allchildren: nyota uhura remains unconvinced (☄ª cry moar)
HERE IS THE THING.

We make progress. We wrest it into being. Media is not passively received and interpreted, and there is no "representation" without the re - it is a reflexive, back and forth process. We are not given Thing That Is Progressive and are then moved along a square of the chessboard of equality by the invisible hand of the media. We spy and scrabble and steal from it things that were never intended or particularly well-executed to be bestowed. (Is that not what slash is? That is what slash is.) The author of fiction is, in general, dead; the author of fiction's real life ramifications was never born in the first place is, upon reflection, us.

After saying all that it seems a shame to narrow my scope down to a single fiction, but that was where this idea originated and it is a point I want to make -- but let's agree it's probably just one of many examples.

Star Trek: The Original Perfect Progressive Utopia never existed. That is not a show or movie that I have ever had the privilege of watching. Has it intended to portray a Perfect Progressive Utopia? Yes. Has it been progressive in some aspects in relation to some grave injustices of real life? Again, yes. I am glad for both of these yeses - they are a big part of why I love Star Trek. That still doesn't actually make the answer to the third question, which is the Jeopardy answer of that post, yes: Star Trek has been [up till now] so progressive that it's actually the destination to which progress aspires.

I could collect receipts for Star Trek's various injustices all day if I had it, but I don't so let's go with broad strokes. Nichelle Nichols wanting to quit. Denise Crosby actually did because she had nothing to do; Gates McFadden was fired for wanting better writing for her character; Marina Sirtis hated the Sexy Feelings Alien she was pigeonholed into and didn't get to wear a real Starfleet uniform for five seasons (and was mind raped in the very last Star Trek entry prior to the reboot). WHERE EVEN TO BEGIN re: racism -- played as alien parables -- experienced by real actors -- flaunted through the brownface of every major Klingon character save Worf and his brother Kurn (Alexander) (Martok and Gowron) (K'ehleyr). Ricardo Montalban: no more Indian than you know who. Basically every major Bashir storyline managed to be offensive in terms of race, disability, and/or his frankly skeezy-ass approach to women and consent. ~Commander~ Sisko. The continual and ever more conspicuous absence of queer people in space. And on, and on, and on, and on.

And yet.

Nichelle Nichols didn't quit -- not because of something Gene Roddenberry gave her, but because of a scrap of progress that Martin Luther King Jr. could envision. Mae Jemison went into space -- even though Uhura had next to nothing to do. Now she has more, and it's still not enough -- but Nyota Uhura is still not a white girl. All kinds of girls are still boldly going. On SCRAPS. Of course it's not fucking enough. Of course the whitewashing of Khan is inexplicable, knowingly offensive, and awful. But what the fuck else is new? People have been stealing scraps and building them into something better than Gene Roddenberry or Michael Piller ever imagined since 1966, and it's no different now with JJ Abrams. I don't have to remind you of the crusades fans are willing to go on for scraps of gay subtext. Some of us will always be crusading with and for the other scraps. Welding them together into sculptures of what we want the next iteration to be like. Still not receiving passively. Still trying to make real progress out of the perfunctory and pitiful. Everyone has their lines and buttons, and it's easy to understand why the reboot might not be an old school Trekkie's cup of tea. But chalking it up to acceptance of the history of Star Trek's progressivism at face value -- what could be more regressive than that?
allchildren: detective dani reese (𝍤 unto the east)
It has just occurred to me that probably part of the reason "I just have a lot of feelings" has become a mantra of this journal, and indeed, my life, is that interacting with the rest of the world has often made me feel (...) like I wasn't feeling enough. [I expect I am not alone in this. Just, er, also not with most people I've ever met. Different strokes, whatevs, I hope we can all learn to live in peace and non-judgmental harmony in our various states of ~emotion & tear duct usage.]

I just finished Mira Grant's Feed, which is truly a great read. It's about politics, and zombies, and disease, and internerds. I recommend it! May soon be tweeting Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright level recommend it! And, as you might guess from the subject matter, some rough shit happens. So on I frolic to her questions-from-the-audience post, and am promptly taken aback by the number of people upset by said rough shit.

Wait, people were crying? I... I enjoyed that part. And the thing is, this is such a familiar sensation -- from the moment Chrissy walked up to me in 7th grade P.E. and said "Did you see The X-Files last night? Mulder died! I cried so much!" as I scoffed, through dozens of run-ins with real friends and fandom, up through last week when we left Toy Story 3 -- that uncomfortable knowledge I had, even as a child, of some cynical fourth-walled remove between me and whatever it was other people didn't, the wondering if there is something wrong with me*, and (as I grew older) the inevitable feeling of defensiveness that followed.

;__________; or not )
allchildren: bender, being canonically great (³ deal with it)
[please do not link in newsletters/comms]

Hello, and welcome to another installment in the ongoing series Tris Explains Why Something That Has Bugged Her For Six Years Has Bugged Her For Six Years, or, as I like to tag it, "eat all of our shirts." And our sponsor, Bender Bending Rodriguez.

I will start out reasonable before I get to the swearing: life is short and difficult, and if you're me, that's all she wrote. So I absolutely agree that love should be prioritized over hatred, that dwelling on the negative is generally an unfun way to be, and that life, liberty, and the pursuit of awesome should be cherished.

I also agree, as I think most reasonable people would, that I am not the goddamn boss of anybody but myself and I don't get to decide what other people do with their time for their own entertainment, nor does it generally affect me one way or another, nor am I actually worried about their well-being insofar as it relates to watching TV.

And yet, from one generation of "reasonable" fans from another is passed down this immortally infuriating "question" (which is never posed from curiosity so much as appalled, righteous injury):

WHY DON'T YOU JUST STOP WATCHING IT, IF YOU HATE IT SO MUCH???

Never mind that this could all be explained through Moff's Law. I will tell you why. I will tell you all sorts of reasons that could be a person's reasons why, out of many more that I'm not privy to! So just... stand there in your getting-told-why and get told why! (Note: I'm using "you" and "I" as the opposing parties here for simplicity's sake; I don't mean to imply that the reader is automatically That Fan and in a strange twist I haven't actually been in the "I" position for quite some time! But I still remember what it feels like. So I'm going to answer the question anyway, from ~memory.)

because you're not the goddamn boss of me. )

This is not about people who go out of their way to harsh another's buzz or stir shit. The question isn't "why are you such a dick," (which would be another thing entirely) it's just "why do you keep watching?" I don't know, why do you fucking care? Because it makes you sad to know I exist? I'm... probably gonna keep existing anyway, sry2say. What will you do for me if I do this for you? Will you stop concern trolling about all the better things I could be doing with my life than having an opinion contrary to yours? Okay, then, let's talk trade.
allchildren: kay eiffel's face meets the typewriter (deal with it)
[please do not link in comms/newsletters]

Ship-shaming (and the larger issue of You're Watching It Wrong) comes in many forms. Serious/true/adult/smart/rightheaded/unentitled[/ungirly?] fans don't ship, or ship contrarily to canon. As we proceed please watch out for falling blocks of sarcastic rage.

I'll ease you into this: sometimes people get different things out of the same story. )

December 2015

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