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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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of course it's late; this is when i do my least useful thinking
Random thought.

Well, not random, I was catching up on my metafandom and fell on top of the entire Readercon thing, which--

Like pretty much most cons, unless I know the people running it, I kind of don't pay attention (except Dragon and Comic--those I keep thinking one day, one day). So I had no context except as a word, but seriously, I know I have no context for the entire conversation (though I've been reading), and I am--torn.

Not torn as, oh, this is totally me! I should be here!, because no, from what I read (given limited context), so I totally made the right decision to limit my involvement in fan con culture to people on my flist who run them. Which is--I don't know. Uncomfortable? My pride got hit, which is the least important of the problems I picked up, but that's like, life, so totes not my primary irritation.

Context: Entries in this metafandom post - my favorite part was the GRE requirement in there somewhere. GRE. Requirement.

I think at least part of my reaction is my troubling relationship with the concept of academia--half my flist counts as acafen, so it's pretty much utterly an impersonal thing leftover from my loathing of every lit class I ever had to take (nothing fucks you up like wanting to be an English major and absolutely hating every literature analysis ever written)**. I'm not sure I can raise that to the level of a prejudice, but more of an instinctive wariness. So IDK.

I will admit, the petty part of me wants to deny I ever graduated high school just from the waving of credentials. That is petty, but that's reactionary to the specific subject, not most of the acafen I know, who tend to avoid using their degrees as a blunt force instrument or a weapon of mass terror.

** My relationship with lit analysis is complicated. It's not that I hate it as a subject; it's the most fun you can have with a keyboard, a text, and a strong sense of enlightenment that doesn't involve chemical enhancement. It's just that most of it I read during my formative years was like someone, somewhere, was mentally envisioning themselves as Moses carrying a stone-bound Ten Commandments--here is what you are missing. I could feel their glee at enlightening the masses, and trust me, my lit classes at eighteen, twenty-two, and twenty-three dramatically hit me the wrong way like an electric shock. At the end of the day, the goddamn crane was a love story, the chick killed her boyfriend and mummified him while teaching students French, and someone should have figured out a lot earlier what was up with that crappy yellow wallpaper***.

And the Lady and the Tiger was about a no-win sitch; the choice was a lot less interesting than the king who forced that choice on her. Let's talk about what kind of a world encourages the creation of a test that asks "what is the difference between love and possession? Let's examine this concept that via a human sacrifice: totes awesome". Let's talk about that.

[Actually, given a choice, I'd talk about how if it had been The Man and the Tiger, I'm pretty sure there wouldn't have been a debate on which door would have been chosen at all. I still wonder why this story is so damn popular at both high school and college level. I don't think I've ever taken a class that involved lit that didn't drag it out and air it again.]

*** There was this book, Spoils of War? Horribly depressingly bleak book--it was like watching a lifetime of relationship and communication failure post Civil War all packed into a single novel, and there was very little porn, which would have made up for the hopeless depression of every damn character. But there was this one part that stuck with me--the ex-wife is locked up in an institution that force feeds her dairy products because women who think too much are prone to nervous disorders and the next step was circumcision, at which point my fifteen year old self discovered personal feminism in a really big way. The Yellow Wallpaper is no mystery once you have read about a woman forced to eat cheese-filled omelets after a nervous breakdown while they mutter about extreme measures so she will stop hating her life quite so much. From the first diary entry, I could see where this was going and it was not good.

I am drinking high-grade coffee and ignoring two WiPs. What else am I going to do at this late hour? You know what would help? aurora_84 reccing more Pinto, kthx.

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(Deleted comment)

Re: Not Aurora, but the continent fits?

I like love you a lot right now.

Ahahaha, I would if you got my name right.

(I kid! I kid! Pickings have been pretty slim lately. But do read this, this (with bonus scene) and maybe this).

(And have some amazing Sylar/Mohinder too.)

*sticks out tongue*

Oh! Fic! (I burned through all your memories on Mylar and Pinto recently. Yay me?) Thank you!

aurora_87 would make me 3 years younger. Hmmm. *considers the pros and cons*

And ha! I'm glad my memories served you well, it's what they're there for. (And I'm sorry I wasn't able to provide you with more Sylar/Mohinder. It still pains me that they're so little goodfic for a pairing with so much potential. Or maybe the goodfic is hidden somewhere (I do admit I gave up on my quest about three months in because nothing -- aside from what my flist wrote -- could please me.)

Also: a list of stuff I liked from the rpf kink meme -- most of them have been posted elsewhere too (and are in my memories), but I think a few are new ones. Feel free to dig around.

Omfg, have we talked about my Education Issues. Just... no. And bite me. *rolls eyes*

Fortunately, I am a non-con-goer. (not to be confused with noncon, I guess?)

*dies* Yes, let's not confuse the two.

Education Issues FTW! Fandom gave me Education Issues.

Yeah, the two seem... unrelated, really.

Oh man. Fandom did NOT actually give me Education Issues, but it certainly doesn't help them. Neither does my current RL circle of friends, to be fair. I'm just gonna go sit in the corner and sulk the sulk of the resentful high school grad with a chip on her shoulder. ;)

Hm, yes. Readercon. Come watch the Brahmins graciously condescend to those worthy of entering the Presence. No undergraduates need apply. Submit CV, photo, and essay on the topic of the Art of Servility in the Presence of Great Personages.

(insert *eyeroll* here)

I love those sentences like whoa.

Wow. Somebody told me about the ReaderconFail, just mentioning that it exists, and now that I know what the fail was, I feel I must not go there because I'll become incoherent with rage.

And yet I'm still tempted. *sigh*

my loathing of every lit class I ever had to take (nothing fucks you up like wanting to be an English major and absolutely hating every literature analysis ever written)**


Lit Analysis - fast track to destroying any hope of ever reading Hemingway and enjoying it. Though I was spared Twain and Bronte musings, so I can still read them without wanting to go for something sharp.

Ah. The killing off of Bronte love in patterns of red. You are So fucking lucky I can't tell you. (Or my own personal favorite: the prof who tried to convince me that Cathy and Heathcliff were about LAND EXCHANGE. I kid you not. It's a god damned love story you twit! Needless to say I didn't do well in that class.)

(and the fact that I stuck it out as long as I did is more a testament to my own stubbornness than anything else, I'm pretty sure. I never even picked up the sheepskin on that one.)

I've always felt guilty for not going to ReaderCon - it's in my general stomping grounds, and would be easier to manage than the in-Boston cons. But it just never quite seemed The Thing. Um, plus I haven't read a book since fanfic ate my brain.

I am happy to have an excuse now (though, of course, sad that Real People are failed by the fail).

The Fail was strong in this one.

I think the ReaderCon fail is that much more offensive to me because I spent formative years doing con-running. I mean I basically came to be just logistics for Art Show but that's actually not a minor issue. And I spent a lot of time in Staff Lounge.

And here's the thing about con-running. Even more than usual in fandom, when you do con-running you get this idea that Your Idols are actually just fucking people. Some of them are really sweet, awesome, nifty people, some of them are fucking assholes and you'll have to deal with all kinds. The fact that they are talented writers and therefore GoH material doesn't mean they're actually special. (Though it might mean they think they're special goddamned snowflakes and you might end up wanting to put their face through a wall.)

I don't know. My experience of celebrity and all that is very weird and not like other people's. Like, not like a lot of other fen's, as far s I can tell. I wonder if it's because I'm a second-generation con-runner. I grew up with my parents' stories about con-running disabusing me of any notion of glamour or GoHs and celebrities of any kind somehow being more anything other than well-known and maybe talented at one specific thing. That other than that, it's the same crapshoot as with any other people.

All this to say, jesus christ, Eric Van needs to shut the fuck up and stop digging himself in deeper and deeper.

Ficcer cons in my experience are not like this. For *obvious* reasons they're woman friendly as a rule. And some sci fi lit cons. But it really depends on the con, they vary hugely. I absolutely would say check out the online scuttlebutt on a con before you consider going. Some are consistently wonderful and some are ... This guy.

See, to me the answer to the Lady and the Tiger is obvious. The princess, being semi-barbaric, but not stupid, chose the lady, because it's easier to kill her lover's wife than it is to resurrect him out of tiger crap. :)


I like you. That's kind of awesome.

*had never heard of the Lady or the Tiger, just went and read it*

Wow, they consider that little setup worth continuing to resurrect 100 years later? Tell me at the very least they also teach The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, if that's what floats their boat?

I'm kinda dumbfounded that "watch the love of your life die horribly versus watch tloyl be forced into a loveless marriage" is considered some kind of huge moral choice (yes on the tiger crap!), yeah, I agree it'd never be "the tiger or the gentleman", but women are just jealous harpies dontcha know, and we're talking about barbarians, dontcha know (where it seems women are possessions, since they seem to have a legal system where women apparently can't commit crime, and yet it's the women barbarians that are presumed to be so possessive as to face this quandary. OK.)

And I just realised that if this was a Hollywood movie she could signal the tiger door with impunity (and tears), because her love would singlehandedly defeat the ravenous tiger in combat, and the kings heart would melt and he'd let them be together (depending on how many minutes from the end of the movie we were he might be dissembling and the hero face more challenges) and they'd never even talk about the fact that she picked certain death for him.

Argh, please stop me thinking about this implausible scenario.

I always thought the reason EVERY lit class covered "the Lady and the Tiger" was to make sure no one ever used that story construction ever again. Like a big sign saying "it's been done, you're not clever, move on" or something. I mean really, it doesn't even have an ending. Arghhhhh. Loathes that story. =<

You would not believe my hate for poetry as taught by high schools. =/ Completely unfair to poetry.


I thought I hated short stories, because over 50% of our English course in sixth form was based on them and I didn't like any of them, even before we'd poked and prodded them. And then I realised a few years later that I'd been reading sf short stories all along,and liking them just fine.

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