A paradox

Jan. 22nd, 2012 12:36 am
hmpf: (Default)
A lot of music seems to be made by truly weird people, people who don't seem like they would fit in easily anywhere - yet their music, if successful, typically ends up getting embraced by a "cooler than thou" kind of audience.

How does that happen?

Or maybe this is a misperception - and perhaps even doubly so, as neither the first part nor the second part of it may be in accordance with reality. The artists may be less strange, and the audience less conformist, than they appear/have appeared to me.

This may be an artifact of my particular history - loving music, yet always feeling like it was "inappropriate" for me to care about it because music - the music I cared about anyway - really "belonged" to "cooler" people (and I didn't even *want* to be cool like that, it struck me as silly - I wanted to be allowed to love the music, but I did not want to be part of the in-group that it belonged to).

As a science fiction fan (though I didn't consciously identify as one yet at the time I'm talking about here) I'm struck by how different these two subcultures are, or seem to me. Science fiction (etc.) fan culture, though often fiercely cliqueish in parts, generally seems more about accepting people into the fold (hence the "geek social fallacy"), whereas music-based fan cultures have always appeared to me more about establishing a sharply defined in-group and *keeping other people out*. Where in sf fan cultures it mostly seemed enough to love the same things as other fen, with music fans it always seemed to me as if loving the music was insufficient; in fact, loving the music could be socially inappropriate if you didn't also wear the right clothes, listen to *all* the right bands (and none of the 'wrong' ones), have the right kind of hairstyle, etc.



Nov. 22nd, 2010 01:13 am
hmpf: (Default)
Oh, how I've missed you.

I have to take care not to re-immerse myself too quickly, I think. I need to remain functional for the sake of the job hunt and stuff. Can't completely drown myself in endorphins now. Tempting as that is. (Oh, so tempting.)
hmpf: (fanatic)
My project of reccing - mostly older - FS vids is confronting me with the conundrum of how to handle vids I love but which aren't available online anymore (and in some cases were deliberately removed by their makers because, for whatever reason, they didn't feel comfortable with sharing them anymore). I'd like many people to weigh in, so here's a link:

hmpf: (Default)
I have to say I'm impressed - both with the improvement AO3 seems to be over most other archive formats I'm familiar with, and with the ease of importing my LJ including, well, very nearly everything except for PMs apparently, to DW.

Can I re-import my LJ at a later date, btw? Because, for the time being, I'd like my main journal to remain here on LJ (because imports don't work the other way around) but I'd also like to keep a more or less up-to-date backup on DW. And since there is no automatic crossposting from here to DW, it seems the only way to do that would be to re-import my LJ to DW periodically...

I love the tags options on AO3. I'm the type of reader who often looks for something fairly exotic, so the most common genre classifications etc. often don't really work for me. I'm not really looking for slash, or het, or even gen; despite my angst icons, even angst doesn't really describe my preferences that well. I like subsets of fics that often cut across those categories. But if people really take to the tagging system, there's a real chance that I may eventually be able to find stuff that fits my preferences via tags. Yay! Love the tags, people - use them! Make life easier for people like me. ;-)

I also love the bookmark option, and the comments function. They obviously tried to create an archive with the added benefits of the most fannishly useful features of LJ and del.icio.us....

How well-accepted is AO3? Remember, I've been out of the loop...
hmpf: (Default)
Considering the news of the possible beginning of the end of the world as we know it I posted earlier (disclaimer: no, I do *not* think that we are irrevocably and without a doubt doomed. I think there is a very real *possibility* that we are doomed, or about to be doomed, and awareness of that possibility should cause us to act radically, NOW. This is *not* the same thing as believing all is already lost.) - well, considering those news, which apparently broke on September 23, it is eerily fitting that September 23 was also this year's Earth Overshoot Day.

Two big warning shots on the same day.

How do we go about changing society from the ground up, in less than half a decade?

Addendum: 'nother article about the methane thing here.

Addendum 2: Funny thing: although I really do believe we may be facing something damn near apocalyptic within the next few decades, I still care about fandom, and fanfic, and writing. Isn't that ridiculous?
hmpf: (Default)
I think this may be the greatest number of CDs I've acquired in so short a time in... well, ever, I think. I've never bought much music (although I *like* music), and in the last few years I stopped nearly completely - because it was expensive; because I was cut off from interesting new music; etc. So, (for the record), this may be a record for me:

August (birthday presents):

Ghostwriters: Political Animal
New Order: Get Ready
Suzanne Vega: (self-titled)


Gazpacho: Firebird
Seven Reizh: Samsara
Regina Spektor: Soviet Kitsch
The Decemberists: Castaways and Cutouts
Nine Inch Nails: The Fragile

October (planned purchases):

Phideaux: Fiendish & 313

Nearly all of these were discovered through fandom - either as recs by fannish friends, or via fanvids...

Addendum: Anyone (morbidly?) curious about my taste in music, check out the links to the left of the main page of my LJ - there's a link to my LastFM profile there. My account there is fairly recent, so it doesn't represent my taste perfectly yet, but you should be able to get a vague idea. (Female singer-songwriters are a bit over-represented at the moment - for many of these, I basically love one of their albums but not necessarily their entire output. Same goes for a few other people/bands listed.)

Feel free to rec me stuff I should give a try!
hmpf: (yay animated)
But a very short trip into fandom territory today proved to me that I need to stay away from it: it gets me too excited, too distracted, too fucking inspired.

Can't. Write. Fic. Now.

Need to focus on thesis.


(Would you believe that going into fandom territory after an extended absence gives me actual butterflies in the stomach? Fandom, obviously, is my One True Love.

In keeping with that theme, I find myself unable to eat now. Too bloody excited. Yeeeeeesh.

Maybe some work will calm me down.)
hmpf: (ears of love)
I'm turning ten in fandom this year.

Being the obsessive-compulsive type that I am, I've kept records of my beginnings in fandom. A bit odd, that, because back then I was still fairly convinced it would only be a short, transitory type of madness, and not a lasting and defining feature of my life. Why did I feel a need to keep records of it, then? Guess some part of me knew better already. Read more... )
hmpf: (Default)
- Dexter: I want to read an AU fic in which... hmm, how to write about this in a non-spoilery way? ... ah yes. I want to read a fic in which Dexter follows through on what he said in 2.11 to Doakes he was considering, and what Doakes was encouraging him to do. And I want Doakes to be there, and the two of them to (continue to) develop this strange almost-but-not-quite buddy relationship. Yes. I know. Deeply AU. But I so want to read that. (Did I mention I loved Dexter and Doakes to bits in season 2? *Almost* in a slashy way, even.)

- There are cat cafés in Japan. I need to move to Japan, clearly.

- Fennel is good. I didn't know that.

- A huge percentage of press articles about comics really do have titles like "Pow! Bang! Zap! Comics [grow up/go online/aren't just for kids anymore/get Japanese competition/aren't just for boys anymore/...]"

- Recent discussions about the DVD release of the latest Highlander movie on the one big HL list I'm still lurking on have demonstrated to me again that HL can be an extremely strange fandom. The fandom, including the list, was pretty unanimous in its hatred of the movie. Yet now everybody seems to be eager to buy the DVD. WTF, people? Stop buying crap that you recognise as crap, or the producers of said crap will *never* stop producing it!

I mean, I realise it's none of my business what other people do with their money. But, still. *shakes head*

- Since I mentioned cats above: Proof that the laws of nature only apply to cats in a very loose sense: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn9HgEPxO0M

- Actually tried restarting my social life, these past few days, meeting with a couple of friends and with my old jewellery making 'mentor'.

- My meeting with one of these friends showed me that I can only watch LoM series 2 in the company of extremely patient (and thoroughly spoiled) people, because I tend to rant at the screen now.

- I'm sick as a dog.
hmpf: (meta)
I found this:


I just love it. Here "wächst zusammen, was zusammengehört" :D - "old" fandom and "new" fandom, united in wank. I'm awed that the wank isn't dead yet, despite being sixty years old. Not surprised, mind you - I've been to enough "traditional" cons, and read enough fan history, to have been disabused of any notions that that kind of fandom was inherently more peaceful or what have you! *g*

What I love particularly about this, though, is that it got posted to fandom_wank in the first place. It sort of confirms the impression I've been getting over the last few years that the barriers (which have never been entirely impermeable, of course) between these two "kinds" of fandom are becoming more and more permeable. I think I first began to notice this in DW fandom, with its split between "classic Who" and "new Who" fen. At some of the "interfaces" between the two groups, people inevitably began to mingle and communicate.

Of course, even "old school" DW fandom isn't exactly identical with traditional SF fandom; there's another old, old split here between the "literary" fen and those who got into fandom via "media" fandoms... and that's still in effect, I think. But the awareness seems to be growing that we have things in common; that, in fact, we may have sprung from the same tradition.

There also seems to be a greater convergence between these two kinds of fandom and comics fandom lately, and there seems to be a great increase of media fen, and female media fen especially, branching out into comics. Multifannishness is becoming ever more inclusive (or so it seems to me, here on the sidelines.)

I think Livejournal is an important factor in this development - perhaps *the* most important factor. I remember that a few years ago most of the fannish users of LJ seemed to be fanfic-oriented media fen. But this really seems to have changed - nowadays, a lot of people who are affiliated more with "traditional" SF fandom are on LJ, too, and - even more recently, it seems to me - comics fandom has arrived here, too. And suddenly everybody gets to see everybody else's multifannish associations, and things just... open up...
hmpf: (meta)
fandom seems to have moved to livejournal almost completely, even for those things that aren't necessarily best served by LJ. In fact, very little except the pure socialising part of fandom - which is, of course, an important part, no contest about that! - is *really* best served by LJ. Forums are better suited for discussion, since they allow discussions to stay in the public eye, and thus stay *active* longer, whereas on LJ a discussion will drop off people's friends page pretty quickly, turning discussions into quick, transitory, blink-and-you'll-miss-them things. (Sure, those people who noticed and joined the discussion when it popped up on their friends page often keep at it for days - but on a forum, a new contributor might discover it months after it started, and bring it back to the top by posting to it, and *everyone who contributed until then would notice*, and the discussion would be revitalised. A good LJ discussion goes on for days; a good forum discussion can go on for months.) And archives are much more suited for presenting fan-made content, esp. fanfic, because they don't require the potential reader to first learn about the individual LJs of three or four dozen writers and then search those LJs for fic; also, archives usually allow searching for different categories of fic, *and* they keep stuff accessible. Etc.

But, my general reservations about fandom's near-complete move to LJ (and f-locked LJs, for that matter) aside, my issue here is mainly with fanfic. I find the posting of fic to LJ and *only* to LJ, as seems increasinbly the practice in fandom, a bit antisocial, to be honest. (After turning into one of the official naysayers of Life On Mars fandom, I am now working on discrediting myself in fandom at large... ;-)) And I don't *understand* the attitude behind it, either. I mean, *why* would people not want their fic to find the widest possible readership? And how can they not care if it will still be easily accessible to new readers in a year or two?

The cynical part of me can't help wondering if there's a tendency to move away from fandom as a community and treat it as merely a tool for instant, personal gratification. I.e. as soon as you've posted a fic to your LJ and received an amount of feedback for that fic, you move on to the next fic for which you will get feedback in turn, and old fics become uninteresting simply because they don't generate large amounts of feedback anymore - so why bother keeping them easily accessible? That readers who come into the fandom later might still want read those older fics just doesn't matter, because the gratification to the writer is negligible, and the reader's gratification simply doesn't figure into the equation.

As I said, it's the cynical part of me that came up with that explanation.

Well, no matter what the reasons, it seems to me that the decentralised, dispersed nature of fandom on LJ is a good way to make sure that, instead of amassing a wonderful, huge collective treasure of fanworks for 'later generations' of fen to discover and enjoy, most of our work will simply disappear into obscurity and relative 'un-findability' fairly soon after it's posted.

Am I the only one who finds that perspective a bit sad?

(Also, I dislike the tendency for fandom to happen in a - however slightly extended - big 'NOW' for the personal reason of often being stressed out of my mind. The fact that fandom - discussions, fics, everything - seems to happen so quickly now, and requires you to constantly stay on top of things because you'll never be able to *find* the good stuff again if you don't notice it immediately when it's posted is a considerable additional stress factor. Which is sad, because I'd much rather 'do' fandom at my leisure, and I'm a naturally slow person. So, instead of 'doing' fandom at my own pace, I tend to go into hyperactive fannish phases when I manage to keep up with things for a few months, and then drop out of everything completely for months in turn. Needless to say, that way I hardly know what's happening anymore, and miss most of the good fic, debate etc.)

I've been out of the meta game for ages, so I don't know if this has been discussed on [livejournal.com profile] metafandom, recently or at all. If anyone remembers related discussions and can point me there, that would be much appreciated. I'm mostly interested in the question of why people aren't interested in keeping stuff accessible, because that is something I really, truly do not 'get'. So, if anyone can explain that mindset to me... I'm really curious about it.


May. 9th, 2007 05:05 pm
hmpf: (meta)
I just discovered that if I mentally redefine reading [livejournal.com profile] metafandom as 'possible preparation for my thesis' instead of 'fandom time' I can get away with reading it guilt-free! *g* It's certainly often more enlightening than the average uni seminar...

(One of my recent posts was linked there, which caused me to start to try and catch up with stuff. I've been out of the loop for nearly a year. And, considering that writing my thesis about something fandom-related *is* a real possibility at the moment, it really *is* a good idea to catch up with some recent fannish meta discussion.)
hmpf: (ears of love)
When cleaning up my old notes and paperwork recently, I found several abandoned drafts for - sadly unfinished - meta posts. I don't really have the time to clean them up and make them presentable (or add substance to the 'thinner' ones), but I also don't quite feel like simply throwing them away. So, maybe, I'll be posting a few of them here. Or at least I'll be posting one today. It's a - fairly unspectacular, really - bit of Methos meta, but I think it may actually be of some interest for Life on Mars fandom, too, as it deals with canon inconsistencies/insufficiencies and fannish reactions to those. Essentially, it's a bit like the 'canon vs. fanon' situation we have in LoM now, only that in LoM we're still struggling with declaring our mental independence from canon. HL fandom has a lot more practice in that department, as large parts of HL canon have sucked, or at least been severely disappointing, throughout the history of the franchise, and the fandom has been feverishly 'fixing' things for more than fifteen years now... (There's a difference, though, in the fact that the *majority* of HL fandom sees a need to fix things, whereas in LoM fandom only a very small minority feels that way.)

Anyway, this particular bit of meta is not really about the fixing of HL canon in general, but about one character who, arguably, is so very fascinating to fans because he was probably not planned but rather improvised by the writers, which shows in his characterisation... i.e., our fascination, and the fanon versions of his character that we love, are *based* heavily on the fact that *the source text is flawed*.

Here goes the old, abandoned Methos meta. )

ETA: This really hardly even deserves the title 'draft'. It needs fleshing out, it needs structure, it needs lots of things... but I don't have the time.

ETA2: I think the point I was trying to make was that, no matter *how* we interpret him, a certain degree of 'fixing things' is always involved in developing a fannish relationship with Methos.

Gah. My brain is completely fried today. I need to think more about the parallels and differences here - because there *are* differences between the LoM and the HL situation, though I can't quite put my finger on them yet.

You know...

Feb. 2nd, 2006 09:13 pm
hmpf: (sexy)
I remember why I sorta gafiated from LJ for eighteen months in 2004/2005. It was because doing fandom on LJ tends to eat up *all* the time you have. As in, "What, it's half past four a.m. already? Arrrgh, I meant to do some university work today!!!"

(My life being taken over by writing doesn't help much, either.)

In other news: Go read Finder, folks. It's updating again.
hmpf: (Default)
Spent New Year's Eve online, chatting to [livejournal.com profile] ankae, good friend of mine (truth be told, possibly rather something like my long lost twin sister - she even shares nearly the same birthday!), much missed since she moved literally halfway around the globe about two years ago. (Two years already? Yeah, I think so.) Was glad to discover she still has *some* geek tendencies. (The issue we kind of dance around when meeting/talking again after a long time: "... say, you still a geek?" Our very own Gretchenfrage. Always afraid the other might 'grow out of it', thus proving that *we're* just stuck in some sort of eternal adolescence, after all.) Just before midnight [livejournal.com profile] nager and Anduranova also popped up online, and I chatted with all three for a while, feeling oddly connected for all the distance (present, past and future; physical and other).

It was a good New Year's Eve, strange as it may sound.

And today I found out that my oldest online contact, a lovely woman by the name of Jean who copied the Methos eps for me, way back when I had just entered Highlander fandom, died recently. I lost contact with her after a few mails and letters at the time - I was still very uncertain about the whole fandom thing, and about online life and a lot of things, and painfully shy to boot. Now I regret I didn't keep in touch. I made her a bit of jewellery in return for her tapes. Strange to imagine that it may now be owned by some relative who probably doesn't know its history.

Rest in peace, Jean. Thank you for showing me the kindness of fandom.

Much love to everyone else out there, as well. Have a good 2006. Don't die, okay?

April 2016

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