Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

Quick quick now!

1) The deadline is tomorrow, Friday the 20th at midnight for  both otherworldlyric challenge #166 , "Easy Way Out" by Gotye, and slayerstillness challenge 20 "Love Song for a Vampire. More entries are needed - and I'm sitting both of these out, so don't look at me. I'm just gonna sit back and enjoy the pretties this time around.

And just in case you're easily confusable - a.k.a. "moi" - OWL is the multifandom icontest where you have to use at least two consecutive words from the lyrics of the challenge song. SS is strictly Buffyverse (btvs/ats) and icons can have text or not.  Also, SS is the one that opens the entry and voting threads after the winners have been announced. Which can be fun...or kinda awkward, depending. I actually kind of like it, but wait until an icon I'm sure is gonna win loses big time. Then we'll see what pennywhistle I'm tooting with.)

2) A little bird in fandom (thank you little bird!) informed me that my blog has been rec'd by "snowdropsandtigers" on tumblr.

"On a relevant—yet off-topic—note, it occurs to me that I want to recommend a blogger to follow, in case that might help and you don’t know of her. She’s on LJ and she’s very much a Buffy fan first and Spuffy shipper second, and gives love to the other characters too: http://red-satin-doll.livejournal.com/  I’m kind of terrible and lurk much more than talk, but I’ve been reading her meta—and the meta she links to—for a while and find it all really lovely."

And I'm just - what do I say except THANK YOU? I don't know who they - who you - are, but I'm really incredibly flattered by your kind words.  I would love to thank snowdropsandtigers (what a wonderful, evocative penname!) but I haven't a tumblr account so - THANK YOU SO MUCH, whoever you are.

And also, what they said about shipping is extremely relevant to my own thoughts of late:

"I’ve experienced that. Unfortunately, I’ve also experienced other fandoms being pretty much the same. The ones I’ve gotten into after getting into Buffy in 2005 do the same things frequently (ship wars; whitewashing characters, usually dudes; distorting characterization/valuing characters mainly for ships, especially with female characters; drama between the fans themselves.).....It burns one out."

That's pretty much the nutmeat of a meta I've been wanting to write on the subject so all I can say at the moment is - ME TOO. Or, WORD. (Is that even a "thing" anymore, that use of "word"? I don't know. You tell me.)
I've been reading a bunch of French post-structuralists the past couple weeks, and I think I understand the problem with fandom: we over-identify with our favorites (be it ship, character, show, whatevs), so when someone insults that ship/character/show, we take it as a personal blow. de Certeau (the guy I've been reading the most) has this thing about "strategies" and "tactics" - strategies are the ways "the system" or "the man" or hegemony makes us conform to the dominant narrative, and tactics are developed by individuals to navigate those strategies. We are given a media narrative and told the strategic meaning by the dominant culture. You can "buy in" to the message given, or you can deconstruct it and take what meaning you want from it.

Fandom is a tactic against the strategies of mass media. Fans say "Thanks for your masculinist narrative, but I'm going to ship Kirk/Spock and create my own narrative." This slash shipping is a tactic meant to navigate the strategy of the masculinist narrative. Another tactic is in picking and choosing what we identify with. In Harry Potter, it can be what house you're in or what you ship. I am a troubled Ravenclaw shipping Tomione like it's nobody's business, you can be a Gryffindor shipping Cho Chang and Minerva McGonagall. Likewise with Buffy fandom. I am a late-season, Buffy-centric Spuffy shipper. I identify with the B-Team of Spike, Dawn, Anya and Tara more than Giles, Xander and Willow. I use these identifiers as my tactic to make meaning of mass media - they become who I am and how I see myself.

So when someone insults Buffy, I want to get into their face about it, because insulting Buffy is like insulting me. The conversation snowdropsandtigers was commenting on was about how shippers see the entire series through their shipper-shaped lenses. My answer? OF COURSE THEY DO! The thing they identify with most in the show is that particular relationship, so of course it's going to color the way they see the show. What bothers me is when people dismiss shippers as all being "problematic" or "troublesome" or "the reason why fandom is so terrible."

Here's my line of thinking: I've been known to get up in people's grill about particular ships and characters. Disliking these ships and characters (I'll leave what these ships and who these characters are up to the reader) is also part of how I differentiate myself from other mass consumers - it's part of my identity as much as being a late-season Buffy-centric Spuffy shipper is. So when I say something passionate against said ship or character, I'm saying it because something fundamental inside me objects to them.

So this brings us to ship wars. You have people who over-identify with ship A, which goes counter to those who over-identify with ship B. "A" shippers object to ship B because we're all rapist lovers (was that too specific? Okay, we're all bad people who like problematic characters). When "A" shippers and "B" shippers meet in discourse, of course there's going to be conflict. I think it's extremely naive to believe that two groups of people who firmly believe and identify with two contrasting things won't have some conflict.

That doesn't mean we dismiss shippers completely - I know some of the people in the conversation would be the first ones out of the gate with a chainsaw if their favorite was dismissed.

WE ALL OVER IDENTIFY WITH OUR FAVORITES. It's how we differentiate ourselves from every single other mass media consumer. When I write my list of fandoms and ships on my tumblr page, I'm making a declaration about who I am. So it really annoys me when people place all the blame about fandom conflict on shippers. If your favorite was threatened, wouldn't you rally to support them?

So yeah. I support the shippers because they have every right to identify with what they end up identifying with. That doesn't give them (or me) the right to be a jackass about it, but shippers shouldn't be looked at as some lesser being because they're distinguishing identifiers is a romantic relationship.

I think I may have lost myself in this, but do you get my point? I'm not even sure what my point originally was.

Edited at 2014-03-21 03:07 am (UTC)
Okay, that is easily the finest and most elegant defense of shipping I've ever read. I think I might build a shrine to you.


Gabrielle
Thank you so much, hon! I don't know about "deserving" (*ok stop with the self-deprecation right now* .....)
Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling up to doing the challenge at OWL this week due to being sick. But I so look forward to voting at both places!

Kudos on being rec'd! I love reading your entries, they make me think and I appreciate that!
Thank you for the kind words hon!

And I just voted at OWL - so hard - and I haven't voted yet at Slayerstillness because I couldn't decide and had to think about it. Holy cheese on a cracker.
Congratulations Sweetie! I don't keep up much with this fandom on Tumblr, I devote it more to my other fandoms because I have found the atmosphere over there to be shaky at best with btvs stuff... Just a few not very nice opinions over there. And besides, my LJ is pretty much devoted to this fandom, as is my entire flist, so it makes sense that I keep my opinions, anger and squee for over here.

and I had the BEST idea for an icon for this round at owl, but my computer got wiped and not only are all of my screencaps gone, but some of my programs too (office is gone so I have to make documents online). It was a Warehouse 13 one with (female) HG Wells and was about her memories. I had the perfect screencap and the text fit it wonderfully, so I am muchly upset.

And if I get into an argument about the marginalization of female characters within shipping I will ramble, rant and cry a lot, so I won't. My brain agrees with that quote and I'm sure you're already aware of my thoughts so...
I have found the atmosphere over there to be shaky at best with btvs stuff..

I have bookmarked some fantastic meta posts about btvs on tumblr - oftentimes written in response to something really horrible about Buffy or the women in general.

my LJ is pretty much devoted to this fandom, as is my entire flist, so it makes sense that I keep my opinions, anger and squee for over here.

I have a DW journal but I really don't do anything with it. I have a few friends there but nothing like I have hear. I don't have the energy to build a second "audience" there when I've got what I've got here.

I had the BEST idea for an icon for this round at owl, but my computer got wiped and not only are all of my screencaps gone, but some of my programs too (office is gone so I have to make documents online). It was a Warehouse 13 one with (female) HG Wells and was about her memories. I had the perfect screencap and the text fit it wonderfully, so I am muchly upset.

Oh NO! All of your caps? I hope you get to remake it. I feel your pain - when the desktop computer burned up and the harddrive along with it, I had a couple of meta drafts on there, including a Buffy and Dru one with images that I don't know how to recreate. Some of my stories, etc.

BTW- if you need any btvs screencaps I've got tons in my photobucket. Let me know.

My brain agrees with that quote and I'm sure you're already aware of my thoughts so...

Your latest post on your blog is a thing of terrible beauty.
Ah, you're welcome! Like I said, I'm terrible at talking--hence the Tumblr, which lends itself more to the reblogging of nice things without the expectation of brain activity (that and it has the bulk of the community for my other main fandom)--but I do love to read.

Shipping used to be so fun before I realized this was how it was; I still love shipping but actually dealing with it in fandom, even for ships I like, gets me really tired. In fact this is especially true for ships I like, because those are the parts of fandom I'm most often exposed to.

ETA (I knew I had forgotten to say something): Also thank you for complimenting my penname there!

Edited at 2014-03-23 07:26 am (UTC)
I admit I was just absolutely verklempt when Lexi sent me the link and I felt so bad that I didn't have a direct way to say thank you, so I'm so glad you saw it. *blushes* And that you enjoy yourself here. Thank you SO much for the free PR!

I still love shipping but actually dealing with it in fandom, even for ships I like, gets me really tired. In fact this is especially true for ships I like, because those are the parts of fandom I'm most often exposed to.

I was agreeing with your comments - and still do. I wasn't aware that it was part of some greater conversation or kerfuffle. (I guess?) I don't think that kerfuffle ever really ends anyway, it just flares up now and then. I'm not anti-shipper by any means. I ship all sorts of pairings on the show.

But after reading Spuffy fic and conversations for a while I began to wonder if there was as much Buffy hatred in other shipping factions and - sadly, yes, there is. And every shipping faction thinks they are absolutely different to every other. They aren't they really are not. We're all fans of the show, in the end.

And your name really is lovely, how did you come up with it? I love the imagery and snowdrops are one of my favorite flowers.

Hope you don't mind the month-old comment, but I was going through old notes on tumblr and...the world is pretty small, isn't it? :P I'm actually the person snowdropsandtigers was replying to.

I think kwritten has summed up most of my thoughts on it in her first post in the thread here. I'm Buffy-first. Before ships or anything else. So yeah...her deletion when discussing her own narrative (it's her show, yo!) when it comes to ships just drives me up the wall.

I made that post when the first issue of the new comics came out and it frustrated me because it was the same crap as always yet people were applauding it. Again, Buffy still written crappily, but Spuffy undertones, so thoughts were positive. That seems to have changed after the #2 previews, though. It reminded me of the outrage in 2010 after the space!frak and how everyone got over it once they convinced themselves it was a subversion of Bangel. Even if it was, it's still punishment for a romantic choice* and that's bullshit whether it's Angel or Spike. Again, it reminds me of TGIQ where the writers were pretty blatantly mocking BOTH shipper groups, yet Spuffy fans were laughing at the Bangels while taking Spike taking credit for saving the world in S2 as proof.

Meh. Kwritten has said it all better.
So you're downtoolong? Small world indeed! I was taken aback by snowdrops very kind compliments. And no, I don't mind late compliments at all!

Also I read some of your tumblr posts (I noticed xlivieloxx there as well) and found them really interesting - I had no idea that so much actual conversation was happening on tumblr (not just picspams); but the format seems weird to me. Perhaps I've been wrong that it doesn't suit conversations. (I can't see myself making an account but I'm tempted just to be able to follow and chime in from time to time.)

But you know I share your thoughts on the matter at any rate - and kwritten definitely put down in words what I've been thinking for some time, and probably with more clarity and passion than I could. (I only disagree with her slightly on the subject of slash shipping, which I think is a legitimate strategy for writing about dynamics and characters an author is genuinely interested in - preferable to "shipping Spuffy/Bangel" etc whilst hating one of the partners in the pairing.) But I have nothing to back up that opinion beyond a general intuition sense.

Again, Buffy still written crappily, but Spuffy undertones, so thoughts were positive.

Well I do get that other people are Spike fans first, or shipping is their primary lens. That's what they are in it for, as passionately as I'm in it for Buffy. What surprised (surprises) me is the number of folks who said "it's Joss I trust him [to make it make sense]? to confirm my ship [which he never has had the balls to do either way]?" After how many years?

Even I felt sympathy for Bangel and Angel fans after the spacefrak because I assumed they'd be infuriated by the treatment of their ship and beloved characters and that turned out by and large to not be the case, from what I've seen. It's perplexing.

Even if it was, it's still punishment for a romantic choice* and that's bullshit whether it's Angel or Spike.

Whether it was meant to be "subversive" or not, it's gross and mean-spirited towards the characters - and their fans - on any number of levels. But especially towards Buffy herself.