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[personal profile] reenka
You know, before I spent too long in fandom, I had squicks. Now I just have preferences and a whole lot of pet-peeves, where it's just that you'd have to work harder to please me if I've a peeve about it. Like, y'know, I remember in the good old days, where Kirk/Spock sex pretty much squicked me, even if I liked the idea of the pairing a lot; I couldn't get over my adolescent vision of them. I remember when Ron/Draco and Snape/Draco and even Harry/Hermione seemed Deeply Wrong... and now I just don't prefer them. I remember when H/D was the alpha and omega of my fannish universe and I had all these ideas about how it 'should' and 'shouldn't' be done (and okay, I still have those), but I've become quite lax about thumping my chest and hyperventilating, alas.

Anyway, I meant to talk about a specific comment in this Wincest squick post, but it also made me think a bit, 'cause yeah, the sheer prevalence of that reading of a show's canon bothers me a bit-- though that's my 'canon, bitches!' thing, not any anti-incest squick, exactly; actually, I don't think I've ever had a 'traditional' squick in the sense that it's based on my real-life beliefs (I mean, I tend to like characters in fiction I'd probably clobber in real life, for a start). Like, if it's well-written, anything challenging or transgressive can only make the story more interesting, as far as I'm concerned; for examples, look to the many instances of incest in classic literature and also some of the best genre lit of today (okay, mainly Song of Ice and Fire). I cannot imagine seriously reading something good and then stopping and going, 'but this is WRONG, HOW COULD THIS BE??! NOOOoooo'. If I really felt like that, I mean, I wouldn't have graduated from books for toddlers, because isn't there always something unpleasant and 'wrong' and unfair even in (good and/or classic) children's books?

    (Btw, this is where some of my friends woujd just say I'm not a critical enough reader, so I clearly suck. Hehe. Because yeah, while I was careful to say 'well-written' and 'good' stories, the truth is I also suspend a lot of judgment/personal issues/disbelief when reading stuff I just... like a lot for whatever reason. I wouldn't call it a 'kink'; like, I don't have a 'kink' for HP canon, y'know? Most of the time the only reason I'm critical is when I either really love something or really hate it, usually because of aesthetic/story-construction reasons. This mostly applies to stuff that's really bad. How do I explain it. It applies to purple-prosey fantasy books with ass-stupid names & the majority of post-OoTP fanfic I read, hahaha; it very rarely applies to content, in other words, and only to execution-- the big exception being OOCness in fic and stuff I find relentlessly bleak. Because I'm a huge romantic dork. But I try to keep that under control. :P So yeah, it's a personality issue, basically, and one I can't really do anything about, so nyah.)


In any case, I'm veeeery touchy about actually projecting slashiness on any canon... and in fact I can't think of any where I would do so with all honesty. There's liminal cases like Star Trek, The Sentinel and Gundam Wing, but I wouldn't go so far as to explain anything that happened with the characters through that lens. It's just subtext, take it or leave it.

Aaanyway. It's funny because I have the exact opposite reaction-- usually if something squicks me in text/theory, it squicks me less in a visual representation, because I'm more of an aesthete-- I always look at art as an 'art piece' first and a 'statement' second; in other words, I can easily disengage any moral/ethical/other biases and just enjoy the pretty because pretty is what matters with visual media to me. This is why I have no hard pairing preference with fanart, for instance, and why I tolerate and enjoy extreme cheesiness in fanvids of the sort that'd make me run screaming from a fic.
    Coincidentally, it's also why the 6A/LJ wank sticks in my craw like mad. It's really the art-critique aspect that drives me mad, the double-standard where fanfic is okay but fanart isn't-- fanart needs to be judged by outsiders who don't have the first clue what they're looking at. That just drives me mad. Visual art just... the idea of judging it in such pedestrian terms without even realizing that's what you're doing-- it makes my blood boil.

Regardless, I meant to just quote [livejournal.com profile] harriet_spy's comment:
    To be honest, there's no way you can take a dynamic that hinges even a little bit on transgressiveness, have ten thousand squeeing fangirls stampede over it, and have anything left but flatness.

I just thought that was really... very true. And it really applies to some of my favorite pairings (*cough!*) rather than just Wincest. It's not that I hate fluff... it's that I'm just so bored & frustrated by the sheer glut of narratives that make the transgressive and raw as acceptable and 'easy' as possible. Actually, the reason I wouldn't ship Wincest is probably because you can't reasonably expect it to be remotely healthy or resolvable in any positive way-- and I'm still a romantic. It's kinda figures that the incest is intinsically everyone's problem, but yeah. This definitely reminds of the sheer flatness I felt before I stopped reading H/D altogether; this sense that the pairing has become... completely predictable and 'easy' (in fandom, not in canon). I can't really think of a transgressive pairing that actually consistently captured its own problematic areas... which is why I'm really way too wary to read S/L, but oh well.

Date: 2007-08-23 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
That -is- interesting if you isolate it; the fact that Draco 'regressed' or didn't progress-- remained most definitely himself. The problem is, of course, that Harry doesn't seem to have a hair-trigger Shadow-like response to Draco's behavior; he seems to accept it(?). Ron got angry and punched Draco, but Harry saved Draco's life instinctively & didn't seem bitter afterwards. I love DH!Draco, though, and his ambiguities and his -trying- so hard and his doing things that are good sort of naturally, if on the very minimal scale-- and he's a lot less angsty/reluctant/conflicted about it than Snape, say, it seems like. I find all that very interesting. Dynamic-wise (ie, H/D), I dunno, it's different.

I do love the connection between OoTP!Draco & DH!Draco, but then I loved HBP!Draco, too and thought he was a totally great and natural progression from OoTP except for the bit where he's not bothered with Harry so much & has other problems now :> The romantic heroism talk all went over my head-- I never even began to connect with it, so it's not an issue; I'm just not sure where I or how I see their dynamic in DH. It's hard to imagine Harry would be all that sensitive to Draco's antics if he forgave -Snape-, but of course it was always more personal in a way with Draco. I mean, it's not that I don't see a potential for other people to write stuff, I just don't feel it myself? It's like I love Draco and Harry's stories but I don't know if I see a story for them together. My sort of story, I mean, not like in general.

I was definitely happy with Draco in DH, though. He was just... constantly himself and yet still managed to give little glimmers of something unexpected. You could work with that. Somehow. Not that I know how, but I still like the idea of DH AUs :>

Date: 2007-08-23 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
I really don't get the talk of how Draco has regressed. I mean, I get it, but that just makes it worse. It seems like when OOTP came out and people were disappointed he wasn't Cassie Claire's Draco. I mean, even the people who hate him seem to be holding this against him, that he's not the fantasy fandom made him out to be.

I think you can't ignore HBP when you talk about Draco, it's just that it's not some essentialist deal where he's either HBP and DH, it's both. That's way better; it's like when I was talking about Draco saving Goyle... it's a lot more awesome when bravery comes from a guy who screams and squeezes so tightly it hurts and later is still saying he's on the DE side to save his ass. But then I just read a post when someone said they shouldn't be sympathizing with Jaime Lannister, and this movie review where the guy was all like "they're all assholes, what's the point of it" and I want to headdesk x1000.

Plus I think Draco changed, moreso than Harry even. It just wasn't bangy or super-positive and cool and didn't bring him to an openly admirable place.

I don't know about Harry... I mean 1) he seemed pretty emotionally robotic in this book to me when he wasn't having righteous anger and 2) the shadow is a complex archetype so I can still very easily read it there but then I almost expect you to want me to make a case for why it's *the* reading rather than just a possible (sneaky! that's what I like about it... remember that song I talked about on aim?) one.

Like, it's supertrue that Harry has a completely different relationship to Snape, if anything because they're so similar, where Draco is an alien in almost every way. But you know what I mean.or

Date: 2007-08-23 08:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
That's why I put 'regressed' in quotes, like, 'regressed'. Because people say so, and because they were expecting... whatever it is they were expecting :P I wasn't ignoring HBP(??), I was saying HBP was a direct response to my ideas post-HBP and was, if anthing, impossible to ignore in many ways, so... but then I never know if you're talking about me or 'fandom' or what ^^;;; I don't think I was saying he's 'either' HBP or DH; that doesn't even make sense to me, since he's one character & I couldn't separate the cumulative effect of books in my head if I tried. Partly my problem (ie, they're completely 'whole' in my head, one entity). I like the idea of AUs, but starting them myself is an issue of some difficulty. When I said I 'liked the connection' between OoTP and DH, I didn't mean to skip HBP, I meant to say the books have resonances; OoTP Harry & DH Harry does, hell, book 1 Harry & book 7 Harry has major thematic connections. And thematic connections is what I was talking about.

I agree Draco changed... in many little subtle ways, in some more obvious ways in terms of his priorities becoming more clear. With Harry, hahah I don't expect you to illuminate canon!Harry for me :> I don't think he was robotic, though seeing it from your pov I see where you get it... he was so sad/nostalgic about his years in Hogwarts, so frustrated and angry and even needy about Dumbledore, obsessive about the Hallows, scared and impatient while camping, worried about and then lost without Ron. The past was really palpable as a presence-- Harry was thinking about it more than ever, finally asking these hard questions about Dumbledore, finally going to Godric's Hollow, going back to Hogwarts and realizing his connection with it & Tom and Snape-- all these things were strong emotional markers, and I experienced them from Harry's pov. But of course my view of Harry!canon and yours... tend not to coincide, as I said :>

Date: 2007-08-23 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
Ahaha, it's sort of funny because I want to say "you're projecting" regarding your reading of Harry, but it has nothing to do with what I actually think about it, just with the way I twitch every time you talk of "fangirls" projecting "slash". ;P (<-- emoticon)

Date: 2007-08-23 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I think the way I say it is very loose and hinges on creative unifying of some threads in canon (ie, summarizing at all is subjective in that it's inevitably an interpretation rather than a pure dissection of canon). Alas, I never actually bother quoting bits or making coherent arguments ^^;;;; Anyway, I don't think I say all fangirls always project slash by default :P I just make distinctions between subtext & text; god, I don't want to get into THAT again. I 'see' slashiness myself plenty of times, I just stop short of saying it actually directly explains X action; like... uh, random example, I see some emotional 'slashiness' in Star Trek, though I'm ambiguous about sexualizing it. Regardless, I would never say 'the reason Kirk went so far to rescue Spock when he thought Spock was dead after the second movie was because he was in luuurve and they were boyfriends omg!!'. I mean, most reasonable people wouldn't say that, but a lot of people do squee in that general direction, and I've been in fandom long enough to become bitter, clearly. ^^;;

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