it doesn’t matter how many “pretend to be dating” fics i read, i’m always fucking in it headfirst every time and i fall for that shit every time. i know the pattern i know the plot twists i know what’s gonna happen but every single fucking time i’m fucking on the edge of my seat wide-eyed whispering like “what’s gonna happen are they gonna fall in love” to myself like of course they are you fucking idiot this happens EVERY TIME but as soon as i see the description and it’s like “x person and x person pretend to do the dating” it’s eternal sunshine of the stupidest fucking mind over here
one of my favorite things about the rivals-to-lovers trope is when one of them, at the beginning of their relationship, grumbles about how much they hate the other person’s awful face and i sort of cackle to myself like, oh man. you’re going to have it so bad. it’s going to be so great. you are going to love the CRAP out of that awful face. you’ll be composing delicious, pining, sappy sonnets about it. i love it.
I remember reading something Russell T Davies wrote (possibly in that book of e-mails?) in which he talked about the fact that when audiences see a picture of a man and a woman together, they automatically begin reading a love story into it. The screenwriter doesn’t have to do very much work to make the audience accept that story, because the narrative is already in place. Whereas— Davies said— with a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or other combinations, that narrative is not automatically present in the audience’s minds, and more work has to be done to make the story happen. And that’s interesting; that’s interesting to write, presumably because (I think) one is then forced into explaining why these two (or however many) people would be in a love story, rather than being able to elide that explanation by saying, “It’s a man and a woman, and they love one another because that’s what men and women do.”
But fandom as a population (as a broad population, where it has leaked into the mainstream) has different normative expectations, doesn’t it? When fandom sees a picture of a man and a woman, its automatic position is resistance; that is, not not seeing the story, but refusing the story. But when fandom sees a picture of a man and a man, the love story is automatic. It no longer needs explanation. “It’s two men, and they love one another because that’s what men do.”
The “queer love story,” which demands that its participants be seen as people rather than as [restrictively] gendered bodies, gives way to a normative love story that is in some ways even more exclusive than the previous one. Previously, women could love, though they could only love men; now, only men are seen as subjects who love.
This is a really great observation and important to remember; the fandom mainstream is different from the societal mainstream, though the ideal form in both is decidedly male, white, and cis. At many points in fandom history and in many current fan spaces, the queerness of the male/male relationship is also elided through tropes where the men are “gay for each other” but not “gay”, fitting into a soulmate narrative that also erases the characters’ previous canon relationships with women, as in the “Steve loved Peggy but he loved Bucky different” example above.
This discussion also oddly connects with something I’ve noticed in my own fandom habits, namely that as I’ve gotten older (and, let’s be real, queerer), I’ve become more interested in pairings involving non-cis-men characters, including M/F pairings.
But I think it’s important to acknowledge that the initial refusal of the heteronormative is still queering the narrative, even if fandom as a whole builds that queerness into a new normative. And a lot of classic fandom tropes are built around explaining how two ostensibly straight men could overcome their masculine conditioning to acknowledge their own queerness, even though many of them fit into a “fandom normative” where the rightness of male/male pairings is assumed.
I would also resist characterizing M/F romance as part of fandom’s “queer love stories” because, following this above discussion, that’s like saying “M/M romance isn’t queer but M/F is (in context of fandom)”. While it might be true that M/M romance is normative while M/F is not in (this particular part of) fandom, I’m not totally comfortable divorcing queer from the political identity in this instance in order to call a heterosexual love story “queer” (except insofar as fanfiction, including M/F, is often written by queer people trying to establish control over mainstream narratives.) So though I agree that heterosexual romance, especially previous relationships by popular slash characters, is pushed aside as lesser and that’s problematic, I’m not sure the “they’re the queer to slash’s normative” metaphor is where I would go with that.
(Honestly, thinking about this now, I think it’s more connected to misogyny in slash fandom than it is to fandom normative vs. fandom queer. But I have to pack so I can’t develop further on what I think the difference is in this case… :D)
"Big man in a suit of armor. Take that off, what are you?"
In which Tony Stark moves through life taking two steps forward, one step back.
Please watch in HD and fullscreen if possible! Rambling and thanks here. :)
So I’ve been thinking a lot about fanvids (obviously, in the course of making one myself, which I’m still shocked to say I did) and this is one I keep remembering as an example of one time when I was like “shit, I wish I’d made that / could make that.”
It’s clear why it’s up my alley from the song and the subject - it’s Marina (though when it came out, I wasn’t that into Marina? a dark time in my life tbh) and it’s Tony (I was super into Tony as my personal narcissist avatar from day one) - but the editing style is also a key part of the appeal for me. The clips/cuts are very fast; it has an average shot length of about 0.5 seconds (my best guess). Much of the editing is montage-style, creating a connection between different images through cuts of contrasting images + the viewers’ knowledge of the original context (e.g. at 30 s in, girls at expo — father — tony at expo — girls on plane — weapons + lyrics “One dream on repeat / I’ll escape…” conveying Tony’s pre-series lifestyle where his father is a constant presence.)
The video also relies heavily on jump cuts in sequences that would have been continuous in the original footage; I think the short shot length would be too jarring if not for the fact that many of the cuts are between shots that are identical-except-later (e.g. at 11s in, Tony touches his glasses, Tony’s head turns, Tony has a glass). I think of jump cuts as one of the key tools of the fanvidder; these cuts, generally speaking, compress longer shots into lengths that fit into the timing of the song or the overall vid narrative, facilitating showing a complete story with limited time. I can’t think of another vid that uses them as prominently as this one though, off the top of my head. Here, they’re also used to artistic effect beyond timing; the jump cuts create an perceived instability in the camera and call direct attention to the parts that change from shot to shot, such as in the several points where there’s a cut mid-drink (or adding a drink), which calls attention to the presence of alcohol, or in the shots where the camera is moving in or out on Tony’s face (in at 1:15, 1:23, 1:46, etc, then the closing shot of the old mask; out at 2:26 in an interesting contrast with, I think, two nearly invisible jump cuts though maybe I’ve lost my mind) which, when cut-up rather than continuous, seem closer to a frenetic zeroing in or targeting rather than a smooth change in distance.
Rewatching now, I’m struck by how relentless it is; though there are certain points when it slows down, it seems like even the slower parts move very quickly from one moment to another. This speed connects, I feel, to the way Tony Stark’s mind works — constantly moving from one thing to the next in ways that other people don’t expect or understand. Often this is the source of his genius (shown at 1:52 in this vid when the jittery clip of his father becomes his revelation of a new element) but it’s also often the source of his inability to settle, his constant striving for something more, and his tendency towards risk-seeking behaviors (to say the least). The vid seems to resolve the issues in Tony’s life (from 2:38 on), as he is shown working with his friends and Pepper (instead of pushing them away as in earlier in the vid) and then moves on to the Avengers, but the vid does not resolve this constant movement in the editing; for me, that suggests that this way of processing the world is inherent to Tony no matter how stable the rest of his life is.
(anyway, I like the vid, there’s probably a lot more i could say about it, and I have a tendency towards academic-type analysis. do people do filmic analysis of fanvids? they must, that must go on somewhere on the internet i’m not aware of. thanks for the cool vid, fiveyearmission, and i hope you don’t mind me posting my analysis!)
so i just googled the phrase “toeing out of his shoes” to make sure it was an actual thing
and the results were:
it’s all fanfiction
which reminds me that i’ve only ever seen the phrase “carding fingers through his hair” and people describing things like “he’s tall, all lean muscle and long fingers,” like that formula of “they’re ____, all ___ and ____” or whatever in fic
idk i just find it interesting that there are certain phrases that just sort of evolve in fandom and become prevalent in fic bc everyone reads each other’s works and then writes their own and certain phrases stick
i wish i knew more about linguistics so i could actually talk about it in an intelligent manner, but yeah i thought that was kinda cool
Ha! Love it!
One of my fave authors from ages ago used the phrase “a little helplessly” (like “he reached his arms out, a little helplessly”) in EVERY fic she wrote. She never pointed it out—there just came a point where I noticed it like an Easter egg. So I literally *just* wrote it into my in-progress fic this weekend as an homage only I would notice. <3
To me it’s still the quintessential “two dudes doing each other” phrase.
I think different fic communities develop different phrases too! You can (usually) date a mid 00s lj fic (or someone who came of age in that style) by the way questions are posed and answered in the narration, e.g. “And Patrick? Is not okay with this.” and by the way sex scenes are peppered with “and, yeah.” I remember one Frerard fic that did this so much that it became grating, but overall I loved the lj style because it sounded so much like how real people talk.
Another classic phrase: wondering how far down the _ goes. I’ve seen it mostly with freckles, but also with scars, tattoos, and on one memorable occasion, body glitter at a club. Often paired with the realization during sexy times that “yeah, the __ went all they way down.” I’ve seen this SO much in fic and never anywhere else
whoa, i remember reading lj fics with all of those phrases! i also remember a similar thing in teen wolf fics in particular - they often say “and derek was covered in dirt, which. fantastic.” like using “which” as a sentence-ender or at least like sprinkling it throughout the story in ways published books just don’t.
LINGUISTICS!!!! COMMUNITIES CREATING PHRASES AND SLANG AND SHAPING LANGUAGE IN NEW WAYS!!!!!!!
Morgan: somebody needs to write that crack fic but like it would only work if executed PERFECTLY
Caitlin: yeah i can see it but like how could it be written? if someone can write the perfect version of that, then fanfiction will have served its purpose in the world that will be the end of fanfiction
Morgan: fanfiction singularity
Caitlin: at that point, the AUs will just start writing themselves
Morgan: just appearing out of nowhere ghost in the machine etc
when i forget to log into ao3 and i have to click proceed to see an adult fic, i actually get a kick out of it. like i am an old timey queen and my bard is apologetic: “gentle lady, dicks doth touch in this next ballad. would you prefer another?” and i give him a gesture of command like, “nay, you may proceed, minstrel. bring forth the tale of dicks”
it’s your father’s friendlock. this is the weapon of a livejournalist. not as clumsy or as random as a personal tumblr, but a more elegant weapon for a more civilized age. for years, the livejournalists were the guardians of idiotic blog drama and fandom pornography in the galaxy. before the dark times, before tumblr
About #EndRhodeyErasure: This is a tumblr campaign designed to spread Rhodey love, and awareness to the fact that fandom neglects him. This is a fight for the well-deserved right Rhodey has to be loved in a fandom that loves even the villians.
Remember that this is just guidelines or ideas, you’re more than welcome to work your own topics, just as long as they’re Rhodey-centric:
I know I’ve reblogged this before with the same complaint, but I can never get over how, like, Clint/Natasha and Pepper/Tony? They’re both overwhelmingly there in stories either as background for the “real” pairing, or as warnings of past relationships for people whose Clint/Coulson or Steve/Tony experience is ruined by knowing ladies were once in the picture.
At BEA this week I talked to a woman at a press that specializes in LGBTQ+ stories and asked what she was looking for, and after listing a few things she finally just shook her head and said “anything but gay white boys, honestly.” And I was just like “Yeah, I hear you.” I really, really do.
oh my god I was looking for Steve/Natasha last night and SO MUCH was bg pairing or just hinted at pairing or one corner of a threesome pairing. (Not as bad as the situation with the more canon Clint/Natasha or Pepper/Tony. But also a lot of the characterizations gave me hives.)
also, as I was tweeting the other day, someone did a really great vid to Natalia Kills’s Problem …but it’s a Steve/Bucky vid even though that’s definitely a GIRL KICKING ASS song. it would make a cool Natasha vid… but nope gotta be Steve/Bucky. basically I’m just a little done with slashers at the moment.