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'Tween thirty and forty... - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
'Tween thirty and forty...
From the Boston Herald's "Idol Speculation," on Bo Bice:

Outlook: Final four for sure. But this humble good ol' boy might get squeezed out of the top two because his admirers won't be hitting redial as feverishly as Constantine's breathless tween fans.

A year ago April Fool's day, someone on an R/S site decided to put up an oh-so-funny fake R/T page, made to look like only junior high school girls in a giggle fit could possibly like R/T.

And of course, H/G is strictly for little kids, not HP for Grown-Ups.

Folks, I'm a Constantine fan (I like his attitude and also, he's the oldest person on Idol this year). I'm an R/T shipper. And I assume for structural reasons that we're headed for H/G.

In July, I get to switch to the next category on those annoying "check off your age range" things. No longer will I be 18-34. No, now I'll be 35-50.

What exactly am I "tween"?

This bugs me on a very basic level, not because it's an insult (though it is), but because it's a lousy argument. You want to argue with me about the structural and thematic cues dealing with Harry/Ginny? Fine. You want to challenge my understanding of Tonks? Also fine. You like Bo Bice better than Constantine Maroulis? Again, fine. In each case, I have actual reasons (though I admit, in the case of R/T, they're more instinctual than with the other two), but your criteria for judging may be different. I prefer Constantine to Bo because I think Constantine has shown more versatility. I don't have any emotional attachment to H/G, but came to the conclusion based on what seems a likely arc--if you can find a more plausible arc that addresses the thematic questions of the book (other than dead!Harry), be my guest. And Remus and Tonks just seem to always be shown together and to click on a personal level, so why not? We see him in more scenes with her than with Sirius in OotP, I think (no, I haven't counted). But again, no big.

Argue if you want to. But don't say, "Oo, I like Bo and if he gets voted off, it's because of those evil feverish tweens!!!!!"

(The article's prediction was a Vonzell Solomon win. I'm still holding out for a Bo-Constantine final...)
58 comments or Leave a comment
maple_clef From: maple_clef Date: April 25th, 2005 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
...his admirers won't be hitting redial as feverishly as Constantine's breathless tween fans.

*blinks* how horribly condescending - I don't even have American Idol over here, so I have no possible reason to be offended... but it's still a bit irksome...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 25th, 2005 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Isn't it?

The basic issue is that most of the contestants every year are either in the pop frame or a kind of R&B funk, but this year, they have two "rockers," Bo and Constantine, who've both had bands for years and are very polished professionals already. They've consistently made it through, and, imho, are both very talented men. (The woman the article likes, Vonzell Solomon, is also terrific--I like all but one of the people left.) But for some reason, it's been decided that if you like Bo, you're supposed to hate Constantine (for splitting the vote or something). I don't think it goes in the other direction--haven't heard it, anyway--but it's damned annoying.
glishara From: glishara Date: April 25th, 2005 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
The fact that grown-ups can like Constantine too doesn't mean that he doesn't have a huge gaggle of breathless girls also swooning over him... and I fully believe that Bo's breathless-girl fanbase is a lot smaller than Constantine's. I've heard this observation, too, and I honestly believe it -- I think that Constantine has more fans of the "I will sit at my phone hitting redial for HOURS" sort than Bo does, because he's That Guy.

It doesn't mean I think all of his fans are immature kids, just that a lot of immature kids are his fans.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 25th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Grr, LJ changed rules on me in the Recent entries, and I accidentally deleted what I didn't mean to delete after deliberately deleting what I did, because I can't edit.

I don't like mornings.

What annoys me is the assumption that this is all it could possibly be, like no one whose concerns are anything else could possibly be voting for him, and that anyone who does is obviously behaving like a "breathless tween." It bugs me a lot, annoys me a lot, and actually offends me on a very fundamental level.

As to the BT factor: My thought is that the breathless tween factor is a fair point to judge on in a competition of this nature anyway, because what gets them is a level of charisma and performance that's part of being a star--so yeah, the fact that they're voting all those times suggests that Constantine is doing something right in terms of the competition, which Bo hasn't gotten quite as much of, so I'm not sure why this is always referred to in a tone like it's some great injustice. It's part of playing the game, just like singing different genres.

Although, as far as predicting record sales goes, I think they'd do better to deal with a one viewer/one vote system, since the people voting a hundred times aren't going to buy a hundred copies of the album, or a hundred concert tickets.
sprite6 From: sprite6 Date: April 25th, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
This bugs me on a very basic level, not because it's an insult (though it is), but because it's a lousy argument.

Well said. I read a thread at FAP about Harry possibly dating Susan Bones in HBP, and a large number of responses said something like: "I can't see them together because I like Harry with X." Sorry, I thought we were talking about what might happen in the books. Since when does what we like have anything to do that? We all have things we just can't picture happening in canon, but I still back up my arguments with canon facts, and I expect others to rebut my arguments with facts. Otherwise what's the point of discussion?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 25th, 2005 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I still back up my arguments with canon facts, and I expect others to rebut my arguments with facts. Otherwise what's the point of discussion?

Bingo. I run into this problem with "Draco must be a better person than we see because he just can't be that bad/one-dimensional." Oh, yeah? Show me a prooftext in canon that suggests otherwise. It could be done, possibly based in a different interpretation than I have of whatever incident it is, but "well, I just refuse to accept that he's bad" isn't an argument.
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: April 25th, 2005 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would never question your Tonks. I think you have a wonderful grasp on her, though she doesn't personally interest me. That's just personal taste, though, nothing personal.

As for Remus/Tonks, I was under the impression that there were a lot of mature people who liked the ship. I don't necessarily dislike it, but my Remus is pretty much gay. I've tried writing him as a heterosexual, and it never works. *le sigh* He emphatically refuses to be so in my fics, and believe it or not, I have tried. Then again, I'm of the opinion that sexuality does not affect the character in any way, so I like your Remus, too. Mine just insists on being gay. ^_~

I disagree on the Remus/Tonks being canon, though. They hardly interact. My only quibble with a few Remus/Tonks shippers (not you, but a few others) is the insistence that it IS canon, when Tonks spends more time interacting with Moody and Lupin didn't seem to react to her injuries like a lover would. I think they barely know each other. She is often paired off with Moody if anything.

Lupin/Tonks is perfectly cool and a reasonable ship, but I only argue that it isn't canon. But never fear, m'dear, I also argue with the Remus/Sirius shippers that their love is NOT canon, and since I do ship Lupin in a more hateful pairing (I enjoy challenges, you see), I also realize it's not canon. The trick in fanfic is to make it canon-believable, imho. You did that. If it can be done believably in a fic, I'm all for whatever pairing makes you happy.

In canon, I have a hard time seeing Remus wind up with anyone, it doesn't seem to fit his structural pattern. If JKR was going to pair him off, she'd have built him up more, imho. I'm interested to see what she will do with him in HBP, that's where we might get some romantical clues.

As for Harry/Ginny, structurally, I agree that Harry/Ginny is likely. I hate the pairing, and I dislike the new!improved!OotP!Ginny, who just rubbed me the wrong way because JKR was trying to thrust her in our faces and make us like her. I'm a contrary person, I like who I like, not who the author wants me to like. I like Snape, horrible bastard that he is. I like Lupin, but necessarily because he's nice, I like him because he's interesting and there's more than meets the eye to him. I didn't like Harry until OotP, not until he grew some emotional problems, which I feel made him more interesting. Then again, I'm one of those people who likes the characters with layers and problems.

So, darlin', I don't know who you've been talking to, but any slasher who suggests only little girls like Remus/Tonks or het have issues and I would ignore them. I'm 25, I like slash AND gen, and the occasional bit of het. My preferences might be because I'm a lesbian and perhaps prefer writing/reading about people who have a homosexual preference, but I've never really examined that. And I'm all about equality. Slash, het, gen -- it's all cool. I tend to prefer slashy genfic, or genficcy slash, which I swear is not a contradiction in terms. I have no problems with het at all, and consider it "more canon", so when I write it, I treat it very delicately, as I do my non-pairing genfic.

And I never attach an age to anything. I have people on my f-list who like Harry/Ginny to Snape/Harry. Tis all good.

(And I chose the icon to amuse myself. ^_~)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 25th, 2005 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I wouldn't argue that it's canon. Canon plausible, yes. But canon? No. Anything that is not explicitly stated in the books isn't canon. (Though I would consider R/Hr to be explicitly enough stated to consider it canon.) It wouldn't shock me greatly if JKR went with Lupin/Tonks (because it would seem to make sense of their interactions), but it also wouldn't surprise me if she didn't. (In fact, she'd have to be nuts to pair Lupin at all, because either way, she'll get serious hate mail, and it's just not necessary to the story arc... why bother?)
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author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: April 25th, 2005 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
People get turned off by R/T and H/G, I think, because they assume the shippers want Remus/Harry/Tonks/Ginny, and are really inserting themselves. And I think that in Tonks's case, people assume tween fans will like her "PRETTY HAIR!!!!!" As for Constatine, I don't know.

But the thing is, people do make generalizations. In a magazine I read, it was advertising movies, and who to take with you. LOTR? "Your boyfriend." HP? "Your kid brother." I wanted to write and complain, but I didn't. And at one of the bookstores in my area, HP is under "Intermediate Readers." It shares a shelf with books that are *clearly* for eight year olds. Again, I've always had this nasty temptation to point out the child abuse in OoTP, (Umbridge's Quill), or the death of a minor (Cedric). But no, I keep my lips sealed.

You just have to realize that not everyone knows what the heck they are talking about. I'm sure if the anti-R/T people read the better R/T fics (I do have to say, there's a lot of really crappy ones out there), they wouldn't have said that.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 25th, 2005 05:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Am I a weird woman because, while shipping R/T, it's Remus I think of as being a whole lot more like me? I mean, as it happens, I'm not attracted to women, but if I were (as I picture Remus to be), Tonks would be attractive: kind and sweet and funny and smart. Of course, I also think Remus is damned attractive, which may be narcissistic, now that I think of it. ;)

And I have my own pretty hair, thanks, and it is decidedly not pink.

And yes, man, are there crappy R/T fics out there. There are also crappy R/S fics out there, and crappy H/D fics... what's the 90% of everything is crap law called?
piperx From: piperx Date: April 25th, 2005 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I totally agree with you on Constantine. In fact, my husband and I had that exact same argument the other day. He thinks it's just his teeny bopper appeal which has got him this far. He certainly has a tween appeal, but there's more to him than that. I don't know if I can put my finger on exactly what it is, but he has a certain quality to him. There's a twinkle in his eye and a confidence in his demeanor. As you said, he seems much more versatile than Bo.

I know that, periodically, some H/Hrs get the idea that they are older/wiser/more likely to be in a long term relationship than the R/Hrs, but I didn't know that other shippers did it too. That surprises me. R/T, to me, seems like a very adult relationship and it's hard to imagine young readers being too interested in them. Seems like it's just a way for shippers to insult each other without much basis in fact.

(BTW, I friended you because I was tired of reading about your brilliant essays secondhand. And, as someone who just entered that next age bracket, I can say that it's not so bad over here. ;) )
erised1810 From: erised1810 Date: April 25th, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
well, Idont' give a sackabout who lieks what and how old the yare or need to be. if yor'e a happy hp-shipper wrtin fluffy romance stuff and yo're over 30, great .adnif yo're fifteen bt wnato wrie aouteh philosophical ackground of lac's motive to...oh never mind.
I don'tthin kI care aboutanything in that fieldany more. See? I soudned lieka rebelliosu teen there and I'm 26.
riah_chan From: riah_chan Date: April 25th, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really doubt that Vonzell will win... She's good but not as good as the others.

I like Constantine too and I'm in my mid-twenties. I enjoy Bo's music as well, but like you said, Constantine shows more versatility. It's annoying to have people belittle opinions because, "Only ____ people think that way!" Not all people in the same demographic have the same opinions.

I picture this year being a Carrie/Constantine showdown (if neither of them mess up in the next few weeks) with Carrie winning.

nutcrazical From: nutcrazical Date: April 26th, 2005 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Vonzell, winning? Very, very unlikely. Bo, Carrie, and Constantine are all, not only better performers, but also more likeable than Ms.Vonzell. One of these three will definitely win... or else I'll have a fit or something.

This year's Top Three will be so much better than last year's. *cheers*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 26th, 2005 02:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, definitely.

The article writer referred to Carrie "the bland blonde" who would need to get a personality if she didn't expect to be voted off in the next couple of weeks. She was predicting that Carrie wouldn't make the final four. Considering that she's never been in the bottom three, that seems unlikely.
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