reenka: (Default)
[personal profile] reenka
You know, I say I'm a canon!whore, but it's not true. I mean, more half the time I don't have the patience to read/watch everything in a given canon, especially if it's a sizeable length. The only canons I love enough to read/watch everything tend to be the sort I don't want extra fannish material on anyway, plus my memory isn't best suited for remembering details of plot anyway. So I'd make a sucky canon!whore who would get things wrong all the time, factually speaking. Haha, it's just that it's occurred to me that I prefer my fannish reading to be stuff written/drawn/made by people who do care and who do remember, to whom it matters, simply because I find that when you say 'to hell with canon', you produce crap. There's just no way around it. I don't even need to know canon to tell it's crap, because I can smell wish-fulfillment from 3 miles away blindfolded. :/ So when people support views that are self-admittedly & explicitly counter to canon, it's like they're saying, 'I don't care about quality, only self-gratification', which makes me :/ (even though, I mean... knock yourself out, whatever it takes, sure).


I was just reading a doujin for Heero/Duo in Gundam Wing, a fandom notorious for having 3/4ths of it spit on canon and then do a little jig. Of course, anything I say about it myself is questionable, because I haven't actually... watched the whole series, or even most of it (it's not my sort of thing, okay! though I'd watch it all if I were to write GW), but I know the facts/events and stuff and I've watched the post-series movie. Anyway, my point is that anything I've ever seen tends to be better if it at least references some situation from canon in a direct way. If it doesn't take place in some lala-land stock setting (like... some anonymous apartment, anonymous school, random safe-house... whatever), but rather is placed securely in the context of... something. Anything. If it at least makes an effort, generally this means the characters won't be entirely penises on legs and will actually be interesting to watch develop. I dunno.

I mean, I actually like AUs, but one reason I like them is because in order to be a purposeful AU, you have to reference canon (though more subtly), in order to still have the characters remain recognizable. So like, for Snape/Lily-- even if you write a story where different events occurred and she never got together with James, the issues that had been there before must remain and just find another outlet. That's the point of AUs, to me-- seeing the same inevitable conflicts find different resolutions. So basically it's impossible to have happy shiny Snape/Lily in any universe, no matter how much you ignore certain canon events, and have them remain recognizably Snape & Lily, y'know. Or at least, I want to read stories by authors who think like that, because I know they're a lot less likely to suck because they're a lot more likely to care about internal logic & consistency, both major parts of good writing.
~~

Anyway. This sort of segues into my discomfort with people who're 'out of context' fans-- like, they like the hotness of the actors/characters/singers/whatever but they don't like the whole context of their actual personalities/lives/the events surrounding them-- it's like they separate the two rather than seeing them as one entity, a whole. Like, in bandom, it'd involve seeing the hotness as just one cool aspect of several, influenced by the music, the fashion, the public personas, the private glimpses-- everything as influencing and contextualizing everything else. That's just how I see the world.

It's like I don't mean those people are 'wrong' or I have issues; I just mean it makes me a little uncomfortable so I avoid them a bit. Like when people mostly squee about 'teh hot' or 'the bishounen factor' in yaoi, I feel kind of alienated even though the fan-service is intentionally there, just like it's intentionally there with bands and TV shows with hot actors, say. It's not that I don't squee, but I feel a bit weird 'cause it's the real personalities and people's actual relationships that make me happy, not people's looks; even slashy subtext only gets me so far if I suspect I may be projecting it, because the lack of authenticity harshes my squee, personally. Even though I enjoy pretty people a lot and I naturally slash pretty boys in my head. I guess I'm a freak. :P

You have to remember, though, that 'canon' isn't a rigid black&white thing, though; just because I like context doesn't mean I like the most boring and straightforward/traditional interpretation of what's 'really there' you can possibly come up with. That's not creative at all, man. The trick is using what's there & running with it. That's what makes fanfic great, to me. The possibilities, right.

I was actually thinking of the bandom wank, & people who're squarely on the limited 'they're just play-acting' side of the fence saying it's 'all fake', as if it can't have different layers, theoretically, where it's not quite real, not quite gay, not quite one thing or another, but rather a mess of impulses and motivations and interpretations, raw and confused and all the more real in some ways for being a performance in others. It's that fuzzy area I like-- the one between and around text, subtext & context, all muddled concentric or interlapping cirles-- but at the same time you should be certain of the facts and the balances and the clearer boundaries you're starting with before you wade into murkier waters.

Date: 2007-09-09 03:35 am (UTC)
ext_6866: (Hmmmm..)
From: [identity profile] sistermagpie.livejournal.com
See,I wouldn't say "to hell with canon" produces crap just because ALL fanfic starts out with "to hell with canon." If you go too far it's not recognizable and no fun, but most of my favorite fics all could be titled TO HELL WITH CANON on some level.:)

Date: 2007-09-09 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Well. What does the person mean by 'to hell with canon', I guess. :-? Context :D Or rather, is this the author's attitude or merely the subversiveness/direction/nature of the story. Because that goes into the AU caveat, where I'd say you have to actually understand what you're subverting before you... subvert it, or something.

Doesn't some fanfic start out with 'what if canon did THIS instead' rather than 'to hell with it'? It's just an attitude of attentiveness rather than disregard, that's all I meant. Like, to me I suppose not paying attention + not caring (and therefore not paying attention) produce illogical/amorphous crap... so perhaps I'm projecting...? I didn't mean to say you have to do what the canon 'wants' to produce good fic, or care about the canon's goals or even keep the actual events in line, just that if you don't flagrantly care what really happened, how can you comment on it intelligently? Y'know?

It's like talking about politics without watching the news closely. You'll just sound stupid and/or deluded and off in your own little world, that's what I meant. The more you know, the more you use it, the more you can manipulate it to produce something on that basis, or something, it just seems logical to me :>

A lot of the fics I like are stylized and weird (intellislashy) and a lot are just embarrassing to me now, but the ones that stick with me are the ones who really did something meaningful with the characters, I guess, the ones who really built on real things instead of building on air. The whole story then seems more solid to me, like it's taking place in 'real time'. And with that Gundam Wing doujin, it's as simple as actually placing the story in the context of series timeline rather than 'make-believe' timeline X. I mean, by definition this doujin isn't really part of GW canon, clearly, but it's a more vivid reflection of that universe, and the characters seem more... there somehow, just because of this small thing like placing it on an exact canon location in a specific context. It allows all the rest of canon to provide something like illusory depth without the doujin having to work for it, which seems like one of the major strengths of fanwork in general, no? :>

Besides, I was only talking about people who're explicitly 'to hell with canon' in terms of proclaiming it openly, not just where you could interpret their work that way on 'some level' :D We're talking about author's attitudes and that reflecting on their theoretical works, though, which is always iffy; like, it's not as if caring = good writing-- talent = good writing, and caring + working at it helps, right. But if you don't care about your material, how likely are you to really pay attention to the nitty gritty of the characters that really makes something shine? That was mostly where I was coming from.

Date: 2007-09-09 04:48 pm (UTC)
ext_6866: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sistermagpie.livejournal.com
Well. What does the person mean by 'to hell with canon', I guess. :-? Context :D Or rather, is this the author's attitude or merely the subversiveness/direction/nature of the story. Because that goes into the AU caveat, where I'd say you have to actually understand what you're subverting before you... subvert it, or something.

Oh yeah, I think it depends on exactly how they mean it--mostly it probably matters that they really know what they mean by it. The thing about dippy Mary Sues is probably that they really don't understand when and how they're getting it wrong--and that's not for canon but also for just life and how to write.

But for instance, you got into HP fandom just reading fandom and having not read the canon at all, which is kind of the ultimately "Fuck canon," right? You had a canon made up of fanfic stuff, I assume.

Date: 2007-09-09 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
The thing is, I wasn't thinking about Mary Sues but rather the examples like most of the doujinshi & fic in Gundam Fic, which is based around the concept of TWT (timeline-what-timeline), and how... y'know, it tends to suck so much less with the simple expedient of you actually giving something a specific context in time/space/the series canon. And the bandslash thing where it's not even that they're writing Mary Sues, but they're not writing... anyone in particular, just 'Hot Guy X' 'cause they don't bother at all. And with Snape/Lily, where people proclaim that while they acknowledge that in canon Snape was probably too dorky/shy/pathetic to make a move, to hell with that... I mean. You can change what happened, but if you just purposefully ignore his personality issues, it's going to suck. I feel.

It's funny though, that even back when I didn't know HP canon & didn't want to, I kind of realized a lot of fic sucked-- or at least wasn't well-written; in Gundam Wing I don't know canon and still don't feel like watching it to this day, but when I read whore!Duo and sentimental!Heero, I still now that people are on the bad crack, heh. It's not like they 'don't get it' or aren't that good, it's that they actively don't care if it makes any sense & they don't really try, which is where my problem lies, really. I mean, if they tried to place whore!Duo in any sort of real-seeming context... but that never tends to happen. He's just an emo cutting street-walking teenager who... happens to be a badass terrorist robot-mecha pilot in canon o_0

I think when I came into fandom, I quickly started to accumulate canon knowledge enough to just know what's going on (I remember being confused at Durendal's evil!Ron, thinking he wasn't like that... was he?)-- I read meta, essays, online references, etc, just so I'd have a clue. I didn't like the source and didn't want to read the books (...and I still haven't finished book 1 entirely or most of book 2, haha... *cough*), but I noticed when other people's fics referenced specific things and I always cared whether those references were real or not, etc.

It's like, I may not like the specific canon, but to me a basic understanding and acceptance of some of its tenets is inescapeable to play with it. Say, I knew Draco & Harry didn't like each other in canon from the start. I would never accept a fic where that was blatantly ignored, even back when all my knowledge rested on seeing movie 1 :> It's more that a look for a sense of acknowledgment & context rather than a bunch of factual details I probably don't remember even having read books 3-7 without looking it up at the Lexicon, hahah.

Date: 2007-09-09 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] addictedkitten.livejournal.com
I'm a huge canon whore which makes being in an RPS fandom really incredibly annoying sometimes, because while yes, it's canon that they're hot and they touch each other a lot, there's also a WHOLE LOT of other stuff you need to know to make your characterization not suck. Grr argh.

Date: 2007-09-09 04:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Heh, yes I know :D So do you think of yourself as a canon!whore at large (were you one in HP, say?) or just in RPS? But yeah, I'd say it being RPS of hot boys exacerbates the overall issue where people fixate on the 'hotness factor' to the exclusion of... other things. ^^;

Date: 2007-09-09 04:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] addictedkitten.livejournal.com
Yeah, I'd say I'm a canon whore in general. Never to the extent that I have been in this fandom where people fucking it up drives me batshit crazy, but I feel like people need to know the source thoroughly in order to be able to write decent fic. Because at the end of the day canon should be what inspires you, because you want to write things based on what you've seen(/read, whatever), right?

Bandslash also has the added bonus of the music though, and apparently people are fine writing/reading fic without liking the music, which makes me want to beat them up for slightly different but really not entirely dissimilar reasons.

Date: 2007-09-09 04:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I suppose it depends on how you define it, but I feel like I am even when I don't tend to know enough of the canon to write it or like, answer quizzes. ><;; I just like it when people rwrite realistically and the character's issues seem authentic and contextualized, and I hate it when people disregard things for no reason than 'it's easier' or 'well that's inconvenient'. It's worse when they're actually upfront about this to the point where they don't realize how that may sound off to fans (the real fans?? haha). I dunno, but I don't mind when pepole simply don't enjoy a character (similar to not enjoying the music) as long as they've listened to the music & have an informed opinion; maybe it's just that they're drawn by something else-- like how people could be drawn by Draco but passionately hate the rest of HP canon yet write good fic 'cause they pay attention (hahaha I should know this from much experience with the type).

Though I do get it, I mean, on a more personal level it still seems weird/squee-harshing if I were to be in the fandom. It's always weird and painful to love something and be all excited and then have your fellow fans be all ".......what are -you- on about :/ :/ This is nothing special :/ :/". ^^;;;

Date: 2007-09-09 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] addictedkitten.livejournal.com
I think it really is a personal thing, not just like personal for me but in the sense of the way people/I connect to the music, and the fact that it's the whole reason these people are even in the spotlight. I feel such a strong connection to these people and the art they create that to me it's actually disrespectful when all people care about is that they're pretty, and that they're fine with actually disrespecting said art by being all "oh the music sucks but they're so gay omg squee let me write porn" - I think my reaction to that is probably similar to yours re: people who openly admit to disregarding canon, it's an equal mix of wondering a. if they're really that stupid to admit to that and b. what the fuck they're doing here. I think it's not quite analogous with regard to your Draco comparison though, because in order to get there you have to at least read the books, whereas in RPS people literally will just see some pictures and think they're qualified to write fic. And then I find them and burn down their houses. \o/

Plus if you don't like the music, then you're probably not going to go see shows, and if you have no desire to experience the actual canon when you can, I mean, seriously, just gtfo because I hate your face.

Date: 2007-09-09 04:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trolleys.livejournal.com
The trick is using what's there & running with it.

I agree -- although I think wish fandom itself is rooted in wish fulfillment. For example, an extremely well-written H/D that references lots of canonical details can be viewed as OC off the bat simply because H/D never [explicitly] happened. Or would a BDSM Harry/Ginny fic be more canon than H/D? etc. In the end it's all about what the fan wants to see, which is why to me a Mary-Sue fic is just as valid as arty intelliporn.

And re: bandslash, I don't have a problem with those who slash for teh hottness, either :P But my brow does raise when people say "I slash this band even though I can't stand their music". BOGGLES.

Date: 2007-09-09 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
You're right, but my beef is with -pure- blind wish fulfillment that discards anything in its path, not with the idea itself :> Anyway, the sort of people who have issues with a fic/pairing just because it 'never happened' have no imagination or creative spark :/ Heh. It's not that Mary-Sue fic is not 'valid', it's that it's not good fic, which is... what I meant :> Like, to me it's about what I want to see in terms of subject-matter and/or pairing, but not execution. I'd rather throw up in my mouth a little than have to write Snape/Lily or H/D where they always skipped around holding hands and sniffing daisies, from the beginning till the end. My point was about contextualizing, not being rigidly 'this is how it is in canon'. If you at least give a good context/explanation for why they're suddenly delirious and insane, I'd be more likely to buy it :>

Also, motivation is different from execution... like if they slash for 'teh hottness' but care about other things (music, context, basic facts), fine... but if they blatantly announce none of that matters, it gets annoying.... and the fic suffers, too, so I get to be smug about it :D

Date: 2007-09-09 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
I don't like the term canonwhore, it has annoying connotations to me. But I agree, I like fic that engages the text. So I guess I'd call it "engaging the text" ;P It's not actually possible to subvert something without engaging it. It might call itself a subversion but it's really retconning.

Date: 2007-09-09 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Well, my point isn't just that I like it, but that if it doesn't do it it tends to suck :> But sure, engaging the text :D

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