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December 2nd, 2008


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10:33 pm - Personal Beliefs Affecting Fandom meme
As a writer, I'm very interested in how my beliefs affect what I write, as well as my interactions with others. And I'm interested in what that looks like in other people, so feel free to do this yourself!



1. There is such a thing as objective truth. And it is worth a lot of effort and angst to discover, and to communicate to others.

I'm not sure exactly how this affects my fandom interactions, except that it means I will draw lines between what is purely preference (a matter of taste) and what may be based on actual moral standards.

For instance, though I don't go looking for fights, you will never catch me saying that incest fic is okay, not the way most of fandom writes it (hot, beautiful, without psychological consequences). Portraying that kind of messed-up relationship as perfectly normal is morally wrong (my personal squick, as the eldest of 7 siblings, would be only a matter of taste).

I am also highly aware of morality and consequences in my fiction, though as far as I know I have never been preachy, and hope I never become so.

2. I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. I will also defend my right to dispute what you say (and your right to dispute what I say).

First Amendment rights, people! One of my favorite things about living in the United States of America. I can say whatever I want, and I can disagree with what you say, and we can have a discussion. These rights are absolutely fundamental to our freedom, and thus, I support the rights of both those who agree with me and those who express things I find distasteful, morally bankrupt, or even dangerous.

I put up with the one to have the other. Fortunately, that doesn't mean I have to approve of everything everyone says. Or that you have to approve of everything I say. *g*

Example: I do not read or write slash; I am a low-key activist for genfic in fandom. I'm not going to tell you to stop writing slash, but I don't have to look at it, or say I support it, and it is my right to cheer on genfic and use my Gen Pride icons. :-)

3. God exists; or, at the least, the possibility that He does cannot be disproved.

This doesn't often directly affect my behavior in fandom, although that really depends on whether the show we're discussing has chosen to create its own spirituality, to appropriate a real belief system, or to ignore the possibility of God entirely.

It does inform my fanfic writing, in the sense that I write the world the way I see it, as well as the way that world is presented in canon. Even if that only means I have an affinity for worlds that are patterned because I believe in a Creator, a great Storyteller, the most complex Pattern-maker to ever exist.

I write at all, really, because I believe in God.

4. Love is an action rather than a feeling, and it is in no way synonymous with sexual desire. Sexual relationships are one type of human relationship, and one way of expressing love; but by no means the main or most interesting one.

I am daily frustrated with our culture's focus on romantic/sexual relationships as the pinnacle of human interaction. From my own observation and experience, it's often the non-sexual relationships (family and friendships of many and varied kinds) that are the most healthy and supportive--and interesting, frankly.

I've got nothing against sex, mind you. God made it, and it is awesome. And I've got nothing against romance. *points to Larry/Megan* I even have an OTP these days! I do think that the focus is entirely unbalanced, and this is a major cause of my love for genfic and buddy shows, as well as a major cause of frustration when fandom becomes all about the 'ships (either slash or het).

5. "Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a friend." --C.S. Lewis, from The Four Loves

I used this quote because it is one of the best and simplest statements of this belief I've seen. This follows on from #4, as you probably noticed, but the focus here isn't on romance vs. everything else, it's on the reality of close non-sexual (and often non-family) relationships.

Those friendships can be some of the most precious and most affecting relationships we can ever build. I am so grateful for them, and I love any show that can display real, close, believable friendship.

6. "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

This is from the New Testament, and I would go look up the reference but it's half past midnight and I want to post. *g*

Basically, what that says, there. I am responsible for not creating wank by the way I respond to trolls and flamers; I am responsible for keeping the peace where I am supposed to keep it (my LJ; my comms); I am responsible for treating every person, even online, even the trolls, as if they are in fact human beings just like me.

But that's it. I am only responsible for myself. I don't have to feel guilty if I say something true and someone makes a wanky mess all over the internets as a result, because that's not my fault.



Discussion welcomed, but flamers will be banned; I learned my lesson about that a month ago.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

(43 lit candles | Light a candle)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:December 3rd, 2008 09:34 am (UTC)
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"Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a friend." --C.S. Lewis, from The Four Loves
Oooh, fantastic quote. I'd forgotten about that.

I'm not sure whether I can summon the energy to do this meme; it requires thinky thought, and I'm tired. Also, I feel as if I couldn't cover everything, couldn't do it justice.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:December 3rd, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
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Aw, don't worry about doing the meme. You could save it for when you have more energy! *hugs* (Though I would love to see your take, sometime.)
[User Picture]
From:maevebran
Date:December 3rd, 2008 10:19 am (UTC)
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Amen, sister. You have summed up most of my feelings too about spirituality and Fandom.
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From:sarcasticval
Date:December 3rd, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
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While I admittedly don't understand the context of your icon, my sleep-deprived pre-caffeinated brain is having a field day with the concept of Zombie!Jesus. Hee.
[User Picture]
From:leelust
Date:December 3rd, 2008 10:22 am (UTC)
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I feel like i need to copy/paste your words about friendship and non-sexual r-ship and post it everywhere...
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From:izhilzha
Date:December 3rd, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
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Oh, man, don't I wish I could do exactly that.... :)
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From:rj_anderson
Date:December 3rd, 2008 01:20 pm (UTC)
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WORD TO ALL OF THAT.
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From:kalquessa
Date:December 3rd, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
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What she said.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:December 3rd, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC)
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Wow, thanks.
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From:mosinging1986
Date:December 3rd, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
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I am not a writer, but this was so interesting! And it's odd that in all my days of fandom, I've never see this meme/topic brought up.

I am daily frustrated with our culture's focus on romantic/sexual relationships as the pinnacle of human interaction.

I think I love you!

::weeps for joy::
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:December 3rd, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
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Um, okay, I love your icon to distraction. Fiction is totally my therapy. \o/

it's odd that in all my days of fandom, I've never see this meme/topic brought up.

Probably because people are nervous that it'll create wank or flamewars. I was a little nervous about posting this, myself.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:December 3rd, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, thank you. *takes a bow*
[User Picture]
From:kizmet_42
Date:December 3rd, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
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Romans 12:18.

This is why you're on my flist.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:December 3rd, 2008 06:32 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! I thought it was Romans, I was just too lazy to check. *g*

And the fact that you appreciate this is one of the reason you are on my flist.
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From:snickelish
Date:December 3rd, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
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Yes, yes, yes. Especially 4 and 5, about which I've only recently realized how much of a minority I'm in. That not everyone believes in objective truth (or my right to believe in it) was never news, but that so many people consider sex/romance (often conflated) the be-all and end-all of life has only been impressed upon me since I've started reading fanfic.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:December 4th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
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It's kind of scary, in some ways. I mean, think of what they're missing out on! Not in terms of genfic, because, whatever floats your boat, but in terms of valuing those other relationships.

*loves on friends*
[User Picture]
From:astrogirl2
Date:December 3rd, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
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This is a fascinating meme. I'm not at all sure how I'd answer it, myself, as one thing I keep noticing is that my fic, at least, tends not to reflect my own religious/spiritual beliefs, but rather those of the characters and the nature of the universes they inhabit. And it's difficult to pick apart to what extent my interactions with other fans are shaped by my moral principles and to what extent they're just based on my personality.

Maybe when my brain's a bit more awake, I will ponder it some more.

I do hear ya on the gen thing, though. I'm actually fine with het and slash, and even with adding sex into many character relationships, if you can make it believable and go somewhere interesting with it. But the tendency to insist on viewing any touch, any emotional connection between two people as inherently sexual does trouble me, both because it often strikes me as bad characterization, and because I think it's an attitude that's damaging to people in the real world.

It occurs to me that, quite apart from the pornographic value, perhaps sex can provide an "in" for writers trying to explore or deepen a relationship; it gives you a context for that relationship, and gives you an excuse, perhaps, to have those characters thinking and talking about the nature of their feelings and their connection. And while that can actually led to some interesting character exploration, I also think that perhaps it can be something of a crutch. I started out writing a lot of slash, but the longer I spend writing, and the more fandoms and characters I find myself writing, the less interested I am in getting characters together sexually/romantically, and the more I find myself wanting to explore emotional dynamics that don't necessarily have anything to do with sex at all.

Hell, the character relationship that's currently obsessing me beyond all reason is as complicated and intense and sad and beautiful as anything I've ever encountered in an actual pairing, but is instead a twisted-up sort of father/son dynamic without the tiniest shred of sexual interest in it anywhere. I don't think there's even a name for that... OTF doesn't quite do it. And it's sad, because I would love to see that sort of thing getting more attention, and more than that, being allowed to be what it is without it being sort of the default to layer on sexuality as well.

Um. That was more rambling than I meant to do. I think my brain woke up mid-paragraph. :)
[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:December 3rd, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC)
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I think my brain woke up mid-paragraph.
LOL! Thinking about Sydney and Jarod will do that to your brain. 8-D
[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:December 3rd, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
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I've been reading this off and on all day, trying to come up with some deep, insightful way to express my agreement. Here is the sum of my thoughts:

Word, yo.

You know how I feel about all of it. So, yeah. What you said.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:December 4th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC)
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Hee. Yes. I'm sure some of this has crystalized through our conversations. (btw, did you want me to send you "Heterophobia" sometime?)
[User Picture]
From:scionofgrace
Date:December 4th, 2008 12:26 am (UTC)
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WORD to all of this.
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From:izhilzha
Date:December 4th, 2008 03:32 am (UTC)
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Thank you! :)
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From:tomh1138
Date:December 5th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
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I'll have to be a broken record here, and just join everyone else in saying: yes! Great stuff. And #4 and #5 is so important. Especially for those of us not in a relationship, who are told every waking second of every day by the media that we ought to be having sex with someone or something, any kind of sex at all, or our lives have absolutely no meaning.

A co-worker was once going on and on to me about his various conquests. This had been going on not just that day, but for as long as I could remember. I finally said, "Don't you ever talk about anything but sex?"

He said, in complete and honest obliviousness, "What else is there in life?"

Um, how about EVERY OTHER THING ON THE ENTIRE PLANET?

People's lives are actually getting more empty and vapid, and those who don't fall in line are made to feel ashamed. It's insanity.

Whew. Thus endeth the rant. :) What I'm saying is, your post was a breath of fresh air. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks it. (And I know others think it too, but I rarely see it outright said, or articulated so well.)

I also join the group of those who get ill at the mention of a Giles-Buffy relationship.

Pardon a newbie question. I've heard of het and slash before, but what does "genfic" mean?
[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:December 5th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
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Pardon a newbie question. I've heard of het and slash before, but what does "genfic" mean?
To use your own words: every other thing on the entire planet.

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