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06 May 2004 @ 02:04 pm
Fandoms I Have Loved 3: Pirates of the Caribbean  
No law says I have to do my fandoms in chronological order, folks. And when I realized I had a set of drunkfics waiting to be nominated and I had a PotC FIHL post ready to go - well, who am I to ignore what is clearly the mandate of fate?

This is my longest FIHL yet, so it should be no surprise to anyone that this is the fandom I know the least about. I probably don't know enough about it to consider myself a real fan, even. And there's two reasons for that: Disneyland and Orlando Bloom. Let's take them in order, shall we?

I've spent a lot of time at Disneyland over the years; probably more than is entirely healthy. And the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is long, air-conditioned, fun, and suitable for all ages. So I've also spent a lot of time on that ride, which is a good thing, really. Except that it sort of gets in the way when I'm reading FF. After the first story, I find myself humming "Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me." After the second story, I’m informing the world at large that "Dead men tell no tales." Third story, and I'm ordering all bloomin' cockroaches to strike their colors. A person can only recite dialog from a Disneyland ride for so long before she begins to doubt her sanity, and I have enough doubts about that already, thanks. So I really have to limit the time I spend with Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth, and Will et al.

Which brings me to my other problem with this fandom. Will is a thinly-disguised (and just plain thin) Orlando Bloom, and if you've ever read this blog before today you'll know why that doesn't work for me. I just can't buy seductive Will, or sweet Will, or smart Will. About the only Will I've really been able to buy, I'm afraid, is dead drunk Will. Who is, at any rate, good company for Jack. But, again, there's only so many drunkfics that can pass before my eyes before I'm ready for something a little more sober – you know, a nice angsty Spike/Xander, or some kinky Fraser/Kowalski. Or, hell, an absolutely appalling Dangermouse/Penfold. (Yes, there is one, and yes, it is rated NC-17, and no, I won't link to it; if you want to scar yourself forever, you can do it through Google like everyone else. Talk about the loss of childhood innocence; that single fic did more psychological damage to me than my entire sixth grade year.)

So I don't know PotC as well as I'd like. But, hey, it's a fandom of mine, and I love it as I love all fandoms, so I'm writing about it. As always, though, people with useful information or snarky remarks should comment; this is all about dragging newbies into our fandoms and mocking the characters we love, folks. Feel free to join in.

-Helpful Links for the PotC Newbie-

If you don’t know the canon, you can fake it with:

Look, just rent the movie. It'll be two hours out of your life. It'd take you longer to figure out the fandom from secondary sources than it would to see everything the canon has to offer.

You won't, you say? You have an undead-pirate phobia? You're repelled by exceedingly slender British females who nonetheless wear corsets? Your loved ones have threatened to commit you if you make them watch one more film featuring Johnny Depp? OK, no problem, I'll help you out. Here's everything you need to know.

The Characters:

JACK SPARROW is a swashbuckling (in all senses of the word) pirate; he has beaded facial hair, gold teeth, a strange sashay, and the eerie ability to turn even the worst script into riveting box office gold.

WILL TURNER is a swashbuckling (in no senses of the word) blacksmith; he has alarmingly wispy facial hair, straight and even teeth, a straight and even walk, and a straight and even way of delivering his lines.

ELIZABETH SWANN is a thin (in all senses of the word) anachronistically spunky upper-class young lady; she has gorgeous hair (not, of course, on her face), gorgeous teeth, gorgeous posture, and a fruity accent that almost conceals her ability to act. She also has a father, who ponces.

NORRINGTON is an uptight Navy officer who is inexplicably posted on land; he wears the Powdered Wig of Pomposity, never shows his teeth under any circumstances, walks with exceptionally magisterial bearing, and manages to be somewhat charming even though the filmmakers had all character surgically removed from him in a Tijuana alley just after dark by a red-headed man named Boldo and his three strangely androgynous teen-aged assistants.

BARBOSSA is an evil undead pirate; he has scraggly hair all over the place, chips in his teeth from all the scenery-chewing he does, a fixation on apples, and an excellent growl. He also has a pirate crew.

THE BLACK PEARL is Jack Sparrow's love interest; she's got a fine figure, she's very fast, and she likes vigorous scrubbing and the company of pirates.

THE MONKEY is evil. Do not taunt the monkey. Do not go near the monkey. We fear the monkey, oh yes we do.

The Plot:

Barbossa once stole the Black Pearl from Sparrow's loving hands. Sparrow is determined to get her back. Norrington, the dastard, has proposed to Elizabeth, even though Will Turner, who is younger and supposedly cuter, loves her. Turner uses his youthful form and manly wiles to persuade Sparrow to help him recover Elizabeth; Sparrow uses his twisted mind and wiliness to make sure he gets the Black Pearl back, too.

Adventures ensue. Jack and Elizabeth are trapped on an island and she takes advantage of him. Jack and Will spend a great deal of time on boats, on unprincipled islands, and on demand; they fight pirates that cannot die, bugger about with the British Navy (probably not literally), and wave their swords at everyone in sight. Planks are walked, treasures are fondled, apples are eaten, dresses are worn, and canons are fired. To no one's surprise, it all works out about five minutes before the movie ends.

At the end, Will rescues Jack from hanging just in time to show him his excellent new hat. Norrington lets Jack go just in time to admit that he was never man enough for Elizabeth, and now she's not man enough for him. Elizabeth manages to get Will's mind off his hat just long enough to kiss him. Jack closes the movie caressing and singing to his Pearl. And they all live happily ever after until the sequel comes out in 2006, except Barbossa, who is dead.

There. That should hold you. On to the fics, hmmm?

Where to start with Pirates fanfiction:

With porn, my precious. With porn. Preferably with porn that's longer than 250 words, which is tougher to find in this fandom than you'd think. And please note that, as with all FIHL entries, these are stories I've mostly nominated before. I pick 'em for their kindness to beginners, not their freshness to the experienced and jaded.

Where to Begin If You Like Your Porn to Feature Fantasy and Masturbation: Breathless and Breathless Too, by Gloria Mundi, aka viva_gloria. Jack/Norrington. Sort of. These marvelous, strange stories (each one is 1,200 words and one sentence long) give you an excellent idea of the characters of Jack and Norrington, and PotC FF is really all about character. No, sorry, it's all about sex. But in-character sex, and that's what you have here.

Where to Begin If You Like Your Porn to Feature Jack Davenport: Jjail, by firesignwriter. Jack/Norrington. Warning: this is a work in progress. We all need to send messages to firesignwriter asking her to finish this, because this is a great story that squeezes a lot of perfect characterization into the spaces between the sex. It's longer than most PotC stories, even only half-done, so you get a real sense of the characters, too. (Note that Jack and Norrington never find themselves in jail in the actual canon; that's all the author's idea.)

Where to Begin If You Like Your Porn to Feature Orlando Bloom: Hurricane Jack, by shrift. Jack/Will. This is another one where everyone is solidly in-character. And it's a drunkfic, of course; someday I'm going to have to branch out to other kinds of Jack/Will. But there's no need for you to, since drunk Will is probably the best kind of Will there is, and drunk Jack is absolutely identical to sober Jack (if there is any such beast).
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 6th, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you. When I posted this, I seriously wondered if anyone would read it all the way to the end, because it is way too long. Longer than 80% of the stories in this fandom, for one thing.

So it's very nice to hear that someone made it all the way through and actually liked it!
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 6th, 2004 04:20 pm (UTC)
See, but that's why Dead Drunk Will works for me. I can believe that someone who is that, um, neuter (Johnny Depp had the right idea with the whole eunuch thing) and neutral can get more interesting when intoxicated. (God knows that was true of one of my college roommates, although there's such a thing as "too interesting.") In other words, enough rum and I can suspend my disbelief in a non-wooden Will enough to enjoy the story.

My favorite story containing Will, though, is one in which he doesn't have sex (it's a Jack/Norrington, and I don't think I've used it here yet). The author perfectly captures canon Will's tone - he's by turns dense, self-righteous, and the irritating kind of sweet. I snicker in unkind glee whenever I read it.

(And please let's not talk about the corset-pain line. I've been working so hard to eradicate it from my memory.)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 6th, 2004 10:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks! But I can't take credit for the icon; norah made it for me. I am also deeply in love with it, because it is wonderful.

Hmmm. If I keep reccing all your favorites, then clearly what you should do is recommend some things to me. I can't have read all of them, and we should work this separated at birth thing to the best possible advantage.
Two boats and a helicopter.azarias on May 6th, 2004 06:45 pm (UTC)
I've never been able to sit through this movie sober. In fact, I've only managed it once smashed. And yet yesterday I did anything but study for exams stumbled across firesignwriter (or maybe you recced her ... or someone did ... goodfic fairies ...) and realized oh my god Jack Davenport needs to have more anal sex for my enjoyment that there's such a thing as good fic from a bad, bad movie. Whee!
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 7th, 2004 08:07 am (UTC)
We must all thank the goodfic fairies (and thank you for that phrase; I shall begin leaving bowls of...would they want milk?...out for them immediately) that the quality of the canon has nothing to do with the quality of the FF.

And, indeed, Jack Davenport does need to, um, loosen up a bit.
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 7th, 2004 08:15 am (UTC)
I am absolutely not looking at the Winnie-the-Pooh fan fiction. I am not. Cannot be made to. Back, foul fic temptress.

And, yes, I must agree: Jjail, which I continue to rec because it's one of the best things I've read in this fandom even in its horrible half-finished state, needs to be finished. Don't tell me. Tell firesignwriter, dammit.

Anyone who reads in SW:TPM cannot complain about canon crappiness in other fandoms. Just not allowed, my lovely, on account of that was like the world's worst movie. (Oooo, nice post. All my prior reading in TPM has convinced me that I don't want to read TPM. Am now sorely tempted. Oh, the horror.)

Is it wrong that I am making a mental note that I must now find a nice long BDSM epic in the PotC fandom? Probably, but this whole endeavor is pretty much the textbook definition of wrong, so a little extra wrongness is just...right.

Yikes. Must stop posting before brain has woken up. Off to find something that will wake up brain now - like caffeine or good FF or something.
Ardent: Wicked CKRardent_muses on May 6th, 2004 09:48 pm (UTC)
Hilarious! I avoided the movie, and therefore the fanfic, for months because it sounded like the kind of thing I would hate. Plus, as you know, I'm right there with you on the Orlando Bloom issue.

Finally saw the movie, so now I guess I deserve some sweet porny goodness. Thanks for the tips.
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 7th, 2004 08:19 am (UTC)
Hell yes. My new motto: We saw the movie. We deserve the porn. (Change to "We read the book" or, especially, "We watched the show." People who watched The Sentinel may feel a special kinship for this motto.)

What finally persuaded me that I could bear the FF in this fandom was Sparrow/Norrington. I read that for quite some time before I ever managed to stomach a story with Will in it. It was the evil, evil viva_gloria who lead me down that path, because I'll read any FPS she cares to write. Sad, but true; I really am that easy.
(no subject) - viva_gloria on May 9th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 12th, 2004 02:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - viva_gloria on May 13th, 2004 11:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 14th, 2004 04:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - viva_gloria on May 15th, 2004 08:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
obsessive-compulsive squirrelacari on May 7th, 2004 02:06 am (UTC)
*dies laughing*

You should've written the fandom introduction over at crack_van! So pretty, so funny.

tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 7th, 2004 08:37 am (UTC)
I think they're looking for more helpful - or possibly just respectful - fandom intros over there. I don't find myself able to write things like this, um, all that seriously.

(Now I'm wishing I'd written a summary for Lord of the Rings:

FRODO is the small, dark, and broody one. He is rich and was raised by his uncle and wears a shiny shiny shirt. In the movies, he can be easily identified. Wait until someone falls down. That'll be Frodo.

SAM is the small, fat, and cheerful one. He is a gardener who has a searing crush on his employer. He is good with plants, ponies, and Frodo, who he calls "Mr. Frodo" in the movies and "Master" in the books. Insert your own BDSM joke here.

MIPPIN are the other two hobbits. In the movies, some people have a hard time telling them apart. In the first two books, everyone does. They are present solely for comic relief. And canon slashiness.

ARAGORN (aka STRIDER, aka ELESSAR, aka HEIR OF ISILDUR, aka ESTEL, aka THORONGIL, aka MAN WHO PLANS TO RULE THE WORLD SOLELY THROUGH EXCESSIVE USE OF PSEUDONYMS) is the tall, dark, and broody one. (In the movies. In the books, Aragorn is the tall, dark, predestined one.) He has a long, supple sword. He has a lot of shiny jewelry. He likes people to kneel in front of him (though not the hobbits, possibly because they're already pretty short). And yet he's the one who is straight in the canon.)

Oh, god. Really must go wake up now. I am starting to scare myself.
(no subject) - laughingacademy on May 7th, 2004 03:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 7th, 2004 03:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 8th, 2004 12:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
Cesperanzacesperanza on May 7th, 2004 02:08 pm (UTC)
Surfing here from Aeyre and where has this site been all my life? I've scrolled back one page and already I trust your taste implicitly.
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 7th, 2004 02:44 pm (UTC)
I am delighted to hear you trust my taste, since you helped create it; I still quote your stories more than anyone else's. (Including, unfortunately, while I was driving my father to a doctor's appointment yesterday. And he always wants attribution for all my quotes, and, lord, I so do not wanna go there with my father. Took some fancy footwork and three long Inuit stories (only I stole mine from Jerome K. Jerome, Bill Bryson, and Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) before I got his mind off that one. Yeek.)
(no subject) - cesperanza on May 7th, 2004 04:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Ephemeraephemera on May 7th, 2004 03:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you - just - thank you!
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 7th, 2004 07:18 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 10th, 2004 10:09 am (UTC)
Pimp away! I'm delighted you want to. And definitely prod firesignwriter if you can; we must all make every effort to increase our store of that valuable resource known as "good fan fiction."

(And, yes, when there's the potential for rum, sodomy, and flogging written right into the canon, the canon authors might as well have come right out and said, "Slash, please. As much as you can, as quick as you can.")
(no subject) - firesignwriter on May 10th, 2004 01:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 10th, 2004 09:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 10th, 2004 09:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - firesignwriter on May 10th, 2004 10:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - firesignwriter on May 10th, 2004 10:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 11th, 2004 08:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 11th, 2004 08:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 11th, 2004 07:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
afra_schatz: Kissafra_schatz on May 11th, 2004 04:13 am (UTC)
LOL, thank you for posting this. I read all the fic you recced before and totally agree with you on their highhigh quality - and I laughed my head off at your character description for PotC and LotR! And uhm I really want to say something to defend Will - *thinks hard* well, it's not his fault that Orlando can't act, is it? (not that this sentence made any sense but still *pets Will's head*) Thanks for sharing!
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 11th, 2004 07:59 pm (UTC)
Perhaps you could put it this way: Will was just unlucky in his casting. We shouldn't judge him for a misfortune he really couldn't help. And, hey, there's no denying he's pretty. That's gotta count for something. (But please, Will, shave. The prettiness is severely undermined by those weird sporelike, fungusy things on your chin.)

Glad you liked the character descriptions. And I'm very glad you liked the FF; it's always good to know that I'm not alone in my, um, excessive fondness for certain stories.
the color is rainbow: white dresses & wide smiles. [princess]fivil on May 11th, 2004 01:43 pm (UTC)
The porn, the porn. It can be only be so good.
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 11th, 2004 07:20 pm (UTC)
Hey, yet another potential slogan of the slashy: applaud if you love porn!
(no subject) - fivil on May 12th, 2004 03:20 am (UTC) (Expand)