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12 November 2004 @ 07:43 am
Slashy Nominations 97: Jealousy Is Cruel As the Grave  
(And, hey, apparently General Patton has come back from the grave to invite me to enlarge my member. I'm - touched, I guess, though he's doomed to disappointment.)

Ah, jealousy. It's not an emotion so much as a disease, one that overtakes formerly sensible people and turns them into twitching, frothing wrecks. I whiled away many hours of my unfortunate teen years listening to sobbing and incoherent wails along the lines of, "he's fucking her! I know it!" And I once watched a guy punch another guy over advances purportedly made to me by the guy of the second part, even though I didn't know - and still don't know - either guy's name, even. And we won't discuss that one infamous New Year's Eve party that the police in the town where I grew up are probably still talking about, except to say that I hope that officer didn't have to pay for a replacement uniform. So, basically, my perspective on jealousy: it's a terrifying thing that comes out of nowhere and wreaks havoc all around you for no apparent reason.

Let's play with this fascinating malady ourselves now, shall we? Or, rather, inflict it on the characters we love, which is much, much more fun.

Best FF That Leaves Me Wondering, for Reasons Probably Best Not Explored, If Due South Ever Used the Phrase, "Truth, Justice, and the 'Canadian' Way" in Its Advertising. Respect, by Colleen Kane, and does anyone have a link for her of any kind? That actually works, I mean, as opposed to her MRKS site, which is dead and gone, my loves. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. Here's why I love this story: it shows that Ray knows how to be in a long-term relationship and Fraser doesn't. And, I mean, why would he? His longest-term relationship has been with Diefenbaker, and a deaf half-wolf with an attitude and an eating disorder is not a set of training wheels for marriage. (God only knows what Dief could be considered training for. Nothing that's going to happen in this world, I hope.) In every relationship there's a moment when you have to step down, step back, accept that being with this person is more important than being right, holding the moral high ground, having the toaster settings the way you like them - whatever. Fraser, who is the definitive "my way or the highway, and then I'll still have it my way, thanks" guy - would he know how to do that? No. But Ray does. And, yay! Ray is a good, good teacher. (And he uses sex as an educational aid far more than I ever remember my own teachers doing. Which, you know, good thing, because otherwise they'd be in jail and I wouldn't know how to find the pressure of an ideal gas at a constant temperature, not that I've needed to lately.)

Best FF That Sets a Fandom Record for Number of Seriously Uncomfortable, Not to Say Unpleasant, Conversations and Yet Somehow Still Manages to Be Funny and Have a Happy Ending. Semaphore, by Helen, aka helenish. Sports Night, Dan Rydell/Casey McCall. Here we have a story that pre-dates the famed Rydell Second Season Meltdown, but oddly echoes the mechanisms that induced said meltdown. Except that Danny's the one who made a list, and Casey's the one who is jealous. For a whole variety of reasons, really. And then there's sex. Seriously, this is how that second season arc should've gone, and I wouldn't even insist on the sex. Because in between the list and sex, there's Danny not slinking or prowling but definitely acting as a pie procurement agent for the residents of Manhattan. There's Casey, who is not jealous. Not at all. Except for the parts where he's throwing a jealous tantrum, which is the entire story. There's Natalie and Jeremy breaking up, and wry conversation about said break-up. There's humor in dialog, which is very appropriate and good. There's angst, but not to worry - it all ends well. And did I mention they have sex? I did. Did I mention there's pie? I did. Did I mention the funny? I did. So why are you still here, instead of reading this story?

Best FF That Always Gives Me a Startling Burst of Sympathy for Two Characters I Otherwise Regard As Dull and Vaguely Loathsome, When I Think of Them at All. Green-Eyed Monster, by shati. Harry Potter, gen. Pretty much. See, the thing is, every bad guy needs his good guy. What's Joker without Batman? What's Ahab without Moby Dick? What's Angelus without, um, Angel? What's Sauron without - well, Frodo, I guess, or Aragorn, or maybe all Nine Walkers? (OK, so the answers are, in order: laughing every minute, sane and fully limbed, guilt-free and full of job satisfaction, and the vicious ruler of all Middle Earth ha ha ha ha, but you take my point.) Draco used to by Harry's bad boy, but by book five he really isn't getting a look-in anymore. It's all Voldemort this and Voldemort that and it's understandable that Draco would be, well, jealous. I love this story, which is more like an outsize drabble, because it highlights a problem JKR had better address if she knows what's good for her. (Because, baby, I write a mean letter when I'm irked, you betcha.) What's she going to do with Draco? His importance in the first part of the series argues that he should be important in the last part, too, but - not as he currently is, the conniving prat who can't look further than the next Quidditch cup match. He can't be important if he stays like that. It's unlikely she's going to take the fanon route, turning Draco into an oversexed sexy sex-god of sexiness, so - what, exactly? My own hope is that she's setting him up for a redemption character arc, but the truth is she's probably just planning to make him the first real Death Eater Harry knows personally, or something. Sigh.

Best FF That Gave Me an Entirely Different Impression the First Time I Read It Than It Has on Subsequent Readings. What New York Couples Fight About, by Zahra, aka hackthis. X-Men movieverse, John Allerdyce*/Bobby Drake, John Allerdyce*/Piotr - um, Piotr. Will someone please help me remember what Piotr's last name is? OK, see, this is why I love this story, because it is so completely what teenagers do when faced with jealousy. They feed the monster. They declare true and eternal love and whisper "only you, only you, only you" as they fuck on the balcony of a cruddy apartment somewhere. And, you know what? Sometimes it works out fine. Sometimes those teenagers grow up to be adults who cope with jealousy the way adults do. I'm not trashing the teenage coping strategy. If you can skip the meaningful conversations and go straight to the great make-up sex, go for it, is what I'm saying. Because this LJ? Totally pro-sex of pretty much any kind at all. But this story teaches us an important lesson, namely: even if you are going the teenager route with the jealousy, don't hit someone who's made of metal, 'cause that way lies pain. Embarrassing pain. Oh, warning: you might not want to totally trust me on this story summary; I wasn't kidding when I said I read this an entirely different way the first time through. I mean, I really liked it that way, and I also really like it this way, but still - two totally different and mutually exclusive interpretation. So mine may not be the most reliable opinion about it on the planet.


* I've accepted that John Allerdyce, aka movie Pyro, is a whole different person than comicbook Pyro, and I'm therefore reluctantly coming to terms with the name change. Though, dammit, St. John is just so much the cooler name, and it's his name, but I'm not going down this path again, I'm just not. It's one of those changes you have to learn to live with, unless you prefer to live with insanity.
penknife: schoolpenknife on November 12th, 2004 02:06 pm (UTC)
Will someone please help me remember what Piotr's last name is?


And I personally don't really care either way about the John/St. John thing; I usually call him John, but I don't really understand getting worked up about people calling him St. John. *shrug*
tried to eat the safe banana: Kiss methefourthvine on November 12th, 2004 06:21 pm (UTC)
Many thanks. (Rasputin! Hee!)

And I know that the St. John v. John issue is of enormous importance to some people in the fandom, and generally I try to respect that. But I read Marvel comics first, and so I just think of Pyro as St. John. Which is a) a way better name and b) unusual, whereas every damn fandom apears to have at least one John.

But I've decided to go with John, for the reasons stated in the post. At least for now.
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tried to eat the safe banana: Robinvinethefourthvine on November 13th, 2004 01:08 am (UTC)
It's not like the poor kid has a rich, deep, and varied characterization in fanfic anyway.

I can almost unequivocally agree with that. But, you know, what fan fiction writers do with Pyro is better than what the canon authors have done with him, for the most part. He's a cipher or a cut-out character in many stories, but not in all of them; the fact that I can think of a number of stories off-hand that take him in interesting directions makes his treatment superior to, for example, Storm's. And he's way better off than Bobby (although, let's face it, even the very worst fan fiction Bobby is probably better characterized than comicbook Iceman).

I guess my problem with the name thing is - I was a wee fangirl when I first encountered Pyro. The X-Men were the first characters I ever related to in a fannish way; they started me down Fandom Road. And the first time I saw the X-Men movie, I was cringing over all the changes, even though I accept more serious ones far more cheerfully during every reload in DCU, and even though I've been away from Marvel comics for years. To me, turning St. John to John was representative of the whole raft of changes they'd made, most of which I saw, at that time, as dumbing down the canon.

But I've since changed my mind about a lot of that. Movies are (shock!) a different format than comicbooks, and the changes made to the canon were, for the most part, designed to adapt the universe to a different medium - one, for example, where characters could not be introduced gradually over the course of years; we had to meet and learn to like everyone in a very short space. And I think the characterization was far more deft and consistent in the movie than I'd originally thought, especially given the constraints.

So my acceptance of movie Pyro as John Allerdyce is symbolic of my acceptance of the movie continuity as a whole. Which is why it took a while. And, bottom line, "John Allerdyce" always looks amputated to me when I see it in writing - I still feel like something's missing. But I assume I'll adjust now.

"St. John" is also a signifier for "I'm such a blind adherent to fanon that I'll use it even when it directly and obviously contradicts a basic fact of the canon."

It can signify that, yes. But it can also signify "I'm trying to resolve a number of trivial but niggling differences between the canons" and "I don't see it as contradicted in the canon, or I don't know that it is."

A lot of people, for example, don't know how St. John is pronounced; if you pronounce it the way it looks on the page, John seems like a pretty reasonable nickname for it.

Also, a lot of people who came to this fandom through the movies are new to comicbook-based fandom; they aren't used to universe reboots, for example, or canonical AUs, or canon revisionism. It probably doesn't occur to a lot of them that there could be a guy called Pyro, whose real name is St. John Allerdyce, who could be entirely different than this other guy, who is also Pyro, and who has a similar background and the same powers, and whose name is John Allerdyce. It's got to be different coming here from, say, Harry Potter, than if you cut your fangirl teeth on the insanity that comicbooks can display. And induce.

Oh, and it can also be a sign of "I'm using the comics canon to fill in the gaps in the movie canon." Rich backgrounds just aren't possible in the movie format, especially for the relatively minor characters. But in a comicbook, everyone gets a backstory eventually. So some people blend the canons to get a more interesting story and character. I'm for that, frankly, where it's possible - it seems like a reasonable solution to one of the major problems of the movie format.

And I'm shutting up about this now, because, Jesus, obsessive much? Once a fangirl, always a fangirl - I guess that's the real lesson here.
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Iphiginia Saberhagen: Lexfanofall on November 17th, 2004 11:39 am (UTC)
It's Edna! I love Edna!

Sorry. I just really like your icon... :-D
I Wanna Dress You Up In My Snarkadjectivegirl on November 12th, 2004 02:07 pm (UTC)
Piotr's last name is I think, I swear: Rasputin. He came along when X-men was real into being international without doing the legwork. ;)
tried to eat the safe banana: Batvinethefourthvine on November 12th, 2004 06:24 pm (UTC)

I'll say it again: Rasputin! Hee! Because - come on. It's not like it's one of the three most common surnames in Russia or anything. And Piotr is about as far as he can be from the actual Rasputin. Plus, you know, if you want Russian names, all you need is one book by Dostoevsky; you'll have Russian names sufficent to populate an entire freaking universe, because those Russian lads did not stint themselves in the name department. (Or in the angst department. Jesus, I bet if Dostoevsky was around today, he'd be writing for D.C.)
deranged energy metabolism: the silenceunrequitedangst on November 12th, 2004 04:43 pm (UTC)
*snicker* In the movie novelization, I believe St. John's name was "John Allardyce". o.O;
tried to eat the safe banana: Clawsthefourthvine on November 12th, 2004 06:26 pm (UTC)
And so Pyro has just taken an early lead in the "Character Whose Name Even His Own Creators Don't Seem to Know" contest. No wonder he went bad.
fictionbya: Harry Potter - Pigwidgeonfictionbya on November 12th, 2004 05:19 pm (UTC)
an oversexed sexy sex-god of sexiness

Heeeeee! So want that on an icon!
tried to eat the safe banana: Mutant blue huhthefourthvine on November 12th, 2004 06:17 pm (UTC)
Your icon is ADORABLE. Really, that is just a damn cute Pidwidgeon. (And is it wrong that I keep wanting to read that as Pigwidgeon? I mean, in the books, even.)

And if you can make icons, you should totally make one that says "oversexed sexy sex-god of sexiness." The only question would be which character you'd put in it. I mean, yes, I said it about Draco, and I think it describes his fanon image very well. But it could also be said about fanon Snape. Not to mention canon Keller. And that's just where the list begins.

Ah, fandom: where we have several oversexed sexy sex-gods of sexiness to choose from.
that'll give you bees: Misc - Mum and mezoetrope on November 12th, 2004 10:25 pm (UTC)

It's unlikely she's going to take the fanon route, turning Draco into an oversexed sexy sex-god of sexiness

That would be the funniest thing ever. Really. Harry, Hermione and Ron are dashing around trying to save the world, and they turn a corner and there, leaning against the wall wearing a leopard-print shirt (unbuttoned half way) and leather pants is Draco, who tries to seduce them all.

Wait, I think I've read that story.

And hence one of the major reasons I rarely read HP fic anymore :)
tried to eat the safe banana: Suspicious owlthefourthvine on November 13th, 2004 01:20 am (UTC)
I have to admit I'm continually stunned by the fanon Draco. Not that I haven't seen him written properly, written well, written better than JKR could ever dream of writing him, but I've also seen a lot of utterly mystifying characterization of him. Well, we all have.

And we will not even speak of Snape. I branched out into HP very early in my fan fiction exploration, because I knew the canon damned well, and it seemed very safe. (Ha!) And this was before I'd learned the folly of clicking at random in archives. My first encounter with fan fiction Snape (who happened, among many other horrors, to have a heart of gold and a need for love because of a traumatic and abusive childhood that left him scarred and scared and desperately in need of healing sex and tearful declarations of eternal love from a fourteen-year-old) just floored me. I could not imagine the thought process that took the writer from the canon to, you know, that.

Well, I still can't, actually. But now I've come to accept that such a thought process does sometimes occur, and I've learned how best to avoid exposure to the end product of said process. And I don't think I want to acquire a better understanding than that.
Taz: Kissyfacetazical on November 13th, 2004 05:02 am (UTC)
(And he uses sex as an educational aid far more than I ever remember my own teachers doing. Which, you know, good thing, because otherwise they'd be in jail and I wouldn't know how to find the pressure of an ideal gas at a constant pressure, not that I've needed to lately.)

*spits coffee*

Ah, baby. You're the best reviewer evah.
tried to eat the safe banana: Kiss methefourthvine on November 13th, 2004 06:03 pm (UTC)
Ah, baby. You're the best reviewer evah.

Ooo! Thank you thank you thank you. I was wondering if I should work on a) a recs set, b) my yuletide assignment, or c) my CCFP review, and then I got this comment, and you've made up my mind for me. And I'm not good with choices, so thank you kindly for the compliment AND the decision-making assistance.

(And, you know, it's sometimes rather scary being multi-fandom, because I initially read your comment as a line of Oz dialog - something about "Ah, baby" makes me think of Keller for reasons much better left unexplored - which put a very different spin on it for a few seconds.)
Taztazical on November 14th, 2004 02:09 pm (UTC)
Hee! You're welcome!
no system: she monsterdeb_0_rah on November 16th, 2004 02:40 pm (UTC)
OT comment
hi there... remember eight months ago when you requested some pictures of phalanges? hehe sorry it took so long. But I just got a scanner of my very own and the first thing I did was scan phalanges out of my A&P textbook.

plus one skeletondelurker on November 18th, 2004 02:08 am (UTC)
Ocean's 11 fanfic
I'm not sure if you've read this, but I thought I'd leave the link anyway: it's some Ocean's 11 fanfic set while Danny's in prison, and Rusty's looking after Tess. Short but good.
See What You're Worth, by SA.
post-apocalypse shenanigans: bottomjimbrynwulf on January 23rd, 2005 11:44 am (UTC)
I'm going back aways cause I'm in need of good old timey comfort fic today and knew you'd have the best source.

Do you still need Colleen's url? We keep up pretty well with each other so I have it.