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posted by [personal profile] kalpurna at 01:57pm on 08/04/2009
I described MJ to someone the other day the way I usually describe it, which is "a Due South diaspora con," and it got me thinking. Obviously not everyone at [livejournal.com profile] muskratjamboree was in Due South fandom at one time, but most of them were, and nearly all of them have close friends who were. It's partly a side effect of it being [livejournal.com profile] brooklinegirl's brainchild, but it also says something kind of cool about the way fandom works, I think. All of these people, some of whom have been out of dS for five years or more, still have strong enough social ties to come together and have more than enough to talk about. Those interpersonal connections aren't totally destroyed by fandom drift - and yet fandom drift occurs.

This is, to me, what most people misunderstand when they first get the slash-fandom thing explained to them. They think it's something that you do because you're a fan of a particular thing, and that comes out of that - I was a Buffy fan and I liked Spike and Xander, so I looked for fic about them. And that's true, at first. But then slash fandom, if you get bitten by the bug, becomes something that draws you into interest in TV shows and so on instead of coming out of that interest. I'm a slash fandom member before I'm a bandom member or a Merlin fandom member and so on and so on. We always say that the friends are more important than the canon, but it's even more than that; it's a self-constituting activity we participate in, posting fic and making LJ entries which build a community from their own material. And the canon is like this trivial little hat we sit on top of the whole thing. At least, that's how it feels for me.

In other news, I'm trying to figure out how to reach through the internet with my bare hands and grab people's camera cords. >:(
There are 31 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
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posted by [identity profile] loveyouallwrong.livejournal.com at 07:10pm on 08/04/2009
SERIOUSLY, THIS IS ONE MORE WAY GIDDY NOT HAVING A COMPUTER IS RUINING MY LIFE. WHERE ARE HER PIIIIICTURES
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 07:17pm on 08/04/2009
Did she even take any, or were her hands (and tummy) too full of banana rum?
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posted by [identity profile] loveyouallwrong.livejournal.com at 07:19pm on 08/04/2009
Oh she has got to have some priceless ones of us. Definitely in our finery.
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 07:23pm on 08/04/2009
>:( SHE SHOULD FIX HER COMPUTER OGTFO
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posted by [identity profile] loveyouallwrong.livejournal.com at 07:24pm on 08/04/2009
No lie I keep forlornly looking at the place on my buddy list where she usually is. GIDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY.
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 07:26pm on 08/04/2009
I guess the good news is that it has to be stressing her out at LEAST as much as it's stressing us out.
 
posted by [identity profile] shoemaster.livejournal.com at 07:13pm on 08/04/2009
I'll get Claire's tomorrow! \o/
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 07:18pm on 08/04/2009
Oooh, sweet. Which reminds me, can you maybe zip the ones you have from '07 and sendspace those to me? <3 <3 <3
 
posted by [identity profile] mrsronweasley.livejournal.com at 07:16pm on 08/04/2009
Dude. Why did we not have a drunken conversation about this at the con? (Clearly, you must come back.) Because yes, THAT.

And the canon is like this trivial little hat we sit on top of the whole thing.

yes, yes, YES. *stares at your shiny brain*

And dude, did I email you the link to my album? I forget who I sent it to...lemme know! :D
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 07:22pm on 08/04/2009
Oh no, I wish we had! I am always SO up for drunk meta. Clearly you are right and I must.

I mean, my classic example for this is people like [livejournal.com profile] thefourthvine, who is obviously a full and participating member of FANDOM but has this barely-there relationship with any canon. No one I explain fandom to gets this distinction.

<3 <3 <3 No, I didn't get that! I would love love love to see it!
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posted by [personal profile] reginagiraffe at 07:26pm on 08/04/2009
Really really glad I friended you if this is an example of your posts.

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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 07:30pm on 08/04/2009
Heee, I can always be counted on to get nerdy about this kind of thing! <333
 
posted by [identity profile] emilyray.livejournal.com at 08:05pm on 08/04/2009
I have found now and again that I'll meet an RL person who I think is pretty nifty, and we'll get on really well and have loads to talk about, and then it turns out that she (always a she) is or has been In Fandom. It's never been the same fandom as me! But there is still something about The Fangirl Mindset that seems to transcend individual canons.

I am STILL jealous of everyone who got to go to MJ. I remember being jealous last time it happened, too. Dammit >:(
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 08:20pm on 10/04/2009
There's something about talking to fangirls that just clicks mentally, isn't there? &fandom;

MJ 2011 IS COMING, DUDE. JUST SAYIN'.
 
posted by [identity profile] emilyray.livejournal.com at 09:21pm on 10/04/2009
I am reading the comments to this post now and they're interesting! I think [livejournal.com profile] quettaser is right and 'LJ-based fandom' is a better approximation of what we are than 'slash fandom' - except it's still an approximation, because what we are was around before LJ, on Yahoo Groups and egroups and mailing lists. (I was not around for most of that, because I was about eight, but I backread and it was interesting!) It's, hmm, social fandom - except that's not right either, because feral fans are social but they aren't quite the same. I think knowing the history is a big part of belonging to this kind of fannish culture - you don't even need to know MUCH history, just, you know, In The Beginning Were The Zines, and then, lo, there was fic and wank, here are the greatest hits.

Definitions are difficult! I guess Our Variety Of Fandom is sort of like obscenity - I know it when I see it.

MJ 2011 HAS MY NAME ON IT. I HOPE NO ONE MINDS.
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 10:21pm on 21/04/2009
Definitions are difficult! I guess Our Variety Of Fandom is sort of like obscenity - I know it when I see it.

IAWTDEFINITION. It's like, there's a long list of reasons You Might Be The Fandom I'm Talking About, and if you hit a certain mass of clustering characteristics you count. Blahh, it's annoying because BASICALLY PEOPLE KNOW WHAT IT IS but it's so hard to DEFINE. :(

I CANNOT WAAAIT. BE HERE FASTER, TWO YEARS FROM NOW >:(
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posted by [identity profile] etben.livejournal.com at 08:08pm on 08/04/2009
I agree! it's only relatively recently that I've started watching canon before I read fic in the fandom—with dS and SGA and even bandom, I spent a lot of time reading fic before I finally threw up my hands and said, "okay, one episode. ONE!" Or, in the case of bandom, "okay, fine, show me a picture of this Pete Wentz fellow." And that's not even counting the many many fandoms I've read in without ever seeing the source material—I like the writing, and the interplay between canon as viewed by different writers, and the kinds of sideline what-if stories that fandom tells so very well. And all of those things I can get without watching a single episode of, say, Merlin.

I'd question your use of the term "slash fandom" just a little bit, though—a lot of the people I know and love best on the internet, people who I think very much fit into the group you're describing, aren't really "slash" fans as such. Or—like, obviously we are fans of the hot mansex, but we also read and write and squee about het and lolsbian pairings. So it feels weird, for me, to call those people a part of "slash fandom", because it isn't necessarily the slash that they're into.

Of course, I don't have a better word for the group you're talking about. "Fandom" works as an in-group term, but there are so many people who are fans of non-porn-related things who—from what I understand—don't have that same kind of interaction with their source texts. I'm thinking of srs bsnss music fans, for example—theirs is a fandom, but it's not the same as ours. And maybe "fangirl" is the word I'm looking for, but I don't think so; even apart from the gender implications, it has diminutive connotations that don't match the group I love.

IDK! basically my point is that I agree with you, but that I always feel weird using the word "slash" to talk about what I do or about a group that I'm part of. I am a pretty shitty slash fan! I write too much about ladies. :(

IN CONCLUSION I MISS YOUR FACE. You should be here! The lake is melting and we totally are going to get into the 50s this weekend.
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 08:24pm on 10/04/2009
Yeah man, there are so many fandoms where I'm really familiar with the fic and have NO interest in the canon. It's a type of behavior that it's almost difficult to slot under the term "fan". Am I a Sentinel fan? Weeeell, not the SHOW, no.

I hesitated over that term as well, and I just settled on it as the closest approximation to what I mean, because a lot of the people writing het in, you know, US-FANDOM, have mostly slasher friends or come from a slasher background. And especially because "slashiness" is often one of the biggest factors pulling members of US-FANDOM from source to source. But you're right, it's the wrong term. HMMMMMM. I don't know the right term but I know that thing I'm talking about when I see it? It's a social group, not an activity-group, and those are hard to name.

Be here now :((((((
 
posted by [identity profile] quettaser.livejournal.com at 08:22pm on 08/04/2009
This is the definite distinction that I see between capital F Fandom as a community and people who read fanfic. Back when I was writing fic with my friends in real life (so different from now! ahaha), I was even reading fanfic on the internet, but I wasn't aware that there was an actual community behind it - this was pop Mary Sue fic too, so I think "slash fandom" is probably just your shortcut reference to mean LJ-based fandom; and I'd even argue that feral fans are in fandom just as much as we are since they are creating their own fannish community and interpersonal connections, it's just without our social mores - and the same held true for a lot of my friends who read fic or were on mailing lists but were never part of Fandom "proper."

The act of writing fanfiction itself doesn't seem to entail participation in fandom. Fandom definitely helps spread and encourage the writing of fanfiction, but you can do it by yourself. And I think that many people who don't get fandom would probably be able to understand fanfiction by itself much easier than fandom as a community. Our connection to the community - which is strengthened by fic and meta and art and viewing parties and various other shared memories - probably seems more alien than just the basic act of expressing one's creativity through an existing canon.

Though that's probably hypocritical since the same thing - shared memories - fuels sports fans the world over, and is looked at with far less criticism.

If that makes any sense at all. I don't know, I've been dealing with 6 year olds all day.
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 08:28pm on 10/04/2009
This is the definite distinction that I see between capital F Fandom as a community and people who read fanfic.

YEAH. That's what I mean, basically - people who are aware of the community. I almost went for "media fandom" but that's wrong too, because RPS! It's sort of a weird one to define. And feral fans are... part of fandom, I guess, but they don't know what a Cassandra Claire is, if you know what I mean? They have the activity but not the history. I want there to be a word to describe what I am thinking of when I say slash fandom but there just isn't.

And I think that many people who don't get fandom would probably be able to understand fanfiction by itself much easier than fandom as a community.

Pretty much, yeah. Trying to explain MJ to people has really brought out to me how hard it is for people to understand that.
 
posted by [identity profile] quettaser.livejournal.com at 09:36pm on 10/04/2009
It's sort of a weird one to define. And feral fans are... part of fandom, I guess, but they don't know what a Cassandra Claire is, if you know what I mean?

We're different strains of fandom, I guess? I see "fandom" as a general descriptive term for the type of community we're a part of, and we're specifically "LJ-based fandom" or "media fandom." I mean, where would you put the old school MCR fans? They don't have the same history we do, but they're still fandom. Just not Our Fandom. And there are whole fandoms that are found on message boards, where they write fic and make icons and are part of a community, but aren't even aware of LJ-based fandom.

(Which is also a misnomer since we came from Yahoo and mailing lists and Usenet and ahhhhhh, complicated!)
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 10:19pm on 21/04/2009
But okay, so we're part of media fandom, but we're not FANS OF MEDIA. And LJ-based fandom, which is maybe the most accurate, ignores people like fbrt as well as people who are still on due South slash newsletters but are fully aware of Ces and so on. It's not even just our origins, it's that strands of our community are STILL THERE. *hands* I truly don't know what the answer is.
 
posted by [identity profile] shihadchick.livejournal.com at 08:49pm on 08/04/2009
So, so so true, YES. Exactly.

I WILL GIVE YOU ALL MY PICTURES LATER THIS WEEK OKAY? <3 (I have the MOST adorable picture ever of you, [livejournal.com profile] loveyouallwrong, [livejournal.com profile] janet_carter, [livejournal.com profile] riadsala and [livejournal.com profile] quettaser, by the way.)
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posted by [identity profile] loveyouallwrong.livejournal.com at 01:05am on 11/04/2009
CLAIRE UPLOOOOOOOOOOOOAD
 
posted by [identity profile] shihadchick.livejournal.com at 05:38am on 11/04/2009
SORRY LEA I WAS LIKE BUSY SMISHING EMPIRES ADORABLE FACES AND STUFF. WE'lL SEE WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS. :D
 
posted by [identity profile] olivia-circe.livejournal.com at 10:42pm on 08/04/2009
Those interpersonal connections aren't totally destroyed by fandom drift - and yet fandom drift occurs. This is, to me, what most people misunderstand when they first get the slash-fandom thing explained to them.

Yes, that. Not that I was at MJ, but MJ aside I think this is so very true of slash fandom, and the way that we conceive the community, which is, naturally, so different from the way outsiders conceive the community. And it is all about the self-constructing. Anyway, well said, and thank you. <3
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 10:17pm on 21/04/2009
I don't keep up with the literature like I should, but all the early explanations of our kind of fandom totally failed to explain this property of connection. It's a really peculiar aspect of our community that nobody deals with adequately for my taste.

<3333
 
posted by [identity profile] bkm5191.livejournal.com at 11:23pm on 08/04/2009
I completely agree with what you said.
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 10:17pm on 21/04/2009
Thank you! <3
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posted by [identity profile] go-gentle.livejournal.com at 04:16am on 09/04/2009
it's a self-constituting activity we participate in, posting fic and making LJ entries which build a community from their own material.

True and very cool to think about. Fandom sociology is one of my favorite things.
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posted by [identity profile] kalpurna.livejournal.com at 10:18pm on 21/04/2009
If I were a sociologist, I could never resist making fandom my specialty. We're fucking interesting!

HEY LETS HANG OUT SOMETIMMME I MISS YOU

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