Francine - harvest
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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I was going to say something about bitter old fic queens, and how I do and don't agree with jennyo, but I got sidetracked into "Am I old enough in fandom to be a bitter old anything?" Nah. Not really. I've been a consumer since about 1990, when I bought my first slash zine, but I didn't interact with other people until much later. Didn't discuss online, didn't critique, didn't write. James says I'm a bitter middle-aged fic queen. Except without the queen part, I say. I'm a bitter middle-aged (in fan-years) fic civil servant.

But.

Yes, I get a little tired of being quietly and somewhat superciliously told that my intelligence or morality or womanhood or devotion to art depends on whether I see characters the same way as other people, dislike certain sorts of writing and episodes, like others, etc. And a thousand protests of "No, I don't mean you-- where did you see your name on the list of people whose names I didn't name but whose characteristics could conceivably fit the way you feel on some particular aspect of fandom?" will not stop me from feeling insulted. Being told that if I insist on being insulted by insults that were not specifically directed at me, but rather at everyone who fits into whatever mindset the alleged BOFQ has a problem with, it's not the alleged BOFQ's problem, will not stop me from feeling insulted.

But you know what? I don't have to read those people's blogs. If I do, and I get insulted, I can take up the issue with them, or I can write it off as not worth discussing, or I can bitch about it in my own journal. Whatever. Other fans, no matter how much they may annoy -- or delight -- me, do not ruin my viewing experience. Especially if I have to go out of my way to read the things that I know will offend me.

These people do not ruin my viewing experience, because I don't have to let them.

I can see that this might be different when you factor in mailing lists -- there, you're not talking about going to someone else's blog to find an opinion that pisses you off -- it's right there on your list. Public forum without the personal aspect that blogs, even with comment features -- have. Same for places like TWOP, and other community forums. But still, I say -- you know who pisses you off. You can disagree with them and discuss it, or you can ignore it. If you've had it up to here with discussing it, that's cool. You can even bitch that you've had it up to here with discussing it.

But.

When you start yelling at them to shut the hell up and go sit in the corner until they can behave like they're older than 12? You're acting the same way.

When you tell them that they don't set community standards, then you inform them that no one's listening to them and they should fuck off to their own little isolated world? You're acting the same way.

And when you tell them -- and me -- that anybody who's ever written a rant on fandom, or writers, or the suckage of the original text at some point a la Angel S3, owes the fannish community and you in particular good fiction in exchange for it?

Um, no.

Even if you're being over-the-top for humour's sake, still, um, no. Fic is not a debt or a requirement of being a part of fandom. It is never owed, with the exception of things that have been specifically promised to people. I owe you nothing -- assuming you've ever heard of me or even care. The BOFQ's owe you nothing. The cool people owe you nothing, the uncool people owe you nothing, my cat owes you nothing. The idiot who did the most recent piece of lovey-dovey Angel/Cordy schmoop or abused-Xander/sugar-coated-Spike owes you nothing. Joss, in fact, owes you nothing, which you seem to recognise -- so why can't you see the fannish corollaries? Writing fic is, you're right, a hobby. It may be a vocation for some people, or an emotional security blanket, or any number of other, personal things. It's not, and never will be, a commodity.

It's also not the only valuable thing that people can contribute to fandom, just because it's the most valuable thing to *you*. You don't set community standards either. And writing/having written fanfiction is definitely not the only qualification for being able to open one's mouth and bitch about bad writing, bad shows, or bad behaviour. I do write, and I've written recently, and I've been told it was pretty fucking decent -- but don't tell me that if I have another long spell of not being able to write for whatever personal reason, that I'm suddenly less qualified than you to open my mouth about fannish issues. Don't tell me that the friends I have who don't write fiction at all, but come up with brilliant comments on other people's, are less qualified than you to make those comments.

Or rather, *do* tell me that. Say it as loud and as eloquently as you like -- you have the right. But don't expect me to believe it, and don't expect me to see you as behaving any better than the people you're bitching about.

kaytee4ever

2002-05-27 07:16 am (UTC) (Link)

I want ice cream now, lots and lots of chocolate ice cream

Did you want chocolate sprinkles on that as well? ;) *handing you a big dish of ice cream*



I will too bitch about my show and bad writing and rude people if I want to.

Well, yeah, me, too. I guess I got another interpretation on that BOFQ's from that other posting..it made me think, not of just anyone ranting about bad writing and changes in the show..but more of people who obsess on it. Who raise it to an art form. Who can rarely let go of ranting and get back to the whole "pretty boys snogging/shagging" theme. *shrug* But then it's Monday morning and not enough sleep and not enough caffeine yet today...




Your stories are much more than "pretty fucking decent", and I see from the comments that I'm not the only one to tell you that, and I'm glad.

*echoing these as well* Definitely!!!!!

Offering MP a big dish of ice cream or some gourmet chocolate or whatever makes her smile. ;)

mpoetess

2002-05-28 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Well, yeah, me, too. I guess I got another interpretation on that BOFQ's from that other posting..it made me think, not of just anyone ranting about bad writing and changes in the show..but more of people who obsess on it. Who raise it to an art form. Who can rarely let go of ranting and get back to the whole "pretty boys snogging/shagging" theme. *shrug* But then it's Monday morning and not enough sleep and not enough caffeine yet today


Yeah, I think you're right -- Jenny-O was bitching about a certain mindset of people who seem to ruin the show for *themselves* by having absolutely nothing to like about it and still watching it -- to the point where it seems like they're getting *off* on hating a show they used to love, and trying to convince others to dislike it as well -- and very possibly wouldn't admit to liking something good that happened, just because it ruins the mad-on.

And I'm well down with saying "Get over it/yourselves" to people. I'm just shaking my head at the tendency among very smart people to not recognise the same behaviours in themselves that piss them off in others.

kaytee4ever

2002-05-28 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)

. I'm just shaking my head at the tendency among very smart people to not recognise the same behaviours in themselves that piss them off in others.

Ah, yes, that is very annoying, and not limited to fandom. ;)

Oh, and I love your Tara icon. Did I mention that before? Just in case, I'm mentioning it now. ;)