avawatson: (Default)
The first fanfic I ever read was Sailor Moon. This was back in 1996 or 1997, I was 13, 14, and 15 in those years, and fanfic came in lemon or lime flavors (I chose lemon, obviously), was downloadable in plain text files (introducing me to markups like _this_), and listed nowhere particularly central. It was difficult to find and I don't remember anything about whether it was tagged. This is likely how the two fics that stand out to me from this time got into my hands, as they were one-sided Shingo and Usagi -- a younger brother wanking to thoughts of his sister -- and infidelity trapped-in-an-elevator Rei/Mamoru sex. But the fic thing eventually died down. Cybersex and roleplay and live interactions sort of took over my interests. And eventually I took my horny middle/high school self and threw myself at real life boys instead of online sex ed and the internet variety of prurient distractions. So I promptly forgot about fic from about 8th or 9th grade until...until I was about 30, I suppose.

But I guess fanfic doesn't exactly make a fandom. When the Battlestar Galactica reboot and Lost were on, my friends and I watched that religiously: we gathered at the house with the biggest TV, made it a weekly Thing to watch and discuss. The internet was well in swing, since this was 2004 onward, but I don't know why, all the conversations I had about both shows were offline entirely. Okay, maybe I wandered into an occasional AV Club thread or something. And I wound up owning two different Lost t-shirts somehow, though I can't quite remember how that happened. I was highly invested, let's say, to the point where BSG's ending fucked me up for years. I rather wish I was kidding. I was salty for years, I'm still salty, and it ended in 2009. If that's an indication of how invested I was. And based on my level of investment, I count it as a fandom for me, although my personal experience with both didn't include much community/online interaction. Game of Thrones is very similar even now, but slightly more interconnectivity, mostly on Twitter.

But none of the above was Tumblr levels of ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* Sherlock fandom at the height of series 2 hiatus✧・゚: *✧・゚:*  investment. The thing is, I think nothing has ever been that height for me. And I think nothing will be again.

Just before I fell down the Sherlock rabbit hole in 2012, I picked up fanfic again for the first time since Sailor Moon. It was Supernatural fic, and I didn't read too much. I mainly remember one or two AUs, like Cas being a professor and Dean being a college student. Or, it might've been the other way around. The show being as long as it was (I think it was seven seasons at the time, with 24 episodes per), I often watched the show while doing other things, which was pretty easy to do with two monitors. I definitely called it popcorn TV, and that's basically what it was for me.

And then during Hurricane Sandy, I binge watched and fell in love with Doctor Who, which was in the midst of its 11th Doctor run. I started with Nine and went absolutely weak for David Tennant. I watched many a mediocre movie because of that man. And strangely, although I think I've attempted to read a DW fic here and there over the years, I honestly got into nothing, no ships, and no fic at all stands out from my attempts. I think once I tried reading Ten/Rose/Tentoo and I just wasn't into it. I just...put it down.

There's something about fandom and fannishness that pushes past the flaws in a given franchise or the quirks of the writer or the tricks of a director. Meaning, despite the flaws that I can see as a critical consumer of media, I love it anyway, and am in fact rather inexplicably...insatiable for more. Maybe the Sherlock fandom was custom-built for that, given the long hiatuses and the fic culture of producing high quality prose. 

I just haven't found anything that pushes me past that outside of Sherlock. And it feels...a little lonely. I sort of wish I could find something else, but all ventures out that I've tried have been brief, unsatisfying, or both. (Some attempts in the last couple years: Captive Prince, Rurouni Kenshin, MCU, Check Please, RPF.)

Looking back, I feel like I matured as a fic-seeking, inspired-to-write, fully fledged fan in a particular moment in time, not (apparently) to be repeated. And that if I had come into the fandom in the s3 hiatus or, god forbid, now, post-s4...I'd not spend years out of my life with this much fic, sitting with these characters in 221B, watching every movie in the lens of a johnlock AU, sparing thoughts I couldn't even really spare for this fandom. But all that also might be the case if I hadn't met my husband when I did, or any number of other Important Life Relationships.

There's something about that fannish insatiableness that's about appetite before you know you're hungry, too. It has to hit you, would-be fan, at just the right time. In an almost fateful sense, you have to be receptive to it yourself. And in that 2012-2015 period, I was. If that were to shift forward to 2015-2018, I doubt it'd be the same. What I don't know is if I'll be receptive again one day, and what will come along to fill it. Part of me can't imagine it.
avawatson: (Default)
con·cil·i·a·to·ry
kənˈsilēəˌtôrē/
adjective
  1. intended or likely to placate or pacify.
    "a conciliatory approach"
    synonyms: propitiatory, placatory, appeasing, pacifying, mollifying, peacemaking
    "a conciliatory gesture"

The year didn't get off to a good start. I personally blame the nearly 63 million people who voted for Agent Orange, because, um, have you seen the news this week? But that isn't my point just now. My point is -- the year started with a sense of loss and mourning and anxiety. Everyone rolling up their sleeves for an impending, inevitable, unavoidable fight. And not some scuff or barroom brawl. Not something brief with the sharp potential for violence, although that's always in the cards. I mean a long, intractable...Fight. Maybe the term "fight" is a bit of a misnomer, because wars are long but battles end; struggles are endless but fights are temporary. You can get yourself geared up for a fight, but a struggle...that's hard.

I promise I'm not actually here to talk politics. Not US politics anyhow. Or. Well, not presidential politics. I'm just setting the scene.

I watched Dear White People this weekend. I binged it in one sitting and it's excellent. The internet recommends it highly too. Its ensemble cast presents a rare and wonderfully nuanced look at the way that different Black people in the show respond to and live with racism. I certainly grew to love all the characters in their own ways, and I was very fond of Coco. Colandrea. She goes by Coco.

My non-Black POC take on Coco is this. Early on in the season, she seems to be ashamed of her Blackness, all too ready to ingratiate herself to upper crust white people (one of their names is Muffy for god's sakes). She seems most willing to erase, or forget, or try to forget "who she really is," you know, before you get to know her better. And then you learn how ambitious she really is, how smart, how bone tired she is of the argument with other Black people, with friends, about being woke or not woke -- because none of that matters when police will shoot you regardless. And she has firsthand experience with that in her life, so it's a painful subject that cuts deep.

She copes with the world as it is, with the energy she has toward the work she can rouse herself for. I understand that, even if my own energies are elsewhere. She's trying to chip her way into the opaque upper echelons of the world she's in with Black people and everyone else, and it's hard, if not antithetical, to do that and to protest systemic inequality at the same. Difficult to fight the same ladder you're trying to climb. Coco, who's a climber, is layered and strong and she's very different from me. I love her as a character.

But politically, I don't find myself aligned with her. On a personal, visceral level, it takes too much out of me to do that Work. To smile and to keep your facial muscles smooth when a microaggression manifests out of thin air to remind you that you are different. Even the act of bracing oneself, tensing all those muscles for the slap that never comes, it's a lot. It's a Lot. And there are days I'm less prepared for it than others. This week's been a trying one for that.

Something else that happened over the weekend: an all-male Sherlockian organization voted to let in non-males for the first time in its 77-year history. It was one of a handful (perhaps four?) of boys clubs left standing in the US. My understanding is that organizations often wait for founders to die before taking these votes, out of respect. When this particular vote happened, it was unanimous. 

Responses have varied; if you're reading this, you probably well know. Congrats! So proud! all the way to wtf guys, it's 2017, did you want a cookie? It's the responses to the latter sentiment that have, from afar, managed to wear me thin. On a thin week that only got thinner. In a thin year. And I'm not in the comment threads myself, so I'm really just rubbernecking and getting tired in my heart over internal things, things I'm seeing in my circles. I can cop to that. And so I know that some comments have been deleted for being uncivil (unclubbable?), and I know that I'm coming to it from a place of unrest to start with. But. I also know where I am on the spectrum of comments, of sentiment, and know that my feelings cross that line between jerk and non-jerk (a line I had no part in drawing). My feelings are censorable. Maybe not amongst my immediate friends, but certainly not polite amongst many who aren't.

And truth be told, I don't feel terribly civil. I don't feel congratulatory. But neither do I want to get into an argument to change hearts and minds; I'm pre-exhausted by just the thought. You can't make people like you or invite you into their club. This is a thing I've heard before, prior to this week. It's a legal argument on the one hand -- private clubs aren't subject to laws the way public organizations are. It's a social one on the other -- being loud and obnoxious won't make anyone in an ostensibly social group want to socialize with you. Or so the logic goes. So if they do something that was wholly in their power to never do, it's a net good in the world. Be happy. Be grateful.

Part of me just can't brook with it. The smile muscles don't want to move, I don't know what else to say (despite being in the middle of trying). I feel as stiff and cranky as if I'd been nicely catcalled. No, you can't make people like you, can't make people invite you, accept you, befriend you, but repentance and an apology doesn't mean mean you're entitled to smiles and forgiveness either. (Assuming there's an apology in there; to be honest, I haven't seen one in this particular context, but take that from someone who gets everything second and thirdhand.)

And here's where I really start thinking about abuse and apologies and conciliation and smiles and the line behind which I'm looking directly at Coco, who's climbing up that rope that I think looks janky as fuck. Even if it takes a long time for someone to stop doing something bad, don't shame them when they do. It only makes it more difficult for them to convince their friends of the rightness of the cause, because then they're damned if they do and they're damned if they don't.

Maybe they're just...damned? Yeah, maybe that's accurate.

I have...so very little patience for this, as it turns out. I keep thinking of abusers and forgiveness and you can't make someone like you. You also can't demand forgiveness when you've done wrong, but you do what you can to earn it. The point isn't forgiveness, the point is understanding and regret and corrective action. Doing the right thing is the right thing to do. If that's not good enough, maybe you're not being very good, whatever your reasons. Maybe you didn't know before; but then you did. And when was that, was that this week?

If you need coaxing and cookies to do good, and you can't handle apologizing if you don't get forgiven for doing bad, you need Cocos in your life to do all that Work; I don't have the energy for it. I don't have it in me to be happy about steps in the right direction. Someone out there will. Lots of someones. Cocos who have worked it all from the inside all this time, Cocos who are ambitious and smart and can't be arsed to picket and yell, who constitutionally find it better to do and react how they do, instead of reacting how I do. 

I swear we (mostly) all want the same thing, but between here and there is a gulf of frustration about method and tone and gatekeeping and every kind of policing. And me, with my meandering, ridiculous thoughts (sorry). I don't think I'm made for fighting or peacemaking. Not this week.

Also, hi. I don't really blog. I just wanted to write...something.
avawatson: (Default)
I just wanted to share the details of this project. Text below is directly from http://sakibatch.tumblr.com/post/138262936889. Any signal boosting you can do on any platform would be wonderful. <3

As many of you may know, our beloved friend and fandom artist by the name of br0-Harry passed away late last year. Br0-Harry was such an inspiration for a lot of us in the Sherlock fandom from the very beginning, blessing us with his talent of art and sharing it and the world. His wife, Verity Burns, a beautifully talented writer in the fandom, recently wrote and posted about Harry’s passing, telling their story of how they fell in love through the Sherlock fandom, which can be read here: [link]

The Three Patch Podcast @threepatchpodcast and I wanted to show our support for all Harry has done for us, from bringing us together as a family to giving us happiness on our cloudy days, so we asked Verity if there were any charities we could donate to in memory of Harry. She decided on Macmillan Cancer Support, since they did so, so much for the both of them.

The Three Patch Podcast has set up a page on JustGiving for anyone to donate. Donations through JustGiving go directly to Macmillan Cancer Support: [link]

As well as charity, I’ve decided to compile a scrapbook in memory of Harry, filled with your art, your stories, your photos, etc. to send directly to Verity. I’ll be accepting submissions physically for the scrapbook at my table at 221B Con. If you can’t attend 221BCon and wish to contribute to the project, you can send it to me at:

Sakibatch
P.O BOX #185
Highland Lakes, NJ, 07422
United States

Br0-Harry brought a lot of love into our hearts, as well as into the Sherlock fandom. Harry has gifted us with his talent and inspired us in so many different ways, and we want to give back. He will always be remembered by all of us, one way or another, in this family of a fandom.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact myself and Caroline with questions at harrytribute@gmail.com

~ Saki
avawatson: (Default)
So, I found this website, femsplain. It's a "shared experience content publisher powered by contributions from anyone female identified." It's trying to carve out a safe space for female voices, free of harassment, aiming toward community. They're currently having a kickstarter, have been promoted by a few feminist celebrities, and have been going for about 4 months now. The format is that every month, they have themes; February's is desire. People can submit proposals to contribute: articles, art, video, etc. Most of it is articles.

And. I maybe am having the very bad idea of submitting something for it. Something to do with shipping. Women shipping slash ships.

And. I might have already written a proposal for it.

It might be under the cut.
Oh god just click it already. )
I don't know if I'm submitting it. I'm probably going to think on it.
avawatson: (Default)
If you missed the Dashcon debacle, you missed a hell of a lot. That's right, I storified it for you, because I couldn't not document how insane tonight's been. And, right, I'm in procrastination mode still from writing, so. Obviously.
avawatson: (Default)
Sometimes, I have a thought and it's like a really unsatisfying orgasm: quick, not much of an afterglow, possibly punctuated with an exasperated really, brain? and a sigh.

Today's tonight's the thought I had three minutes ago involved the fact that, as much as I just wrote up two comments to [livejournal.com profile] corpsereviver2 about how I can't make myself be a true tjlc believer, I'm literally in the midst of turning LSiT's M theory meta into a podfic podmeta. Oh hey, past!me, making present!me look like an arse once again. Past!me sucks, never trust her. No, I don't know which past!me I'm talking about, the one doing the recordings or the ones making the comments.

I'll be honest, I'm more about seeing fic produced in light of the meta than seeing proof of the meta being true though.

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