lizbee: (Random: sulking Pigeon)

A behaviour I first spotted in Doctor Who fandom that has now spread to Legend of Korra fans:  where an episode is so offensive and objectively objectionable that people lose their ability to use cut tags!

I mean, it surely is some kind of unintended side effect, and not just people being fucking rude.

lizbee: Colour still from "Marco Polo".  Susan leans back against the First Doctor. Word: "Family". (DW: Family)
So I was just talking to [personal profile] yiduiqie about Classic Who, and how our watching of it has always been a bit on the patchy side, and sometimes we want to sit down and watch the whole shebang from start to finish. But that's so intense, and so hard to do on your own. And since she's about to leave the country for a year, I said, "I'll totally start a Dreamwidth comm!"

So! [community profile] of_rassilon! It's basically exactly the same as [community profile] donebykorra, only reaching further back in time. One serial a week, give or take, in a laid-back, no pressure sort of way.
lizbee: (DW: Ten believes in Harvey Dent)
Another picture of everyone's new space girlfriend has emerged )

On a less awesome note, I've been struggling for a few days now to try and come up with a non-wanky way of saying this, but I keep coming back to the same thing:

The squee-harshing in my LJ and DW comments is really getting me down, and I want it to stop.

I went back and forth about whether or not I wanted to say that, because I don't want to be silencing debate or choosing to maintain privilege by ignoring criticism. But it's not really a debate: people come into my posts, and, with or without even acknowledging what I've said, state their contradictory opinions as fact. And then, I've been told on Twitter, people disagree, but feel uncomfortable doing so in a third party's LJ, and then start to feel their own pleasure in the show is wrong, and so they keep silent. That's not a debate, that's a monologue. And it gives me the shits, because when I make my posts, I'm usually happy and squeeful, and within an hour that is inevitably brought crashing down by someone pissing in the metaphorical breakfast cereal.

None of these comments are anon, they all come from people with their own LJs, so they've got their own platforms on which to share opinions. I have a strict practice of not playing the Happiness Patrol when people aren't enjoying something, which means I don't come into personal LJs and tell you to shut up and start smiling. Please have the decency to do the same for me. At the very least, feel free to acknowledge my own opinions before talking back at me.

As for privilege/critique/etc, generally there comes a point where I do want to seek out critique, but I do it in my own time, when I feel ready and have the mental energy to apply myself. There's a meme going around Tumblr at the moment about how there is only one way to watch a problematic show, and if you don't do it right, you're part of the problem. And while there's merit in that, the current right way involves so much energy that, especially now when I'm on the edge of another arthritic flare-up, I'd find an evening of staring at a blank screen more restful than adhering to the strict guidelines of a Tumblr meme.

Also, if even reading discussion re: fail, *isms etc that have actually aired takes more energy than I can physically maintain, it takes a whole lot more to get outraged over things which haven't happened yet, which may not happen, are unlikely to happen at all given the nature and audience of the show, and frankly, if you have the time I'm happy for you, but I've got other things to do. And the implicit (or, occasionally, explicit) demand that I justify liking something, or even not hating it, or just hating it less than other people, is ridiculous.

In short, my feeling is this: I know you don't like it, I respect your right, and I don't really care. Except that I seem to be expected to care, and that just makes me cranky. So cranky I spend three whole days brooding on the topic and struggling to articulate the line between healthy debate and disagreement, and ... not.

I have a lot of friends who have either taken their fannish posts behind lock or stopped making them all together. I don't want to do that, but at the same time, there comes a point where the pleasure I get in making the posts is far outweighed by the frustration I feel over the next days.
lizbee: (DW: Amy (waiting))
Whenever I see a comment about how Amy looks like a prostitute in her short skirts, I find myself wondering if this person has ever seen (a) a prostitute or (b) a fashion-conscious girl. 

I mean, seriously.  I was going to post this to whoisms, but I couldn't think of any remark more coherent and thoughtful than, seriously?
lizbee: (Default)
I did have a link to another review of CDTL, but it turned out to be locked. Apologies to the reviewer. *shamed face*

In other news, we watched "The Eleventh Hour" again, and it was WONDERFUL, and then I jumped up and down with squee, and then I sort of landed on my toe, so now I think said toe is broken.

It's been a few years since my post-"School Reunion" squee ended in a sprained ankle, so I suppose I was due.
lizbee: (Default)
Did I not promise a review towards the end of the Easter weekend?  Or words to that effect, anyway.

Anyway, CDTL, if you've missed the hype around fandom, is a slim collection of essays documenting the female experience in Doctor Who fandom.  These range from origin stories -- "how DW came to be part of my life" -- to essays exploring specific fannish activities, to what we on the intertubes would call meta about specific characters and themes.  There are also a handful of interviews with actresses.

The first category dominates, and unfortunately, it's the weakest.  Many are essentially variations on the same story ("I was watching PBS, for I, like all people in fandom, am American.  And there was a peculiar British show which both scared and thrilled me"), which quickly grew repetitive.  The highlight was Liz Myles's essay, which initially covered her introduction to Who-dom at her mother's hands, and then looked at the revival of Classic Who fandom from late 2005 onwards.  Let me tell you, that warmed my black heart -- as did "Two Generations of Fangirls in America" by Amy Fritsch, about watching DW as a child, then introducing it to her daughter, and the thrill when their respective favourite companions -- Sarah Jane for the mother, Rose for the five-year-old -- met.  The worst of this lot is Carole Barrowman's entry, which briefly touches on the surreal aspect of going from fangirl to family-of-actor, but says very little of substance.

Much more enjoyable are the essays about specific fannish activities.  The obvious stand-out is the cartoon-format story behind Torchwood Babiez, which is funny, endearing, well-told and well-drawn.  And it contains a chibi!Gary Russell, which is so cute, I would not be surprised to learn that the original version of "The End of Time" involved the Master turning all of humanity into chibi!Gary Russells, purely so that all of mankind could squee itself into oblivion.  (Hey, this makes at least as much sense as anything else.)  But I really loved all of these essays -- they include costuming, fan films, Tara O'Shea's adventures running the green room at ChicagoTARDIS (if that's not a fannish activity, I don't know what is!) and the zine scene.  I would have liked to have seen something specifically about the craft of fic writing, but so many authors already have space in the book, and that sort of thing can so easily end in self-indulgence.

Then there's the meta, which ranges from a lovely piece about the author's love for Nyssa ("Girl Genius: Nyssa of Traken" by Francesca Coppa) to not one, but three essays about The Problem of Rose.  The best is "What's A Girl To Do?" by Lloyd Rose, which is considered, well-written and contains ideas that haven't been beaten to death by fandom.  The worst is "Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Have We Really Come That Far?" by Shoshana Magnet and Robert Smith?, which makes a whole heap of really good points about a whole lot of things, but shoots itself in the foot by dividing female characters into categories of Having Worth (older, professional women), Marginal Cases (women in caregiving professions) and Don't Count (flight attendants, shop assistants, temps).  This is a particular shame, because it also makes excellent and under-considered points about Jack Harkness as the acceptable queer (he's from the future, so it's okay, but don't let any of that gayness touch the Doctor!) and the problem of the black companions being the least loved. 

But the meta I most loved was K. Tempest Bradford's "Martha Jones: Fangirl Blues", which utterly glows with its love for Martha, and its rage at the unfolding of her story.  Reading it made me want to dance, first with the book, and then with my Martha doll.  That alone was worth what I paid for the book.

The weakest essay overall was Kate Orman's "If I Can't Squee, I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution: Crone-ology of an Aging Fangirl", with its tendency to rewrite history and obsession with gendered behaviour (her tendency to become embroiled in fandom arguments is because she communicates LIKE A MAN, BABY, and not, say, because she created an anti-racism community for whites only).  That is snarky, so here is a direct quote as evidence:

So it's not hard to see why so much Internet discussion was (and is) "masculine" in nature: confrontational, brusque, concerned with winning the argument rather than with group bonding or soothing ruffled feathers.  In turn, that helps to explain the grinding of gears that's happened so often when I've interacted with majority-female fandom: my learned "masculine" style of bluntly disagreeing and baldly arguing sends others into "face-saving" defensiveness ... So my bluntness shuts down some discussion...

Yes, well.  The essay ends with mention of dedicated forums for anonymous feminine bullying -- I suppose [community profile] who_anon can take a bow here -- with a dire warning that sooner or later, someone will Get Hurt.  By this point, I was desperately sorry I'd read the essay at all; it lowers the whole tone of the book, and rather poisoned the remaining essays.  It was a sad come-down after Liz Myles's essay, and rather depressing overall.

In short, would I recommend CDTL?  With due respect to the contributers on my flist, I think it's one to get from the library.  But I'm glad it exists, and I hope it doesn't mark the beginning and the end for female-oriented Doctor Who related titles.

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