still thinking about that “we Have To Talk about how quips are ruining fandom by destroying meta and turning all fic into shitposts” post @ms-demeanor wrote a great rebuttal to, and about the other posts she wrote about it and about the You’re Doing Fandom Wrong attitude in it, and about the notes on those posts. not gonna reblog or reply to any of those because my thoughts are admittedly kind of random and jumping from place to place and probably OT to the point of the discussion, but you know. still thinking.
so, uh. not trying to start wank or anything but enjoy the ranting that got way out of hand under the cut.
so, like... that one “we can’t just block everyone who quips and shitposts because some of these people also write actual meta but then they unfortunately go back to Not Engaging With Canon by writing quippy shitpost-y stuff” line, or however it was actually phrased? besides the blatant entitlement with the “you have to fandom ONLY in ways I like, I can’t just engage with the part of the content you create that I’m interested in and scroll past the rest” thing (which kinda reminds me of the whole “you can’t CNTW on some of your fics, I should be able to read ALL of your fics” thing, in a way) and the ”I refuse to curate my fandom experience and I’ll make it some stranger’s problem” thing (which... reminds me of a few other things, but tbf it has probably been around since the very first days of fandom), what if someone doesn’t even see meta and quips/shitposts as fundamentally different and mutually exclusive approaches to fandom? what if they see them as just two ways to be interested in a specific fandom and interact with it, and maybe even closely linked together, so going from one to another is actually very, very easy for them? hell, what if they (gasp!) even mix quips and meta together sometimes?
I have a few posts about what I think Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese might have been doing with mythological references and themes in Dark, and about what I got from the series finale. some are meme-like, phrased in a joking tone, probably even shitpost-y? another one is literally just a gifset plus me having intense Feels in the tags, and the last one is an edit of the kind I’ve seen people complain about as “those cringey unoriginal tumblr aesthetics that all look the same” in at least a couple of occasions. does that automatically mean I only wanted to “win” at fandom (with my hard-earned prize being... a handful of notes in a fandom that’s not even that big compared to others) and that I haven’t actually spent probably way too much time thinking about the significance of Martha’s Ariadne play as a commentary on character interactions/plot/narrative themes (and honestly still do from time to time), or that I don’t occasionally read the captions under other people’s gifsets and suddenly feel very much enlightened about why the Ariadne play mentions the myth of the Flood of all things? that I didn’t start reading posts and comments and reviews and theories about the series finale as soon as I finished watching it? that, just because I didn’t write 10K+ words of Perfectly Serious Seriousness about all that stuff, I simply refused to Engage With The Text?
... and if I said that I feel a little irrationally self-conscious at the idea of writing down all of my (often rambling, sometimes jumbled) thoughts about a series that to me actually does feel very deep and complex, so adding memes and humor to that or finding different means to put my ideas out there makes me feel more comfortable expressing myself while also taking off the (admittedly made-up) pressure of having to write a whole coherent essay where I have to find a clear and explicit way to explain where every single thought comes from and how it leads to the next like I’m gonna get graded on it? or that a lot of those thoughts stem from memories of spending five years of high school translating and analysing ancient Greek poetry and reading and watching and discussing every available interpretation and reinterpretation of it from Nietzsche to Vernant to Dürrenmatt to Christa Wolf to Pasolini to a lot of others and from certain things in Dark violently hurtling me back to those times without even asking for permission, so a part of my self-consciousness is actually “I probably don’t actually know/remember enough about this to base a whole in-depth analysis on it even though I do think there’s something there” and another part is “shit I’m too lazy to dig through all of my old textbooks and homework and additional readings to hunt for the thing I feel the desperate need to reference or figure out who might have said it, so no extended explanation here either”? I guess in the end it would all boil down to “there’s an amount of effort and physical and mental energy I’m willing to put into fandom but I also have limits to stop something that makes me feel happy from becoming a chore”, which. considering the whole “you have to put all your resources into constantly pouring out 100% serious meta and nothing else because that’s what I like, no deviations allowed” thing? yeah, I can see saying stuff like that would still make me a blight upon fandom. and/or Not Engaging.
which, I realize, it’s a thing I keep coming back to. but that’s because I really, really, really hate it? seriously, what even counts as Engaging With The Text correctly? not shitposts, and not quips either, apparently. Regardless of the fact that humor and crack have existed in fandom since forever and that it’s actually not uncommon AT ALL for them to be born out of looking at canon from different angles, pointing out whatever the fan in question finds surreal/strange/implausible/convoluted/awkward/just kinda funny about it.
also, not canon divergence/what if fics motivated not by a desire to “fix” something that made us feel bad when it happened in canon but by a desire to actually fix what we felt was objectively a poor writing choice from the author, because we shouldn’t Engage by analysing the text to criticize it or to think over how and why certain aspects of it don’t work for us or how we think the structure of the text itself could be modified or even improved, we should Engage by... writing meta and/or writing canon-compliant fics with perhaps a little allowance for slightly-to-the-left-of-canon-compliant missing moments fics, I guess?
from what I’ve gathered from reading other fandom discussion some time ago, AUs are also out, especially Modern/No Powers AUs, because those are always just an excuse to slap your fave’s name on your OC/disguise your original fiction as fanfic to get comments/ignore all that’s interesting about canon to write yet another dumb syrupy high school or coffee shop AU, even if I’m honestly not sure what kind of AUs people are even reading to never get to the “there’s no supernatural threat so let’s focus entirely on the fucked-up family dynamics and blatant mental issues in a world where you can’t just ignore them by marrying off your daughter or sending your son to be someone’s squire” AUs or the “this is pretty much what happens in canon but adding new dimensions and different outlooks on the themes by moving everything to a new context” AUs. seriously, I could rec you a pretty great “this guy would be a horrible father and treat his children horribly in any world, it’s not just the feudal society around him, it’s him as a person” AU and that’s literally just the first thing that came to my mind. but, hey, maybe Engaging is only engaging with the canon plot and setting and nothing else, what do I know.
... fuck, thinking about it, I’m not even sure if by “not shitpost and not quips” I should even mean humor/crack? because it’s not like the OP was clear about it in any way? maybe it’s just all that’s weird and tropey and not-canon-compliant? I can see the “everybody gathers in the main character’s stuff to smoke weed and weird shit happens” fic I got a chuckle out of some time ago being one of the dreaded tumblr-born shitpost fics that are supposedly ruining fandom by ensuring that fans stop thinking (?), but what about the “everything is the same but this one character is a catboy, not for any particular reason but just because” fic I’m currently following and loving? people have been joking and shitposting about catboys a lot on tumblr lately (I distinctly remember that the last catboy joke to pop up on my dash was the “I’m your catboy gf and I’m stuck in a wall” one...) and finding an always-a-catboy!AU initially got an amused smile out of me, so is the mere premise enough to make the fic just a joke/just taking a trope and running off with it/just part of a shallow trend? even when the author literally goes “oh shit just realized this is all a metaphor for neuodivergence and masking” in the story notes? unless writing a character who’s never explicitly stated to be neurodivergent in canon as a being literally or metaphorically neurodivergent in your fic is always shallow projecting or posturing issuefic... instead of, y’know, looking closely at the text and Engaging with it by interpreting it that way....
I feel all this ranting/venting might end up plunging into Why We Slash discussion territory now, so I better stop here.
anyway, in short, good to know I’ve been in fandom for years yet I’ve always been just a Fake Fan who Can’t Think and is constantly Doing It Wrong (by Not Being Transformative Enough, possibly). gonna do my best to stay exactly like that in the future <3