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I have so many thoughts on the Hannibal finale that it needs its own post, and coherence, and possibly for me to go find my paperback copies of "Red Dragon" and "Hannibal" in order to make my point, which means first I need to prep my classes for tomorrow so I can justify sitting around writing an essay about a TV show.  Short reaction: Bedelia is Will, Will is Clarice, I don't know how I didn't figure that out a week ago at least and I am so very very salty we will not get a season four. 

Other things: I'm taking a bit of a Tumblr hiatus because it is eating up far too much time that I want to be spending at least feeling the illusion of productivity.  I've exhausted myself just reading the responses on that post I made about cross-platform use, it's terrible.  I mean -- the responses aren't terrible, it's been fascinating to read them.  But the sheer enormity of variation in All The Reasons for fandom to remain the way it is are daunting.  Ultimately I think it perhaps does come down to personal preference.  I've been reading the tumblrs of quite a few old-school XF fans, who have come back for the revival, and it's been a big part of what's gotten me thinking about platforms and usage, largely because the way that fans who are coming back into fandom after being gone two, three, in some cases five, six years is so very different than the way uses who have followed platforms more seamlessly are using them.  There's far more back-and-forth reblogging and discussion, but the result is (I will admit this) a very, very cluttered and difficult to read space that eventually becomes impossible to follow.  even with the ability to track conversations on the post I made a few days ago, as an OP, I'm finding that threads reach a point where I just can't read them anymore because they're stretched out twizzler-thin.  I think ultimately I'm just not equipped with the time necessary to make Tumblr into a platform that suits my needs, but I'm also okay with that - I find myself far more comfortable with the idea of posting in a text-based space with very little audience, than trying to adapt to a space I'm uncomfortable in, with a similarly small audience, if that makes sense?

At any rate.  I've somehow managed to roughly outline an embarrassingly long mpreg that I'm now trying to wrangle back into a manageable length.  I think generally anything over 25k becomes a little absurd for me, or at least, it becomes more likely that I'll get distracted and wander away.  I have an embarrassing amount of dead WIPs on my Google Docs, and it really does seem as though the one thing they have in common is that they all passed 30k.  I've got this Steve/Tony WIP that's something like 42k and the bane of my existence, just because it died SO CLOSE to being done that I'll never quite get over it.  I'll never finish it either, mind you, because I lost interest in the ship, but sometimes I click back into it and think, "if you had just been A LITTLE SHORTER."

Moral of the story: never let yourself tl;dr, you will always regret it.  SO MANY BANDOM FIC THAT NEVER MADE IT.
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 One thing that surprised me quite a bit in the responses generated off of my post about Tumblr and text-based content were the number of discussions/replies that involved some sort of admission that the person in question didn't normally reblog text posts, period, generally for "aesthetics."  It presents a bit of an interesting conundrum to me because one of the complaints I often see when other platforms are suggested for fan-use (particularly DW) is that they are unwieldy, uncustomizable, and generally unattractive.  Appearance really does seem to be built into the current fandom experience at the base level -- but it isn't just a statement of personality; it's actively molding fandom itself.  Of course a text-based post announcing, say, a fanfic, isn't going to do well if it's only getting "likes" because text-based posts "ruin aesthetic;" of course drabbles, meta and discussion will always have a limited role in an environment where the visual is privileged because the goal is not to cultivate discussion, content or interaction, but beauty and appearance, regardless of repetition.  Of course, on the other hand, one of the other common concerns I saw was the extent to which fanfic writers are impossible to follow because no one wants to follow a writer only to get "the same reblog another 70 times" on their dash -- which is fair, but again: if the only thing considered fit to reblog in the first place is visual, doesn't this by its very nature set a potential text based/writing tumblr up to fail from the start?  

Ah well, at any rate.  In an effort to combat this I'm going to try only posting to Tumblr fic that are "worth the effort:" that is, large enough to justify the creation of image-sets that fit Tumblr's aesthetic desires.  If we're thinking of Tumblr in terms of a fandom RSS feed, there isn't much point to crossposting in an environment where you know the majority of the audience views what you're crossposting as visually unattractive/unsuited for their own "feed;" it certainly limits Tumblr's value as a tool of engagement with/advertising within fandom.  In all other cases, as several other responses to that post suggested, it appears that there isn't very much crossover between Tumblr and AO3 in terms of fic-seeking to begin with.  

Speaking of fic!  I posted my first Great Unknown Challenge Drabble, "In The Absence of Affection."  SPN, Dean/Castiel, Explicit.  I think this is my version of all of those tongue-in-cheek (or not!) 1989-song title-challenges surrounding Taylor Swift's last album -- I want to produce a ficlet for every song on Rob Thomas' new CD.  I haven't decided if the goal is for them to be (a) all one fandom and (b) a connected story, but that's what writing the second one is for.  I'm drawn to the idea of a Little Bit of Everything, but to be honest I'm deliberately taking a bit of a break from the Marvel fandom, right now.  The sudden rush of optimism/insistence that Stucky Can And Will Be Canon feels so, so similar to the back half of SPN S8 (likely due to the fact it seems that some of the same people are involved in leading this charge) and the idea of going through another fandom implosion when the Stucky fandom realizes they're buying from snake oil salesmen isn't something I'm ready for.  This, I think, is another aspect of Tumblr Meta that I'm not a fan of.  The lack of a cohesive space for discussion makes it far, far easier for well-crafted words and seductive optimism to blindside a lot of people, and there are a surprising number of fans who have "made their name," so to speak, in fandoms by appearing on the scene with meta that says exactly what fans want to hear, when they need to hear it most.  I can't help but wonder if this phenomenon would still take off in an environment where discussion of meta was, well, possible first of all, but also all contained in a single space - where fans could actually think and talk through what's being said in a post, and have fen other than the OP replying with some regularity.  

...none of which was what I intended to talk about, but -- oh.  Marvel.  Yes.  I really do fear an explosion once Civil War comes out, particularly given some of the intense anger towards the Russos I'm already seeing at Sharon's inclusion on "Team Cap."  And I, being a perfectly reasonable person, have apparently decided to deal with this by sticking my fingers in my ears and crawling back to the hollowed out shell that is the remains of Destiel, post-S8 firefight.  Hey: once the explosion has already occurred, it's unlikely you're going to get completely swallowed up in it twice, right?

Don't answer that question.  I've been in the SPN fandom at varying levels since the show started; I know exactly how often you can go running back into that burning building (the answer: idk, how many lives do Winchesters have?).  

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This post of Stereowire's is everything I have ever wanted to articulate about Tumblr and never been able/brave enough to, because I have not yet found the hill I want to die on but I don't think anything involving Tumblr is worth it. It does remind me a lot of that post that was going around a while back, "Why I Left Tumblr," which had a point in particular that's still stuck with me:

This is not your blog, this is everyone else’s blog. [...] Tumblr makes me angry. I went there for the gifs, and I left because of the festering pit of antagonism. I make a conscious effort to remove negativity from my life, and this is why I will no longer be participating on the platform in an interactive way.

Obviously Stereowire's post is talking about tagging and content in regards to their fanart, which is something entirely different: but the idea behind it -- that Stereowire is obligated to tag more clearly (as opposed to a blanket "hydra trash party" tag) so that viewers can see X art but not Y, Z but not A -- and their subsequent response (which I do agree with, very heartily) -- that anyone’s allowed to not want to see something on their dash without it being a personal judgment on you for posting that thing. on the flip side of that, you have the right to decide what you want to see on your dash, but that means taking responsibility for curating it to your tastes and needs -- are very reflective of perhaps what I like least about Tumblr culture. Nothing, not even your own blog, belongs to you: it belongs to the people who view it. It doesn't matter that the blog is public; it doesn't matter that your audience has chosen to be there. If you fail to curate for that audience, you are the one who has failed: because much like in the Goodreads situation, as a content creator, you are subsumed by the importance of the viewer.

I don't know if this is the result of Tumblr's lack of text (it's easier to demand things when you're less aware it's a human you're treating like an output machine), its speed of content, or its larger toxic culture: a friend once referred to it as a massive unmoderated community and I think that's fair. But the idea that you are responsible for moderating your own content for the pleasure of others -- and, in return, those others are welcome to do whatever they please with your content, because "censorship" and "free speech" -- continues to be thoroughly troubling.

I am not a content generator. I am a person who uses (used?) fandom as a form of stress relief. And more and more that is the opposite of what fandom offers me. I do like going back to the blogging platform even if it's just me talking to myself; I'm still in the process of considering how/if I'll be posting fic here, because I do have issues, fannish and academic, with how I perceive the OTW to be ultimately set-up and run, and ultimately AO3 does not feel comfortable to me. But that's another issue for another time.
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I made the mistake of continuously reading about the Goodreads Debacle on and off all day today. I'm lucky enough to have escaped inclusion, likely due to my (probably not very reasonable) habit of regularly deleting everything I've written from the internet, but something about the entire thing threw me. Maybe it was the fact that GR can wind up linking an author publicly to their Facebook or other real life identity. Maybe it's the fact that it was effectively serving to take anonymemes like bandflesh and spn_gossip's fanfic discussion public: a place to trash without fear of imagined recourse (because I'm unclear on what's stopping these people from just leaving poor reviews on AO3: if you're the kind of person that is going to argue for the "value of free speech over the writer's so-called rights any day" I sincerely doubt you have problems hurting someone's feelings in your quest to talk shit on the internet in between middle-school classes). It could be that it fell so quickly on the heels of another of my semi-annual Archival Displeasure Junkets. Or it could be that I'm cranky from my three (four) jobs and this is supposed to be a hobby that brings me pleasure, not the constant reminder the internet thinks of me as a logarithm for porn.

(Unrelated thought: the end of TWS would have been very different if that had been what Project Insight did.)

Regardless. Fans Behaving Badly will always be a fixture of fandom, and we should probably just be grateful no one sent Michael Rosenbaum a box of dildos, but it doesn't change how disheartening the response was, the general idea that the rights of the readers to these stories trumps everything else.

At any rate: I am going to make an attempt to integrate DW into my fandom experience. Which very likely means a fannish experience of only me, but I'm alright with that, too. I'll still be using Tumblr for shiny things obviously, and to link meta or any fanfic I write, but any significant content, I think I'm going to try posting here. I like the idea of having a level of control of the things I've written between "THE WHOLE WORLD CAN SEE ME NOW" and "scrubbed from the internet."
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The problem with tumblr...okay, there are many problems with tumblr, but the problem with tumblr in terms of fannish content is it's not only made me content with not producing anything, but it's made me increasingly uncomfortable posting unless I have a Specific Reason to Do So.  I've absorbed the tagging culture of tumblr's version of fandom, I think -- I find myself opening up DW tabs regularly, getting halfway through a post, and asking, "do I really need to post this?  Is this benefiting anyone?"   The answer of course is no, because unless I'm explicitly posting fanwork I'm pretty much talking to hear myself talk, but, then, that never stopped me before.

At any rate, I'd really like to post more often, and this "Retro Journaling" challenge seems like a great way to do so.  I find myself missing DW/LJ more and more these days -- Tumblr is fun, but I just can't quite get on board with it as a sole or even primary form of fannish interaction, largely for the reason I just mentioned.  The entire format really discourages personal engagement, and after a while it becomes a very alienating way to 'do' fandom.  And it's utterly terrible for meta, discussion or long-form conversation, which brings me to the other thing that's been bothering me more and more with Tumblr: the emphasis on popularity through reblogs and likes encourages a culture of hyperbole, mis-sourcing and games of telephone that really confuses me because we're on the damn internet, it's not that hard to put something in google and take the five seconds it requires to find out whether or not X celebrity actually tweeted that about Castiel or whether or not Y thing was actually said about Draco in an interview.  Hint: about 50% of the time with tumblr, the answer is "no, they didn't."  It's ridiculous.

The point is, journaling come back to meeeeeeee.  I say as I once again put off opening a Dreamwidth tab in favor of reblogging screencaptures from "Tremors."

I spent far too much time last night reading WTF Fanfiction's list of things used as lube that shouldn't be lube.  I feel like it says something about how long I've been in fandom that I was largely unfazed by most of the list, because apparently after a while things like "gun oil," "monster slime" and "holy water" don't start sounding any less unpleasant, but they do start, er, bleeding together.  I am fascinated by some of these despite myself, though.  Like -- Dorito crumbs.  I realize there are things on that list that should scare me more (jellyfish!  Souls!  THE TEARS OF CHILDREN) but for some reason I keep going back to the Doritos.

Let it be noted, incidentally, that everything I am doing right now is a thing I should not be doing.  What I should be doing is writing a book review, a draft of which I need to have by Friday, but I've worked myself up so badly over it that I've become avoidant.   This is becoming a massive problem as I start working on my dissertation, and I wish I could make myself stop.  I start questioning my writing ability, and my ability to think, and I end up doing anything else but what I should be doing until the very last minute, at which point adrenaline and sheer panic force me into finishing whatever needed to get done.  This is not an appropriate long-term form of writing though, and it certainly won't work here -- not when I'm trying to get done quickly (because I want to leave Seattle yesterday).  Which is to say, I apologize in advance for any writing-related whining.  And also for all of the things I will do while avoiding my dissertation.

Crossposted from - comment here, or at Dreamwidth!


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