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new icon, + thinky thoughts

Playing around with new userpics. The old Granada photo is lovely, but I do think it sometimes gives this impression about me, that I'm old-fashioned and some kind of canon nerd. Which I suppose I am, in some ways, but not all. Plus mrowe made me this icon personally, and I've always kind of loved the look of it, so I'm bringing that back.

Odd, how the way we represent ourselves can have such a big impact on how other see us, or at least how we imagine them doing it. I've been thinking about that a lot, how we carve ourselves into groups fannish and otherwise, and how that can shape how we think of ourselves. Am I a Granada fan, a Doyle fan, a BBC fan? Am I a Johnlock "shipper" or not, a TJLC fan or not? For the record the answer to the first three is yes on all counts, and while I lean toward the first option (Johnlocker, TJLC) over the "not," that doesn't keep me from enjoying those other folks' companies.

All of which is old news. What has me thinking just now is the way even asking the question, and how we ask it, changes how we think about ourselves and others. In Sherlock the big distinctions seem to be over whether you like to imagine John/Sherlock as sexual partnecrs, and whether you expect to see it on-show. And then there are the people with no opinion because they like it all or don't particularly care; but the show's and fandom's (and books!) focus was on John and Sherlock for so long, that really is where most of the people I see categorize themselves. The thing is, once you define yourself in terms of a sexual-John&Sherlock or nonsexual-John&Sherlock I think at some level you drive yourself to focus more on those things. So if you're writing a story with no sex or romance, no tackling of the sex/romance question, but you run in the sexual-John&Sherlock circles, that will just feel weird at some level. And vice versa; if you run n the nonsexual-John&Sherlock circles, that rejection drives a lot of how you approach the characters.

So I'm thinking what the fandom would look like if we divided it up more like the Tolkien fandom did: first by race (elf fan, hobbit fan, Gondorian fan, whatever) and then by character, maybe even whether you think of him as good or bad. I'm thinking for instance of the kinder!gentler!Denethor corner of fandom, where you tried to build up Denethor as a functional human being before the palantir took him over. That had its impact as well, but definitely the way we divided ourselves differently, I'm guessing as a way to make the size manageable and build up community, it had a big impact on how peoples' thoughts and characters developed. And it kind of dictated who you were likely to spend time with.

All of which fascinates me somehow, even as it frustrates me and makes me a bit sad. Curious what other people think - how do you group fans, if you do, and how does it change the way you play in fandom?


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2017 12:11 am (UTC)
The only fandom I divide myself up in is in the Tolkien fandom: I am, of course, a hobbit fan. But that has never stopped me from enjoying Elves and Men and Dwarves. And while I dislike canon Denethor, I am quite the fan of the "kinder, gentler," fanon version.

I will always love hobbits best, and if I find good new hobbit stories, I'll read that first and foremost.

I am also a gen girl. I don't 'ship any particular pairings, although if pushed to choose I tend towards canon ones. Again, doesn't stop me from occasionally het or slash--but usually only if those contain more content than just "romance".

In other fandoms I read widely, and while I've formed a few likes and dislikes I wouldn't say it puts me in any particular group within said fandom.

I like good stories, and since I've always enjoyed Sherlock Holmes from a young age, I can read any of those versions you mention so long as the story's a good one. I prefer friendship to romance, but a hint of slash won't necessarily turn me off--it's just not what will draw me.
Feb. 23rd, 2017 02:18 am (UTC)
I like the new icon!

I love the Tolkien fandom, even though I'm not really in it -- I appreciate that it has less emphasis on shipping, and people actually talk about other things. I like shipping just fine, but it can get wearing when it's the *only* thing people find interesting about a text.

how do you group fans, if you do, and how does it change the way you play in fandom?

Interesting question! I was trying to figure out my answer, and I think for me personally, the division is between people who are kind, decent, and open-minded about different perspectives, vs. people who are mean-spirited, dogmatic, and intolerant. When I look at the couple dozen people I follow on tumblr, there are shippers of every stripe, non-shippers, people who love everything about the show, people have major complaints about the show, and I even follow a couple of TJLCers. But it's pretty much an automatic unfollow for me if I see someone expressing nastiness and derision toward other fans or the creators.

And I'll admit, I'm somewhat hypersensitive about that stuff. It's not just the really bad bullying I avoid, but even fairly mild negativity, and also dislike a certain kind of snarkiness/sarcasm, or gloating when one "faction" seems to have gotten a canon nod over another. I'm definitely not saying people who post stuff like that are bad people, or should be run out of the fandom. I just personally find it distasteful, and I don't want it on my dash.

(And no, it's not only johnlockers who have annoyed me.)

Edited at 2017-02-23 02:19 am (UTC)
Feb. 23rd, 2017 03:31 am (UTC)
*blinks* Are you sure I made the icon? (It's a great icon, so yay if I did, LOL)

Certainly on tumblr, the Marvel fandom seems to be divided mostly along shipping lines. As it is, like in Middle-earth, I'm mostly gen, and the few ships I have are canon *shrug*
Feb. 23rd, 2017 08:41 am (UTC)
I've always identified with the Aragorn fans as that's what I see myself as and very much gen though I do like Aragorn/Arwen.

I'm a casual Sherlock Holmes fan and see Holmes and Watson as friends,neither more nor less.The Granada series and the original stories are my canon. That said, I've grown to like "Elementary" though in my head the characters must be descendants of the originals.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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