thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Those of you who were on the earthling filter way back when he was still leasing space in my body may remember that I suffer from a very severe case of Familial Lyrics Disorder, as did my father and my grandmother before me. (Some of our incorrect songs have been handed down through three generations!) It's not just that I mishear and misremember lyrics, it's that my brain hardwires the wrong things in and will not admit any correction. (It's worse with traditional songs that you mostly sing rather than hear. Never sing these with me. Ever.)

So. Recently, thanks to a certain Star Trek: TOS YouTube vid, I have been listening to Justin Timberlake's Sexyback from time to time. And. Well. There's a portion of the lyrics that goes like this (and I am copying these from a lyrics site, because god knows you shouldn't trust my brain on this one):

Come here girl
Go ahead, be gone with it
Come to the back
Go ahead, be gone with it
VIP
Go ahead, be gone with it
Drinks on me
Go ahead, be gone with it
Let me see what you're working with
Go ahead, be gone with it
Look at those hips
Go ahead, be gone with it
You make me smile
Go ahead, be gone with it

...And then my brain just INSISTS that the next line is:

Julia Child
Go ahead, be gone with it

Now. Best Beloved (and the aforementioned lyrics site) has pointed out to me many times that he is actually saying GO AHEAD, child, but my brain of course cannot possibly believe this. Every time I hear the song, I find myself singing about Julia Child.

Which means that my brain now believes it to be canon that Julia Child is pretty much Justin Timberlake's ideal woman. (He tells her to get her sexy on!) It just does. Nothing can convince it otherwise. And so I will be driving in my car and thinking about how sad their true love is, what with her being married and, you know, dead and stuff. I picture him secretly owning the complete Julia Child collection, including the extremely rare early public access shows, and saying to his bandmates (and I don't even remember which band he's from, which I know will get me soundly scorned in fandom, but probably not nearly as much as pairing Justin Timberlake with Julia Child), "No, guys, go ahead, I have - uh, some stuff I need to do here."

And then he puts on a DVD - ooo, forcemeat! - and sighs wistfully at the screen, thinking, Man, they don't make them like this anymore. And then later he does a perfect Julia Child imitation, and everyone laughs, and he smiles too, but inside he's dying, of course.

A long time ago (11 internet millennia), Bone told me that sooner or later, I'd find the RPF fandom that would drag me in. I considered it a promise. Ever since then, I have tried to read one story in every RPF fandom that came down the pike, always hoping that this would be the magical one that broke whatever it is in my brain that can't deal with RPF. And now I'm afraid I have, and the fandom in question is Justin Timberlake/Julia Child. I mean, what if this is the only RPF pairing my brain will ever accept? It's too weird even for Yuletide! No one else anywhere is interested in this pairing! It's just me and my defective brain!

It's very sad. And yet I experience such joy every time I hear Justin Timberlake say "look at those hips" and my brain pictures Julia Child. (Try it! You'll like it!) So really I have no regrets.

Now. Obviously, with a lead in like that, I have no choice but to offer you rare pairings. (And I would offer you Justin Timberlake/Julia Child, but unfortunately the entire archive is located in my head.)

The One That Features Very Serious Neckcloth Hurt/Comfort. Ascots and Ties May Wish to Skip This One. Clean Linen, by [personal profile] cimorene. Georgette Heyer novels, Claud Darracott/Felix Hethersett. (And, yes, even if you have read every Heyer novel ever, you may be sort of groping through your mind for who these people are. That's why they are a rare pairing! (Which I just almost wrote as rairing. OH GOD NO.) And if you've never read any Heyer, you may be thinking you shouldn't read this. Go right ahead! You don't need to know the canon, and it will allow you to see if you like Heyer's style, since this is basically Heyer, but with gay sex.)

So. One of the weird things about Heyer for me is that - okay, sometimes, reading older books, I have the sense that the author is sneaking gay people into the margins - leaving clues for people who know but not saying anything so as not to scare the horses. And generally I assume I'm right. I suspect Dorothy Sayers was really doing that, for example. But with Heyer I know I can't be. I learned this from one of her detective novels, which features a canonically gay character. Heyer was not the woman you wanted to be writing those, turns out. Her coded-as-gay characters are much, much more realistic than her ham-handed attempt to write an actual gay man. Also, she appears to have believed, in all seriousness, that homosexuality could be caused by childhood asthma. (Wait - I had childhood asthma! And I'm a lesbian! SHE WAS ON TO SOMETHING, PEOPLE.)

And yet. With so many of her male characters - often including the ones who end up, you know, married and all that - she seems to be standing on a rooftop shrieking, "GAAAAAAAAY. They are ALL GAY. MY MALE CHARACTERS LOVVVVVVE COCK!"

Cimorene appears to have been hearing something similar. And, wow, she does this up right. She gives the character an actual gay life, appropriate to the times and the country in question, in addition to Heyer's apparently unconsciously inserted (but nonetheless very clear) desire for cock.

So, here are the reasons to read this story:
  1. A secret gay Regency lifestyle!
  2. Hijinks and shenanigans!
  3. It's awesome!
  4. It's like it was written by a Georgette Heyer who owned her intense interest in gay men. So, basically, a healthier, happier Heyer. Who doesn't want that?

The One That Suggests That the Holidays Will Be More Interesting Than Ever in the Kirk Household This Year. Common Bond, by florahart. Star Trek Reboot (with TOS references, as one does). Winona Kirk/Sarek.

For reasons that do not need exploring at this juncture, it took a lot of temptation on the part of fan fiction writers before I could face up to reading Winona Kirk stories. (It will not surprise you to hear that this story was my gateway drug.) But I've started to love stories about her. Partly that's just because it's really rare in any canon to see the mother of a hero treated like a person. (Her most typical role is as a gravestone, and in any case, she exists primarily to give him interesting issues. Which is perfectly fine; that's the price you pay for having a hero, lady! Next time, have an accountant. They probably remember their mothers' birthdays.) And partly it's because I love the things authors in this fandom do with her, and how she, more often than George, gets to be the source of the Kirkiness in Jim's gene pool. (I firmly believe she was, even if in the movie all she really did was, you know, the actual action of becoming a mother.)

But this story is unusual even among the Winona Kirk stories, because it's about her in the canon now, as opposed to when she was young and crazy. (And I think the entire fandom is in agreement that to produce someone like James Tiberius Kirk, you probably have to be crazy.) This is an incredibly rare beast in fan fiction: it is a story about romance between adults.

In this story, Sarek and Winona both have jobs and grown-up (if only in the numerical sense) kids, and they've both had relationships before. And I don't mean "She'd been married before, of course, but she realized as she gazed into his eyes - sorry, I probably mean searing cerulean orbs - that she had never truly known what love was before this moment." I mean, I love a true first time as much as the next girl - more, actually, in most cases - but it is so refreshing to me that this first time isn't First Love or Best Love, it's just, you know, the first time for Sarek and Winona. They don't sit around ranking their relationships by total trueness of love, with the clear understanding that there can be only one! (Beheading the also-rans is optional. In some cases.) They know what they want and are comfortable with it! Or, you know, are pretty sure wanting is against the teachings of Surak but willing to take it anyway. (Vulcans, in some cases, are starting from well behind the line in the grown-up races.) They're confident in bed! They have to clear their calendars to get to bed! It's just - it's weird, is all. And awesome. I'm not used to reading fan fiction about people who are more mature than I am.

And yet they're not all dignified and shit. I don't even know how [personal profile] florahart did this. It's like they're real people!

The One Featuring a Novel Means of Accomplishing MPreg That Is Really Never Going to Be Popular in Fan Fiction. I Hope. Please God No No NO. Ahras Huitwalassis, by [livejournal.com profile] frostfire_17. Historical, Mita/Lakan.

This story is a historical gay romance. And the historical site in question - this would not surprise anyone who had ever spent more than about ten minutes with [livejournal.com profile] frostfire_17, although it's going to come out of left field for everyone else - is Hatti.

Now, possibly you are thinking to yourself, "I don't want to read about Hittites." Possibly you didn't even know Hatti meant Hittites until just a sentence ago. (I didn't, until I started listening to [livejournal.com profile] frostfire_17. She is extremely compelling on the subject, and after you spend a few hours talking to her, you switch from not really caring at all about Hittites to wondering if you could find an authentic recipe for the thick bread.) But this story is wonderful. I promise you, even if your interest in Hittites is mathematically indistinguishable from zero, you will love this story. For serious. I went into it all, "Hmm. Hittites? Well, Frost is usually reliable, so -" and came out of it thinking that really she should write a whole book series set in this period. (I would read it! Hittite mystery novels, for example, would be excellent.)

It's just - this is incredible. I love the characters, I love the rich details of the setting - there is so much incredible worldbuilding. Which sounds strange to say about a historical period, so perhaps instead I should call it historybuilding. I love the progression of this romance. I basically love everything about the story except that it ends. (Every time I read it, it takes all of my willpower not to send Frost an unhappy email indicating that this story is not over until Mita and Lakan die of extreme old age, in their bed, surrounded by sorrowing great-grandnieces and nephews.)

And if that was not enough: I am not kidding about the MPreg, which you will be relieved to hear is not part of the actual story. It's a myth, and it's a real one, and it proves that fan fiction writers have nothing on the religion builders of old. You need to read this myth. Most of all, you need to read Mita's reaction to the myth, which will be familiar to everyone who has ever, to her astonishment, found herself reading MPreg for the first time.

The One That Proves That Canon Writers Should Not Make a "Secret Swinger" Joke, Unless of Course They Want Us to Take Them up on It. Wear a Moonlit Face, by [personal profile] gloss. DCU Silver Age, Barry Allen/Iris Allen/Bruce Wayne. (Don't worry if you have no idea who some of those people are. I will explain in a moment why you're probably better off that way.)

Comics are hard. Perhaps once upon a time they were light-hearted entertainment for children, but now you need a bank of computers and several dedicated data analysts to be able to figure out what's canon. (The good part about this is that when everything's canon, nothing is. You can pick and choose! Want a character who is at this moment dead to be alive in your story? If he's alive at any point in the canon, you can do that. Want two characters who have never met to fuck? Well, it's not like you can trace anyone's whereabouts through the entire continuity; the continuity doubles back, twists around itself, dives through a wormhole, and explodes, so just pick a time when the character is not actually in a panel. After all, anyone who wants to call you on it is going to need those dedicated data analysts, too.)

I bring all this up for three reasons:
  1. The only Flash I know anything about is Wally West. This story is about Barry Allen, so I went to Wikipedia to try to get myself up to speed (Ha! Oh, I slay myself sometimes) on the character. I'm going to give you the link, but take my advice and do not click until after you've read the story. (It will make a nice aperitif, provided you like your cocktails with gin, bitters, nitroglycerin, and just a hint of LSD.) That page is hysterical, because it's an attempt to summarize and explain something that cannot possibly be understood.
  2. This story does not require you to know any of that shit. Seriously, all you need is in the author's notes and the two panels (or the transcript of them) offered in the story itself.
  3. Everyone should read this story just for those two panels alone. I seriously think comics canon gets so complicated that even the writers don't hear themselves, because I do not know any way to interpret those panels besides the one [personal profile] gloss went with here.
This is a story about Iris, Barry, and Bruce having sex. And I'm using the Flash's and Batman's secret identities - their actual people names - deliberately. This whole story, to me, is about exactly how much a secret identity can fuck you up. (It should be required reading for Pa Kent over in Smallville, who honestly appears to believe that keeping secrets will be heathier for Clark.)

In this story, Barry doesn't fit inside his own skin. Bruce is playing the Asshole Playboy with his customary single-minded dedication. And the thing is - okay, I always have just assumed that Bruce was the three-dimensional equivalent of a cardboard cutout propped in the mansion window. But of course he wouldn't let that happen: Bruce would have a role, and he'd play it perfectly. And I am not at all surprised that he'd be kind of a dick. I cannot imagine Batman ever managing to pull off the role of cuddlebunny.

So what I love about this story is the way it shows what secret identities really mean. Which is, in this case, that Iris Allen is fucking two men who aren't real and aren't exactly there. Seriously, guys, a suggestion: therapy. Also, consider ditching the masks. They are not healthy.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The One That Makes My Brain Turn in Circles, Trying to Figure out If You Can Fight Destiny or Not. For the Record, I'm Hoping That I Could and Spock and Kirk Can't. Fighting Gravity, by pantswarrior, aka [personal profile] pantswarrior. Star Trek Reboot, James T. Kirk/Spock.

Okay, I will admit it. I love it when there is a slash dragon or Spock Prime in a canon, saying, "This guy is your DESTINY." I like to imagine it with sparkletext and hearts, in all honesty.

But in college, I had to write a poem about what I would say to my five-years-ago self if I met her. And I was totally stumped, because I knew for a fact that my five-years-ago self would not listen to anything I said. Because there are two things that are very true about me:
  1. I don't take advice well. My father once said to me, "I feel comfortable giving you advice, because I know you won't take it unless you were going to do it anyway." I pointed out that I was more likely to take his advice than any other human being's on earth, and it was just that I didn't like being told what to do at all, and he just laughed. A really long time. I think I maybe made his point for him.
  2. I don't take orders well. In high school, my favorite teacher (the detention teacher, which, um, probably tells you what I was like), a retired Air Force officer, blanched when he heard I was taking the ASVAB, a sort of military prequalification test. "Don't go into the military," he said. "Please. And I'm not telling you. I'm begging you."
I have, in fact, gotten much better since then. So, so much better. I am hardly stubborn at all these days, and I frequently solicit and then take advice. I even sat through the Alien Encounter at Disney World even though a character says, "Thank you for your submission." But I am still not 100% aces at these things. So if someone from my future showed up and said, "I know the future, and I am telling you to hook up with this person. It is your DESTINY," I don't know that I could do it. I would try! I would! Or I might do everything in my power to avoid my DESTINY, because no one tells me what to do. Not even myself.

And in this story - yes, I'm back to the story now - that is exactly what Spock does. And it makes me insanely happy. I mean, admittedly, it doesn't go well for him, but trust me: if you make a practice out of doing exactly what you're not supposed to, things often don't go well for you, and you pretty much get by on the satisfaction of at least getting to tell fate and DESTINY and your parents and the crowd and so on to go fuck themselves. (This is why I don't do this anymore. For the record. There's only so much satisfaction you can get out of this, and I have had it all.) And I just - I love Spock, and I love this version of Spock, who is so grimly stubborn he'd fuck himself over rather than fall into line.

(People who are disturbed by the first few pages, please note: I was, too. It all works out, very quickly.)

And let me just say that I also love Kirk in this, who is sort of midway between TOS Kirk and Reboot Kirk. I love seeing him forced to deal with the one person in the universe more stubborn than he is. And I love Bones. And, you know, basically everyone.

But most of all, I love Stubborn Spock. I just want to pinch his widdle ears. (Although this is nothing new.)

The One That Will Keep Me Eyeing the Skies Warily, Waiting for a Great Metal Dragon with Worrying Taste in Entertainment to Fly By. The Student Prince, by FayJay, aka [personal profile] pandarus. Merlin, Arthur Pendragon/Merlin.

You've seen this recommended everywhere. By everyone. And now I am going to join in the chorus, because, people, this is some serious comfort fic, right here. It's just - it is a supremely satisfying romance story, and I don't have any other way of explaining it.

Or maybe I do. [personal profile] norah told me, long ago - I am sure I have mentioned this all to you many, many times - that once upon a time, she was sick and sad and traveling on a train in another country. And she cheered herself up by telling herself a well-loved epic story. (I, being me, immediately argued with her about her choice of well-loved epic story.) This is the kind of story that could make you feel better if you were sick on a train in a distant country, is what I'm saying. (And now I want to see everyone's top ten Sick on a Train stories. Hmmm.)

And I tell you what, having read this story, I am now deeply sorry that I didn't matriculate at a university founded in 1413. I mean, okay, that would have required me going to a different continent, and also it would have changed my entire life, which would seriously suck, but - but. My university only had, like, two hundred years to build up insane traditions, and it's just not the same. (No one tell me if St. Andrews doesn't really have all these traditions. I prefer to live in a world where they exist, not the least because I will now spend my life looking at famous UK people and wondering if the university they attended had a custom wherein you have to walk around in trousers with the ass cut out for your entire freshman year or whatever. If this story is anything to go by, there is such a school out there. And. Um. UK persons on my friends list, I am now also wondering this about you. Just FYI.)

So, yes, the setting is part of what makes this work for me. But there are so many other things. All of which, tragically, are spoilers. So, please, go read this, or if you've already read it (and, frankly, I have to think that at least 98.9% of you have, because this is a justly famous story), comment here, so I can squee with you about the many events in this story that made me bounce with joy. It is taking all my self-restraint not to do that here and now.

The One That Suggests to Me That If Vala Mal Doran and Captain Jack Sparrow Ever Teamed up, Nowhere in the Multiverse Would Be Rich. Sexier, Sure, but Not Rich. Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves. Stargate universe, John Sheppard/Rodney Meredith McKay (plus other pairings).

As it happens, one of the things I like in a story - canon, fan fiction, whatever - is dinged and dented characters. I like people who have that dull patina that trouble leaves behind when you survive it. And Auburn, in this story, has given me a whole dings-and-dents universe. Yeah, sure, most of the main characters go well beyond mere dings and dents, into the broken-and-put-back-together-with-Elmer's-glue-and-a-couple-pieces-from-the-train-set territory, but everyone is less shiny than in canon. And while I would probably not enjoy a story about how everyone got that way, I really love seeing them deal with it, and live with it, and move beyond it, and get better from it. And live happily ever after. (Happily ever after is not optional.)

Plus, there can be no bad when there are space pirates. I firmly believe that every fandom in the world needs a pirate AU (yes, even pirate fandoms), and when you combine pirates with spaceships, I am very likely to need to run around in circles barking joyfully until I have to go lie down for an hour.

It's also nice - I think nice is the word I'm looking for here - when a story confirms my strongly-felt suspicions about a fictional race. (Any story that disses the Ancients, for example, and I am there. Those people - well, let's just say they pioneered new and exciting advances in ethics-free science, medicine, and government, shall we?) I have always been sort of narrow-eyed and tight-lipped about the Tok'ra, even though I've read some incredible stories that have even made me like them. I just, when it comes down to it, do not trust mind-controlling parasites. It's a personal prejudice of mine! Even if they are supposedly choosing not to mind control right then, you have to ask yourself if it's one of those choices like keeping kosher, or if it's more one of those choices like promising yourself this will be the last chip you eat tonight. And there's no way to tell until it's much too late. I just - I cannot get behind that, no matter how many declarations of mutual non-loathing occur between the Tok'ra and the good guys.

So, you know, I feel good about this story, which in addition to punching my dings and dents button, and my space pirates button, and my plot is awesome button, also lets me rest smugly satisfied in the knowledge that I was right all along, and mind-controlling parasites are not to be trusted.

The One That Proves, Once and for All, That Fashion Is Truly High-Risk. I Know I Won't Be Wearing Scarves for a While. The Scourge of Trion, by [personal profile] ellen_fremedon. Doctor Who universe, Doctor/Vislor Turlough. (No, I had no idea who this was, either. IT DOESN'T MATTER. READ IT ANYWAY.)

I am used to reading outside my canonical knowledge zone, but Doctor Who takes this to a new level. It's just daunting. I mean, Doctor Who has so much canon that the BBC lost some of it. This doesn't happen with your average canon. (Of course, if the average canon is TV aired on Fox, it doesn't happen because there's only 12 episodes of it. Much easier to keep track of.) There's just - this whole fucking fandom is bigger on the inside, you know?

But. If I thought for a minute that there was existing canon that was even a little like this story, I would go out and purchase every damned episode, I tell you what. I would probably even watch some of them. This story is that good.

And, okay, if you are a Who Alumna, a graduate with honors of Who University, with a degree in Companion Studies and a special certificate in TARDIS Interior Design, then this story is totally for you. But if you've seen only some of the new Who, and you always lose at Pin the Companion on the Doctor, and you couldn't, off-hand, name three doctors who wore bowties - this story is still for you. It doesn't matter if you don't know who these people are when you go in; by the time you come out, you will know who they are. And you will want to know even more. (And, if you're me, will be nodding thoughtfully, wondering if certain people on your friends list imprinted on some of these people - Turlough, for example - way back when. It just strikes me that there are certain people I know who would love this guy.)

I mean, I came out of this wanting more Sarah Jane, and more Turlough, and more Martha Jones, and more Jack Harkness. I even wanted more Doctor, and, in all honesty, there's already quite a lot of Doctor in here. (He can double up, see.) Of course, then sanity prevailed - I only have a handful of decades left to me, and I have to assume that Who scholars have to start young and stay dedicated throughout their lives, eschewing all distractions and occasionally making use of limited temporal anomalies to stay on top of their chosen fandom. But my point is: I came out of this story with happiness in every cell of my body. And then I looked around for more, realized there wasn't any (because, okay, I could get more of the characters, but it cannot possibly be this good), and went back to the beginning and started again.

This is - this is everything you could ever want in a story. With whipped cream and a morally dubious schoolboy-businessman on top.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Tonight, Best Beloved basically demanded that I stop reading meta and recommend some happymaking vids. So, as a tribute to her: pairing vids. That make me ridiculously happy.

The One That Makes Maybe the Best Use of the Throttling-on-the-Bridge Footage Yet. Must Be Dreaming, by YouTube vidder bluefairy1113, who apparently also has done a Reboot Chekov vid to Dancing Queen, proving she is either a genius or a maniac, and either way, we may need to confine her for everyone's good. Star Trek, James Tiberius Kirk/Spock.

(Note: This vid pretty much takes jerky, stuttery editing to an artform. I'm just saying. It can almost give me a headache, and usually visual stuff doesn't do that to me.)

Okay. So. I admit it, I am totally a sucker for - well. Let's just make a list of all the things I am sucker for?
  • SPOCK. OMG HIS POINTY EARS I LOVE THEM.
  • Also, Kirk.
  • Also, anything based on that Reboot trope where Old Spock gave Kirk more than just the voiceover exposition in that mindmeld.
So, obviously I am not rational on the first point (true fact: I have been entertaining myself for the past week by mentally vidding TOS Spock to Justin Timberlake's Sexyback; I think my claims of irrationality have now been amply proven), and the second point's an issue for me as well, and the third one. But. I know I love this vid because of the vid it is, and not just because it happens to hit three of my current buttons, because it had a lot working against it, too.

Like, I have never recommended a vid that was only on YouTube before. I like more permanent links, and my experience with streaming video sites has demonstrated that ephemeral is more the adjective they're going for with respect to vids. And, also, I have seen another vid to this song, and it is a famous vid, and justly so. It is a Big Name Vid. And I honestly did not think I could ever watch another vid to this song without thinking of that BNV and making comparisons.

But here, I can. I do. I love this vid, and I love the song choice, and it has possibly the best clip in the world for the line "don't stop," and, just. This is really awesome, okay? And I am not just saying that because I have some Trek issues right now.

The One with the Best Clip EVER for the Lyric, "You've Got the Only Thing I Want." Mmm-HMM. I Just Bet. I'm the Cat, by Nicole (does she have a link, anyone?), [livejournal.com profile] wickedwords, [livejournal.com profile] sherrold, and [livejournal.com profile] feochadn. Highlander, Methos/Duncan MacLeod. (Please tell me I am not the only person who, every single time she writes that name, has to go back and delete the "of the clan MacLeod" part.)

Okay, this vid was made more than a decade before the first one, which in vidding terms is roughly the same as the time between the Statherian period and the Triassic. And yet they are both such awesome vids and they both get totally to the heart of these pairings (for me, anyway; feel free to share with me your equally valid opinion on them, but do keep in mind that I keep a whole roll of tinfoil in my lower desk drawer). Because, okay, the first one is all:

Kirk: I totally have no interest in you.
Spock: Likewise, but more so.
Kirk: Except...
Spock: I have evaluated the data and am 87.6% certain there can be no exceptions.
Kirk: Well, except for the fact that I, uh, kind of want you so much it's making me crazy, I was going to say.
Spock: In that case, Captain, I believe the appropriate human phrase to use is, "My place or yours?" Keep in mind I have 117 lubricating preparations ready made.

Whereas this one is like:

Duncan: I am serious and important! I care! Things matter to me!
Methos: I know, and it's cracking me up.
Duncan: We have a destiny!
Methos: But do we have beer, that's my question.
Duncan: And that destiny in no way involves any sexual interaction between us.
Methos: I hate the prudish eras. I'm out of here. Give me a call when hedonism comes back in.
Duncan: I won't.
Methos: Fine.
Duncan: Good riddance. I don't miss him at all.
Methos: Hi, I'm back. I brought you a penis gourd. Miss me?
Duncan: YES. LET'S FUCK RIGHT NOW.
Methos: Yay, hedonism!

Ummmmmm. I now realize I may have just exposed my irrationality more than I really want to in any one recs post, which is a problem, because I still have two more recs to go. I'm going to have to be super dignified and sane during them. So let me just note that you should check out the awesome body language in the clips they use here - Methos actually looks like a cat in a lot of them. It's amazing.

Now. More recs. With dignity! Probably!

The One That Proves That Space Bars Are Where All the Best Action Takes Place. Why Is There No TV Series Set in a Space Bar? Hurricane, by [personal profile] laurashapiro. Battlestar Galactica x Farscape. Aeryn Sun/Starbuck, and if that pairing alone doesn't make you sit up and cheer, I just don't even know what to say to you.

Okay. So. I watched this vid completely without knowing anything about it. (True fact: Best Beloved and I watch vids together, so I just download everything into one big folder using whatever filename the vidder gave it, and then usually much later we try to guess, based on file name alone, what fandom the vid is for. There is a victory dance when someone gets it right. Although sometimes this strategy backfires, like when, recently, we watched a vid with a filename that we could not help but read as, "Me. I'M on fire!" Which we loved so much it made it really hard to watch the video - we just kept turning to each other and insisting, dramatically and with much handwaving, that we were totally the ones on fire.) And at first I thought it was one of those compare and contrast vids, which, hey, I love those. And Aeryn and Starbuck have a lot in common, so that makes -

And then I realized what Laura was actually doing, and I believe I squeaked. Maybe even squealed. Because oh my fucking god there is no hotter pairing in the world than these two, and this is a crossover pairing (which in vidding is one of those things you totally shouldn't do, except sometimes you totally should and this is one of those times) so perfectly done I'm never going to be able to convince myself it didn't happen in canon. Seriously. In my head, Aeryn and Starbuck had a night of hot, mind-blowing, blowing-off-steam sex, and it was awesome. The end.

I also want to point to what Laura does with the, um, sexytimes clips, here. I have no idea if these clips came from canon, or if so, what canon (I have seen some eps of Farscape, although I tragically missed the Aeryn Tops one, and no eps at all of BSG), but, wow. Usually when there are explicit sequences in vids based on less explicit canons, I have one of two conversations with Best Beloved:

Me: What's happening? I can't figure out what's going on.
BB, with practiced patience: This is porn. You can't scan the clips fast enough to see it. Again.
Me, bewildered: It's porn?
BB, dragging the pointer back and hitting pause: THAT is a penis.
Me, surprised: So it is.
BB: And see how it's going into that ass right there?
Me: I would never have noticed that!
BB: Why is that you read all the NC-17 fan fiction but I'm always the one who has to look at all the cocks?
Me: Luck!

Or:

Me: Oh god, that's totally not the same person.
BB: What?
Me: Look how different their bodies are! And how differently they move! And how their heights -
BB: But they have the same hair color. You're supposed to be paying attention to that.
Me: I can't. I - look, that one has a tattoo. I think it says "Mom." You can't tell me Faith has a tattoo that says "Mom" on it.
BB: You're supposed to be looking at their HAIR COLOR. And their BREASTS.
Me: There were breasts?

It's tragic, is what it is. But my point is, we had neither of these conversations. No matter how many times we went back to check, we still just saw Starbuck and Aeryn having sex. (I - I did not mind putting in the extra viewings. For the record. Sometimes due diligence is pure pleasure, people.)

This is something everyone should see. I don't care if you don't watch Farscape. I don't care if you can't remember if Starbuck is the girl or the guy pilot on BSG (girl, for the record). This the story of two pilots who fuck each other, and it is hot like burning, and you should watch it right now.

The One Where I Swear Ianto Says "Fuck" Really Obviously on Camera. Are They Actually Allowed to Talk Like Grownups on British TV? A Curious Thing, by [livejournal.com profile] tavven. Torchwood, Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones.

Okay, in some things, I am easy. And here is where I am easy in vids: if you make me laugh, I am yours. And this vid makes me laugh my ass off. I mean, we were watching it, all - ooo, serious Torchwood vid. And then there was a skipping noise, and suddenly we had changed tracks to Cheesefest Love Vid. It was wonderful.

Because - okay. How did I not realize that Jack Harkness needed an '80s soundtrack? This vid makes it so obvious that I basically have to hit myself on the forehead when I think of all the time I wasted not imagining Jack to these songs. Where is the Torchwood vid to Like a Virgin? Mickey, by Toni Basil? Love Shack, by the B-52s? Relax, by Frankie Goes to Hollywood? I just - I cannot get over how perfect this is. Jack looks right against the background of 1980s cheese, and this vid works that perfectly.

This vid is, basically, a fairytale. Once upon a time, there was a young prince named Ianto. He went on a heroic quest to save the woman he loved. He entered the dragon's lair under false pretenses and lured the dragon into being friends.

And then it turned out the dragon was really pretty hot, and kind of lovable, and he ended up in love with the dragon and fucking it on its hoard pretty much every night, which was okay, because the dragon had learned a thing or two in all that time he'd been alive, plus he was in love with the prince, and they decided to live happily ever after. The end.

And that, my friends, is the power of love.

(Let me just warn you, though, that proximity to Jack Harkness can warp the meaning of lyrics out of true; I now hear "Don't need no credit card to ride this train" as a totally cheesy pickup line. Come on. You can't tell me he didn't use it a time or two back in 1985.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
This entry is dedicated to Best Beloved, who has dragged me back to my old system for organizing stories to rec. It's very inspiring, and I'm not sure why I've been putting it off for, um, three years or so. (Let this be a lesson to those of you who are likely to engage in a battle of wills with Best Beloved: she is implacable when determined. It is better just to give in now.)

Anyway, there may be some crazy amounts of recommending as we work through the new (old) system. If it reaches spammination levels, that would be Best Beloved's fault. (If you like it, of course, that's totally to her credit.)

Today: gen!

The One with the Best Damn Trial Scene in the History of Creation. Almost No One Makes It Out, by [personal profile] atrata. Iron Man.

When I was going through that phase of role-playing gaming where you have to try every system ever devised, I created several characters using someone or other's superhero system, where you rolled percentile dice (which, for you non-gamers out there, gives you a result from 1 - 100, or rather, from 01 - 00) on a chart to determine your Super Special Powers (mutant or otherwise - things like being really, really smart were on there, too). If you got 00, you got TWO powers.

I love this story, first and foremost, because it makes it very, very clear that Tony Stark rolled 00 on that table. He is not just a mechanical genius; he is also rich. Richness is a superpower all in itself. And if you take that superpower away from him, as [personal profile] atrata does in this story, you end up with a very different person. Richness insulates him from a lot of things: the consequences of his actions, the real world, his inability to deal with people. Richness also gets him lots of things: equipment, security, people to solve his problems, special privileges, and attention. And I just cannot get over how amazing it is that [personal profile] atrata took that away from him and still kept him the Tony Stark we all know and, um, probably feel vaguely conflicted about loving quite so much, because he is, in all honesty, a total asshole.

And I also love Pepper in this story. I simultaneously long for Iron Man fan fiction and avoid reading most of it, and at least half the reason is that I fear for what will happen to Pepper. It's deeply important to me that she remain independent of Tony even as she's managing him, and that she stay competent and smart, and I worry worry worry that in Tony/Pepper stories she will be reduced to helpless weeping. Plus, okay, I admit it; my actual ideal pairing for Tony Stark is some kind of complicated sex machine that he builds himself:

"Pepper! I've perfected my greatest invention, and now I don't need women!"

"Oh, really. Does that include me?"

"Don't be ridiculous. Hey, watch this."

"Oh my god no. I'll be upstairs. If you need me to dial 911, tell Jarvis." And then she calls Rhodey and they bond for a while over the Impossibility of Tony Stark, and I think it is now obvious to everyone that one of the reasons I don't read much Iron Man fan fiction is that I am already writing it in my head.

(And now that I've totally fallen in love with this story, I - well. You all know how Dark Agenda is having the Racebending Revenge Ficathon, right? Where people make a white character not white? I want someone to make Tony Stark's skin much, much darker and see what happens. I cannot even tell you how much I want that.)

The One That Can Double as a Portland Guidebook, If You Ever Find Yourself in Oregon and Wondering What Jim Kirk Would Do. Graduate Vulcan for Fun and Profit, by [livejournal.com profile] lazulisong. Star Trek Reboot.

Someone on my friends list (sorry, I can no longer remember who, but if it was you, fess up - it was [profile] brown_betty!) was talking a while back about her Secret Smarts kink, about how she loves stories where a character who is, you know, kiiiiiiind of a doof in the canon is revealed to have believable hidden skills or competence or brains. And I agree with her. It's a rare thing to see it done well, but when it is - oh my god I love it so. And this story is the exemplar of the genre.

For one thing, it is obvious to me that Reboot Kirk must have Secret Smarts. And not because of Pike's whole "genius-level" comment (many is the character I've been told was a genius, and usually I have a hard time believing it), but because I have seen TOS, and I tell you what, Original Kirk is no one's fool. (Okay, he's Spock's, if Spock needs one, because he is whatever Spock needs, but otherwise, no.) So it works for me that Reboot Kirk, in the process of becoming all tarnished and bruised, learned to hide his intelligence.

And I love the background [livejournal.com profile] lazulisong gives him here; it adds some complications and depth back to the Misunderstood Hero deal that Abrams went with. I mean, I love a Misunderstood Hero as much as the next girl - which is good, because otherwise I would have to move to a small island without electricity or any kind of communication with the outside world and read nothing but cruise ship brochures - but I love it most when the Misunderstood Hero has some other stuff going on. I like to add a few adjectives to his archetype, is what I guess I'm saying. And this story so perfectly does that, without in any way making him less perfectly Reboot Kirk.

As if all that wasn't enough to make me love this story, there is also an incredible OC in it. He's - he is everything I want in a Vulcan: he's smart, he's tricky, he's so stubborn that redwoods everywhere just give up and move on when faced with him, and he's just barely emotional, just enough to remind us all that Vulcans could be the masters of melodrama if they wanted to be but they choose not to be. (I tell you what, the Federation is lucky there isn't an inhibition-loosening drug that Vulcans use a lot, because it'd be fucking scary: 90% of the time, they're the living definitions of flat affect, but the other 10% of the time, humans everywhere are saying, "Dude, just - just calm down. And please, please, please - stop singing.")

The One That Proves, Once and for All, That John Sheppard Will Not Thank You for Doing Him Any Favors. Earth 2, by Martha Wilson. Stargate: Atlantis.

If there is one thing that we all learned from Gateverse canon (or, okay, that you all learned from the actual canon, and I learned from reading your ep summaries and meta), it's that Pangloss was right, after all: this is the best of all possible worlds. Which, okay, gives me some pause, because - seriously? Especially when you throw in the Goa'uld and all? These are the ideal initial conditions? But apparently there is no change that could possibly improve things. It's all downhill from here. (I am pretty sure that the Gateverse folks did not realize how inherently depressing this is. Try not to think about it, that's my advice.)

In this story, we get to see John Sheppard learn that very thing; he gets to travel to one of those other, less wonderful universes. But not just any of them. (I'm going to try to talk about this without any spoilers, but, seriously, you should just go read the story right now.) And not just any John Sheppard - it's the original, pre-Atlantis John Sheppard, and here is how we know how fucked up John is: Atlantis was actually therapeutic for him. As in, he got more emotionally healthy in an environment of constant stress, danger, and insanity. (I suspect Kate Heightmeyer had an unfinished paper on this very subject, talking about how John and Rodney, pretty much alone in the expedition, somehow got better from it.) As it happens, I have a sneaking fondness for early John Sheppard, so I love this story.

And this story also hits my competence (and smartness!) kink - here we get to see John (plus a couple of other people, naming no names) being surprisingly good at things, given that he is utterly clueless. (Something John should be used to, of course. Good But Clueless is pretty much his middle name.) And also there is a plot, which notice how I am determinedly not spoiling it.

...Actually, I had better shut up about this story right now, while that's still more or less true.

The One in Which We Learn That One of the Major Risks of Time Travel Is That You Might End up Being Schooled by Yourself. Klein Bottle, by [livejournal.com profile] basingstoke. Torchwood.

For most fandoms - television fandoms, anyway, and any fandom that has a lot of fan fiction in it - I find, sooner or later, that I've divided the fan fiction into eras, based not on when the story was posted, but when the story is set in the canon. And usually somewhere in there, there's the Nostalgia Point, the setting I miss most once canon (and therefore most stories) has moved past it. I re-read stories in the Nostalgia Point a lot, especially if the canon progresses to the point where I don't want to read new stories in it very much at all.

This story is set squarely in my Torchwood Nostalgia Point. I'm not sure when it is in actual Torchwood canon, since I've never seen any of it and have only a vague sense of the progression of events, but I know what I need the story to be set after. And, definitely definitely, set before. This is a twisty and blissful little story; it's filled with the complications of being Jack Harkness, his emo and his majesty, but it's also in the relatively innocent period of Torchwood, and I love that.

But that is not why I love this story. I love it because it's a time travel story, and time travel has always been one of my biggest narrative kinks, and here it is so very perfectly done. And [livejournal.com profile] basingstoke handles one of the difficulties of writing about time travel - if there are multiple versions of character X in the room, but they are from different times and therefore are different people, how do you deal with that? - as well as I've ever seen it done, here. And there has never been a better reason to use second person. (Plus, second person is the only way it's really possible for me to believe what I'm told about Jack's thoughts, because he's so shifty I firmly believe he could lie to an omniscient narrator if he wanted to.)

So: great story, great writing, great nostalgia. I really do not see what you could possibly be waiting for, here.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Many moons ago, I had a discussion with [personal profile] hradzka about AUs, which of course got me reading and re-reading AUs, which, in the fullness of time (or perhaps even the lateness of time, these days), has led to me recommending AUs.

So, David, this set is dedicated to you. Because, um, it's full of stories you won't like! (Except you might like Phoenix Burning, actually; it's your kind of AU.)

The One That Explores Vulcan Teenage Sociodynamics in the Kind of Detail That Makes You Wonder if There's Already a Paper on It. Love Is Strange, by [personal profile] garryowen. Star Trek XI, James T. Kirk/Spock.

I have never seen Dirty Dancing. It was one of my father's favorite movies, so I am familiar with the general outline of the plot (there are people, and they dance!), and of course I've heard the quote "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." Many, many times. But until I read this story, I thought that Baby said that line, in that emphatic third person people sometimes use. (So I would say, "Nobody tells [personal profile] thefourthvine not to use a serial comma!") I sort of pictured her pulling a knife out of her boot when she said it, to be honest. It - it really changes my impression of the movie and the line, to know that the guy said it.

Anyway. As you might have guessed from that incredibly fascinating digression, this is a Dirty Dancing AU. And it is awesome. I love this version of Spock, with his earlier exposure to humans (and to the ultimate vector of human-type feelings and also, I am absolutely convinced, super-kinky sexing, James T. Kirk). I love this entire story. It works as an AU because it's a believable backwards extrapolation - what is Spock like if he encounters humanity a little younger? (Kirk is actually just Kirk. I mean, for all we know, in addition to committing whatever felonies - NO I AM NOT MAKING ANY GUESSES - maybe he was dancing professionally during his pre-Pike years. I can totally believe that. It's hard to come up with a profession I couldn't believe he was doing during those years, although the ones that require a lot of schooling or, um, responsibility are kind of a stretch. It's a lot easier to buy, like, dance instructor, skilled second-story man, hacker, makeup salesguy, companion to the thirteenth Doctor - oh god I have to stop this RIGHT NOW. But you take my point.)

This story came with an awesome bonus, just for me. In between my first reading of it and the re-reading I did so I could rec it, I watched Journey to Babel. I had no idea, the first time I read this, how awesomely [personal profile] garryowen worked that episode into this story, or how much this is the perfect blend of TOS and Reboot. But, obviously, you can love this story even if you've never seen Journey to Babel. (Hell, you can love this story even if you've never seen any Star Trek, although I sometimes wonder if there's anyone in fandom who hasn't. But, in case there is, and that's you, a primer. Kirk: the captain. Spock: the alien. Ears: pointy. Love: eternal and true. There, you're ready to go.)

The One That Actually Made Me Go to YouTube and Put in "John Sheppard Free Skate." I More or Less Regained My Sanity, but Damn It, I Still Want to See These Routines. Out of Bounds, by [personal profile] icarus. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.

This story nearly killed me. Because, okay, here's the thing: I do not read works in progress. I need to be able to wallow in a story, binge on it and, if necessary, even roll in it. I've learned that even if the story is finished and just being posted serially, my experience of reading it is different and less fun if I don't wait to read it, because: no wallowing! So I wait. And with this story, I waited for four years. (I think. Because I'm pretty sure this one started with the last winter Olympics.) But here is the thing: it was totally worth it. It was worth every sad face I made when an Out of Bounds update appeared and I had to remind myself, yet again, that I don't read works in progress. Because this story is awesome, and at more than 200,000 words, it deserves all the wallow I can bring to it. And, wow, did I bring a lot of wallow.

Plus, hey, clearly this is the time to read it, because it's topical. (Okay, sort of topical. But I still see people on my friends list talking about Johnny Weir, so topical is my story and I'm sticking to it.) Because: figure skating AU. Which is, by definition, awesome. (Yes, I am trying to imagine figure skating AUs in other fandoms, and - well. Arthur Pendragon as a figure skater? Awesome. James T. Kirk as a figure skater? So awesome it hurts. Sam and Dean as ice dancers? I - okay, I admit it, even I would read that, because of the awesome. But my point is: even those stories could not bring as much awesome as this one does.)

Admittedly, it's hard to imagine John Sheppard sparkling quite as much as Johnny Weir (Largely because no one can; I suspect Weir's a metahuman. Power? Supersparkle. And the convenient thing is he can just throw a cape on over his skating costumes and he's good to go fight - crime, or dullness, or visible roots, or douchebaggery, or whatever it is he fights.), but it's fun to try. I think we can all agree that what SGA was really missing, over the five seasons, was lamé and rhinestones.

Fortunately, this story will give you all of that. It's like every great sports movie you ever watched, except a) more epic b) more gay and c) starring John Sheppard and Rodney McKay. And I don't know about you, but for me, that's exactly what those movies were missing.

The One That Makes Me Wonder if There's an Old Slayers Home in the Jossverse Heaven, and What Exactly They Talk About There. Phoenix Burning, by [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy Summers/Angel. (ETA: Changed link to AO3, because it's more readable there.)

I don't ever want to be the person leaving a comment on a 4000 word McShep PWP that says, "This was really good! Except for the sex, man, I hate slash, and John and Rodney aren't gay and if they were they wouldn't be gay for each other, but still, this was good." So in general I try not to start off recs by listing all the reasons I shouldn't have liked the story. But in this case - yeah, I'm going to, because I want you to understand how wonderful this story must be.

First, I hardly read any Buffy or Angel fan fiction. (True fact: I am far, far more likely to write fan fiction in the Jossverse than read it. I don't even know why. I have written hundreds and hundreds of pages of the stuff, which for me is just a ton.) And, second, okay - I have problems pairing Buffy with anyone from the series. I just. I just do. The only character I ever feel comfortable seeing paired with Buffy is Faith, and her canon arc makes a happy ending there difficult. And, also, for some reason I cannot actually see any words on the screen at Yahtzee's website. (It's just - all white. I don't know why. I can still cut and paste the words, but I can't see them. I blame the internet gods.)

So, what with all those obstacles, I have had this story in my mental to-read folder for, oh, about three years or so. But recently someone mentioned it, and I do love the long stories these days. And, most of all, I have never read anything by Yahtzee that didn't leave me astonished and gleeful and simultaneously replete and wanting more. (You know the feeling: you close the book and you're so happy and you wish you hadn't read it so you could still have the pleasure in front of you.)

This story is, of all of Yahtzee's stories, the one that most left me feeling that way. It's AU from "The Gift," the episode in which - um, spoilers, by the way - Buffy dies. (Another spoiler, although probably this one is not going to surprise anyone: she doesn't stay dead.) It's set 350 years in the future. And it is incredible - right and true and awesome and just. Just. Amazing. I really don't want to say any more than that.

No, wait, I want to say one more thing. (Yes, I know, you're so surprised.) If you're like me, and you're waving this story away because you think it's something you wouldn't like: look, I hear you. I do. But even if this story is the kind of thing you don't like, you will still like it. It transcends its genres and categories and tags. Don't wait three years to read it. Now is a good time.

The One in Which Merlin Is Even Worse at Magic Than He Is in the Canon. Yes, It's Possible. Easy There, by [livejournal.com profile] syllic. Merlin, Merlin/Arthur Pendragon.

Okay, yes, this is the second sports AU in this set, and there is a reason: I love these. I love when someone takes another hobby of hers, a fandom outside of the usual run of media fandom - NASCAR, equestrian events, figure skating (although right now this probably counts as a mainstream fandom, thanks entirely to sparklepower), crewing - and writes a massive AU in it. (But where are all the non-sports alternate fandom AUs? I'm patiently waiting for the choral singing and competitive orchid growing ones. Surely there are fans with these hobbies! Surely they long to write epic AUs featuring said hobbies!) The writer loves the characters, and she loves the subject, and this pretty much always leads to glory.

It certainly leads to glory here. I had, prior to this, pretty much no interest in competitive rowing of any kind - seriously, a whole bunch of boat crews practice at the lagoon where I often take the earthling, and my only vague interest has been in what happens when you get sand under all that Lycra - but this gripped me. I cared deeply. And not just about getting Arthur's tab inserted in Merlin's slot without anyone breaking any fingers. (I am actually not a huge fan of awkward sex in most fandoms - I mean, I appreciate the realism, but I tend to cringe with embarrassment for the characters - but Merlin is wholly an exception, because Arthur and Merlin are just so incredibly dorky. And young. And speaking as someone who is dorky and was once young: the combination leads to a lot of hilariously awkward sex. Also hilariously awkward visits to medical professionals afterward, but there's none of that here, for which I am grateful.)

And Merlin (the show, although also the guy) lends itself especially well to AUs, I think because there's kind of an "AU goes here" label inserted into the canon itself. (I'm sorry, Malory and White and all the rest of you King Arthur writers, but what are we supposed to think with all the time jiggery-pokery and vague references to Arthur's return and so on? It's like you're begging us to write modern AUs, and future AUs, and also AUs set in Regency England (oh my god someone please tell me there's already Arthur and Merlin in Regency England), and we are just not that good at resisting temptation.) These are classic characters, and they work anywhere, and they definitely work so very well here. (Which is on boats. In case you forgot what I was writing about.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Best Beloved recently pointed out to me that it had been approximately seventeen years since I had recommended anything, which had of course triggered the inevitable thing where I am reluctant to write up a recommendations post because it's been so long since I've done one. You all know how this goes. She suggested I ease myself into it with vids. Happy vids.

She was, as always, right. Here are some happy vids, and pretty soon I might even remember how recommending works! I think - I think there is cake involved?

I might be wrong about the cake, actually.

The One That I Always Remember as Being NC-17, and Then I Rewatch It and Realize That It Is Merely Suggestive. Very, Very Suggestive. Let's Misbehave, by [livejournal.com profile] greensilver. White Collar.

Okay. I have read stories in this fandom - not, you know, all of them or anything, but some. Many, even! And this vid is, like, 45% of them. This is a vid with plot, and the plot goes like this:

Neal: I am exceptionally pretty.
Peter: Yes, you are. I might wish you weren't, but it's a fact and I'm prepared to put it on any number of affadavits.
Neal: Also, cute.
Peter: Yeah, but I've got to point out that it's the kind of cute where sometimes I want to smack you.
Neal: That's all just part of my charm.
Peter: The hell of it is that that's true.
Neal: And did I mention that I'm talented?
Peter: I already knew that, actually.
Neal: Face it, you can't resist me.
Peter: Let me just remind you about my wife.
Neal: You're in luck! I'm good with other people's wives.

Neal: So. Hi. Peter loves you, you know.
Elizabeth: And I love him, so that's something you and I have in common.
Neal: Did I mention that I am exceptionally pretty?
Elizabeth: You didn't need to. I have eyes.
Neal: But I would never want to come between the two of you.
Elizabeth: Well that's a pity.
Neal: Oooo. I think you're about to make me an offer I won't refuse.
Elizabeth: No, I'm going to make that offer to Peter.
Neal: Great! But, uh, if you're caught, I will disavow all knowledge.
Elizabeth: Like hell you will.

[And then they all have sex.]

So compelling is the force of this vid that even I think Neal is pretty for the duration of it. (I'm sorry, but under normal, non-this-vid circumstances, Neal looks like a not-especially-attractive ferret to me. I mean, okay, fine, a kind of cute ferret, but definitely the sort of creature you want to a) pat on the head and b) keep in a cage. Yes, fine, the line to cut me dead starts over there.) And that makes me notice that Elizabeth (who is absolutely not only pretty but hot) and Neal look a lot alike. And they have some similar body language. Hmmmm. Perhaps Peter has a type? IT MIGHT BE. WE SHOULD LOOK INTO THIS. (Hint: start by watching this vid.)

The One That Answers the Age-Old Question: Where Do Good Past Incarnations Go? The Tenth Doctor Musical, by [livejournal.com profile] di_br. Doctor Who.

Okay, I am guessing by the fact that this thing has almost 500 comments on LJ and more than 50k hits on YouTube that everyone has already seen it. I do not care. There might be someone out there who hasn't. That alone is reason enough to rec this.

Because, oh my god, this is just - just - well. I don't want to spoil it or anything, but there was a point, right before Nine rolled his eyes (and I was right there with him, of course), that I had a laughter-induced hallucination. (And here it is, for the people who have seen the movie of Bridget Jones's Diary: I saw the tenth Doctor in his pajamas, using a hairbrush as a microphone, singing All By Myself until he broke down weeping helplessly on the TARDIS's control panel. And here's the thing: I am absolutely, completely convinced that he's done this. We just need to get the footage out of the TARDIS somehow. Anyone have an in with her?)

I love this vid. I love every single thing about it. I love the idea that there's a Home for Old Doctors where they can watch the latest incarnation's exploits ("I tell you what, I would never have done that. In my day we knew the value of a blooping tube of blue goop.") and brood all moodily and be harassed by babies and have a cup of tea. I love the bonus track at the end, which, seriously, I have no idea what's going on there, but it is fucking scary, even so. I love the bits with Jack and the Master. I love Martha's theme song, which is so obviously her theme song I don't know why I never realized it before.

I even love being rickrolled. Pretty much.

The One That Makes Me Say, Every Time, "They - Had a Wizard of Oz Episode? Or a Costume Party Episode? Seriously, What the Fuck?" High School Never Ends, by Gab, aka [livejournal.com profile] milena_d. Gateverse.

It took me a lot of rewatching to figure out just why this vid works so well for me - because it does, it so totally does, and yet usually this kind of concept doesn't. But I persisted in my viewings - it wasn't actually a hardship - until I realized that actually, this vid is a celebration of the somewhat doofy but always entertaining physical acting (if, um, that's the term I want) of the many people of the Gateverse. And that is - it's just wonderful. It's physical comedy! In vid form!

But it's so much more than that. It's also filled with sly meta commentary on the shows and their fandoms, and, even more than that, a lot of love for the Gateverse and everyone in it. One of the things that I love about vidding is that for me, it's the fanwork type that can most easily just be a giant explosion of love for the fandom. There are vids that are, totally obviously and clearly, OMG SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE <3 <3 <3 set to music. And how can you not love that? How can you not love it when someone not only draws metaphorical hearts with her name and the fandom's name in it, but does it while hitting the beat?

(I am guessing that if you're better with faces and people than I am, fanart probably accomplishes the same thing. But - okay, this is a totally honest example of the way my brain sometimes fails with fanart. There is a very famous series of drawings in an older fandom, and someone linked to them on my friends list a while back, so I looked at them. And then I went to get Best Beloved, because when I'm that kind of lost, usually the problem is that my brain is malfunctioning. And we had a conversation that went, in part:

Me, showing her one of the drawings: ...And I just don't get it, I guess. I mean. How is this fannish?
BB: What do you see?
Me: A tiger.
BB: Do you see the guys in front of the tiger?
Me, trying to fake it: Um. Maybe?
BB: Do you see the one guy's penis, and how the other guy is sort of going for it?
Me, stunned: There's a penis?
BB: HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THE PENIS?
Me: It's a really confusing picture!
BB: There's two guys and a penis and a tiger! IT'S PRETTY BASIC.
Me, muttering: Not to me it isn't.
BB: I can't believe you brought me in here to look at a penis you didn't even know was there.)

The One That Makes the Best Use of Lens Flare I Have Yet Seen in a Vid. The Test, by [personal profile] heresluck.

Probably you have already heard about how awesome this vid is. Well, you heard right: it is in fact profoundly awesome. It so profoundly awesome, in fact, that I feel comfortable recommending it, even though right now I have to question my judgment in anything Trek-related. I am still in that unfortunate phase of fandom where I sort of lack - you know, taste. And rational thought. Basically, my flowchart for determining whether or not I love something has a new branch in it, very early on, which looks like this (except of course the actual flowchart is nifty and cool-looking, because my brain does not run in ASCII):

Trek? The kind that has a Spock? ---Yes ---> OKAY I ALREADY LOVE IT

I am - a little obsessed. Just a little. But trust me when I tell you that my obsession is not why I love this vid. There are, in fact, so many moments that I love in it that if I made a greatest bits collection of it, it would be about four minutes long. (If I was allowed commentary in addition to actual clips, it would probably be about three hours long. This is why I don't ever try to do a frame-by-frame analysis of a vid; two years in and I'd still be at 0:45 and I'd already have said, "But it's, you know, SO INCREDIBLE, because" seven million times.)

I will say this, though: I was absolutely, completely sold on this vid in the first 35 seconds. AND THEN IT GOT BETTER. And then it got better again! It was like a matryoshka doll set, except made entirely of joy; I kept thinking I'd found the pure brilliance at the center, but no! There was always more joy still to come.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The One That Will Give You Flashbacks to the 1980s, Even If You Didn't Live Through Them. Kings of the Air, by [livejournal.com profile] fabularasa. Top Gun, Iceman/Maverick.

Okay. So. Two years ago, for reasons that do not need exploring at this juncture, I re-watched Top Gun. I had not seen that movie in a long, long time. It, um, looked a lot different the second time around. (This resulted, by the way, in a never-posted Top Gun recap that would probably have broken the LJ post character limit, and 30% of those characters were along the lines of "RANDOM GAY VOLLEYBALL PORN OH MY GOD ARE THEY FUCKING KIDDING?")

Anyway. My point is: this is the story for that movie. This is what they were working towards the whole movie, even if they didn't know it (although, Jesus - how could they NOT know, given all that random gay porn?). This is the only story you need to read for this fandom. Although I myself would not mind several thousand more stories exploring the really gay, not really subtext of Top Gun, but my point is: if we never get them, that's fine; we can still file this fandom in the box marked "done," thanks to this story alone.

This is also a story you can totally read if you've never seen the movie. I will provide you with a summary, in case you need it. Spoilers, obviously.

Maverick: Hi, I am a Navy pilot, and I am just totally awesome. People cannot even get over how awesome I am. I sure can't get over it, because I am such hot shit my ass routinely catches on fire. Hey, would you like my autograph? Yeah, that'll be fifty bucks.
Goose: I am Maverick's gunner or wingman or something, and he's, yeah, fairly awesome. I am a nice guy who has a lovely wife and adorable small children. This is usually a terminal condition in an action movie. Just, you know. FYI.
Iceman: I am also a pilot. And, Maverick, sometimes when your ass is on fire, it's because someone is beating it. That person would be me.
Charlie: I am the token girl. I have a Ph.D. and a desire to fuck one of my students! And, mmmm, I love the taste of arrogance in the morning. Now, who shall I pick?

[Painful singing interlude.]

Charlie: I choose you, Pikachu! I mean, Maverick!
Maverick: Yay. And yet - Iceman - I must - um, engage in conflict with him. Yes. Conflict.
Iceman: You're not hot enough or good enough to engage with me, boyo. Just stand there and let me stare at you.

[Random gay volleyball porn.]

Iceman: Maverick, you piss me off so much that I need to punch you just so I can feel my skin against yours.
Maverick: YES, BABY, YES. Fuck - I mean punch - me harder.
Goose: *dies*

[WOE.]

Iceman: I win the competition we were having to be the best Navy pilot in all the land!
Maverick: PUNCH ME HARDER. I mean. Um. Yeah, you win. But I have Become a Man! In all senses of the word! Oh, god, YES.
Charlie: ...Wasn't I supposed to be the love interest?
Goose: *remains dead*

The One That Teaches Us That Brain Parasites Can Be an Effective Therapy. (Don't Try This in the Real World, Though.) Tongues of Men and Angels, by [livejournal.com profile] mad_maudlin. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.

Okay. I have - a thing. The Goa'uld make me want to CLAW MY SKIN OFF. Just, you know, preemptively. In case they turn out to be real. And yet. This story, for me, is alllll about a relationship, and it's not the McKay/Sheppard one. (Not that I am not bang alongside the McKay/Sheppard one, of course. I enjoy it! I am pleased it is here! But it is not the centerpiece of the story for me.)

Because this is a non-Atlantis AU, and there are Tok'ra in it, and this, for me, is about what being a Tok'ra is like. It's about the relationship between Tok'ra and host, and it's the first story I've ever read that made me believe the Tok'ra might be more than just Goa'uld with slightly (slightly!) better press. I actually like the Tok'ra, as they are portrayed here. Okay. A few of them. But that is a huge thing for someone who is as mind-controlling-parasite averse as I am!

But this story is 60k words of gateversey goodness, so it is also a fantastic action piece, and it has great hurt/comfort, and some very nice bits for SG1, and engineering, and sarcasm, and, just, everything I want from an SGA story (except Go-playing ghosts and John and Rodney turned into seahorses who are disturbed to discover that MPreg is their new canon, because no SGA story can be absolutely everything). In fact, this story probably also makes perfect toast and can bring rain to parched lands. It's that good, people.

And it's amazing to me, because it's a happy ending for John and Rodney that doesn't involve Atlantis, and the thing is - I always kind of assumed that there wasn't a happy ending for them that didn't involve Atlantis, largely because, well, it seemed like they had had that relationship conversation with earth. You know, the one that goes, "It's not you, it's me. It's just - we don't feel the same way, and we want different things, and - yeah. I mean. I care. I do. But it's not working out." (In Rodney's case, he'd be the one saying this. In John's case, it'd be earth.) So I am frankly stunned that [livejournal.com profile] mad_maudlin could use the guys as, you know, roughly the same people (and not seahorses or circus performers or satellites or whatever) and find them a happy ending that does not involve a certain imaginary flying city.

Anyway. Read this. It's awesome.

The One with the Most Nearly-Literal Slave Collar I've Yet Seen That Is Canonical. Did the Canon Writers Notice This? Were They Paying Attention? Figure It Out, by [livejournal.com profile] lightgetsin. White Collar, Elizabeth Burke/Peter Burke/Neal Caffrey.

Okay. I do not know from White Collar. I'm at that stage where I have to check IMDb to find out what the full names of the characters are. Usually, at this stage, I have about a one-sentence summary of the fandom in my head, but in this case, I don't. Instead, I have a picture. Which I am unfortunately unable to show you, because I can't get into LJ Scrapbook for some reason Which I can totally show you, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tzikeh. (It shows Neal handcuffed to Peter, who is kissing Elizabeth.) And, really, that says it all. Or at least all the parts I'm interested in.

Anyway. Like I said, I don't know from White Collar, but based on this story, if the DVDs were available, I would totally have Best Beloved watching it already. I might even be watching an episode myself (although that is unlikely, what with my current Kirk and Spock issues - but the very fact that I, deep in this weird TOSian fever, am willing to consider watching something else is significant). Because the characters are awesome, the concept is deeply appealing, and the dialog is first rate. In the story, I mean. My primary concern, if I had Best Beloved watch this, would be that the canon might not measure up to the fan fiction. This has happened before.

But, oh, it would almost be worth it, to know these three people better. Plus, you know, other people. I am sure there are other people in the show worth knowing. Probably.

So, this story - well. It is about Neal (conman!) and Peter (conman-catcher!) and Elizabeth (person who catches the conman-catcher!) and their really pure true love. But what I mostly love about it are the central questions it seems to ask, which is - how do you trust someone whose whole life has been built around making people trust him even though he's not, you know, actually trustworthy? How do you love someone whose job it is to make people love him? (And I would just like to note that it is awesome that for once the person whose job it is to make people love him is not a prostitute.) And exactly what happens when what is holding you together goes away?

(SECRET HINT: Sex! And PURE TRUE LOVE. And, knowing these three, someone (Neal) getting tied to something. But that's just my guess.)

The One Where We Learn That Even Logic Crumbles in the Face of a Really Short Skirt. Listening to Hear Where You Are, by [livejournal.com profile] frostfire_17. Star Trek Reboot, Jim Kirk/Spock/Nyota Uhura.

Sooooo. As some of you may be aware, I have recently had my brain taken over by Star Trek: TOS. And Reboot. Anything with a Spock, basically. (This is a painful process, but I am told that eventually I may regain the ability to speak in complete sentences, so I am trying to be strong. And you should all give Best Beloved massive, massive love for standing by me through it.) And, see, my TOS obsession makes this story even better (although I'm going to be honest here and say a) it did not need to be made even better and b) Frostfire may be liable for various damages to readers' brains for the stunning level of betterness in this story even without TOS as a point of reference), because now I have seen the women's uniforms that are the centerpiece of this, and, well.

Look at some of the images Frost linked to in her notes.

Okay. Now picture that outfit on Reboot Kirk. (In a fetching shade of gold, naturally). Yeah, I thought that would get your attention. Because, let's be honest here - Kirk was born to wear that dress. And Spock and Uhura were born to fuck him senseless in it.

Seriously, this is like 8k words of fantastic threesome porn, which is all by itself a reason to love the story, but what I really love, here, is how in character everyone is. This is an awesome Uhura, an awesome Spock, and a Jim Kirk in a dress. (Which is, obviously, the definition of awesome.)

And it's also an awesome use of a costume that actually made my jaw drop the first time I saw it in action, because holy shit that is a short dress. (Usually the argument against skirts on people in space is that if there's an artificial gravity failure, the wearer will end up with a skirt in the face. Let's just say that is not a problem here, since in the event of a gravity failure, this skirt will look exactly the same.) This story made me love the uniform a lot more than I previously did.

Also, did I mention the threesome porn?

The One to Read to Remind Yourself It Could Always Be Worse: You Could Be Spending the Holiday of Your Choice with the U.S. Congress. Die Hard 4.5: I'll Be Hard for Christmas, by Aja, aka [livejournal.com profile] bookshop (thanks to multiple people!). Live Free or Die Hard, Matt Farrell/John McClane.

I'm going to just pause for a minute so you can let the awesomeness of the title wash over you. Pause - pause - pause. Are you ready? Let's move on.

So, I think the title alone is sufficient reason to convince anyone, including people who haven't seen the movie (me!) and people who sometimes fantasize about punching Bruce Willis in the teeth (hardly me at all, anymore), to read this story, but I have more reasons even than that.

Like, okay, obviously I haven't seen the movie, but I always think the aftermath of action movies would be so much more interesting than the part where our hero blows something up and our villain meets his graphic end, often more than once. What happens when our hero stands up in the wreckage of a major American city, tosses aside his rebar, and goes back to work the next day? (Or, okay, six to eight weeks later, to allow for healing.) And that's what this story is about.

I also have to note that this story has the most wonderful original character ever. (At least, I'm assuming he's original. If he's a stealth crossover from somewhere, please god tell me where.) I don't know when I last met a character who could pack so much world-weary, cynical snark into a single sentence. Every bit of this story that he's in is awesome, and I would totally read a large number of stories in the Amit Sasses Washington fandom, or whatever it would be called.

Plus, you know, there's a whole thing where Matt and John find love in the midst of briefings and Congressional meetings, which has to be a first. (At least, it's a first in that no one was prosecuted or lost a major election afterwards.)

And there's a fivethirtyeight.com reference. Seriously, there's something here for every fan, except possibly those who hate happiness and good sex.
thefourthvine: The Enterprise, from the Original Series.  (ST TOS Enterprise)
I just want to say, here and now, that every fandom should have a redo of The Naked Time. Every. Fandom. SGA: John finally talks about his feelings, and everyone is horrified! Smallville: Clark tells all his secrets, and everyone feels much better! The Sentinel: Jim cries, and everyone wonders if this is yet another sentinel thing! Torchwood: Group orgy, just like last week! Sherlock Holmes: ...Well, actually, Holmes would probably go on a killing spree. Maybe not.

Anyway. This episode is awesome, and everyone should watch it. (And write it oh god please please please.)

Part One: This Is Your Environment on Spray Foam )

Part Two: Friends Don't Let Friends Shower Clothed )

Part Three: A Butter Knife Is a Terrible Thing to Waste )

Part Four: We Learned It by Watching Sulu )

Part Five: Just say OH MY GOD NO NO NO )

Part Six: Beyond the Influence of Sanity )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Mirror, Mirror won the poll handily, and is now appointed Lord High King of All Episodes TFV Should Watch after the Gay Sex One, the Robot Kirk One, and the One Where Everyone Is Creepy.

And the poll was right! Or the voters were, anyway. Mirror, Mirror is amazingly good. And it was educational for me; I never knew, before this, why people said goatees were a sign of evil (turns out it's because Leonard Nimoy looks like a serial killer in them). Is this the original TV canon AU? Maybe! Anyway, it's awesome.

A Note about the DVDs

THE DVDS DO NOT HAVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES. We bought them specifically because we wanted subtitles, and they do, as advertised, have them - in Spanish and French. OH MY GOD THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. If I wanted to watch with a transcript open in front of me, I would not be paying full price, if you get my drift.

Also, the first season has faulty disks, although [profile] cherry_ice has kindly loaned us hers so I don't have to suffer in a Kirkless and Spockless wasteland while they are being returned. Anyway. People who are debating whether to buy this set: don't.

Mirror, Mirror


Part One: Shiny, Shiny Evil )

Part Two: Uhura Is Secretly a Ninja )

Part Three: Kirk/Spock Pervades the Multiverse )

Part Four: Evil Wears Its Hair Down )

Part Five: Uhura Is No Longer Keeping Her Ninjahood a Secret )

Part Six: The Happy Ending with Bonus ARG - a Trek Tradition! )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So. My three-season DVD set of TOS arrived today. (I'm sorry, [personal profile] amireal; I COULD NOT WAIT. It was like a horrible sickness compelled me to spend a small fortune on ancient, overpriced, but remarkably awesome television. I don't know what came over me.) Obviously, the question is: what should I watch next? I could just do a poll with all the episodes in order, except a) 80 episodes, OMG and b) I'm really afraid you'd all pick Spock's Brain just to see me suffer. I know you, okay? You have a sick sense of humor.

So I went through the original suggestion post and I think I pulled out all the ones that got recommended there (if I missed anything that should be here for reasons of awesome, let me know), and I'm letting you guys guide me. (Although I cannot promise that the one with the most votes will be the first one posted or anything. The ways of Trek love are peculiar, unpredictable, and kind of unnatural, I'm finding.)

This, obviously, is for the dozen of you who have actually seen these episodes and who care which ones get recapped at ridiculous length next.

Take the poll here.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So. My three-season DVD set of TOS arrived today. (I'm sorry, [livejournal.com profile] amireal; I COULD NOT WAIT. It was like a horrible sickness compelled me to spend a small fortune on ancient, overpriced, but remarkably awesome television. I don't know what came over me.) Obviously, the question is: what should I watch next? I could just do a poll with all the episodes in order, except a) 80 episodes, OMG and b) I'm really afraid you'd all pick Spock's Brain just to see me suffer. I know you, okay? You have a sick sense of humor.

So I went through the original suggestion post and I think I pulled out all the ones that got recommended there (if I missed anything that should be here for reasons of awesome, let me know), and I'm letting you guys guide me. (Although I cannot promise that the one with the most votes will be the first one posted or anything. The ways of Trek love are peculiar, unpredictable, and kind of unnatural, I'm finding.)

This, obviously, is for the dozen of you who have actually seen these episodes and who care which ones get recapped at ridiculous length next.

To boldly click where no one has clicked before. I bet that cut text has been used a LOT. )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The One in Which We Learn That You Can't Give the Dead Too Much Artistic License. Especially If the Dead Person's Name Is Bob Fraser. Pornography, by [personal profile] china_shop. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski.

Benton Fraser has porn. I just want to repeat that, because I think it's a brilliant concept that deserves far more attention than it is currently getting: Benton Fraser has porn. Yes, this story is just as good as it sounds like it must be.

But there is a down side to it, and it is this: after reading it, I could not stop imagining the porn collections of other fannish favorites. Rodney McKay likely has roughly a terabyte of porn, but really only uses three short clips and one still photo. He's just completist. Jim Kirk (Reboot) also has the terabyte of porn, but he's actually working his way through it - he jerks off to something new every time. It's all hot if you look at it the right way, you know? Batman's porn does not bear contemplation and is certainly not something I would ever want to see, so I am pleased and comforted to know that it is hidden somewhere no one will ever find it, and also it is designed to self-destruct if anyone besides Batman touches it. Clark Kent likes the underwear catalogs. He's never been able to bring himself to get turned on by anything more explicit; he's always afraid his mother will walk in. (Lex Luthor's porn, it goes without saying, is his extensive Clark Kent memorabilia collection.) Methos's porn is called his memory. Jack Harkness's porn is called everything in the world, because everything is hot. How can you put a plug in an outlet and not get turned on? And laundry! All those dirty clothes, shirts and pants and trousers all touching, writhing together: clearly the hottest thing ever.

Anyway. Obviously, if Fraser has porn, Kowalski has an interest. (And Thatcher has an issue. Turnbull has an issue, too, but it's with a faulty oven; I'm not entirely sure I want to contemplate Turnbull and porn. It's either going to be men dressed up like the Queen or - you know what, seriously, let's not go there.)

The One in Which We Learn That All Vulcans, Male and Female, Can Breastfeed, Which Is an Innovation I Support So Completely I Am Prepared to Do Illegal Genetic Experimentation to Make It Happen. A Beginner's Guide to Vulcan Sexual Practice, by [personal profile] thingswithwings. Star Trek Reboot, Jim Kirk/Spock.

There's a whole history of how this story came to be, but I'm not going to go into it here, because you don't really need to know it. You just need to know that this story is one of the more awesome explorations of kink I have ever read. The message I take away from it is: there's nothing either kinky or vanilla, but thinking makes it so. And when Jim Kirk (Reboot) is doing the thinking, you know it's going to come out (hee!) kinky, even if he has to oppose millennia of Vulcan culture to do it.

And can I just say that I love the idea of writing endless commentaries on commentaries on a list of Things Good Vulcans Don't Do? That's the concept here, and it made me want to take it to the logical conclusion, and imagine the lecture, um, circles (pits?) on Vulcan, with horrified thirteen-year-olds who are already traumatized from learning about Pon Farr being forced to present papers on and debate about things like the No Breathplay rule.

That's actually probably where the rumor that Vulcans only do it once every seven years comes from. It has nothing to do with Pon Farr, it's just, it takes the first fifty years or so of their mature lives to get over the trauma of having had to learn all the sex rules. (Because I've been watching TOS, and it's obvious to me that Spock has sex more often than One Upon a Pon Farr. He's married to Kirk! Kirk likes the sex! QED! And, no, I won't listen to counterarguments: the crazy shippiness knows no logic.)

The One in Which Morgana Punches Arthur. I Suggest Re-Reading That Part a Lot. It Never Fails to Cheer Me Up. Reciprocation, by [personal profile] astolat. Merlin, Arthur Pendragon/Merlin. (Okay, it just occurred to me - I can think of three major pairings involving a character with a single name: Kirk/Spock, Duncan/Methos, Arthur/Merlin. What's the fourth? It'd make a great recs set.)

I can tell you what I love about this story in one sentence: Arthur Pendragon is totally clueless. I mean, how could he not be? He is exactly the kind of guy who goes through life assuming that he is Just That Awesome, and yet he's decent enough to be horrified when he realizes there is a small (very small, of course, because he's Arthur Pendragon, who is, by definition, awesome) possibility he is not awesome enough.

(This is a rare intersection - stunned by own awesome x still a reasonably decent human being - and I'm not sure I can think of another character in fandom who lives there. Hell, I can only think of one person I've known in real life who does, although, sadly, I can think of many, many people who lived on just the first street. In my teen years, I slept with basically all of them, so it makes me especially happy to see one getting, you know, schooled, even in fiction.)

And Merlin - he is a reasonably decent human being who gets laid a lot, which is as he should be.

The funny thing, of course, is that Merlin could totally be Arthur times a million, because instead of princeliness, he has magic, and in other fandoms, he'd be all strutting around magicking people into worshipping his cock or whatever. (Deny it. He'd be like Jack Harkness with a magic wand - or, as I am sure Captain Harkness would insist I put it, Jack Harkness with a second magic wand.) ...And now I kind of want to read that AU, BUT. Let me soldier on with this rec.

This story is awesome, and it features these characters pretty much exactly as they are in my head, and also Merlin educating Arthur will never be less than totally appealing. Read now.

The One in Which We Learn That Draco Malfoy Is a Far Better Housekeeper than I Am. I Know. I May Not Recover from the Shame. Theft of Assets, Destruction of Property, by [personal profile] helenish. Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom/Draco Malfoy.

You know all those charts that show the various phases of the menstrual cycle with, like, drawings of the corpus luteum and stuff? That are so traumatizing when you're twelve? They should be labeled like this:
  • Ow, My Side Hurts (part of one day)1
  • Extremely Productive (eight days)
  • Days of Angst and Irritation (three days)
  • ALL THE CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD (roughly four days)
  • For God's Sake, Let's Not Do That Again (one week)
  • Voluntary Total Amnesia about All This Crap (one week)
  • Ow, My Side Hurts (part of one day)
And so on. If they'd only posted that chart in health class, I guarantee you I would have written it in my notes, rather than the song lyrics I chose to immortalize. (I bet they were something about standing in the rain. Because of pain. I was predictable that way.)

Anyway. I try hard to save [personal profile] helenish's stories for my Days of Angst and Irritation, because they so perfectly match what I crave at that point. Things start off badly! There is miscommunication! Hurtful things are said! And then everything gets cleared up and there is True Love Forever! And all of this is wrapped in a layer of awesome so thick you want to eat it with a spoon.

But this story - this story is even better than that, because it features Draco forced to marry Neville for deflowering him, which is one of those concepts that shouldn't work at all (or be a total farce), but here it so, so works, and somehow it is just the crunchy awesome center of the awesome candy. Seriously. Read this. Especially if you're in the Days of Angst and Irritation. (I am not admitting anything in a manner admissible in a court of law here, I am just saying: I read this at exactly the right time, and there might have been tears. Possibly of joy, possibly of profound feeling. Who can say? But if there were tears, they were entirely justified, is my point.)

-Footnote-

1 Yes, I know that traditionally the first day of the cycle is the first day of your period. Of course I know that; how do you think I got the earthling? But I have considered Ow, My Side Hurts to be the start of it all since the day in my high school drama class when Mari announced she was ovulating, and all the guys reacted like she was giving birth to a tiger, and I learned that my mother had not lied: menstruation really was powerful and magical. Just, she failed to mention the magical power in question was to make boys writhe in horror.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Based on the title, I thought this was going to be about a planet right on the edge of a singularity. But it's about time travel instead, and time travel is one of my all-time narrative kinks, so I don't mind.

But who the fuck edited this? The episode doesn't look internally consistent. At all. Close-ups often look out of synch with the rest of the shots to me, but this ep is particularly bad about that for some reason; all the close-ups look like they were shot on a different planet. And why, oh god WHY, are so many of these shots extreme close-ups? Close-ups that show JUST THE HEAD? (Producers! Directors! You're paying for the actors' whole bodies! Why not show me them?)

We join the Enterprise, already in orbit. )

Amok Time

Dec. 26th, 2009 08:17 am
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I realize everyone in the world is busy with Yuletide, but, well. We had a Very Star Trek Christmas in our household, and I though I would post my reactions for the four people not wholly distracted by small fandoms.

This was my first official episode of Star Trek! And, you know what, I enormously enjoyed it.

General Observations )

Amok Time )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Okay. This is going to be pathetic. I know that. I can't help it.

A little less than two weeks ago, I watched Star Trek XI, a departure from my normal non-canonical reading policy occasioned entirely by my love of Spock. We will not speak of the 94 pages and counting of STR drawerfic I have written in the last ten days (while having my Yuletide story beta-read and beta-reading another, and of course taking care of the earthling, and celebrating Hanukkah). What we will speak of, in sad, sad tones, is the lack of Spock in my life.

This is causing me to contemplate something entirely unprecedented: watching original Star Trek. For more Spock. (Actually seeing the movie gave me an unholy love not just of Reboot Spock but of Nimoy Spock, too. He is so awesome! He loves Jim so much! I want to squeeze his pointy ears OMG!)

But watching the whole series is entirely out of the question. I don't have the time, and I really really don't have the tolerance for television. So, dear people who have already seen the original series - if I'm only going to watch eight episodes, which is generally my max for any series, what should they be? (I am willing to watch both Spock-intensive and just generally awesome episodes. Also anything really slashy, of course. And if you want to include notes about why I should watch them, my love for you will be that much greater.)

Also helpful: any episodes that I should definitely avoid, for reasons of animal harm, child harm, or massive suckiness.

I thank you in advance. And so does Best Beloved, who will have to watch all these episodes at least twice - once without me, once with, so that she can explain what the hell is going on - and who is, frankly, just not that into Spock. If you want, I can even post episode reviews of the ones I end up watching, as an expression of my gratitude (and total Spock-driven insanity).
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Dear People Out There,

I am hoping you can help me with something.

See, our beloved Philips plays-anything DVD player experienced serious trauma in the move. (Well, we all did.) Now it just sits there with its power light blinking red, and nothing we can do will make it open or play. We've given it time to heal, largely because I hate hate hate replacing things, but it hasn't gotten better, so - what is the current fannish DVD player? The one that plays the most formats, and so on? What do you folks have and love? (That can currently be purchased, I mean.)

Now, onto the recs. Once again, it's long stories. (Parenthood and breastfeeding have really changed the way I'm reading; since I only managed to read fan fiction on the Kindle, and I tend to Kindle mostly longer things, that's what I end up reading. Someday, presumably, there will be more variety here, but you'll have to take that up with the earthling.)

The One with Extra Vulcan Goodness. So Wise We Grow, by [livejournal.com profile] captanddeastar. Star Trek Reboot, Jim T. Kirk/Spock.

Okay, I will admit it. I am unabashed lover of epic kidfic. But my standards for kidfic went way, way up during pregnancy. (True fact: at one point, in around my eighth month, I snarled at the screen, "That is NOT how it happens, and that is NOT medically accurate, and also -" and then I realized I was criticizing the medical realism of MPREG. People who tell you pregnancy makes you crazy probably aren't thinking of this moment, but they should be.) And then they skyrocketed again after I was living my own version of kidfic, complete with earthling. So I now approach kidfic with joy and trepidation, because either it's going to make me happy all day long or it's going to make me write yet another lengthy mental post entitled Pregnancy and Childrearing: Actual Facts, Because You Seem Not to Have Any Even Though the Internet Is Totally Full of Them.

This one fell squarely into the "happy all day long" category. And in a rather unusual way, too. See, okay - most kidfic starts from one of two places: either a new baby, via MPreg or alien/divine/future/magical intervention, or a (gasp!) woman, whatever, or a kid still firmly in what I think of as the Era of Cuteness. This story starts out with a kid in the Era of Snottiness, and I just love that. (Partly this is because I have a nephew who has just embarked on the Era of Snottiness, and I have so much enjoyed seeing him discover sarcasm and obstructive literalism and eye-rolling and various gestures behind my sister's back. I imagine I will love this age much less when the earthling gets there, but for right now, it's comedy gold.)

And I also love (we're back to the story again) Jim and Spock, getting it backwards as usual. (First comes baby, then comes marriage, then comes love: I am pretty sure that is not how it usually goes, guys! But then, being captain of the whole fucking ship doesn't usually come at the start of one's career, either, so I am guessing they're used to inverting these things. They'd probably be all shocked if they actually did something like other people for once.) And I love how they fuck up, and also get things right, and how they get it all figured out in the end.

Most of all, I just really, really love seeing Jim Kirk dealing with TWO snotty Vulcans. I cannot think of anything better than that.

The One Where Ray Totally Calls Fraser on His Bullshit. More People Need to Do That! A Moment of Insight, by [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski.

Did I really not recommend this before? That hardly seems possible, and yet LJ Archive insists that it is so. In which case, I really have to wonder what the hell was wrong with me. Because this story is so very marvelous, and I re-read it regularly, and yet somehow I failed to mention that fact to you. Maybe I assumed you all knew about it, but if so, I am sure I assumed wrong. (If I've learned one thing on the internet - besides "never click without first seeing where the link goes, especially if the link text is something like HA HA HA" - it's that there is always someone who hasn't seen it, someone staring at the screen thinking, but what's a LOLcat? Often that person is me. Although I do know what LOLcats are, thank god.)

I can't take the risk that there is someone out there who is looking for a good, long story, or a good dS story, or just a story involving hotel rooms in middle America (and if you think there isn't someone looking for that last one, watch a few storyfinders communities - there is always someone looking for a story involving, like, eye infections, or learning to stand on your head, or French-Canadian pastries, things like that.)

So. What we have here is:
  1. Ray and Fraser. (A good way to start! Years of happiness started that way for me.)
  2. Trapped in a hotel room. (I think we can all agree that this is a fundamentally excellent plot development in virtually all fandoms, and before you argue, consider: Buffy and Ethan Rayne, trapped in a hotel room! Hercules and Iolaus, trapped in a hotel room! Reboot Kirk and Methos, trapped in a hotel room!)
  3. Engaged in sex and case-solving, and, really, what could be better? (Fan fiction has changed my definition of "awesome procedural crime story" to the point where I always find myself vaguely disappointed in published if the heroes just catch the bad guys, and don't actually fuck or flirt or have a moment of relationship-defining staring or whatever. This is funny because I love gen fan fiction and almost never have that problem there, but then, fan fiction writers actually know when they're writing slash, most of the time; pro writers often don't.)
Basically, this story is everything I love about dS.

The One Where We Learn About the Persistence of Pizza. In the Memory, I Mean. Forget Me Not, by [livejournal.com profile] maisierita. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.

I love amnesia. I just - I really do. (When it happens to fictional people, I mean.) Someone on my friends list was talking about her incredible folly of starting a story with everyone with amnesia and lost in the dark, and I was like: that is an awesome idea. I would love to read that! What's wrong with starting out with everyone amnesiac and lost in the dark?

(Answer: hard to write. Apparently. Whatever.)

I'm not sure what I love more about amnesia - that you get to see everyone without their internal history (who I am, where I hurt, what I've learned) or that you get to see folks interacting without their interpersonal history (who you are, what we fight about, why I like you). Fortunately, in this story, I don't have to choose. Because, okay, Rodney and John may not be lost in the dark, but they definitely both have amnesia. And they're in an unfamiliar world. And not only do they stay that way a good long time, but John gets extra amnesia, which is, obviously, extra awesome. (Also just like him - always taking the largest share of the pie, as long as the pie is made of pain, suffering, time on his knees, or emotional maladjustment!)

I love watching them renegotiate their relationships when they're missing most of the pieces of the puzzle, and figure out what the hell is going on, and deal with the circumstances of their capture. And, equally, I love watching them manage the little stuff - like, they have to reinvent pizza and ice cream and coffee. I think we can all agree that would be a major priority for anyone stuck on an unfamiliar world. (I'm only surprised they didn't reinvent Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Seems like every American who goes to a distant land sends back pathetic pleas for suitcases full of Kraft. Even when they did not eat it at all in the US.)

Basically, this story takes two classic fan fiction tropes (Imprisonment! Amnesia!) and does them up right, in an intensely satisfying story that I re-read at least four times a year.

(Note for readers who happen to be [livejournal.com profile] best_beloved: Yes, [livejournal.com profile] maisierita also wrote that one really sad story. This one is not sad. Authors are allowed to have many facets. READ THIS. You will like it, I swear.)

The One That Will Cause Anyone Who Routinely Drives in Los Angeles to Spend a Lot of Time Imagining the Commute and Sigalerts on This Day. Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round, by Annie D., aka [personal profile] scaramouche. Die Hard 4 x Speed, John McClane/Matt Farrell.

No, I am not recommending this one just because I spend a suspiciously large part of my life singing this song. That is just a bonus. (Although I am kind of sad that there won't be a sequel, because that so obviously would be titled Row Row Row Your Boat.)

Here's the thing: I have never seen Die Hard 4, although I am fairly sure I can fill in many of the blanks. (John McClane is manly and kicks some bad guy ass, for example.) And I actually have seen Speed, but I realized, while reading this story, that I don't really remember it. What I remember is, like, the movie trailer version of it. I remember the central plot device - the bus thing, of course - and a few snippets of dialog and some of the characters. (I think my brain has even set this memory to stirring instrumental music, and prefaced it with a ratings screen.) And I very clearly remember thinking at one point, wow, this movie really needed to end about 20 minutes ago. But I don't actually remember, like, who the bad guy was, or, um, the plot - things like that.

I do not regret this at all, because I am just going to pretend, for the rest of my life, that both Speed and Die Hard 4 went exactly like this story. It has everything I want from an action movie - ass-kicking! Wise-cracking! Manliness! Injuries! Inexplicably well-equipped bad guys who, in reality, would just make several billion dollars looting hedge funds and then buy a tropical island, which would in any case be easier than their nefarious plans! Kissing!

But this story is better than most action movies I can remember, and certainly better than all the ones I can't.

Also, the kissing is between the two main dudes, and I don't think I'm going to be seeing that in a big-budget action movie any time soon. Thank you, Annie D, for giving me everything I want in an action movie. Without even requiring me to hire a babysitter.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The OTW is having a fundraising drive! (And this time, there is swag. It is awesome swag. I am just pointing this out.)

I love the OTW - I volunteer for them, in fact - and I love what we do there. But most of all, I love the idea that someday, the works I recommend will be mostly hosted on the Archive of Our Own (soon to enter open beta!), and I won't have to post knowing that in a year or so, half the links will be broken. You have no idea how awesome that would be. Donate to the OTW! Do it on behalf of your fannish recommenders!

The One That Makes Me Feel Guilty That I Wasn't Paying More Attention in 1999.Sixteen Days in September, by [personal profile] tevere. Generation Kill, Brad Colbert/Nate Fick.

This story is amaaaaaazing. It isn't always easy to read - because I am a wimp, there are places I totally had to skip - but it's gritty and so believable it hurts. It's an AU; instead of joining the Marines, Nate joins the Peace Corps. And gets sent to East Timor, on the eve of the independence vote. (And if you're thinking, East Timor? Independence vote?, well, I am not surprised. The only reason I knew anything about East Timor before reading this story was that I looked it up on Wikipedia because [personal profile] tevere lives there. But, fortunately, you don't need to know about the country to read this.)

The great part about this story, though - okay, one of the great parts - is that it's so much like the canon. I don't think I've ever seen an AU achieve such perfect parity with the canon's tone and content. It's astonishing. I'm reading Generation Kill right now, and this story perfectly matches its blend of great characters, moments of human triumph, and screaming fucking incompetence. (My basic reaction to Generation Kill is that human beings are not competent or organized enough for war. When I am the secret ruler of the world, I will require people to prove that everyone in their chain of command has intelligence and common sense. If they can't, sorry! No war. It sucks, but if you can't find your ass with both hands, a GPS unit, and a scale map, you can't have any guns.)

I do need to warn you, though - the independence of East Timor was not pleasantly and easily achieved, and this story reflects that. If you know the Generation Kill canon, well, there will be nothing worse here than you've seen or read there. If you don't, you can still read this story, and I encourage you to - this is one of those things that is worth it - but do pay close attention to the story header.

The One That Makes Me Wish I Had a Shirt with Fake Tits on It. (Although at the Moment I Have All the Boob I Need. Thanks, Breastfeeding!) To Let, by [livejournal.com profile] amand_r. Torchwood, Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones.

You know how good this story is? The whole thing is told in second person, which would normally be enough to drive me to stockpile weapons and tack great big maps up in my (non-existent, because we live in California, and believe me, this was a major source of bitterness throughout my childhood) basement, but here, I don't even notice. Seriously. Every time I re-read this story, which I do a lot (because it is wonderful), I am surprised once again that it is in second person.

Telling a story longer than ten words in second person is one of those things where, if you have to ask if you're good enough, you're not. Fortunately, [livejournal.com profile] amand_r is, in fact, entirely good enough. She probably has extra talent she has to store in old spaghetti sauce jars because she can't fit it all in her head at one time.

Because, really, this story is just plain awesome. I love the outsider view of Torchwood, and, frankly - and I know this is a major crime for a fan, tantamount to admitting you secretly want your canon to get cancelled - I love the original character, who is interesting. And even canonical characters aren't always interesting. (Sometimes it seems to me that a major function of fan fiction writing is making a two-dimensional character, you know, three-dimensional. So if we can do that, and we can, why do we tell each other we can't write original characters? I get confused about that.)

There's also a coda, linked at the end. I actually like the coda, especially in light of Recent Canonical Events, but, well. If you are, like me, of a sensitive disposition, you might want to pay close attention to the warnings. (Although if you're like me, you'll read it anyway, and you probably will not be sorry.)

The One That Makes Me Wonder Where the Great Chefs Go When They Die. I Mean, It Can't Be Hell, Because Then There'd Be Good Food There, but Most of Them Are Not What Me Might Term Heaven-Qualified. City of Sinners, by [livejournal.com profile] kaneko. Oz, Tobias Beecher/Christopher Keller.

So if you know how Oz ended, you know that a post-series happily-ever-after for Beecher and Keller is, shall we say, slightly unlikely. (If you don't, you should still read this - it's that good - but you'll have have to just trust me: not likely.) Which is why I am kind of astonished that Kaneko managed to make one. Oh, it's not the perfect happily-ever-after - there's no ice cream or anything - but then, I think Keller and Beecher had kind of reached a place where they couldn't take that. Some people really can't have nice things, and if you're not that kind of person when you get into prison, I would imagine you are after you've been there a while. Beecher and Keller sure were.

So this is their kind of happily-ever-after. Which is, okay, in hell. But! It’s not a bad hell, as hells go, and, really, they wouldn't fit in in heaven. (Plus, they'd probably have to be quarantined; otherwise, they'd have a terrible effect on the angels.)

Plus, I just love the world-building (Can I use that term in this case? Do I mean plane-building?) here. This is totally a hell I can believe in. If I, you know, believed in hell. Anyway. My point is: this is a wholly awesome story.

And I would think that this kind of went without saying - I mean, if you have a story that's set in the afterlife, certain warnings are just not necessary - but, okay, yeah. There's some character death in this.

The One That Makes Me Very, Very Glad I Am Not a Vulcan. Fever, by [livejournal.com profile] penknife. Star Trek, Amanda/Sarek. (Does Amanda have a last name? I'm not even going to get into it with Sarek - I've learned that with Vulcans, it's better to just take the information they give you and be happy - but Amanda comes from earth. Surely she's got a last name.)

Soooo. Pon farr is one of those things that seems to have been made for fan fiction writers. Slashers, particularly. It's like the writer of that episode - holy shit, Wikipedia says Theodore Sturgeon, and frankly I would not in any way be surprised to hear that this is exactly what he did - sat down and said to himself, "How can I make sure that Star Trek is a fandom for the ages? And maybe get Spock a little more love from the ladies? Although, frankly, if the lady fans loved him any more, there could be riots. But then, I like a good riot." And then he thought of pon farr.

And if that was his plan, it worked. I am brand-new to the Star Trek fandom, compared to its overall tenure on this planet, and I have already read, I would estimate, thirteen thousand pon farr stories. It's like catnip to the fan writer's hindbrain.

The thing is, though - I've enjoyed pretty much all the pon farr stories that didn't spell Spock Spuck. But. Well. I never really thought about what pon farr would be like - for Joe Vulcan, for his mate (the lovely Jane Vulcan, or the equally lovely Jack Vulcan if Vulcans swing that way, or, in this case, the awesome Amanda Probably Has a Last Name but I Don't Know It).

This story is short, but it packs a hell of a wallop. And, really, I guess all pon farr stories should carry a dubcon warning - pon farr is the sex pollen you carry along with you! - but this one plays with that edge a little more than most.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Things have been kind of rough for the House of TFV lately. But one major good thing has been that we have finally gotten my desk and computer all set up. Which means I can retreat to one of my fannish happy places: vids. And these vids are happy indeed.

The One That Made Me Wonder What Kind of Gum Uhura Likes. Apple Candy, by [livejournal.com profile] talitha78. Star Trek Reboot.

First off, I think I should just issue a blanket recommendation of every single thing [livejournal.com profile] talitha78 does, because, wow, she has made so very many vids that make me so very, very happy; I had this set all assembled and then realized, whoops - two of the vids were by her. So I had to pick just one of them, and I will have you know that it was not easy.

This one won, of course. It's like it was made for me. Although - okay. My associations with this song have been documented before, but - am I the only one who, having watched this vid, now also wants a Kirk/Uhura/Spock vid to Jessie's Girl? Come ON. "I've been funny, I've been cool with the lines" - that could, if you're willing to posit the existence of a time machine, have been written about Reboot Kirk! Don't tell me you aren't now seeing the vid in your head in all its glory. (If you aren't, there's a download at that link. I'm just saying.)

But. As glorious as the Jessie's Girl vid would be - and, oh, I think we can all agree it would be the kind of thing that makes the angels, if not sing, at least giggle - this vid is even better. I'm not going to tell you why - I went off on that whole tangent in part just to avoid telling you why - but I am going to say that I went into this vid expecting to love it (Apple Candy and Kirk/Uhura/Spock, by a vidder of known awesomeness: the download might as well have come with little sparkly hearts on it), got most of the way through, and realized I was going to love it even more than that. It is just that wonderful.

The One That Actually Made Me Tear up from Sheer Love the First Time I Saw It. One Night Fandoms, by [personal profile] thingswithwings and [livejournal.com profile] eruthros. Multifandom. Very nearly panfandom, in fact.

[livejournal.com profile] yuletide is coming 'round again, people! It is truly my favorite time of the year. (No, you are not allowed to remind me about this in two months, when I'm quietly weeping over my keyboard and occasionally moaning "why did I volunteer to write this?" in IM. Yes, there's some pain involved. Pain is part of the fun. Really.) And, in anticipation, I have started re-watching this vid, which made me so happy last year that I was afraid my ears might fall off.

This is Yuletide. If you've never done it: this is what it's like! It's all the things you love even though no one else does, things most people have never even heard of. Things you keep wistfully telling your friends that, no, really, they should try it, they'd love it, it's awesome, and you will TOTALLY loan it to them or even buy it, and you know they never will try it, and you don't know why, because, seriously, so wonderful. Things, in short, you definitely never expected to see in a real fanwork. And they're all in this vid. Just like they're all in Yuletide.

True fact: the first few times I watched this vid, I was just looking hopefully for my past Yuletide sources - the ones I've written, the ones I've requested. It took me several rotations to be able to set that aside and admire the beauty of the way this vid is put together - and it is beautiful, no doubt.

But most of all, it's Yuletide. Watch it. And then start planning out your signup sheet.

The One That Is a Tribute to the Thespian Skills of Momoa and Flanigan. Is She Really Going Out With Him?, by [personal profile] sherrold and [personal profile] wickedwords. Stargate: Atlantis.

I just. I can't even tell you how wonderful this is. It caused me to guffaw openly, because - okay. I haven't seen any SGA canon since the first season, and even then I didn't watch very much of it. I'm just not a visual media girl, is the thing, and frankly, if you're going to give me a choice between watching some people galumph around space and bonk into things or reading about those same people galumphing around space, bonking into things, and fucking, well. I am going to go with the latter. (And it's not the fucking that makes the difference, actually; it's the reading, although I'm not going to say the fucking doesn't help. I do love the subtext, but - what's the opposite of subtext? Domtext? Anyway. I love that, too.)

But my point is, I haven't seen any of the later SGA canon, and so my first reaction to this vid was to say, "They SHOWED that? Like, on the air? Did they forget about the part where the subtext is supposed to be sub?"

And then I realized this is probably all skillful editing, and the makers of Stargate didn't actually undergo some kind of bizarre brainswap. But, since I haven't seen the canon, I can pretend they did. This will always be canon to me.

(And it totally makes me want the accompanying fan fiction, where Ronon and John have to go on a mission by themselves, because Teyla's with Kanaan or however you spell his name, and Rodney's with Keller - because she's really going out with him, WTF? - and they're the two pathetic team members who never get laid and always have time to do extra work. They end up at a skuzzy bar getting totally wasted and weeping into their beverages - Ronon drinks a Pegrithian spirit called Skaar, and John starts with Skaar but gets sidetracked into this sweet liqueur that they mix with bright red berry juice and serve with chunks of fruit and a whipped topping and a little carving of a big-eyed animal that looks suspiciously like Hello Kitty. And the natives feel sorry for them, what with all the weeping and pathos, and they come back with an incredible trade agreement and terrible hangovers and a piece of paper with the name and Gate address of a guy who is supposed to be good at solving problems. They don't know if he's a therapist or an assassin. Or both. Neither of them goes to see him, but they do take out the paper and look at it from time to time.)

The One That Proves That Some Songs Compel Even the Planet Earth to Do a Little Dance. Mothership, by [livejournal.com profile] laurashapiro. Doctor Who.

If you don't chairdance while watching this vid, your butt has no rhythm and no soul. Sorry, that's just how it is. Because this is a shiny, happy, gleaming vid that just insists that you get your wiggle on.

But you should know that Best Beloved and I had a slight difference of opinion while watching it. We were getting down, grooving, enjoying the astonishing way the clips and the motion work with the music here - seriously, it's amazing - and just the general wonderfulness of it all. (The earthling was sitting in my lap, bouncing to the music. The boy knows when it's time to get down.) And then the vid ended, and we had this conversation:

BB: Aw, that was great. A tribute to all things -
Me, delightedly: TARDIS!
BB, giving me a Look: - Doctor.

And right there you have the essence of our difference of opinion about Doctor Who. Best Beloved seems to believe it's about this guy. Whereas I know in my heart it's about the tech. (Could you have all the things that happen in these clips without the TARDIS? No. No, you could not. The TARDIS is far more essential than the Doctor, obviously.) But, whatever you happen to believe - I understand there are even some people who believe this show is about the companions, which, whatever: I love you even if you're strange - you will adore this vid. If for no other reason than you can get your groove on. (With the TARDIS!)

(When you're done getting your groove on, marvel that this song is apparently a cappella. I don't even know what to do with that. I mean, I knew the human mouth was a marvel, but, wow.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Having a fandom that is public knowledge is weird. I mean, no one ever discussed due South in my presence who wasn't also discussing Fraser's cock. I don't think anyone but fans has even heard of The Sentinel. I know lots of people read comic books, but no one is willing to admit to it at the places where I go. I'm not sure anyone over the age of 15 has ever watched Merlin who didn't want to write fan fiction where someone got it on with someone else. A few people had, presumably, heard of Stargate: Atlantis, but it's not like anyone said anything about it. But Star Trek is - well. Let me tell you a story.

Twice a week, I take the earthling to OT. The pediatric therapy section is part of a unit that also provides therapy to adults. Because I spend a lot of time in the waiting area, I know most of the adult therapists at least vaguely, and I know the names of all the women, because they wear their badges. (So do the men, technically, but they usually clip their badges to a pocket and then put the badge inside the pocket. It's on, but it's not like you can see who they are.) So I have to make up nicknames for the guys.

Once, I was waiting for an elevator with one of the adult PTs and he spontaneously shared with me that it was his first day back at work after some surfing championship thing. "Oh?" I said politely. "How was it?"

"Totally awesome," he said very sincerely, and that was the last thing he said that I understood, although he kept talking all the way up in the elevator and then down the hall. Just before we parted ways, I figured out that he was relating the details of his own performance, with helpful side notes about the condition of the ocean.

"Awesome!" I said, confidant that at least I knew that much of his dialect, and he nodded enthusiastically. I went to the waiting area and he went off to teach a stroke patient to walk, and I started to think of him as Surfer Boy.

But then one day I sat in the waiting area next to a woman in her sixties and her forty-ish companion as they watched Surfer Boy demonstrate one of the weight machines and discussed in great detail what they'd like to do to him. (It started with the younger one saying, "I'd like to sink my teeth into those thighs." "Honey," said the older one as she crocheted something pink, "If I got my mouth on him, I wouldn't waste time on his thighs.") They called him Mr. Hotass throughout their very extensive discussion of his features and probable abilities, and the nickname Surfer Boy just couldn't compete. He is Mr. Hotass forever to me now.

And there's another adult PT who I think of as the Professor, because he reminds me of a professor I had in college - he's very tall, and he wears wire rim glasses, and he's fond of slightly frayed Oxford shirts that in no way match his corduroys or chinos. He, like my college professor, speaks very very quietly. I have never understood a word he's said. (With my college professor, if you didn't get to class in time to get a front row seat, you just studied from the book, copied down the board occasionally, and hoped someone up there was taking good notes.)

And, finally, there is Itsuko. (See? She wears her name tag!) If I had to give her a nickname, it would be PT Fangirl. She is very, very interested in American Idol (she was near tears over Adam Lambert's loss - no, really, there was a small group of sad, hugging women in the hall the next day, and I just thank my friends list, because without y'all I would have thought Adam Lambert was a patient who died) and also those dance shows.

So, the other day the Professor was using the work table, and Mr. Hotass was next to him getting a hot towel out of the big scary steamy hot towel machine that you have to use the Tongs of Giantness on. Itsuko was waiting behind Mr. Hotass. And they had the following conversation:

The Professor: *something inaudible, ending in a questioning tone*
Mr. Hotass: Damn it, Jim, I'm a physical therapist, not a doctor!
[Laughter.]
The Professor: *something inaudible and semi-emphatic sounding*
[Further laughter.]
Itsuko: Fascinating, Captain. Dr. McCoy, if you do not require any additional hot packs, I believe it would be most logical for you to yield your place to me.

And I knew exactly what they were talking about it. I could even make some decent guesses about what the Professor had said, and that has never happened before.

My primary sensation was one of injustice. That was my fandom! They weren't supposed to know about it! I wanted to yank them aside and say, "YOU! Obviously your fandom is surfing. Go back to being incomprehensible about that! Itsuko - okay, you can stay, because really I think you're more than halfway there already. But as for you, Professor, I don't know what your interests are, but I'm betting you're a founding member of the Speak Softly (Stick Optional) Club for Boring Men. STAY AWAY FROM MY FANDOM."

And then I remembered that everyone knows about Star Trek, and in fact basically everyone in the Western hemisphere knows more about Star Trek than I do (because they've seen more than one episode of the series, and probably the movie as well).

Because the thing is, there's so much stuff in Star Trek. It's not just the movie. It's not even the movie and the original series. It's some number of spinoffs, and I don't even know how many. (People, what the hell is Enterprise? Is that the same as TNG? TOS? Is it a whole OTHER series? I would check Wikipedia on this one, but it tends to really enhance my feelings of Star Trek inadequacy.) It's a very large number of novels, many of them, bizarrely, written by people whose names I recognize, some I even know. (And one, apparently, was slash, and no one noticed until after it came out. Oops!) And it's half a fucking century of fans, and fanwank, and people writing long impassioned essays about things like insignia design and the meaning of spaceship numbers. (For the record, I entirely salute this. It's just too much for me to assimilate.)

It's overwhelming, is my point. In a good way! A good way! But I keep turning to Best Beloved and saying things like, "Okay, what is with this t'hy'la thing? It's in every story ever!"

And she says, "I don't know." (Because she hasn't watched all the original Trek. This is a problem, as she is my source of information for all visual media. And she probably won't be seeing the whole series, either. Normally I could buy her a season or two as, like, a subtle hint in the shape of a gift, but have you seen how much those things cost? Too much for a hint, I'll tell you that.)

Or I say to Best Beloved, "Okay. Pon farr. So there was - um, a girl? That Spock didn't marry?"

And Best Beloved, who has in fact seen that episode, says, "Well, yes. She wanted to marry someone else, so she challenged Spock and picked Kirk as her champion - no, I don't know why, so don't ask - and they fought and Spock thought he'd killed Kirk. He was very sad, as I recall. And then she went off and married the other guy."

So I - nimbly avoiding the question she told me not to ask, because I am no fool, say, "What happened with the pon farr, though? Doesn't he have to have sex with someone?"

And she says, "I don't know, but looking back, I'd have to say he and Kirk went somewhere private."

It's also intimidating. I normally eventually get to a place where at least I feel like I can write in a fandom, even if I never actually do, but I don't think that's going to happen here. There's just too much stuff to know. This means, of course, that I will have to sit here and just hope that someone else writes the stories I want to see. Like the story where the reboot universe gets a few more Spocks - like, raised-on-earth Spock, and Captain-of-the-Enterprise Spock, and never-met-Kirk Spock. How many Vulcans can one starship hold? (Oh, like you've never wanted to see a vid to "Part of Your World" for Spock.) LOTS, would be my feeling, and, really. The more Spock, the better.

Which brings me to another embarrassing element of all this. I appear to have developed an OTC. (Yes, I, too, look at those initials and see over the counter. But I refuse to spell it out.) And my OTC is - well, Spock. This is highly distressing! First, I feel like, well, what else have I missed about classic fandom? Will it turn out that my favorite show in the whole entire world is Starsky and Hutch or something? (Just having a favorite TV show would be quite a shock to my system.) But most of all, I feel strangely adrift. I'm usually an OTP kind of girl, and so I know what to read: things with my characters' names on them, and a slash in between. With an OTC, it's different. Because I will happily read Spock paired with basically anyone - Kirk, Uhura, Sulu, his tricorder, the warp cores (although Scotty would kill him if he tried anything), John Sheppard, Jack Sparrow, the Enterprise, a culturally significant and aesthetically pleasing rock, whatever. As well, of course, as any gen in all kinds of quantities

This makes it much harder to read fan fiction. I need to know, in advance, if a story that's gen will contain sufficient Spock, or if it will leave me muttering, "Okay, that was kind of awesome. But, seriously: not enough Vulcans, too many mans." (It's not that I don't like the others. I do. I just - SPOCK. He is everything I ever wanted a character to be! And also telepathic, which I find deeply creepy, but that just adds an edge, you know?) Plus there's ever the danger that I will read a story that ends with a SAD Spock. And I think we all know that a sad Vulcan (grimly repressing all signs of sadness and pretending that it is totally logical to lie on his bed and listen to Fall Out Boy all day) is the very saddest thing of all.

I remain hopeful that I will settle into some kind of stable OTP orbit, though I don't know exactly how that would work. (NO, it is not going to be Spock/Spock. I have limits. Probably.)

And so I am here, overwhelmed (Why isn't there an easy, bullet-point summary? For people who are maybe not up to reading fifty years of, like, Trekian scholarship?) and out of my element (an OTC, seriously; I cannot even cope).

But definitely in the fandom. Eeee! Trek!

The One That Is Everything (Okay, Not Quite, but Still) Wrong with Movies Today. And It's Brilliant. ...On the Dance Floor, by [livejournal.com profile] sloanesomething.

This is for that one lone fan out there who didn't know what I was referencing with "not enough Vulcans, too many mans." It's also for anyone who doesn't know Star Trek at all. Or anyone who knows Star Trek but isn't our kind of fan. Because, oh my god, this is so awesome, and I don't care who you are: you will get this. (And if you don't love it, there's just no hope for you.)

Of course, the sad part is that you could use this song for a vid in basically any fandom, except, you know, Xena. But I refuse to think about that! Instead I will think about the joy that this vid brings me. Which is a lot. And it brings it about every ten minutes, because once you start watching this vid, there is no stopping.

(There's also no chance that you'll get through the day without singing this song. It's like heroin for your ears. I just feel I should tell you that now, so you don't blame me later when you sing it in front of your direct supervisor, or your entire family, or, you know, a gathering of Sunday school kids.)

The One That Answers the Question of Who Is Doing All the Unglamorous Work in Starfleet. The First Time, by Afrai, aka [personal profile] bravecows. It's - OFC/OFC? Kind of? That's not really the point, though.

So, having spent quite some time wibbling about my negative reaction to any story not featuring Spock (which, seriously, in my head I want to make that sparkly text, except I know it would be wrong), I'm going to start off by recommending something that is totally Spock-free. And here's the thing: I don't care. This is that good.

What's it about? Well. Let's just say this is meta as well as fan fiction, and you'll get it as you go along, and I can't tell you in advance.

I can say, though, that I love these characters. And I want them to be canon. I want the concepts to be canon. There's something in here that is SO AWESOME and makes so much intuitive sense and yet I cannot think of any visual SF that does it, although of course my reference set is limited - I mean, I haven't even seen all the Star Trek spinoffs.

So I can't tell you what this is about, really. I can just tell you to read. Oh, and I can say that if this story were canon, well, that'd be a step toward correcting the problem the last rec identified.

The One That Features Courtship Via Phonemes. I Mean, I Guess Almost All Courtship Is, but These Are Explicit Phonemes, and, No, I Don't Mean That the Way You Think I Do. Break, by [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63. S'chn T'gai Spock/Nyota Uhura.

This story, on the other hand, has an entirely acceptable amount of Spock. It also has lots and lots of profoundly awesome Uhura. My only complaint about this story is that, once again, I think everyone in the universe has already read it, but I want to rec it, so I will. I've never worried about that problem before, after all.

This is backstory - although that seems like an insulting term for it, really - for the Spock/Uhura relationship in canon, and I looooooove it. (I think most dedicated slashers will love this one. There's enough emotional distance and longing and requited passion, plus just a touch of angst, to satisfy. Or so it was for me.) This has all the elements I need in a story featuring Spock (great seething cauldron of emotion, sternly repressed, occasionally bubbling to the surface while he pretends that, no, there are no disturbances in the core of Planet Spock, which is of course not at all volcanic, no, really, ignore that eruption you hear). And it has a Nyota who is truly an equal character, truly intelligent, and truly human. I could not ask for more.

In fact, this story has made me kind of afraid to see the movie, because if there's one thing I know about big-budget summer action movies, it's that they don't usually provide rich character development and thoughtful, realistic relationships and depth. I am guessing, if this story were canon, most of the words in it would be replaced by something exploding.

The Vid That Teaches Us That Vulcans Are the Real Rough Trade. Or, Okay, Not, but They Sure Do Give New Meaning to Rough Sex. Poker Face, by [livejournal.com profile] talitha78. S'chn T'gai Spock/Jim Kirk.

So, um, this vid is pretty much the closest we'll get to an actual canon Kirk/Spock sex scene, or am I the only one seeing that on that screen? No, I can't be.

And, if that is not enough to compel you - this is Spock. Spock! Who has a POKER FACE! Except not, as it turns out, for Kirk. Kirk: the illogical exception to every aspect of Vulcan control! I could not love this more.

PLUS, we get to see the evolution of Spock, from fierce but wee baby Spock to more-Vulcan-than-Vulcan pre-Starfleet Spock to Kill him? Fuck him? Maybe both! Spock-with-Kirk. They are all my favorite Spocks, let me tell you.

And I love that this fandom has been so prolific, with so many excellent vids set to so many songs I would not normally listen to at all. And yet, you know, there's a decent chance I'll end up loving this song. I mean, I watch the vid enough.

(Spoooooooooock. <3 <3 <3 <3!)

(P.S. Anyone know of a good place to get ST icons? I neeeeeed them. Apparently.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
For the very last Sweet Charity, I put my recommending up on the block, and got won by the deeply awesome [personal profile] dorothy1901. Her first request, sadly, I could not fulfill, for I just don't know enough about Iron Man/Captain America. (I do know, though, that every single person ever anywhere at all should go read this, by [livejournal.com profile] jwaneeta, which is AWESOME and INCREDIBLE and looks exactly like a comic book - I actually had to check several times to make sure this wasn’t a scan from Slash World. Incidentally, if this set depresses you, that will be an excellent antidote.)

But she very kindly offered me a choice. And I chose Unhappy Endings, which is the kind of thing I keep meaning to recommend - there are so many brilliant sad-ending stories that I truly want to tell you all about, but when it comes down to it, I don’t. Mostly because I’d have to re-read them, and then there would be pain and suffering. Which is totally the point, and yet - I read fan fiction pretty much only on my Kindle these days, while I’m nursing the earthling, and he does not like it when I cry while he’s eating. (Seriously. He pulls off and gives me this look. “Mama,” the look says. “Do you MIND? I am kind of busy, here, and you’re getting me WET.”)

So thank you, [personal profile] dorothy1901, both for giving to charity and for giving me a good reason to do this.

(People, I am assuming I don’t need to tell you this, but just in case: these stories are NOT HAPPY. There is death involved in some of them, and lots of the kind of thing that leaves your heart all sore. If you read any of these stories, I advise you to have some safety-tab stories at the ready.)

The One That Guaranteed I Could Never Read Anything About Arctic Survival Without Sniffling a Lot. The End of the Road, by [livejournal.com profile] katallison. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski.

Once upon a time, a young and innocent fangirl was getting into dS. She loved the fandom so much that she was not as wary as she could have been. Should have been. Would one day be. So she saw the warnings on this story and thought, hey, I can totally deal with less than cheery! Particularly in exchange for something so well-written, so good!

And so she read The End of the Road. And it destroyed her.

Now, here's the thing: I could say, "And that fangirl was me." She totally was me. But I'm not the only one who loved Kat's work, thought she'd take any of it that she could get, and then realized, way too late to save herself, that there was only so much reality she could take. This story taught a lot of dS fans of my generation two things:
  1. For god's sake, know your limits. And live them.
  2. Kat Allison can turn a phrase that will carve your soul from your body. Admire her! But fear her.
And I have both admired and feared Kat ever since. (I've also learned that, while The End of the Road is perhaps the ultimate example of her essential Kat-ness, she's written this theme and concept in a number of fandoms. I handle every one of those stories better than I handled this one, because Fraser. And Ray. IN MY HEART THEY ARE HAPPY TOGETHER FOREVER. No, really. Even after they die, they are still together. Probably haunting some poor young relative who cringes every time he opens a closet because he knows there's a fifty-fifty chance he'll walk in on his crazy dead great-uncles fucking on a desk.)

This story is brilliant. And it's heart-breaking, and that's largely because it's so believable, so real. Kat never writes angst. She only writes pain. And this story has brought glorious, glorious pain to many a dS fan. If you love unhappy endings, you'll love it. It doesn’t matter if you read in this fandom. This one's for you.

The One That Would Have Enhanced My Phobia of Telepathy, Except Such a Thing Is Not Actually Possible. Down with Telepathy! Flinch, by [livejournal.com profile] maisierita. Stargate: Atlantis. John Sheppard/Rodney McKay. Sort of.

One of my favorite kinds of stories is the kind where the person takes a fan fiction cliché and subverts it, makes it new and awesome. Or, in this case, new and real. This story packs a surprising wallop for something so short, and I think it's because of how well it builds on what I might call, in a different setting, the existing body of literature. And then undercuts it.

Because that's the thing: we know how this story goes! There is embarrassment and worry followed by confessions of true love (unless you just cut straight to the hot hot sex). Yay! Except - well, it doesn't go that way this time. You might say this story perfectly highlights the difference between fan fiction and real life, because this is how that would really go. This is how it would be if telepathy was real. (This is why I fear telepathy, people. No good can come of it, no matter how much joyous happy fucking and forever love comes from it in fan fiction. In the real world, knowing what people think can only destroy you.)

I remember reading this story two years ago, when it first came out, and being surprised and impressed and thinking [livejournal.com profile] maisierita would be one to watch, because she manages to pack a lot of pain into this, subtly and without force or angst or melodrama, and anyone who can do that can write. And I was right! She's fabulous. I just think it's kind of funny that, despite all the great stuff she's written that I've read, this story will always be what I associate with her name.

The One That Shows Us That There Are Some Things You Just Can't Share, No Matter How Much You Might Want To. (And Totally Improves by Approximately a Million Times on an Episode of SGA.) The Standard of Comparison, by [livejournal.com profile] agentotter. Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson.

The thing is, SG1 has a lot of stories I could have picked for this set. I was totally spoiled for choice. (Partly this is because I can handle sadder stories in SG1 than I can in other fandoms. Partly this is just because the world ends an awful lot in this fandom, and any story in which the human race is extinct at the end is probably going to fit in an unhappy endings set. At least if you’re human, and I tend to assume, perhaps unfairly, that most people reading this LJ are.) I mean, I thought of this story right off the bat, as soon as I'd read [personal profile] dorothy1901's request, but I decided to do Important Research. So I re-read approximately 5 million SG1 stories, sniffling many times over each, and finally decided to go with my first instinct.

What can I say? It's another one that has stayed with me. And I love the way the unhappiness just unspools from the ending. It's not just that it ends unhappily, it's that things are definitely going to get worse. Jack and Daniel are stuck in a bad place, and the only solution to the problem is worse than the bad place. But they can't just choose to stay there, either.

Because I am that kind of person, I usually spend a few minutes writing a sort of mental fan fiction for any story I read that I really liked. (I've doing this since I was a kid. I wanted to know what happened to every single person in a book from the ending until forever. And then I wanted to know about their kids. It drove me nuts that the authors just left the characters there, when clearly there were unresolved questions! Like what they had for dinner the next day, and what happened when they grew up, and if they got a dog and what they named that dog. I think I was a fan fiction reader born, not made.)

But I can't do that with this one. It hurts too much. I'd rather leave Jack and Daniel in limbo forever than imagine what has to come next for Daniel. And for someone who was deeply, sincerely resentful of Charles Dickens for not going into sufficient detail, that's saying something.

The One That Teaches Us the True Meaning of Things Man Was Not Meant to Know. Inextricable, by [livejournal.com profile] lunabee34. Star Trek Reboot, Jim Kirk/S'chn T'gai Spock (Apparently that is his real full name - thanks, [personal profile] bluemeridian. And thus we see that even Spock could not escape the Alien Apostrophe Law. Apparently being half-human doesn't help. Also, does anyone but me wonder how he can have a name unpronounceable by humans if his mother was human?)

So. This whole story is basically one huge movie spoiler. I'm cutting here for anyone who hasn't seen the movie yet and wants to, even though I think I am the last such person in existence. (People on MARS have seen this movie by now.) I am also cutting, while I'm at it, for spoilers for the story.

Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Here are some things I felt like recommending! Seriously, that's the whole theme, here.

(Side note: If you wonder, as I sometimes do, why our entertainment products appear to be made by straight white men for straight white men, you might want to read this or, if you can, donate a little something to a woman filmmaker.)

The One That Makes Me Wonder Why No One Ever Covered Safe Mind-Melding in My Middle School and High School Sex Ed Classes. Did They Not Care About My Health and Safety? You'll Get There in the End (It Just Takes a While), by [livejournal.com profile] seperis. Star Trek Reboot, Jim Kirk/Spock. (Does Spock have a first name? A last name? And why is it Spock, when all other Vulcans seem to be named things like T'Pippi and T'Eppic and T'Pain and T'Eyla?)

So. These days, I do most of my fan fiction reading on my Kindle, which means a delay of anything up to five years (not really) between finding the story and getting it read. (People who write long stories and put them all on one page with no tables: I love you forever. Many times my will has just broken faced with twelve or fourteen separate posts to consolidate.) While this story was waiting to be converted to Kindle format, I went to an OTW committee meeting in which it was described as, "Everything you'd ever want from a pon farr story." (This is why OTW is more fun than any other non-profit in the world. You get recs along with your work. Also, we tend to end most meetings talking about tentacle porn; if we ever get committee mascots, ours will be a tentacle waving proudly, possibly clutched around a big shiny coin.)

Obviously, that booted the priority waaaaaay up. I mean, I don't even have any wants from a pon farr story, or I didn't - I only actually know what pon farr is because of a) Killa and T. Jonesy's vid and b) because people talk about, like, vid farr and fic farr and so I had to get a précis from Best Beloved a while back. But it doesn't matter, because that is so totally right: this is everything I never even knew I wanted from a pon farr story. And, having read it, I want several million more. I totally understand how this whole slash thing got started, now.

(Also, I don't know if this is canon or Reboot or just fanon, but I love how Spock is, in this story, all, I am totally the least emotional person on the planet la la la logic is my only guiding force, and he's actually totally faking it. Because you cannot tell me he's not making emotional decisions here. He's just, you know, putting a logical face on it. As far as I can tell, Vulcans aren't emotionless, they're just bringing new depth to the concept of repression. No wonder fandom loves them so much.)

The One That Makes Me Think We Should Institute a Program of Mandatory Homosexuality for Los Angeles Police Officers. Apparently It Makes Them Eaiser to Deal with, and God Knows That Would Be a Very Welcome Change. Son Is on a Midnight Run Like DeNiro, by [livejournal.com profile] hackthis. Southland, John Cooper/Ben Sherman.

(First, an important note. When I rule the universe, there will be a 25 year moratorium on naming fictional characters John or Jack, and anyone who tries to use either name will have his character named by me, instead, and I can tell you right now that the first one is going to be Gervase. I have had it with this. There are baby name books for a reason, television writers! How hard is it to find a name that doesn't already belong to a major character in every other time slot? Not hard at all. Just pick something that isn't John or Jack. Seriously: Evil Overlord TFV forbids fictional Johns and Jacks. Unless your main character is a girl, and then you can name her John J. Jackson III if you want to.)

Okay. I really needed to say that. But, aside from the John Issue (NO MORE JOHNS EVER I MEAN IT OR IT'S THE SALAD MINES FOR YOU), I kind of love this canon. I mean, I have no idea what it is - the lovely [livejournal.com profile] qe2 told me that it's about a canonically gay cop in LA, but that's where my knowledge ends. He could be a canonically gay robot cop in a post-apocalyptic LA populated mostly by centaurs and monkeys, for all I know.

Although in that case, this would be an AU. Because one of the many things I love about this story is - okay. I live in Los Angeles. And this is Los Angeles. I can picture these places! I have driven down that street! I would kill Ben Sherman and eat his corpse to own his house! (No, not really, but I can find you a thousand people who would.) I have no idea if [livejournal.com profile] hackthis lives here or if she does really awesome research (I suspect the latter, mostly because I have long suspected that she lives in a secret space habitat orbiting the earth, where she creates superplants and bends them to her will), but either way: oh my god, this is SO Los Angeles. And I love it.

And I love these characters even more. (Yes, even though one of them is named John. I am prepared to forgive even that. This time. Next time, though, it is Gervase for sure.) This is a classic slash epic, involving a main character who is broken (but getting better) and grouchy (but well-meaning) and hot totally despite himself, and I love that.

And I also love, let me add, that the younger, inexperienced partner here is totally the sexual aggressor, and does none of that virginal squeaking that we sometimes see. He's all: yes, I want to do this, now let's get some cocks in play, sir. I deeply, deeply love that. I can't tell you how much.

The One That Will, for the Next Ten Years or So, Make You Snicker Helplessly Anytime Anyone Suggests Purchasing a Shag Rug. And Then Argue That Sex Toys Should Not Come out of the House Maintenance Budget. Hi, I'm Captain Jack Harkness, by [livejournal.com profile] frostfire_17. Star Wars x Torchwood, Chewbacca/Jack Harkness.

I am going to sit back for a bit and let that pairing sink in. Now, after it has sunk in but before you run away screaming, I'm going to share with you my own thought process when I saw this:

Me: I, um. Wookiee [and why does my spellchecker know Chewbacca but not Wookiee?]/human sex? Um. I really don't think...
Me: But it's Frostfire, though. She can make me like any pairing. I mean, okay, she's never challenged my limits this much, but...
Me: And if anyone was going to do it, it'd be Captain Jack Harkness.
Me: Oh, who am I kidding? I'm going to read this.

And I did. And I was very, very glad I did. I mean, it would be worth reading just for the introduction, with its slightly frantic explanation of how she came to write this (and, even though she posted it for Kink Bingo, Kink Bingo is not to blame; she just sat down one day and decided to write this of her own free will, and I really had not believed I could love her more, but that did it), but it gets even better than that. It's Jack! And Chewbacca! And Jack so totally would do Chewbacca, and I can't even blame him (although the thought of all that hair touching me makes me want to claw my own skin off, but Jack does not have my issues, or, at this point in his canon, any actual issues that I can tell). And I totally have to congratulate Jack for having the good sense to pick out the best sentient being in the room.

But most of all, I love this story because it made me realize that Jack Harkness isn't kinky. Kinky, to me, requires that you have an unusual focus on one - or several - areas of sexual interest. (Fur! Bondage! Opera glasses and bouffant hairdos! Whatever.) Jack has no special focus whatsoever - he's equally interested in all fields of sexual endeavor. His preference is, basically, any way you want it. Which means that to me Jack Harkness is the definition of vanilla. Obviously I need to work on my terms a bit.

The One That Teaches Us That If You're Going to Do a Spurious Magical Ritual, You Should Do It Outside. Preferably While Armed with Electric Cattleprods, Just in Case. Accidents Will Happen, by [personal profile] holli. Supernatural, gen.

Oh, adolescence. A time of rebellion! A time of unfortunate fashion choices! A time when you accidentally bring the dead back to life in your parents' basement!

Okay, maybe that didn't happen to you. It didn't happen to me, either. But I did once spend four extremely boring hours listening to the angst of a guy who was absolutely convinced he was possessed by a ghost. I had mono, and I was in no mood, and I ended up faking an exorcism just to get him to shut up and let me sleep. (Seriously: I took my middle school Latin - yes, I did say "amo, amas, amat" at one point, so thank you for that, Mrs. Scher - and some candles and some assorted cooking herbs and spices and unpossessed him. And the lesson here is: don't get between a sick person and her bed.) If I'd been living in the world of Supernatural, probably I would have ended up desouling him or something.

I just love this story, and I love these characters - I think I used to know them, in fact - and most of all I love the perspective this provides on the Supernatural universe. Because, sure, there are badass demon hunters with magical guns and magical cocks (I may be wrong about the magical guns, but I can cite several million stories on the magical cocks thing), but there must also be lots of suburban girls with random superpowers. (Also, I bet fire insurance is a bitch to get in the SPN world. And every year good actuaries probably go mad, tearing at their hair and shrieking, "But my predictions should have been correct!")

And let me finish this with a helpful hint for any teenagers reading this: if you accidentally summon a big unconscious naked guy, for the love of god lock him up and call someone. Do not talk to him. Do not get him a blanket. Do not look directly at him unless you're absolutely sure he's out cold. That kind of situation is the definition of something you want to be someone else's problem.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I have been patiently plugging away on my Sweet Charity recommendations set, which happens to feature unhappy endings, so I've also been spending a lot of time - really a lot of time - watching vids that make me happy. And I figured, hey, why not put together a set of those, too? You guys may need the antidote after the unhappy endings set comes out.

And while we're talking about unhappy endings: Best Beloved and I planned to buy life insurance a year ago. And we, um, didn't, largely because it's hideously intimidating. But we've finally accepted that we have to, whether we would rather just have oral surgery or not, and we've also finally realized that possibly there is a person out there who actually knows about life insurance, who can provide us with advice that doesn't come coated in a layer of ooze. (Why YES, we are in fact afraid of life insurance salesmen. Does it show?) So: life insurance advice, anyone?

The One with the Deeply Symbolic Model Spaceship. No, Really. DEEPLY SYMBOLIC. Don't Stop Believing, by [livejournal.com profile] arefadedaway. Star Trek.

I love it when a new fandom hits big, because then you get vids like this. I'm sure there's an official term for them that I don't know, but I think of them as zeitgeist vids, and they are fun. They're like all the enthusiasm and sudden-onset glee - that same first flush of fannish love that keeps people up all night reading stories they know will be terrible because they just Need More Spock, or whoever - rendered in vid form.

Zeitgeist vids pretty much always get me into a fandom. I am helpless in their grasp. I, of course, have not seen this source - the last movie I saw in theaters was Iron Man, and probably the next one will be Star Trek 11 - but it doesn't matter. I am prepared to buy what this vid is selling. Kirk! Just a city boy! Spock! A small town girl! They take a midnight train going anywhere! See, I am already giddy with love and joy and fannish enthusiasm.

It used to be that my OTPs were set in stone by the first five stories I read in a fandom; these days, it's the vids I see before I read even one story, more often than not. And by the end of this vid, and the other - um, what are the official initials for this fandom? It's so new I haven't seen a consensus yet! - anyway, after this and the other zeitgeist vids in whatever fandom this happens to be, I am prepared to ship Kirk/Spock. Unless someone can point me to a seriously bouncy Spock/Uhura or Kirk/McCoy or whatever vid. (And let me tell you how proud I am of knowing those names: SO PROUD, because one of the downsides of zeitgeist vids is that they often leave me saying, "I love you! Whoever you are! You are shiny and awesome, and, wow, I guess I'd better hit the IMDb.")

The One with the Cleanest Medieval Peasant Village I Ever Did See. Beverly Hills, by [livejournal.com profile] giandujakiss. Merlin.

It's the old, old story: a small town girl, living in a lonely world - no, wait. Wrong vid. This old, old story is about a small town boy who goes to the Big Shiny and uses magic, often totally inappropriately, and saves the world from time to time, and spends most of the rest of his time falling in love. This is a deeply classic narrative - I dare you say otherwise, given the enormous body of Harry Potter fan fiction I can bring to support my case - and I love it.

And so I love this vid. It was one of the very first Merlin vids I saw, and it made me love the fandom. (Why, yes, I am a sucker for vids. It is not my fault; I blame - I don't know. [personal profile] laurashapiro, actually. She encouraged me.) I deeply approve of young-man-big-city narratives, particularly when the big city has turrets. And, yes, I am in fact talking about Arthur, there, because you can't tell me he doesn't spend a lot of time admiring his turrets, and you also can't tell me Merlin isn't secretly doing the same.

This vid takes fabulous advantage of Merlin's ability to look gormless while simultaneously profoundly judging those around him. I admire it greatly. And the opening makes me smile every single time.

The One That Conveys the Fundamental Joy of Being Able to Stop Time and Teleport, Which Is a Thing You Would Think People Would Just Know, but It's Amazing How Often They Act Like It's a Big Burden. Sawatte Kawatte, by [personal profile] laurashapiro. Heroes.

I think of this as the Happy Heroes Vid. No, really. Every Heroes vid I download seems to consist of a) people getting their brains eaten and then lying around dead with no skull on or b) a girl killing herself (or sometimes just mutilating herself) horribly and bloodily. Sometimes it's both. In the vids, if you don't know the fandom, it looks like Heroes is largely about people using their superpowers to cause tons of bloodshed and draw comic books, and the thing is, you don't need superpowers to do those things. Humans manage that just fine without any special abilities at all! A knife and a pen and you're all set!

Which is why I love the characters in this vid, and am sad that in so many vids they are Sirs Not Appearing in This Vid. The one guy has superpowers and actually does things with them, and I mean things that don't in any way involve anyone bleeding and/or dying horribly. (Okay, he does seem to have a sword, but I bet he doesn't go around lopping people's heads off and having their brains out like some mutant zombie Highlander.) He saves people! He does neat tricks! He has fun! It's like he actually understands what superpowers are for. I cannot help but feel, watching this vid, that the main character of it watched the SF movies and read the comic books, and all the other people in the show grew up on an unadulterated diet of horror.

So I like that. It's a Heroes vid that makes me happy. And even more happy-making is the sheer joy of these two guys together. They are two sides of the same coin, to quote almost every other fandom in this set. They neeeeeeed each other. And when they hug, my heart turns handsprings. It is that simple.

The One Featuring the Most Fabulous Group of People You'd Shoot in Preference to Spending Any Time with Them. I'll Be There for You, by [livejournal.com profile] dualbunny. Black Books.

I will be perfectly honest: I have no idea if this vid will work for you if you haven't seen an episode of Black Books. (I myself have seen the first one, which puts me in an unusual and, frankly, uncomfortable place of Actual Canon Knowledge.) But give it a try anyway, and if it doesn't make you giggle, watch the first episode of Black Books and then come back. It's worth it.

See, okay. First, this song. It's - now, it's not like I don't like it, but it's a bit goopy, you know? Whenever I hear it, I visualize a lot of hugging. It is obviously talking about the kind relationship wherein party A automatically has tissues before party B has even started to cry. (And they watch the same sad movie almost every Friday night, so that's not such a huge surprise.) I admire that kind of relationship! I do! Just, you can only take so much of hugging and thoughtfulness.

Which is why I find that song used for these people to be awesome, because they're the kind of friends who, if they settled down to watch a tearjerker movie after one of them had had a big breakup, would end up accidentally setting the crying person on fire. And then Bernard would light a cigarette from the flames.

And, actually, I think that comes through very clearly in this vid whether you know the source or not, so I've changed my mind: I do recommend it for the source-unfamiliar. Just keep in mind that there are three main characters in the show: Bastard, Hapless, and In Any Other Group, She'd Be the Crazy Girl, but in This One, She's the Voice of Reason. And enjoy.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The sad part is, I'm still not done. But this is part three of the Insane Vid Recs Project (no, I did not pick January for this just because of all the Insane January Vidding Projects going around; it's just a happy, crazy coincidence). Feel free to truck on back to parts two and one. You will particularly want to read the explanation of why you should not be taking my vid advice, which is back in the first one. (Short answer: I have no idea what I'm talking about. But I'm enthusiastic. Which unfortunately doesn't really make up for my total lack of any kind of, you know, actual vidding knowledge.)

Before we begin, though, another community rec. You (and, yes, I do mean you specifically) should check out [livejournal.com profile] vidder_weekly, a new all-fandoms vidding newsletter that seems to be working like a combination of the standard fandom newsletter - all the vids your bandwidth can handle! - and [livejournal.com profile] metafandom, but with just vidding meta. (Yes, there is vidding meta, and the skilled LJer with pretty much infinite time and a mouse finger made of steel and coiled springs can find it on her own. For the rest of us, though, it's nice to have the summary.)

Lord of the Rings


The Vid I Love Even Though the First Time I Watched It I Managed to Screw up So Badly That the Audio and Video Tracks Weren't Synched. I Could Still Tell It Was Good - Seriously, That's How Good It Is. But I Really Loved It After I Fixed My Little Configuration Issue, Let Me Tell You. Desperation Song, by Wolfling, aka [livejournal.com profile] wolfling, and Magpie, aka [livejournal.com profile] mogigraphia.

Availability: All the time; scroll down until you see it. Also, that thing about emailing Wolfling for the better-quality version of the vid? Do that. The bigger one is gorgeous and wonderful and just so, so much better. Definitely worth the time to drop Wolfling a line. (There's no qualifying test or anything, either; she just emails you the link. I feared some kind of, I don't know, trivia question, or maybe a close examination on the condition of my soul. But, no, turns out not. Which, given my soul, is just as well.)

Sometimes I watch vids and think, "Oh, that song would work in any fandom." Sometimes I think, "Um, vidder? Why did you pick this song for this fandom?" (This is actually a fairly frequent occurrence in LotR vids; I tend to think of this as the Fandom of Inappropriate Song Choices.) But sometimes my thoughts are more along the lines of, "Oh my god so perfect." This is one of those cases; this vid inextricably welded Desperation Song to Lord of the Rings in my mind. (To the point where I have to make a serious mental adjustment when someone uses it in another fandom. I always spend the first thirty seconds going, "But, but, but! Where's Gandalf?") It's just - well, not to belabor a word or anything, but - perfect. If you're not familiar with the song, just consider the title alone. Desperation is pretty much the key note of the entire trilogy - well, that and friendship. (I know. I know. But we're just ignoring the slash for the moment. I realize this is a revolutionary concept coming from me, so feel free to take a moment to wrap your mind around it.) The strength of the trilogy really is the relationships between the characters, and that's what this is about. Plus, you know, havoc, destruction, swords, and rings. Which is also a big part of the trilogy. Look, this is pathetic; I'm on the verge of saying "general-interest vid," which is the lamest term ever, because I can't think of another way to say "like the movies, only shorter." Just - go. Watch. And I'll stay here and contemplate my inadequate vocabulary.

The Vid That Gives Me Extremely Unfortunate AU Ideas. I Mean, Ideas Even Worse Than the One Where Sheppard Is Aragorn and McKay Is Gandalf and Ford Is Frodo and There Is No Sex of Any Kind. I Alone, by Jenn Miller, aka [livejournal.com profile] zeromuchjenn.

Availability: All the time.

I have a confession. I love the One Ring. I mean, yes, I know it has, like, a seriously evil, soul-sucking, menacing menace of Menaceville thing going on, but that is why I love it. So small! So pretty! So round and helpless! Except for the way it is totally, totally not. It rises above its handicaps to achieve serious fucking scariness. You have to admire that. Or I do. (My unfortunate AU idea involves re-writing LotR as a tragedy: the plucky little ring overcoming long odds as it desperately works its way back to its one true love, only to have defeat snatched from the jaws of victory by various people who are either much too dirty or much too pretty to be at all trustworthy.) So I have a special folder of vids that pay tribute to the almighty One Ring (we will not at this time discuss the other folder, the one with Ring pairing vids, because really my Ring fixation is already shameful enough), and this is, I think, my favorite. I mean, seriously: who could hear the words "I alone love you, I alone tempt you, fear is not the end of this" and not think One Ring? Okay, possibly the songwriter had something else in mind. But I can't see what. It is the Ring! To the life! And its unhealthy relationships with a wide variety of people! Go watch. And admire the One Ring That Could.

The Vid That Starts with Elvish Titles. It Is the Coolest Thing Ever, and, Um. Did I Just Make My Total Pathetic Geekhood Irrevocably Obvious There? Disappearing Man, by Melina, aka [livejournal.com profile] melina123, and Jo, aka [livejournal.com profile] feochadn. (Sorry, Jo!)

Availability: All the time - scroll down to the LotR section. And if you're going to download all the vids in this post, which I obviously recommend, then keep this page open.

Melina makes gorgeous Lord of the Rings vids. I don't want to devolve into third-rate movie reviewer language here, but, seriously, lyrical is one of the few words I can think of that really describes them. She has a wonderful way of matching movement to music, and of making seamless clips and edits - I can't describe it (well, obviously), and I sure don't know what she's doing, but her vids give me a palpable sensation of being moved through a story the same way I am when read: I don't notice my eyes moving, I don't notice the physical progression, but the movement is there, and the story just flows along with it. For someone as non-visual as I am, that is a rare and wonderful thing. And although I adore every one of her vids and fully intend to rec them all (if you're going to be downloading them now, let me warn you that I cannot even stand to watch "When I Go" right now, because it is somehow even sadder than the Boromir portions of the actual movies), I think this one may be my favorite of hers. I love the way it focuses on just one piece of the trilogy; it's the story of Aragorn, Arwen, Eowyn, and Faramir, and somehow it's a much more moving, coherent tale when it's presented on its own like this. The vid acts as, like, a magnifying glass, turning these three romance arcs into one complete, full story. And in that, Melina does one better than either Tolkien or Peter Jackson, and I love her for it.

(Side note: does anyone have a copy of this song? It's Disappearing Man, by Dave Carter and Tracey Grammer. Please?) Got it, thanks!

Highlander


The Vid That Probably Makes Best Beloved Somewhat Nervous These Days. Don't Mind Me, by Killa, aka [livejournal.com profile] killabeez.

Availability: All the time. Scroll down to the Highlander section. And don't close the page yet. We're not finished.

Killa has a gift, and she uses it for evil. Specifically, she uses it for bending people to her every whim. I just - seriously. Watch her vids and you will develop an interest in her fandoms totally against your will. All her Highlander vids are excellent, but this one is a special favorite of mine, because it is the archetypal slash vid. This - this is how vidders force us to switch our stance on a given pairing from "really, really not interested" to "OTP of great and lasting permanentness, and death to she who violates it in any way." Although, in all honesty, I should warn you that I am perhaps not 100% normal on these things, because, okay, see. I was discussing with Best Beloved which HL vid I'd be recommending, and we had the following conversation:

Me: Oh, Don't Mind Me! That's such a fabulous vid! And it has the best clipping and song lyric choice ever for my favorite Methos/Duncan slashy moment. [Note: Going, um. Solely on vids, of course. There may be better slash moments in the actual canon.]
BB: Oh, the thing where Methos looks like he's going to come from having Duncan's [hee!] sword at his throat?
Me: That's a great moment, but no.
BB: The nose-painting thing? Is that in there?
Me: Partly, and no. Although, again, fine and excellent bit.
BB, making a face of thoughtfulness: One of the [nine million] times Methos obviously checks Duncan out? [Best Beloved is not kidding, here. There are many, many shots in which Methos might just as well be saying, "Oh, to hell with this whole swordfighting thing. Let's spend the rest of eternity fucking. Starting right now, you big lug, you." Often there is a pause in the middle while he inspects something roughly at the level of Duncan's waist. His sword, probably.]
Me, in a tone of voice that may have been, in retrospect, perhaps just the teeniest bit too sincere: No! It's the scene where Methos shoots Duncan.
BB: *surprised face*
Me: It's just very...see, and then he shoots him, and it's just...okay. I think it's a sign of true love.
BB: *look of transfixed horror combined with a kind of "How did I get myself hooked up with this person?" expression*
Me, muttering defiantly: I don't care. It is a wonderful and slashy scene. It is.
BB: *departs, presumably to search the house for guns*

So, you know, obviously I'm not right in the head. But I love the way Killa uses that bit in this one. I also love her other editorial choices, here. Truly, this should be required viewing for all aspiring slash vidders. And Highlander deniers. And also everyone else. (And don't miss the shooting scene, people! It's very romantic! Really!)

(Side note: I also would be delighted if anyone had a copy of this one. Don't Mind Me, by Lucy Kaplansky.) Thanks!

Star Trek


The Vid That Is So Wrong It's Right. Seriously. If You Came up with This Vid, You'd Sedate Yourself, and You Would Be Right to Do So. But Somehow It Works As Few Things Have Ever Worked. It Is One of the Great Mysteries of Vidkind. Closer, by Killa, aka [livejournal.com profile] killabeez, and T. Jonesy. Does anyone know if she has a LiveJournal or something?

Availability: All the time. As you might expect, you can find this one in the Star Trek section. And that's it for that page, so you can close it now. Although there are many other excellent vids there. For the record.

I'm hoping every single person out there has already seen this. If you have not, do not read further. Go download and watch this right now. Go. The link is up there, and you will not regret it, and do not give me any crap about how you don't like Star Trek, or you don't know Star Trek, or you can't tell a Klingon from a...whatever the other thing is. (No, really. Don't even try. I had to look up how to spell Klingon and I love this vid.) Spock's the taller, slightly slumpy one who wears too much eyeshadow, and Kirk is the shorter, yellower one, and that's all you need to know. Go on. You will enjoy this even more if you are unspoiled; I was, and I can still taste the shock and joy.

Okay. So now everyone has seen this, yes? So I am spoiling nothing when I say that this is an example of two of my favorite vid genres. First, we have the "There's no rational way that could work in this fandom, and yet somehow..." genre, which applies to everything in this vid, from song choice to concept to the sepia tone. Sepia! In science fiction! No. Except, oh my god yes. And then we have the "changing the meaning and tone of the canon completely" thing, which, again, yes. I just - I really like that, okay? I love that someone can take source that is (Am I allowed to say this? Will it instigate a riot?) a wee bit cheesy (And, look. If you are going for the pitchforks and torches right now, keep in mind that I've just seen the one episode, and it was from early in the first season, so maybe later on they got a production budget. Also, I'm entirely willing to grant that that woman's hair probably looked cooler in the 1960s. And, you know, the writing - which was basically fan fiction, minus the actual sex-orgy-angst - made it well worth the overexposure to aluminum foil.) and turn it into - well, this. I mean, Jesus Christ. Spock does things to Kirk that I am quite certain he never did in the canon, and yet I could almost swear they show it in the vid. (I know they didn't. But I still think of this vid as the one with the non-con buttsex, which shows how suggestive really effective cutting and song choice can be.)

Ocean's 11


The Vid That Makes It Very Clear That Rusty Needs Only One Thing, by Which I Mean Only One Person, and No, That Is Not Just My Personal Bias Speaking. Or It Might Be, but If It Is, Don't Tell Me. Let Me Stay in My Happy Place, Okay? Tumbling Dice, by Gwyneth, aka [livejournal.com profile] gwyn_r.

Availability: All the time. You will need to email Gwyn for a password. It's worth it, I promise. And she has many excellent vids, including one I hope to be recommending very soon, so, really, you might as well get the password now.

The thing about Ocean's 11 that is very hard to address in fan fiction is the, um, feel of the movie. I don't really know how else to describe it. (Actually, this is something that's true in lots of fandoms; the vids convey the feel of the canon better than the FF can. It's one of the many reasons why I strongly advocate vid watching for those of us who may never see the canon even though we read a lot of the FF.) And for me, Ocean's 11 feels - retro. Not, like, old-fashioned, but deliberately, intensely retro. (It could just be Rusty's shirts, which are an education in the shinier periods in the history of men's fashion, but I don't think so. It's the lighting. And, um, stuff.) And I really like it when vids acknowledge that or play with it, which is exactly what this one does, from the font of the credits through the nifty sliding-screen thingy (um, I don't know the term for it, but when the screen slides to change clips, that's what I'm talking about) to the music. (And oh my god. I just watched this vid for the nth time to find out what the music was, and it's the Rolling Stones. Thank god I checked that before I used the phrase "vaguely country, vaguely funky music," as I am pretty sure that's not an appropriate way to describe, you know, these guys. Who I have nearly forgiven for being my mother's favorite band. I'm working on it, anyway.) And this vid focuses on my own personal favorite aspect of Ocean's 11, which, um - did I need to tell anyone that that was the pairing? No. Okay. I love the way Gwyn captures just about every eyefuck and do-me-do-me-now look between Danny and Rusty and then backs them up with the music in such a way that, to me, Rusty seems to be asking Danny to roll him. And I could give you other reasons for watching this vid, but after that, do you need them? I mean, loads of retro + scads of sexual tension = Ocean's 11 to the life + very compelling reason to watch this vid. An equation of sheer sexy joy!

The Vid That Will Remind You of That One Time (Surely It Was Just the One Time, Right?) When You Took Some Moderately Illicit Chemicals. Do Not Adjust Your Monitor. It's the Vidder Who Is on Speed, Not You. Would You?, by Shalott, aka [livejournal.com profile] astolat.

Availability: All the time. Scroll on down.

Okay, let's get the disclaimer portion of this out of the first, shall we? See, I have, um, beliefs about Ocean's 11. The movie, I mean. Like, to me the whole caper seems basically like Danny's sorry-gift to Rusty. Sort of like flowers, except instead it's the vault of three casinos. And because of the way this vid starts out and the song it uses, I tend to see it as supporting my point of view. Extensively. But I am not, you know, totally biased; I can also see the vid Shalott actually did make in here. It's a general interest vid! (Yes, my vocabulary is still inadequate. Someone want to give me a Vidding Word a Day desk calendar?) And shiny! And it uses a song that is just perfectly suited to the source, what with the retro and sort of, um, brassy sound. (Seriously. I need that calendar.) And also there's the whacked-out thing with speed (not the drug, the, um, passage of time thing) that Shalott did. I mean, who makes a vid where most of the shots are speeded way, way up? Well, Shalott, apparently. And it works; this is another one that feels just like the movie. The pacing matches, somehow. That's pretty much what Ocean's 11 was - a lot of shiny stuff going by really really fast so that no one would, um, think about it too closely, and then everything slowing way, way down when two people looked at each other. (Like, for example, Danny and Rusty. Not that it was only them! No! I understand that it was everyone, that the glory of a movie like this isn't the plot but the people and how they work and play together. All the people. Not just, you know, two guys who happened to have enough sexual chemistry that they required their own OSHA regulations.) So this is one of those vidding concepts that would never work on paper but that works wonderfully in practice. You want this vid. Almost as much as Danny and Rusty want each other.

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