This needs to exist.

I was going to make some hyperbolic statement like "I would give my firstborn child for this", but then I didn't want to upset any children I may have in the future (assuming I haven't given them away already in exchange for things), and, really, I'm actually posting, which should tell you how serious I am that this needs to exist.

Crossover. (Long.) Some flavor of Fullmetal Alchemist (preferably, Brotherhood, but I'm not picky). Obviously a "the boys end up in ANOTHER WORLD" fic. With... wait for it... Doctrine of Labyrinths.

Edward! Felix! Alphonse! Mildmay! Completely differing philosophies on brotherhood! Strangely similar philosophies on brotherhood! Academic sniping between Edward and Felix! Maybe even a plot somewhere or something like that, I don't know.

Look, universe, you haven't actually produced a Mirrorverse for every single fandom I've ever read (Chronicles of Narnia? FMA? The Vorkosigan books? Still waiting on those, thanks!), you denied me my long-and-good "John Connor gets a Hogwarts letter" and "the Connors settle down in Sunnydale" stories, you have almost entirely failed at providing any other Buffyverse character other than Xander with mutant powers... time and time again I have forgiven you your deficiencies.

But this. This needs to happen.

i wish i had known this all along.

So, I finished making my C++ program which prints out the text of any particular three-panel A Softer World comics by number, a random three-panel A Softer World comic, or a generated comic (using the text of the first panel of a random strip, the text of the second panel of a random strip, and the text of the third panel of a random strip). Finally got the whole comic so far transcribed (except the six-panel comics), and got the text file formatted properly so the program works right. (Well, almost right. Still have to figure out how to get the very first comic to print.)

Naturally, as soon as I got it working, I started generating the mixed-up comics. And got a lot of really bizarrely spot-on results. (The surreal ones I expected, but there are also perfectly-understandable sad ones!)


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Collapse )I don't know if this will be amusing to anyone other than me, but I thought I'd throw it out here!

How to find good fic in a fandom you haven't read (much of) before

This is a post which started as a comment in response to this post ('Topic: How do you find goodfic') by
[personal profile] brownbetty</user>. It's probably under Dreamwidth's maximum comment length, but as I suspect it's longer than the original post, it seems politer to post it here.

Anyway, this is my super-exhaustive guide to all the ways I have ever used to find good fanfiction in a fandom I was unfamiliar with.

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For more methods, check out the comments to the original post


What I don't get is:Collapse )

So, here is a PSA for anyone who believes themselves to be the One Brave Soul who will stand up and defend freedom of expression from the dogpiling hordes: You're not! There are a ton of you! And you're all saying the same things, and you're trying to shut people up by criticizing them! Which you have defined as dogpiling and censorship! You have met the enemy, and we are you! Now disappear in a puff of logic.


Hey! People who are on my friends list because we all added each other after/during the Children of Earth chat! Or anyone else who was there, or wants to hang out with us anyway! (Beka, kei, euriana, gypseian, 4492, thestarletfallen, themegaloo, silmerin, anyone else I've forgotten to list, apologies if I spelt your name wrong or put you on there twice or left you off. This is Gwen, by the way.) Let's all hang out together and chat some time! Maybe tonight? I set up the Torchwood chat room again (where I met you all. We don't actually have to talk about Torchwood.) and will be on as much as possible tonight: come join me!

If I believed all men were rapists...

I came here today because I don't believe that rape is inevitable or natural. If I did, I would have no reason to be here. If I did, my political practice would be different than it is. Have you ever wondered why we are not just in armed combat against you? It's not because there's a shortage of kitchen knives in this country. It is because we believe in your humanity, against all the evidence. --Andrea Dworkin, "I Want a Twenty-Four Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape."

If I believed all men were rapists--

If I believed all men were potential rapists, and not in the sense of "I must treat all men as potential rapists because the consequences for misjudgment are so severe" but actually that each and every man had it within him to rape, and not in the sense of "given bizarre unlikely scenarios like aliens made me do it, they were going to wipe out Earth if I didn't! or similar" but in reasonably commonplace and likely circumstances--

Do you think I'd be sitting here?

Do you think I'd make speeches, presentations, online posts, and not bullets, knives, an army?

Do you think I'd be learning statistics and arguments instead of combat techniques?

If all women, or all feminists, or most feminists, or all self-identified radical feminists, or any significant portion of all women believed, really and truly and deep down in our souls, that all men were rapists, that all men were potential rapists, do you think there would be a single man left alive by our choice? Do you think we would hesitate to declare war on those who would have, by their own nature, declared war on us?

Do you think women so weak and tender and ineffectual in our anger that the worst you would suffer would be sensitivity training, mandatory sexual harassment workshops for work, reprimands for rape jokes, the "reverse discrimination" of expectations of humanity? Do you think we would even have expectations of your humanity?

Do you think that if tomorrow all women woke up with the realization (true or untrue) that all men really truly hated us enough to want to and be able to and try to write their dominance and power on our resisting bodies, do you think that we would hesitate to move from education to annihilation? Do you think us incapable of becoming valkyries, furies, harpies, avenging angels, every mythological embodiment of men's fears of women's anger? Do you think "Battle of the Sexes" would be metaphorical, merely a joke and an aggravatingly gender-essentialist board game?

Do you think I would have men in my life by choice? Do you think I would have a man as a friend? Do you think I would associate with men if I believed all of them capable of this?

Do you think I would stand in front of a classroom mostly of men and plead with them, with you, to believe that rape is a men's issue, to do something to fight the rape culture (not in so few words), do you think I would bring presentation notes to that classroom and not a gun if your criticism that I was "treating all of the men in the classroom like we were rapists, like all men were rapists" was true? Do you think I would be talking to you, Random Privilege-Soaked Dudebro Douchebag #3-Today, #3112-Total, if I thought you were a rapist?

What's that? No? You actually have a tiny glimmering of understanding that maybe perhaps mass-murder/suicide is not exclusively the option of (white, conservative) men who believe themselves to be systematically persecuted and hated by the universe?

Then next time you feel the urge to accuse some woman of saying or believing or acting like all men are rapists, rethink. Think again. And shut the fuck up.

(This essay is mostly the outgrowth of in-person, offline talks with guys, and is not in any way aimed at or principally about anyone online. If you have made this argument, consider this your free non-personal stupid-argument check, less an attack [gods know I've made stupid arguments before] and more an opportunity for personal growth. All-out warfare is not recommended. This argument may also apply to literal interpretations of the term "class warfare" and people who really truly believe that "all POC have hatred of whitey must-kill urges hard-coded into their beastly animalistic [&c. &c.] DNA"--see also "white men do not have the monopoly on violent expressions of anger in face of perceived persecution." (And possibly other axes as well.) However, as a white upper- or upper-middle-class person, I do not feel qualified to write the "you really think I'd leave it at snarky comments online?!" class- or race-aligned essay.)

Comments not screened currently; don't be an idiot, don't be a jerk; I reserve the right to ban, delete, and freeze for any reason whatsoever with no justification.

Fannish expectations

The conversation over in [info] - personaloliviacirce's posts about the differences between the Scary Ponies Oh No (commonly referred to as "book fandom", "SF fandom", "con-going fandom", and "those fanboys over there") and the Pretty Princess Monsters Blargh (a.k.a. "media fandom", "LJ fandom", "us fangirls", and "LJ-centered Western media fandom which reads Metafandom") is spawning all sorts of interesting discussion.

There have been all sorts of distinctions made, among them:

  • Demographics: mostly white men versus women with a more-proportional white:nonwhite ratio;

  • Fanacs: LARPing, collecting, trivia, filk versus fanfic, meta, fanart, fanvids

  • Primary location: conventions versus Internet

  • Thinking style: linear versus hypertext

  • Relationship with the PTB: worshipful with a side of "I'll be one someday" leading to a tendency to side with them, friendly, officially-sanctioned versus neutral or adversarial, resistive to attempts at commercialization, and little interest in becoming a PTB

  • Attitude towards fanacs: commercially viable and potentially career-launching versus fun and non-commercial amateur hobby

  • Attitude towards canon: love or hate, but don't criticize, only fixable by fanwank, only one canon versus love and hate, criticize even your favorite shows if they deserve to be, fixable by fanfic, multiple canons

(Note that this is about the overall culture, not individuals by any means. There's far too much overlap for this to be at all a useful metric on the individual level.)

These differences lead to larger differences like the Scary Ponies Oh No dismissing activities, like fanfiction, associated with the Pretty Princess Monsters Blargh, often either because it's not being used as a launching point for a career (because the path from consumer to creator is so much a part of Scary Ponies Oh No expectations, if you stop midway, you're not an amateur, you're a failure); because it's perceived as trying to "fix" or, worse, redo canon and is thus an insult to the PTB; because it's a girl thing; or some combination of the preceding.

(Or, just thought of this, the tendency of Scary Ponies Oh No to bring their "squee, not critique" attitude to bear on themselves, so there are a lot of celebrations of fannishness but not so much introspection of what it means to be a Scary Pony Oh No or what needs to be improved or fixed. There tends to be a lot of "what do we do about the graying of fandom" hand-wringing, but also a marked resistance to any kind of change within fandom, without which young people are less likely to be interested. [Have you seen the SFWA website?] And not many discussions of things like sexism, homophobia, racism, and so on within fandom--whenever people do try to bring it up, the reaction of "we're not like that!" or "if we are, it doesn't matter!" or "we are like that and it matters, but there's nothing we can do about it but wait for the Old Guard to die off" is strong. Whereas one of the defining features of the Pretty Princess Monsters Blargh is a tendency toward introspection and self-critique; that's what Metafandom is for, after all: discussions of fandom, like this one.)

One of the points I made was

I think it is also worth noting that (it seems to me that, standard disclaimers apply) Scary Ponies Oh No expect a greater degree of homogeneity of interests outside the obviously fannish. I.e.: cats, computers, chocolate, RenFaire and/or D&D (or GURPS or whatever), a passing familiarity at least with Morris dancing, anti-Microsoft, &c. I'm not really sure what the equivalents for Pretty Princess Monsters Blargh would be; it's my perception that we're (much?) more likely to be liberal or leftist in some way, while Scary Ponies Oh No have a higher degree of libertarianism, and certainly if nothing else Pretty Princess Monsters Blargh fandom as a whole seems to expect anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, &c. sentiment.

to which [info] - personalaamcnamara replied

I think that the Pretty Princess Monsters Blargh also (to a certain degree) are anti-Microsoft--there are definitely expectations, just different ones. Like you, though, I am not certain exactly what those are.

So, lest this question get lost in the larger discussion: what expectations do we (Western media fandom as found on LJ and other journaling services, and united with such communities as Metafandom, Fandom_Wank, Fandom_Secrets, and so on) have of each other that are not related to fandom but that are not expectations we would have for humanity at large?

I'll start, adding to my comment above: I think that we have a tendency to expect each other to have some familiarity (even if only in passing, through reading each other's meta and reaction posts and out-of-fandom fic) with particular source texts that have or had large fandoms, e.g., Xena: Warrior Princess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel: the Series, Firefly, the Sentinel, the Man From UNCLE, Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate: SG-1, Harry Potter, Doctor Who and Torchwood, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Star Trek, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more recently Merlin, Supernatural, and Dollhouse. Not necessarily be fannish about, not necessarily have seen the canon for, but at least have heard of it and maybe have some knowledge of what it's about, main character names, &c.

Happy Towel Day!

Happy Towel Day, everyone! This Discord 72, I'm celebrating by, um, staying home all day (like I do every day since school ended) and carrying my towel around everywhere. Exciting, I know.

Check out (just in case you want a second opinion), the main Towel Day page, the Hyperion Twitter contest for a limited number of towels (Part Six of Three referring to Eoin Colfer's upcoming contribution to the Hitchhiker's "trilogy"), the #towelday hashtag on Twitter, the story of how a towel saved someone's father's life, free Towel Day banners, icons, and wallpapers, and no doubt more! (Why is there not a Towel Day Google Map?!)

Are you hoopy enough to know where your towel is, or are you just a strag? Do you sass (in the know, be familiar with sense, not the have sex with sense) any cool Towel Day websites? Tell me, I'm getting lonely here in my comment-less journal! :P