The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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i miss ship wars like so much
children of dune - leto 1
This is an unreasonable rant. You are warned. Also, I love all acafen and especially the ones on my flist and I would let you study me if you asked whenever you want, mmkay? I am just saying, this is a rant and I am not reasonable right now.

Reference: That Entire Fannish Survey Thing - Links. Oh God, so many links.

So for the last twenty-four hours, I've been slowly but surely building up to a towering rage at the entire SurveyFail in new and strange ways. I am seriously sitting here with the unflattering realization that fandom--well, me in fandom--is a freaking regency romance heroine in need of rescue like, a lot.

I am aware it is unreasonable to resent this, but I am seriously getting to the point where I spent more time worrying about my fannishness and discussing my fannishness and exploring the cognitive conceptualization of fannishness and like, metaing on the abstract theory of fannishness than actually, y'know, being goddamn fannish. About anything. Anywhere. If I had a timesheet that broke down my fannish activities, it would not include "squee on Merlin" or "squee on reboot" or "writing" in my top ten fannish activities. It would have a lot about a theoretical meaning of being a fan. I mean, I am seriously kind of longing for arguments over feminism in Merlin here*, **. And I don't actually remember liking that sort of thing when it was happening. I miss ship wars, God help me. They did not require an advanced degree to comprehend. I remember those days. They were nice.

[* this is a theoretical construct of an actual fannish meta argument. Not an actual one. I mean, I'm sure it was an actual one, but I don't remember, since I can't remember the last time I engaged in meta about like, source.]

[** yes, this is exaggerated, but I am having a severe case of fannish entitlement.]

Here is the thing. SurveyFail confirms a thing I've been doing every since this New York Arts article thing showed up in google once talking about my fic The Wasteland and using the word slashies or something--if in my inbox is anything from anyone using the words 'research' or 'article', I delete without even like, finishing the email. Sometimes I have felt bad. Right now I am relieved. I do this because I do not know these people or their intentions and safe better than sorry. I have no clue how many legit people I ignored because I have no idea how to tell the difference between "good", "well-meaning", "run for your life", or someone who might be all of those at once. That was not in my fannish welcome package, and really, why not?

[This was seriously a weird article. No clue what was up with that. I still sometimes go to look at it and try to work out wtf.]

It should not be detrimental to my fannish experience that I do not have the IRB memorized. I seriously really would like not to know what the IRB is. I'd prefer not to have to wiki neuroscience and the ethics of experimental human subjects unless I'm writing a fic about it. I liked psychology a lot--that is why whenever I graduate, I will somehow have managed to achieve like, a minor in it by sheer accident, which is why I am a cliche of a college student, because you would not believe how many areas I managed to be three hours short of a minor in--but I also like pizza and I do not want to drag psychology and pizza everywhere I go.

But the thing is, I kind of have to, because while I love the acafen are my white knights and all, oh my God I am hovering behind them with smelling salts while they defend fandom's honor and that is totally not on.

I want to say this--I don't know where I am getting the time to do this. I just don't. This is worse than a twenty-four credit hour semester, because it never fucking ends, it's every semester and I don't even get to graduate and no one gives me a class schedule, it just shows up suddenly and I'm in for a sixteen week course where I have to guess at the reading material and sometimes, I'm not even sure what I'm studying. There are many things I've learned in fandom that I appreciate, but I have to draw a line somewhere, and I have no idea where, because on top of spending time researching things that are actually important to me as a human being, and writing, and enjoying fannish meta, and chatting with friends, and I don't know, actually interacting with my source text, I have to figure out now if some researchers are using my people as fodder for a exploitative book.

I checked my timesheet--apparently I am creating hours from air for this, because the day is still twenty-four hours long, but my fannish life is taking thirty-six all on its own, and I still haven't finished reading History of the Jewish State or found my copy of What If for creative writing, and there's a small but growing pile of books at the foot of my bed that I have yet to get to and I'm two hundred behind on my flist. I mean, this isn't bad time management here; my time management is a damn miracle. It is creating time from a vortex of not-time.

I mean, don't get me wrong--yay acafen!--but it's not that I am not acafen, it is that I don't want to be, and I feel like I am spending more time trying to become something that I not only don't want to be but also am not very good at in an independent study setting with no professor to guide my research and a lot of sketchy research material, and I forgot how to do MLA because I found it boring. And yet.

These are the new things I need to learn this week: correct statistical surveying techniques, the history of neuroscience, the entirety of how a proper research study is done, goddamn evolutionary psychology again and I hated that class, and how to analyze a survey for sketchiness. Because otherwise, I have to depend on my flist to explain to me in small words why x is bad and y is not, and while I know the acafen are not petting us all and telling us not to worry our pretty heads, it is seriously not working for me to not know what the hell is going on. It has been banged into us that ignorance is not an excuse for screwing up, and the thing is, I agree so completely. But I'd really like science to get to direct RNA transfer and flatworm-eating as a way of passing knowledge already.

I am reading up on literary critique and I'm only on page thirty and that was in July.

I am actually aware that this is not only a dramatically first world problem, but that my hopes for the universe are unreasonable and beyond unrealistic. But seriously, when I posted Manipulation ten years and one month ago and started this trek through fandom, I really did not see myself here a decade later exploring the underpinnings of my fannish experience using words that I am still not convinced actually exist.

...seriously, this was a rant, not an accusation, I am just kind of burned out. You will notice the run-on sentences? I am trying to figure out where I can schedule in some time for sleep. Also, the study of people's craniums to find out if they were deviant came up and I have a headache. Yes, it is a discredited field and boy, that was interesting. I can honestly say that if I'd known I'd need this when I was taking Physical Anthropology, I would have studied that chapter much more than I did.

In closing--yay acafen! I do not resent you, it's more I resent that I do not have a dolphin brain. My life would be so much easier.

This entire rant is courtesy of Britney Spears Circus. How freakishly appropriate.

ETA: Comment here might clarify why this has apparently become for me some kind of--thing. IDK.

I really want to--I mean, I seriously every so often just drop all non-source related meta, but it's not even because I am just that committed to understanding all of this that I go back. Unlike many other hobbies I could have picked up, this one seems branded with a damn political statement and set of academic theories. Unlike knitting, participation itself has become a statement, so whether or not I interact with that side, I'm already a member, a research subject, and a living, breathing proof in the subculture.

I can go through days where I don't have to think of that, but then there's this and then there's kink_bingo being apparently a political project based on queer theory (quote), which--okay? I mean, basically, I'm an participant in academic theory just by existing and I don't understand what it is that's being theorized.

I feel selfish for resenting it--I get for acafen, this is their thing and I can't be a good person and grudge that when it doesn't even affect me. Most of the time, I don't, and most of the time, I keep serious levels of oblivion going on. And lots of it I enjoy following and thinking about. But then this happens, or something else, and it's just this reminder all over again I can't just post fic and hang with the meta without also participating in an entirely different world, where writing John as a girl is more than just saying, "I wonder if"--it's a statement or a message or something and I have to figure out what it means and what I meant to by it, because if I don't, people wiht advanced degrees will decide for me.

...I am so tired, seriously. Even I know I'm overreacting. Most of the time, it's awesome. It's just when I realize how very little power I have to define myself, or just skip a definition altogether, that it becomes this--thing.