Responsible Fanfiction by thatpalebluedot, which I saw linked around like everywhere, but honestly? Essay title threw me off being interested. Thinking deeply is what I do when balancing policy questions and practical consideration of state benefits, and honestly, it's been a rough few weeks in fandom. I'm on subsistence-level fanfic reading and that is pretty exclusively devoted to anything ltlj puts out or mmmchelle posts.
I think the problem emerges in that I'm not sure what I'm supposed to take away from it.
There's nothing in it, to me, that I didn't know before. I think I missed something in translation. And reading comments? Did not help at all. Mostly, I was:
a.) not terribly interested in how mainstream sees me. So what the hell do I care if they have some kind of strange freakout. Mainstream are the people who turned Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal into bestsellers and movies. These books are in my work's trading area. They turned American Psycho into a bestseller with a detailed how-to on rape and explicit torture in loving detail. Forgive me if I can't take seriously the idea that "mainstream" has a leg to stand on in sitting judgement on our subject manner.
Beyond that? I. Do. Not. Care.
(but I totally reserve to everyone else the right to care all you want. Honest.)
b.) realism in fiction is right up there with realism in art. When someone can put into terms how cubism or Picasso or post-modern *anything* is actually a dead-on photograph of the world, I will totally take it back. But seriously. What does fiction have to do with reality? The only thing I've ever asked of fiction is that they use good characterization and please stop using wonton. Otherwise, go crazy. I may not read it if it doesn't fall in my specific set of interests, but diversity leads to categories like mpreg, and really, what would we be without mpreg? In a sad place, I wager.
(and I totally reserve to everyone else the right to go the realism route. I'm just saying. My two most popular fic ever involve a.) serial killing mass murders taking over Atlantis and b.) Clark Kent as a *god*. It's like the hypocrite calling the Republican blue.)
(this is a joke, I swear. the Rebublican thing. true of democrats as well. really.)
A very real part of me thinks that the essay is meant more as a guide to those that *do* want to work with more realism than trying to make a point that all of us should gently move away from our lighthearted hooker fics and romantic aliens-made-them-do-it. And I think--think being the operative word--that the murmurs since LJ Strikeout 2007 have been toward the idea that if we are going to be seen, we should make sure we're dressed well and use more base to cover up the more unsightly bits of what we're doing.
It's very--disconcerting. I'm not even close to the more extreme ends of fandom in terms of what I write, and I'm *still* feeling vaguely unsettled by the idea. There's something very uncomfortable in the idea that we'll turn on each other, in groups, as individuals, to claim our normality by condemning them (whoever 'them' may be) for the sake of a nebulous "mainstream". That we allow those outside us to set the rules we are to follow to be accepted. Whatever the hell accepted is supposed to be.
Actually, I'd like a defintion of all questionable words in the above paragraph. I think that would clarify a lot.
I could be totally reading way too much into recent debates. This is what happens when I haven't had coffee. Very tragic.