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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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this, that, and the other thing
I've decided I'm allowing myself today as my last day of self-inflicted misery and self-pity. It's this entire--laziness issue. I don't want to work to be happy. I don't want to work at unhappy either, but I will say this--it so does not require much work.

So think of this as my virtual fannish dump.

I will say this. SGA fandon in general is the first fandom that my knee-jerk response is to be *contrary*. This isn't healthy, but I hated the ep right up until I read the episode reviews, then suddenly--so not kidding--I totally fell in love with it and decided I have never seen a better episode of anything in history.

Seriously, I have no idea what to do with that. It's both very me and yet not really. I like blending. This entire need to take the opposite tact in any discussion is something I do with people I don't *like*, not with an entire fandom. Oh SGA. Sometimes I think you screwed me up worse than SV did, and SV's the fandom I came out of afraid to watch the *episodes* because I'd get muscle cramps from the twitching. I will say this for SGA in general--I have never been actively afraid to watch. I'm just at that place where reading the reviews is a terrible idea.

I will say this, though, and I'm echoing some other reviewers, notaby ltlj, who I swear has a hotline to my auto-agree function at this point--Michael's speech was hysterical. It's like Jeffery Dahmer arguing the evils of being restricted from getting more victims. I'm not sitting around thinking, oh those poor misunderstood Wraith. I am thinking, why are they not killing Michael now? Maybe they could set him in something to kill him slowly, like he killed his victims, all the thousands that died screaming at his hand, that lost family and friends, homes and planets, that had to *watch*. Maybe the Atlanteans could do that to them *all*, let them all die slowly and painfully surrounded with their own fear and their own horror, as human do. And it still wouldn't pay for a *tenth* of what he's done, they've done, the lives they've taken and destroyed, the worlds they've wrecked, the people raised to be nothing more than cattle for millenia. To never have the chance to develop and grow and change, civilizations hobbled or made extinct. The Wraith didn't just kill *people*--they destroyed the core of what they were, limited what they could be, maimed them. They stole what no one has the right to take, and there's no argument in the universe that can justify it. The Pegasus galaxy isn't fighting for land or property or money or political gain--they're fighting for the right to exist. To be free. To choose what they'll be.

Michael can sit there and whine until the end of time about those treacherous Atlanteans raining on his little parade, but letting him go would be tantamount to murder of God knows how many innocent people in the galaxy, and no. He's a murderer, a monster, hunting sentient people for food and for sport, enjoying their terror and their pain and their fear, living off their loss, and that's what makes him an animal, a creature to be hunted and destroyed before he can destroy anything further.

And that's all I have to say about Michael and the Wraith. I know I'm minority on this one and I'm good with that.

Huh. So my energy is higher than I thought. Who knew?

Okay, first off, yeah. It's totally roofies. Because one minute, I'm, you know, normal, and then I'm up at three am on a worknight reading about exorcisms and worrying how they get the blood out of the seats and I'm not sure how that *happened*. I won't even go into the time dilation of reading Of Bastard Saints because that was just surreal and six and a half hours later, I was mumbling into my pillow things like ohmygod and ohyes and wow and possible sothisiswhatitsliketogoinsane. Later, I whispered. More.

Since I don't use delicio, I'm making myself a quick reference list, because let me tell you, I was reading so fast that I forgot where a third of these were and let me tell you, hunting stories through spn is a lot harder than I thought. Respect to esorlehcar's rec lists, the Lawrence Awards, svmadelyn's SPN ref lists, transtemp, samdonne, and researchgrrrl.

Of Bastard Saints by beanside and nilchance (and the prequel)

1300 Days by stele3

Heavy Metal by maygra

Fundamental Image by rei_c

Crystal Blue Persuasian by wrenlet

Month of Open Doors by eighth_horizon

Devil Driven by esohope

Never Summer by ignipes

The Thousand Ways to Bleed by Lithium Doll

A Fistful of Rain by marinarusalka

Bargains by marinarusalka

Conversational Winchester by eloise_bright

About to Get Too Far Gone by apocalypsos

Morgantown by ignipes

Providence by ignipes

I seriously need to get my links together. I've burned through something like one hundred stories and I have like, the vaguest clues what they are. The one with the werewolf. The one with the moon. I'm serious. The one with them doing something.

Okay, so happiness can be less work than I thought.

Okay, I feel awesome.

SPN totally wins for experimental writing, complete with multiple unreliable narrators, odd time jumps, and the best titles I have *ever seen in my life. Seriously, I am reading things on the strength of how cool the *titles* are. Wow. Total title haiku. I love these people.

The warnings debate came and came and has yet to stop coming.

Okay, I give, what the *hell* set people off? I mean, all of you, I respect your opinions and all legit and all that and I totally get where both sides are coming from and surprisingly, I have no opinion on the subject that isn't something between hmm and huh. But--did I miss some graphic torture and rape thing that came down the pipe that was titled Fluffy Bunnies Unite and people went in and were traumatized for life? I remember reading through the rants and trying to find source, but it was total meme takeover and so many people posted so close I couldn't tell point of origin. And it's spread across more than SGA, so. That was cool. Surreal. And also, energetic. And kind of disturbing, because anytime mutual friends start using exclusionary and sometimes slightly inflammatory terms on *both* sides of the fence, I start getting a nervous twitch.

Was it the darkfic flashfic thing? Cause seriously. Do what I do. Hide from the comm until it's over and only follow recs by people who a.) have good taste and b.) won't deliberately send you to stuff that will make you chew on your laptop in horror. Stress levels are lowered and you don't come out of it silently judging the writers as human beings. Okay, I'm being a little dramatic for the sake of form, but come on. Okay, that was judgemental. I'm not. I just hit too many pro and anti-warning essays that made me uncomfortable with the terminology.

It is interesting, though, on a purely observational level, how *many people* picked up the warning topic and ran with it. Mostly because fandom does tend to amaze me with how much we agree on as a community. I mean, it doesn't look like we do? But in a lot of ways, we really *do*. The way we choose the acronyms or nicknames for a fandom--SV, SN, SPN, SGA, SG1, HL, which we totally brought from our mailing lists, true, but now we continue to keep at the two or three letter thing and mostly, we agree on which letters. How most of us that use headers regularly have fairly similiar formats. How we use astericks for God's sake. We aren't as regulated by ML and usenet as we used to be, but we carry the habits we learned there with us and train others in it who never had to live through that mailing list with the mod who would throw you off if you fucked up your headers.

Okay, having a breakfast taco now. Zen achieved. I'm going to assume no one will take any of the essays personally and my flist will remain copasetic.

I also have brownies. You have to ask yourself, does life get any better than this? I think not.

ETA: I'm adding fic links here randomly so I don't lose them again as I find them.

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For a:

Under real world circumstances, I feel the same way. I just can't reconcile the Wraith to a normal enemy. This almost falls more under a semi-Darwin, the strongest survive, so destroy what's threatening you completely. These aren't enemies that you can negotiate with, and they literally *can't* keep a Wraith alive without hurting a human being or de facto enabling murder. I think most of their problems are stemming right now from *wanting* to treat the Wraith like a normal enemy that just wants land or power or religious superiority or what have you, their training as diplomats and soldiers and etc warring against the correct instinct, which is to *get rid of them*. Beckett especially--he I'm finding the most annoying of all in this.

For b:

I see your point on this one. I don't think they *should* collaborate with the Wraith. The Wraith are the equivalent of death--one living one is not the possibility but the *surety* of death, multiple death, serial death, torturous death. It makes me far more uncomfortable that they try and work with them at all than killing them. I see why they do and I understand the circumstances--but I'm with Ronon. Just kill them.

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On Michael, you're not alone. I just wanted Ronon to execute him and have done. I didn't think they owed the ex-Wraith a bean. their only purpose was to get carson tied to a bed and menaced, which entertained me cruelly!

On the warnings thing - just my guess, but I think it did start with the darkfic challenge, and with people starting to read stories marked simply' dark', when the dark in question got to be a whole lot darker than they were reckoning on. My impression is that a lot of the responses and debate followed emrinalexander posting at length and with some force about her desire for warnings... stuff cascaded from there.

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Dude, you just totally made me realize one thing the ep totally got right! Michael is acting like a whiny petulant bitch (and his fake-Hamlet soliloquy cracked me up so much), but that's exactly the point! He's been entitled for his entire LIFE. The Pegasus Galaxy has been like one great big China Buffet for the Wraith to gorge themselves on whenever they wanted. It was theirs for the taking. And now a group of people whom he's already emotionally manipulated with success are trying to tell him No.

He's gonna play the Hamlet card.

And the pathetic thing is that he's not really having to fake it. He really does feel that entitled and totally get why mountain lions who eat hikers are tracked down and killed. (You'd think that someone would have bothered to tell him this...)

Also, yay brownies! :D

...totally DOESN'T get why, rather.

*kicks typo*

I must rec this to you - I Feel the Earth Move by janusglance. Long futurefic, scary aliens, PTSD, and gives good Sheppard. Read it and thought of you! :)

I don't know where the warnings debate came from. I think that certain topics just bubble beneath the surface in fandom for a while... and then their times come and it's everywhere.

From my perspective the subject washed up on my shores with Last Port Of Call at the beginning of June, where some people wanted a warning for some of the content. Then I started hunting for darker SGA fic (like "Exigencies" yay!) and found it difficult to find. Then, hooray, the sga_flashfic dark!fic challenge arrived. Then the warnings issue seemed to come forward and took over both my SGA and SG-1 f-list (and I think it spilled into Harry Potter, but don't quote me on that).

Huh. I hadn't thought about Michael in 'The Misbegotten' that way. Mostly I was busy wondering why the back-up plan was to blow up Carson with a nuclear bomb.


I remember that one. Not my thing--no offense, promise, we just see the characters in different ways, which is of the cool--but I remember you did a meta on the subject. And you're right, the warning debate is spilling. I'm kind of morbidly curious to see how far into the multifandom it's gone, really.

Mmm. Nuclear bombs. I totally get why they use them. They're just so big. *grins*

Hi, I just happened by through random lj surfing! I just have to say YES, to everything you said about the wraith and Michael.

It's a kill or be killed situation and the Lanteans needed to stop dithering around with saying 'they're sorta human now, we're responsible for them' like yesterday.

I agree, I think. If they're going to turn them human and helpless, then they're responsible for them, and they're not in any way prepared, willing or competent to be responsible for them so they should just leave them as Wraith.

I don't object at all to the idea that the characters have to kill the Wraith in order to survive. Since the Wraith can't or won't feed on anything but humans, they have no choice. The problem is that they *play* with them, and then don't want to own up to the morally dubious effects of their little experiments.

There's the Aesop fable about the scorpion who stings the... turtle, beaver, whatever animal is ferrying it across the water and as they both die, one from the bite and the other from drowning, the animal asks why and the scorpion replies that it is his nature. And that should have been Allies (and No Man's Land and Misbegotten), the way the dark heart of Flowers for Algernon became Michael. And I'm still trying to figure out who is missing out on that point -- the writers of the show or the fans. Because someone's forgetting that the god of Pegasus isn't the Ancestors -- it's Darwin. And maybe it's that they (fans or writers) don't want a show that dark, but to give that kind of set-up and not let it follow through is sort of cutting someone's balls off -- Atlantis or the Wraith. Or maybe I am simply bereft of the fluffy gene. I'm still parsing.

*grins* the scropion and the frog, I think.

I would be all for wholesale slaughter of the Wraith. My problem with SGA is that the characters *waffle* on the subject too much.

Huh. This whole Michael issue really reminds me of the Spike issue in BtVS, for obvious reasons; a charismatic character who is, canonically, a mass murderer, is given some artificial aid to redemption and becomes semi-allied with our heroes. And I'm not sure I buy the KILL HIM NOW theory for Michael, for the same reason I don't buy it for Spike: because the show does not set us up to think of those characters in that way. Michael isn't as much an example of this as Spike, but in both cases, the writers of the show set up the character's backstory as "homicidal freak" and then failed to portray the actual character on screen in that way.

Um, this isn't quite as airtight an argument as I want it to be, but I've got to go help cook dinner, so... just my two cents.

No, I get that the show set up Michael as this tragic anti-hero--and I could seriously strangle the SGA writers for sitting around thinking, let's make the Wraith's crimes against humanity and mass murdership and *eating people* less powerful than one poor Wraith, poor dear, who was *denied the right to slaughter*--but the thing is? He can be a sympathetic character. I just don't feel sympathy. When he escaped the first time, he went out to eat lots and lots of people, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't terribly sorry for it.

So eh. I take what I can from a canon that at best, can't quite figure out what is grey and what isn't.

Well, my big problem with this episode was that Michael made it quite clear that given a choice between being de-Wraithified and being executed he preferred execution. I didn't expect them to let him go and ravage the galaxy, I did think they should have just killed him and let it go at that. He chose to be what he was and was to some extent willing to die to stay himself, and I thought that that should be honored, especially because he had already proven himself capable of overcoming the retrovirus. This made reinfecting him with the retorvirus both cruel and stupid. Basically, I don't disapprove of wiping out the Wraith, I do oppose torturing them in the name of being "humane".

I am totally with that. God, they should have killed Michael, and the writers totaly dropped the ball on that so much that it makes me *furious*.

The SPN fans have really taken the ball and ran with it, i've read a ton of great stories, I usually just follow the newsletter that is set up like the SG:A so it's helpful to stay away from the kind of stories I general don't read *I'm sorry, but RPS just isn't my thing, not coming down on anyone who writes it or reads it, for me, I'm just not a reader of it*

There are some fantastic stories out there, a few of the best ones I've read are just about the car alone. *and if I could remember the titles, I would definitely rec them*

As far as SG:A, there are always two sides, setting Michael free..yes that would cause distruction, making him stay, means really, they would do what they need to survive just as the Wraith would, but on the same hand, they captured Michael, they did inject him twice with the retrovirus that obviously doesn't work, so in a way, they are kind of responsible for where he goes..It's so complicated an issue, very very thought provoking though, I do have to say that.

And what is going on with the warnings issue..I don't usually read a fic that just has a warning of "dark" that leaves too much open, and for me, the safest thing is if there is one like that, either I just stay away or wait for a rec, usually the person rec'ing will say what it's about.

SPN is the good crack, and no mistake. :-) And yes, the titles are amazing! Rather daunting for title-impaired me, but lovely to behold.

Have you discovered the fandom LJ newsletter yet?

It's an amazing resource which, as far as I can tell, chronicles just about everything that happens in SPN LJ-land, including all of the recs. (Which is the only part of SPN fandom I know, since there doesn't seem to be a central archive or mailing lists... or if there are, I've not been fortunate enough to discover them yet. *g*)

I'd kill for a central archive, at least to use as a major reference point. God.

I think yeah, SGA needs to decide where it's laying it's head on the Wraith issue. At least on BTVS and ATS, hell even on XWP walking the edge seemed deliberate.

Pretty much in Allie's when Carson said he created the retrovirus to free the Wraith from their 'unnatural' state, I was just stupified because um no.

Their state isn't any more unnatural then anything else's. I don't think humans are better or superior to the Wraith. The fact is that we're on top of the food chain, and in order to stay that way the Wraith have to be eliminated. (I'm sure every animal that we eat or hunt for sport, or do testing on, or just carelessly wipeout would agree.) I'm human therefore I'm on our side.

I don't watch shows for 'heros' I watch them for people, and the thing I like about SGA is that they are making these decision that are gray. I don't want them to be cloaked in a shiny white cloak of rightness, of we're the 'good' guys.

I just worry that the writer's, much like on SV don't actually see what they are doing.

Pretty much in Allie's when Carson said he created the retrovirus to free the Wraith from their 'unnatural' state, I was just stupified because um no.

I totally agree. Carson's totally off the chart on this one--there can be no saving. Use the retrovirus to make it easier to kill them and then move onto the next.

However, I have to firmly believe that the writers etc are going this route on purpose. Shusu pointed out that the things they are doing on screen closely parallel current events, and there's a social comment in the metaphor. Whether or not they have the guts to finally, really follow through, I don't know--it is supposed to be entertainment.

Misbegotten and the episodes that came before it fall apart long before one gets to ethical considerations (and the pitfalls of false dichotomies). The expedition deserves to be eaten by the Wraith not because they're mean and bad and wrong, but because they're tactically and strategically so mind-numbingly stupid, and should be naturally selected off the island for the benefit of all mankind. Darwin award winners, the lot of them. Add the IOA and the SGC to the list of nominees.

And aren't Supernatural fic titles just the best thing ever? It feels like this game of one-upmanship, like a trend got started and now every writer makes a point of coming up with a title that makes you want to read.

*bites lip hard* I try to pretend that in that universe, thsoe decisions actually *work*. It helps.

And yes, God, the titles. When the titles are eight freaking words long and ever word is so *pretty*--seriously. I'm falling over myself here. Better than summaries to get me curious to see if the story can possibly be as gorgeous as the title.

And yes, fine, a major attraction of yoru cowboy story was my deep glee it was over *nine words long* and involved parenthesis. I really want to one day do a title-only rec page--not of stories, but just of the coolest titles in creation.

Oh I was so happy they killed all the wraith/former wraith. The whole time I was all *just kill them. KILL THEM ALL* Teyla shouldn't have had a problem with it, and I kept waiting for Ronon at least to say something. I didn't think the episode was the best ever, but I like that they did what made sense.