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Okay... er... (plus a rant) - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Okay... er... (plus a rant)
I was looking at a pottersues reported fic, which included the Marauders talking about the Internet.

Now, I can see missing the dating of the series. Despite our obsession with the 1990s time frame based on the Deathday cake, the truth is, it's not that important, isn't likely to make a difference, and may well have been an "Oops, I didn't mean to say that!" moment on the part of the author. It certainly hasn't been referenced again. She's stuck with it, we're stuck with it once we notice it, but if you miss that one reference, no big. I'm not going to fret too much about Harry going to school at this very moment.

But here's the thing--the Marauders are his parents' generation. No matter when you think Harry's story is happening (unless for no textual reason, you have Harry existing twenty years in the future, I guess), the Marauders were in school about twenty years before him. If you miss the Deathday reference, that still means that they're going to school no later than the 1980s. Having them talk about the Atari vs. Intellivision wars would be a reasonable mistake. Having them talk about the internet as anything like pervasive... no. Watch War Games with Matthew Broderick--he had to explain the concept of a modem to his girl, because she didn't know that you could connect up to another computer. By the time of Ferris Bueller, a real techy could possibly hack into the school's system, and that was way fancy stuff, owned only by a really wealthy kid who got his computer rather than a car... roughly equivalent then. I guess my "Er, okay" moment is, whatever the date of Harry's schooling, how in the world would his parents be in school at the same time? What's the logic of contemporary Marauders?

So the story confused me, but I had to bite my tongue when one of the sporkers complained that the Sues were going to go in and "break up the cutest couple at Hogwarts"--Remus/Sirius, of course. Who, as far as I can tell in the fic, were not together in the first place in order to be broken up.

How dare they? Blasphemy!

Look, ship R/S if you want to, but it's not canon and no fanfic is bound by it. Every piece of evidence shippers point to is equally true of good friends/adoptive brothers. I'm all for burning Mary Sue at the stake, but that's because Mary Sue is a bad character, not because OMG she's breaking up the puppies! You can create original characters for all four of them to date (as long as James's isn't presented as his true love, after whom he had to settle for mere Lily). Other than James, we have no information on their love lives. At all. Zip.

So spork the Sue for being a Sue; don't spork her for what's perfectly well within the purview of fanfic. Disturbing factional fanon is not a fanfic crime. I'm an R/Ter, but I'm not going to go in and spork a Harry/Tonks story just because Harry's going in and usurping Remus's role! I probably wouldn't much enjoy it--I don't like the ship--but if I'm going to base a ship on some fond lines of dialogue and frequent joint guard duty on Harry, a legitimate case could be made for Harry being fascinated by an older woman who has the job he wants (though I can't see why she'd reciprocate at this point; that's for the writer to explain, I guess).

There are quasi-ships, like R/H, where there is definitely something that needs to be addressed in canon, if you pair one or the other with someone else in fanfic. Or past ships like Viktor/Hermione, or time-bound ships like Lily/James (either of them could have dated someone else first), which you need to acknowledge the nature of, but may certainly step outside of.

But fanon ships like R/S (or R/T) are just fanon. No fic writer who doesn't happen to be writing that ship is obligated to recognize its existence... and, frankly, it's really better if you don't, because recognizing it means making a point of having scenes that deliberately shoot it down, which will only serve to annoy people. I mean, let's say you ship Harry/Ginny, and you'd like to get a wide readership for your fic. You could have a scene like this:
"Ha," Ginny said. "Can you believe that some people think I like Draco?"

Harry rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well some people think
I like him. Or Hermione! I mean, jeez... haven't I been clear enough on that?!"

"Besides, anyone with a brain knows that Ron and Hermione are together."

"And Tonks... she's an adult, for crying out loud!"

"So's Snape."

"People think I'm with..."

"You hadn't heard?"

"Well, I've heard rumors about you with half the school."

"I know." Ginny shook her head and sighed. "Well, at least we're smarter than that. We know that none of them have any merit next our true love..."

Now, I don't know about you, but if I happened to ship any of those pairs, my response to that scene would be to close the fic.

On the other hand, if Harry and Ginny were just together, Draco wasn't presented as being an major influence on them as a couple one way or the other, Hermione and Ron were presented matter-of-factly as a couple, and Tonks and Snape were just older mentors and not people who had to be factored out of the equation... well, that would just be a story, not a confrontational stance.


Sorry, had to vent.
46 comments or Leave a comment
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: June 13th, 2005 03:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I completely agree with you. Other than the canon ships like Lucius/Narcissa, Arthur/Molly, and James/Lily, everything else pretty much exists in the reader's head. I still go nuts when people writing something like James/Sirius ignore Lily's existence, or people writing Remus/Sirius ignore that Sirius was best friends with James. If you're not going to include a fanon ship, then just ignore it, because shooting it down will ruin the fic. *nods*

And don't get me started on the Anakin/Obi-Wan shippers who conveniently forget about Padme's existence or act like he didn't love her. Either slash/ship around it or don't slash at all. *gnashes teeth*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 13th, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, in the case of Padmé, that's a ship you have no choice but to acknowledge. Anakin thought about her every day, for crying out loud, and sold his soul for her sake. That definitely falls in the category of "canon ship," and I don't like to see those messed with in any case.

On the other hand, if you happen to ship Qui/Obi, then complain about a fic where Qui-Gon is in love with the JA character Tahl because she interferes with Q/O's Twoo Wub, I'll sentence twenty lashes with a wet noodle.
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sophonax From: sophonax Date: June 13th, 2005 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Despite our obsession with the 1990s time frame based on the Deathday cake, the truth is, it's not that important, isn't likely to make a difference, and may well have been an "Oops, I didn't mean to say that!" moment on the part of the author

Wow, and I thought I was the only one who didn't believe that setting the books in the early '90s was part of some DEEP TEXTUAL SIGNIFICANCE that ignoring would mean completely perverting Rowling's true vision.

Re: the possibility of Tonks' reciprocating Harry's possible crush on her: I must admit that when I first read the scene where she comes up to his room to help him pack, my immediate reaction was "Oooh, she LIKES him!" But the more I read of Tonks, the more I realized that she shows that same level of interest and benevolence in everyone, so I was perfectly willing to admit that might not be the most accurate reading. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 13th, 2005 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, and I thought I was the only one who didn't believe that setting the books in the early '90s was part of some DEEP TEXTUAL SIGNIFICANCE that ignoring would mean completely perverting Rowling's true vision.

Nope. I kind of went, "Huh," when I noticed the date, and never gave it a second thought. I mean, come on... if we were talking about the early 1940s, the date would have some significance. But the '90s? It was a nothing decade, and it's pretty obvious that the setting is "a reasonably contemporary time." That it happens to be nailed to the 1990s by that line is good for details, but what possible greater meaning does it have to be set in that decade?

swatkat24 From: swatkat24 Date: June 13th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I adore Remus/Sirius. That said, until JKR puts it on print in HBP or Book 7 that yes, Remus and Sirius were INDEED a couple, it's not canon. The subtext is there for those who want to pick it up, but not canon. The fuss makes no sense whatsoever. A lot of shippers use 'canon' as an in-joke between themselves ("oh, you *know* Buffy/Faith is canon *wink*", and so on), and that's their business, but to spork other people for their interpretation of canon, which happens to be equally valid, is just silly. And rude. *rolls eyes*

What's the logic of contemporary Marauders?

Um. Time travel? LOL

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 13th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it's not the joking so-canon that got on my nerves; it was in the course of Sue-sporking listing that as one of the Sue's infractions. I mean, if she got in the way of James/Lily, that would make sense, because we know Lily's the love of James's life. But... grrr.

I think that being an R/Ter has made me particularly aware of it from R/Sers (my mind keeps lodging on a drabble that was supposed to be funny where Tonks's crush is ridiculed when she walks in on Sirius and Remus in bed together--they laugh that she could ever have imagined anything else, a situation which is only funny if you despise the person to whom it's happened, and anyone who might have fantasized about the same thing), but I'm sure it goes in every possible direction from every ship.
straussmonster From: straussmonster Date: June 13th, 2005 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
The greatest sin of that hypothetical scene is that it's really bad writing to have the characters sit and list off these sorts of things, or just tell us about them over and over again. Reminds me of an HG/SS fic where for every few chapters, every time Hermione looked at Ron or they talked she thought about how they'd used to have something, but now they both realized they would only ever be friends. After the third time reading that...
tiferet From: tiferet Date: June 13th, 2005 10:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, if I was thinking that about a guy every time I looked at him, there'd be grounds for saying I was still hung up on him.

I don't like R/Hr and I don't read it; but all I see in canon is Ron having a sort of crush on her, nothing the other way round, so when I write her with other people, I just...write her with other people. Because I do not get the vibe from canon that she's particularly interested in him, I do not have her thinking about him in that context. (I do have Blaise telling him off after catching the feeling that maybe Ron is interested in her, but that's different.)
gabrielladusult From: gabrielladusult Date: June 13th, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link)


Yeah on both counts. The shipping thing is particularly funny -- though as a Remus/OFC writer I often wonder how to draw in or acknowledge the legitimacy of those who are R/S or R/T. I mean, I see the possibility of both ships -- I just can't bring myself to open my heart to them -- but I will read either ship if its well written (like Shifts for example ;) ). I won't do that for just any ship, though. Any Draco ship gives me the willies -- as does Snape slash and teacher/student.

I also ship Harry/Ginny -- but I might close a fic with the scene you just wrote because that sort of thing is grating in anyting but parody. If it were a parody, it might be really funny and worth reading no matter what your ship. What I dislike about H/G fics as a H/G shipper is when they turn Dean and/or Cho into vicious near-evil characters. I mean, I thought Cho was a wimp -- and a little bit air-headed for a Ravenclaw, but she didn't seem to be vindictive or evil. And Dean has never been anything but a good guy (Seamus was the jerk in OotP). But I shouldn't peeve in your comments section.

Good rant.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 13th, 2005 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hah

I often wonder how to draw in or acknowledge the legitimacy of those who are R/S or R/T.

There's no need to--it's not what you're writing, so you don't need to acknowledge it. Just treat those two characters and their relationships with Remus the way you see them in canon. If you don't see them as romantically involved (not whether or not you can see why other people do, just whether or not you do), then don't write them that way. They can have a relationship without so much as mentioning romance. I did my best throughout Shifts to treat Remus and Sirius as having the relationship I see between them in canon.
erised1810 From: erised1810 Date: June 13th, 2005 09:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
That seems to tie in/touc hon wo subjects.
reading stuf in astory the author didn't intend to write in a fic
and using your fic to bash other ships/characters. I hae those two as well, pecially the first one and especial ywit hsubtext messaes and so forth. Its' what makes me scaredt post my marauder fic of whic hI' msure some of it has fairy open narrative about close friendships. Thee's one where jamend lil ygo i nhidign and there's an intense scene of the msyaingod-bye to Sirius. wel it ocudl be take nas secred lvoers havign dificlulty to part for good. :P Id' be rathe anoeyd if somene read more into that ,een if i know they can't know fro mafar that I didn't intend to write marauder slash. I guess nothign wil sto pan yreader from readign whathtey wantto rad.
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: June 13th, 2005 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
From: leeflower Date: June 13th, 2005 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry and Tonks? Harry and...?

...my brain just broke. I guess I could possibly maybe a little bit see Harry liking her if the author was damn good at characterization, but she doesn't strike me as a pervy boyfancier. I really think the rest of the order would want to have a word with her about that.

The ones I find even more interesting than people complaining about busting up fanon ships is people complaining about a ship in a fic because they're Mary-Sue "So saw him first!1!one!" Saw that a couple of times with Babylon 5 fics. Good times.
scarah2 From: scarah2 Date: June 13th, 2005 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Other than James, we have no information on their love lives. At all. Zip.

Bit of a stretch I know... but either one of them or one of their rivals could possibly have been kissing Florence.

Or past ships like Viktor/Hermione

Past? They're still writing, aren't they?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 13th, 2005 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bit of a stretch I know... but either one of them or one of their rivals could possibly have been kissing Florence.

Well, sure. Lots of things are possible. That's what I mean about not knowing anything. I mean, Remus and Sirius could have been a couple. Remus and Florence could have been a couple. Remus might have had a wacky cross-species affair with Dobby, for all we know for sure. All I'm saying is that if you're writing Remus/Florence, there's no special reason to say anything about Remus/Sirius (or Remus/Dobby).

Of course, if I were J.K. Rowling, I'd end the series with Remus joining a monastery just to get some peace and quiet. :D
magistera From: magistera Date: June 13th, 2005 11:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here via hogwarts_today, and, well, word on both points. I remember that thread on pottersues, and I was like...dude. My parents bought our first computer in 1982. It cost three thousand dollars. And it was used. We didn't get a modem until 1988. But I guess there are a lot of teenagers for whom the Internet has just always been there, at least since they were old enough to be aware of it.

*wanders off into geek land, reminiscing about the AppleIIe, parity & stop bits, and lousy local BBS's*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 13th, 2005 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
*Ah, fond nostalgia about high tech high school couse on the Apple II (1987-1988), learning to make low res graphics and simple programs in BASIC...*

We never had a computer; it was definitely a luxury item. I used lab computers in college, and didn't get my own (used from a friend) until, I think, 1994.
butterflysteve From: butterflysteve Date: June 13th, 2005 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I tried to give up reasoning with shippers a long, long time ago (yes it was also...in a galaxy far, far away) especially over the Remus/Sirius debate. I am a Remus/Sirius fan but I'm a big shipper of Remus/Tonks, see the conflict? I know both are fanon and I would never defend either pairing based on "canon" not at least until Jo says so.
I've also been hate mailed because I ship Remus/Tonks over Remus/Sirius...traitor...blah...blah...blah... I've even been called homophobic because of it.
Even when fictionalley was trying to promote unity between shippers certain shippers still were snarky about other shippers.

I just stick my fingers in my ears and ignore them nowadays and hit the delete button in my inbox.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 14th, 2005 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. I haven't been called homophobic (at least not to my face), just accused of being in a group "desperate to pair Remus with a woman, any woman." Because, yeah, I'd been really all about shipping Remus with someone before we met Tonks. It was my primary preoccupation, as evidenced by my total lack of fics on the subject.
kat_denton From: kat_denton Date: June 14th, 2005 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I would have been an aproximate contempory of Lucius (b 1955, grad HS 1973). Computers were huge things in the basement of college science buildings that esoteric acolytes fed with trays of punched cards. And a single typo would ruin days worth of work. Flow charts and decision tree because you had to teach the damn things almost from scratch for every different program.

Video Games - What's that? We played pinball.

A nice house was $25,000, a luxury car was under $5000, a good bicycle was less than $100 - and WOW, there were gears on it!!!! (and brakes that could dump you over the handle bars if you weren't careful - another story).

And my first summer job paid $100 plus room and board for a full month's work.

But that was enough to buy all my textbooks for my first semester of college.

This rant sounds rather like one of those 'and we walked uphill to school in the snow - both ways' cliche's. But seriously, if you're writing a Maurader's era fic, grab a extra beta - somebody who can do an "age" nit-pick. Hint: 8 tracks and vinyl records, not cd's........ (pet peeve).

vytresna From: vytresna Date: June 14th, 2005 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think JKR also said Sirius was too busy being a big rebel to have a girlfriend, or am I misquoting?
a_t_rain From: a_t_rain Date: June 14th, 2005 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, you're misquoting. She said he was too busy being a big rebel to get married. He may well have had girlfriends -- or boyfriends -- aplenty, he just didn't care to settle down with any of them.
46 comments or Leave a comment