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I promise, I'll write some more Shifts soon, possibly tonight. But… - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
I promise, I'll write some more Shifts soon, possibly tonight. But I still have SW perking in my brain.

As much as I love SW and as long as I've been a fan, I have to say, man--SW fan wankiness puts the wankiness of any other fandom in perspective. Just try to imagine the loudest voices in HP fandom saying, "Jo Rowling should turn the enterprise over to Steve Kloves! He understands the story of Harry Potter loads better than she does!" Or "Philosopher's Stone was good and Chamber of Secrets was even better, but when she started messing with Harry's parents in Prisoner of Azkaban, she RUINED THE WHOLE DAMNED THING!!!"

Now, there may be one or two, but the press pays no attention to them. In SW, equivalent statements are screamed at the top of the lungs of a fairly small minority of fans, and reported in the press as if they're the opinion of all fandom, which encourages them to scream even louder. And then assert that they are, in fact, the true fans, since they aren't gullible enough to actually like the movies of which they are fans.

I partly blame this on the press, which encourages it in its usual chop down the tall poppies approach to life. I mean, fans aren't hard to find. I've had a website up for years, and it's been reported on in the Star Wars insider. There was a movement to put up little "I support Lucas" icons for awhile, which was also not hard to trace. But I haven't met any of the more prominent fans--who are again, NOT HARD TO FIND--who's been contacted by the press for an interview about what's so bloody brilliant, and the few times I've seen an article with a comment from a fan included among the bashers, he's always presented as a lone, weak voice, often saying something fairly non-committal about the movies themselves, while the bashers pick apart individual lines and scenes that, for some reason, have hit their crazy buttons. Which of course hits my crazy button and sends me ranting to LJ, but of course, no one from the press calls to ask me why I'm frothing at the mouth like a rabid chihuahua.
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Comments
ladylisse From: ladylisse Date: September 27th, 2004 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Star Wars fandom scares the hell out of me. I mostly smile and nod and back away from the crazy. Especially the sense-of-entitlement kind of crazy. You can like or hate the movies all you like, but Lucas doesn't have to listen to you, people.

...I want the DVDs, damnit.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2004 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yeah. There's an article on boxofficemojo today--a rare admission that Lucas owns his property and it's social bullying at best to try to force him to compromise his art. And one of the responses said, essentially, that it was like finding a cure for AIDS, and if the person who did that tried to keep it to himself it would be immoral.

What the--?
ladylisse From: ladylisse Date: September 27th, 2004 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Um. Bwa? It's a good article, although the modern history major in me could've done without the comparisons. The AIDS comment made me boggle, though. I didn't think this fandom could make me boggle anymore. o_O
silverhill From: silverhill Date: September 27th, 2004 05:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
And then assert that they are, in fact, the true fans, since they aren't gullible enough to actually like the movies of which they are fans.

*dies laughing*
mafdet From: mafdet Date: September 27th, 2004 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
There are times when I believe that the HP fandom is the wankiest of the wanky, but reading this puts it in perspective. Since I'm not in SW fandom, I will take your word for it.

I enjoy the SW movies, but that's about it. I think the only thing that really put my teeth on edge was Jar Jar Binks.

The only fandom that I'm in besides Harry Potter is the Earth's Children (Jean M. Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequels). For the about six or so years I've been active as a fan (have enjoyed the books since they came out, though)I can count the wanksplosions on the fingers of one hand. It helps that the fandom is tiny, but it just doesn't seem to attract the batshittery that is part of some other fandoms.
azaelia_culnamo From: azaelia_culnamo Date: September 27th, 2004 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, we've done pretty well, although I do think part of it is that nobody liked the movie.

I think the HP fandom is pretty messed up; It's definitely not what it used to be. I actually am posting the sequel to my first finished, multi-chaptered HP fic on ec, and I posted that there too. Why ecfans, when its not a HP site? Because I felt it was the only place that wouldn't immediately go "ew, OC's".

(If anyone is wondering, ecfans.com is the fansite for the series, pretty much, and it does allow fics for other fandoms, provided the authors allow it).
mafdet From: mafdet Date: September 27th, 2004 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even Jean Auel hated the COTCB movie so much that she sued. So unless Valley of Horses is made and stars Orlando Bloom as Jondalar, we're safe.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2004 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
You do know you pretty much just cursed it, right? ;p
atropos87 From: atropos87 Date: September 28th, 2004 01:00 am (UTC) (Link)
*points to icon*

That idea hurts so much that I think ny brain has just switched itself off. And that's coming from someone who has expressed a liking for Mr Bloom in the past >;)
azaelia_culnamo From: azaelia_culnamo Date: September 28th, 2004 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Clarimonde - Can I use that as my ecfans siggy? I'll credit you!
mafdet From: mafdet Date: September 28th, 2004 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh please do, I'm flattered!

(Orli, stay away from my fandom. Please.)
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: September 27th, 2004 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
If SW was the only fandom that ever existed, fandom_wank could still keep burning for years just on its wank alone. A more wretched hive of scum and villainy, indeed. ;) The media - after the endless bitching following both TPM and AotC I've gotten to the point where I actively avoid the media in terms of SW (unless it's a positive article someone I know has recommended), and will continue that avoidance until well after RotS is released. I spent three years at TFN and have no desire to have a similar experience again, thanks.

You seen this comic that lazypadawan posted about in her journal? Have to admit, it brought a little self-satisfied smile to my face. ;)
chickadilly From: chickadilly Date: September 27th, 2004 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ya know the sad thing is that this isn't anything new. I can remember the arguments between Luke and Han fans back in the days of fanzines ...

Which is about as stupid as Harry and Ron fans fighting, after all they are all friends afterall.
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: September 27th, 2004 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can remember the arguments between Luke and Han fans back in the days of fanzines ...

You mean people actually fought over that? You're right, that is just about as stupid. (After all, either one of them would completely turn their nose up at you if you dissed the other. ;))
chickadilly From: chickadilly Date: September 27th, 2004 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I don't remember a lot of it because a lot of it happened before I got into fanzines but there was a letter zine (sort of like a bullentin board through the mail) that was full of it. I didn't understand half of the messages and so I sent a letter to the woman who ran the thing to explain and she told me the whole history of something called (get this) the Church of Ford and Cathedral of Hamill. *rolls eyes* Evidently if you were a Luke fan you couldn't possibly be a true fan of Han's and if you were a Han fan you couldn't possibly truly appreciate Luke.

Whatever. Talk about lame.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: September 27th, 2004 10:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, it's all hideously true. I've met "veterans" of the Church of Ford vs. Cathedral of Luke battle and years later they still couldn't see how if you liked one, you could possibly like or appreciate the author. It's the dumbest thing ever and back in the '80s it was the mother of wankdom among the SW fan fic crowd. I've seen the letters they traded back and forth and they were unbelievable. A pre-internet flame war.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: September 27th, 2004 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Er, I meant "other" in that one line, not "author." Long day.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2004 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, the internet didn't invent fanwank, it just made it available to the masses. Now, I admit to not being a big Han fan, but it had nothing to do with being a Luke fan. He just wasn't my thing is all, and I sure didn't hate him.

I mean, I think hating Anakin is silly and misses the point of the movies, but at least you have the general support that he turns into a bad guy. Luke and Han are both good guys, just with different personalities.

I bet these are the same people who were wildly interested in the "love triangle" and arguing about who Leia deserved to be with, weren't they?
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: September 28th, 2004 09:34 am (UTC) (Link)
You bet they were! The odd thing though is much of the argument surrounded who was the true hero of the saga (as it existed back then...we all know the answer to that now, heh heh). Pre-ROTJ many of the hardcore Han fans were utterly convinced he was "the other" and he was going to save the galaxy, blah blah blah. I read in a friend's old letterzine a long flaming letter from such a fan who was angry someone had the audacity to suggest *Leia* might be the "other." Boy were they upset with ROTJ because it sure popped that balloon. One Han nut wrote a looong anti-Luke diatribe that was so over the top it was more funny than offensive. Luke fans of course did not take it too kindly.

I love Han but come on, I know he's not *the* main protagonist or the main hero. Neither side would be happy now because the prequels have boosted Anakin's importance so that he is the saga's main protagonist. Oh well.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 28th, 2004 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Good G-d. These people don't have the faintest idea of literary structure, do they? They can't tell the difference between a hero and an ally? Didn't they notice whose story was being told? Who was introduced in the traditional form? Whose adventure it was?

Han was a strong supporting character, but how in the world would one mistake him for ANYTHING but a supporting character? And why is that supposed to diminish him in some way? He was a supporting character when they started to like him, he never changed from being a supporting character, so why would confirmation that he is not, in fact, the protagonist, have the slightest impact on them?

Idiots.

Er, sorry. That's my very own wanky side. I have little patience with people who can watch four hours of film without figuring out WHAT THE BLOODY STORY IS ABOUT.

I mean, how does that even happen? How in the HELL can people miss that obvious a mark?!
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: September 28th, 2004 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, what I know is mostly second-hand info since this whole thing was long before I ever got involved with "organized fandom." From what I understand many of the Han-is-the-true-hero fans got into SW fan fic after TESB came out. There was a miniscule bit of tension between Han fans and Luke fans before that but it was your usual immature "I like my guy better" type of thing you find in every fandom.

But you are right, very few of these fans were looking at this objectively enough to recognize Literary Structure 101. That's because for many of them it was all about their emotional interpretations of these things, not what the story really is all about. You know how it is. People who are on paper smart enough to know better nevertheless cling to their own oddball perspectives like grim death even when reality is telling them otherwise. That's why they end up turning on the creator.

To give you an example, I had a run-in with one of the Church of Ford people at a small convention panel in 1994. This loudmouth--who was much older than I was--kept insisting Luke and Leia weren't siblings and that Obi-Wan never actually said Leia was Luke's sister. I had never met anyone in my life who was so willingly ignorant of canon and I was arguing with this woman. It drove me nuts but she was about ready to break a chair over my head.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 28th, 2004 07:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's because for many of them it was all about their emotional interpretations of these things, not what the story really is all about.

G-d, I hate that. How about getting emotionally attached to a story that fits your emotional perspective rather than trying to twist an existing story into an emotional perspective that's alien to it? It's not like there's a shortage of stories out there and you can only go for one!
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: September 28th, 2004 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, what I know is mostly second-hand info since this whole thing was long before I ever got involved with "organized fandom." From what I understand many of the Han-is-the-true-hero fans got into SW fan fic after TESB came out. There was a miniscule bit of tension between Han fans and Luke fans before that but it was your usual immature "I like my guy better" type of thing you find in every fandom.

But you are right, very few of these fans were looking at this objectively enough to recognize Literary Structure 101. That's because for many of them it was all about their emotional interpretations of these things, not what the story really is all about. You know how it is. People who are on paper smart enough to know better nevertheless cling to their own oddball perspectives like grim death even when reality is telling them otherwise. That's why they end up turning on the creator.

To give you an example, I had a run-in with one of the Church of Ford people at a small convention panel in 1994. This loudmouth--who was much older than I was--kept insisting Luke and Leia weren't siblings and that Obi-Wan never actually said Leia was Luke's sister. I had never met anyone in my life who was so willingly ignorant of canon and I was arguing with this woman. It drove me nuts but she was about ready to break a chair over my head.
chickadilly From: chickadilly Date: September 27th, 2004 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've never really talked to anyone who got involved in that whole thing. I stayed as far away from those people as I could. LOL

I still don't get what everyone was so worked up over ... though I admit I am curious abotu the letters. I guess since it's been so long there's a tiny part of me that wants to go "What were these people on about?" LOL

Honestly if there had been a fandom wank back in the day THAT would have made the Crystal wank look like small potatoes!!!
vytresna From: vytresna Date: September 27th, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Most of the Star Wars fans I've talked to are prequel-bashers, actually. Me, I'm just a TPM-basher, which makes the Terry Brooks novelization a godsend, but they may just be joining my choir. The SW intra-fandom fights are fierce.

Actually, the best script was A New Hope, but a close second was Empire Strikes Back, which was not written by Lucas. So the replacement is considerably above Steve Kloves caliber. Still, such arguments give me a headache - I've never seen anyone say it on an understanding level, but on a plot choice level, or, more minorly, a word choice level.
sreya From: sreya Date: September 27th, 2004 06:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Meh, SW wank....

You know, for a while it was almost a little fun -- I'll admit I was a diehard member of the Mara Jade Haters Club for a while. But you burn out so fast, I really don't understand all the people who keep going and going and going -- it's like they're Dark Side Energizer bunnies or something. (Hmm, that'd make an interesting icon!!!)

Now, I tend to just stick with the fanfic stuff. That's usually a little calmer at least. Besides, for the next nine months, I can't hang out on mainstream boards for fear of spoilers, anyway.

And I'm a total Lucas fan! Even if I don't always understand his decisions, they're HIS decisions, and when the overall product is THIS good, hey, I'm not one to complain!
chienar From: chienar Date: September 27th, 2004 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
you know, I like star wars, always have. I remember seeing it in the theaters, on the original release, before it was called A New Hope, or Episode IV... but even though I had a Han Solo doll (much cooler than Ken, imho), I was just never really all that into it. I -like- the changes to the originals, I think it makes them all tie together better.

And I'm just dying for more Shifts =)

equustel From: equustel Date: September 27th, 2004 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is why I actually took a hiatus from SW fandom for a whole year and a half - didn't visit any sites associated with it, save for the OS, since I was (and am) a Hyperspace subscriber. You've no idea how refreshing that was - no snide remarks or unwanted opinions hindering my enjoyment of anything and everything Star Wars. And really, offline in the real world, most people I talked to make no distinction between the two trilogies, which made me realize how blown out of proportion online fandom really is. It's only with the DVDs out now that I've started eyeing a couple of fan communities again.

I guess with any major fandom comes the inevitable wank (I had to search and search and search just to find a sane Matrix site when that fixation reared its head)... but Star Wars fans definitely take the cake.
azaelia_culnamo From: azaelia_culnamo Date: September 27th, 2004 07:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
The sad thing is, I never even realized the SW movies are book based until about a year ago. I'd assumed that the books were from the movie, instead of the other way around. Isn't that just sick?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2004 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Star Wars movies aren't from books (except for the fictitious books, the Journal of the Whills, which is rather like the Red Book of the Westmarch). They were screenplays and movies.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2004 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
(Well, taken another way, they're from lots of books--the works of Joseph Campbell, various collections of myth, history books, etc. But no actual books that correspond to the characters, galaxy, etc. The novelizations were made from the screenplays, then they did that weird novel series.)
From: 88l71 Date: September 28th, 2004 05:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I partly blame this on the press, which encourages it in its usual chop down the tall poppies approach to life.>>

Except they didn't seem to treat Peter Jackson the same way, despite the popularity of the LOTR films....I wonder why they have it in for SW/GL in particular.

I think the Han/Luke thing reminds me of Obi/Ani in the prequels...some people tend to believe you cannot possibly like both characters, albeit for different reasons.

-Tim
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 28th, 2004 06:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, there is the matter of Lucas walking out on the directors' guild and the writers' guild--people don't forgive that easily.
buffyannotater From: buffyannotater Date: September 28th, 2004 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)
selenak sent me here, because I'm currently waging an epic prequel-defending battle in my LJ, too! The same frustrations you're talking about here inspired me to post this list a few days back in my journal:

1) I couldn't care less who shot first. I think that people who do care should chill out.

2) I love the prequels. No, make that adore the prequels.

3) I adore Return of the Jedi.

4) I was never that into Boba Fett.

5) I like the Ewoks.

6) If given the choice, I would watch the new versions of the old Star Wars films. There, I said it. And that doesn't make me any less of a fan.

7) A lot of Star Wars fans irritate me.

8) A lot of Star Wars fans scare me.

9) I don't think the concept of "midichlorians" contradicts the mythology from the original trilogy in the least.

10) I don't think that liking Star Wars and Star Trek are mutually exclusive.
may_child From: may_child Date: September 28th, 2004 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
And then assert that they are, in fact, the true fans, since they aren't gullible enough to actually like the movies of which they are fans.

ROTFL!!! I wish they gave out Pulitzer Prizes for online journal comments...

To paraphrase lazypadawan from her own Live Journal, the fanwank follows you everywhere, like bad B.O. I was sitting in my friggin' car, listening to the radio at a stoplight, thinking nothing of it, and what do you know...the deejay reads an e-mail from some wank which went something like this: "What's getting lost in all the publicity over the 'Star Wars' DVDs is that these are not the original versions but the versions George Lucas ruined."

Even leaving aside the usual wank hyperbole (i.e., "ruined"), where the h-e-double-hockey-sticks has this person been if they think that it's gotten "lost" that these are not the so-called "originals"? Every single stinkin' item I have seen, read, or heard about the DVDs has mentioned that these are not the so-called "originals," usually either right before or right after a claim about how widely despised the SEs and the prequels are.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 28th, 2004 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that's the problem--they're freaking insane.
lannamichaels From: lannamichaels Date: September 28th, 2004 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I put it down to the inherant wankiness of the fandom. But jeez. No one wanks like Star Wars wanks.
lyras From: lyras Date: September 28th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Shifts

Scuse the interruption - this is not really about your post (although the Star Wars fandom sounds both hilarious and infuriating!).

I just wanted to say that I worked my way through the existing chapters of Shifts over the weekend and was really impressed by your characterisation (esp. Lupin and Sirius) and the way you've woven a great plot into the existing OOTP narrative. I'm looking forward to seeing more!

Lyras
From: a_p_ Date: September 28th, 2004 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm definitely in a considerably rant-y mood tonight. Forgive me.


SW wank is inevitable, unavoidable, inexorable. It took me way too long to finally accept that -- I stayed at TF.n much longer than any remotely normal person should, and spent quite a lot of time looking for other discussion communities (I love mine, but I'd love to just be a member somewhere else) to essentially no avail.

I have ALWAYS meant for my boards to be free of this crap, and I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I am proud that my forums are active, intelligent, friendly, and actually full of actual SW fans. No bashing or bashers allowed. And it will stay that way as long as I can afford to keep it going, despite the whining cries of the oppressed bashers -- "But it's mmmmmyyyyy opppiiinnniiiioonnn!!!" "You can't bar me from your board just because I don't like 4 out of the 6 mooovvvvviiiieeesss!!"

Hell, yes I can!

Oh, and yes, somehow my forums will soldier on even with everyone daring to all agree on the fact that we love the SW saga! I love the idea, and equally whiny cry, that bashers are oh-so-needed in SW communities to provide the sacred "difference of opinion" that supposedly makes all discussion worthwhile. Well, gee, forgive me for wanting to just discuss the movies and not defend them against nit-picky entitled-obsessed so-called "fans." And I might be crazy, but somehow, I find that on a board where everyone loves SW and generally shares the same views on Anakin in particular, we have wonderful, fun, and insightful discussions, and have for years.

I think if bashers ever realized that they're neither needed nor wanted it would break their collective psyches worse than the equally-huge realization that you can't be a fan of something you hate the majority of, and that whining, bitching, and moaning about it is just an aggravating waste of everyone's time.


Whew! I feel better. ;)
may_child From: may_child Date: September 28th, 2004 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Amen, a-p!

Your board is like an oasis from the wank. I've seen many a board that was supposed to be an alternative to the wank that permeates TF.N eventually fall victim to it, but your board remains wank-free.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: September 28th, 2004 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
*High fives ap.*
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