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18 October 2005 @ 07:53 am
Poll: You Make the Call, Because I Sure Can't  
I haven't been posting recently, mostly because of real life issues, none of which is amusing. But I'm trying to get back into the swing of things - if I don't post to LJ, eventually all of my writing starts to sound like I'm attempting to give orders to an eight-year-old without leaving any wiggle room the kid can later use to claim that it was not his fault because I never said not to set the house on fire.

But, unfortunately, my recs writing has been stalled by a cohort of evil bacteria. Turns out that if I'm entertaining myself for a full hour, between naps, with internet-based illness metaphors ("switching back to dial-up," for example, and you don't want to know what I did with "information super-highway," although I will note how proud I am that I managed, even in my weakened state, to make an obscene joke out of every word of that phrase), I'm not well enough to produce any recs sets, let alone ones I'd be willing to share with, well, anyone.

Still. I wanted to post something before I forgot my own journal password. What, I asked myself, is like posting, only less requiring of actual higher brain functions? Polls!

And this is a very good time for me to post a poll. For some time I've had a bunch of questions I wanted to ask you all - for example, who are you, and what are you reading, and also, how did you come to be here? So I seriously considered just re-running my first-ever poll.

Except, of course, that that would not count as any kind of writing at all. So I pondered for a bit (i.e., three naps), until I remembered a recent humiliation I suffered while attempting to explain a fandom kerfluffle to Best Beloved, who does not so much grok the fandom lifestyle. (Me:"See, okay, this one person said, okay, I'm not really sure because it's f-locked, but I do know that this other person said, um, something. About fans. Or fandom. Or maybe...huh. You know, I'm not really sure how it started, but what eventually happened was..." Best Beloved: "This is like high school, only in slow motion." Me: "Yes! Exactly!") My narration ground to a halt entirely - to, I suspect, the relief of all - when Best Beloved asked for a definition, with examples, of the term "Big Name Fan." At which point I was obliged to admit that I don't really know that.

Yeah. See, I know what the term means. Or, okay - I know what the initials stand for. But there's no handy index of name biggishness for individual fans. (Or maybe there is, and I just haven't found it yet; that would be fairly typical of my fannish experience to date.) Do I know any BNFs? Do I know of any? Have I been corresponding for years with one? There's no way to tell! So I exist in a very Zen zone when it comes to BNFs: I generally assume that either everyone is or no one is. Unfortunately, this did not satisfy Best Beloved's need for detailed, precise, and, ideally, thoughtfully indexed information.

Turns out there's a lot of shame in admitting to a loved one, whose good opinion you value and would like to keep, that you have been using a term for years without really understanding it.

No, I'm not going to ask you all to define BNF for me. I'm not insane, people. (Although if anyone wants to send me a handy link to the Index of Name Biggishness by Fan, really, my love for you will be intense.) I'm not actually going to ask you to define anything, since I'm not, you know, up to learning anything right now. Instead, I'm going to ask you your opinions of various concepts I have encountered within the fannish world. Together, we will make authoritative declarations about these things! And then, some other time, when I've regained the use of my brain, I will ask you to explain them to me.

Fan service:

Of the yay!
Acceptable only if the alternative is fan-rape.
Of the yuck!


Oh my god best thing ever!
Acceptable only if the alternative is work.
Oh my god please no I'll be good I swear!

Fan wank:

The reason my life is worth living.
Acceptable only if the alternative is the real world.
No. I mean it. This is bad and wrong.
...Didn't we just cover this? A question ago? Or is wank different than fan wank these days?

Wank fic:

You're just giving us an easy one, right? I mean, does anyone not love wank fic?
Acceptable only if the alternative is thrusting loins of gratuitous manhood.
You know, I really thought this question was going to be about fandom_wank.

Canon whoring:

Look, if you are a fan, then you love the source. By which I mean, the canon. We're all canon whores, people. In conclusion: yes.
Acceptable only if the alternative is an unlabeled AU that denies a whole segment of the canon. And also, one of the main characters is turned into a dragon. With boobs.
Look. The canon serves us; we don't serve the canon. You can love something without becoming its slave; isn't that what FF has taught us?


Delicious and amusing. Also, the weeping of fans is the most beautiful music of all!
Acceptable only if the alternative is Marti Noxoning.
We do not make gerunds out of the names of creators, people. Not even if they heartily deserve it. For that way lies a smackdown from the grammar bitch.

Pairing portmanteau words, like "Snarry" for Snape/Harry or "The Picture of Dorian Hotass" for Dom/Brian or "Hair gel" for...um...Sheppard/Angel. Look, I don't know a lot of these, okay? This isn't a test, people. It's a free exchange of opinions.

Yes, oh yes. They define my world. They are my world.
Acceptable only if the alternative is "creative" portmanteaus, such as "Harmoniums," or whatever the hell that damn word is.
Please. No. It hurts. I can't - just please - look. One more of those and I'm switching to gen, you hear me?
You are so going to get flamed for this. Seriously, you'll rue the day you mocked the Harmoanies - um, Harmium - Harlots.

Fake cuts:

Yes! They are like cuts, but they are not cuts. It's deep, man.
Acceptable only if the alternative is no cuts. Some things I don't need to see, and that includes all your Obi-Wan does Dance Dance Revolution icons.
No. No. Can we get over this, LJ?
Aren't those pretty much just...links? I mean, I don't have a problem with links. This is the internet! It is made up of links! And...string, I think.

Nonsensical polls:

Yes, I do have an opinion to share on what flavor of juice Batman would be. (Cran-grapefruit, duh.) Thank you for asking.
Acceptable only if the alternative is posting gigantic pictures of your feet, without a cut.
No. If there are polls, let them make sense and have a purpose and meaning. That doesn't explain why I'm taking this poll, of course. Suffice to say: I was bored.
...Wait. There are polls that make sense? On LJ? Are you sure?

Fandom acronyms, like SGA or SV or H:LotS or N3 or TFTMNBN:

Yes! Yes! It is how we know that a fandom has arrived. Plus, it saves our fingers. Any step away from RSI is a good step to take.
Acceptable only if the alternative is misspelling the name in full, or fighting minor wars over whether or not it's okay to just write "Seven" instead of "Se7en."
No. Look, if you don't love the fandom enough to spell out its full name, you aren't a fan.
...Do I have to have an opinion on everything?


The acronym that brings love to any party!
Acceptable only if the alternative is reinitializing the feedback rant loop.
No. This is the acronym that brings pain to any party. I would actually rather talk about feedback, and how no one has ever gotten precisely the right kind and the right amount.
...What? Because I was actually kind of, um. With you on the "not really sure what it means" thing. Which I guess makes me against it, since I have to sort of skim over paragraphs that feature it.
Tags: [poll]
Qqe2 on October 18th, 2005 08:25 am (UTC)
Oh, my dear, you made me cry with laughter in the window of my 'bucks, backlit by rare October sunshine for all the triple-skim-half-caf-latte-drinking undergrad plebes to stare at and mock. THANK you. Even sick, you're fabulous.
Qqe2 on October 18th, 2005 08:28 am (UTC)
your Best Beloved gets big points for this one:

Best Beloved: "This is like high school, only in slow motion." Me: "Yes! Exactly!"

Talk about a Fate Worse Than Death. OY GEVALT, yo.
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Re: also: - qe2 on October 18th, 2005 10:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
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Re: also: - qe2 on October 23rd, 2005 09:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: AHAHAHAHAHA. - thefourthvine on October 19th, 2005 01:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: AHAHAHAHAHA. - qe2 on October 19th, 2005 08:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
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The most unique of all snowflakesnolivingman on October 18th, 2005 08:44 am (UTC)
Just the other day I used Sparrowblower as an example of the few acceptable-to-me instances of portmanteaus. (Of course the other example was Kirk/Spock=Kock, so that tells you where my head is there). If it makes me laugh till my stomach hurts, then it's a-okay.
(no subject) - musesfool on October 18th, 2005 11:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nolivingman on October 18th, 2005 12:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 19th, 2005 01:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
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tried to eat the safe banana: Huh?thefourthvine on October 19th, 2005 01:43 am (UTC)
Re: Yea! For humor!
Oh, yes. I'm often in the "Huh/What/Other" category myself, so I tend to include it in my polls. I fully support every person's right to be undecided, or just really clueless. Well, I mean, I have to; I've made a way of life out of those two options.
caseylanecaseylane on October 18th, 2005 08:33 am (UTC)
Damnit I wanted "other" for the BNF question. BNF's just are. Some are good, some are annoying as shit, but you can't lump them all in one basket.
kageygirlkageygirl on October 18th, 2005 08:45 am (UTC)
but you can't lump them all in one basket.

... if we could, though, we could dump in some Jell-O, and sell tickets! It'd be like Celebrity Deathmatch! But with fans. And Jell-O. And no claymation. *g*
(no subject) - caseylane on October 18th, 2005 09:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brown_betty on October 18th, 2005 10:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 19th, 2005 01:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 19th, 2005 01:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - caseylane on October 19th, 2005 05:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
janissa11janissa11 on October 18th, 2005 08:35 am (UTC)
I must be way, way, WAY out of the loop. Or something. Because "fan service?" WTF? And I'm not even sick, and I've never really understood BNF. And what the hell is Jossing? Do you have to be a Buffy/Firefly/whatever person to understand that one?

Do I want the answers to these?

Am I creating my own little poll here? Damn! Sorry!

BTW, feel better soon!
Carmengreenygal on October 18th, 2005 02:17 pm (UTC)
"Jossing" is the invalidation of fanon or fanfic by newly revealed canon. I.e. when the latest episode of your favorite series reveals that a character was orphaned from birth, your story about her mother visiting her just got jossed. It got started in Buffy and then spread to other fandoms, probably because it has mass applicability and is more pronounceable than, say, "Rowlingsed."
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 19th, 2005 01:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - evil_librarian on October 19th, 2005 10:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
starfishchick on October 18th, 2005 08:38 am (UTC)
Wonderful poll. I laughed, I cried with laughter, I pondered, I laughed more.

Hope life gets better for you very soon.
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on October 19th, 2005 02:02 am (UTC)
Thank you! Glad it amused; when I posted this, I had no idea if anyone would even understand a word of it. I barely understood a word of it. So I'm happy to hear that it, you know, worked out for people.
The Black Kitten: Nobility - Sacrifice - Chocolate: modesty incarnatelaylah on October 18th, 2005 08:40 am (UTC)
Best poll evar omg.
sockkpuppett on October 18th, 2005 08:57 am (UTC)
This is the GREATEST poll. Did you know that you type "greatest" with only your left hand?

RE BNF: I know you are, but what am I? <--- carrion cry of BNF's everywhere.
wychwood on October 18th, 2005 09:01 am (UTC)
I said:
Acceptable only if the alternative is "creative" portmanteaus, such as "Harmoniums," or whatever the hell that damn word is.
on the pairing portmanteau question. But really, I meant "I hate 99% of them, but the others are fine" :) So, basically, I'm inconsistent. I think some pairings like "Spuffy" (Spike/Buffy), or I suppose "Snarry", are big enough that you can get away with it... but so many of them are really ugly. I mean, who wants a ship with a name like "Bangel"? Or "Sheyla"? I'd avoided using them myself until I fell into SGA, but I keep finding myself talking about "McShep", it's shameful.


Get well soon!
kalimyre: GilNick have condom by url_girlkalimyre on October 18th, 2005 09:05 am (UTC)
*cackles madly*

I really must link to this. I promise not to use a fake cut (mostly because I don't know how).

Also, I think you've arrived as a BNF when complete strangers in fandom have trembling fits of squee when you send them feedback. "OMG you liked my story? OMGOMGOMG you're the best ever OMG."

Not that I've ever done that.
z_rayne on October 18th, 2005 09:05 am (UTC)
I have news for you, sweetie. You're a BNF. *g* Seriously. As was pointed out, one cannot lump all BNFs into the same basket, and there are many people out there who are BNFs without even realizing it. Being a BNF isn't necessarily a bad thing, if one uses one's powers for good rather than evil (or, you know, the good kind of evil).

Also? Wank and fanwanking are two different things entirely. The former having to do with things like fandom_wank an the latter having to do with canon whoring and jossing and pretty much making sense out of the chaos TPTB present us with sometimes.
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(no subject) - z_rayne on October 18th, 2005 09:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - jenna_thorn on October 18th, 2005 10:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - musesfool on October 18th, 2005 12:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - qe2 on October 18th, 2005 10:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - strangerian on October 18th, 2005 10:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
lastscorpion on October 18th, 2005 09:08 am (UTC)
LOL! What a funny poll! I feel really dumb now, though, because I answered "What?" to almost everything!

I'm sorry to hear you're so sick. Get well soon!
Fenris Wolffenris_wolf0 on October 18th, 2005 09:10 pm (UTC)
Glad to see I wasn't the only clueless person around here. At least I did my duty and replied to the poll...

theve on October 18th, 2005 09:08 am (UTC)
Nonsensical polls

Yeah, love those. The only better kind is the nonsensical poll that brings the humor. Like this one. :)
Bone: Ronon (Gratuitous Pudding Shot)thisisbone on October 18th, 2005 09:25 am (UTC)
I feel completely lacking in lexicon. Most of the stuff you're asking about makes me go, "Aroo???"

I think I must be skimming some shallow surface (rononrononrononrononrononrononrononrononrononrononjohnjohnjohnrononjohnjohnjohnjohnrononjohn) and therefore miss, like, a lot.

I hope you feel MUCH better SOON, because I miss seeing you in my LJ.
Cesperanzacesperanza on October 18th, 2005 09:29 am (UTC)
I have to say, add me among the "What?" people; I don't really understand the questions as you've framed them. I mean, you really can't use these words without context, IMO.

For instance, wank can refer to anything from "academic meta analysis of canon" to "the fan process of making canon make sense", i.e. creating an explanation that makes what you saw fit with the rest of the show when TPTB forgot what they're doing, to fannish-trouble-making in general. It's also the label we give to anything we think is "taking it too seriously"; sometimes it's our label for "too serious" (and it's interesting that we--fans!--obsessed by definition!-need to define "too obsessed" and police that boundary.)

Anyway, by several of these definitions this comment is wank. *g* But I can't answer your poll based on any of them!
peeps wanna see peeps boink: contextmusesfool on October 18th, 2005 09:57 am (UTC)
Re: Wank
I figured that was the difference between "wank" (i.e., the kerfuffles, the "you're taking it too seriously" etc.) and "fanwank" (i.e., the old defintion - patching holes in canon).

In regard to the poll itself, I'm one of those people who, except on rare occasions (Spuffy and Clex and McShep work, I think, whereas Snarry and Snupin sound like unforunate diseases and Dramione sounds like the new OTC version of Dramamine), only uses portmanteau pairing names to mock, and generally refuse them for my pairings of choice (outside of SV).
Re: Wank - qe2 on October 18th, 2005 10:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Re: Wank - qe2 on October 19th, 2005 08:42 am (UTC) (Expand)