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March 28th, 2005 - ldhenson — LiveJournal
Ha! Is that a Young Ones reference I see in the latest Discworld novel? Oh, happy collision!

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Ever since the forums at FT shut down, I've been hanging out at PrincessMC for my daily fix. The When I Was Your Age and The Scary World of Fandom threads are funny, enlightening, and (in the case of the latter) not a little bit alarming. Fandom really does bring out The Crazy sometimes, doesn't it? I always used to think that you couldn't be safer meeting strangers than at a smallish-midsize con like MediaWest, as fan interaction was tight-knit enough to quickly ferret out the crazies. Wishful thinking? Dunno. You heard about wacko behavior here and there, but nothing on this scale. This year will be my (gulp) 9th MW (I missed one year). If I'd heard about this level of lunacy in collective fandom when I first started going, I would've had serious second thoughts about going at all. (Fortunately, MW still seems very sane, by con standards.)

As for the WIWYA thread...ahh, the memories. Movies on video for $90. Banana hairclips. Saturday-morning cartoons. Rotary phones. Three-dollar movie prices. LPs. I'd forgotten about most of this stuff.

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Pet peeve du jour:

Fannish infantilisation of adult characters. Fannish bestowment of cutesy character nicknames in this vein. The House thread over on TWOP is pretty cool, but the constant reference to House's subordinates as "the ducklings" is rapidly wearing thin. The first ten times, it was clever; by the 1,379th time it's just too precious. Even if it were just used humorously, it would already be old, but it crops up in most discussions.

And don't get me started on Daniel "Anthropuppy" Jackson. Or the type of fanfic that writes the characters as literal children or with some sort of conveniently trauma-induced childhood regression...I've seen this in, off the top of my head, Starsky & Hutch, Mag 7, The Monkees, and a couple of fandoms I'm too embarrassed to mention knowing about. Oh, and Pros, though I admit to not reading the entire lengthy story, as I'm in the apparent 0.001% of Pros fandom that prefers Pros gen. Don't get me wrong, there've been many fine fics exploring the childhoods of various characters, but these fics I'm talking about seem to have been written for the express purpose of saying, with all apparent seriousness and poignancy, "Awww, aren't they cute widdle children?" Honestly. They're meant to be cuddly, and the story's supposed to be moving.

And then there's...whatever some Les Miz fans have turned Javert into. Hey, I'm the first to say there's much humor to be had from de-fanging an antogonistic character, or that from a dramatic pov there's nothing wrong with giving such a character some layers, but to make his character warm and fuzzy and snuggable without a hint of apparent irony in the writing of it...urgh. Did we read the same book?

Perhaps that's just all questionable fanfic taste, this preference for making grown characters soft and helpless, but I remember coming across a pretty extreme case of it years ago. It wasn't a fictional character; the target was Jeremy Irons. A young fan, a textbook stalker in the making if I ever saw one, constantly posted to the JI mailing list describing JI in terms that one would use to describe a whipped puppy. She described him as a cringing, trembling poor thing, and in her dreams he'd burst into tears...for her. She attributed quotes to him full of timid words, and it was only when someone asked her if that was what he'd really said that she admitted it was only what she thought he'd say. Thank god RPF still wasn't something people generally did at the time (this was about six or seven years ago), or who knows what else the list might have been subjected to. As it was, her fic involving his characters, and her posts, were enough to make you want to disinfect your monitor afterwards. Disturbing, disturbing stuff.

Heh. And that takes us back round to the Crazy Fans.

Current Music: "The Daily Grind," J&W soundtrack

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