Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

Happy birthday local_max! And, rahirah has very smart things to say about fandom, per usual

 (And first off, apologies that my formatting here is all over the map.  And I thought LJ was a bitch. Now on the the happy...)

 1) A very happy birthday to  local_max  (William) today!  I'm very much hoping (when life settles down and the stars align properly) that in the new year we'll be seeing more fics and metas from him, as well as the continuation of the  episode reviews 2maggie2's LJ, to which he adds fresh and provocative insights. His contribution begins with ep 1.05 "Never Kill A Boy on the First Date".   He only has two short Buffyverse fics posted at the moment, (more, please?) both told from Willow's POV "Closure"  is mournful and quietly devastating ("angst" doesn't seem the right word for what he does here);  "Hanakuh Present"  is twisty and wicked "oh no you didn't!" fun.

(I don't want to cause you embarrassment, m'dear, but you deserv every ingle word of praise.)

2) As a newbie fan to BtVS, I came to the show this year totally unaware of 'ships, 'shipper wars, Spike wars, factions and fractures, etc (and, holy sweet potatoes, the sheer volume of porn!) And am basically rather glad that I missed most of it, to be honest, even if I also missed the boat on the two most fertile periods of fan interaction and creativity so far: during the show's run; and the renewal of interest and activity after the 10th anniversary of WTTH's original airing, or about 2007-2010.

That said rahirah's metas and commentary on Buffy fandom have been remarkably helpful to give me a brief, incisive run-down on this fandom's history, politics, and personalities.

[But wait, there's more....](And that's just the start of her extraordinary contributions to this fandom from "back in the day", including and especially the her epic  Barbverse. ) I'm not sure how I missed  her comments posted on 12/1 ntil yesterday, but I think they need to be read by everyone in the fandom, and probably everyone i an fandom. And then taped up to the side of my computer as a reminder to pause, hit delete, and step away from the keyboard when my "feelings" on any subject or especially a character 'verse start to get out of hand, and "Principals" begin to overwhelm my consideration of the people on the receiving end of my rants:

"It's a trifle ironic that a character whose best and noblest trait is her ability to forgive and love her friends, as flawed and fallible as those friends sometimes are, has a fandom that regularly eats its own."
"In Which I Ramble On", 12/18/12]

Very much so.

The sentence above does two things for me personally: First, strikes to the heart of something I have observed in this fandom, that the amount of hatred and lack of forgiveness and understanding for all the characters in the Buffyverse is diametrically opposed to the spirit of the show; we often withhold from these characters the very things they most need, the compassion and tenderness that they long for and lack.  There is more than a shade of difference between holding someone accountable for their own actions and holding it against them forever - an important theme throughout the show, played out in astonishing ways particularly in S7. Is this a reflection of our own lack of compassion for others in real life - or a loud and lusty cry for compassion from others, albeit one that is most like to keep that very thing out of reach?

Second, and I hope Barb will forgive me for this, her summation warms my Buffy-loving heart like a cup of hot cocoa (with extra marshmallows) because yes, as much as I can love or empathize with a fictional character I do love and admire Buffy Anne Summers, in all of her fierce and bitchy, self-absorbed and self-sacrificing glory. And I'm more interested in sharing who and what I love about the show or am interested in exploring further. Yes, I will and do seek out metas that express their love for her, for other characters of the show, for viewpoints I share and identify with. Comfort loves company as much as misery does. And yes I will continue to seek out meta analysis that challenges me to enlarge and redefine my own viewpoints.  If I find meta or fic that rubs me the wrong way because their viewpoint is very far removed from my own, or I get involved in those toxic conversations that Barb describes, "I'm right and you're wrong and here's why!" I'll make a greater effort press the back button and go elsewhere. 

Just, please, for the love of Buffy, keep me away from the fandom wars, the 'shipping wars, the whomever-or-whatever wars. If you love Riley, or ship Buffy/Angel, then follow your heart and do so to the "top of your bent". I'll be over here with my arms wrapped around S5-7 as tightly as I can, including Dead Things (especially Dead Things). I'll tell anyone in earshot that S4 is underrated (Cave!Buffy for the win!), rewatch S1-3 and - who knows? Maybe, someday, I'll even learn to like Angel. Stranger things have happened.  (Just don't hold me to that last one, ok?)

This entry was originally posted at http://red-satin-doll.dreamwidth.org/6817.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
I agree. I think there's room for EVERYONE in fandom. No matter which seasons you love, which characters are your favorites, which ships you sail... the Buffy fandom is big enough for multitudes. Let's all just be glad we love something about this show and be nice to each other, even when we don't like the same things.

Barb says it all a lot better than I do, and much MUCH more concisely and elegantly, but yes, very much so to all of this. I don't enjoy being afraid to talk about the things I love (and sometimes I am, or at least extremely hesitant to do so - especially being new in this neighborhood) but that's my issue in terms of confidence. I certainly don't want to cause anyone else to be afraid to express their opinions. I do reserve the right to say "no thanks, I don't want to get into this" but that's not meant to be an attack on the person, simply a recognition of my boundaries and needs.

And, girlfriend, you are faster than greased lighting over here! :) (Which makes me all sorts of happy that you find it worth your while.)

Heh. I started watching Buffy towards end of the original airing of season 3. I didn't wander into fandom proper though until mid season 6. I wandered innocently into the midst of the Spike wars. I can't remember exactly what I asked, but I was told very emphatically that I was Not Allowed to (IIRC) to like both Spike and Angel. I almost never came back. As it was I mostly lurked for quite a while after that!

I've never quite understood the point of the battle lines in fandom. The only character I actively dislike is Kennedy. I even like Riley. Can't we all just squee?
but I was told very emphatically that I was Not Allowed to (IIRC) to like both Spike and Angel. I almost never came back.

That is the sort of thing that drives me crazy. It's absurd - folks this is fiction! And of course there's the huge difference between having preferences and being a fandom fascist.

I came across a fan forum today that had very strict rules: no pairings except character X and Character Y. AT ALL. And, ok, their forum their rules (I was a mod at a forum outside this fandom so I understand - the administrator is footing the bill for the site.) But with the Buffyverse that sort of restriction is just not my thing.

Some of my favorite Buffy/Spike fanfics are the ones in which the writers acknowledge all of Buffy and Spike's lovers (on the show) were important to them and don't dismiss the other 'ships. (Spike was NOT brought on to be with Buffy; he and Dru were amazing and electrified S2 the moment they were introduced in School Hard. Actually, Tara was only supposed to be Willow's friend for a couple of episodes. I actually love it when the creators of a show look past the top of their scripts and storyboards long enough to notice the chemistry between actors and adapt to that.)

And I'm coming to enjoy some pairings I would have never thought about more and more in this fandom. That's part of the fun of this 'verse, to me - the possibilities and complexities.

The only character I actively dislike is Kennedy. I even like Riley. Can't we all just squee?

I should probably pick up my "I don't hate Kennedy" button sometime but I'm lazy. there are times I can't stand her and I see why fans dislike her - but I don't get the amount of vitriol. And I really did like Riley at first (and though I'm not a shipper! Ok then the late seasons and....the rest is history); I disliked him later but I can still sympathize with what he's going through at least. Although I still say he and Willow had more chemistry right off the bat in S4 than he and Buffy. (It could have worked.)
Barb's contributions to fandom go far beyond her epic "verse". I've been around a longish time, but I was blissfully unaware of much of the drama and nastiness of the shipper wars (the first time around, anyway). I love that she shares her knowledge and insights into the history of our fandom in such a well-written, clear and concise fashion that manages to be fair to all. She's a shining example to all of us. :)

I meant to link to another of her posts, in which she described, in just a few paragraphs, all the Buffyverse fandom controversies and wars from the beginning up to the comics, and I found it not only informative on a "historical" level, but useful as a newbie fan because I could still find vestiges of every one of those controversies on the 'net.

I know fandom is quieter now, less active, but maybe there's something to be said for that - also less angry, less caught up in drama? More open to different perspectives? I like to think so, but I'm an optimist.
I enjoy your thoughts and comments (as always) and can only add AMEN. Like Zanthinegirl, the only character I dislike is Kennedy (and I am self-aware enough to know that I'd probably like her if she was male). How very sexist of me.

Not everybody likes the same things, but so what. Makes the world more interesting. If I don't like it, I just won't go there. As your fellow newcomer to Spuffydom, I find it an interesting and intense place, full of attitudes and opinions I don't always agree with, and people who will defend said opinions with their dying breath - but that's true of pretty much everything in life. Hooray for the authors and thoughtful analysts who make it all worthwhile, including, as you said, Barb.

I just read an essay that briefly discussed why some 'ships are so darn intense. http://archiveofourown.org/works/509239. The interesting and insightful part:

This method doesn’t always work. Certain fandoms are more highstrung than others, usually due to the nature of canon. Fandoms that have epic adventure plots tend to lean towards ship wars because of the dramatic nature of the material. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Supernatural have all had notable ship wars. Well, what else can you expect from fandoms where the fate of the world constantly depends on the main characters? That pressure has an effect on the fans. Fans become even more passionate than usual because the situation is drastic, fan emotions run high and tense along with the characters, and the need to defend the characters you love becomes even more pronounced when they’re constantly in danger.

Edited at 2012-12-30 06:44 am (UTC)
I dislike is Kennedy (and I am self-aware enough to know that I'd probably like her if she was male). How very sexist of me.

Interesting! I'm not sure if this is related but - for a lesbian, I read very little femme slash, Buffy and Spike are my favorite pairing, and I've never attempted to write femme slash. I don't know if that's similar - maybe it's just safer and not as close to myself to identify with a het couple? Albeit a very unconventional one who defy traditional gender roles.

Thanks for the link! I'll have to reply more when I've finished the essay - I've just started and it's extremely insightful and true. "People are all the same" Yep.