beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I get really tired of fanfic's tendency to swap out women.
When a show has only women of the week and the guys go home together, the slash is simples, and rarely has to bother swapping out women.
But the more women are in the story in the first place, the more some fanfic decides what a story really needs is to just reattribute their everything to a man.

I've read fics that were just episodes but with their preferred pairing instead of a woman.
I even liked them cause I hadn't seen that episode yet.
Felt icky when I realised.

In Clint/Coulson fics after Age of Ultron, well, the vast majority simply aren't after Age of Ultron, but the ones that are? I'm mostly left trying to decide if it's creepier when they give the farm to Coulson or make Laura Clint's sister.

Probably the sister thing, considering, but in the general case it's just creepy to erase a woman and give her everything to the nearest pretty guy.

It's also annoying because so unnecessary. I mean Coulson makes some little speeches in Agents of SHIELD season one that imply he had to choose between wok and raising kids, and then Clint turns out to have kids, so the poly fic really ought to write itself. But I haven't even seen a handful of those. Just the erasure.

I get fed up of het fic due to the increased tendency to get icky patriarchy all over everything, but this is not an improvement.

I'm kind of feeling like I should retrain myself to only read fic with women in, because wow am I fed up of white men getting all the stories.

But I'm in the habit so somehow the fic that grabs me is all white men all the time. Which is embarrassing.

When canon gives us awesome women doing things, or even mediocre poorly written token women doing things, it's really important to keep them around. And do better with them. Like we have been with the men for some decades.

We can write so many more interesting lives. We don't need to treat what they've already got like scraps to be fought over.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I know this makes me a fandom Old
but I really very intensely dislike the abandonment of standardised / notation
for stupid smushnames.

I imagine it was necessary for to search on imperfect platforms, or something
but it means you have to know what it means to know what it means, and know what you're looking for before you can look for it.

also, smaller but annoying, the tendency of said names to use the superhero or supervillain codenames of a character.
I mean, there's several of the Flash, or Batman, and a bazillion Robins
so how the heck are you meant to distinguish to search by person rather than role?
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
"he hurt people"

speaker has personally witnessed him straight up murder three people right in front of him. would have been many more, without intervention of speaker, including him aiming and firing at speaker's foster dad. we the audience saw two more cold blooded murders as this guy's introduction, and probably a whole bunch more next time he came back. two of what speaker saw you can kind of think of excuses, but one was straight up murdering a guy just to test his gun.

either this fic is secretly very much an au from before the first moment we met villain
or hero is just...
it ends up sounding epically creepy if his newly discovered lust for the guy downgrades all that to 'he hurt people'

dead isn't hurt

dead needs a different phrasing.

I mean don't get me wrong, I'm here for stories of dubiously aligned semi allies with a dark past. mixed alignment parties where the ones that call themselves heroes have to be either massive hypocrites or rethinking their whole morals just to work with the other set of people. any time the heroes interact and the one set remember the other set have personally murdered dozens of people before their latest change of heart. the ones that don't bother calling themselves heroes, or would hiss and spit at the label but are being dragged into it backwards, working simply to defend what is theirs but somehow accidentally expanding that ownership until they're protecting the while world... well, those are pretty much decades of my fannish life.

But you can't just sum that all up as 'hurt'. Sure, they hurt people. They also left a trail of corpses with really distinctive causes of death, and yet in both canon and this story, team hero is for some reason not putting them in prison for it.

if the reason why in this fic boils down to wanting to get them into bed
I just

This pushes all the same buttons with me as rl incidents where abuse gets summed up in the most minimising words, like assault and hurt feelings can somehow share a word and a response. this sounds like news reporters about young white men. it's creepy and gross and wrong in an entirely distinct way from acknowledging the past but still giving a chance for a different future.

... I mean there's 'superheroes' on tv who should really be in prison but instead the narrative keeps handing them get out of jail free cards. this isn't just fic doing the thing. but it's creepy.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have read a few times a post going round tumblr basically begging for more feedback from readers
and that is very reasonable
except my attempts to do such a thing lead to panic attacks and woe spirals
but probably there ar a lot of readers who are not mentally ill

But, writers: sometimes, you do not make it easy.
I have no idea how to interact on tumblr
so mostly I'm following tags on Ao3
(anyone who does not tag: what are you doing how do you expect anyone to know you wrote that thing zomg some writers so frustrate)

the first hit on a multipart story is just me pushing Mark for Later.
Then I will hang out checking my 31 page Marked for Later list to see if you update.
If it goes a year with no updates then I'm very probably umarking it unread. which may be another hit. depends which button I use.

some fics? are not actually a single multipart story. some fics are what that writer does with any short story they write.

writers, I am begging you, do not do this.

one, the tagging is a nightmare. the story either has all the tags or none. it is every AU, it is canon, it is every obscure thing... or they don't bother to tag anything and Choose Not To Warn. the odds of it hitting one of my squicks just in the tags go up exponentially with each part. and how can you decide if you want to read the thing? it's a weird looking frankenthing.

and it is *never finished*

those of us waiting see this weird random update schedule and no end to the tags and never dive in.

and last but most relevant to current discussion, we can only kudos it the once.

could we comment on every chapter? sure. but you know fewer of us are gonna.

and if we do kudos it, it will sit there as a kudos for the whole endless saga.
do we want to kudos every part of it? unlikely. the high school au tentacle porn may have a much smaller audience than you generally get. some of them will be embarrassed to leave their username on it. or maybe they're into tentacles but not the mpreg curtainfic. you don't know. you can't find out. for all feedback is sitting there attached to all stories, and if they're waiting until the end to write it, that's a whole lot of random to comment upon.

Just post the fics. I don't care if they're short. we can see the wordcount right there. if it's a tumblr prompt fill you can tag it as such. if it's not betaed you can tag it as such. tell us what they are and give us choices and see how many turn up for each. it's perfectly reasonable. I have actual drabbles posted separately. drabbles. one hundred words precisely. and some of them I think have kudos. which is rare anyway on my ancient fic.

but I can't return the favour on some writers works because they've got a 120K epic unfinished with the world's weirdest tags, and it's a lot of commitment to dive into that even long enough to figure out it's their grab bag.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I might have said this before

It's somewhere between hilarious and really annoying
that stories that 'ship Leonard Snart with anyone else
kind of treat Mick Rory as the slash wife.

You know, the canon relationship they'd rather wasn't there, so they have to either write him out of times he really ought to be there or explain why he doesn't count.
I mean the one I'm reading right now says it in so many words, Mick Rory doesn't count.

It's also being ablist as hell, cannot seem to distinguish between different mental illnesses, and says he doesn't even count as a friend because he's too mentally ill
so I suspect I shall not be finishing reading this one
and it's pretty far on the really annoying side of the scale

but when it's hilarious it's because as far as explicit canon goes, Mick shouldn't be an obstacle to romance
and yet
most every story treats him that way.

It's almost as if the queer reading of those two is the one that makes the most sense
and all canon did was chicken out of giving them the words or a kiss.


Also kind of hilarious are gifsets of Captain Canary that literally cut Mick out of the picture to make it look 'shippy

... and canon expecting us to read those two as romantic when pretty much every time they talk to each other it's either about not killing people or it's about Mick. I mean I'll have to rewatch with het goggles on but I felt they at best made Cold that guy who pulls by explaining how things are really rough in his marriage. which, you know, awkward, and not romantic.

their first kiss being over Mick's unconscious body is really weird on a meta level.
.. also, you know, just as a thing.

I want Caprain Cold back and I want him and Mick to keep doing that thing where they're choosing redemption over their relationship and then getting really angsty about it and ending up tempting their other half into the light. That would be a good story.

I fear canon instead doing that love of a good woman thing where the choice ends up looking like dumping the bad man for the good girl. that would suck. with thirty years of partnership on the line all the charge of their story is with each other.

... see also right back to the start above: why I keep noticing and finding implausible when Mick gets made somehow irrelevant.

Write more threesomes, is what I'm saying.

And more Coldwave.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
He’s got stashes of almost everything he’s ever stolen, everything Lisa didn’t need and he didn’t need to live on. Like me when I ended up with a bedroom packed full of catalogs and ancient computer parts, so I found a desktop tower under a guide to windows 98 under a Next directory from 99. In 2014. Because You Never Know. It might turn out crucial later. It might be the one thing you need. And even the money, it’s rainy day money. So what if there’s flooding, it can always get worse. So he lives in warehouses and safehouses and hides the really important stuff so he can’t get arrested with it on him, and so many shiny things are just stashed someplace, for later, when he’ll really need them.

His pockets end up full of little trifles recently in other people’s pockets, because it helps him think. He wouldn’t say it keeps him calm. (It totally is about keeping calm.) The oldest lessons are the hardest, and the old skills need keeping up, even when lifting wallets hasn’t exactly been his day job lately. (It used to be. And when it wasn’t enough, they went hungry. Bigger things are better now.)

He plans like I plot, endlessly, elaborately, doing all the research he can get his hands on to fill his days, then filling in elaborate contingency plans when it might more usefully be time to sleep. And he’s very, very good at it. And the longer he goes between jobs the more he has the itch to prove that again. Because inside his head it’s tick tock clockwork, until it isn’t, until ways it goes wrong are all he can see, and he’s long since learned the point where he has to act or be frozen.

The Waverider messed with both of their heads, Mick because he couldn’t burn anything, Len because they never knew what they were going to do next until they were in the thick of it. This is a guy who knows response times to the second all over Central, who cases the place twice even when that gets attention, who spends months learning to take his equipment apart and put it back together before he uses it at all. Full tilt blindly is not his favoured way to proceed. And he is good, but not that good : they lose crew. They lose Mick, to torture prison, and nearly other ways. And it’s because the plan can’t keep up with the random factors. Because however good he is, he’s not good enough.

So he stashes Mick, somewhere safe, for later.

Which does not work out well for them.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
This is a random thing to realise, but I just put two thoughts together to an angle on why I get so very wound up at the idea of maintaining the Masquerade or covering up alien first contact over and over again.

Sounds like a stupidly irrelevant scenario, I know.

But if Masquerade applies then every generation makes first contact new. Every year group would. You'd grow up and learn whatever your culture thinks you need to know, think you have a handle on it, and then boom, here's something nobody ever bothered to mention. And maybe you've got some hasty paradigms ported over from genre fiction, but if all the schemas there to activate are fiction, if your scripts are built for drama from skewed discourses based on unexamined ideologies that are probably only using the parts for allegory anyway, well, you'll be lucky if you have any clues which way to jump. Every generation, every graduating class, gets presented with this problem as if brand new, and they have to reinvent the wheel, every time.

And it reminded me of disability. And just a bit of being queer. But disability presents you with whole new problems, and if you've only got mainstream media to draw on, they look... insurmountable. Appalling. Demons walking, apocalypse has come, end of the world time.

There just aren't that many scripts for it, because almost everything is meant for the currently abled, written by them, meant to make them feel good.

Read more... )

So I just suddenly felt very strongly about first contact
and all the people who don't make it
because they have to be the reaching out ones
and they don't even know there's anyone
to reach.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I find I'm getting increasingly annoyed with mpreg stories where they have to do some weird superscience on accident just to get them pregnant.
Just make them trans. Just write it like it never came up before and oops, now a baby. That is a thing that is actually possible, no loop the loops required.

Yes I know it's a whole seperate narrative niche
I just
I get cranky.

Actually accidentally a baby also makes me cranky
does no one in fiction actually try on purpose?

I tealise most of them are actually actively saving the world a lot
but they seem to live in worlds where this is continually required
yet population replenishment also happens.

Have people juggle on purpose
let them make decisions
let them have bodies that can actually exist.

There's so much more mpreg than trans fic though, it's... making me cranky.

Plus also I have a headache.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I was thinking about my current reading habits, which involve a lot of superhero/supervillain pairings who have really screwed each other over, and I was trying to think of another excuse for being into it... because mostly I feel I should be cheering on whenever they lock the villain up again or end him forever somehow, rather than sympathising and feeling vaguely upset. But I thought a thing.

Okay, so, this is wanky, but : patriarchy.

Read more... )

If life is already heavily populated with varying degrees of enemy, it's satisfying sometimes to see a story work through all the issues and turn them into assets instead, is all.

Or possibly I just have a thing for power. *shrugs*


Nov. 13th, 2016 08:17 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
A lot of fic I'm reading about alternate universes or alternate timelines is actually actively creepy.
Because it treats people as interchangeable.

Like, I keep reading / where one of the partners dies in one universe but their alternate universe self turns up so it's somehow happily ever after.

And I mean, like, what? Really? Because these are the kind of alternates where their whole universe and history has changes so far back that precisely zero of their life experiences are the same. That's like ceasing to mourn because hey, the deceased has a twin, it's all okay now!


But then how much has to be different before they're a different person? That's the bit I'm interested in and why I even keep reading these things.

Read more... )

But even with shared memories and proximally divergent timelines it's also a question of how much do you have to change before you're treated differently than if you had only just then done the thing. Like, is it like prison sentences, or statutes of limitation, and x time after a thing is enough to hit reset and no longer carry the old consequences? Except even then you keep the old reputation. Not much like being judged for your alternate self, that's more unfair, twins sharing a face again, hardly ones fault if the other is drunk. But being judged based on things both timelines did, but reacted to differently... story.

I keep looping back though and getting really creeped out by Barry Allen. Read more... )

Getting distracted by made up multiversal physics aside... the kind of model of 'love' that allows same feelings for alternate selves just bothers me. It seems to be... well, sometimes it's absolutely the most shallow, and all they share is looks, which is like falling for different characters by the same actor and just rather weird to me. But the rest of the time it seems to be the model is that love is a recognition of certain attractive qualities, that lead to kissing and then happily ever after. Nut that bugs me because attraction can be that, sure, but *love* is built up of shared experiences, surely? You do things together and make a life together, like actively, and it works because of choices made minute by minute, and a different set of minutes of choice is exactly what's changed about an alternate self. Love for an alternate wouldn't, shouldn't, be a recognition of replacement, it would be a blank slate with some pleasant aesthetics.

Or, of course, my perenially single self has some weird ideas about love.

But a lot of this fic bugs me.
Because people are not swappable.
And 'partner in your life together' isn't some kind of... plug where a matching fitting will do.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Odd episode title, don't see how it connects. Read more... )

This one is a bit tricky to harvest for 2014 Flash plot bunnies because if this tech is even possible in 1990, if as much of it is on the record and can be duplicated as seems in this episode, the world would not resemble the Flash world by the time it caught up.

Also it's only useful for plots that are of no interest to me.

I am so bored of mind control. It's never used for anything more than making one person feel really guilty while everyone else tells them it's not their fault. What's the use in that? A good amnesia story can show the team how they'd look to a good person they trust who is suddenly lacking context. There's a ton of mileage in that. But a straight up puppet just ... all it is is 'I was only following orders' but as if that actually justifies anything. We have free will, we need stories about actually using it. The other sort seem to be about soldiers coming back all traumatised cause they hurt people, but everyone else is supposed to let them off the hook. It's creepy.

Yes I say that as someone who likes Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier. I can see the problematic.

Also, if I was talking to them, I would never say it wasn't their fault or they couldn't help it or they couldn't do anything to stop it. Because seriously, if that's what they're hanging their sanity on, what are they going to do next time? There are multiple technologies in their world that can make there be a next time. If everyone forgives them because they couldn't do anything, if the only reason they can sleep at night is it wasn't any of their doing, that's like rewarding them for disassociating, like it's not their fault as long as they just sit back and watch in their own heads. Sod that. Fight. Teach them to fight. Sure they were under duress, but what can they do under the same pressure next time?

Even if the actual logical answer is 'sod all actually' that's not an answer they can live with, so find a better one. Fight when you can, ask for help when you can, stay the hell out of the other guy's range if that's the best you can do. Learn how to resist psychic powers, that's got to be a teachable skill in verses that have them. Weaponise being a stubborn arsehole. Whatever. Just hand them a toolkit, not a white flag.

Because why are these stories supposed to help the viewer?
What about them can?
Sure there's always arseholes trying to control you, but what are you going to do about it?
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have spent the night thinking on villainy, and heroism, and how absolutely necessary it is to be kind.

For some reason this seemed timely.

I've been reading a lot of hero/villain slash recently.

... partly because a truly unreasonable proportion of characters my age or older seem to be villains now. I'd say WTF but politically and demographically I can see why the more powerful opposing forces are frequently older. I'm just getting a bit weary of how outnumbered the good guy versions are, even though that's always the way on TV because you keep the heroes but need new villains with every story arc. There are always more villains.

But I always get hung up on that kind of pairing. It's nice when two heroes work everything out and head off to happily ever after, but all they generally need to work out is that they fancy each other, and maybe some self confidence issues. Two characters from across some great divide, two people whose basic approaches to life are somehow antithetical... work those two out and you've solved some corner of the grand scale puzzle. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Get two opponents into bed together and you have, in some small way, figured out how humanity can get along.

Possibly very briefly, but if the sex is just the first attraction and you have to really work on their happily ever after... well...

How do you work with someone you've been fighting? How do you get along with people who've been blocking your every plan? How can you find common ground with someone who simply doesn't believe humans work the way you think they do?

A story gets to decide how humans work. Do we need a Vandal Savage to make humanity great again? Is the only way to win to destroy all opposition and lead the chosen few up from the ashes? Can a hero learn from villains and yet still be a hero? All worked out in an hour or two, maybe a season or five, when it starts as words on a page.

But it's a bit higher stakes than that when you take it beyond the theoretical.

Buffy staked vampires and her enemies disappeared in a handful of dust. Yet there were always more enemies, because unrestrained hunger is kind of a perennial problem. So you end up wondering, what if you don't stake this one? What if you chain him up and feed him until he plays better with others? What does he really need out of life anyway? And it turns out he needs pretty much what anyone does, regular eats, work he can get his teeth into, and someone to care about. Love the enemy instead, and you end up with an ally powerful enough to save the world. Even after everything he's done. That just means he understands better those still in the darkness.

And what if it's always that way?

Make it a fight, and both sides get ground down by grief and losses, until whoever is left standing gets to be king of dust and ashes.

Keep reaching out though... yeah there'll be pain and grief and no small amount of backstabbing, but there's a chance instead to grow stronger together.

It might be very satisfying to punch your enemies until they stay down and then put them in little boxes underground, but there's always more where they came from, and all they need is one good day.

Better instead to go recruiting, even if at first it's a mixed alignment crew. The basic business of staying alive is what you're all here for. Even if they see you as a score, or a happy meal on legs, you've still got that much of a start.

And it's hard, reaching out even knowing you'll get slapped down. There's no single big boss fight to be won, that way. It's every day, and it's grinding, and there is no finish line.

But there can still be some visceral satisfactions. See also why I read slash.

And more drama should end in weddings.

So. There are villains. And as long as hate and greed and ignorance are around, there will always be villains. But. How to handle that has many possibilities.

And some of them are much more fun than others.


Nov. 6th, 2016 06:39 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I'm reading a bunch of fic with at least one of three different bad guys
and many of them ship them with the good guy
(because I ran out of villain husbands fic to read ugh)
and just
why do so many pit so much work in to explain that
they're not a bad guy really.

I mean, it's not the redemption arc thing, I'm actually looking for that
it's just explaining how we only think we saw them be evil and secretly they never were and that one dead guy deserved it and somehow the bad guy new that when shooting into a crowd.

I mean I know I'm saying this as someone who can find a chaotic neutral angle where he never really meant to kill Ripper for any and everything Ethan Rayne ever did
but Ethan made people change into their costumes
he didn't just, you know, murder people.

And even so, still a nad guy from Team Lawful's perspective.

Also with the Flash it keeps winding me up that fic goes out of it's way to excuse the times they kidnapped the team or that time he killed Barry's mother
ignores everyone else.

I mean Cold shot into a crowd at random to see what Flash and the gun could do
and Eobard killed at barest minimum Stagg and the reporter dude
and Flash knows this and really ought to care.

But even longfic thus far doesn't seem so keen on saying yep, they're a murderer, killed a bunch of people, now what?

And though I've read one fic so far that had Barry notice he's killed people too, it was only one.

Quite a lot of fic seems to take Barry's idea that the difference is they're the good guys and, well, believe it.


Also? Someone loving a person and doing everything to protect them doesn't actually make the everything good, or not-evil. Evil is in the act, not the motive, and a lot of things get done in the name of protecting their own.

Every villain is a tragedy, because every villain had a million different people they could be and right now they've ended up in the dark.
Explaining that away is just the wrong approach.
The interesting part - the tricky part - is seeing how to get from their back to the light.
Because the actual point is, that's always available.
You can get there from anywhere.
Redemption or enlightenment, that arc can start in the darkest places.

But explaining how everything they did was secretly okay is the exact opposite of what they'd need to get to either.

Every villain thinks they're justified, and every cillain is a tragedy, unless they turn out to be that bit of the story where they're up a tree and now the tree is on fire.

Don't just gild a treehouse in the flames, figure out how to get them out again.


Nov. 2nd, 2016 07:35 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Dreamed I quietly uncovered a plot in the Fae courts
and the Fae queen was just as quietly happy with me
but then I had to answer to the actual Queen of England because someone said this was a sign my loyalties weren't where they should be.

I was something like one eighth Fae and had precisely one trick left of the magic
but it was a very good trick
tuning attention.

So I could be a walking Somebody Else's Problem field, or walk in All Eyes On Us.

Which is super extra sneaky, because how would anyone suspect someone that obvious could be that inconspicuous?

So I had sneakily learnt what the signal would be for 'everyone run' for the conspirators, and then made sure everyone noticed it when I made it in the middle of a banquet.
The Queen could just arrest everyone when they got out into the halls.
The prince trying to usurp her throne had his fangs quite thoroughly pulled.

But it was suggested to the Queen of England that this maybe might be a bit partisan for an Ambassador, who after all would have to deal with any regime going.
And humans can have allegiance problems when going among Fae, who have so many powers of glamour and beguilement.
So I was asked point blank where my loyalties lay, and had to think about my answer.

This did not go over well with the security people.

But it was because my answer was more about philosophy and alignment than politics.

Humans live in a set of overlapping and complexly interlocking systems, the wreckage of any one of which can skew all the rest. And the way we deal with that of late is to have nation states each arguing their corner, instructed by complex arguments in parliaments within those states, and so on and so forth down the scales to individual choice. But a truly global view of how those systems work makes it ever more urgent they keep working, since any one loop 'winning' would go the worse for it not very far down the line. And that much is obvious even when it's just humans.

The Fae courts have been trying to play a symphony of complexly interlocked non human sentience, and they've been doing it as individual players for as much as a millennium. As a whole system they've been going at least as long as human civilisation, and quite possibly longer than humans as a whole. The argument about whether they arose from us or we from them is misguided when you consider some of them appear to be sentient lava or thinking air. And the most impressive part is how lava and air and plant and meat based forms have been, with significant exceptions, basically getting along, at least well enough the planet is still standing. And they've done it without causing mass extinctions, even when we started to.

Once these things are known, the question of loyalty is a bit of a stumper, since it boggles the mind to just... choose one part, and hope the rest just get on with it.

So I woke up trying to explain that to a court uninterested in most of the necessary referents.

I wanted to ask them how they could find so many forms of sentient life and still have loyalty to any concept smaller than Starfleet and Federation, but for assorted reasons that was unlikely to translate.

Still, that's the basic problem that interests me about all these setups. When you meet other sapients who think different than you but just as well, when they have diverse and even clashing needs, what do you do?

As a disabled queer woman this is not an academic exercise and I'm quite interested in the responses to the defamiliarised versions.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I'm still trying to figure a way to articulate this clearly
I'm getting real tired of fans who seem to conflate smarts and value

to the point that if they start liking a stupid character they spend a ton of words on picking out 'evidence' he's only pretending to be stupid.
And, like, that's not the point?
Maybe he's 'smart' and just doesn't word too good, that's a thing that can happen, sure. I mean me out loud any time I'm not on my specialist subject or on script is just... going to give a false impression of my college grades.
Dear nerds of the internet
Someone can be aspiring to a D grade academically
And still be awesome.

I mean, maybe they're kind, maybe they're loyal, maybe they're the kind of tank character who will roll straight over their enemies and take a beating and never really give a damn, maybe they're secretly a ninja, maybe they run real fast, maybe a bazillion things that have nothing to do with an IQ stat or even possession of basic common sense. Because lets face it, if any of them had basic common sense they probably wouldn't be on the adventure.

Maybe there's a million things to admire about them when they are in fact stupid.

Just because school is only judgey along one value set doesn't mean smart is the only virtue.

It annoys me in much the same way some people are fans of older characters but then write them younger and send them to the gym until they're plastic. Like, no? They are great already? Why squish them to some particular average?

But it also annoys me in a disability rights way that I keep on trying to phrase right and get stuck on. Like, stupid people have a perfect right to be stupid, and still get to make decisions and go on adventures same like anybody else. Watching them be successful and then taking it as evidence they are secretly smart is just... really annoying.

But then even using the word stupid is going to sound rude, so I don't know, this is a messy concept.


Oct. 23rd, 2016 10:44 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Legends of Tomorrow is probably not trying for subtlety, in superpowers or anything else, but
it really bugs me that the super scary Pilgrim was such a lousy assassin
when her power could have been so *sneaky*.

She has temporal micro manipulation.
Which on the show means she can wave her hands around and stop attacks mid air, even turn them around sometimes.
It's big, it's showy, it's... such a waste of potential.

Look, even if the only thing you can do is stop time locally, even if there's a size limit on it so you can only stop something the size of a bullet without those big showy preparation required gestures
take a minute to imagine what you can do with
one bullet's worth of air
that cannot be moved.

It has no time passing, so it is in fact an immovable object.

Read more... )

I just read another book that played with a simple time stop and how useful it was for assassinations. Different parameters, but a stopped target can't see you walking up to it.

Really, it was obviously cool to stop blasts of flame mid air and all that, but it's by far the least interesting thing you can do once the ability to stop time locally comes into play.

And as for selectively reversing it...

I just get frustrated sometimes when spectacle is, for even good reasons, prioritised over logic
or cool.

... also, sometimes I take a look at the stuff my brain happily comes up with and just... oops?
Eh, I'm optimised for fiction, it's fiiiiiiine...
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
(Trigger warnings for Lewis Snart, child abuse, that continues into adulthood, and the violence in this episode.)

I think I am not reacting to this one scene in The Flash quite as the writers intended
cause Barry tells Cold there is good in him and he knows he wants to be better
and I want to punch him in his smug little face.

I mean, I slept on it,and I'm still feeling mostly that.

Read more... )

TL DR I have a lot of feels about abused kids trying to grow away from their parents, and their parents, and addiction which got brought up in this episode, and Barry and his lack of shades of grey just... keeps putting his foot in it as far as I can see.

Feels rollercoaster.

But writers maybe know that, so okay, punching in the smug face may even be one of the layers of react in there.

And I can stare at Wentworth Miller having feelings for really a lot.

Bad guy still did bad things though.

You know if the whole justice and prisons system worked properly in comics universes they'd end up with hardly anything to do. Vigilante action from both sides of the line only happens because they're convinced the courts and law enforcement officers won't save them.

I prefer those stories where the heroes notice they're breaking the law though. I mean, Barry is so wrong in season one saying the difference is the good guys do it to help people. Bad guys got their people too. But I guess it is why Barry is so smug face thinking it makes a difference now Snart has a 'good' motive.

Heh, look at that gigantic meta trying to pick a fight with one scene I actually really like from an episode where only the science is cringeworthy. Me being fannish again, how I have missed it.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I'm reading a thing from an actual screenwriter dude and it's increasingly bugging me
and I was trying to work out why
because it's first glance uncontroversial to say a protagonist should have both global and personal stakes.
Thing explains personal stakes are what make the audience emotionally connect, because easy to understand one small story and systems level is difficult.

But then I read the examples
and it's like
hero can't just hero because hero.
Cannot just do good because doing good is good to do.
Cannot just decide that if nothing we do matters then the only thing that matters is what we do.
Kindness is never its own reason.

To give them personal stakes the way this professional screenwriter is suggesting means the protagonist isn't doing things to help the world except coincidentally as a way of helping people he cares about.

And if this is dominant common sense for screenwriters then suddenly I understand why they keep making everyone Batman, because dead parents are the damsel you can never save.
Give them a living personal stake and the story gets stuck with a finite goal or a repetitive one. Give them relatable issues about the one they failed to save, and everything is personal forever, but never actually resolved.

So. Problem. Personal is not the same as important and making all the heroes only care because they're already involved makes them very small.
Plus the go to way of doing so involves fridging people a lot.

On Desire

Oct. 18th, 2016 02:24 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have been reading, and watching, and listening stories, and I have been thinking
and my thought is
Laurell K Hamilton books are better than I thought.

Yes, even the one I gave up after, where the detective part of the plot got forgotten about until the bad guys literally sent them a note about it at the end.

They are better because
I am sick of love triangles.

I mean, I'm especially sick of the weird little dance where a woman has to choose between two men without doing anything so forward as actually actively desiring them, and the contortions even erotica can go through to avoid a woman owning her own desires,
but right now I am most thoroughly annoyed how the only solution allowed when someone has much
is to want less.

Just, really? Really? This dance of assorted threes can be kept up for years, yet somehow that's only ever a bad thing?


Want *all* the loves!

Keep them!

Desire as much as pleases you and get your lucky, lucky hands on every last one!

And hey, maybe simplify the scheduling by having them want each other too. Efficient *and* pretty.

For goodness sake, when someone has a big speech about how 'there were always three people in this relationship' why don't they *ever* just buy a bigger house? It doesn't even have to be queer, though obviously my happy place has opinions on that. Just act like grown ups and make three people happy instead of one and a half miserable!

And, yes, continuing this pattern over multiple iterations does make leaving room for the plot a task for advanced writers, but for goodness sakes, it can hardly be more of a challenge than making every single relationship an unhappy love triangle, and the CW manages that pretty consistently.

I mean there's times where imposing monogamy makes absolutely zero sense within verse logic, like on Lost Girl where having to choose between two lovers still meant one of them would have to ignore all the other sex Bo was having, and left said sex substantially less convenient and more dangerous, yet necessary for feeding and healing purposes. Writing about a bisexual succubus who refuses to choose and yet imposing as close to sequential monogamy as possible on her happily ever after was nonsensical and vastly unsatisfying.

Choose everything! Be everything! Refuse to leave anyone out!

... *sigh* ...

I know, it's hardly likely to happen when we can't hardly ever get men kissing or women's relationships treated as relationships rather than throwaway eyecandy, and both are almost always tragedies

but really

so many possibilities that harm none
and yet culture so seldom goes there.

Fanfic is not exempt.
The one fic I read that decided someone's canon clumsy romantic overtures were actually on behalf of his sister was uniquely special
but I am so tired of the thing where we find out half the OTP is married
and instead of gleefully playing with new canon and what kind of OT3 we have here
we ignore it.

So many wonderful women screwed over by so much canon, do we really need to do it again just to queer the pretty?

Want everyone. Get to keep everyone. See how that can possibly work.
There's story in that for years.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I get frustrated when people blur actor and character lines
even when I know *canon* in fact does exactly that
and I do too with other characters.

Not helpful.

I guess it's partly because that way instead of a finite canon I now know
there's a whole lifetime of layered interlocking intertextual references
with an actor or two underneath.

I mean sometimes you know for certain the only reason a character has a wedding ring is that actor never takes theirs off
only if you're in the habit of reading interviews and behind the scenes stuff
and if you're actually just reading a text *as* that text then you still need a watsonian explanation.

But sometimes it's a habit among fans of reading a certain pair of actors as brothers
because that's what they were in that one famous thing.
And I know canon makes one say it isn't their first Prison Break and that is meant to be funny because show
but the line still makes perfect sense in context and in character
so the thing where I've actually had someone earnestly explain to me that I need to watch Prison Break to understand them and their dynamic is just
don't wanna
certainly don't haveta.

... but it might explain a relative dearth of shippers when the characters are on occasion So Married.
... or not, I mean, fandom and brothers can be... nope.

... actually one reason I don't want to watch stuff where their lookalikes are brothers is cause I ship them now so it would be weird.
... my line for Weird is maybe in a weird place.

It also vaguely bothers me when I can't see a pairing in canon
but then there's posts of the actors together in the tag
and, well, yeah... I see ...
and have you noticed how many actors have a sort of personal definition of personal space?
like, probably there are other people who are cuddly and snuggly and drape themselves all over their co workers
but from here
I just blink
and think

... or else feel guilty kind of low key rp shipping them.

but shipping the characters just because the actors get along seems weird.

though you know you can end up shipping characters who never meet, and possibly are in different universes with no possibility of source canon xover, so not all that weird.

back in attempting to read canon land
you know the interaction between star image and characters they're cast as is frequently intentional on the creator side
I know I read Rip Hunter slightly inflected with Rory Williams because Arthur Darvill
and that may be why it was a surprise so many people don't like him
because I've met one of him and seen another and he seems nice
oh yeah
different guy now.

So it's just sorting and prioritising different elements of readings.

But I still get weirdly frustrated
when other people blur lines
I don't.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Am nearly done transcribing The Flash episode Rogue Time (as in putting in descriptions and names and stuff, most of the words are in another transcript file already)

I had to take a rage break to sputter about 'lightning psychosis'
because at some point the writers decided that faking a mental illness was a get out of plot consequences free card
and something a hero would do.

Also, while googling for 'lightning psychosis' only gets you the Flash, and is a bad phrase, googling for 'lightning symptoms' will quickly show you there are in fact psychological and neurological consequences to being struck by lightning, which often acts pretty much like a traumatic brain injury and has consequences that are *very* real and real people have to deal with them.

So we have several layers of fail at once. Using a wrong phrase when a right one is available, faking brain damage just to get out of consequences of hitting on your sister again, and the writers thinking that mental illness only gets you good and ignorable consequences. I mean, Barry's a CSI, does he have to testify in court sometimes? Could lawyers say he has a mental illness and is making things up? Like, that wouldn't be fair, but. Might his coworkers think his mental illness makes him less reliable than his already flaky fortean public image? Might people, you know, care at all, ever, after this one minute conversation?

But no, the writers decide to fake a mental illness so Barry just gets hugs instead of having to apologise.

Rage isn't a precise description of the ongoing frustration of use of mental illness in the media, but, sputtering and sighing ensue.

I can't figure out if they didn't do the research or didn't care.
Well either way they didn't care, but, you know.

Okay, this topic is done, I have like three minutes of episode still to type names on, I'll go do that.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Have finished transcript of second Rogues episode, Heatwave's intro.
I should not do this at two in the morning, I nearly saved over it with a blank document, that would be sommuch work fone poof. I'd blame it on new and fiddly programs but honestly i was just tired enough to muddle.

Cold and Heatwave together are fascinating. And the way they act different in front of a (Watsonian) audience is also fascinating. Like Mick being *super* creepy with Caitlin and about his scars... but to do that it's the first time in the episode and the first time in that base that he's taken his shirt off. Which, Doylist reading, cheapest way to only do scar makeup that once plus maximum impact on audience. But potential Watsonian reading, Mick is freaking her out on purpose for funsies. Still super creepy but in a different way. And again when they're arrested, Mick goes ballistic and growls and acts like he's going to try and bite the gun ... getting everyone's attention while Cold looks around at everything. So maybe he is just that mad, to contrast Snart, but then again, maybe it's Mick scenery chewing as part of a cooperative schtick. When they're alone again in the prison van Mick has every reason to be angry, and he is... quietly, intensely, voice mostly growl. It's private now and he seems perfectly in control. So some of the difficulties in characterisation between wild man here and crewmate later could be smoothed out if audience matters.

Len never takes notice of Mick's growl unless fire is involved. There's a particular bark to how he says his name when there's a flame lit. Says like it's not the first time, has to keep in saying it. Mick and fire is a serious distraction problem. And when he's offering to burn Caitlin, Cold uses that same voice. So Mick is indeed treated like a scary guy even by Len... if something is burning. The rest of the time his growl is answered cool and smooth, Cold not even looking up, if he has a plan.

All evidence is that Cold seldom shares the whole plan with Mick. And that winds him right up. Which seems fair.

When they're aiming guns at each other in 'give me one good reason not to kill you', the guns aren't fully lit up. When they're ready to fire they burn. In that scene they never do. Also Cold puts his gun up first and takes a breath - his turn to back down and cool down.

When he offers Mick the painting and a way out, same like when he asks in or out at end of first appearance, he isn't aiming at Mick. Which is entirely unlike his reaction to his crew trying to get out that first time, when he flat out killed the first and promised to kill the other two later. Killing his guy didn't bother him and barely interrupted him. Having a gun to his head didn't give him much pause. Life and death stuff doesn't much bother him. But Mick winds him the hell ip, and then he gives him the most leeway anyway.

Mick and Len are dangerous to each other, both practically and symbolically.

Mick is most obvious - he set the painting on fire, burned Fire and Ice, both of them. In an episode where Caitlin Snow is chasing after Firestorm, putting herself in harm's way with these two, that seems to be all foreboding for her story too. Also, on the bounce, makes the clearest comparators a romantic relationship going through a separation because one of them caught fire. ... sometimes I don't know what I'm supposed to be seeing without the slash goggles, you know? But Mick endangers both of them with his burning things thing. So why does Len go out of his way to keep him around?

Mick is a hundred percent right about Len's obsession changing his style. Dotting the t's and crossing the i's can sound stupid or mocking, depending on reading. But Len starts by counting seconds and then just... drops it. Until he's fought the Flash and is being brought in, and then his fingers are tapping and he goes back to acting Cold, while the next plan kicks in. In between he's just so gleeful about the fight... and he doesn't stop grinning as Eddie arrests him. Really, using the Cold gun doesn't quite do that for him, but the Flash does. ... they have a Thing and it's already winding up Mick. So why does Mick stick around?

Everyone Len worked with in the first episode either pointed a gun at him or got killed by him. Nasty backstabby world he lives in. But not Mick. He listens, even if he's not clued in, and sometimes even when there's flame. If that's the steadiest partner they've got, that's something.

But the guys who ran out on Cold in his first appearance said Central wasn't his playground anymore (snd he said sure it is). When he's making the pitch to Mick - take the painting and be rich, or stay with me - Len says home. If you want Central City to be our home.

So I figure that's why they stick together and go the extra effort to make it work. To be home.

And sure, that doesn't have to be romantic, the plot strand about living together has one set for Iris and Eddie and another for Barry moving back in with Joe, but the ones who talk about if they have an argument they'll have to workmit out because home is you? Romance.

Doomed romance to be specific.


So I know that those thus inclined have read it and written it this way for years by now, but I only just got the Dvds and am in full on overanalyse my faves mode for my shiny new fandom.

partly to distract myself from not yet being able to see shiny new canon when everyone else will.

Nut these guys are such a trainwreck of an otp.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
So I've been thinking about Captain Cold and Heatwave and why they seem to have ate all my brainspace (other than I have a predictable thing for the villain who saves the world)
and then I think, it's not really 'other than'.
the thing is
Initially I wasn't interested in the 'ship. Like, I noticed early on that I appeared to be crushing on Captain Cold (wtf whyyyy etc), and I concluded early on that Len and Mick were together, but it didn't eat my brain and insist on being fed with fic until Legends of Tomorrow.
because that changed them.

Most human connections are pretty basically 'You're a human? I'm a human! Let's human together!'

But the villain side, or the morally ambiguous anti hero, they look at each other and it's
'You're a monster? I'm a monster! Let's monster together!'
Which, you know, romantic from some angles, but if they actually mean monster then there's that small problem where they find it on occasion as difficult to look at each other as it is to look in the mirror.
I mean, if they're going to celebrate each other's difference, then that's one thing, but if the ways they fit are all the things they think are wrong with themselves... the initial burst of comfort that they're not alone is going to wear thin.

And that's what Len and Mick do when we first see them. Read more... )


Now it can be Mick's turn to make a counter offer.

You're the best guy I ever knew. You may not think you're a hero, but you're a hero to me.

That shouldn't be the final word on them. That should be their future.

... and of course, if canon doesn't give us that, we know what to do. But there remains a slim but shiny chance it could.

I wanted to write a longer version of this with quotes and transcripts and screencaps, but basically, this is why they're so shiny. Who they start as isn't who they're stuck as, and what they do to and for and with each other is super drama but either ends well (if you're one to accept endings) or has potential to go better places.

I'm still frustrate that there's no kissing, but you know, TV.

I'm just drawn in by the thing where they see each other's monster and then see how it doesn't define or limit them, or can be turned and aimed right, or isn't monster at all.
Not so much a redemption arc as a renegotiation of terms.

So now I just need to find other fans who think this is their shiny.
Judging by who is writing the fanfic I know some of them already but they're not where I can see them on LJ or DW any more.
And tumblr is an awful format for meta.

eh, I'm motivated, I'll try...
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Just got all the way to the end of Flash season 2.
... I can tell where my fannish attention is focused, I immediately started figuring out how this would effect Mick and Len...

Read more... )

So I saw a whole season of Flash and basically wondered what it would do to the Rogues and how I could use it to sort out the end of season 1 of Legends.

Pretty clear which show I'm actively fannish about.

On Secrets

Sep. 3rd, 2016 01:41 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Having watched two seasons of Arrow and one season of Flash
I am really fed up of secrets.

They keep being so gendered too: Must Keep The Secret To Protect Her

But they are doing great at show-not-telling us that keeping secrets does in fact not protect anyone, endangers them. And straight up telling us this via Thea etc.

But in between times people keep secrets because they? want? to?

I guess with Slade if he had told them he'd have kicked off a different phase of a fight he knew he was going to lose, but still, you figure out a way. Hi there, your new friend wants to kill us all, trust me. All Ollie needs to say is he blames him for his not-girlfriend, the location details don't have to follow.
(Also I don't know why anyone believed for a minute that he was alone for five years when he had a new tattoo on his back.)

Also Sara not telling her mom she's back because her mom would never stop looking for her, I thought her mom already not stop looking for her? Was the crying supposed to be her giving up? Because ugh.

I also hated the whole middle of the season where women are saying 'huh, this guy creepy' and men are saying 'date him, you need therapy'. I mean, we have a better creep radar than guys. This is known.
But it turns out to be demonstrably true, so, that proves out.

I hate how much gaslighting is involved in this secret keeping bit. If women get suspicious they're just told not to. Blergh.

But then it goes horribly wrong, so, moral of the story, secrets pretty much suck.

Everyone keeps doing this whole moral weathervane thing or a whole dance of disagreeing where they are always on opposite sides of an issue even when that doesn't make entire sense. It's not just because they find out more, it's just because those two characters having an argue is the most angsty. Do better.

... this is pretty much all my thoughts on the matter. I thought they'd be longer. But no, secrets are a horrible idea, people need to be led by data not maximum angst, shows should do better.


beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)

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