Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

Ted Meta: Runner-Up in Wicked Awards or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love self-nomination*

My "Ted" meta entry for this year's Big Damn Lovefest took pride of place as Runner-up in Round 10 of the Wicked Awards Best Essay/Meta catagory Not Fade Away, along with "Dean Winchester, An Analysis (c. Season 8)" by witchiam. The winner in the category? kwritten's meta masterpiece series Dawn Summers: Fighting for an Alternative Feminist Narrative.

ETA: Judges' Choice selections and banners by angelus2hot can be seen hereCan I say that again, pretty please? 'cause this bears repeating and I may never get to say it again: My meta was second to kwritten 's Dawn Summers meta series. In this context I get to mention mine and her's in the same damn breath, and there were other excellent entries that could have been chosen. That is damn fine company to be in. Thank you to the judges for the honor and thank you angelus2hot the lovely banner (Buffy in Tabula Rasa - do you know me or something? This is a prize in itself.) And congratulations to ALL of the other winners and nominees!

Behold the pretty banner! by angelus2hot

[I have feelings about this]When I say I didn't expect this, btw, it's no bull. I knew the Dawn Summers meta series was going to be a winner when I read it back in April, but someone nominated it for this round before I could. I nominated myself simply because I'm proud of my "Ted" meta and I want it to be read. It's one of the best things I've posted here, perhaps one of the better things I've ever written. BtVS appeals to me emotionally, intellectually, and aesthetically; I think all these aspects are woven into the fabric of that essay. Read it together with my Buffy and Tara meta, and between the two you have a pretty good idea of not only how I approach the series, but who I am as a person. (Granted, that's a lot of weight to pile upon a poor little essay!)

But for the sake of karma and conscience I made sure to nominate a ton of fics, videos, artwork and other meta; lest The Powers that Suck decide to strike me down for my hubris or something like that. I had meant to put up a post encouraging other folks to nominate metas but real life i.e. a wee little apartment fire kind of got in the way. Priorities and all that jazz. (Maybe the TPTS were telling me something after all?)

In the past I've suffered from the belief that it's "not the same" to nominate myself as if someone else does; but I think I'm over that mindset. The nominated pieces were judged on their own merit regardless of who nominated them.  (Last year someone else kindly nominated my "Dopplegangers: Xander" meta; I was flattered but I think it's a subpar work. It didn't place and it didn't deserve to.)

This award is not how I learned to love self-nomination, however, although it's a lovely reward and confirmation that it's ok to self-nominate.  What really shifted my mindset on this was my first (and probably only) entry in the btvs_hush icon challenge #257.  I started to write a post to encourage folks to vote in it when it occurred to me: What's the difference between self-nomination and self-pimpage?

Answer? Nothing. Or at least not a whole lot that I can see. We want our work to be seen, read, appreciated; we don't get money for all our time and efforts so recognition comes in the form of awards, reviews and replies, page views, works by other people we inspire with our prompts, gifts from fandom friends, etc.

Every single day I am coming across a new story, meta or fanvid off someone else's recommendation. Awards nomination lists introduce me to entire worlds within this fandom I never knew existed. Every week I make new friends in this fandom thanks to someone else's links, and my participation in fandom gets a little richer with each interaction.

So self-nominate by all means, and don't be shy about it. (I can decide what's good and what's crap for myself, trust.)

*With apologies to Mr Kubrick for the theft of his title...but while we're on the subject, if you haven't seen Dr Strangelove, or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb yet, you owe to yourself to do so. Forget 2001: A Space Odyssey - sure it's "big" and "important" (a.k.a. frequently incomprehensible and pretentious); and it's a wet dream of film majors everywhere (and what the hell was it about, again?). For my money, Dr Strangelove is the true masterpiece, a blacker-than-pitch comedy about geopolitics and the little men with their fingers on the button that is still relevant, still as funny and as frightening as hell.
- (Anonymous)
2001. You know that whole spacey bit in there? Damn but that goes on and on and on. I know it's an important movie, for some reason, but I so don't get why.

I've tried TWICE this morning to reply to this and LJ bags out on me every time, I have no idea why. So to sum up: WORD. And, it's important because a group of "tastemakers" decided it's important. Citizen Kane is a bit like that: it tops every single poll I've ever read of "best american film". Sure it's an important film (although most of it's visual style was borrowed from german expressionist films) but EVERY SINGLE ONE? No one has a contrary opinion?

It's more traditional in terms of storytelling than 2001, but they are both cold to the core, IMO. films I can admire rather than love. I'm also reminded a bit of when I was in film school and the guys (all male) who entered the program after me were just creaming themselves over the new digital editing bay (called a "toaster") back then because of the cool special effects.

2001 is obscure (hence there must be great meanings and symbolism that only those in the know can understand). It's "serious" - concerned with ideas rather than emotions (silly feminine stuff); and again it's up to you to suss out what the hell those ideas are in the first half. It's also an "auteur's film"; film theory got hiijacked pretty much by the auteur theory (at least until feminist theory).

Basically I fell asleep until the second half -***SPOILER***
a robot who develops an independent sense of self, including self-preservation, to the point that it murders a man it considers an enemy? that was really an amazing concept to me. The movie doesn't start for me until the second half.

I have a similar the same reaction to the film Koyaanisqatsi - I struggled to stay awake during that one - ok, ok I GOT YOUR POINT ALREADY, thank you, can we end it now?

And this is coming from someone who, up to ten years ago, really didn't appreciate abstract art because I didn't know how to look at it, how to evaluate it; I do now. I don't consider myself a "rube" nor am I a member of the academia btw.

I know there are people who say the same of btvs, but the intersection of entertainment and art, emotion and intellect, hits my sweet spot. Ironically though it's part of what kept me from watching it until last year - I was wary of a "high school show" but I was equally bemused by the notion that people studied a tv show and their was a whole field of academic studies built around it. (as if I haven't been analysing film and media my entire life.) And I think that's probably true of others? the show's "weakness" in drawing new people is it's strength when turning spectators into devotees.
Thank you hon!

BTW - I've been REALLY behind in my replies (700 items in my inbox and climbing....oy) but the questions you asked me in another thread about why I love Buffy, etc and why you prefer Spangel has been on my mind since you asked; I mean, at least once a day. Really provocative questions because I don't think anyone has really ever asked me before. I think I may just have to do another post to tackle that, because your questions really are worthy of that.
Congrats! Your meta is truly amazing, you deserved the podium.
Thank you sweetie! You've been so supportive all since day one and I appreciate that so much.

I don't know about "deserved" (ok, still have a self-depricating streak...it's a work in progress!) But it really is an honor. Maybe I'm blowing it out of proportion but having my work acknowledged - that's the fuel that keeps us going, isn't it?
I've already said this, but congrats! Your placing was thoroughly deserved and it was a stunning essay.

I'm glad you nominated yourself so you could get the love for that meta that you deserved - but I've gotta say, I think someone would have nominated you anyway. Like I said, thoroughly deserved.

You put so much of yourself into it, the essay was as much self-reflection as study - and isn't that what art is about? Revealing parts of ourselves in ways we can't otherwise express?

BTW, I read the Dawn meta and it's OhMyGod amazing. I didn't relate to Dawn in the same way I did others (that's not to say I hated her, we just didn't click), but that essay made me see her in an entirely new way. I think kwritten saw parallels the writers didn't - and yet they make so much sense, both from a canonical and character perspective. It was fantastic.
*blushes* Thank you!

but I've gotta say, I think someone would have nominated you anyway.

Ah, I almost talked about that a little in my post and ran out of time. (If I stopped spending SO MUCH TIME answering and writing long replies - case in point here - I'd have more time to write longer posts before the zero hour.) I was talking about this on the Wicked site with one of the mods about the fact that I think meta should have different categories just like fics do. (f.ex. A drabble is going for a very different effect than a multi-chapter story.)

And they told me that wouldn't happen because they had a hard enough time getting people to nominate meta. The Wicked awards have no time limit ie you can can nominate a work done at any time (not limited to this year), so that means there are hundred to choose from on the net; probably thousands if we include blogs and sites outside of LJ.

Last round I packed the category because for there were only one or two, including my "Xander" one which I'm not that thrilled with now; I KNOW there's so much excellence out there that I would have been embarrassed to get "runner up" just because the minimum # requirement had been filled. And as it turns out the one that won, eleusis_walk's very fine Cordelia Chase meta, was one of the few I hadn't nominated. And that was cool because I had never heard of him before. That's what it's all about, really - finding new things via the nominations, rather than the actual awards.

This year I was going to post and encourage others to also nominate more meta (I nominated a couple but my heart wasn't in it as much this year, there are so many possible entries that it gets overwhelming, then the fire, etc etc); but I think the category remained consistent at 5-6 entries? Meanwhile, the judges received nominations for so many Giles/Buffy vids that the judges had to create a new category for them.

And I know there are folks on my flist who are not into meta; but I've yet to hear anyone say they're "not into fic." (I actually claimed when I first came here and since then I've read thousands of fics.)

So - really no guarantees that anyone would have nominated mine. (I have no idea who nominated the Xander one.) I wish now I had nominated Theresa Basile's series on Rape and Violation in the Buffyverse on her old blogsite. (I've probably lost the link to that one too) because it definitely deserves a nod.

You put so much of yourself into it, the essay was as much self-reflection as study - and isn't that what art is about? Revealing parts of ourselves in ways we can't otherwise express?

YES. Exactly. And I'm very happy it spoke to you. I think the difference between it and anything i had written since college, including fiction, was that I had a specific goal in mind, something I wanted to say and achieve, and an audience in mind for it. Everything else was gravy.

that essay made me see her in an entirely new way. I think kwritten saw parallels the writers didn't - and yet they make so much sense, both from a canonical and character perspective. It was fantastic.

I was already aboard the Dawn-love train when I read part 1 - and i admit that's the only part I've fully read - and if she'd written nothing else that would be enough. No one else has payed that attention to Dawn and given her serious attention and study. I think that meta has that in common with Eleusis Cordy meta - part of why they won IMO is that they're tackling subjects that few other people have. That's one of the things I look for in meta in any form: essays, picspams, videos, meta-fics. Tell me something I don't already know, make me see something in a new light. Help me "digest" and understand something I didn't before.

(This is what I get for retreating into lurker land, I have no idea what's going in!)
Thank you!

And sometimes you totally have to "retreat". (I probably need to do so myself if I hope to actually get anything done.)
I'm so proud of you!


Your "Ted" Meta was totally awesome.
Congratulations. That is a brilliant meta and well deserved a nom and an award. Like your thoughts on self nomination. I think we've had that talk before. :D
Thank you, Janice, I'm so glad you liked it! And yes we have had that talk before but I couldn't remember an exact quote to link to (and I was in a hurry.)

I DO remember a statement you made about meta as an artform like any other genre of writing that I know I will quote sometime soon.

Actually we've talked about so many things I tend to forget what we have and haven't already!