alixtii: The OTW Logo. Text: "Fandom is My Fandom." (Fandom)
[personal profile] alixtii
The notion of "transformational" versus "affirmative" fandoms found via this metafandom'd post by [personal profile] damned_colonial is really a genius ones. What those two posts only really begin to come to terms with in the comments, though, is just how affirmational much of female-dominated LJ/DW-located media fanfiction fandom really is.

Which isn't a bad thing in and of itself--I'm down with loving things, really--except when it begins functioning as a normative standard. But I remember just how often during the Diana Gabaldon affair and the discussions which followed, how often it was put forward that fanficcers were doing what we do out of love, as if that should matter somehow, and how problematic it was, this implication that it'd be right for us to be ashamed of what we do if we did it--when we do it--out of hate or anger or merely mild interest or simply because we can, that it's only because it's being done out of love that what we do is okay. And I really can't begin to describe just how damaging that seems to me, how pernicious I find the notion that really, fanfiction ought to be celebratory.

(Also how every year everyone angsts so much on whether their remixee for [ profile] remixredux will like the remix they write despite being repeatedly told that's not really the point.)

It's helpful, I think, to have names--and names which don't begin with "Cult of," although they do I think they map fairly neatly onto what in years past have been called the Cult of Nice and the Cult of Mean--for these strands of media fandom, because they better help understand the diversity of opinion on some subjects such as the role of warnings, about concrit, or about the appropriateness of writing fanfiction with/out (asking) permission. The affirmational school focuses on privileging authors (including fan authors of fanfic) and their feelings; the transformational school, on open discussion and critique.

If there's any doubt about my own allegience, it's with the latter school, which has a wonderful history of producing such wonderfully rich, "thick" (in the litcrit sense) texts such as [personal profile] helenish's Take Off Clothes as Directed which subverts assumption about the use of BDSM as a fanfic trope, or these stories which do something similar with genderswap tropes, or the hilariously wonderful J2 fic Common Knowledge. (Recs for more fics with fall more on the transformative rather than affirmational side of fandom are totally welcome in the comments.)

These do not really seem to be, insofar as I can tell, particularly gendered phenomenon, no matter how much we might like to wave them off as being such. (It's interesting to look at how our instinctive gendering of the Cult of Mean/Cult of Nice divide and of the Affirmational/Transformative divide are actually completely opposite.)

This seems to me to be linked somehow also to this meme of "Fandom is my fandom": the notion that insofar as (what we have been calling) transformative fandom is affirmational, it's affirmational not of a text or an author but of a community readers who are also authors (and vice versa), a group of online contacts, and perhaps most of all a set of values which promotes dialogue and dicussion, critical response and critique, and, well, transformation.

ETA: For some background/context on the Cult of Nice/Cult of Mean discussions, see this post by [personal profile] synecdochic.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-13 11:02 pm (UTC)
scrollgirl: naked!tony + steve in avengers prime; text: boy, am i happy to see you, steve (sga fic h0r)
From: [personal profile] scrollgirl
Ooh. I really like your thoughts! Not sure I have anything to add right now, but thanks for sharing this and for the links :)


Date: 2012-07-25 11:40 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
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(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-13 11:42 pm (UTC)
torachan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] torachan
Yeah, I am always uncomfortable with the "we do it out of love!" thing, because I usually...don't. I mean, I rarely do it out of hate, but I also rarely do it out of love, except for the love of writing fanfic in general.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-15 10:13 pm (UTC)
cesperanza: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cesperanza
Hm, I don't think its that credible to see fandom's insistence on "love" as being the opposite of "hate"/anger: in fandom the opposite of love is money. I think it's 99 percent a statement of noncommerciality, and that everyone knows that to be a transformational fan is always to admit that the source isn't perfect--on a spectrum from THEY BLEW IT BUT I AM GOING TO FIX IT to ITS REALLY GREAT EXCEPT THERE ISN'T ENOUGH OF IT, OR THEY DIDN'T EXPLORE THIS OR THAT ASPECT OF IT which is the mildest form of critique but still a critique. I think pro authors resent even those fans telling them they stopped too soon or answered the wrong questions, etc.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-15 10:47 pm (UTC)
torachan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] torachan
Well, except that many people do specifically say "fans write fanfic out of love for the source". That's different to what you're saying, and it's just not true, but when pro authors talk about how horrible it is that fans write fanfic, one of the most common responses is "we do it because we love the source".


Date: 2012-05-04 05:15 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
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Date: 2012-07-25 02:23 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Mike August 22nd, 20113:11 pm@LukeWFrom a UX perspective, these are all ietirnsteng and more user-friendly approaches to traditional login forms. However, some of the examples you list make TERRIBLE security decisions in order to achieve this simplified user experience. Bagcheck & Gowalla are the worst in this regard—they're just begging to be brute force hacked. Here's why:First, both sites tell you if the user you've entered is a valid user. Heck, Bagcheck even SUGGESTS users for you. Strike 1!But a public user name (or real name) is public whether or not there is an auto-suggest feature , you say. The auto-suggest just makes it easier to log in. Sure, and it makes it even easier for others to find out your username since it's all nice and AJAXified (no trial-and-error necessary). With one look at the network inspector, I now have the URL to get your user ID (or whomever's I want): (urls stripped by comment system)Second, both allow a seemingly unlimited number of invalid password attempts without any ReCaptcha or lockout. C'mon, this is web security 101. Strike 2!Finally, both password entry pages are accessible via a simple GET request with the user ID as a query parameter. Strike 3!Bagcheck: (urls stripped by comment system)Gowalla: (urls stripped by comment system)Guess how long it would take someone to write a simple Perl script that takes a list of randomly-generated user IDs and hits the above URLs with a set of common passwords?These issues can be resolved very simply without throwing away your trendy new login flow:(a) Show a ReCaptcha form after X number of failed password attempts(b) Make the password entry page a POST, not a GET request. Ironically, this comes straight from the W3C and your former employer's own security best practices document: developer dot yahoo dot com slash securityI apologize if I came off a bit harsh, but I cannot let insecure practices like these be lauded and spread without educating others about their risks. I hope you understand the severity of these risks and take the necessary steps to protect your users while maintaining your desired UX.Cheers


Date: 2012-07-25 02:57 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
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Date: 2012-07-25 09:02 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
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(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-14 01:07 am (UTC)
anonymous_sibyl: Two adirondack chairs in front of a lake scene. (Default)
From: [personal profile] anonymous_sibyl
Would you mind writing a little more about how you see the Cult of Nice/Mean mapping onto the affirmational/transformational ideas. I'm interested!

transformative fandom is affirmational, it's affirmational not of a text or an author but of a community readers ... transformation

This makes a lot of sense to me.

What I found interesting in the comments to one of the affirmational/transformational posts was the idea that I am both types of fan for different fandoms. I've said for a long time now that I don't feel "properly fannish" if I'm not writing (performing my primary fannish activity/contribution). But that isn't really true, that's just how I feel "properly transformationally fannish." I am "affirmationally fannish" about many other fandoms that I simply enjoy yet don't interact with any further.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-14 05:54 am (UTC)
cupidsbow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cupidsbow
It's interesting how our individual experiences of fandom shape our thinking, and can lead us to the same conclusions through different affective paths. Because I agree with the broad strokes of your thesis (although I've honestly only once encountered anyone I'd label a 'mean fan' within transformative fandom, and also wouldn't consider most of the fans I know 'nice' in the binary way you're alluding to here -- it's a big fat myth, yes?), but while I was nodding my head at the thesis, I started violently shaking my head at the examples you chose. LOL. Totes not the ones I'd pick, for a lot of reasons, which I should probably outline here, but don't have the energy for. I bring it up, because one of the things that's troubled me for a while now, is how we're, in effect, making a 'canon' of important fanworks. I do it too -- stories, art and vids we can point to and know other fans will have experienced. But if I had to choose the ones that I thought really exemplified writing for something other/more than love and affirmation? They would totally not be the ones I'd choose. I'd choose, like, the Jack/Chewbacca story, or the BDSM carebears (which I couldn't actually finish, but god, do I admire that the author went there). You know?

ETA: except, I'd pick ones that were less well known than those... bloody canon. It's so useful, but limiting too. Maybe the one where Castiel doesn't say, "I love you", or one of the many in which Gwen is humiliated for daring to love Jack.
Edited Date: 2010-06-14 06:06 am (UTC)


Date: 2012-07-25 09:59 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
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Date: 2012-07-27 02:41 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I just posted this same thing on Mallory's blog. Hot topic Today, I reeievcd an email from Sandhills asking me to vote on the new dresscode policy for students. The new policy states: 1. It is the opinion of college officials that students are expected to dress appropriately for the classroom environment. The importance of maintaining an educational environment that promotes rigorous academic studies, encourages critical thinking, and teaches students to dress appropriately according to their internship and clinical course requirements for their field of study.2. Sagging pants, clothing/jewelry with drug related signs, low cut tops, see through garments, too-short shorts, short skirts, leggings worn alone, halter tops short midriff tops are not acceptable.3. Furthermore, do-rags, stocking caps, skullcaps, baseball caps, hair scarves and bandanas not worn in a fashionable manner, or any gang affiliated clothing are prohibited in the classroom. This policy item does not apply to headgear considered a part of religious or cultural dress.4. Clothing that is threatening, intimidating, or offensive in nature will not be acceptable.The college adopts an all-encompassing policy to holistically preparing students for future opportunities. Socially acceptable manners of dress and grooming are vital components of this policy to ensure student success. Now, I have several concerns about this policy. (For example, what does it mean for something to be worn in a fashionable manner? Why would you wear a hat other than for fashion? And what type of headgear is acceptable as cultural dress? Is certain cultural headgear more acceptable than others?) However, there are some things Itake no issue with (leggings worn alone ). How far we should go in holistically preparing students for future career opportunities is definitely a hot topic right now.


Date: 2012-07-27 06:38 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Aaah such a lovely linookg couple on the happiest of days! I can tell there was a load of work done to make your wedding day the best. I wish I had been in town to attend, but such is life.I hope you will keep those wedding memories close in your hearts so when things get a little rough in the road, you remember WHY you married each other and work through whatever needs attending.Love each other fully, devote time to your inside spirits, be active within the Church, hold to the iron rod, and stay as happy forever as you were on the days of all these fabulous photos.Well done!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-16 03:00 am (UTC)
lo_rez: green-on-black classic radar circular grid (Default)
From: [personal profile] lo_rez
>>how we're, in effect, making a 'canon' of important fanworks

Thank you for making this crucial point.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-15 12:14 am (UTC)
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
From: [personal profile] sqbr
This is a really interesting post. As someone whose works often skirt the line between crack and parody and sometimes definitely express active dislike of canon rather than love I find the "We're all here for the love" thing pretty annoying.

*pokes at delicious for examples* I'm not 100% sure I'm thinking of this the same way you are since my examples don't look much like yours. Maybe it's just that I have more of a taste for crack :)

Angry/non-affirmational meta is everywhere, and there's lots of fanworks which are basically meta with a thin layer of art or prose over the top, I've tried to avoid those and only include works which work purely as art/story as well as as meta.

There's many that are not 100% affirmational of canon, eg:

Buffy: Origin Stories by giandujakiss: It's Nikki Wood's fucking coat.

Star Trek: The First Time by bravecows: Two Malaysians in Starfleet find it a bit less shiny.

Then there's those that are not affirmational of fandom. Supernatural fandom is rife with them since they have a fanfic writer as a character on the show.

Star Trek: A Beginner's Guide to Vulcan Sexual Practice, by Captain James T. Kirk by [personal profile] thingswithwings, made in response to a "kink free" comm which actually shut down as a consequence.

Supernatural: How Becky Totally Saved the World or: PLEASE R&R OR I'LL NEVER WRITE ANOTHER CHAPTER by [ profile] girl_wonder.

Supernatural and Sherlock Holmes: As Seen On Urban Dictionary by [ profile] longsufferingly: Holmes as troll. Even has Fandom Wank screenshots.

Harry Potter: House Sparklypoo by Gillian Rhett. The house for all the Mary Sues that join Hogwarts. This is more plain satire than an attempt to write an actual story and Mary Sue satire is quite common but I mention it since it has it's own spinoff comm [ profile] sparklypoo.

As well as Mary Sue sporking the other common negativity I see towards other fans in fanworks is digs at people who ship the Wrong Ship.


Date: 2014-04-10 11:16 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It's very small... a couple of bucks, and it doesn't come to me immieeatdly. That's why I don't do more promoting of it. I hope to have better merchandising options in the future, when we'll have more space and Jack will be able to help me with fulfillment if I'm selling things myself.But I do love knowing that there are MU shirts and mugs out there, even if it doesn't give much direct benefit, so please do whatever you feel is right. :)

Seen via metafandom link

Date: 2010-06-15 02:30 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Crap, I'm doing media-based fanfic wrong again.

Unless one considers my mocking of Ron Moore and David Eick's "re-imagined" series as "critical response" and that's only because they trashed the object of my fannish adoration for which I write fanfic because I do love it.

countess_baltar on LJ

Re: Seen via metafandom link

Date: 2010-06-15 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I don't have "massive amounts of ill will towards so much of contemporary fandom".

It's more of a "Get off my lawn" attitude triggered by that section of "contemporary fandom" that believes anyone who doesn't acknowledge K/S fanfic as the well-spring of fandom is "doing fandom wrong".

- CB

Re: Seen via metafandom link

Date: 2010-06-16 01:35 am (UTC)
lydiabell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lydiabell
Don't anybody light a match near that straw man!


Date: 2012-05-05 12:00 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Colleen I've seen a few APA feuds, but you're right, it's nothing cpemarod to the non-stop flamewars on the net. In the past, U.F.O. members were encouraged to critique and grade each others' work as you can imagine, that led to occasional hurt feelings. We used to have a member who had strong religious views, and would automatically give low grades to any comic with bad language, nudity, excessive violence, etc. That lead to a few heated exchanges, and a couple of the members who were doing edgier material went off and formed their own splinter group. We all took the debate very seriously at the time, but now I can look back on it and laugh.


Date: 2012-05-05 07:05 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
If enough peolpe wrote fanfic about a particular body of work and wanted to publish it, would the work be rendered public domain since the creator hadn't made earlier efforts to halt the fanfic or at least place restrictions on it?


Date: 2012-07-25 01:00 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi Dawn. Thanks for visiting my MM. I've weathcd a few episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and I was also touched by the kindness bestowed on a chosen family. Thanks for sharing the story about the house built near your place. It's a mixture of sadness and happiness.I love sending out Birthday and Christmas cards to family and close friends. I appreciate receiving e-cards and e-mails but somehow, it's an extra treat whenever I receive something through snail mail.I wish you a great week ahead. Take care!


Date: 2012-07-27 05:44 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I have problems when the letetrs are at different heights and sizes, as in the example, and I can't follow the line of the text. The audio is just impossible, so I usually just refresh until I get one I can read. I'm rather embarrassed that I never even thought about complaining. Thanks to FWD and mathsnerd for reminding me this is, of course, a community accessibility issue, not just my problem .


Date: 2014-04-11 08:21 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh yeah, totally agree about the usual Heinlein cihnviuasm. I probably should have added that as a caveat, as that really kind of amazed me. Even this guy who was so set in sexist roles could see his way to some form of social truth. Yeah it's starting to sound like we have a lot in common! I kind of got that vibe reading your entries and your list of books. The end of Fear and Loathing completely slipped my mind until you mentioned it, so I'm guessing that speaks volumes about how I feel on the subject Total ohhhhh yeah moment. I mean, in a separate work it might have been good, but it was really out of place. I could see the point he was going for, though. Oh man. Black House. I just mmm. Okay first off, it has nothing to do with the Talisman, which was a huge disappointment. It's basically an annex to the Dark Tower series, which was a fantastic idea at the time, and I looked forward to how it all fit together, but King handwaving away all the connections at the last minute (don't get me started on that) made Black Tower completely irrelevant. So unless you're looking to get a little more of a peek behind the curtain of the Crimson King, which admittedly was kind of cool, I'd say skip it. I was so disappointed when I realized it wasn't a true sequel. Apparently he and Straub are still batting around the idea of a third book so not all hope is lost.Hah, I don't know, I find rewrites to be pretty much just as common, I just know a lot more about the character going in and can kind of anticipate where they might zig or zag and have something waiting at the other end rather than suffering from that whole well, what now?? thing. It's probably an individual taste thing, I imagine. I'm doing so much discovery of the plot that if I was still discovering a lot of the character it might be too much for me to handle.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-16 04:09 am (UTC)
elf: Snape, Logan, Plisskin, Avon, House all hate everyone. (Slash - I hate everyone)
From: [personal profile] elf
I wrote Hamburger Helper Hand fic. This was not because I have any great love of Hamburger Helper, nor of food in general, nor of TV commercials, nor of animated mascots. AFAIK, the only thing "affirmed" in that fic is the notion that "anything can be slashed."

I don't buy the notion that "fanfic should be done because you loooooove the canon." That's one reason, and it's a good one. But it's also possible to do fanfic because you noticed a glaring plot loophole, or because you want to change/fix what happened in canon, or give yourself an alternate possibility to think about, or want to show how the author/creator is Doing It Wrong.

A fanwork doesn't need to be a joyful homage dedicated to the original. Doesn't need to be created out of love for canon in order to be a "good" or "ethical" fanwork; that's like saying you should never write a book review about a book you didn't like.


Date: 2012-07-27 08:09 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Great suggestion on the page a day club. I'm wrkniog on a poem-a-day for the month of april and thought that after this, I wouldn't do anymore challenges until Nanowrimo rolls around again so that I could work on things, but I've signed up for a writing workshop starting pretty much as soon as it's finished which will last a few months. On the plus side, it's free, so if It's really cutting into time I want to be spending on other writing, I'll quit'.Thanks for the vote of confidence re: characterization. Even developing my RP character took, what seemed like, way too much time. I'm hoping to concentrate on that in this workshop.Thanks so much for the comments and suggestions and encouragement and the letting-me-know-I-wasn't-alone :D

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-20 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] flamewarrior
"Fandom is my fandom": the notion that insofar as (what we have been calling) transformative fandom is affirmational, it's affirmational not of a text or an author but of a community readers who are also authors (and vice versa), a group of online contacts, and perhaps most of all a set of values which promotes dialogue and dicussion, critical response and critique, and, well, transformation.



Date: 2012-05-04 12:21 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Here by way of KUEC podcast (longtime ltseenir and fan of Ursula's delightful art, blogs, books, and comic). Thank you for sharing this recipe (as well as the other Eating Fresh recipes you post), Kevin. I made this for my family and best friend tonight and they absolutely loved it and could not stop eating it. And thanks for all the work you do putting the podcast together not only is it entertaining and informative (*odd* information, but disturbingly useful at times), but thanks to the podcast and Ursula's gardening blog posts I started gardening this year and I'm enjoying it a great deal, despite bug bites, backaches, forty-dollar single-strawberry crops (damn you, bunnies!), and occasional (alright, frequent) total bewilderment at the whims of Biology and Nature. Thanks again!


Date: 2012-05-07 01:07 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Just an Edward Looking for His Bella And then the first line of the profile reads seinthmog like Lol, Just trying to get the ladies' attention .And for those who don't know, that's a reference to the Twilight series of books which makes me wonder if he's trying to get the attention of 13 year old girls or if he really thinks that grown women (even if they read the books) would find that remotely attractive. And then fessing up to your scheme ? ::Shudder::Also, I really believe that somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of the male demographic I'm looking at (college educated, city dwelling 26-35 year olds) use the headline area for a Will Ferrell quote, and as much as I appreciate his work, that just bothers me for some reason I can't quite put my finger on. Bizarrely, I insta-clicked on a guy whose headline was When the world slips you a Jeffery, stroke the furry wall from Get Him to the Greek so who knows what my problem is?


Date: 2012-07-27 08:07 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
An innovator in a grneeal sense, is a person or an organization who is one of the first to introduce into reality something better than before. That often opens up a new area for others and achieves an innovation. Не нужно говорить много. Все по сути. Something better then before. Немного лучше. Востребованное рынком. Что-то новое. мда...За инновации)

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