salinea: the Huntress brooding (sad)
Another meta on tumblr I'm reblogging, about the ending of Journey into Mystery from a meta perspective:

spoilers, duh. )


12 Oct 2009 03:32 am
salinea: (smug)
When I was 10 years old, I watched Coppola's Dracula, which convinced me of two things: #1 Winona Ryder was fucking hot; #2 antagonistic love stories with reincarnation and a bit of eros/thanatos aesthetics were really fun. Like, really, really fun.

When I was 12 year old, I watched Interview with the Vampire, which convinced me of two things: #1 Brad Pitt was fucking hot; #2 vampires were okay. I mean, immortal life and powers to do whatever you want? Sounds neat.

So it was the early 90's, and I was primed to love vampire stories.

Fast forward to the night of Halloween 1998; after a couple of false starts I have managed what have been one of my goal for the last two years : find a role-playing game club which I could join and play with. The game? Vampire:the Masquerade. They explain the premise of the game, and the setting of the chronicles (Los Angeles, and one of player is The Prince of the setting) and help me make a character (a Toreador street artist - you can laugh, they did - neonate) in between a whole lot leering and sexist jokes. Upon a few minutes into the game we were stuck into a gunfight and I was realising that #1 all other characters were rather powerful, I was not #2 This was apparently a game about amoral superheroes in trenchcoat fighting with katanas and shotguns who happened to live by night even though they had explained it to me as a gothic punk game of personal horror. During the next couple of years which I spend a this rpg club, playing a wide selection of games, Vampires was without question the most popular and frequent game - whether I wanted it or not. I made a ridiculous amount of characters for it (my default archetype became the Gangrels with anarch leanings, mostly cuz of the claws ♥); and soon came to utterly loathe Vampire the Masquerade. It wasn't just the whole superheroes by night thing. I had loved Highlanders the TV shows when I was 14, I could deal with katanas, and a few years later I would love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, including the vampires. VtM was a game which concept appeared to be about a bunch of immortal people who are so fucking bored than instead of enjoying their powers and immortality to enjoy stuff from the world, they would waste their time and energy in endless meaningless and frequently mind-numbingly boring power struggles, with a result of crushing hierarchy being out to bore to death or outright your average new vampire and their player. About as fun as dealing with my university administration. And sadly, my loathing for VtM soon became a disgust for vampires in general

But wait a minuted, in between 94 and 98, I spent the years of life where I was reading the most fucking ratio of books a weak, a period of my life where I was pilfering the SFF shelves of the local public library to fill my absence of social life. There were no few vampire book in those shelves. Between Ann Rice, Poppy Z Brite, King's Salem's Lot and classics like Carmilla. Honestly I forgot most of them. Actually that's my point : the majority of them were utterly forgettable. Derivative variation on the theme. Sure, the conceit of vampires appeal from a baseline aspect to my kinks and are a powerful fantasy. But could they be interesting in the face of the near parodic triteness of the thread bone cliché that they most often were? Not really. Vampires qua vampires do not do it for me. Oh, but give me vampires with a twist? Give me vampires reinvented with imagination and flair? Then I'll love it.

My favourite vampire novels : Tim Powers' Stress of her Regard, where vampires are half stone half reptile creatures which inspire poets and artists while feeding of their vitality. CS Friedman's Season of Madness, which mixes vampire with aliens invasion of earth and symbiotic energy vampires on a medition on change and memory. CS Friedman's, again, Coldfire Trilogy, in a gothic fantasy SF blender exploring sacrifices and a vampire that prefer to feed on fear. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust with a visual feast mixing gothic to cyberpunk and western aesthetics.

Yet most of the time when I read about the new cool vampiric story in town (or the new uncool one which everyone loves to hate) screaming for my attention they always seem to fall back to the same old boring tropes. Bo~ring. So most of the time when I'm sold something as vampires, I won't even give it two seconds of my attention. I already gave Charlaine Harris a chance, must I really try the TV Show? Even if everyone tells me it's better than the books, exactly what does it have of new and original to bring to the vampire show? And why does Bill always look so constipaded on pictures?

Okay, but sometimes, you get lucky. Like Setona Mizushiro's Black Rose Alice, in which she appears to be trying to out Yuki Kaori Yuki Kaori, and in the two volumes of her manga I've read so far, actually comes close. Vampires as parasitic plants that seed into people. Dual personalities in a same bodies. Feeding by using insects and arachnids. Sex as death. Brilliant. Why is it so fucking hard to get that sort of stuff?

I leave with you with a fun AMV :p
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So I rambled some of those TB/X analyses things over at [ profile] megganbmoore's and I guess I might as well post it there too - it's about the mirror motif.

Read more... )
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I've streamlined my tagging system over at [ profile] la_mer_allee (and uploaded the oldest fics that weren't there yet, too), following onto [ profile] schemingreader's discussion over there. It was probably overkill since I already have a masterlist but heh ^^

It made me want to do stats with my fics ^_^ (Obviously I'm a dork)

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Still from Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, interview of R. Scott Bakker, about the Prince of Nothing epic fantasy series which I reviewed here.

- The genre exhibits a strong (albeit recent) tradition for subverting gender stereotypes by presenting worlds in which strong, independent female characters are plausible or even expected. Yet your world is as patriarchal as the reality that inspired it. I expect that this theme makes up for a good part of the discussions you have about your creation, possibly detracting from what you actually want to talk about. Is it difficult to resist the temptation to put something like a bad-ass tomboy warrior-princess with snappy dialogue and a heart of gold into the books?

First, let me say that I think I should be called out on the carpet on this issue, simply because I cover some pretty troubling ground. I certainly don’t believe in "quota characterization," either to be politically correct or to broaden the "gender appeal" of my books. Leave this for the after-school specials. I also don’t think that depiction automatically equals endorsement. The question that people should be asking, it seems to me, is one of whether I reinforce negative gender stereotypes or problematize them. If the books provide enough grist to argue this question, then the answer, it seems to me, automatically becomes the latter.

But the fact remains that a lot of people get hung up on my female characters: On the one hand, I self-consciously chose the harlot, the waif, and the harridan for my female characters, yet some seem to think a kind of unconscious moral defect chose them for me. If so, it would be a truly colossal coincidence that I would happen to pick the three misogynic types - I mean, isn’t it obvious that I’m up to something critical? On the other hand, I wanted my fantasy world to be realistic, to temper our yearning for premodern times with a good look at how ugly things got, particularly in times of war. When bad things happen to my female characters, it’s the circumstances that are being criticized, not the characters themselves!

But people get hunches while they read, and once they do, confirmation bias goes to work (and this is simply one among many reasons why we always buy our own bullshit), and the text, I think, possesses more than enough ambiguities for people spin any number of self-validating interpretations. It’s when they insist their interpretation is the only interpretation, or even worse, that it captures what’s really going on in my bean, that I become baffled.

Now, I'd argue with the form of the question (it's arguable whether it's a genre convention "to subvert gender stereotypes by presenting worlds in which strong, independent female characters are plausible"...), but the subject of females characters in that series is certainly interesting.

For those who haven't read it, the world presented is indeed inescapably gritty and brutally violent, especially against women and there's a strong sense of realism to it.

Of the three characters that Bakker mentions, though, I'd say that only Esmenet, the "harlot", is a real success, she's the only one that can be seen as sympathetic and strong, and her story is compelling. The two others serve more as plot device than anything IMHO. The "harridan" doesn't even have a PoV and is intensely creepy (not that creepiness is exceptionnal in those books ^^), and the "waif", Serwë, is victimised, shallow and stupid enough that despite the sympathy I felt for what she lived through, I would never say I found her interesting as a character.
I do agree about Bakker's point about "problematizing", which is worthy enough, although in this case one should also take into consideration the context of the genre, because if every story is one of gritty realism, then the problematization may be more of a reinforcement than he would think.
Then there's the issue which he fails to mention, which is the treatment of sex and sexuality, and of the bad guys of the setting utilisation of sex in extremely creepy way, and how it relates to his treatment of gender.

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Nobody likes being called a racist. That holds true as well when you're being explained very nicely and politely that something you said could, in certain circumstances, be interpretated as racist. It's an upsetting accusation. It's one of the thing we typically think of as EVIL, right along the Godwin point and rape.

Trouble is, more often than not, the accusation is true.

The thing is, we're all, in some way, racist. we're all liable to one day say something with racist conotations. That means me, you, my family, my friends, my coworkers. That's no because me, you, my family, my friends, my coworkers actively think that Black people (or whatever other "races" would be targetted) are not human being, should be oppressed, exterminated or whatever exemples of active and violent racist. That's simply because our culture is dripping with implicite racism (and also with sexism and homophobia, etc.). We breath it and we often don't realize it, at least not until we fall victim to it.

So being called up for it when we didn't realize in the first place we said anything wrong, when we really believe ourselves to be a enlightened, self-concious, progressive person is upsetting.

Sometimes (way too often) that causes knee jerk reactions. The 'OMG HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A RACIST' kinds.

I understand that, but... while saying something racist while not being aware of it is one thing that's going to happen to anyone, conciously ignoring and scorning the people who've kindly (or not) informed you of your own prejudices is a whole other thing.

No, I am not saying that you should bow and let anyone who pulls a "Racist!" card get their way, but you should seriously consider your own prejudices. Because it's likely you have some, and no, it's not going to kill you to admit it, rectify, appologize.
Sure it's embarrassing and upsetting, but the alternative is worse.

The alternative is being of those people who intentionnally turn a blind eye to racism because they held their own pride as more important than actively trying to not be racist.

I've been there. I've said stuff that were offensively ignorant regarding Black people. It took me a full day before I backpedaled and appologized (and I'm very glad I did). It will likely happen to me again despite the fact that I think myself as anti-racist.

Again, appologizing and rectifying isn't that hard. It's not going to kill anyone.

Post related to the current [ profile] daily_deviant merrygoround :
[ profile] witchqueen's initial post.
[ profile] liviapenn's collection of links on the subjet.
[ profile] bethbethbeth's take on it.
[ profile] daily_deviant's current official answer.

ETA: On the other side, here are some of links to posts by people that try to defend D_D :
[ profile] greenspine on racism
[ profile] celandined on racism which is particulary funny in the way she accuses people of making unfounded accusations, makes herself an unfounded accusation which she then admits was wrong, and then do something very similar to what she was accusing witchqueen of. All in one post, kudos.
with a cute anecdoque on bullying that has nothing to do with anything. Links removed after poster's request.

ETA : Thank God, [ profile] daily_deviant has removed the tag and appologized.
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Good Day by Nina Simone
Before I listened to this song, I really thought the Muse version was the original XD

So half of me is feeling guilty about taking such joy in my birthday, on such a day

and half of me is thinking that the best way to give the finger to people who would rule by the use of fear is to not feel daunted, and to celebrate life and all that we are.

But I'm biased.

Maybe it's just that you can't pick up the sadness from the joy, the ugliness from the grace. Everything is mixed. Most times you only see the lines, or the colours, or the shades, and it's all in parcels. Then you step back and you see the nuances taking shapes and new patterns, and it's beautiful.

It's a beautiful world, and I don't plan on giving it up to people who live by hatred, greed and terror.

So I'll take my joy. Sorry.
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Happy birthday [ profile] stanayitnuh ! ♥

Sometimes Fandom really does puzzle me. But, I've been recced at [ profile] quibbler_report and [ profile] hogwarts_today so very much yay of the OMGBBQ-jumping-up-and-down kind.And let's not whine about the lack of comments.

Otherwise, having lots of fun discussing Remus' character here. Where I also started that Slytherins were not selfish :D

I know I tend to have a much darker interpretation of Remus than most people, and I probably go a bit too far with it, but I do think that a lot of people go overboard in the other direction (lots of fanon!Remus annoy me ^^)

Actually I could spend some time sporking fun at fanon!Remus in many ways (Saint!Lupin who is ever so good and kind and sacrificing; Bookish!Lupin who's shy and the smartest kid of his class regardless that James and Sirius were canonically just as smart or smarter; Alpha Wolf!Lupin with the super sense of smell to detect lies and horniness and who likes to bite his SO to mark his dominance - this one is more amusing than annoying - and so on ^^)

It's not of course that I think that Remus is an evil character. He has many qualities. He shows kindness to Harry and Neville, he's a very good teacher, he's courageous and selfless enough to fight in the Order despite how much the WW treats him badly.
But I do think he's got lots of failings, and I find that his failings make him much more interesting. And most of them are about how he deals with other people.

In many ways Remus reminds me of Anthy Himemiya from Shoujo Kakumei Utena, which I know is a weird parallel to make, but here.
spoilers for Utena )

On another subject altogether, funny link about Pluto's demission as a planet (awww, poor Pluto XD)

ETA: Last, LJ seems to be very irregular about sending me mail notification of comments. I do receive most notifications, but if I check, I can see there's a few comments for which I've never received any. And it's been a few weeks now and I receive not late notification either, so it's starting to piss me off.
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Fascinating post by [ profile] coffeeandink Fandom genealogy

There's a few definitions and history here that are mind blowing, and the concept of feral fandom is very interesting.

I'm getting the feeling that I've had a very backward itinary through fandom.

I've started as a lit fan. SF/F books were my first love. When I got myself on the internet (that was 1996-1997) one of the first thing I seeked was discussions about SF/F books in general. In 1999 I fell in love with A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin and for the first time became actively involved in a fandom about a specific set of books. It was however mostly made of discussion about canon, very little creativity involved (though there were some fledgeling attempts at fanfictions)

Then I came to media fandom through Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That was 2001-2002. I was watching BtVS for a long time before I got into the fandom on the internet, and, for the record, it's definitly a shipping impulse that made me do it (It was after watching Out of my Mind that I felt the need to go online talk about it). I became particulary involved in fandom during BtVS's season 6 and started reading and finally writing fanfics. Then I got disapointed with BtVS during S7 and left. While all the other fen I was friend with were getting into other media fandom (AtS of course, and things like SG1, Wonderland, Lost, etc.) I got myself deep into RPGs and spent a year obsessed with Exalted.

Roleplaying Games do not count as "fandom" for most fen. Never mind that they function like fandom.

Then during early 2004 I got myself back into fandom, this time in anime and manga fandom after I'd read Tokyo Babylon and watched X. I started writing fanfics in earnest etc. I think that's when I diversified the most my activity in fandom too, as i started reading fanfics for a lot of series I wouldn't necessarly consider myself a fan of. Or being a fan of series without being a very active/obsessed fan (like with Utena).

In mid 2005 I was starting to be weary with Clamp and weirdly enough (given the mellow respect I have for those books) I got into Harry Potter. Teh Feral Fandom full of people who have no idea about what SF/F truely is (for most people of course, many people do ^^)

I think I've almost systemicaly gone counter to the big migrations of people. And I've gone from "geekier" / more specialized to wider more amateurish fandoms.


I think the only thing I have left is comic book and video games fandom ^_^
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Blogging can be such an odd thing to do. What you write about. How you write it. All the various kind of things you write that end up there in public or not, all mixed up the fics with the icons with the rants with the essays with the day-to-day enigmatic tibits.

wonder what kind of image people have of me based on what I write. Is it faithful or very biased ? How does it compare with what people who know me in real, who listen to me talk very-very fast and laugh a lot and stumble over anything and hop along when I'm in the mood, see me ?

Is it a very spare idea ?

Do you feel like you know me at all ? (Do I know any of you at all ?)

I saw Tideland by Terry Gilliam on Thursday. I'm a bit amazed how Gilliam's movies don't actually make any buzz on Livejournal. I mean, come on, Terry Gilliam ! Brazil ! 12 monkeys ! All the Monthy Python stuff ! You'd think it'd be first grade Geek culture.

Anyway, Tideland was amazing. It's a pretty weird story that gets into a little girl's head as she lives all by herself because her parents are junkies (there's these really disturbing scene in the beginning where she prepares the heroin shot for her father and makes sure he doesn't burn the house with his cigarette). It's almost all the little girl's games and play; and it absolutely captures something about childhood. A candidness that's both innocent and terrifying. The movie's full of images that beautiful and horrific, sordid, grotesque and wonderful.

And the music's very good, I need to find it.

I wonder how it compares to the book.
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There's a very odd symbolical dissonance in that Slytherin is the House defined on one hand by cunning and pragmatism, and on the other hand the fact that's it tied so tightly with tradionnalism, "aristocratic power" and Pure Bloods.

A HP House system ramble )

HP tarot

8 Feb 2006 11:11 pm
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[ profile] theladyfeylene reminding me of the joy of applying Tarot to fandom + /me being bored at work today = /me doing a Harry Potter tarot. Which is stupid because 1/ I can't draw 2/ I can't even scan 3/ there's no HP pictures out there I'm willing to use for this 4/ There's got to be at least several dozens of those already on the net.
But *shrugs* whatever, here comes the babble.

Harry Potter musings with very little redemptive quality )
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I have a friend, Nicky, who wants write a novel out of an aborted campaign at a roleplaying game he was mastering.

So he talked to me about it, saying he was going to do that, and I was immediatly scandalized. Nicely, but scandalized all the same. "You can't do that ! You can't my character and the others' and use them in your story without asking for our permission first !"

Anyway, Nicky got a bit mad at me in the first place. Found me too preachy and moralisating on this, and said he would have asked the others anyway, and he didn't like my attitude, and it made him want to give up on it all. Apart from that, we didn't stay mad at each others or anything, and now he's asking me for the permission to use my character, now that he's got the others' agreement.

And I'm not sure what to answer.

On the one hand, I don't want to say yes because from all i've seen, I don't have the feeling that he would respect the character's integrity has I've written him.
This is a character I liked especially, one I'd written in the background of other characters, one i've written small fictions about. One I tried to put in other chronicles when his was over because he discontinued it.

For Nicky, it's just inspiration, he doesn't even believe he needs my agreement. He definitly doesn't want to stop writing what he wants to write if I don't give a permission. He's just asking by politeness. He's just going to take some features of my character, his background and his personnality, and adapts them for his new setting (since he doesn't plan on using the official setting of Exalted - he wants to be able to try selling this novel professionnaly)

So, on the other hand, how much do I care about this character ? I mean, it's just a roleplaying character, and Nicky is one of my friend. I'm probably splitting hair in four (hey, I'm a Virgo, after all) over some flimsy pretext, and I'm just being overly possessive of my character.

But you know, this thing matters for me. Not so much because of the character, but on a question of principle. Is that hypocritical of me for someone who's immerged in the culture of fandom and fanfiction ?
Actually I think that's fanfiction that makes me so sensible to this thing.
Because in fanfiction we might borrow, use and abuse things to our heart's content, but at least we aknowledge that we do so. We put that disclamer above it stating that these characters and this world doesn't belong to us, that we are, indeed, borrowing it. We don't change the character's name, at least, not without good reason ^^ we don't lie about what we do. It might mean jack from a legal point of view, it's still illegal if the author cares enough to sue us, but from a point of view of legitimacy, I feel like it matters.

In the first place, the idea of using a story created for a specific, licenced world, and changing it to become original sorts of shock me. I find it a bit dishonnest intellectually. Why not write as is and let it be a fanfiction for Exalted ? It's not the first time I'm thinking that, as I once gave the same advice to a writer of a fanfic I love because even if it looked little like the original work it was a fanfiction of, it was written with those specific characters in mind, and simply changing their names and features wouldn't change that. It's just a way to avoid legally crediting the person you borrowed them from.

I don't think that for my friend Nicky, all these subtlelities matter. He wants to take my character and make it his character, take what he wants and abandon the rest, in the same way that he'll take what he wants of the Exalted setting and give up the rest. And that bothers me. It also bothers me that he's only pretending to ask, that he doesn't give any legitimacy value to my permission... in other word, I feel pressured to agree just because he's my friend and he wants it, without having any real and actual control over my character. If someone asks for my permission, I want my permission to actually mean something, if you see what mean.

Some of my friend's arguments are about inspiration, which happen all the time and in all kind of direction in artistic matters. We create characters that are inspired from famous one from there or here all the time. I know that myself, i 've made lots of characters for RPG that were translated from various characters I liked in movies, books and mangas.
So what's the difference ? What's the difference between taking inspiration from, which is legitimate whether you aknowledge the source or not (or is it only when you do ?), and with borrowing ? What's the difference with borrowing from someone you know, who might be mad if you use their work without asking; and borrowing from a famous source like in fanfiction where a mere disclamer might be enough ? When is it considered as stealing to take something, characters, or situations, to use them for your own story ?

I feel like there is one, between all those things. I have a hard time exactly pinpointing what it is. Do you think i'm out of my bound and I should give my agreement anyway, so my friend can write the story he wants to write ? Or should I do it only if I feel like my friend is going to respect my vision of the character I wrote ?
Do you have any advice, or anecdotes to give me relating to this kind of subject ?
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There's ice knocking against my window. No snow for us this week, I guess.

When I'm angry, I usually cry. Mostly because I can't express the anger. I can't go and break people things. I can't shout at people's head, because they'd only shout back louder and I'd get even more frustrated and angry at the whole deal. I can't make people people listen or do things.

I don't like being angry, either. You lose all kind of perspective. All objectivity. Anger fuels itself.

Sometimes it's not enough either. So I'm pissed off and crying. Tired and cold. The funny thing is when my mother wants to be comforting and it's the least thing I want because I'm wrathful.

Then again, anger that you keeps tends to fester. Becomes cold, spiteful, disdainful. It slithers somewhere between your heart and your stomach and nests there. Ready to drip venom when it's got the occasion. You don't forgive.

You stop caring. For others like for yourself. You need to remind yourself all the time, all the bloody time, that there's more to it. Something larger, deeper, more resonnant.

I wanted to write something, at some point, this week. About anger and Remus, and Anthy (because they're characters I think are very similar in a way). About the fact that anger was a luxury, and passive agressiveness.
Maybe I'll have the time later. (Isn't it ironic ?)
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[ profile] mechaieh posted a transcript of the sermon she gave at her Unitarian Church on the subject of bisexuality

Here's the blurb :


As individuals whose sexual preferences do not fit neatly within traditional "either-or," "all-or-nothing" beliefs about relationships, bisexuals often face unflattering assumptions about their personalities and morals -- including negative perceptions about their refusal to declare or accept what seems to many to be a simple choice. As individuals whose spiritual needs do not fit neatly within traditional "either-or," "all-or-nothing" beliefs about creeds and covenants, Unitarian Universalists often encounter unflattering assumptions about their personalities and morals -- especially perceptions about their refusal to declare or accept what seems to many to be a simple choice. This morning, we will take a look at how to welcome ambiguity and complexity, and why bearing witness matters so much.

Go read the full transcript here

I find this subject fascinating, not only the topic of bisexuality (which [ profile] mechaieh spoke about wonderfully) , but the idea of comparing sexual orientation with other identity categorizations and when they are or appear too vague, or too "in-between" and the difficulties and prejudices people face because of that.

[ profile] skuldchan's rant about gender identities answering an article about "feminized male" in Japan makes me think along the same way as well.

As humans we tend to think in oppositions. We classify everything around us. Dark or light, female or male, dead or alive, yin or yang, good or bad, old or young, hot or cold, wet or dry etc. Symbolical systems of categorization almost always end up pairing things in opposites.
There's a certain laziness in this way of thinking that often lend itself to easy amalgams. Such as thinking that anything that doesn't belong to one category, must belong to the other one. And that something that does belong to one category, cannot belong to the other.

long rambling that might or might not be relevent )
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I drink about three cups of tea by day. Earl grey at breakfast, with a bit of bread. Two cups during my day at work, currently some chinese mix of green tea and smoked tea.
In the evening I also drink some vervein.

I drink it as much to warm myself up as for the purpose of drinking.

I drink it without any sugar or anything else. I often joke I drink my tea as I drink whiskey, and whiskey as I drink tea, no additive, thanks. (exception for the genuine kind of arab mint green tea, which must be very sweet)

I drink it when it's very hot, almost still boiling. I know when I drink with others, I'm always finishing my cup when they are starting to find it warm enough to start drink.
When my tea is too cool, I can't stand how bitter it is.
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Jabbed from [ profile] imadra_blue

01. Who are you?
02. Where on earth do you live?
03. What makes you happy?
04. Fandoms we share:
05. Do you enjoy reading my LJ and if so, why?
06. Interesting fact about you:
07. When and how did we 'meet'?
08. How well do you know me?
09. Describe me in one word:
10. What was your first impression upon meeting me?
11. Do you still think that way about me now?
12. What (or who -- this can be a character) reminds you of me?
13. If you could give me anything what would it be?
14. Favourite quote:
15. After answering all these question, do you want to ask me one in turn?
16. Are you going to put this on your LiveJournal and see what I say about you (if you haven't already)?

Otherwise i have a question about shipping in general for you people. I realize that one of the thing I often adore in ships is triangles. That is to say, whether it's romantic or not, I like it when there's other characters who are involved in the relationship between the two characters I ship. It's the hint of history I like in that. A dialectic of connections that tie together several characters, with love, hatred, friendship, kinship, respect, etc. Past histories that shape everything new that happen between people. Ghosts that accompagny you everywhere, including to bed. People who you fuck because they remind you of someone. People that you fuck so as to fuck up with someone else. Tangled, twisted ties - no men is an island, and no relationship is that either.
It can be as simple as Hokuto's involvement between Seishirou and Subaru, or Seishirou and Fuuma's unrelanting presence to whomever ship KamuixSubaru.
Back when I was in BuffyxSpike, for me, Spike's involvement with Drusila and both Spike and Buffy's ties to Angel were a very big part of the appeal of the ship.
My liking of TatsumixWatari stems a lot from my liking of TatsumixTsuzuki, I see one ship as an outgrow of the other. A continuum if you will.
With my shipping of Remus and Snape, I like the fact that both men have a rather lauded history, which includes other person. Sirius is often (alive or not) going to be a presence in between, James and Lucius also might be.
My points is, I have the impression this fondness is not very popular in Fandom. I can think of fics with those, of course, and fics I adored, but another trend in shipping is to propone the pairing you like best so much that is has to be the, well, One True Pairing. Which leaves very little room for other characters in between, especially if their involvement was also romantic. Which includes bashing past partners and rival pairings in an effort to erase these ghosts and, I suppose, make the characters of the pairing closer and Truer. A lot of the biggest shipping wars thus occur between rival pairings. BuffyxAngel vs BuffyxSpike; SeishirouxSubaru vs SubaruxKamui etc. Anyway, I'm not here to critic this attitude (criticizable as it is) but more to point to it as a symptom of one of the effect of shipping one relationship between two persons as being higher and above everything else that they might have.

So, am I alone who finds past (or rival, I like a well done acutal romantic triangle too) a very big turn on ?

And why not seeing more "polyamorous" relationships in fictions too ? I mean, with the extreme variety of sexual behaviour that's displayed in fanfics, you'd think this one would be a relatively tame theme to put in fiction, but I feel like you see very little of it (apart from on the theme of character sleeping around a lot - which isn't exactly the same thing)
I don't mean of it as a threesome or a honnest to good menage à trois either (I don't really adore threesomes , they're too often either porn without plot and very technical at that)

Do you guys have any opinion on the subject ? Do you like to see triangles, romantic or not, in fics or not and why ? Do you prefer OTP or straight away OT3 ?
salinea: (Default)
When I was about 15 years old and I was just getting seriously into Science Fiction and Fantasy and into the internet active fandom side of them, I read Roger Zelazny's Amber cycle serie and loved it. When I was finished however I felt frustrated. The ending left too many issues hanging, too many threads untied. And they would never be completed because Zelazny had died. I wanted more; I wanted to keep exploring this universe, to keep shedding more light onto the other characters' side of things and all the countless possibilities glimpsed from the text, so I went ahunting on the internet, and...

From where I started with this you would think I would find fanfics, wouldn't you ?

Well, actually what I found was Roleplaying Games, specifically Eric Wujcik's Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game. Imagine, make up your own Amberite Prince character, and start exploring this world all by yourself, interacting with the other characters etc. I was thrilled ! As things went, it took me two years to actually get into the RPG crowd and start playing regularly. But my point here is : the reason I got into RPGs were exactly the same I find Fanfics so interesting.

Given how obvious the similarities of the pull for both seem to me, you can imagine I was surprised to see how little the actors of either cross over to the other. At first glimpse at my flist, I can find only about 5 or 6 people I know who are interested and active in both Fanfics and RPGs* (over a flist of 110 with lots of people into fanfics). Why were the two so uninvolved with each others ? Is it a case of 'parallel evolution' ? Are there more truly different than they look to me ? Is it merely a question of male fen vs female fen ?)

* : (By RPGs, for the purpose of this essay, I'm going to mean merely Roleplaying Game featuring rules, how light they are, and often a setting, either commercialy published or amateurs, and meant to be played in live in small groups involving one or several player and a game master.
The other kind of roleplay, that is indeed pretty popular among the fandom crowd, which involves the roleplay of existing or original character set in a fictionnal canon world with little to no rules but politeness and mostly played online, I'm going to call Freestyle Roleplay or FRP.)

cut for the extremely long and rambly essay )
salinea: (Default)
The more time goes, the more I become antisocial. It's funny really. I remember a time when I actually yearned for, you know, people compagnonship and felt lonely. Nowadays, all i want is a good book, an internet connection, food & tea and I'm happy.

Of course this is directly related to how tired I am all the time. I have observed that when I have leisurely time, I'm composed, charming, levelheaded and easily amused. When I don't sleep enough, however, I have a temper the width of a hair and feel like clawing the eyes of the first person coming close. This explains a lot about the world in general, I suppose.

Nothing much new. I want an icon that says "Books are better than sex", but I'm too lazy to make it. Alternatively, I'm getting extremely sick of icons in general. Is it me or do most of iconmakers always do the same style over and over again, to the point where images are so distorted they don't even look like anything anymore, and text is just random lyrics or overused jokes ?

See my comment statistics )
salinea: (Default)
I like heat. Everyone's complaining about it, and I seem to be the only one enjoying the temperature. Even though it makes things more difficult, sleepy at work and hard to fall asleep and sweaty as hell, I like it.

I especially love summer nights, when the temperature goes just a little bit down, enough that can enjoy the fresh air, while still being so damn hot that you want to remove all clothings and walk freely, and dance with the sounds of drums resounding over the Seine's banks. And I love when the tension raises and raises until suddenly it explodes in thunder and lightnings. It's exhilerating, in the way that sometimes it can feel exhilerating to fight (figuratively).

Like screaming that you exist.

* * *

I'm not quite sure why I know less and less what to post on this journal. I blame working. Sucks up most of your day time and then you're too tired to think about what to write somewhere. *sighs*

Anyway, let me pimp to you [ profile] sumeragicest a community dedicated to the relationship between Hokuto and Subaru, with or without incest.

and let me post some quizzes Read more... )
salinea: (Default)
Downloading 39 episodes of a serie is way too fucking slow. In one month and a half I'm only at 36% of getting the whole of the Utena serie and it frustrates me extremely. Can't go all over and it and analyse it properly until I can watch it again, and fully.

[ profile] coffee_and_ink compared the Utena ending to the FMA one. Of course I'd rather she had compared it to Buffy.

Obvious similarities between the two series : the reversal of gender roles, feminism, overuse of symbolism and metaphores. But Utena in general is I think more extreme, more indepth and more... well revolutionary ^_^ Though they both have the great advantage of managing to apply feminism to more than relationships between men and women.

Utena is in a way very political. Or more accurately, it talks very acutely about power as it is in every parts of human interactions, even those that could seem very innocent, and suggest a political outlook on it. We're talking about a serie where two keys words are "Prince" and "Revolution", doesn't this strike people as strange ? Those are antithesis.

Especially when you remember that Utena makes obvious references to the very old shoujo "Roses of Versaille" which was during the French revolution. I wonder if there's some essay around that explores this topic. If not I'd like to do one... grrr why is that download so slow ?

BtVS and Utena ending, with spoilers )


9 Mar 2005 12:10 am
salinea: (Default)
I feel like I've been misusing this journal terribly. Hence why I've been having so much troubles writing in it these past days.
When I started it, I didn't do it to keep tab with my friends (not that I don't want to check on what happens in all of your lives), nor did I do it to write things about what happened in my days and give the appearance I was busy and human still. Neither did I do it for fandom related subjects really, not that I mind using it as such, but not for fandom as itself certainly.

I started this journal because I wanted to put there everything that made sense to me. Not the moments but the realizations they induced. Not myself, but the trapping of my Self. I wanted to use it to help me find the Narrative of my life. All the meaning I found in a day to day basis that could help me create my identify, act within it, reach for what I wanted for myself.

But as often happens we get trapped in the way, and lost in the labyrinth of what others want to see, and what we shall provide them so that they can see us. So we try to speak their tongue, and then we don't understand ourselves anymore, and then we're only speaking nonsense. And then we don't say anything anymore at all.


That's what there is in beauty.

Magic. Power. Wonder. That's why I want to write. That's why i always wanted to write. Not to escape, but to find what was mine in reality. To make reality mine. I mean, there's no sense to feeling alienated to this world. Everything that is in it, is in us. And everything that is in us, is in the world. Is of the world. Dreams, tales, visions, fears, beauty... everything that comes from us, comes from this reality, this universe. This nature, our nature.

That's the power of words, of art, of beauty, not to create things (everything is already in the world), but to name them, to isolate them, to set them in a frame, to tie them to each others, in a storyline that gives sense - order - to it. And to do so, repetively, differently, with the same basic stuff all the time. With the same bare stones you can build a million different castles and bridges and arches.

And they don't contradict each others. They're all true. They're all of the world. Because they have meanings to us. As I never found any contradiction as a child into thinking that the world was both created in 6 days and that the earth was billion years old. Why should I have ? Both truth belong to different narratives, different frames, but they have both their own uses, their own power within it. It's the same way I understand that a scientist could consider light as an onde once, and as a particule then for the resolution of two different problems.
And the world is big, is rich enough to encompass all of our different points of views narrating reality.

Power then. Power for myself - to become what I want to be, to set myself free of all I didn't want to be. We do that, don't we ? With the right clothes, with the right rituals, actions that we do and that we give meanings to, places that we go, that we live in to make our world. With the right attributes and aspects we give ourselves power to be what we want to be - or what we fear to be as often, much too often, we get ruled by this power, by our uncontrolled chaos within of fear and vanity and anger and self-loathing instead of using it. And we trap ourselves, and let the words of others trap us. While we could use it to free us so absolutly.

And power for others. To tie myself to others. To let them see. Because that's what i loved in books when I was a child. The power to become anyone else so that you could see what it was to be someone else. Without judgement. Without bias. Empathy was what I sook into books, that one gift that I prize above any other. Utopian in a way of me to believe that, to believe that you could really see, just in a books, all of the world through the eyes of others. Of course, the world is not there, you have to bring that with you, as a reader. But the track marks are. The Frame, which tells you where the beginning and the ending are, and the cuts of chapters between them. Putting the negative space in, that's what writing is. This framing blankness around the reality that the reader brings with, so that when they walk see it, it is them that connect the dots together, them who brings the vision forth, into their mind that the picture becomes alive. It's got so much more power that way. So much more meaning to them. And that's when they can see, when they can connect with you.

That's the answer for me. I was that weird child that nobody could understand, who found things, saw things in the world that nobody else could see. I was - I am - lonely because of it. But if I don't want to wear a mask to hide beneath, to fit in and walk on the same road as everyone else, then can I do less that give others the key, the password to translate what I say and let them understand me ?

And I haven't been doing really that, have i ? I got used not to expect people to understand me. Which was the great vanity of believe that I alone could understand them no matter how different they were and love them as they while they could have not ? How foolish was that !

But if I want to do this with that journal I have to do it entirely. I have to put the fandoms and the books, the thoughts and the daily reviews. I have to put everything that is me, so I can at least connect it, build it, make sense of it in a way that would, at last, help me create a narrative for myself. Make sense of me and the world for myself and for others.
And for that I need to cut, to cut from the chaotic mass to order it. To prioritize what I want.

As I've been living this past year under the sign of the Moon.
Who I am ? Everything I dream and wishes and fears to be.
What is illusory ? Everything I cannot make true by telling it the right way.
How do I make it ? By deciding. By picking a road instead of trying to walk two, a hundred, at the same times and not walking on anything at all. I can even cut my way across the bushes for myself if I want to, but I need to do it and to follow it wherever it leads to instead of keep retracing my step to find another path.

Once upon a time...
salinea: (Default)
Sometimes I feel like weeping without reason.

Like glass. Like oversensitive skin. So very fragile, so very feeling. Sounds and sunshine and people's smiles brush it and it makes me shudder. Paperthin boundaries.

Yet the world is less real. Less concrete, but truer. You could traverse it with a hand, if you're not careful, and reach for what's real beyond.

And it can be night or day, I can be alone or not. But it's different, whatever it is, though it shouldn't be. It feels different. Another space, a treshold.

And everything touches me. Everything is worth crying for.

But it's not a bad feeling.

In a way it's the most peaceful feeling I know. And very precious.
salinea: (Default)
*stares at the screen* Hmmm, I should update shouldn't I ?

My connection went broken last week end. I was much busy nonetheless. Had a roleplaying game (Nephilim), and spent the saturday night to sunday morning watching the Lord of the Ring, long version, with a friend.

T'was the first time I was watching the long version, and it did improve on some points (Faramir isn't completely as bad as he was before, but still not on par with the book version) There was much fun, and much making fun of the movie as we went, and much cheering at the apparition of my favourite character (which is the Balrog, in case you wonder ;) and much comments about the slashiness of some scenes (and that though the friend in question is very much a straight male... I strive to corrupt where i can)

Classes on monday, we were supposed to give our topic for for the Method of Research and Analysis, and I still didn't have one, so like an idiot I said fanfictions. Stupid me. Not that it doesn't make a good subject, in general, just imagining explaining to my teacher that a lot of what I'm going to write about is porn.

Reading, I finished re-reading This Alien Shore by Friedman, which concluded by great re-reading cycle of that amazing writer. This book is still as fucking good, and still makes me wish there was a roleplaying game adapted from it, because, wow, I love the society descripted, especially the Guerans, and the use of the myth of Babel; and the rationalization for aliens that are nonetheless humans. There's very few books that explore so well the theme of otherness - and how people are always alien to each others - and the so many compromises and codes we need to use to relate to each others. I was stricken re-reading it, by some similarities with the Culture verse (by Ian Banks) and with Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams. Not thematics, but technicological and ideas... i think those might be recent trends in current Space Opera with a flair for hard science.

Then the other day, I was suddenly reading with voracity a great number of (very good)Good Omens fics, for some reason, with a spare Harry Potter or Coldfire thrown in the middle of it. I still have a great trouble believing any slash set in the Coldfire trilogy, for several reasons (biggest among those is that Coldfire is made to be both a paramount of a certain type of gothic novel and a certain type of antihero, and a satire of thereof.. which includes the debunking of redemption by romantic love in such cases) On the other hands, there's no reason it would be totally out of the question,... but in the fics I read - though they were well written and in character - didn't convince me one bit and it was all coming out of the blue.
So I went from reading those fics to take Black Sub Rising out of the shelf and start reading it. Which is bad - Friedman's too good a writer and with way too few books out for me to read so much of her that I might get burned out. Arrgh. Then it was bad timing because I got a call from my bookstore, they have recieved Howl's Moving Castle at last and kept a copy for me. And of course, once I was there, I had to buy Ursula Leguin's Changing Planes (damnit I don't even know what this book's about !) and LK Hamilton's Seduced by Moonlight (because, even though the Merry Gentry book are bad pseudo-porn with little plot thrown in and way too many pretty men in love or lust with the Mary Sue main character it's just got enough good ideas about the world to make you wish it wasn't. And keep you hoping. Oh, and it's the kind of enterteining crap you read very quickly and easily too.) Well, I also got myself Banks' lattest book (the Algebrist) to offer my dad for his birthday (which was yesterday, but i'll give it to him tomorrow evening, we're going out with the family for the occasion)

All those recent purchase left me but with one conclusion : I need money. Therefore today I was working with my mum - which was very tiring and very fastidious. And to make things better, Kraken's exalted game online, which is on Thursday evening, has still as many players as last time showing, which is to say, only Mayumi and I. So, no game. *dead*
And tomorrow I get to do more boring and wearisome work.
Well, at least I can finish reading Black Sun Rising...

And then of course, I've got this impression that my lattest fandom is currently falling apart. Well, people have been saying they were getting tired of it quite often lately, but it's like a little implosion of it right now. Or maybe I'm just more sensitive to it because I am starting to get weary of it as well. Cute fandom, you know, but the wank made my head hurt. And it's only nearly one year I started getting into it. Much less I was /succeeding/ getting into it. That's got to be one of my shortest time with a fandom; if I don't have the time to write some of those fics I wanted to do, I'll be sad, still. But I'm starting to feel very blased and cynical about it.
And there's lots of self-loathing in that, as well.
salinea: (Default)
Happy birthday [ profile] jydan ! Hope you have a lovely day ^^ wow, 22 are you not ? you're almost an adult ;)

I'm getting so damn sick of not sleeping until 5 am. I've been on a roll with that since I came back from vacation and it's exhausting. Granted, this is always partly because I spend hours on the internet / reading whatever. However I also do that because i'm in that kind of feverish mood where I know I won't be able to fall asleep. I've never been good at letting myself sleep, since I was a very little girl. I think it's partly because I've got a very nervous personnality. And partly because a part of me is afraid of it (why ? I have no idea... sleeping makes me anxious)

Traditionnaly, I can spend hours in my bed thinking about anything, making speeches to myself, imagining conversations with real or imaginary people, disserting about the nature of life, the universe and everything, or planning out some scenarii/fanfics... It can be exhausting, sometimes, as if my mind would just never stop. And when I worry about something, especially, or am in a self-loathing mood, it's especially difficult.

But I like night too... as if it was this one time where we can be free. No one else to bother you. Nothing expected of you anymore. I don't know. It's like the whole ambiance is different, it's an in-between space, and I love to linguer in it... I don't want it to be a new day yet. Maybe that's what I'm afraid of, the new day.
Yesterday I was finishing re reading Swordspoint. What a delightful novel ! Still think it's better than Fall of Kings, or Thomas the Rhymer for that matter. All the characters are great, and Richard and Alec are such a wonderful couple ! They manage to be as cute as Touya/Yuki and as messed up as SeishirouxSubaru ^_^ Does anyone know fanfics written about Swordspoint ? That'd make my day.

Cool meme ganked from [ profile] crazylittleme

1. Comment with any ship from a fandom that you know I like, or at least have some knowledge about.

2. I will ramble for 100 words about aforementioned ship. This may be incoherent gushing or exclamations of disgust, depending on what it is. (Oh, psh, you're going to get a five-page ESSAY on some pairings. Screw 100 words.)

3. Put this on your LJ, if you are so inclined.

ETA : quizzy )


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