aethel: (spock kirk uhura)
... in 2002

Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture - Henry Jenkins

p18: Fans as rebels; reject bourgeois and elitist theories on "good taste" -- on the separation between canonical literature and mass media; anti-institutional, anti-authoritarian

"Fans seemingly blur the boundaries between fact and fiction, speaking of characters as if they had an existence apart from their textual manifestations..."

Fans are deliberately cast as deluded, crazy, and maladjusted so that their radical interpretations of the aesthetic/literary value of TV and other forms of "low" art can be dismissed

pp21-22: Fans internalize criticism; have difficulty justifying their enjoyment of something considered artistically worthless

p24: "[fans] are also acutely and painfully aware that those fictions do not belong to them and that someone else has the power to do things to those characters that are in direct contradiction to the fans' own cultural interests"

academy, canon, authorial intent --> the "correct" method of reading

p48: "the largely female composition of media fandom reflects a historical split within the science fiction fan community between the traditionally male-dominated literary fans and the newer, more feminine style of media fandom."

media fandom began with Star Trek

examines how texts are inevitably reinterpreted by readers; authors view this as disintegration, but the process makes the world of the text take on an independent reality

p60: academic practices of analyzing literature and TV --> objectivity, distance, detachment
popular viewing practices --> identification, emotional involvement
p61: "bourgeois" analytical theory = masculine
popular = feminine

p116: "Fan criticism is the institutionalization of feminine reading practices just as the dominant mode of academic criticism is the institutionalization of masculine reading practices"
-socially, not biologically determined; women's stories are devalued, so they learn to find their stories in the periphery of masculine narratives

p189 "Slash fiction represents a reaction against the construction of male sexuality on television and in pornography"

p190 "Slash breaks as well with the commodification of pornography, offering erotic images that originate in a social context of intimacy and sharing"

p191: considers only male/male slash --> first and more prevalent, although written by and for women 90%

p194: "In slash, both characters can be equally strong and equally vulnerable, equally dominant and equally submissivie, without either quality being permanently linked to their sexuality or their gender"

p205: slash is social commentary on popular constructions and restrictions on male sexuality; acts like Eve Sedgwick's Between Men, removing the barriers to same-sex desire and making explicit the idea of a continuum between friends and lovers

p214: slash explores and explodes "ways male sexuality gets bound to notions of competition, dominance, and violence"

fan fiction is a form of interpretation and analysis

p234: fan music videos
1. "memory palace, encapsulating a complex narrative within a smaller number of highly iconographic shots"
2. or they can function like essays or fan fic; take suggestive images out of context and edit them to make the subtext more obvious (an admitted relationship or denied one--i.e., Troi and Riker, or Data and Yar)
3. to tell a new story like fan fic

fandom = folk culture

qualities of fandom:
1. "particular mode of reception" - fans watch with undivided attention, are both emotionally invested in and critical of the show
2. interpretation and analysis methods: compare/contrast with real life, look at details for hidden meaning, extrapolate from subtext
3. lobbying the producers and networks for certain plot developments and to get cancelled shows back on the air
p278: "Fandom originates, at least in part, as a response to the relative powerlessness of the consumer in relation to powerful institutions of cultural production and circulation"
4. "cultural production": art, fan fic, music videos, filk
p279: "Once TV characters enter into a broader circulation, intrude into our living rooms, pervade the fabric of our society, they belong to their audience and not simply to the artist who originated them"
5. "alternative social community"
aethel: (gerard bed head [by obsessivewhore])
You may have heard LJ's TOS has changed and people are worried and some people are deleting their livejournal accounts. This is distressing to me as a Fanlore editor and fic reader, and I hope no one is planning to start deleting whole communities without advanced warning (?!!?). In the meantime, I've been looking through my old bookmarks and downloaded ljarchive, which lets you get a local copy of your own lj OR (supposedly) any community you are a member of. But it already choked on geeheartmikey, so I don't know how reliable it is. ArchiveTeam has LiveJournal on their to-do list for automatically backing up to the Internet Archive, but 1) I'm not sure they've started yet? 2) It's the Internet Archive, so no journals excluded from search results or marked as 18+ can be archived. (So, you know, no kinkmemes, assuming the Wayback Machine was able to read all the comments in the first place.) On twitter I think I saw anatsuno talking with some people about starting an informal kinkmeme preservation project? Any other preservation projects on people's radars? I notified Fanlore that they have 42K links to livejournal posts that might or might not be on the Wayback Machine, so they're working on that.... AO3 hasn't posted about it, but I swear to you that someone out there really loved that ficlet you posted ten years ago, so consider uploading it to AO3.

Meanwhile, I'll be checking out ArchiveTeam's Warrior software and writing up Fanlore entries on Bandom communities.

eta: I cannot make the warrior virtual machine do the thing. will not connect to the website.

eta2: so far ljarchive has choked on everything except amplificathon, which is already backed up to dw anyway. it keeps giving me errors like this:

System.Xml.XmlException: There are multiple root elements. Line 2, position 2.
at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.Throw(Exception e)
at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.ParseDocumentContent()
at EF.ljArchive.Engine.Sync.ExportCommentsMeta(OptionsRow or, ILJServer iLJ, SessionGenerateResponse sgr, Int32& serverMaxID, Int32 localMaxID, UserMapCollection umc, CommentCollection cc)
at EF.ljArchive.Engine.Sync.ThreadStart()


Sep. 29th, 2013 10:55 am
aethel: (allison)
1. The Impact of Blogging on Fandom is an awesome Fanlore article that is mainly about what mailing list fans and LJ fans thought of LJ-type blogging as the new fannish platform. Especially interesting that some of the complaints against LiveJournal by mailing list fans are similar to the complaints against Tumblr by LiveJournal fans. Though at least one complaint is no longer valid--Tumblr posts seem to get Google-indexed almost instantaneously, so they're easier to search for, if not easier to navigate to.

2. Won't Do Me No Good Washing in the River, story by DevilDoll, podfic by Jinxy, art Rahciach. Teen Wolf, Derek/Stiles. I haven't listened to the podfic yet because the text was so emotionally brutal that I didn't think I was ready to be assaulted by audio feels. This story is painful and eerie, but has an almost happy ending. It was also posted in March, so probably everyone else has read it already. (I read it two weeks ago.) I also like the artist's style, but lack the vocabulary to describe it.
aethel: (hope eats)
[personal profile] renay wrote a blog post on September 9, and I just discovered that the SF blogdom freaked out about it:

original post at Strange Horizons
Linkspam at Radish Reviews
Renay's comments at ladybusiness

Putting aside the horribleness, if you can, I was intrigued by this glimpse* into a modern-day fandom where the relationship between fans and creators is so different. And always has been, if all the navel-gazing by Isaac Asimov I've read is any indication.

Also, from what I've read of early Star Trek fandom, the fans initially assumed that media fandom would work the same way as sf book fandom.

*Yes, not my first glimpse, but I keep trying to forget. Like how the other day I was looking at an art book by Frank Kelly Freas, a famous sf illustrator, who listed "girls" as a category of science fiction illustration. Uh, no, they exist in real life!! But are usually wearing more clothes!!! I mean, he was married to a woman and everything; he had no excuse not to notice.
aethel: (illustrated [by morebutterflys])
So for the past two weeks (!!) wank has been happening at fail_fandomanon regarding podfic and asking permission and what to do when the fan writer has gafiated (and how can you tell for sure?). Podfic fans have been freaking out. Meanwhile, I have been reminded of all the other things I'm into that got dragged through the dirt and misrepresented on ffa. On ffa, it is a truth universally acknowledged that [insert bizarre misconception about thing you were involved in here].

I had some vague notion of relating the current discussion to the topic of Orphan Works, which is a major issue in the real world, not just something entitled podficcers whine about. (That was sarcasm.) And then an ffa anon beat me to it, but that's okay. Their comment articulates fans' varying relationships to copyright law very clearly.

U.S. law, a.k.a. synthesis of Wikipedia and various discussions and analyses I've read, not my own "original" idea: Orphan works are works that have apparently been abandoned by their copyright owner, whom no one can contact or even in some cases identify, but are still in copyright. So no one can use them because you can be sure that if you actually make a profit (or even if you don't), people will come out of the woodwork to claim it and sue your pants off. So, you know, that's a quick way to find out who the copyright owner is. The early history of film is crumbling to dust, but we can't save it because someone owns the copyright (probably). The U.S. tried to solve this legislatively and failed.

The orphan works problem wouldn't be so bad if a) copyright weren't automatic and b) copyright term weren't so egregiously long. Before automatic copyright, you had to register your copyright, which meant that there would be a record of ownership that someone who wanted to make use of the work could look up and use to contact you to ask permission. After automatic copyright, it became more difficult to figure out who owned what. But again it wouldn't have been so bad if you could wait out the copyright term. Except now the copyright term is so long that waiting isn't really an option. After a certain point, people won't wait; they'll either use it anyway or forget that it existed. (Forgetting that cultural objects existed should be a depressing prospect to any person contemplating their own mortality, not just academics.) This is why no one cares about Mickey Mouse anymore. And so our commercial culture producers keep on reinventing the wheel AND reusing the pitifully few public domain stories that are still relevant (because being truly original is not only impossible, but also financially risky) while everyone on the internet is making new culture illegally (or not, but who can afford a lawyer?), but no one can really acknowledge it officially, except for the lawyers distributing DMCA notices, which means fewer permanent records and fading memory and virtual crumbling into dust.

(But the internet didn't invent culture, although we never saw GIFs before. The internet made a lot of cultural activity illegal at the same time that it made it visible. Copyright is only an issue when a copy is made and distributed, which doesn't happen when you are drawing the Millennium Falcon in your sketchbook or acting out episodes from Star Trek with your friends. In conclusion, read Free Culture.)

The upshot is that current U.S. copyright law is broken in many places and not a good model for fandom to follow without modification (especially since we're already breaking it in the way some of us acquire and use canon). But copyright isn't necessarily a good model anyway, considering that the incentives for creating fanworks are so different from the economic free market that U.S. law assumes. The purpose of copyright law (in the U.S. at least) is to allow artists to make a living at their art instead of having to get a day job so that everyone else will enjoy the benefits of having more and better art. Well, we already have day jobs, and we're already making a lot of this stuff for free, and we're already enjoying the benefits of other people making it for free. The incentives in fandom -- the joy of creating, the joy of sharing, the joy of getting positive feedback, the joy of having fangirls, (the joy of having started a new trope?) -- require proper attribution, but not necessarily copy protection. The only real downside to a lack of copy protection is the possibility that people who want their works copy protected won't post them at all.

P.S. I am not a lawyer.
aethel: (holmes bemused)
Poll #13723 fandom definition
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 13

Is Fandom ...

View Answers

a community
7 (53.8%)

multiple/many communities
12 (92.3%)

a culture
6 (46.2%)

multiple/many cultures
10 (76.9%)

a hobby
12 (92.3%)

a way of life
8 (61.5%)

none of the above
0 (0.0%)

aethel: (K/S cave story)
20 years out of date, but some of the issues discussed are, alas, still with us. One article reminded me a little of the controversy with University of Iowa's zine archives. From "The Archivist's Balancing Act: Helping Researchers While Protecting Individual Privacy" by Judith Schwarz:
Amid the complex motives of donors, there is often a desire to establish a favorable historical image of the record-creating institution, family, or person. That desire can lead to a destruction of some materials before any are donated and to restrictions on access to what is saved. A second activity is research, and one motive of researchers is the desire to examine all the documents that may bear on their topics. A third activity is collecting materials that document the history of a region, profession, social class, movement, or racial, ethnic, religious, or sexual community. The motives of collectors often include the desire to affirm the documented group's identity and to convince others of its legitimacy by enshrining its particular past.

The writer later describes an incident with a collection of the papers of the Daughters of Bilitis that had been rescued from someone's basement:
A woman who had written one or two letters in the early 1960s to DOB found out that the collection had been given to us and wrote a passionately angry letter, demanding that we destroy the entire collection. She argued that by preserving the letters without individual permission from each writer, we would cause great psychic distress and possibly even physical harm to the women involved.... Her sense of stigma and self-hatred was enormous in the beginning, causing us untold hours of anguished labor and concern. Yet an archivist of any minority despised by the society at large must be willing to work with people uneasy about the records they have created before their history is destroyed. The donor is not the enemy. She is a victim of the situation that gives us reason to exist -- the devaluing of human lives.

Not to suggest that fans are a persecuted minority. Just, there's nothing new under the sun.


Jan. 7th, 2013 11:58 pm
aethel: (sam feminist)
I want to see some meta on how weird the permission culture of fanworks fandom* is compared to the rest of the Internet. I'm always discovering new things that somebody thought they needed permission for, like linking to a public website or repodding a fanfic or podficcing a fanfic posted anonymously on a kink meme. (Oh my god, just do it already, and stop asking before everyone else starts thinking they need to ask, too.) It's not just because of Disney and the larger corporate-sponsored copyright culture. It's because fanworks fandom has a female majority, and women still feel the need to ask permission to breathe. I speak from experience. In slash fandom especially, there's an idea that fandom or fanworks are feminist somehow, by resisting the dominant hegemonic paradigm thingy and repurposing male narratives to express female sexuality (except then I don't know what all the men slashers are expressing--enjoyment of slash, maybe?), and I'm sure there's some truth in that, but fandom is also composed of people -- people who brought their own cultural baggage with them. Sexism followed us right in. We're busy policing each other whenever there are no male authorities around to do it for us. (This reminds me of an essay I read somewhere about the self-defeating power dynamics of feminist organizations. Joanna Russ?) You don't see anons on 4chan asking permission to reuse someone's idea for a macro. Why? Because it's not a female space. (Also it's an anonymous space, so maybe kink meme podficcers could learn something from that.)

Not that I want to lead the charge for the as-yet non-existent anti-permission rebel forces. I need to lead the charge of aethel to her bed.

*Except for how it's not a monolithic thing (I hope). The parts I've seen on LiveJournal/Dreamwidth vary, and Tumblr is a whole other ball game. Maybe that's why I love Tumblr so much.
aethel: (jack whatever)
1. the fuck is this. what is the point of recording five minutes of a fic you yourself wrote for the privilege of no longer owning it or the right to post the podfic in full? Also, it sounds like the judging will be based purely on the text and not on the recording, so why even bother with the audio? If you win, you have the honor of A Professional recording your fanfic. This is my favorite part: Proper credit, as Random House deems appropriate, will be given to the Runners Up and Grand Prize Winners. The Audio Works will be the sole property of Random House and may be published and reproduced in any and all forms and media throughout the world, without further obligation. You also get a random selection of professional audiobooks worth $200 (whatever they feel like giving you). Oh, and if you're doing Star Wars, you can't use any canon details from the tie-in novels. Somehow I doubt they're going to give the grand prize to the Luke/Han always-a-girl femslash AU where they meet at the Imperial Academy. Basically, don't do it.

1a. Whatever. Someone will be very happy with their Artemis Fowl canon-compliant gen fic being sold as a Random House audiobook and not getting any royalties.

ETA 1b. another interpretation of the Random House contract, equally damning.

2. more Fanlore pages about wizard rock!
aethel: (dalek [by mirnell])
Right, so a week ago I attended Muskrat Jamboree, a biennial slash convention held in Boston. The con ran for two days, Friday and Saturday. It was my seventh fan convention, fourth fan-run convention, second media fandom convention, and first slash convention! At least, I think it was my seventh; those Creation cons all sort of blur together. (I was a baby fan, and I really liked Star Trek: The Next Generation--MORE THAN I'D EVER LIKED ANYTHING EVER BEFORE OR EVER WOULD AGAIN. Ah, young love.) MJ was excellent and very different from any of the (few) cons I'd been to before--for starters, only 150 people were there. Mostly fangirls, and in fact, I only noticed one lone fanboy. The programming consisted of (very enthusiastic) panel discussions. I tried to go to all the panels, which I think I will not do next time: I was worn out by Saturday afternoon. But yes, I shall go again if I can.

I took notes during the discussions because that's just how I am, but I'm looking at my notes now and they're not terribly illuminating. Observe:
canon discussion
were-swans, were-seahorses

Mysterious, yet intriguing. more con report )
aethel: (xena/gabrielle gazing)
I was editing the sf article on the Fanlore wiki today when the site went down. I don't know what to do with myself now. I've been searching for a citation to back up my impression that use of the term "speculative fiction" is an attempt on the part of writers, born out of snobbery and/or embarrassment, to distance themselves from the unfortunate stereotypes surrounding "science fiction." The motive seems obvious to me, but I can't find anything written on this subject.

I finally read Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide by Andrea Smith, a book that was reccommended by everyone and their sister on lj a few months/years back. I can join in the chorus of yeays now: this book is well-written, easy to understand, and comprehensive. Smith covers issues that I'd heard of before--assaults on reproductive rights of minority women (stealth historectomies, oh my god), abusive boarding schools forced on Native peoples in the U.S. and Canada, and the problem with relying on the criminal justice system to combat domestic violence in minority communities--as well as issues I hadn't (but should have) thought were related--how environmentalism is connected to fears about "overpopulation" and population control movements and how these movements are inherently racist:
ton of quotes )

In other news, I somehow gave myself whiplash while sitting in bed the other night. At first I thought I had meningitis, but, really, no.
aethel: (buffy cranky)
RaceFail 09, aka The Great Cultural Appropriation Debate of DOOM 2009, is still going strong, but has now morphed into posting the real life names of livejournal users. I would have allowed for the charitable interpretation--disconnect between blogging and livejournal community norms--except, no. Plus, the aforementioned bloggers are now apparently redirecting the URLs of their controversial posts, that everyone is linking to, to malware-infested third-party sites? These are grown-ups?? What?

ETA: And I swear I was reading one of the offending and offensive bloggers' livejournals ([ profile] willshetterly) not an hour ago, but now it has been deleted.
aethel: (Default)
I'm utterly braindead and coming down off a Harry/Draco high, but I'm going to post anyway:

-driving to Salem on 128 in rush hour traffic with construction! Whee!
-Everyone in the universe was trying to park in Salem to watch the Halloween parade there.
-I didn't even know where the filled-up parking was.
-I drove on the wrong side of the road, but miraculously avoided either an accident or a citation.
-Chris Rankin, who plays Percy Weasley in the movies, was in the parade.
-The teenaged girls standing in front of me noticed this surprising fact and started screaming.
-talking to another girl who didn't know anyone going to TWH and subsequently joining forces for the evening.
-seeing a lot of McGonagall hats.
-women dressed in very convincing Draco, Lucius, and Snape costumes.
-Draco, Lucius, and Snape getting sorted into Gryffindor.
-the other girl and I getting sorted into Hufflepuff. (WHAT?!? is what I didn't say, but I overheard other people grumbling about getting sorted into the wrong Houses.)
-lots of energetic, excited fans. It was weird saying "fanfic" to a total stranger and knowing that I would be understood.
-talking to an engineer from San Jose about checkmated.
-seeing faces to go with the names I see on livejournal.
-reminding myself of my conversation with [ profile] insomniac_blu, in which I promised I wouldn't grab fanauthors by their ankles and plead, "I want to have your babies!"
-thinking about Voice and how it's easier to see that the writing styles of people you already know reflect their characters than vice versa.
-hearing Saber Shadowkitten say that no straight fifteen-year-old boy would describe kissing a girl as "wet" and leave it at that.


aethel: (Default)
æthel the aardvark

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