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Fandom Strife, Sunscreen and Credulousness - an outsider's view of the constantine affair - Mo's Journal
June 21st, 2006
05:54 pm

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Fandom Strife, Sunscreen and Credulousness - an outsider's view of the constantine affair
I've read most of charlottelennox's master work, and followed some of the links. I've read the comments on fanthropology on the whole affair and discussed it a bit with friends. I'm not in HP fandom and don't know any of the people involved. I'm sad for people who got hurt by this and kind of fascinated by it. I was even kind of amused by it, fora few chapters. I stopped finding it funny when we get to the part about harrassing a woman with a terminal illness. The comment I relate to the most is the one in the fanthropology post from phoebesmum: So very different, I'm glad to say, from the home life of my own dear fandom. I can't imagine this - or anything remotely like it - happening in X-Men fandom.

The whole affair has made me reflect back on things I believed were true and turned out not to be. I think in my years online I've learned a lot about what to believe and what to investigate and what to just kind of take with a grain of salt.

I read Charlotte's account and feel quite sure I would have known constantine to be a poseur and the sockpuppets she created to attack her to not be genuine. Of course, that's very easy to say looking back, but I still think I would have. Her "nutty Christians" are too nutty and not Christian enough to be credible. They're too flat. If I were betaing the story, I'd say the author should work on these characters a little more, flesh them out. Even a character who shows up briefly can give a sense of depth, if the author knows the characters well. These ones were lacking something that would make them seem like real people, seen briefly, rather than creations to serve the author's purpose. Beyond lack of depth, they also are too conveniently there just for a purpose. They play into Dionne's - and fandom's - hands too easily. Big Name Sinners? I don't think so. That's a BNF's or BNFWannabe's fantasy of how the "nutty Christians" would label her.

Her personal stories were no more credible to me than the sockpuppets. The humorous encounter with the crazy homophobic mother at the day care does not ring true at all. I think anyone who knows toddlers and day cares would see it as a story she made up, not a real incident, even aside from the objections charlottelennox raises.

I think I read online fairly skeptically. I don't assume everybody's lying by any means. I think the vast majority of people represent themselves quite accurately online, although some have a somewhat different online personality from the way they interact in person. I don't see the latter as mendacity at all, just different styles in different situations.

There's no denying, though, that it's easy to be someone you aren't online and some take advantage of that ease. I'm not talking about pseudonyms, which are very common in fandom, or even about keeping one's actual identity secret, which some people do for perfectly legitimate reasons. I'm talking about deceiving one's online associates about one's real life. Sometimes that's done in a grand way, making up a whole new persona for online interactions. I have a t-shirt with a cartoon of a dog sitting at a computer screen thinking "No one knows you're a dog on the internet." I think that cross-species deception is fairly rare :-), but I've seen some very elaborate deceptions where people did pose as someone of a different sex, race, generation, etc.

More common, I think, is an exaggeration that doesn't feel to the person doing it as so deceptive. I encounter a lot more successful models, authors, artists of various kinds, and people who've had numerous careers online than I do in any other venue. I think some of those people really are who they say and really have had all those work experiences. I think some others are talking about what they wish their careers had been or where they hope their careers would be in a few years, and just fudging it a little, thinking "no harm no foul." mina_de_malfois does a very good job of lightheartedly representing that behavior with her fictional BNF, who presents her real life as somewhat grander than it actually is. I heartily recommend her stories (I did a review of them here).

I've been online since 1995. I've only been in fandom since 2000. My first online experiences were in parenting communities. My youngest daughter was born in 1995 and I came back to work when she was 8 weeks old. I used to read list mail while pumping breastmilk at work. I became active in attachment parenting/breastfeeding and lesbian parenting online communities. I've met some of my closest friends through those venues.

I'm less credulous than I used to be when I was first online. A couple of incidents - one very public and one more personal - wised me up. The first was in 1997. Like millions of other netizens,
I received a copy of "Kurt Vonnegut's Address to the Graduating Class of MIT." It began with that famous line "Wear sunscreen." I quite enjoyed it and also was really puzzled by it. "Why," I asked, "does Kurt Vonnegut - who is a man in his sixties at least - sound like a woman my age?" I asked that of a few friends, of my then spouse, and we mused over it. We wondered if he might be working on a novel in which he was writing something from the POV of a woman in her forties and it had kind of spilled into his address. We wondered if his wife had written the speech for him. What we didn't consider as a possibility was the truth: Kurt Vonnegut had nothing to do with this speech (which is quite fun and can be found here). It was an op ed piece in the Chicago Herald Tribune by a reporter named Mary Schmich, a woman my age. She wrote a funny follow up piece to the hoax entitled iirc "I am Kurt Vonnegut."

Now, let me make clear that I was not some credulous newbie who believed that "gullible" isn't in the dictionary. I had been an early reader of Brunvand. I had frequented afu in my usenet days. I knew about hoaxes and urban legends. Still, it took Kurt Vonnegut's address to the graduating class of MIT to make me look for hoaxes in my inbox. Now I check snopes and other sites all the time. I no longer jump through mental hoops to make something true that doesn't seem right. I recognize that Occam's Razor Scooter :-) points to the unlikely being untrue, but at the same time recognize that unlikely things do happen. I check them out and find out which is the case in a particular incident.

The more personal example was on attachment parenting lists. I won't go into details but I was part of a successful troll hunting team that discovered that one cross-dressing, breastfeeding-fetishizing man was on several of the lists, including some with pretty strict entrance requirements (e.g. you had to be nominated by someone already onlist). Because he used several different personae, it was very hard to eliminate them all. OTOH, because he used several different personae from one IP address and with one AOL account (albeit multiple screen names) we eventually did manage to find them. His main persona was someone I had judged incredibly stupid because she seemed unable to remember even basic details of her life. I now look at that particular kind of stupidity a little differently.

I've met more than 100 people in person whom I first knew online and they are usually pretty much as I expect. Similarly with those who I only know online - as I get to know them better, pieces fill in the puzzle. That's how it is with people who are telling the truth. You find out about their lives in a haphazard way, but the things you find out fit together with what you already know.

I don't get surprised much anymore. When something seems a little off, I question it. Not to the individual, generally, just to myself. Sometimes I just laugh a little, privately or with a friend ("Soandso is telling us some more about her career as a lion tamer on list"). Sometimes I investigate. I have found it's pretty easy to find people's real identities and see how they stack up against their assumed online histories. In most cases, I've found that kind of investigation kind of illuminating, and I've felt like I understand why people have stretched or broken the truth, even if I don't exactly condone it.

I haven't done what charlottelennox did when I've found out that people weren't telling the truth in some aspect. I haven't exposed anyone and can't see doing so. I see charlottelennox's expose as indicative of just how extreme behavior of various kinds was in certain corners of HP fandom. I see it in the content, but I see it in the fact of writing and publishing it, too. I'm bemused, even shocked by the following:

- That some people were so credulous as to believe constantine's stories, even with exposure to her over years. It's a lot easier to maintain a credible lie with brief exposure, but when people were interacting with her (both online and in person) I would think that some of the holes and contradictions would become obvious after a while. As Twain said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." I do recognize that charlottelennox and her associates realized that they were dealing with a phony, but I'm surprised by those who apparently did not.

- Can people really care so much about pairings in Harry Potter as to develop enmity over that? That seems to be at the root of the schism in the fandom, if the story is presented accurately. I understand strong feelings about pairings, even if I don't personally have strong feelings about pairings (although I write Scott/Logan I read Scott/Almostanybody and Logan/Almostanybody. I'm interested in their characters). I've seen people only want to read or write their OTP. I've seen people deem certain pairings implausible, disgusting. I've seen someone in X-Men fandom say "I would rather poke my eyes out with a spork than read Scott/Jean." I've seen on x_edit people saying "Absolutely no slash" and felt a little offended by that (particularly since it was most of the people offering to beta). What I haven't seen is it go from strong feelings about pairings of fictional people to strong feelings about real people. That's the part that puzzles me. I'll quote phoebesmum again: So very different, I'm glad to say, from the home life of my own dear fandom.

- Can people - grown women - care so much about getting in with the "right crowd" in HP fandom to go to the lengths constantine seems to have gone to? I just love fandom in general and fanfic in particular. This is the best hobby I've ever had - creative, stimulating, fun, congenial, full of interesting people. But it is a hobby. Aside from the ethics of it, aside from the poor taste, how could someone feel it was worth the time it must have taken her to create such an elaborate deception? Did she actually manage to write fiction as well, or was deception her main fannish activity? Did she manage to hold down a job, maintain a family life, have an active offline social life during this time?

- Can someone (or a group of people, since charlottelennox had help) care so much about all this to document it to that extent? It's amazingly comprehensive. It's very well written. She's got an axe to grind and she's up front about that, which I respect. But what does it take to go from observing, snarking with one's friends ("There she goes again") and rolling eyes to writing an exhaustive history of five years of deception? What makes that worthwhile an endeavor to the author of it? I'd love to know.



I've been in bed for most of the past couple of days (had some minor surgery on Monday and have to recuperate) and spending much more time reading LJ than I usually do. These random ramblings are the result.

Current Location: In bed
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
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From:executrix
Date:June 21st, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC)
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Wishing you a speedy recovery. You're sort of like Alan Grant in "The Daughter of Time"--you have a mystery to occupy you as you heal!
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From:mofic
Date:June 21st, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC)
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LOL! And an historical one, at that.
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From:hominysnark
Date:June 21st, 2006 11:41 pm (UTC)
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Can people - grown women - care so much about getting in with the "right crowd" in HP fandom to go to the lengths msscribe seems to have?

Everyone needs validation, but not everyone defines it the same way. Sounds like Ms. Scribe learned about it from the cool cliques in middle school, presumably by being shunned by them.

So I can understand going to great lengths to get in with who is perceived to be the "in" folks. I don't condone it in any way shape or form, but I can at least comprehend the reasoning behind it. Some people's psyches never mature, alas.
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 02:04 am (UTC)
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Some people's psyches never mature, alas.

That could be it, but I do wonder if there's something more. Something about the medium, perhaps. I think escalation is so easy online, and maybe it takes some learning to avoid that. I think I got my education (and my lumps) in another online environment, so I came to fandom with a better understanding of how to approach it in a fun way.

I also think that the degree of investment one has in the activity can be a factor. Reading this stuff, I feel like the people involved - on all sides - are too involved. It's too important to them whether they are considered BNFs or not, whether they get "enough" positive feedback for their stories, whether they get "enough" comments on their journal entries, whether "enough" people friend me. I think that the competitiveness and jockeying for position seems to come at least in part from excessive emotional investment in what is, after all, a hobby.
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 02:08 am (UTC)
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My, your daughter is cute.

She is, isn't she? I realize I'm a bit biased, but I think she's way cuter than Kurt Vonnegut. That's an old picture (of Zara, I mean, although it's probably an old one of Vonnegut as well). She was being a tour guide on the Third Grade Safari. The icon is her at her big sister's bat mitzvah last fall. Zara's graduating from elementary school this week, and celebrating with a Fondue-Party-and-Sleepover this Saturday night. She made invitations that said "Fondue will be consumed. Movies will be watched. Much sleep will not occur."

The Brunvand story is totally delightful. And a great object lesson. He could have used the opportunity to make you feel stupid - a lesser man would have. Instead he charmed you and educated you.
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From:wneleh
Date:June 21st, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC)

Fandom intensity

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Part of what got me to finally get a LJ account was that I want to get into more meta-discussions of fanfic and gain a greater understanding of the phenomenon, what pushes us to participate, and who, exactly, all these other writers are. The final nudge came when I was reading saffronhouse's LJ and found out that she'd had a stroke last year. I *love* her stuff, and to not know this about her just seemed wrong. (There'd been some vague mentioning of her having health issues on lists I'm on, but nothing specific, at least nothing that I'd picked up.)

Now I can see that there are advantages to general cluelessness, though!

I hope your convalescence is proceeding apace!

- Helen

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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 02:10 am (UTC)

Re: Fandom intensity

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Part of what got me to finally get a LJ account was that I want to get into more meta-discussions of fanfic and gain a greater understanding of the phenomenon, what pushes us to participate, and who, exactly, all these other writers are.

I find all that a really fun and interesting part of fandom. If you haven't found them yet, you might want to check out metafandom and fanthropology.

I hope your friend recovers from her stroke.
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From:partly_bouncy
Date:June 22nd, 2006 12:01 am (UTC)
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But what does it take to go from observing, snarking with one's friends ("There she goes again") and rolling eyes to writing an exhaustive history of five years of deception? What makes that worthwhile an endeavor to the author of it? I'd love to know.

Huh. I know some one who... has something sort of similar about some one else in fandom. They just haven't published it yet. It's in the work and I've encouraged it. Because I selfishly want it. And I've given said person all the evidence I had back then, went through my external hard drive, AIM logs, irc logs, searched through old LiveJournal entries.

Part of it is about setting the record straight. And publically. In a way that people have to pull the blinders off because DER! Hello? It's been said for years and why did people snark about it in silence with their friends? Because if they/I had been too public about it, the fandom bullies would have come out and well... bullied, threatened, etc. And sometimes there is a cost involved. People are/were hurt. Fannish interactions might "only" be on-line but that's still real life. Feelings are real. People are real. And the people/person involved stand to publically (well they already have) from their actions. They've lied, misrepresented and harrassed people into that. Fandom doesn't generally give closure to most events. And if you want to stay in it, you're bound to confront those people or need to avoid them and others.

So clearing the air can give closure.

And yeah. *nod nods*

I hope you're doing well after the surgery. :/
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 02:16 am (UTC)
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So clearing the air can give closure.

I hope you're right but I kind of doubt it. It looks more to me like this will just prolong and ignite the feud and give more ammunition for enmity.

I hope you're doing well after the surgery. :/

Thanks. I'm much better and planning on going back to work tomorrow.
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 02:29 am (UTC)
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I do agree that there are some nutty people out there. And lots of not-nutty people still have hot buttons that make them feel and act a little nutty. ::Dale raises hand:: When the hot buttons collide, you can get a real angry exchange, out of proportion to the topic. But something more happens when you go from angry exchange to flame wars to factionalization to hounding, yk?

You said to me some time ago (about a non-fandom feud) "Why do we focus so much on our areas of disagreement when we have so much in common?" (Well, maybe that's not exactly what you said, but it's how I rememer it). I really found those to be words to live by and have really worked at striving for the kind of enlightening and enriching online interactions one can have with people with whom one has a lot in common. I try to state my position on things I feel strongly about but walk away from the flame war. I'm not saying I always succeed, but I think it helps to try. So, anyway, thanks for that.

We ship because we have a vision of love and sexuality in our heads, and these characters we ship together play out these dynamics that we value, so we take it extremely personally when others criticize these dynamics.

That's really interesting to me! It's so different from how I view pairings. I look for a couple to be interesting, but not necessarily to represent the dynamics I value in interpersonal relationships. In fact, I think they're often more interesting when the relationships are kind of dysfunctional. My main pairing is Scott/Logan (not the same Logan you like :-)) and I started writing them because they are so fucked up as a couple. I see them as constructing a dysfunctional relationship out of intersecting neuroses. It's the problems and the complexities of the relationship that make it interesting to me.

I missed your post about WilliamthePoet but I'll go look for him. In similar circumstances, I have not said in a public forum that someone wasn't who s/he claimed to be. Can you say why you want to tell people in Buffyology that he's a fraud?

I think you're being quite coherent, btw.
(Deleted comment)
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From:ringthebells
Date:June 22nd, 2006 12:56 am (UTC)
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Weird, and kinda disturbing.

I've become pretty adept at recognising email hoaxes, but I've never yet met a person online who turned out to be other than what they presented themselves as. Possibly I've just never caught on.
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 02:30 am (UTC)
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Well, you're in Buffy fandom, right? What do you think of WilliamthePoet? Sorry, couldn't resist.
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From:wordplay
Date:June 22nd, 2006 01:06 am (UTC)
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I should preface this by saying that I have considered Dionne a personal friend for a couple of years, so I'm one of those who is mostly sitting here with a wtf? expression. I've read her manuscripts, our kids have played together, she's spent the night at my house (she lives about 2 hours away), we've shared troubles talk. She's been a good friend to me; most notably, she's very good about leaving supportive, upbeat voice mails for me when I've gone to ground and don't really feel like talking to anyone. We've become closer in the year since we moved here, as I've been struggling to build up a local/regional circle of friends. NONE of which, of course, excuses this pathetic behavior for one minute (if it's true), but I hope it might explain why I'm waiting to come down on one side or another for a while. She is saying to her friends that more information is coming, namely a police report that she has ordered, and I'm willing to extend really ACTIVELY dealing with this until she's been afforded that time. And of course, not least because dealing with this is painful. One of my closest fandom friends is the godmother to her youngest daughter; how is SHE supposed to deal with this with the most integrity?

One thing that I wanted to point out is that I really DON'T understand the whole GT/FA/SQ squabbling, because it was well before my time here (for which I am more thankful every day), but I am given to understand from more than a few people that the climate of the time was such that the whole "nutty Christian" shtick was more believable than it might seem from this perspective. There WERE signed essays floating around the HP fandom at that time arguing quite vehemently that slash was inherently immoral and that writing/reading anything resembling underage sexfic was inherently immoral, both positions that many fen found incomprehensible. The nutty Christian persona is a pretty easy caricature to draw from there, and played more firmly into that sense of marginalization that fen seem to like anyway.

To be as candid as possible here, one thing this HAS done is forced me to reevaluate what I'm LOOKING for in fandom. When I showed up in fandom I was immediately pulled into a circle of friends, largely because (how's this for irony?) one of my old friends from sah-ap is a member of this fannish circle. One nice thing about it has been that it's an active group, and a large one - there were always meetups to attend and people to talk to. They'd been around and active for a while and were useful in showing me the lay of the land. Largely because of the high profile nature of some of them, though, the time has been wanky as hell and, frankly, I don't have a whole lot of patience for the whole thing, and less so as it just PERSISTS. For several months now I've been looking to branch out more, feeling out different fandoms and trying to meet people and just be more interactive with the fandom at large; that was part of the point of trying to attend con.txt. It's slow going, because I'm incredibly shy, but this has certainly strengthened my resolve.

Hope you're feeling better. I'm terribly sorry I missed you at the weekend. :(
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 02:48 am (UTC)
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As I said elsewhere, I'm really sorry for how this is all affecting you. If indeed Dionne is able to come up with that police report then I know that charlottelennox has pledged to apologize publicly under her other lj name and her real name.

I'm taking in what you said about the atmosphere of the time. It's very easy for me looking at it years after the fact to say I would have known. It doesn't mean I really would have.

Whatever happens with Dionne, that doesn't take away that she was a good friend to you. As one of my characters (the guy in the icon) says when he's trying to get his ex-lover to forgive him and take him back, "People are more than the worst thing they did." Even if everything alleged is true, that's not all there is to her.

And if you're looking for a new fandom, may I suggest X-Men :-)? devildoll tells me I'm horribly naive and she may well be right, but I've found it a fun, supportive and very creative place to hang out for the past 6 years.

I'm really sorry I missed you at con.txt, too.
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From:devildoll
Date:June 22nd, 2006 02:16 am (UTC)
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I can't imagine this - or anything remotely like it - happening in X-Men fandom.

*boggles*

Okay, I realize you haven't been on LJ that long, and I don't know when I added you to that filter, but...you have to know *some* of what's been going on in our darling little W/R subset of the XMM fandom, right?

Six years and running, man. Sock puppets, fake deaths, threats to send things to our homes using info obtained via whois, claims they were helping Bryan Singer write X3, trumped up plagiarism accusations (one over use of the word "leaf." No, really.), trumped up fanart theft accusations, fake cease and desist letters, threats of legal action, threats of getting my websites shut down, claims they work for Fox and for Bryan Singer's production company, sending fraudulent emails from the email accounts of Fox employees...

And that's just THE MOST CRAZY STUFF. Death by a thousand paper cuts is what it is. Every day there's something else, some new sock puppet on LJ or on Yahoo groups or on Super Hero Hype.

And until JK Rowling steps in and *files a lawsuit* and is granted a *permanent injunction* against msscribe (which 20th Century Fox was finally forced to do in order to stop the craziest of the crazies--the injunction came down just last week)? XMM still totally wins.

I've been seeing a lot of posts about this HP thing and my main reaction is, "Pffft. I can top that." I've not said anywhere else, because who cares, and this isn't a competition.

But seeing you specifically say nothing like this has ever happened in XMM--I just had to comment. It has happened. It's still happening.

Every time I get a package in the mail I'm not expecting, from an address I don't recognize, I remember how vulnerable we all are, and how naive I was to think no one would get so worked up over *fandom* that they would threaten me with harm.

And on a much lighter note, I wish you a speedy recovery.

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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)
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Okay, you've just convinced me I'm just totally naive. Not on the sockpuppets, etc. That I do expect - as I said, I think they're pretty obvious a lot of the time. And I'm not saying there aren't crazy people. There are crazy people everywhere.

What I haven't seen is this kind of enmity over small things - shipping wars, etc. What I do see is lots of people with lots of different interests - slash, het, gen; comicsverse, movieverse - but mostly everyone kind of getting along. I don't see the kind of jealousy over which writer is more popular than another - it seems there's just plenty of room for lots of fanfic of different kinds and lots of acknowledgement that there are many good writers and people choose by personal taste. I see a lot of cooperation among fans - things like cherrypin_up making my first website and you giving me one I can update myself when she couldn't maintain it anymore. I see a lot of agreeing to disagree - about pairings, about genre, about whether or not Kelsey Grammer makes a good Hank McCoy (but he does!).

I'm really sorry you've had such scary experiences! I hope the crazy people stay far, far away from you in future. And I'm feeling much better, thanks.
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From:lilacsigil
Date:June 22nd, 2006 02:51 am (UTC)

Hope you're feeling better and enjoying LJ time!

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I think it could happen in X-Men fandom - in 1994, back in the days of email lists, I had someone threaten me with death, bombard me with hostile email, and got me kicked off two lists, because I sent a friendly concrit which they interpreted as a flame. I should have been more careful, though, because I later realised that the character I questioned was their super-powered Mary Sue self-insert, and "I'd love critical feedback" doesn't mean what it seems!

Fortunately, my brother was and is a bit of a computer whiz, and worked out that the person lived in the US and were pretty unlikely to find me! Also, I was posting from a giant university server, which adds extra anonymity.

I haven't seen any shipping wars in X-Men, but I suspect that's mostly because being a comicsverse fan first, I completely avoid Wolverine/Rogue, and I think they caught a lot of flak. There are periods of extreme character bashing, though - Scott was the main target in my early days of fandom. Then there were the slash wars, Round One Million. I think we're up to Round One Billion by now. LJ format seems to reduce the bashing, in that people can go and find what they want more easily, and tend to ignore what they don't like.
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 10:54 am (UTC)

Re: Hope you're feeling better and enjoying LJ time!

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There are periods of extreme character bashing, though - Scott was the main target in my early days of fandom. Then there were the slash wars, Round One Million. I think we're up to Round One Billion by now. LJ format seems to reduce the bashing, in that people can go and find what they want more easily, and tend to ignore what they don't like.


All good points. The Scott haters are still out in force. I think it's kind of interesting and I often do ask why people hate him. As anyone who has read my fiction would know, he is one of my favorite characters. As may or may not be obvious, he's the one of the X-Men I identify with most. And - to go even further - the characteristics that many of the Scott-haters hate him for are the ones I identify with, often.

So, I could feel really hurt by the comments made about him, and I could raise the ante by arguing back when people say mean things about my guy, and I could say mean things about them or about their favorite characters, but mostly I don't. Partly that's because I just feel it takes all kinds to make a fandom, and it's fine to agree to disagree. Mostly, though, it's because when you know you can kill people by looking at them, you learn to exercise restraint. ::realizes she took the identification thing too far:: What I mean is, what I think causes the kinds of schisms and really dysfunctional interactions we've been talking about is not the opinions - even strongly and impolitely expressed opinions - but the escalation into flame wars and attempts to "get" each other.

I feel similarly about slash wars. I state my position and back off, rather than fight. I agree that LJ facilitates finding what you want. It also facilitates having a forum to speak your own mind. One example: I got into a discussion on someone else's journal with someone who felt that male characters who are canonically in love with women can't be slashed credibly because they clearly "aren't gay." My Scott is gay and he was indeed in love with Jean. I tried to give my views on how the presumption of heterosexuality (in individuals, in canon, and in society at large) affects "slashability". The individual I was discussing with took offense at what I said and I took offense at what she said. I felt like if I kept the discussion going there it likely would escalate, which would have been unpleasant for the person whose journal it was in and also wouldn't have allowed me to say what I really wanted to. So, I retreated to my own journal and wrote this. I think that's often a good technique - go back "home" and say what you want to say.
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From:darkrosetiger
Date:June 22nd, 2006 05:50 am (UTC)
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Speaking as someone who was there, and who had been online for 13-odd years at that point and who knew that people lie about themselves online...yes, it is easy to say with hindsight that you would have known. But you know, there are still people trying to ban the HP books because they think they're "promoting witchcraft". And when the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church said that she didn't believe that homosexuality was a sin, the responses from places like FreeRepublic.com included things like, "The daughter of satan shall rule with benevolence over her flock which eventually will consist only of perverts." I've also been around fandom long enough to know people who were themselves around back in the days where you had to buy slash zines from dealers at cons who would only sell to people they knew.

It's not much of a stretch for me now to think that people in fandom still have similar sentiments, only these days, people tend to be more discreet about expressing them.
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 10:58 am (UTC)
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It's not much of a stretch for me now to think that people in fandom still have similar sentiments, only these days, people tend to be more discreet about expressing them.


And in my mind discretion is a good thing. If I gave the impression that I don't think there are peopple who hate slash and slashers, I wasn't clear and I apologize. I certainly know there are. And I take your point that it's easy for me to say I would have seen the fraud, looking back in hindsight. Of course I really don't know.

Thanks for dropping in. I don't recognize your user name. Do I know you?
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From:pinkpolarity
Date:June 22nd, 2006 08:03 am (UTC)
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Why people like charlottelenox do all that work to expose people: I've never done anything quite that advanced, but I've had a mini-version where another friend and I were scouring Google/wayback/IP tracing/etc. to expose a fraud. In this case, my motivation was an "emperor's new clothes" kind of incredulity. WTF, he's nude, and she's *lying*, why don't you see it? This wasn't a fannish thing, and the fraud in question was causing a lot of anguish for a lot of people. I didn't get why so many were so taken in, so I started poking around with the intent of either proving one of us right. In a nutshell, the evidence proved me right, but the group I thought was hoodwinked turned out to be even fraudier than the chick I was investigating, with good reason to sit back and let the minor fraudster stir the shitpile. At least in the end I knew my instincts weren't all haywire, that was something.
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 11:01 am (UTC)
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And that sounds like a fascinating story. Which is also the truth for the constantine thing, which is certainly part of the motivation...

Thanks for dropping by. Do we know each other?
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From:jane_sehrn_ta
Date:June 22nd, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC)
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I can't get my head around any of those mysteries, but I did want to pop in and say (((huggs))) and I hope you're feeling much better for the rest! ♥
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
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Thanks. I'm doing much better. I was surprised by how long I was home. I'd originally suggested that - since it was same day surgery - I'd go back to work the next day. My doctor thought that unlikely but I thought I knew my body better than she did. But it really did take longer, and I'm feeling much better but not 100% better yet. The last time I had surgery major enough to require general anesthesia was 1987. I'm reluctantly considering the possibility that I've aged in the past 19 years and that has affected my recuperative powers.

I'm usually so disgustingly healthy that this gives me a small window into what people with chronic health problems deal with all the time. ::hugs and sympathy to you::
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From:talktooloose
Date:June 22nd, 2006 03:45 pm (UTC)
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I wish you a refuah sh'lemah. The thing that surprised me after my minor surgery was just how vehement my body was in DEMANDING rest. I gave it what it asked for and I recovered very well. I hope you are able to do the same.

People's lives can become small very easily. Fear or circumstance can reduce our horizons and then things like fanfic can loom larger than they probably should. This goes double if online fan friends are your whole social group.

How was that fanfic con? Anybody comment on the t-shirt? (I'm so obsessed with myself. lol. talk about living in a small world!)

btw, I haven't forgotten that I promised your son some comic book recs. I looked at his recs and realized that our tastes are different - he likes a lot of books with spies and machine guns - but I should compile a list anyway. Ahh, the to-do list that eats my life...
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
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I wish you a refuah sh'lemah. The thing that surprised me after my minor surgery was just how vehement my body was in DEMANDING rest. I gave it what it asked for and I recovered very well. I hope you are able to do the same.

Thanks. Those darn kids :-) keep getting in the way of rest. Although their other mother, my ex, has been truly wonderful, including dealing with some kid stuff, bringing me flowers (!) and offering to drive me home from the hospital.

The con was great. I did a somewhat impressionistic (or perhaps even pointillistic) con report here. I'm afraid the shirt garnered no comments due to being worn briefly. If I had not been clumsy enough to spill something on it, I'm sure I would have gotten many comments and questions.

Doran is going to be in your city next week. He's staying with a somewhat responsible adult, but can I give him contact info for you guys just in case? I figure the more adults he can contact if he gets into trouble the better.
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From:blue_braces
Date:June 22nd, 2006 03:54 pm (UTC)
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Sending you healing thoughts and hugs!
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! I'm much, much better.
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