April 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 2011
sarka: (Default)
This is written after more or less a day of female pain hanging around on the internet, catching up on... well. If you're reading this, you probably have an inkling of all the things I was catching up on. It's written in response to a trend that was bugging the hell out of me, and as such the trend itself looks like it is a backlash against the discourses that fandom has been having - or at least trying to have - for the past year. I ended up deciding to try to own my perspective, which is that of someone with an invisible disability, and hope that I wouldn't offend anyone by not keeping my perspective very narrow.

I am tired.

It's September 11th – well, September 12th, by now, in my part of the world – and the world seems particularly bleak and unappealing and I'm just not willing to go out there today.

Today I don't particularly want to be me - EE; 26 years old, Icelandic, far away from home, grad student who's not quite cutting it, struggling back from the Major Depressive Episode of 2008, panicking about the Future.

But what is perhaps more to the point is that today I don't particularly want to be [livejournal.com profile] sarka either; a participant in fandom of 8 years, a veteran of the Harry Potter and LotRiPS fandoms, currently mostly involved in Star Trek and Supernatural fandoms (both the RPS and the FPS), a Fan With Triggers, a Fan In Academia and, apparently, A Harsher of Squee.

Fandom has been, in the last few months, a pretty serious place, there's no denying that. It's been a whole parade of Fail; RaceFail, WarningsWank and then the most recent SurveyFail. )

Here's a deal, fandom, and I'll keep up my end of it as soon as you keep up yours:

I'll stop harshing your squee, soon as you stop harshing my life.
sarka: (Default)
Warning: Ongoing discussion of potentially triggery themes, especially for people who find the discussion itself triggery.

Well. Some sections of fandom are kind of not wearing any pants lately. Of course, I understand - it must be hard to put on pants when your head is that far up your ass.

So here's a step by step guide for removing your feet from your esophagus and your cranium from your sphincter, should you need to do so.

Sárka's helpful and occasionally profanity laden guide to civility on the Internet. Or something like it. )
sarka: (Hills are alive vs. 2)
Yeah, I'm going to talk about fandom and economics. Together. If I wasn't already sure I am insane, I'd be convinced now.

For those who have NO idea where I'm going with this, Icarus has a really good overview post and Henry Jenkins has broken this down some.

So, here goes.

The economic view of the individual is that we're rational agents, committed to making choices that will maximize our own material gains. The marketing view of the individual tends towards viewing the individual as a consumer, who will, due to a number of reasons (preference and limited finances, for instance), choose to consume one product, rather than another.

Got that? Great.

However, economics, in general, suffer from a near fatal flaw. See, economics can't encompass all human activities. When you bake Christmas cookies yourself, for instance, economics can't but view your activity as revenue lost out of the general economy – because you didn't buy the cookies.

In short order, the fact that humans aren't always out to maximize their personal gains runs economics into a proverbial brick wall. It has also led to some philosophizing on the part of economists. (We raise our children rather than drop them on someone elses doorstep because they will assist us in our old age! SRSLY!)

We live in a capitalist world. The general assumption is that most things can be bought – and those things that can't be bought aren't something we should have. So an entire community of individuals who routinely commit to creating something and giving it to others for free can't help but being seen as a bit of an anomaly. It's one thing to have a mother care for her child without expecting any material payment, and quite another to witness entirely unrelated individuals from around the world freely enter their creations into a common pool of information that can be accessed by everyone else for free.

Which is where fandom comes in. As the great Henry Jenkins pointed out, Fandom is what is called a "gift economy".

And as such, it baffles those who see most human activities as a strive for personal gain. Why give, when you can sell and receive $$$ ???

With money being more or less a fiat thing by now, and international companies ruling the roost in most production, doing business has never been so depersonalized. When you go to the supermarket, gather stuff into your basket and then fork over your money to a teenage emo cashier, you're not exactly engaging in social interaction. Apart from occasional brand loyalties, you feel confident that those things that are sold at the supermarket are generally decent and you don't have to amass knowledge of the producers to trust the quality of their goods.

This used to be different. People used to go to different stores for different things, and the owners of those stores had to work hard to keep consumer loyalty.

In a way, a gift economy hearkens back to the times when we got our eggs from the farmer next door. And in a way it doesn't.

Because in a gift economy, things are generally given away without any expectation of payment. And suddenly, the tables are turned; while in a market economy, the consumer has all the power, in a gift economy, it's the giver who calls the shots.

Obligatory cut to save my friendslist from pain )
sarka: (Default)
So, there's big news in fandom. And me who thought I'd lost the ability to care a long time ago. A link, for my non-fan friends who tend to be on the curious side.

But I care about this. I care a lot about this.

People all over fandom are commenting on this left, right and centre. My friends have been weighing in. Folks from other fandoms find themselves staring in riveted horror. Charitywank has been unlocked. (I advise extreme caution in clicking on that link. You need a strong stomach. It's better if you haven't eaten for a while. Like, in a week.)

Some people have apologized. Some have admitted to being duped. Others stand behind [livejournal.com profile] delawarean. Some are notable by their absence.

There is emotion, and anger, and grief, and forgiveness.

In the 'knock-me-over-with-a-feather' category, longtime H/Hr debater [livejournal.com profile] phoenixwriter comes down hard on [livejournal.com profile] delawarean and her ilk, defending Angua in comments against someone who attacked her (I can't find it now, so I can't provide specifics, ARGH) and providing IP evidence. Several people who have spent their entire time in fandom on the other side of the fence from her tell her to rock on, even going so far as to go to her LJ to say it, and in other news, there are reports of rivers running uphill all across Europe.

There is the mending of fences.

I care a lot about all this. Maybe it's a stupid thing to do. After all, people keep reminding us that this all happened three years ago, and how come we still care.

Except, no.

This didn't happen three years ago.

It started three years ago, and if we are luckier than we as a fandom probably deserve to be, it ends right now.

People keep saying fandom ought to have moved on.

Fact is, fandom did move on. The question is, do we, with all this new information, endorse what it moved on to?

People keep saying that this is all ancient history and that this sort of rehashing is pointless, and just harping on old grudges.

The thing is, the grudges aren't old. The fallout from this isn't necessarily old. The victims of this aren't necessarily the ones you are referring to.

Because in all honestly, grudges have been carried to this day. Bad blood still exists between factions. Prejudices have been kept. People who might otherwise have become friends keep firmly on their sides of the fence. We have an 'event-which-must-not-be-named' in the fandom - well, it must not be named unless you're willing to take the heat. Newbies have lurked longer. New additions to fandom feel compelled to choose sides. Some people of all sides - good people - even great people - left fandom.

And then there's stuff which is more recent than the three years. There was Laptopgate. There was Charitywank. There was the civil war icons wank.

And there were the friends of hers who she duped, all this time. And yes, I'll include that, because I am firmly of the opinion that if someone betrays you, you are worse off, even if you don't know of it. (Random philosophy argument: Say, for example, that your spouse commits adultery. Would your life be better, or equal, or worse afterwards? Even if you never found out. Say it was continuous? Say they fell in love with someone else and you never suspected anything? Is ignorance really bliss?)

None of us exists in a bubble. The consequences of the events chronicled in [livejournal.com profile] charlottelennox' account reach far. As someone who's spent time in other fandoms, I can verify that the rumour that any and all H/G shippers were batshit insane wasn't stopped by fandom borders, just to give an example.

The fact is, the sheer magnitude of this is frightening. And to think that one person caused so much pain, through sheer force of manipulation.

Let's make it stop, shall we?

ETA: On a more humorous note, anyone who believes wanking won't make you blind ought to try reading the whole thing for days on my computer's resolution. *squints*
sarka: (Default)
Guys, I have a confession to make.

Now before you freak out on me or anything, I just really want to apologize – it seems that my actions have brought considerable wank annoyance to you all.

I’d also like to plead insanity.

I seem to have an issue with multiple personalities. I know that if you read my LiveJournal, you will undoubtedly find me a rather opinionated person who has at least minimal education and is fairly liberal, on most things. However, I suspect that there is a darker, more terrifying side to me than there may seem to be, which is well hidden away. So well, in fact, that even if you take the time to read through my mostly mundane ramblings on how I’m failing Physics (only I’m not) you will still not see the horrible secret that I keep – unless of course, you have some set of sensors for dangerously insane people that enable you to see through my layers of deception and the bemoaning of my homeless status to find that I am actually well on my way to being the reason for everything that is ill with the world today – or at least your little corner of it.

Oh, yes, good people. I suspect that my untamed Evil Alternate Personality created [livejournal.com profile] fandom_scruples

I have investigated the matter and found that there is overwhelming evidence for this to be true:

1. I am a Sugar Quiller, so obviously, my secret evil plot is to orchestrate the downfall of all things smutty in this fandom, eliminate obscure ships that have absolutely no canon reference whatsoever and spread discord and enmity amongst the otherwise harmonious ranks of HP fans that do not visit The Sugar Quill.

2. (Or more like, 1.b.) Since I am a Sugar Quiller, it is quite reasonable to assume that I am a R/Hr shipper, and we all know that they are evil people who delight in nothing more than bothering other shippers. Now, while I myself am not particularly a Ron/Hermione shipper, I suspect that my evil alternate personality is. This theory is supported by the strangely shippy artwork that is hanging on my walls and I have no recollection of having printed out at work.

3. I am actually on the Blacklist. Everybody knows that the best way not to incriminate yourself is to attack yourself. That commet where I asked to be removed from the Gold list? Obviously fake.

4. I’m not a biggie in the fandom. My Evil Alternate Personality obviously wants their fifteen minutes of fandom fame.

5. This is all a rather transparent staged attempt by my Evil Alternate Personality to bring more attention to my website.

6. Since I’m a Sugar Quiller, you might assume that I’m a H/G shipper, and we all know that they are insane. Especially those with multiple personality disorders.

7. Someone keeps finishing all the coke. She/he/it has got to be evil.

8. I commented in favour of [livejournal.com profile] arabe1la’s original Live Journal entry. Since that was apparently the beginning of all this, I’m surprised that no one has pointed their finger at me already.

9. My mother swears by all that she holds holy that recently, I’ve been staying up shockingly late in front of the computer, giggling somewhat manically to myself. I swear by all that I hold holy that this is indeed not the case – I’ve been going to bed at eleven pm like a Good Girl, because I don’t want to be tired at school in the morning.

10. In fact, there is something else that is strange about my nightly activities: For the last few weeks there seems to be a gap in my memory from about 1 AM until 7 to 8 AM – I have no recollection of what I was doing during this time. I seem to have a vague recollection of having Orlando Bloom in a compromising position last night, but this is obviously some sordid fantasy of my Evil Alternate Personality.

11. Someone else has been using my toothbrush. All my family swear they haven’t touched it.

12. Since I don’t read incest myself, have never read Lolita and don’t plan to and refuse to lend banned movies to underage viewers at the library where I work, there is obviously a sadistic censorship-supporting bitch inside me, waiting to come out. It gets an opportunity to shine when my Evil Alternate Personality takes over.

13. I’m not fond of children. Therefore, I have obviously construed this most ingenious way of corrupting their innocence and tainting their little minds by listing all the people who don’t lock up their porn smut questionable fiction in an easy-to-access place.

That is all the evidence I’ve come up with so far, but obviously, it is quite overwhelming, and I’m sure that I could find more incriminating stuff on my Evil Alternate Personality if I start digging deeper.

I believe that apologies are in order. First, I apologize to the fandom at large, for having an Evil Alternate Personality who is such an incredible Wanker.
Second, I apologize to all the people who are not on The Blacklist but deserve to be there since they’ve written excellent smut.
Third, I want to apologize to all the people who had to take desperate measures to get off the Gold list. My Evil Alternate Personality will not emerge during the day, it seems.
Fourth, I want to apologize to [livejournal.com profile] arabe1la, [livejournal.com profile] perceval, [livejournal.com profile] sff_corgi, [livejournal.com profile] themorningstarr, [livejournal.com profile] bucketgirl, [livejournal.com profile] angua9 and [livejournal.com profile] awelkin since they have been suspected of creating the thing. (Oh, and stop stealing my thunder...)

Now, I have an appointment with my lovely psychotherapist in the morning. I’m sure she can figure this out.

I’m trying to find a way to delete [livejournal.com profile] fandom_scruples but since I have no recollection of the password it is kind of hard. I’ve already tried ronandhermione4evaomg!!!!ONE with various different spellings, of course, savethechildren, pumpkinpiesucks, wontanybodythinkofthechildren, and sugarquillroxmysox but to no avail. Anybody have any good ideas of passwords that I might try?

Sincerely yours

Miss Pinces Number 1,2 & 4.

P.S. We apologize again for number 3.

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