Fannish insanity and social justice rage, all in one helpful place! eleanor_lavish on LJ and AO3, if you're wondering why all this seems eerily familiar...


Thing I would love to see happen on AO3:


…a “primary pairing” category distinct from “incidental pairings” category (aka pairings that aren’t endgame, background or only-mentioned-in-passing pairings, or etc).  So I can tell if this femmeslash fic I just clicked on is ACTUALLY ABOUT these awesome ladies being adorable at each other front and center, or if I’m just going to get three words about them off in the corner somewhere while dudes bone in the foreground.

Primary pairings tagging would make the AO3 experience so much smoother, and I heard from a little birdie that it IS on the docket as an update they’d like to do moving forward.  Unfortunately, it means some serious back-end overhauls so I’m sure no one is itching to take it on as a massive project.  

If you want this, reach out and (VERY NICELY- they are fans and volunteers, you guys) say that you’d like this functionality moved to the top of the updates queue!  (And if you haven’t already, sign up for the OTW while you’re over there! That gives you some voting rights on board members who make some of these decisions.)

If you want a thing, make your voice heard by the people who can do the thing!

Let us help you stop writing shitty articles about fanfic.




More than a decade after the Harry Potter craze kicked fanfic culture straight into the mainstream, we’re still seeing regular appearances from that most embarrassing of journalistic genres: the poorly researched thinkpiece expressing shock, horror, bemusement, and condescension for fandom and the (mostly female) fans who write fanfiction.

So for anyone out there who has just been hired to explain the intricacies of fanfic culture to a confused and ill-informed audience, here are a few misconceptions we can get out of the way before you even start:

Myth: Reporters should ask celebrities what they think about the awkward fanfic fans write about them

No. First of all, asking a celebrity to simply “react” to fanfiction being written about the fictional character they portray (and occasionally the actor themselves) is actually shorthand for “I’m a lazy reporter who would rather exploit fans than do the work of rounding up real questions for this interview.”

Secondly, this celebrity who is having lots of slash written about them has already been asked about their thoughts on slash by the other 145 million unoriginal reporters who came along before you and went, “What can I do to be edgy? Oh, I know, I’ll show them the fanfiction about them on the Internet!” They are sick of being asked this question.

Thirdly, depending on any number of personal/social/contextual factors that have nothing to do with the show, the fandom, or the content of the fanfic, being asked about fanfic could make them feel uncomfortable, which means you were just rude and invasive for stupid reasons.


(In which Gav and Aja attempt to debunk every terrible article ever written on fanfic, which we hopefully will never have to read again.)

GUYS THIS PIECE IS 5,000 WORDS LONG AND TOOK TWO MONTHS OF US GOING “OH CRAP WE FORGOT TO INCLUDE X!!”  And in the end our editor just threw up her hands and didn’t cut a word.



In all seriousness tho, I hope this article comes in useful. It’s a simple link for when people ask about fandom, and hopefully also a good resource for journalists writing What Is Fanfic articles in the future.


One thing I haven’t really seen discussed much yet about CATWS is the role of the Smithsonian exhibit and how it informs the theme of identity in the movie. As lots of you probably know by now, I find the presence of history (as a discipline) really cool when it appears in pop culture, so I kinda want to talk about what putting this exhibit in the movie does on a narrative level. Because museums tell stories through cultural artifacts, right? Only, cultural artifacts don’t always tell the whole story, or at least don’t tell a single story. The story they tell very much depends on how they’re curated: how they’re displayed, what they’re displayed with, how they are contextualized and commented on by the curator(s).

So while the exhibit is about Captain America, at least one of the stories that it’s telling is actually about Bucky.

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Is Pacific Rim a girl movie?


This is an honest question. I listen to a lot of comedy podcasts and one of the things I have just learned to accept is that all of these guys, men in their 30s, are going to wax rhapsodic a minimum of once a month about the unparalleled greatness of The Dark Knight trilogy, films I skipped because I found the worldview (and the cinematography) too dark. Now Pacific Rim is out and they all hate it. They think it’s bland and uninteresting. Or even when they like it, like on Jeff Rubin’s podcast, they slam the things that I thought were the most meaningful and amazing.

I’ve given these podcasts a lot of time, support, and, in some cases, money. And I like that they have their own opinion. That’s why I listen. But I’m way too involved in loving Pacific Rim, so I’m learning to just hit stop when the topic comes up. A sort of tumblr savior for life. Otherwise, I just end up feeling alienated from the podcaster and the community.

But really, is this a gender divide? Do boys not like PR? I’m afraid to ask the boys I know for their opinion. (I learned my lesson on that one with STID.)

I think there is a grain of truth in this, especially when the protagonists of the story are a guy who is really good with feelings and a girl who ends up having the actual hero’s journey. 

Maybe there is also a divide between cinema geeks and true geeks (an arbitrary distinction, but bear with me) in that the geeky podcasts I love (like Hardwick and Co. at the Nerdist) fucking worship this movie while the cinephiles deride it.  Maybe it’s because the geeks know the origin myths that the movie comes out of?

But that doesn’t explain why I love this so much - I have never been much for Japanese mecha/anime/monster movies. I love it because there is a real emotional journey that ends in real, actualized HOPE, and that the moral of the story is just “to be a good person in this world, be connected to the people around you.” Maybe that’s too cheesy for dudes who watch Bruce Wayne suffer for decades and then suffer some more. Maybe that just makes them assholes who love schadenfreude?





Yeah, this is the point where I went, “…okay. They’re doing this right.”

YES, THIS! It annoys me when people are like, “Pacific Rim isn’t a feminist film. Mako Mori isn’t the one calling the shots in the fights, Raleigh is. And she’s the one who screws up the drift the first time. And she has to get Pentecost’s permission to fight.”

Which. She’s a rookie. She’s never done any of this before! That’s the context her character occupies, and nothing about that context is inherently problematic. Raleigh is her partner, but he’s also the seasoned pro who’s helping her find her feet. Again: not inherently problematic. Also: PENTECOST IS THE BENEVOLENT DICTATOR OF EVERYONE. Everyone has to get his permission, for everything!

There is nothing inherently anti-woman about any of this*. It’s true that this is a situation that could easily skew in an icky direction, but to the movie’s ENDLESS CREDIT, it decidedly does not.

And in fact, IMHFO (in my humble fucking opinion) if the only way you can buy into a female character is if she’s flawless and powerful and perfect and unstoppable, then what you are looking for is a boring, lifeless archetype, not a real person.

Mako Mori is a real person**.


*Except, yes, it really would have been really, really nice if this movie had more female faces in it across the board and especially in the Tendo/Hermann/Newt types of secondary roles. I’m on board with that complaint, 100%.

**for values of “real” where “real”=”complex and believable”, not actualfax a real person in the real world, I am not that crazy, though I swear to god I’m getting there.

(Source: kateargent)

My Random Teen Wolf Thought of the Day:

If Talia Hale is Peter Hale’s sister (which was confirmed last night), then that means she didn’t change her name when/if she married. Which is totally cool and modern of her!

But it doesn’t explain why NONE of the Hale children have their father’s last name.

Is this a matrilineal werewolf thing? Do all wolf kids get their mom’s last name?  Is it an alpha thing, where you marry an alpha and her name is the one everyone keeps? Or a “all the Hale children were fathered by different dudes in Talia’s harem of hot werewolves and she’s a badass single mom” thing? Or is this just a “Jeff is bad at continuity” thing? 

I know which one I want it to be, and I know which one it probably is. Sigh.

on structural narrative failure in teen wolf: season 3


In wake of this week’s episode, I wanted to write something about the way Teen Wolf has been plotted over the course of this season. I was pretty enraged about character assassination after “Visionary,” but this episode left me thinking more about the overall way Jeff Davis et al have been telling the story this season, on a broad structural level as well as in terms of character development.

I want to do this in as rational and systematic a fashion as possible because I actually am really interested in the ways they have gone wrong, and I hope doing it this way it will be productive for writers/would-be writers who are interested in plot. I am on record as thinking that the first two seasons of the show are very well-done, on the whole – the season arcs weren’t necessarily resolved in the most satisfying ways possible, but the arcs themselves were pretty solid and the character growth was also very well-done, I thought. The show’s sense of humor about itself and its habit of mining horror tropes for its own ends have also been extremely enjoyable. It has been far from a perfect television show, but given what it was trying to do, it was broadly successful.

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#and then she tricked him into revealing his plans #ur fave could never

#except no other faves COULD ever because nearly every other names character in this film is male #and natasha operates within gender paradigms #she exploits them and inverts them and uses them to burn the best laid plans #i do think she’s actually afraid here when he says he’ll have clint kill her slowly and intimately #just because he could and my kingdom for the two of them when she has a nightmare about the hulk #but otherwise she knows exactly what she’s doing. every facial expression and body motion is purposeful #these strong powerful men with ego problems think her vulnerable because she’s armed with nothing but her body #and that body is small and breakable and doesn’t have any armor at all #but that body is far more powerful than any of those men realize and she can kill with it if she has to #and she’s got no problem with that but her main goal is extraction and you can’t extract information from the dead #so she takes those assumptions about her and turns that strength against the men who think little of her #she allows them to think they’ve gotten power over her and in so doing she crawls into their plans and burns them down from the inside #your favorites could actually never because every other avenger in this film is a man #and a man could never do this 

Why it is okay to ship real people with other real people:


So in a post today mostly unrelated to what I want to talk about,  John Green stated, “It’s not okay to ship real people and other real people.” I respect John Green in all ways, but I disagree 100% with this statement, and I want to clear up why Real Person Fiction is not actually wrong.

The first important issue to cover is that RPF is not tinhatting is not harassment. If you ship something, you like to think about it, write about it, draw it, joke about it, talk about it with your friends, and it makes you happy in your own little corner of the world. This is okay. Tinhatting is when you believe your ship is really happening in real life and the Powers That Be are hiding it from you. This is also okay, until it becomes harassment, which is when you throw your ship into the involved people’s faces repeatedly in spite of requests to stop and you say nasty stuff about their girlfriends to them and generally make everybody unhappy. This is never okay.

But that’s not what shipping is, and that’s not what RPF is. The first point I want to make here is that RPF is not actually about real people.

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I can’t help but mention that the Cora/Derek situation continues to be dire. I think the bedside scene was meant to strengthen their onscreen relationship, but IMO Cora’s entire character arc and relationship with Derek continues to be utterly baffling. WHY DIDN’T HE REACT WHEN SHE CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD? Why do they never interact in a way that makes sense? And I don’t mean like, “These people are emotionally damaged and find it impossible to express their feelings.” I mean in the sense that there’s been no evidence up until now that they are anything other than casual acquaintances who are forced to share the same apartment. — Teen Wolf, The Girl Who Knew Too Much.

With the exception of not tackling the “is Jennifer actually poor dead Paige?” theory, this is FLAWLESS, as per usual.