I'm supposed to present a 3-minute emotionally affecting video today to the Finnish Art History class. Obviously I would use a vid.

But going through my recs & favorites, it was surprising how many could be confusing without at least a fandom-osmosis level of background knowledge.

My two first choices - that instantly leapt to mind, I mean - were Absolute Destiny's "Too Much Light in this Bar" (Life on Mars) and Luminosity & Sisabet's "My West Hollywood Lifestyle (Whatever)" (Angel), but when I watched them I realized they both demand pretty good oral English comprehension, not to mention some skills at a) regional accents and b) the gay scene (respectively). Not TOO worried, for the most part, about the Finnish classmates, but my Russian-speaking classmates are a problem there. (Russian diaspora people seem to be under a unusually strong cultural disincentive to practice foreign languages that makes them choose Russian anytime it's even possible, e.g. anytime another Russian-understander is in the room, and this shows in heavy accents and copious errors, even for most of the more competent speakers in my class). (Although Russia isn't as into dubbing vs subbing as France, haha.)

So reluctantly discarding the spoken-word songs, I went through recs, our media harddrive, and our collective memories, and even rewatched the Smashing Pumpkins and Muse theatrical trailers to Watchmen and the Seven Devils trailer to s2 Game of Thrones, which stood out in my mind as pro vids. But most of them suffered from the fandom osmosis problem: they don't require you to be in the fandom, but the references seem potentially lost if you aren't aware of the canon and what it basically is.

My finalists were both by [livejournal.com profile] obsessive24, Bachelorette (Buffy) and Candyman (Willy Wonka).

I found Bachelorette packed a huge punch when I first saw it and I immediately rewatched it about 6 times in a row, but as hard as it is to imagine not having heard of Buffy, I made the attempt, because there are like 18-year-old Finnish hipsters in my class, who could be either totally pop culturally savvy or just way too young and I have no way of knowing. I've only watched Buffy through season 6, and that one time, so I don't actually remember most of the detail ("Who's the evil priest? Wait, what are those army dudes? Who's that girl with the baseball bat?"), but I've got more than enough to follow the vid.

I'm hoping "Candyman" (which carries a warning for disturbing themes, is summarized 'smells like children' and uses footage from Requiem for a Dream) is blatantly disturbing enough - as are both Wonka films for that matter - to come across even if by some miracle someone hadn't seen either film. It seems unlikely that anyone could have not HEARD of them.

But the process has made me curious... what vids would you rec for outsiders? Can anybody think of any candidates immediately that shouldn't depend on background knowledge?

*I'll add links to this post when I come home, but I'm in a bit of a rush to get out the door now.


Aug. 27th, 2013 08:47 pm
UH [livejournal.com profile] sinningia made a fancomic of one of my old Batman fics almost a YEAR AGO, and I know she told me about it, and I even remember going to look at it at the time... but somehow I didn't see all of it and I forgot about it!

And just now I found her message in my read folder and went to look at it again and was blown away. She's done an incredibly detailed rendition of the first half of the post-TDK Batman/Gordon UST fic Liquid Comfort with a full 42 pages! :O

Obviously it's pretty exciting having a comic made out of something I wrote, but it's also eye-opening in a way. Reading the fan comic is quite different from rereading what I wrote, or from looking at fanart of something I wrote. It somehow puts the story at a far enough remove, and through the artist's eyes, so that it's like new again, kind of. And it's amazing how the visual pacing of a comic format can alter the mood and pacing of the reading. And awesome.
For Yuletide I wrote The Social Network.

Doing It Right for zephyrprince. Eduardo Saverin/Mark Zuckerberg, explicit, ≈4k. An est-rel missing scene from early in the movie.
It's actually a subject of some curiosity for Mark whether Wardo really likes that many people that much, or if somewhere under the dense shell of affability and social conditioning there's a tiny core of judgmental superiority. Not because Wardo's ever given any sign of it, and Mark's done some judicious digging when Wardo was at his most inebriated - it's just that, well, he also likes Mark.

Really, he obviously does. It's not like Wardo gets anything else in particular out of their friendship, not anything he couldn't get from anyone else. He's better at algorithms than Mark is, and he's not even studying programming. Wardo is wealthier, taller, more fashionable, more social, and more conventionally attractive. Mark is marginally stronger and also better at fencing, but Wardo shows no signs of being a fencing fetishist, and it's not like he needs Mark to carry his books for him. It's usually Wardo who ends up carrying Mark's things that he forgets to take with him.

I added The Social Network to my Yuletide offers almost as an afterthought, as I was trying to offer everything I was confident I could write, and had been following the output of this small fandom since I saw the movie. I didn't give much thought to actually getting the assignment in advance and mistakenly thought that it would be easy, because I had a million half-realized fixit fics floating in the back of my head. Little did I know that my recipient would want a missing scene from early in the movie's timeline with romance and sex, a possibility I never gave any serious thought to. I spent most of the time just trying to decide how to write it to my satisfaction. Watching the movie, my initial interpretation was that the root of the conflict is that they're mutually in love and both in denial, and the breakup wouldn't've ever happened if they'd just started dating. But what I tried to do was posit a situation where they aren't in denial, but it's insecurity that leads to the divorce instead. Since Eduardo's insecurity re Mark's feelings is effortlessly imaginable, I went with Mark's POV and tried to construct a foundation for Mark's insecurity re Eduardo's (but couched in a cosy scene of banter, college sex, and snuggling). I'm not 100% satisfied with it, but I did have a lot of fun writing it.

Which brings me to my next set of yuletide recs - the Social Network ones.

Throw Your Back Into It, by jibrailis. Mark/Eduardo, E, ≈4.5k, post-canon. Humor, crack, amazing ♥. Sex is not the enemy. Except when it is. The one where Mark is a slut, Eduardo has performance anxiety, and there are cross-country booty calls.
But meeting Mark's needy demands in bed also hurts Eduardo's back.

And his thighs. And his cock.

Mark hurts Eduardo's cock.

This...really should not be as surprising as it is.

Delays in Communicating, by BlackEyed Girl. Mark/Eduardo, T, ≈3k, post-canon. Eduardo and Mark are both great at communicating. Just, lately, not with each other. They start sending messages without ever getting around to talking. Chris and Dustin watch and wait.
“What happened? Look, turn on your computer and tell me if the quote’s accurate.”

Chris fires up his laptop and finds the first report, on the gossipy end of the tech blog. “Why are you asking? You don’t think it sounds like Eduardo?”

“No, I think it sounds exactly like the kind of defensive shit Eduardo always came out with when someone tried to call Mark out.”

The Ghost at the Back of Your Closet, by Sandrine Shaw. Mark/Eduardo, T, ≈4k, post-canon. Watching the movie leads Mark to question the nature of his and Eduardo's relationship after the fact.
Worse yet, the movie makes it all – the ups and downs of Mark's friendship with Eduardo – sound like a tragic love story with an unhappy ending, which it wasn't.

It wasn't a love story.

Was it?
The last ones before the reveal!

Brandon Flowers - Crossfire (music video)/RPF. Four Ways Brandon Flowers Never Met Charlize Theron (With Ninjas). Brandon Flowers, a bit of Charlize Theron, crack, and a fair helping of ninjas! No knowledge of the video is necessary, but you probably should know a wee bit about Brandon Flowers. So there he is, that Monday, minding his own business, when all of a sudden: ninjas!

Love Actually. Feel It In Your Fingers (Five Questions on the Nature of Love). Various gen, het & slash, G. What’s the big deal with love? It’s like wishing for indigestion. Or really bad gas. For yourself instead of your principal.

Temeraire - Novik/P&P - Austen. Lieutenant Bennet's Visit. Gen. While he and Jane monopolized one another, Mr. Darcy and Papa continued their conversation on the war and its progress, and what might be Napoleon might do next. Elizabeth sat with her mother and clenched her teeth, for she knew far more about it than either of them, but could not risk exposing her knowledge, for that might lead to discovering its source.

Tennis RPF. The Match of the Century. Roger Federer/Rafael Nadal, M, novella. A fairly epic movie star AU that became nail-bitingly tense and almost made me cry! Classic, classic angsty romance. Good times.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Rosencrantz/Guildenstern. From the title and lead-in I expected some cracky fixit, which is the exact opposite of what this story is. Actually it's an unflinching pastiche that ties the crack fixit premise back into the complex themes and meta of canon, an extension, if you will, of RAGAD's meditation on characters and canon out into the realm of fanfiction, and what canon means for it. It was a little shocking to expect something light and get that, though.
Calvin & Hobbes. This Kid I Once Knew. Susie, gen. Daniel sends their whole improv group an e-mail saying "check this out its fun1!1" and a link to a web comic called The Adventures of Spaceman Spiff.

Live Free or Die Hard. The Day is Saved. Lucy, gen. “Hey, sweetie, wanna learn how to do something cool?”Lucy wouldn’t learn to hate her father until thirteen or fourteen. At ten, she was blissfully convinced that Daddy was the best, funniest, strongest, bravest man in the world, and that he loved her best of everyone. So she put her copy of The BFG down and said, “Okay, Daddy!” And that’s how Lucy learned to field strip and reassemble a Glock 19 service weapon while blindfolded.

Discworld. Perforations. Vetinari & Drumknott, Going Postal missing scene, gen. Drumknott thinks the world chiefly needs fileboxes which are not so flimsy. Vetinari thinks about this and tries out some new ideas.

Sleeping Beauty. And Smite the Sleeping World Awake. Aurora/Maleficent. “I’m a hundred years older than you,” she says, and pats him on the hand as it fidgets with his hilt. “I expect you should find someone your own age.”

Anthropomorfic. if [ $FLAMEWAR ]; then make love; fi. Linux/Windows. Windows hated Linux with a passion.

Old Spice Guy/Beowulf. Gamol-Léac. Gen. After Beowulf's death, the men of Geatland meet a strange and powerful warrior. IN EPIC POEM FORM SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY
This Town We're Painting. St Trinians (/BBC Sherlock crossover), Annabelle/Kelly, T, ≈7k. Kelly's the second assistant to the man who secretly is the British government; Annabelle is her girlfriend. Other cast members make awesome cameos, as does Anthea.

Marriage Vows. Jane Austen - Mansfield Park, canon pairings, Julia Bertram, G, ≈10k. The events leading up to Maria and Julia's elopements, as seen from Julia's point of view. Engaging and sympathetic!

The One Where Matt Farrell Is Most Certainly Not Sleeping With John McClane (not even a little). Live Free or Die Hard, Matt Farrell/John McClane, M, ≈3k. Post-movie FBI-fic, bonus Kevin Smith, adventure! “Life is not a wet dream, Frederick. It’s not even a B movie. Guys like McClane don’t fuck guys like me. Ever.”

The Knight of the Cross. Gawain and the Green Knight, Arthurian, F/M, G, ≈ 19.5k. A long, textured, engrossing prose novella of the tale.
Finished reading Yuletide and mildly bummed in a what-will-I-read-now sorta way. ;_; Here are some recs.

Vorkosigan Saga, Gregor/Miles

1. My Yuletide gift ♥! This is probably the fandom I was hoping for most on my signup, but expecting least. I didn't know what to expect, but the story surprised me utterly in the most charming of ways! Est-rel, earlyish in canon and non-AU, Gregor all dry and restrained and Gregor-ish which is what I love, exchanges of witty dialogue, and diplomacy! Evading Ambassadors: An Emperor's Guide. T. 1299 words.

“Miles. When I sat down to breakfast two days ago, we weren’t at war with anyone. Please tell me that’s still true.” He wasn’t sure how much of that statement was in jest.

Miles looked mildly offended, but a slight grin was playing around his lips. “Give me some credit, Gregor ...” I always do. “... if I was going to start a war I’d at least make sure someone else looked like they’d started it.”

2. Another fic in the same pairing for somebody else! Frabjous day! This one's a late-canon slight AU (ie no spouses), first-time, adventure, also the requisite funny dialogue, lots of fun. light from a lonely window. T. 6614 words.

"Why isn't he saying anything?"

"Give him time," another voice says; and this voice he recognizes, too. He looks where his mother is looking, and finds Raven Durona standing over him, hands on his hips, his mouth crumpled into an unbecoming frown. "Let him figure out where he is."

"When he was decanted," the Countess his mother says, "he looked around, clapped his hands together, and asked where his breakfast was. Why does he need time now?"

Old Spice Guy

1. Texts From Your Shower. Old Spice Guy-Texts From Last Night, 686 words, T.

Hello, Ladies.
Good night (1 bajillion) Bad night (0)

2.Smell Like a Yeti (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Old Spice). 1502 words, G.

“Please give the orphan children my apologies that I was unable to perform my ab xylophone recital for them. And if I'm not back by tonight, let the local wolf pack know that they'll need to accept my rain check to go hunting with them. Swan dive!” And with that, he executed a perfect dive out the nearest window into the cockpit of his personal supersonic jet. He put on his helmet and buckled up, first, of course. Being awesome is no excuse for ignoring safety regulations.

3.Meta Yuletide Fic (The Fic You Wish Your Fic Smelled Like). 2367 words, G.

And yes, Yuletiders, this is one of the best fics. After all, I wrote it with a quill made from a rare bird with feathers made of gold which I plucked while writing a treat for you.

(Surprise Care Bear BDSM Orgy!)

Disney Princess Superheroes

1. you're gonna leave them all behind. 1788 words, G.

Time Magazine 12/20/10
WOMEN OF THE YEAR, by Alice Liddell.

I arranged to meet the women of the Alliance for lunch at noon on Wednesday, but at ten the kraken was loose outside Seattle and at eleven-thirty there was the typhoon off Malaysia...

2. Just Another Day in the Secret Base. 2798 words, G.

"There, you see? It's complicated, Water Sprite, and what I'm saying is, you have absolutely no idea what it's like to be a superhero of colour."

"But I'm green." The Water Sprite looked down at the back of her own hand.

"You're not human, you're part of an aquatic species where green skin is a mark of high status, so it doesn't count!" said The Belle in exasperation.

"Racist," said the Water Sprite with another offended column of bubbles.

"Item one for the next council meeting: diversity training for everyone on staff and especially the Water Sprite," said Cinder Woman. "Make a note of that, will you, Belle?"

3. A League of Their Own. 3092 words, G.

“Whether or not the Grand Duchess of Marshovia has any abilities, skills, or other changes resulting from today’s attack is a question better saved for her. You may ask her when she is fully recovered,” Jasmine said.

“I don’t know whether the Grand Duchess plans to petition the Princess Superheroines for membership,” Belle said. “If she makes such a request, we will of course take it under advisement and evaluate her potential with our organization. It’s too early to speculate at this time.”

“No, this was not a standard sleeping enchantment,” Jasmine said. “We did not call on the Grand Duke to break it with true love’s first kiss because they had their first kiss many years ago—as is proved by their three children.”
Yahoo seems to be feeling poorly and has confirmed the demise of delicious (h/t [personal profile] effex), and we don't own the servers! Fandom's not on delicious to the extent it was on Livejournal at the time of, say, Strikethrough, but remember how scary that was, before Dreamwidth was in beta, and how it kicked us in our collective fandom ass and AO3 was eventually born? Well.

This isn't a maybe, this is definitely shutting down. And it's definitely not the same as losing Livejournal, but if Livejournal is fandom's house, then Delicious was perhaps its car, or one of its several cars. Maybe its bicycle. The point is, a huge, huge repository of our community's collective information, representing not hours but years of painstaking fanpower-hours of sorting, categorizing, and lovingly labelling fanfiction and art and resources on the part of hundreds or thousands of individuals - it's all marked to go!

What are we going to do?

For starters, spread the word and back up your shit.

11 Ways to Backup your del.icio.us bookmarks may be of interest.

Delicious will export for you through Settings>Bookmarks as an HTML file with tags intact, and I gather there are other sites on the net that can read/import this information, so that might be a good place to start. I also saved an XML version of mine following those directions.

There's no Dreamwidth-equivalent on the horizon, here. AO3 already has some bookmark functionality, including a bookmarklet for external works; I'm not sure this is the ideal solution, though, even if fandom does own the servers, because for one thing, there's still a waiting list for accounts, but for another, delicious's browsing functionality isn't there (yet?), and that's what we as a community need the most. I have 30+ popular and recent pairing and fandom tag feeds in my sidebar bookmarks! How am I going to replace *that*?


  1. I see many people at [personal profile] bookshop, [personal profile] copperbadge, and [personal profile] effex talking about Pinboard, but a cursory examination reveals that while it may be great for backing up your personal shit, it's not a delicious replacement for fandom at large because it's designed for personal, not social use, and the filtering functionality is correspondingly lower.

    From its Twitter:

    "@PinboardIN I'd say you should rethink your featureset to include social at some level."
    ↵ @luxuryluke that goes against the fundamental concept of
    the app
    about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to luxuryluke

    to our faithful longtime users: please don't worry, we're not
    going to be adding "social"
    about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

    "@PinboardIN while i'm new, and i love your service, you should at least provide a way for us to find eachother again"
    ↵@luxuryluke yes I absolutely agree - we're working on public profiles so people at least have the choice
    about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to luxuryluke

    So on the plus side, they are working on public profiles. But on the minus side, their focus is explicitly away from the social side of bookmarking.

  2. The problem is, as someone put it on my Twitter feed, I don't need delicious for my bookmarks, I need it because it's where other people have tagged the [fanfiction] internet. I don't spend 3-10 hours a day refreshing my own bookmarks, I spend them browsing other people's bookmarks, tags, and more complex tag+tag filter searches. Delicious is where I go when I come home from a movie and I know that somebody must have already written some slash for it. And that functionality can't survive unless most of us go to the same place, so that's what I'm anxious about: The New Delicious, if you will, one that fannish consensus can settle on. To that end, I'm slightly hopeful about the future of AO3 after this tweet from @OTW_news: "Fannish bookmarkers: the AO3 has a bookmark feature that might suit your needs! More news soon!"

  3. When you open delicious's exported html file in the browser, the tags will not be visible, but they are there. You can see them if you open the file in a plaintext editor. The exported file isn't a great way to save your information for personal use because of this, but it does make it easier to import your bookmarks elsewhere to some later service.
  • Tea This is the second box of Twinings "Passionfruit Mango & Orange" (lack of commas original to the product packaging) Tea I've bought that turned out to actually consist of lemon-flavored tea in P M & O-printed teabags. I'm bemused rather than upset by this, though. I've devoted a fair number of minutes to pondering exactly what happened in their factory to get this result.

  • Soul-crushing/ shiny devices [personal profile] waxjism has been being forced to learn how to make the N8, our Messiah (since it's the phone that's meant to Save Nokia. Nokia made a huge loss last year, and this year is in the black and has been keeping up but not, as it were, making up for lost ground. And of course, Nokia is the single biggest piece of our GNP. Also the best publicized). She's not enjoying it. She wishes it were dead, I think. And on top of all that, it's another fucking Symbian phone.

  • Teaching our elders about Internet memes and traditions When my parents were here, we made them watch Llamas With Hats and read Clean ALL the Things so that they would know what we were talking about (those are our Most Quoted Texts nowadays). We showed This Party Took a Turn for the Douche and The Man Your Man Could Smell Like to my bbsister, but failed to show them to my parents. You'd think everyone knew The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, but when interrogated, my dad revealed he didn't.

  • Career thoughts Last spring I made that very irritated post about dippy hugbertism because I'd been stewing over the excess of same in my classroom assistant courses for a while. By the end of the semester, I was starting to entertain serious fears that I would die of dippyness poisoning before the end of the course. Read more... )
Throughout my parents' and sister's visit the last month, I've been reading the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson (Män som hatar kvinnor, Flickan som lekte med elden, & Luftslottet som sprängdes, aka The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, & The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) in the background.

Millenium has a couple of my mystery plot pet peeves: first, the preponderance of what my dad calls Bestseller Style (for books) and what I call Victim/Villain/Random Bystander Cam (in tv/movies): that is, a sprinkling of individual scenes from the point of view of non-protagonists who are antagonists, victims, or peripheral characters; and second, plot points, particularly dramatic irony, contingent entirely on the POV characters making difficult-to-justify foolish decisions while the audience is privy, through Villain Cam, to the exact reasons why said decisions suck. Both of these features are storytelling tricks designed solely to increase suspense, which is why I consider them gimmicks.

But these are easily outweighed by two things:

  1. It's so extraordinarily well-written for a crime/mystery story, combining a smooth and impressive narrative voice with Un-Put-Downableness,
  2. and

  3. it contains a diverse array of strong, awesome, kick-ass, utterly unique, well-rounded women characters. These pass the Bechdel test on a number of occasions and in different ways, and meanwhile, their lives are independent and mostly not focused on men even when they're not interacting with each other. This in spite of the whole Well-Meaning Womanizer element in the main male protagonist which sees him go through ~affairs with at least five of them over the course of the trilogy.

Unsurprisingly, I'm a little depressed about having run out of them.

Of course, Stieg Larsson is dead, and somewhat ironically, if you've read the books, his father and brother have recently finished shutting his life partner out of any control over or profit from his posthumous megabestsellers after she refused the settlements they first offered. (Sweden doesn't give her the kinds of common law protections she'd have had if they'd been married.) It's too late for us since we already paid money for the books, but I hope anyone else intending to read/watch them will make sure to borrow them or buy them secondhand or (cough) whatever to avoid giving them money.


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