Seperis (seperis) wrote,

the birth of the squick

Random moment of squickery. And this is not related at all to anything except I got to thinking on my primary squicks and wondered if anyone else had really weird ones.

I mean, I have like, one major pairing squick (will run in the other direction and occasionally refilter my flist to avoid seeing even mention--yes, I know, My neuroses and I are one), and a few minor ones in SGA. But I developed this entire host of bizarre characterization squicks as well that always throw me, because honestly, there is no way to warn for them, some people have entirely differnet ways of seeing the character--which is fine! I swear! Except the sociopathic John thing, that is just stupid--okay, and the robot-of-no-real-emotions John thing, also mindblowingly stupid--but beyond that. And weird, *weird* plot squicks. And there's this entire *litany* of John-related and Rodney-related almost-squicks--I'll read them if this person write it, but not that person, and I'll only read it if this person was making me pre-read it early on and I'm allowed to insert such comments as WHY DID YOU DO THAT? EXPLAIN DAMMIT and then they do, and then I'm okay (see Astolat's Tango for fic that first squicked me, then much later, after a line by line with Amireal, really loving it and adding to re-read list). And I think Bone is still the only person I can read John/Ronon from, and I think a lot of that is because I was reading it well before I hardened into my OTP, and a lot of it because no other character suffered for the making of the pairing, which some John/Ronon fics I read seemed to have at least some bit of Rodney-left-out-and-hurt, which kind of sours it.

But okay, I'm asking for other people to tell me their weird squicks, I'll tell a few of the less-humiliating ones. I just want to feel less weird.

1.) partner betrayal - this is a stop-traffic squick. I'd like to thank rageprufrock for destroying my soul, because it's Pru and I read it, even though I knew I'd be homicidal before, during, and after. I love you, Pru, but OHMYGOD Directional Theory. Still not over that one. Immortality. Never, ever getting over that one. And that's been five years! Even the implications of it get to me in some really weird, primal way. Even if it's *informal*, I get mildly freaked out. But I am weird, and I embrace my weirdness.

2.) consensual non-con - okay, just go with this one. One of the characters wants to have sex, the other doesn't, or doesn't want it to have this certain kind of sex, first person drugs them and/or ties them up, they still say no, but then there's orgasm and they really really like it! *thinks* This also goes for the aliens made them have sex, but only when after, there seems to be no consequences, becuase the second person is still a-okay with everything even though they were totally not okay beforehand or even most of during, and the first person is smugly sure he did everyhing perfectly, which I have read not as many times as the first kind, but still, really, ewww. Okay, I have read some I could get through like that, and some I couldn't, and I think a lot depends on how I read author intent. eleveninches fic Them Other Boys Don't Know How to Act didn't even ping me on the freak-o-meter, but part of that is a.) I know her b.) she gave me a pre-fic synopsis so I knew exactly what I would be getting into and c.) I've read her fic enough to see where her characterization comes from, and so could go with it and laugh hysterically. Because honestly, that was funny.

3.) humiliation for use of teaching character a lesson - it's not conditional, I will always, always, always hate it (see some of the post-Trinities for dramatic interpretations on both sides; Rodney the trod-upon and bullied by everyone and cutting himself while people hope he suicides and John and Elizabeth teh evil monsters destroying his soul with their cruelty, cause for serious--wtf?). There are two or three really good fics that made me flinch with the humiliation teaches this character an important lesson--Transcendental is an excellent fic with a good example of John-learning-to-take-orders, and after my first few reads, I discovered the fine art of skipping the key points and moving to the fun plotty stuff again. And it's never come close to a few of the others that try to Teach Rodney To Be A Better Person, or John To Be More Emotionally Open, or Rodney To Not Take John For Granted or...yeah.

3b. Humiliation in general, but this is slippery-slope and there's no solid rule here. I just learned to hit back really really fast. More often than not, back. I think it honestly depends on how I read author intent in this one. Sometimes it's hysterical and funny and fun and reads like it, and sometimes, or a lot of time, it reads like a grudge against a certain character.

4.) death fic - this isn't as much a squick as a generalized preference of never, ever seeing it. Even long after post-death. I've read a few and some were good and a couple were great, and still, no.

5.) Anything At All To Do With Anyone Turned Into a Sex Slave. Period and end. I have yet to read a fic that can convince me otherwise. At least, not since 2005.

6.) Anything With Mutilation - I have been persuaded to a few. It took a lot of persuasion. And three people in chat telling me, they promised, I would love it. I would not want to kill them. I really, really wouldn't. They promised, promised, promised. They know I know where they lived. But general rule--no.

7.) Grudgefic - being OTC more than OTP half the time, you cannot freak me out more than by writing an entire story explaining how much John sucks as a human being and Rodney putting up with him and John's unspeakable gratefulness for it. Drives me *nuts*. Rodney doesn't get that treatmetn quite as much--well, outside a few key archives--but teh back button is well exercised. I mean, don't get me wrong, I get grudgefic--I who turned Lana into a heroin addict prostitute, special hell for that one--but see OTC and OTP. Squick. Anytime you spend an entire story punishing a character--oh God, that one with John agreeing he totally deserved to be drugged into Rodney's slave because he told Cameron about the lemon, Jesus H--no. Seriously. I am totally back button girl. And will possibly whimper about it to svmadelyn.

Hmm. Codicil to 7 - a lot of my issues with fic outside this list do have a great deal to do with John. I'm really not going to apologize for that one--I don't flame the authors or do antirecs or wander around talking about how much Author A sucks, but I'm not going to be sorry I can't read something I think just uses John in ways that to me make no sense. But I have found over time my patience gets thinned by my perception of either OOC or character abuse and there's this short list in my head of authors I simply don't trust and can no longer read without a specific rec from someone who knows me well enough, and some people write fic that to me, was so *wrong* I can't read anything else they write, because of that one fic, so all fics after it have that intent behind it. Which is freakishly limiting--there are reasons I trust implicitly anything ltlj recs, because I've read every one of her fics and her characterization of John, to me, is spot-on--and a couple of other reccers that tend toward the same taste I have. And I do recognize this is a taste issue--every fic I've mentined here is fic I like a lot, for various reasons, but is also fic that had a squick factor for me--it's not a quality issue. I don't tend to talk about fic I hated. It causes fine lines and early aging.

But sometimes--and this is just sometimes--I get the crazy feeling that it's not quite done anymore to have fairly specific tastes in fic, or to not like something due to those tastes, and the warnings debates had a side issue wandering through in a few ljs that seemed to emphasize the fact that if you have an issue with a particular kind of fic, you have a serious problem. I cannot read unequal OT3 or OT4, unless the author is basically Pru, or anything Rodney/Ronon period and end right there, and have come to really flinch around Sheppard/Weir. Some Ronon fic has started to get on my nerves, which means I'm skipping that pretty much consistently outside a specific rec, and some Weir fic have done the same thing. I get weird about John/Teyla now, and don't read it as much as I used to. The longer I'm in SGA, the more rigid the squicks and tastes have become, too. And there is definitely a--hmm. Maybe a generalized feeling that if you aren't reading all of it, or don't like some aspects of something, you're just not open minded enough. I am perfectly okay with everyone having their own take on characters, their own pairings, etc--except the sociopahtic John thing, God, just stop that shit--I just quietly, for the most part, exercise my option to stop and say "wow, that totally did not work for me at all."

The thing is, a squick is less a voluntary choice than a start of surprise, a "I am not enjoying this at all" and finding a pattern in it. Reading outside that is impossible, at least for me--if squick is hit, I cannot enjoy. If I do not enjoy, I stop doing it. It's not a personal judgement on the writer, though I can see, and have felt sometimes when I hit someone's squicks, that it can seem that way. It can also seem like a judgement--the non-con-really-he-meant-it I actually do get is a fantasy type and I don't actually think the authors are fine with rape and rohypnol being an awesome dating tool. And there is the part of me that knows that what we read is only a fraction of what the author really meant to get across, and what I get out of it can be diametrically opposite to what they meant. But the thing is, my reading will always trump author intent, with a few key DVD commentary exceptions that i have read that explained a lot something that bothered or confused me.

But saying what I do and do not like--outside those fandomwide things that everyone will claim--does feel sometimes like I'm quietly stepping on a landmine and waiting for it to blow. And I say this as someone who got feedback about The Principle of Exclusion stating that poor Rod was humiliated and ostracized by everyone--and you know, did my freakout in private that my author intent did not get the right thing across. I know that what we read isn't always the same as what the author meant.

Okay, now, so I feel less like a black peep at Easter--squicks? Issues? Oooh. In case I offended someone,and I'm pretty sure someone had to have been, I openly throw this one out--have I written anything that squicked you? How and why?
Tags: meta: fandom
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