQ characters in fiction, and how outing characters in extra-textual spaces (webisodes, interviews etc) does not really address the problem.

    Then Patton Oswalt posted this article on Wired about the supposed demise of geek culture, and rodo on Dreamwidth and seperis, also on Dreamwidth pointed out that rumours of geekdom's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Those last couple of links are courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] metafandom.

    Neil Gaiman remains as awesome as ever, as does Jo Walton. Seriously lacking in the awesome, however, is Sebastian Faulks, who, in a BBC programme about the history of the English novel, claimed that Shakespeare's heroes lacked both personality and flaws. To which I say, have some Borges!

    Then I read about this (trigger warning for rape) and got even more angry. Thank goodness the good folks at Tiger Beatdown are all over it. (A couple of good other Tiger Beatdown posts on the subject: Sadie calls out the Democrats on their deceptive advertising with regards to HR3 and a post about contraception and abortion, and the problems relating to them in the US. (This freaked me out somewhat, since it's a subject about which I'd only been dimly aware. I had some vague idea that things were somewhat better in Australia, where I lived until 2008, and the UK, where I live now, but it suddenly occurred to me that I have LITERALLY NO IDEA about how such things work in either Australia or the UK. For all I know I could be wringing my hands with pity at the situation in the US and it could be just as bad here.))

    As a unicorn chaser of sorts, I hung around listening to this song by [livejournal.com profile] seanan_maguire. That made me feel a whole lot better!

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