I mean, aside from the title.

So, I picked up a romance novel up at the library yesterday, eagerly anticipating angsty h/c goodness (the back page summary promised me that the hero had spent years as a captive during the crusades and was therefore all tortured and angst-ridden), only to be met with dreadful writing and two literally jaw-dropping instances of WTF.

sexual assault is not romantic. Especially not when your novel sucks )

I OTP Spike/Buffy and Hank/Jan and I've read that marquesate and vashtan epic about the Russian and British special ops guys in Afghanistan about three times. I'm perfectly willing to be sold on the imaginary, non-stupid redemption-via-suffering and earning back her trust plot I wish this book had had. But alas, I got "orgasm = retroactive consent" instead. I'm going to go read Special Forces again for some nice, cathartic vengance and a fucked up relationship that's actually acknowledged as fucked up.
The identity policing! It begins!

I know people are angry, and I know that when I'm angry, for example, I don't want to listen to counter-arguments or people telling me to be reasonable or anything like that, because I can't process logical arguments or criticism when I'm in emotion-overload brain-shortcircuiting territory. On the other hand, that's also probably one of my greatest flaws as a person, so. This post. I don't want to tell people not to be angry, not to disagree, not to be disgusted and enraged by what other people are saying, but I do want to point out this:

Just because someone disagrees with the Lambda Literary Awards new rules does not automatically mean they are straight.

My thoughts on (awards for) yaoi )

Either way, the charge that only straight people oppose this change because it threatens their straight priviledge is a misleading assumption. Some straight people do oppose it, and some of them may very well do so because their privielege is threatened, but I've seen several other LGBT fans speak up in connection to this, and their/our opinion is not a monolith. Some people are every much for it and are offended or angered or irritated by the criticisms of it, and some are very much against it.

TL;DR: Think the Lambda Literary Foundation deciding that their goal is to promote LGBT authors rather than LGBT fiction in general is perfectly fine, have no problem with the new rules, but do have a problem with people declaring that people on the other side of the debate are displaying their straight priviledge if said people are, in fact, not straight. Say they're wrong all you want, but don't say they're straight or coming from a place of priviledged heterosexual entitlement if they're actually bi/lesbian/gay/genderqueer.

edit: Why did I read all the way through the discussion thread at Dear Author on this? Why? Because as annoying as "you aren't gay *enough*" or "I shall just assume you're straight because I disagree with you" is, people announcing that restricting the Lambda awards to LGBT authors only is "just like segregation" is approximately 1000x more annoying. Seriously, I'm *white* and it makes me want to punch people through the computer screen. Why isn't there a "make someone shut up and get off the internet" button on QWERTY keyboards? It could be F13, the STFU key.
Dear fandoms set in New York City (including, but not limited to, Watchmen*, Marvel, CSI: NY, Law & Order, and Real Ghostbusters):

Learn to tell the East and Hudson Rivers apart. Please. )

Baby dragon is disgusted:
Adopt one today!
Oh my God, every time I wincingly look back at the ongoing Cultural Appropriation bitchfight of doom, it gets worse. I'm not otherwise going to get involved, but here, I just couldn't help myself.

So, for those, like me, who hadn't seen or heard about Teresa Hayden's post wherein she expresses her anger over people badmouthing her husband (at least, that's what I assume she was doing from the descriptions - I haven't read any of the stuff involving him, either, but apparently he said things that offended people, refused to appologize when called on it, and then deleted his journal because people were yelling at him): Holy fuck, she calls fans of color and those who support them nithings.

In terms of offensiveness, as a former student of old English? Fuck, people, that's, well, not as horrible as the other n-word (which, please God, I hope no one's actually said), but it's pretty god-awful. Like, enough that I was reduced to staring at my computer screen in horror.

She has basically stated that all the people who disagree with her husband (including but not limited to, fans of color) are hateful, malicious, deformed, insane, sexually deviant, possibly cannablistic, sub-human or less-than human things. Because that's what that word means. It means monster. It means Not-a-Person. It means Grendal in Beowulf, the Ring-Wraiths in LotR, the in-bred, cannabalistic degenerate monsters in Lovecraft's "The Lurking Fear."

That's what she's saying fans of color are. Maybe she doesn't really know what the word means and implies, but even if she just thinks it's an old spelling of "nothing" that would be offensive all on it's own.

And to think I used to respect her so much...

ETA: Apparently, there are differences between the Old Norse and Old English definitions, with the Norse one being a far worse insult and the Anglo-Saxon version being a little less on the digusting monster side and more on the outlaw side (see the discussion of several people with more expert knowledge than me in comments). Both versions are still insults, though.
I delayed a long time before posting this, because it had its genesis as a shipper-war rant (and my HP-trained instincts to start shipper wars-to-the-knife over my OTPs do not need encouragement), but recent events in my fandom have reminded me all over again why this argument pisses me off.

By popular demand (as in, two people asked about it) )
This was originally part of a different, rantier "why claiming that slashing close friends demeans their friendship disturbs me" post that I have yet to make, but it just kept getting longer and longer and didn't really seem to fit there, and then it sat on my hard drive for most of the summer and fall, unposted, because it was triggered by a specific other fan's comments on a discussion post on the lj of someone who was/is, if not a central participant in my primary (and small) fandom, at least a recognizable name on the edges of it, and I didn't want to start wank. But then I saw this post making statements very similar to X fan whom I shall not name, but this time about the entire gay rights movement,* and I decided that maybe I ought to post it after all.

Why slashers in specific and gay/lesbian/bisexual people in general are not, in fact, to blame for making the media less comfortable with depicting close friendships between men via threatening straight guys' precious, precious masculinity )

* And, off topic, can I say that this is a not a pov on the usefulness of protest/confrontation/calling people on their x-ist bullshit I had expected to see in fandom, where it seems to be generally agreed that the way to deal with people who do bigoted things like use "spicy curry" lj tags to refer to Indian politicians or think "miscegenation" = bestiality = a good prompt for a kink challenge (not saying those are the same as voting yes on Prop 8, just that all of the above are indications of bigotry) is to confront the person responsible and demand an apology & retraction, with the understanding that a degree of righteous anger is fully justified, and that the "tone" argument is fallacious.
God, I feel almost embarrassed to post this - I sound like I'm telling people to "organize and fight, for the Union makes us strong" or something, when I'm just talking about comic books.

why you should tell Marvel writers exactly what you think about their comics, whether your opinion is positive or negative )
[Edit] Please take future comments/discussion to This more public version of the post on [livejournal.com profile] fanficrants This edition is really just me throwing a temper tanrum in my lj. That one has more discussion in comments, including meta and discussion by other posters.

I've accepted that a great many fic authors will willfully pull their fics from the net, rendering current readers incapable of re-reading them and future readers incapable of finding them (and, most importantly, making it so I can't read them), but for the love of all that's holy, people, don't go one step further and make it so the Wayback Machine can't archive your webpages. Most especially don't go back and retroactively make it so that the Wayback Machine can no longer pull up your old webpage with now deleted stories that was available via the Wayback Machine six months ago.

Yes, it's possible for you to have your pages excluded from/removed from the Wayback Machine, but just because you can use robots.txt doesn't mean you should, unless there are pressing legal reasons. I personally find it more than just annoying. I've come to realize, as I searched for a particular author's fic this evening with steadily mounting irritation, that I actually find it offensive. Not just on a personal level (as a sort of passive-agressive "fuck you" aimed at other fans), but on a professional level, as both a history student and an archivist-in-training. You are essentially not just making your work unarchivable, you are doing the online equivalent of going into an archive and removing and destroying part of its contents. I'm overstating things out of annoyance (well, out of frustrated and irrational rage), here, but the same basic principle applies. You're destroying fannish history, removing your work from the fandom equivalent of the literary landscape, and, in the case of small fandoms, sometimes cutting the amount of fic in the fandom in half. And all because you don't like your story anymore?

There is a special place in Archivists' Hell reserved for those who destroy information solely from personal prejudice/preference, where they will spend eternity beside people who put cellotape on 19th century documents, people who write on original manuscripts in ink, computer techs who mass-deleted months of archived emails in order to free up server space--and without saving copies--after the records management department specifically asked them not to, and Stephen Joyce.

And really, ask yourself why you're even deleting the fics in the first place. Even if you've left fandom, or moved on to a new fandom, the readers in your old fandom are still there (and if you want to disavow contact with said old fandom, that's what a new pseudonym is for). Even if you've published an original novel drawing heavily on said fics, that doesn't mean you have to destroy the evidence of your creative process--when a painter finishes a painting, does he then turn around and burn all of his sketches? Especially if he's already shown them to people who enjoyed looking at them? Unless your reason is something along the lines of "my boss found out that I write fanfiction, and now I have to remove my NC-17-rated Harry Potter chan from public view before the state school system finds it and fires me," or "Anne Rice sent me a C&D letter," I don't buy it as valid. (Or you could make that "fail to understand why you'd want to destroy your own hard work and deprive other of the ability to see it").

The term "Bonfire of the Vanities" mentioned in this rant's title is a reference to a mass cultural/intellectual purge practiced in 15th century Florence, wherein a religious zealot named Savonarola bullied and persuaded the people of Florence into burning their sinful or luxorious possessions, from fine clothing to jewelry to any books Savonarola's followers didn't approve of. Among the "shamefull" things consigned to the flames was a collection of Botticelli's sketches and oil paintings, paintings that would be worth a fortune today, and that art historians would weep to get their hands on, which were laid on the fire by Botticelli himself, because Savonarola had threatened him with hellfire and social disgrace if he didn't destroy his work and all evidence of it.

Still want to erase that 200k fic from the face of the internet forever? Fine, but the Special Archives Hell is waiting.

And the really personally irritating thing is, the author whose no-longer-online fics sparked this epiphany of annoyed hatred is one I'd previously enjoyed reading a great deal. Now, though, every time I see her name, I will picture that original printing of the Confederate consitution I saw in the NARA labs, the one covered in browned cellotape that has bonded with the paper and turned it brittle and transparent, and will wince in mental agony. I'm sure she's a perfectly nice person and that I'm over-reacting and being unfair, but my subconscious has now irrevocably associated her with wanton destruction of historical documents.

[2nd Edit] This seems to have started up its own bonfire of wank. Since I'm very busy with grad school right now, I'm not going to be responding to any more comments (aside from the responses at fanficrants), but feel free to debate with/agree with/argue with each other.

Oh, nevermind--I can take three minutes away from that research project.

No, I don't really think it's evil. I just think it's annoying as all hell and hate it )


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