thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Recently, I started thinking about the moments of being openly gay that I never see in fic. This was supposed to be a list of those.

It isn't.

~

Ever since we moved to this house, I've gone to the same pharmacy several times a month to pick up prescriptions. In the beginning, the earthling was with me in the sling, and later he'd accompany me walking on his own feet. There was a cashier, Maria, who always talked to him and me, who was friendly and remembered us and grabbed our prescriptions before we even got to the front of the line.

One day about a year ago I went to the pharmacy after the earthling was in bed. "Oh, where's your son?" Maria asked.

"He's at home with my wife. It's after his bedtime."

"…Oh," she said.

Since then, when I go, she still recognizes me, earthling or no, but she's all business. No chat, no talking about how big the earthling has gotten, no asking me about my day. There are a thousand possible reasons for this. At least. Most of them have nothing to do with me. Maybe she got yelled at for chatting with customers too much. Maybe she's been having a bad year. It could be anything. I know that.

But I will always wonder if it's because I'm queer. I can't not wonder. My queerness inflects every interaction I have like this, whether I acknowledge it ("my wife") or avoid it ("my partner"). And because queerness is not visible, cannot be known until I make it known, I often have situations like this, where there was a before and there is now an after and things are different. This is one of the minor costs of being openly queer: the voice in the back of your head that is always going, is this because I'm gay?

~

Coming out is supposed to happen in One Big Moment. Usually your One Big Moment involves coming out to your parents; sometimes, especially in fiction, it's coming out at a press conference or in front of an audience or something. But wherever it happens, the concept is the same: in that moment, your whole life changes. Before, you were closeted and ashamed, and after, you become open and honest. You have chewed your way out of the cocoon of secrecy to emerge as a beautiful gay butterfly!

My family doesn't do big moments well. I was in college, I was 19, I was in the apartment I shared with Best Beloved. And my mother called. After some chat, she got around to the purpose of her call.

"Last year," she said, "you told me you'd never get married. And I'm worrying about that. You're young and I don't want you to be alone forever."

"I won't be alone," I said. "I just won't be married because it's not legal for me to be. But I already consider myself married."

I should, at this (big and momentous!) point, mention a few things: this call was taking place in the morning, and my sister, Laura, was living with our mother at this time.

"Oh," my mother said. And right then, Laura, who is not and never has been entirely human in the mornings, came into the room.

"Is there milk?" she said crankily.

"In the refrigerator," my mother said to her. To me, she said, "Who are you married to?"

"[Best Beloved]," I said, honestly bewildered. (I thought they knew! Like -- why did they think we lived together? I assumed we'd been on the same page for years.)

"Oh," my mother said, reaching for a suitable reaction.

"No, there isn't," Laura said, attaining new heights of crankiness. "Are we out?"

"Your sister's a lesbian," my mother snapped at Laura. I think she meant: shut up about milk for a second. I'm trying to have a significant conversation and you're making it difficult.

Laura has never given a shit about anyone's sexual preference first thing in the morning. "That's nice," she said, summoning up every single fuck she could give about something before breakfast. "Are we out of milk or what?"

And at that point I think we all gave up on pretending this was a significant moment and just kind of moved on with our lives. I accepted that "That's nice. Are we out of milk or what?" would be my family's main reaction to my sexuality. Later that day, just to be sure we were all in the loop -- since my parents seemed strangely slow and clueless about these things -- I told my father in email. The paragraph dedicated to that revelation took a backseat to four paragraphs of discussion about my stupid physics professor. Those were my priorities.

He probably read it and wondered if he was out of milk.

Just to top things off, that night I realized to my eternal embarrassment that this all took place on National Coming Out Day, a "holiday" I don't even support. (Come out. Don't come out. Whatever you want, on your own terms. I'm not going to pressure you and no one else should, either. It's a bullshit concept.)

So my One Big Moment was -- not. It was not big. It was not dramatic. It was, to be honest, pretty comical. The most emotion experienced by anyone was Laura's sincere and honest anger about my mother using the last of the milk without even considering whether other people had had breakfast yet. It didn't even manage to be a single moment, since I spread it over most of a day.

This was probably much better preparation for the rest of my life than I thought at the time.

~

"Are you sisters?"

"No. No, we're… not sisters."

"Oh. Haha! You look just like each other."

~

In college, I fainted outside the student union building during finals week and ended up at student health. The nurse practitioner had only one question for me, phrased two dozen different ways: "Could you be pregnant?"

"No," I said. "I can't be pregnant."

She was already starting her next question before I finished my answer. "But did you have sex recently?"

I hesitated. Back then, coming out still felt like a big thing every time I did it. And, yes, I'd had sex with Best Beloved many times that month, but I knew she meant sex that involved a penis in my vagina. Did I really need to get into my current sexual history in detail with this woman? "No," I finally said, but my hesitation had convinced her.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

"Not at all?"

"No."

"Not even a teeny weeny bit?" she wheedled.

I just stared at her, trying to figure out how you have a teeny weeny bit of sex.

She moved on. "Did you black out, or take any drugs, or wake up and not know where you were at all recently?"

She'd accurately described most of my high school career, but those days were long gone. And I didn't think accidentally falling asleep after midnight in the bone lab counted. Dead people can't get you pregnant. "No."

We went around and around. After fifteen minutes, she was still finding new ways to ask if I might be pregnant, and I was watching time tick by and just yearning for a diagnosis already. Finally, she said, "What are you using for birth control?"

I gave up. My desire not to come out to her had lost out to my desire to be done with this question forever. "Lesbianism," I said. "I'm using lesbianism for birth control."

She nodded but did not deviate from her script. "So you're not on the pill? Did you have sex this month?"

"I only have sex with my girlfriend," I said, trying to make this whole lesbianism thing clearer. "She can't get me pregnant."

She sent me to get some blood tests. One of them was for hCG: a pregnancy test. I got it then and I get it now. The number of college girls who claim they can't possibly be pregnant and are wrong is greater than the number of college girls who have stress-induced fainting.

But I came out! It was an effort! And… she didn't even listen to me. Back then, it didn't matter to her the way it mattered to me.

~

After a while, it stops mattering. You do it so many times that it just gets old and dull and meaningless. But you don't get to stop there. Coming out is endless. I've done it thousands of times by now, each moment of coming out blurring together in my head until it's just a lifetime of saying over and over: "I'm a lesbian. I have a wife. I'm queer. I'm not straight." I don't play the pronoun game anymore, I don't reach for the careful, neutral phrasing, and so I'm coming out all the time, without even thinking about it. And it's so boring that I sometimes forget that it's new information, and sometimes a brand-new experience, for the person I'm coming out to.

"Is your husband Jewish?" the earthling's friend's mother asked me.

"My wife, actually. No, she's not."

And I was ready to move on, but she was freezing up. I've done this so many times I can monitor people's thoughts as they have them -- I can read them like thought bubbles.

She's a lesbian.

Wait. What do I say?

Oh no, I've waited too long and she thinks I'm a horrible bigot, even though I'm Canadian.

"Oh," she said, clearly wishing she was saying something else. But what? But what?

The earthling's friend, David, looked up at me. "Girls can't have a wife," he said confidently.

David's mother made a tiny horrified noise. I didn't even need to look at her to know that she was thinking now she thinks my children are horrible and bigoted too.

But children are easy. Children are never any problem. "Yes, they can," I said to David. "Men can marry men and women can marry women, and I'm married to [earthling]'s mommy." (Straight parents, a tip for you: The key is to sound blandly confident. Use the same tone you'd use to say, "Actually, the capital of California is Sacramento.")

David took the conversation back to what matters to small children: themselves. "My mommy is married to my daddy," he informed me, and he and the earthling went back to playing with leaves and sticks.

A minute later, David's mother, having processed her horror and figured out what to say, chimed in with, "Of course women and women can be married!" She pretty clearly had a whole speech ready, but too late. Small children learn hundreds of new things every week, and they just don't have a lot of time to spend on any single irrelevant, unimportant new fact, like that women can be married to women. David had already filed this away, and he wasn't listening anymore.

David's mother left the conversation embarrassed and worried. She was the only person involved who had any feelings about it at all. These days, it doesn't matter to me the way it matters to other people.

~

My family is pretty basic: two adults and a child. But even now, when we can legally be married, legally file taxes together, legally be co-parents -- even now, forms almost never have room for us. There's the basic ones that assume that each child has a mother and a father, of course, but recently we filled out some for the school distract that had a ton of options: mother/grandmother/legal guardian/caregiver/foster parent/other. And father/grandfather/legal guardian/caregiver/foster parent/other. The only possibility that seemed not to have occurred to the school was two parents of the same sex.

I always cross out "father" and write "mother" over it. I cross out "husband" and write "wife." Often, this leads to unhappiness on the part of a receptionist or records keeper somewhere. "But the computer doesn't have a place for that! Can I just put sister?"

"She's not my sister, and she is responsible for my medical bills if I die."

"I'll just put sister."

But then sometimes I pick up a form that says Parent 1 and Parent 2, or Spouse 1 and Spouse 2, or something along those lines.

As soon as I see that, I look behind the desk, analyzing. Who works in this office who is queer? I want to ask. Because we only ever fit on forms designed by people like us.

~

"Are you sisters?"

"No, we're not related."

"Oh, just really good friends then, huh? You look so much alike! You must get that a lot."

"Yeah, we get it a lot."

~

In college, I had a therapist. One day, she asked, "Are you still together with [Best Beloved]?"

"Yeah," I said, confused. I mean. I'd been with BB for years. Surely it would have come up in therapy if we'd broken up? I figured I'd have some feelings about it and all.

"Huh," she said. "I'm surprised. I guess I just see lesbian relationships as more ephemeral than straight ones." She continued on thoughtfully, "I don't know why that is. You'd think I'd know better; my sister's been with her partner for a decade, after all. Well. I'll have to do some work on that, won't I?"

For the record, she was a very good therapist.

This week, I took the earthling to his pediatrician, Dr. G. Dr. G has known him since he was born, and she's known us since I was six months pregnant. BB and I met her together at the pre-birth interview thing, and BB was there in the hospital when the earthling was born, and BB comes to appointments when she can.

As Dr. G entered some data about the earthling into her computer, she asked, "Are you still with [BB]?"

I blinked at her. "We just celebrated our twenty-first anniversary," I said, after a moment's pause.

"Oh! Wow! Congratulations," she said, and we moved on.

I really doubt she's ever asked my sister, whose kids also see this doctor, if she's still married to her husband. I've been married longer; BB was at my sister's wedding. But, hey, my marriage is ephemeral, right? It could end at any time. Unremarked upon, even.

For the record, Dr. G is a very good pediatrician.

~

"Are you twins?"

"…What?"

"You look like twins!"

"No, we're not related."

"Wow! You look just like each other. How crazy is that, huh?"

~

It's just a reflex by now.

We were checking in for a spa day that my mother schedule for us: me, my sister (except technically not my sister, who is always late), and Best Beloved. "Oh, are you all Ruth's daughters?" the receptionist asked.

"No. Laura and I are. [BB] is my wife," I said.

And I could, of course, see her thoughts as they happened:

Oh, they're lesbians!

I am entirely and sincerely pro-gay, and so is my workplace. I voted against Prop 8! Yay, gay people!

…But what do I say now?

"Oh," she said, straightening up a little.

Wait, that sounds dismissive. Say something else! Say a better thing! Say the right thing!

"That's great!" she said.

I glanced up at her. "Yes, it is." And then I went back to texting my sister to find out where she was.

~

"Are you twins?"

"No. She's my wife."

"…Oh. Um."

~

Straight people, I will tell you a secret: there is no right response. Just listen and get on with your lives. I've learned to.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The Ones That Suggests Some Plots I Never, Ever Want to Read. And Some I'm Delighted I Already Have. Found and Searching, by [personal profile] linabean.

Know this: I love storyfinders communities. I love them unashamedly, unabashedly, unironically. One of the first things I do in a new fandom is hunt down the local storyfinders. Yes, there are some risks inherent in this - every tenth post on one of these communities is absolutely horrifying, and every fortieth makes me recoil from the screen, cover my ears, rock in my desk chair, and weep silently for my people.

And yet. And yet. The other entries are educational! Every time someone posts, I learn what people consider the money shot of any story. (Hint, anyone out there who is searching for either the story that starts with a spanking that John gets because of Rodney or the one where they find all the extra control chairs called cathedrae: it's Indelible, it's by Shaenie, and there's about a million words of awesomeness and plot between those two apparently very memorable points. Enjoy!) I also learn that there are many kinds of people in my fandoms, and some of them are very different from me. Some of them even seem to speak an entirely different language than any of those ever spoken on the planet earth. (This means I am sharing my fandom with aliens! I am always delighted by that news. Hi, aliens! Hi hi hi hi hi!) But most of all, I just love seeing what people look for. Sometimes I get links to stories I've read and loved and need to put on my Kindle. Sometimes I get links to great stories I somehow missed. And sometimes I get links to stories that are so mind-bogglingly horrible that I have to tell myself the person was just searching for it because she was trying to deal with a very serious story-induced trauma head-on.

But, as much as I love storyfinders communities, I love these poems even more. They capture everything that's fabulous about the communities. (The desperate tone! The pleas for help! The one where McKay is turned into a puppy with many exclamation points, like this: !!!) And they also capture an awful lot of the essence of SGA fandom. And then they create something entirely new, all in themselves - I mean, these are really awesome poems.

I smile helplessly every time I read these. And then I giggle a lot. And then I want to cuddle fandom to me. And then I want to slap it in the face. These poems bring me many feelings, is my point. But the dominant one is happiness. Pure, unadulterated joy that there could be something so awesome that storyfinders communities are only one small part of it, and that someone could take a segment of that awesomeness and distill it and purify it and make it even better.

Fandom, I big pink line you. Totally.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So, the question of the day is whether I will ever forgive [livejournal.com profile] seperis for posting a link to the video for Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart. I'm thinking I probably won't. If I ever see [livejournal.com profile] seperis in person, I will sniff haughtily and raise my chin and stride right on by. She will deserve it.

Because, see, the video somehow makes the song very sticky, and it's not so much that I mind going around singing "turn around bright eyes" under my breath - okay, wait. I do. I do mind. But I wouldn't be contemplating a permanent grudge just for that. No, but see, the video changes the meaning of virtually all the lyrics. So I'll sing to myself "I don't know what to do/I'm always in the dark/living on a powder keg and giving off sparks" and then I will have to interrupt myself to shriek, "MAYBE YOU SHOULD STOP FUCKING SCHOOLBOYS, THEN. That might be your problem!"

It was when I shrieked that this morning that I realized that a) I was driving, and thus visible to others as I went into my very emotional anti-schoolboy-fucking credo and b) I was on my way to a place where I would be interacting with others. Who might not understand my need to explain, at volume, that being a little bit nervous that the best of all your years have gone by is no excuse for fucking alien schoolboys with wings. (Seriously. This video is like a live action version of all the anime in the world. In five minutes. Except...not good. At all. Sort of the opposite of good, if you get my drift.)

So, no, I won't be forgiving [livejournal.com profile] seperis anytime soon. You may say I could just have not watched it, but you would be wrong, because she mentioned dancing ninjas when she linked. Everyone knows that your average person is helpless in the face of dancing ninjas. It's why ninjas dance! So obviously she's entirely to blame, and until I can stop sharing with strangers that, yes, falling apart tends to happen when you spend all your time exploiting underaged lads (and BIRDS - BIRDS!) with mind control powers, I will be holding a massive grudge. I fail to see how anyone could blame me for this.

Obviously, I need help. In an attempt to reclaim the video portion of my brain for better purposes (it's hard to see how there could be worse purposes, frankly), I have turned to vids. Where else? I initially considered doing a Vids That Traumatize set - it would fit in so nicely - but, sadly, those tend to render me unable to speak, never mind type. (I will never forgive Pouncer and Barkley for showing me footage from Xanadu, though. Not ever. The...costumes. The...roller skates. GENE KELLY ON ROLLER SKATES OMG.)

Instead, meta vids. These make me consistently happy, after all. And they make sense. And there aren't any dancing football players in just the shoulder pads without the jerseys. In short: meta vids win.

The One That Will Remind You That We're Living in the Avalanche Times. But We Still Have Each Other. (I'm Sorry! Meta Vids Make Me Really Emotional. Unless That's Bonnie Tyler's Influence.) Us, by [livejournal.com profile] lim.

Level of fandom knowledge required: 8.

But in this case, don't worry; if you're reading this LJ (and you're not my mother), you almost certainly know enough to appreciate this vid, because the knowledge you need is not about a fandom, or a part of fandom, but just media fandom itself.

And I say "media fandom" advisedly. When this vid came out, I was curious about how it would read to people outside our neck of fandom, so I asked some anime vidders to watch it and tell me what they got from it. I learned many things, some of them totally not relevant to the vid. (Like that anime vidders will always go to the critique place, always; they talk about technique first and content second, which shows you that they're like us but not us.) And I learned that people outside our community can, in fact, get something from this vid. (It was interesting to see what they did get, and what they didn't. If you ever have a handful of anime vidders and you don't know what to do with them, I recommend the experiment.) But they didn't get most of what's in there, not nearly. Which means this is a vid by one of us that's just for us.

Why? Well, partly because you need to be able to recognize what fandom is, and what our particular kind of fandom does: we borrow pieces from the things we love and turn them into new works of art. And partly because you need to be able to recognize the big fannish moments from the sources here. And partly because this is about being a fan: about the struggles we have with them - the people who aren't us.

The One That Proves That What We All Want Is Rupert Giles. Locked in Our Basement. I Put You There, by [livejournal.com profile] laurashapiro and Lithium Doll, aka [livejournal.com profile] halcyon_shift. (Password required for download; available without a password in streaming video on IMEEM. At least, I hope it's still there; I can't actually check, because IMEEM hates me, so if you follow this link and it works, will you let me know?)

Level of fandom knowledge required: 2.

Because, seriously, all you need to know is that we love our characters a lot, and we...do stuff to do them sometimes, take control sometimes. Because we can. (And also because of love. Let's not forget that.) This is the classic fangirl story, set to music. With drawings that pretty much represent all of us, and show all the things we do to the people we love: Obsessively collect stuff about them! Chase them! Kiss them! Insert ourselves into their stories! Hate their girlfriends! Lock them up and hit them over the head with heavy objects! (...What? Don't even try to tell me you're above hurt/comfort. I saw you with that angsty epic bookmark you think no one knows you have. Your shame is known to me.)

And this is all set to music, I might add, that is so perfect for this vid that I was astonished to learn that it isn't about fandom, or at least that it wasn't written about fandom. I still listen to it and can't believe it: you mean this isn't about a fangirl? But, but, but - how do you explain that line about real life? And, look, we do put you there! (You, of course, being Rupert Giles. Or, okay, I hear people sometimes like other characters. Whatever.) Us! But, of course, we don't have a monopoly on this kind of love.

That's why this is the perfect meta vid to show outsiders, in fact. Everyone can understand this much of fandom, because, well, nearly everyone who consumes fiction has done this. (At least, I assume they have. If they haven't, they are strangers to me.)

The One That Always Makes Me Deeply Happy to See Lemons. I Mean, Not That I Don't Love Lemons Anyway, but These Are Lemons of Significance. Without Me, by [livejournal.com profile] mamoru22.

Level of fandom knowledge required: 2 or 6.

Basically, for me this vid is the other side of I Put You There. This is the actor's side: "I've created a monster" must be pretty close to an accurate transcription of their thoughts sometimes. Particularly at cons.

The actor in this case is David Hewlett, and the monster is Rodney McKay, which is curiously appropriate. (He's a monster in some ways. But he's lovable! And he's ours. Aaaaand, oh my god, I just made Rodney McKay sound like a monster from Monsters, Inc., which image will haunt me to my grave, especially since Best Beloved and [livejournal.com profile] makesmewannadie tormented me this weekend with Sulley/Mike slash. Seriously, don't ever watch an innocent movie with those two; you'll never be the same again.)

The dual level of knowledge is because to get the basics of this vid, you just have to know that there's actor, and there's character, and there's fans. And sometimes there's a complex relationship between the three. But I love so much that this vid throws in another layer: it's also about SGA fandom. See those penguins? Those lemons? Those are our controversies! Those are part of what we bring to the picture! And I just love that.

But to get the add-in cookie bonuses, you really do need to know the fandom; I watched this initially with Best Beloved, who totally got the David Hewlett/Rodney McKay (not a pairing OMG no no noooooo) part of it, and loved the vid, but failed to understand why I squeaked and laughed and just generally acted insanely joyful at, for example, the postcards. (Fandom, how are you so awesome? No, really, how?) So this vid is perfect for any person who can recognize Rodney McKay, but it rewards a close familiarity with SGA fandom. In other words, it's for nearly all viewers!

The One That Will Remind You Why You Big Pink Line Fandom. I Love Fandom, by [livejournal.com profile] barkley.

Level of fandom knowledge required: 5.

This isn't technically a fannish vid, in the sense that it contains only footage Barkley shot herself (as far as I know). And it's set to a song by Chicago, a song that will never, ever make any favorites list compiled by me. (Although I'll tell you what: it effortlessly displaces Total Eclipse of the Heart. My only worry now is that I'll end up singing a hideous mash-up of the two, and then I will have to be confined for my own good.) But of all the vids in my meta folder, this is the one that makes me sniffle emotionally every single time I watch it. Barkley and [livejournal.com profile] destina were right; this is indeed the fannish theme song, and here it's set to perfect fannish footage: the computer, the assorted media, the books, the DVDs, the alcohol, the chocolate, the tea. (Also a random clip of something that I believe is called the "outdoors." Ignore that part.)

And, of course, there's footage of [livejournal.com profile] musesfool's love meme. If you somehow missed it, it's here, and I still look at it from time to time, just because it makes me so happy. But I look at this vid even more.

This is the perfect insider meta vid. (So perfect I actually harassed Barkley to make it available again. Vidders, let this be a lesson to you: hide your email addresses, because otherwise, I will totally come for you.) I'm sure it'd be meaningless to outsiders (though I haven't actually checked this, as with Us). But for me - oh, fandom. You're just the part of me I can't let go. *sniffle*
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Yes, meta can be a good thing. It can be a weird thing. And it can, as in the case of all these stories, be a funny thing. At least, I found them funny. (If this says something unfortunate about my sense of humor, please don't tell me about it. I'm paranoid enough, thanks.)

Why do we write meta? I'm not sure, but I know this: if we weren't picking apart our own obsessions and compulsively commenting on every aspect of fandom, we wouldn't be fans. We'd be some other mutant thing. Tiger Beat subscribers, maybe. A wry sense of humor about one's own fanaticism is an essential component of the kind of fandom practiced and worshiped in this LJ; we all have an interesting and thoughtful perspective to offer on our lack of perspective, and we all have something pithy and amusing to say about the things we take so very seriously. And these, um, word-filled thingies - they aren't all stories, and they aren't essays, and I can't think what to call them, frankly - are perfect examples of that.

I'd talk about how much these kinds of word-filled thingies make me love y'all, but that seems way too straightforward and sappy to be at home in this post, so let's save the heartfelt sentiment for the established relationships set and get right to the funny in this one.

Best FF That Demonstrates That the Presence of Eggbeaters Is Directly Related to One's Personal Safety, At Least When One Is Having a Metaish Experience. Wax Jism Rushes in Where Mary Sues Fear to Tread, by [livejournal.com profile] waxjism. X-Files meta. Self-insertion, and is that not the most wonderfully dirty word with which to describe a FF no-no? It is, and [livejournal.com profile] makesmewannadie will agree with me. (MMWD complained after the last set that I'd made her read self-insertion. She had no idea just how inserty the selves could get around here.) Here we have an unfortunately clad Wax Jism encountering Krycek (and, I suspect, Spike). I'm sure this would be even more amusing to me if I knew who Krycek was, but I get that he's a Bad Guy and, curtainfic and domesticfic and schmoopy schmoopy schmoopfic aside, he's apparently not someone you'd want to encounter in a dark alley. Which is why this story is so great. Sometimes, in our eagerness to turn the hate to hot sex (because we all try to live the Slasher's Motto: "If two guys exist in any time or universe or canon, I can get them to fuck. If they hit each other, try to kill each other, or call each other names, I can get them to fuck with gusto."), we forget that there may be a reason two people are mortal enemies. Like, for example, one of them may be evil or soulless or bent on ruling all of Metropolis. Or he could just be an asshole. So, when I've read a story that turns a canonical bad guy into a misunderstood pile of ever-loving mush, I read this story as a palate-clearer.

Best Non-FF but FF-Related Thingy That Will Teach You Several Important Life Lessons That I Beg You Not to Put into Practice, Unless It's the One About Bringing Planets Under the Dominion of Prospect-L; You're More Than Welcome to Do That. Deep Fanfic Thoughts, by Jack Handey, by Valeria Fate, aka [livejournal.com profile] violetisblue (I think). Fandom and fanfic meta. OK, this is another one where I get enough of the joke to laugh without necessarily getting the whole thing, because I am just pathetic, and also lazy enough not to want to do the necessary Googling to cover for my pathetic out-of-it-ness. First problem: I'm not sure who Jack Handey is, except that I suspect he's not a real person. Second problem: a lot of these deep thoughts concern mailing lists, and I'm not on any FF-related mailing lists. But you know what? It doesn't matter. Because there are lines in this like, "People think it's fun to write fanfic because you get all those readers. But they forget the negative side, which is the psychosis." And don't forget this timeless piece of wisdom: "If the Vikings were around today, they would probably be amazed at how we take male pregnancy fics completely for granted." Really, these are the kinds of philosophical meditations fandom needs. Because with Thanksgiving coming up, at least here in the US, shouldn't we all take a little time to be thankful that we live in an age where smut is so readily and freely available? And such specialized smut, too. Yes, this year I intend to give thanks that I can find all the MPreg and wingfic and Mary Sue fic that my heart could desire. (Actually, quite a lot more than my heart has ever desired, but I won't mention that part, in case the porn gods are feeling tetchy.) Plus, you know, I'll give thanks for plain ol' smut. Only I will do this silently, so that my parents don't give me an exorcism for Christmas and a year of therapy for Hanukkah.

Best Sort of FF and Sort of Something Else Thingy Featuring Standards and Practices People Being Tormented by Gay Sex, Which Is Such an Accurate Depiction of My Ideal World That I Weep with Joy and Frustration Whenever I Read This. The Due South Reunion Movie, Draft 1, by [livejournal.com profile] shayheyred. Due South meta, involving assorted slash. Sort of. Yeah, you know you're deep in the meta weeds when you can't write a story summary that is coherent and useful and shorter than the story itself. So, for the record, I'm going to focus on "shorter than the story itself," and leave the coherence and usefulness to a LJ better suited and more accustomed to that sort of thing. Which would be all of them, I'm thinking. But even if I can't explain why you need to read this, need to read it you do, because it is just really, really funny. Shay pretty much had me at the title - not of the story, mind you, but the story within this story, because remember how I said this is the complicated kind of meta? - which is "Here Today, Yukon Tomorrow." I'm sure we can all totally see Paul Gross writing that and snickering to himself, unless that's just me. Oh, and I should probably warn you that there's suggestions of RPS in this, but it didn't trigger my RPS gag reflex, so it probably won't trigger yours. (Although I'm beginning to be afraid that my RPS gag reflex is weakening, and if it is - oh, god. I so don't need RPS fandoms. And I don't need the drastic reduction in already wavering self-esteem, not to mention the major recalculation of self-image, that would result from the loss of my last few remaining fandom standards, scruples, and boundaries. So please hope along with me that the RPS gag reflex is still going strong.)

Best FF Commentary Thingies That Feature Conflicted Batman and Gay Bar Kowalski and Bitchy Methos and Wistful Remus and Lots of Other Characters, Plus Forsythia, and Yet Still Make a Lot of Sense, Which I Know Doesn't Even Seem Possible, but Trust Me, It Is. Fic Frustration, by [livejournal.com profile] jjtaylor, PWP = Progress? What Progress?, by [livejournal.com profile] penknife, and WIP Meme, by [livejournal.com profile] shrift. Meta-ish insane auctorial babbling. Slash, het, and gen. See, I hate memes. Except when I love them. And this was possibly my favorite meme ever: authors summed up their works in progress in script form. (Because it's easier to describe by example, even if it's a bad example, here's what it looks like. Keller: Actually, I'm glad we can't get direct sunlight in here. Beecher: Really? [thoughtful pause while gazing at his copy of Dracula] Oh, shit. Keller: bitey bitey! Author: Wait, no, you were supposed to have sex! What is wrong with you people that you're always with the blood and the pain and the fighting when I want hot, uncomplicated sex? Keller: Why would I care what you want? Beecher: He's got a point.) I read these and laughed and laughed and laughed. (Don't judge them by the bad example!) Unfortunately, I didn't think to bookmark all of them at the time. (Hey, I was new to this LJ thing, and I naively thought there'd be a way to find them later. So if you wrote one of these, let me know, OK?) But I did bookmark these three, and I am profoundly glad, because these are just - just - look. I read a lot of FF. Probably way more than you think I do. Which is actually pretty scary, but that's a worry for a whole other sleepless night. Point is, I know fic when I see it, even when it isn't actually in fic form. And these are great fics - in character, interesting, and either sexy or plotty. I couldn't ask for more. Except, of course, for these to be finished. But, hey, fandom has always needed a way to get more mileage and less frustration out of works in progress, and this is one such way. Brilliant! (And wouldn't now be a great time to revive this meme, oh author of many works in progress? Just a thought.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Yes, it's more humor. See, the thing is, after a few seriously angsty ones I need something light-hearted and funny. And as I've mentioned, I've been exploring the Buffy fandom, which is basically the second-largest angst, doom, and gloom resource in the world. (I'm thinking of petitioning the United Nations to declare it a World Heritage Site, to preserve the darkness for future generations.) So I find myself needing extra doses of humor these days, and I'm passing that humor on to you. (Which is only fair, since I have every intention of passing on the angst to you lot as well.)

Best FF That Proves That Fortune Really Does Favor the Foolish, Because If It Didn't, Benton Fraser Would've Been Killed by an Insane Bag Lady by Now: Interrogation, by speranza. Due South, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser. This is one of those stories that I turn to again and again, especially when I've just read a novella involving, you know, darkness and sourness and a 2,300-word torture scene. Why? (I mean, of course, why do I turn to this story, not why do I read darkfic. The latter passeth all understanding.) Well, consider the experimental line of Hallmark cards. Fraser's list of enemies. The mad or incompetent toaster bomber. Plus, is it just me, or is Frannie worried about what else Ray and Fraser might be doing in the interrogation room? I think she's a closet slash reader, people.

Best FF Using the Phrase "Snookie-Ookie-Wookums" (Please, God, Let This Be the Only FF Using the Phrase "Snookie-Ookie-Wookums"): Every Fanfic Ever Written!, by Mooncalf, aka [livejournal.com profile] tsukikoushi. All fandoms, all pairings. You say you have no time to read fan fiction these days? Even fast fic is too much for you? Well, read Mooncalf's nifty encapsulations, and you'll never need to read another. She's missed a few of the rarer types, yup, but I think you'll be impressed at how much she covers. I know I was. My own personal favorite type of story: The Backstory Fic, Part 2.

Best FF That Needs to Be Forwarded to Every Marvel Author Immediately. With a Kick in the Pants or Two.: Phone Home, by Domenika. (I think, anyway. It's sort of hard to tell her name from her site.) X-Men comics, gen. I don't know if those of you who haven't suffered under the Insanity-Inducing Lash that is the X-multiverse will find this as funny as, for example, I do. I do know that even minute exposure to said Lash years and years ago will be enough to cause you to giggle at this. I laughed myself sick at this one, even though I quit my X habit cold turkey in my last year of college, when I realized that I could keep up with the classes my parents paid for me to take, or I could keep up with Marvel comics, which I had to pay to read and then pay for therapy sessions to resolve the existential confusion they induced. I couldn't do both, and I still believe I made the right choice. If you've managed to steer clear of the X gravitational well but you'd still like to get the joke, look at Alex Summers' biography, courtesy the scarily thorough folks at Mutatis Mutandis. Alex Summers is the main character in this story, so reading this will help you understand the background. Even more, though, reading his bio will give you a tiny, tiny sampling of the hysteria, chaos, and ludicrous insanity that is the canon for this world. Warning: Exposure to Marvel comics plot lines may cause cranial pain, facial swelling, and unexplained bleeding. In extreme cases, seizures and dribbling may result. Discontinue reading if any of the following symptoms appear: confusion, loss of will to live, scaly rash, disruption of electrical fields, secondary mutation.

Best Humorous FF Featuring References to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Charles Dickens: I Had a Dream, by francesca. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair. For some reason, I just find this really - funny. Maybe it's the whole "Christmas Carol" riff - I have a well-documented weakness for the Ghosts of Various Holidays of Various Times. Maybe it's that this is the strangest method of initiating a relationship I've seen yet in FF. Maybe it's that this all seems so very, very, well, Blairy - I can just totally picture him doing this. Or maybe it's because I'm with Jim on this one; I actually find Blair's dream rather reassuring, too. (And I am here to tell you, folks, that it is a sad, sad day when you realize that you're the Jim Ellison in your own personal RL pairing.) I find the happy ending, the light-heartedness, and the silliness comforting, too. Read on, my friends, for grim fic returns soon to a blog near you.

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thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
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