Friday, November 28, 2008


wow. strange day on monday for me. my advisor has, several times already, asked me if i'd like to consider upgrading my thesis from a MA to a PhD, and several times i've said no to him. of many, many factors, one of the biggest decisions in my choice to just finish my work on vidding at the MA level is the fact that i simply cannot afford to pay any more tuition.

okay. flash forward several months. meeting with advisor. he says, "if you agree to stay, i'll go to bat for you and get you a guaranteed scholarship for three years."

i freak out.

i agonize over it for many, many days.

i freak out some more.

i say yes.

i won't hear for a while if i will get the scholarship or not, and i cannot stay if i don't, but right now it looks like this could be a PhD on vidding, and another three years in oz for me. SCARY!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

mild successes

while i'm still kind of in the dumps about my thesis in general, i am feeling slightly more enthused about the topic after the really lovely feedback i've received after my first proper presentation on my topic here at my uni.

for our little in-house research student conference, i gave a 20 min presentation on vidding - outlining what it is, who is doing it, blathered on about some of the semiotic crapola that's involved, and showing off a bunch of shiny videos to impress the academics, lol.

while i didn't get a chance to dry-run it (and time it) it was waaaay too long, but the response from the audience was quite positive. it seems as though the topic of vidding was really fascinating, because a great deal of people came up to me afterward and asked a lot of good questions... or just asked me to tell them more about (which i did, happily). one of the conference organizers commented to me something along the lines of "you must have done a good job because you seem to have your own fan club now" because there were so many people standing around me. i don't actually think the presentation went over that smoothly as i had to shorten and skip a lot of content and that's always awful... but hey, a good response is a good response.

here's a short rundown of my vids playlist:

(i stuck to supernatural to make the ways in which the vidders play with the source material much more obvious as they can see how the same footage is used in different ways.)

1. we will rock you, melissa (aka proofpudding).

this video showcases all the manly camaraderie, action-adventure, car-chasing, ass-kicking fun of the series, and is generally in-line with the CW's vision of the show.

2. forgiven and forsaken, loki.

unlike the previous, this video focuses on the melodramatic, interpersonal aspects of the show, giving the viewer some insight into the interactions between sam and dean.

3. things that make you go hmmmm..., deirdre_c

uses a lot of the same clips as "we will rock you" above, but to say something entirely different, drawing out the (unintended?) homoerotic subtext of the series.

4. here in your car, dayln03.

whereas "hmmm" just suggests the slash, dayln masterfully crafts this video uses advanced manips to slash 'dem brothers right up to sex town. (ahem.)

5. women's work, luminosity and sisabet.

you knew this would be in here. while the previous 4 vids focus on the boys, this vid reminds us of the unseen side. it highlights the (mis)treatment of women in SPN and changed how a lot of people thought of the show (myself included).

6. impulse, nycalls0909 (aka antigonesgift).

an AU vid where dean is a serial killer. i discussed how the footage is so readily re-purposed for any desire the vidder may have, and how the pleasure for a viewer is in recognizing how the source material has been taken out of context.

7. channel hopping, ash.

pure intertextual genius. this vid draws hilarious parallels between SPN and television as a medium, dancing from genre to genre all using the same footage. it shows just how media-aware viddes are, and how all-consuming the "mediascape" really is.

that's just kind of a quick word on what i got up to today... and i hope to refine this presentation further to give a guest lecture here at the uni at some stage in the upcoming semester (that's february btw, all you northern hemisphere types).

and now, i have a date... with my couch!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On my way!

Well, I'm about to start my fieldwork for my thesis... and I have to confess I'm a bit nervous. I am extremely excited, of course, but also a bit worried - I've travelled so far, you know? Let's hope it all works out. I don't have much time here in the Abu Dhabi airport... See you all soon!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Back into the fray

At my office... Taking a break from listening to my first interview I did back in July with a professional editor. I'd forgotten how draining it was to transcribe audio recordings. I'm a pretty fast typist, don't get me wrong, and I'm pretty used to using all the anthropology-style transcription shorthand, but MAN does it suck the life out of you. I've been working at it for a little over an hour now and I'm only 9.17 minutes in to a 1.13.11 long interview! But that's how the cookie crumbles, of course... It's okay. I kinda do really enjoy it, in a sick way. Now that I have my theoretical framework fully in place, it's great to find nuggets in this interview that support what I'm planning to argue.

So yeah, I finished my 6-month review and it apparently went really well (YESSSSSS!!!!!!). Sitting on the edge of my seat until Friday when I find out if I got approved for the money to go to VidUKon. Still thinking about converting into a Ph.D. but I don't know... Seems like a big commitment, and I'm not sure if I could stay so far from home for another 3-odd years. We'll see.

I guess my blogging break is over, and I'm getting back into it!

*ties a headband around her head, anime-style, and rolls up her sleeves*

Bring it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The joys of the survey data

Still preparing for my 6-month review. I decided to include some preliminary survey data on the demographics of the vidding community just as an FYI for the panel. Under "Sexual Orientation", one person responded, "A bit more flexible when it comes to dancing."

I'm giggling too hard to decide what category to put that in.

Whoever wrote that? You are made of win.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Here it is... The questionnaire!!

Let the data collection begin! My official blurb is below.

I am a graduate student at the University of Wollongong in Australia, and I am writing my Master's thesis on vidding. I have create a questionnaire for the purposes of my research that I would love to have as many vidders and vid-watchers take as possible. If you are interested in taking my questionnaire, please click the link below. It should take about 20 minutes to complete.

Click Here to take survey

If you would like more information before you begin, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here on my LJ, on my research blog, or you can email me.

Please note: This survey is only open to those over the age of 18.

Thank you to all the great vidders and fans out there who have helped me with my research!

Crossposted to my LJ and the LJ vidding community.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

How do vidders create their vids?

I just saw this post over at eunice's LJ, and it really got me thinking about how vidders might go about putting all the pieces of their products together. i wonder how many out there vid intuitively, as eunice does, or how many prefer to storyboard everything in advance. is the clip choice also intuitive, or does a vidder know in advance what particular scenes they want to add?

so any vidders out there who may be reading this, why don't you let me know - how do you go about bringing the pieces together?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Almost there!

well everyone, i'm just about ready to begin my data collection for my thesis! how cool is that? i'm really excited to get down into the meat and potatoes of my work now. fieldwork is the anthropologist's lifeblood, after all. i am hoping to get my survey up and running this week, via survey monkey, in order to get some of my most basic questions answered. i hope to share my results with the community as well, just to give a bit back to you all.

i'm hoping to post it up in the livejournal comms, and perhaps at as well - does anyone have any other suggestions on where i might be able to hit up more vidders?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

the joys of the lit review

okay, so i know it's been quite a while since i last posted and for that i apologize. i'm going to try and post once a week or similar from now on.

some updates on my progress:

i won't be attending vividcon in chicago in august, unfortunately. i'm rather upset i won't be able to go, but dems da breaks. so instead, i've registered to go to vidukon in england, coming up in october. i've never been to europe, so i'm really excited about it. the only fun part now is convincing my uni to give me some financial support.

my ethics application has been submitted, as well - it's been about three weeks now, but i don't think the committee have met since i gave it over... fingers crossed, everyone! many of the laws regarding media appropriation and the like are extremely strict here in oz, so i'm a bit worried about what the committee will think of my proposal. i'm using some pretty strict methods to keep the identity of my participants confidential, and i hope that will do the trick for them. but you know copyright law - it can be a sticky, scary mess sometimes.

i did a scary and massive review of feminist literature in regards to film over the past month, as well. it was all rather daunting, but i managed to slog through it and i think i've finally come up with something that's relatively cogent for the vidders. i couldn't find a single theorist or group of theorists which i found to apply to the vidding community and their practices, because let's face it - it is a hugely diverse group with a thousand different perspectives.

and then i realized - that's almost like the academics, isn't it? pick up a recent feminist media/film reader, and each chapter will have a completely different way of reading the same text. for example, sherrie inness's collection entitled "action chicks" offers interpretations ranging from Herbst's view that the lara croft is simply a spectacle created for male consumption, while Brown states that these types of heroines are transgressive as they embody both male and female attributes, and Tung argues that the powerful black female is not offered the same opportunity to be progressive as the powerful white female because it invokes an ideology of savagery instead...

and these different viewpoints reminded me of those of many of the vids i have watched over the past few months. consider luminosity & sisabet's women's work to absolute destiny's i enjoy being a girl to giandujakiss's origin stories to LC's jack.... all these vids are about people watching a show and having something to say about its portrayal of women (whether commending or condeming it). and i think it's really similar to what the academics are saying. it's a struggle over the meaning of the text.

i'm not going to get too far into this (unless anyone would like me to elaborate) because i don't want to bog this post down with theory or anything, so i'll leave that thought there for now.

i have also found some interesting work on film music theory that i am really excited to apply to vidding. if different people can watch the same show and get completely different meanings out it, then we get into a bit of a pickle regarding if a text has any inherent meaning at all, and that sort of postmodern debate. so this applies to the vids as well - if a television text doesn't have an inherent, intended, clearly understood meaning, how can a vid?

i did ponder this, and one answer i came up with was this:

a television show is made by a massive cast and crew, and even different episodes are written by different people. take a show like lost or heroes - could you sit one of the creators or writers down and ask them what their show "means"? it would be a tough question to answer, i think. and the other members of the crew could give really different answers.

a vid, on the other hand, is usually made by a single person (or small group of people). and if you want to know what a vidder had in mind when they were creating, just read their notes or commentary that accompany it. should give you a pretty clear idea, no? also, there is much more contact between the vidders and their audience than there is in terms of mainstream TV texts and their viewers. if i wanted to know what a vidder thought about their vid, i could just leave a comment on their LJ or email them. but i can't just call up eric kripke and ask what was up with season three of SPN (no matter how much i wish i could, lol).

but it turns out the answer to this question (the question of how to interpret meaning in a text) was staring me in the face the whole time.

it's the music! it's in the MUSIC!


how obvious, am i right? i realized with a massive slap to the face the other day that up to this point i had been ignoring the absolutely VITAL ingredient of the music.

lightbulbs went off. i grabbed some film music theory work... and there it is! suture theory. thank you, claudia gorbman & jostein gripsurd!

while a text may have a multitude of potential meanings floating around, the music in film acts as a suture, restricting the possible interpretations down to a more limited number. suturing the text to the emotional or psychological response intended by the creator.


i'm still in the beginning stages of developing this idea, of course, but i think it's a really positive step forward for me. a framework is beginning to appear, and that makes me really, really excited.

feel free to comment, debunk, admire, or laugh at me in the comments if you think i'm way off. at this point, i'm still trapped behind a pile of dry theorists in their ivory tower, and i have to wait until my ethics approval comes down from TPTB to actually test this with some vidders. but here's hoping!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Different hats or, I meta on and on about online identity

had a lecture yesterday in my "electronic cultures" class about identity online, and it triggered some interesting ideas in my wee little brain. i have been reading a wide variety of books about online communities and such as of late for my lit review, and i have been enthralled by how much emphasis academics put on the individual's ability to adopt different personas in cyberspace that they wouldn't be able to IRL. for example, in MUD or MMORPGs or even metaverses like second life, you are able to play in different genders, racial or ethnic identities, ages, or whatever. i think i give a different answer to the question "where are you from?" in SL every time someone asks it. why do i have to be a canadian every time? i enjoy how people react to and conceptualize you differently depending on how you answer the question.

some examples:

australian: something about the weather being amazing, or how lucky i am
british: i've gotten a type of referral almost, like a sense of being more "cultured" or whatever
new zealander: usually just a question about what it's like to live there. most people say they've never met a new zealander before.
canadian: many people profess to love canada, or make a remark about the cold weather. americans tend to give us a kind of kid-brother high-five, because we have so much shared history and whatnot.

note, however, that i always pick western, european, and english-speaking countries that have a kind of shared heritage. i wonder what would happen if i said japanese or mexican or south african or french... perhaps i should try it, and see what sort of reaction i get. i would feel like i was "masquerading" or something, i think. what would happen if i played a male, even?

i've started using the word "mate" when i talk to people, or "bloody" or something, which leads people to automatically assume i'm british. i get that a lot, actually - people assuming i'm from the UK because of the slang words i choose to use. "no worries", "i reckon", or ending a sentence with "hey" (the same way canadians use "eh") hints at an aussie... i find these things really fascinating. i don't really plan them. but out they come, and people make their subconscious evaluation of my country of origin. i think it's fascinating, really. i wish sometimes that i was doing my MA on second life, because i think there's so much going on there that is begging to be studied.

but the point of this post was actually to discuss how these things happen IRL just as often as they do online or in SL. i wear different hats, as it were, every day. code-switching, i believe is the term in anthropology. some examples: i speak different to women than men, to groups than individuals, to people here than people back home, to native english speakers than to non-english speakers, to other canadians or americans than to aussies, to my friends than to my professors, to strangers than to close friends, to office staff differently depending on their rank... the list goes on and on and one. and differently again in SL versus telephone versus internet phone versus email versus IMS versus face-to-face. i write differently for my LJ than i do for my blog, even. it's amazing how our brains automatically evaluate the situation and all the factors relating to it and make the mostly unconscious decision on how to act in each case.

social context, medium of communication, intended audience, etc. etc. - all these things influence every word we say and how we say it.

god, i love language.... i'm wondering now what kinds of implications this might have for my own research into vidding and vidders, actually. self-presentation of people in LJ? how the community may conceptualize themselves individually or as a group as "vidders", in relation or opposition to other types of fans. i think my brain works laterally, for some reason, and not logically, which can be confusing for anyone outside my own head. please forgive me if this makes no sense to you. it sounds more like a stream-of-consciousness every time i look it over.

what hats do you wear?

(also, i just found out from one of my books (crystal's "language and the internet") that the term "spam" in regards to junk-mail originated from a 1970s monty python sketch. who knew?)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

If only

I really, really, really, really want to attend VividCon. Oh man, do I. Partially because it would give me an excuse to see my family in Toronto, and partially because my inner fangirlish side also demands it from me. I would love to be able to meet and interact with all those vidders, watch the vids in the screening room, and essentially fangirl--- I mean, research. Yeah.

But unfortunately, the registration sold out in 15 minutes! I couldn't believe it when I heard it, let me tell you. But I still really want to go. *hangs head* I will try to go to VidUKon in the UK instead, and I am getting really excited about that one as well. But I am worried that my uni won't fork out the necessary funding to get me to the UK. It's a pickle.

Apparently, I am now using this blog to complain about problems and snags in my research. Sorry, audience!

In an attempt to change the general tenor of this post around, I will say that I love my topic, even if it does increase my general stress level by 5000%. But that's okay - VidUKon, I will try and attend you!

As they say here in Oz, no worries mate. No worries. We'll figure this out. (Besides, I can't actually do any fieldwork until I get my ethics approval, but that's in progress.)

Friday, April 11, 2008

An ethical quagmire

I had a meeting with another professor in my Faculty today, who took a look at my ethics application and helped me through it. She helped me quite a bit, I must say - pointing out things I never would have thought of, because I've never technically done internet-based research before.

But I must say I think I've gotten myself in a bit of a pickle with this whole thesis topic, just because of the things you never think of, you know? I'm specially referring to the issues of copyright infringement in regards to vidding. I'm worried now that my ethics form will scare away any potential vidders whose vids I'd like to use as examples, because of the consent form they'll have to sign. Of course, this could be said of any consent form - they do detail worst-case scenarios, and the potential risks are minimal at best, but the fact that they could potentially happen is what scares me, because the last thing I want to do is bring down the law-man on my participants.

Perhaps the sky just seems black right now; this is what the professor told me. And she's studying sex tourism online, so she would know about ethics approvals from hell to be sure. I must say, I'm going to do my damndest to make sure this whole thing works out for all of us. These are our people, as my friends and I say all the time. These are our people.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A work in progress... all over the place

Well, I'm finally underway and now knee-deep in the preparation for my research. It's quite difficult, actually, because vidding has never really been documented in any in-depth manner in the past (barring a few instances, such as a chapter in Jenkins 1992), there's so much leg-work to be done it's extremely daunting. The part that is both fascinating and very frustrating is that vidding stands at the intersection of different media forms, and also in-between theoretical frameworks and disciplines. It's amazing because I'm kind of treading new territory here and no matter what I come up with it should be pretty unique, but so demoralizing because there's just so many avenues that need to be explored and I think I'm starting to drown in it all.

But that's okay! I can do this, right?

I'm going to share a few more vid recs for all y'all:

- "Ritual Habitual", by Alcoholic Pixie - LINK!. I watched this vid and my mouth hit the floor with how unique it was. I am definitely going to use this vid in my thesis if I can (after I ask the vidder for permission, of course). It's an extremely well-composed Supernatural AU that makes Sam a violent serial killer, who escapes from prison after being convicted of killing Jessica. (How cool is that?) In a way, the show makes this vid almost too easy to create because of its constant scenes of women in danger, as victims, and such. And SPN does share a lot in common aesthetically (mostly in how it's shot) with serial killer and slasher horror films. I would love to use this vid to talk about how vidders reinvent and subvert the original narrative, context, and intention of television series, sometimes completely tossing the original story out the window and crafting their own.

- Another great AU is "Papa Don't Preach", by Eunice and Greensilver - LINK! First of all, I laughed so hard watching this vid that my housemates came to see if I was okay. Yeah. I first thought, "That's so wrong, mpregs are scary, I can't watch this". But of course I also couldn't resist, and I have to admit this vid is a perfect example of a crack AU going ever so RIGHT. If you think about it, this vid's all in the lyrics. It's completely and utterly dependent on the lyrics to lay out the narrative of the vid, and if you don't pay attention to every line you might not get it at all. But if you do follow it, it's a fantabulous example of taking source footage WAAAYYYYY out of context and using that to make the footage say whatever you want it to. I hope to use this vid in my thesis as well, as an example of a fan/vidder exerting control over the characters and narrative and altering it to suit fannish desires.

I really have to get back to my ethics form now (joy), but I did just want to put a call out there (if anyone actually reads this thing) that if anyone is interested in being interviewed as a part of my thesis, I would love to hear from you. You don't have to be a vidder, even - just a watcher of vids, a fan, or even anyone at all. Drop me a comment!

Also - tell me your favourite AU vid and why!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In which I rant profusely

I'm sorry, dear readers, but I have to post this here. I have to. Warning: what follows is extremely long and contains terrible language, anger... and... oh, I can't even explain it. Go ahead if you want...

(crossposted from my personal blog)

my fangirl brethren, if you don't want to start your new day seething at the mouth, then don't read this article. it's clearly written by someone who has no idea what they are talking about, and seems determined to provoke uncontrollable rage in fans everywhere.

(it's an article about fan fiction from a radical feminist blog community, fyi.)

it got my hackles up right at the very beginning, because radical feminist always engage my innate desire to kill stupid people. because everyone knows the best way to undo problems of sexism in society is to just hate men. i mean, that's not sexist at all, am i right?


god save us all. i've barely even started to read it, and i'm already deeply, deeply enraged. hold on, i'll continue trudging through this mofo...

here's some gold from this monstrosity:

"in fact fan culture is highly conservative, and bolsters and propagates male supremacist ideas".

i don't even need to say anything about this sentence. i refuse to acknowledge such stupidity.

"Fanfiction is a conservative and worshipful genre of writing..."

i love when people write about things they have never read. yeah. does this writer even know what "conservative" means? fanfiction is liberal and free-wheeling to the extreme, if it's anything. i don't know many conservatives who enjoy them some quality BDSM stories (at least, not publicly *wink*). because queer characters, mpregs, AUs, crack!fics, and the like are utterly NOT CONSERVATIVE in any way, shape, or form.

and i'm only up to the 3 para... prepare for more ranting and frothing to come... *goes back to reading*

"Fanfic writers pride themselves on their respect for and fidelity to their original source material, and in their writing they rarely, if ever, do anything that questions or contradicts the ideologies underwriting the original texts. As, in most cases, these original texts are steeped in patriarchal ideologies, this means that fanfiction, likewise, is strongly patriarchal and almost always woman-hating, despite the fact that women are now the main authors of fanfiction."

i think i'm still in the introduction, too. wow. if fanfic writers were steeped in patriarchal ideologies, then slash wouldn't exist. if fanfic writers don't question or contradict the original texts, then slash wouldn't exist. because i'm quite sure the creators of supernatural didn't intend for us to write filthy, dirty mansex about the two BROTHERS in that show. nor did they intend vidders to make works like "women's work" or "origin stories", which carefully and thoughtfully pick apart the source material and expose the deficiencies in characterizations and the exploitations of characters of colour and women. do some fucking research, asshat.

i can understand where she's coming from with her argument on how, in a patriarchal and male-dominated society, that men would only view friendships with other men as valuable. this is actually an interesting idea that i never considered, but this person refuses to acknowledge homophobia on the part of heterosexual men in any form, apparently. she's making it sound like all straight men do is have homosocial friendships together and then head out for some women-bashing or rape parties. i'm beginning to wonder if she lives on the moon, or some other strange planet where this is the case...

"To say they are drawing out a ‘gay subtext,’ and to attempt to attach revolutionary potential to this act is highly inaccurate, since homosocialism is one of the foundation stones of male supremacy, and fanfic authors who endorse and strengthen the homosocial relationships of male fictional characters by portraying them as homosexual are committing an act in support of patriarchy, not against it."

i can almost see the logic in this argument, almost. but again, i think that fear of appearing homosexual is an extremely important factor in machismo and most men (in this person's warped and twisted version of earth) will go out of their way to avoid appearing as such by "proving" their masculinity. slash writers remove this entire argument (except in issue fics, of course) and posit a more idealized and libertarian version of earth in which homophobia doesn't exist. which is what i had thought most feminists were aiming for - equality and acceptance. apparently, not so much.

*deep breath* back to reading. (you're getting a blow-by-blow of my reactions to this article, btw.)

"slash fanfiction is a conservative genre written by women who conform to patriarchal ways of thinking, and which is characterized by lesbophobia, homophobia, woman-hatred and severe phallocentricity, both in terms of its erotic content and intellectual ideas."

utterly, utterly wrong. clearly, this person has never heard of femmeslash, which is enjoyed by many slash readers/writers (myself included). and how is slash homophobic? anyone? this just makes the author seem like an idiot, imho. women-hatred? okay, sure female characters are usually inserted as a "threat" to the pairing in question, but slash in no way could be characterized as "women-hating" - i like to think about the lack of women in terms of removing the entire issue of gender relations and sexism straightaway, as a method for writers to create a place that's devoid of these issues (most of the time) and move straight into fantasy, play, and female pleasures. also, i don't know of any gay porn that's not phallocentric. this is again just retarded - stories about male-male sexual relations would be really fucked up if they suddenly started talking about vaginas, don't you think???

here's a long one filled with idiocy:
"Sex is generally portrayed pornographically, with an emphasis on penetration, force and pain, and the overwhelming/uncontrollable need the masculine character has for the feminine character, and the feminine character’s need to be needed by the masculine character in order to have a legitimate identity. Descriptions of sex tend to focus only on the physical side of the encounter, using an excess of violent imagery, and with characters often reduced to a collection of sexualized body parts devoid of emotions or humanity. Furthermore, the same-sex male relationships portrayed in most slash stories have a use-by date: sooner or later most of the characters ‘turn’ heterosexual and get married, it apparently being beyond the ability of most slash writers to imagine anyone actually choosing a non-heterosexual identity permanently. It is evidence of in-built lesbophobia and homophobia, since this use-by date mentality means that same sex relationships in slash are generally portrayed as being illegitimate, transient, unstable, and not able to last. Only heterosexual relationships are capable of doing that, apparently. (As evidenced in the real world by 50% divorce statistics)."

wrong, wrong, wrong. unlike most male-directed pornography, slash is much more focused on the sensual/erotic side of sex. all the theorists who write about slash take pains to point out that it has much more in common with romance novels than pornography because there is more focus on romantic issues, confessions of love, non-sexual intimacy, etc. etc. (see Bury 2005, Jenkins 1992, and a thousand others i can't remember right now). yes, there are some violent fics, but all BDSM fanfic i have ever read pertains to consenting adults. and again, the focus on emotional connection and intimacy remains. (the exception i can think of it yami or x/99, but these focus on the trauma and damage done by rape and usually lead the characters toward a properly loving and fulfilling relationship to move forward.)

also, i can't think of a single slash fic that ends with the slash pairing ending and one or both of the characters getting married in a hetero relationship. seriously, not one. this statement of the author's is just patently false. if anything, the stories usually posit long-term & seriously homosexual partnerships between the characters.

"Women’s sexual desires are never mentioned, and presumably do not exist. No hint of lesbianism is ever permitted."

wrong again. (apparently, i'm on a crusade to systematically debunk this entire article.) women's sexual desires are never mentioned because the entirety of slash fic is a tribute to women's sexual desires. AHHHH SO ANGRY. again, what do straight women find attractive sexually? male bodies. (duh.) what does slash do? depict in loving and eloquent detail the male body, from a women's perspective. focus on eyes, facial features, hair, but also on hips, backs, shoulders, etc. why? because chicks think they are hot. i certainly do. *urge to kill rising* and i already mentioned femmeslash, which apparently doesn't exist for this author.

and apparently, joss whedon is one of those authors "whose primary goal is to bolster patriarchy and male supremacy in all its ugly forms".

WHAAAATT????? the man who brought us one of the most complex, well-drawn, and kick-ass women on television? the idol for teenage girls everywhere as an emblem of girl power? (that would be buffy, of course.) and also his characters on his other works continue to be some of the greatest female characters on television - because everyone knows that zoe, inara, and kaylee on firefly are examples of male supremacy in television, right? FUCKING GOD! i mean, whedon's mother was a noted feminist who passed on all her ideals to her son, and he's won AWARDS from "equality now" for his feminist work--- see this video for his speech at the acceptance.

as for the psychology of slash, the author writes:
"There are thousands of women, all over the world, who, thanks to our wonderful friend male supremacy, cannot relate to themselves as women. They can only relate to men, because only men are considered to be fully human. So they fall in love with the heroes of film and literature, and the ‘geniuses’ who create these texts, and they fool themselves into believing that these men speak universal truths, that they are speaking to everybody and about everybody, women included, when of course they are not, they are only speaking to men in the language of male supremacy that is death and poison to women."

what about the massive communities of slashers? huge global networks that exist online with a primarily female membership, who regularly support, assist, and care for each other through the internet? see also: my previous comments about women's desire for male bodies. it would seem a bit more strange indeed if hetero women all over the world were spending their time writing about lesbian sexuality, don't you think? of course straight women will desire males! i think this author is undermining women's pleasure and desire altogether, denigrating who they choose to find pleasurable and enjoyable. wait a minute - aren't radical feminists supposed to support women's rights to choose their own sexuality? all the women i know would certainly not be pleased if they were told that what they find sexually pleasing is "no good". and in no way are slashers and fanficcers "duped" by the media - most fanfic and vids purposefully and thoughtfully critique and analyze the media for their white heteronormative narratives. (yeah, social theory background!)

"Slash comes about because women under patriarchy cannot recognise their own sexual desires..."

my god, i'm repeating myself now. see the above rant. i can't handle how retarded this is.

"Despite writing about gay men, and sometimes claiming to be ‘for gay rights’ (whatever that means), most women involved in slash communities would choke in horror if they were ever to be mistaken for, or tainted as, lesbian.....but they are not in the least turned on by the idea of two women together....Yet what do we have with slash fanfiction? Hundreds and hundreds of heterosexual women writing erotic stories for each other in order to turn one another on…is it just me, or is that starting to sound a bit lesbian?" [ellipsis added]

wrong wrong wrong WRONG WRONG WRONG again. the slash community contains many lesbians, bisexuals, and other queer identifications. in fact, usually more than the general society (my friend david's masters' thesis on yaoi fangirls demonstrates this statistically). slashers are the most accepting group of people i know on the internet - i can't think of any slashers who would be afraid to be mistakenly identified as lesbian, can you? and where is her evidence of this? i troll LJ every day for several hours as i research vidding communities, and i have not seen a single suggestion or hint at what she is talking about here. also, entire communities of het women writing stories to turn each other on? isn't that what romance fiction writers do? and no one ever accuses them of being lesbians, do they? oh yeah, and again ignoring the audience for femmeslash and the fact that many slashers like both. seriously.

"... I think its [slash's] very appeal to different women across these divides is further evidence of its ultimately conservative nature."

this doesn't even make sense. just people lots of people watch american idol doesn't mean that they are all conservative, does it? what about heroes? or lost? just because something is popular doesn't mean it's conservative. again, this author has no evidence. why don't we turn to look at those scholars who have actually survey slash communities? let's see.... Bury (2005) notes the higher presence of queer self-identification in the Due South slash community, as does Jenkins in his essay in "Theorizing Fandom" (I think 1992). as does david in his master's thesis. and as did i in my fieldwork in the yaoi fandom. people in all of this research also self-identified as feminist, as believers in gender equality, and as liberal. i don't know a single conservative slasher (although they certainly exist, i don't know if any personally). this author LIES and MAKES FACTS UP.

the comments in for this essay also cause me to froth at the mouth in anger. I CANNOT STAND feminists who basically say, "as women, you can make whatever choices you want to, as long as we think they are appropriately feminist. also, we get to decide what constitutes 'appropriately feminist'. also, we suck."

wow, what a way to end my day at the office...... i feel like punching someone in the face now. someone save me from this stupidity.

Friday, February 15, 2008

it's business time

well, now that i've actually pondered some of the things i'm going to actually cover for this thesis, i'm going to have to get down to business. i believe that it's important to connect with your potential research participants and subjects in more than just a superficial manner, and i've made some great friends out of my previous fieldwork endeavours. the only problem is, now i'm a) on the other side of the world, making old contacts a bit harder to reach, and b) doing the majority of my research online with people i'll never meet.

and so, i'm going to make this blog a place for us to connect, shoot the breeze, and to debate and/or make fun of my various insane ideas. i've revamped the sidebars and links sections and hope to have a new layout at some point as well, so here's to the future of this blog!

and here's hoping i make it out of this thesis (mostly) intact.

my next post will hopefully detail a few of the things i want to cover over the course of my writing. 'til then!

Monday, February 11, 2008

thesis topic FINALLY chosen

okay, so i finally had a proper meeting with two professors here at uni about my thesis topic, and it now seems that i will be (honestly and truly) writing my MA on fan music vids.


and the best part was the two profs seemed really interested/fascinated by the entire topic. i was surprised, let me tell you! there are a ton of aspects of this that could potentially be covered, and they both seemed worried that i would have too much to write about! (awesome.)

i'm super excited about this now, in case you couldn't tell.

a request - i would love to hear about your absolute fav vids (whether amv or vid proper) and why. also, what makes a good vid? what constitutes it? what components are essential for a good vid and why? any thoughts? no need to be too elaborate, but if you have time to share your thoughts, go for it. (links to vids always appreciated.)

some new vids i'm crushing on:

- Lost in an Anime Dream by Hana no JudgeHolden Productions for combining Read or Die with the Lost in Translation flick and footage from the original Madonna vid for the song, and making the city of Tokyo a character. i love how this one collapses boundaries between "real" footage and animation, between the song and the video... rockon. LINK!

- Ordained from Above, by Many Lemons Productions for making a amv about making amvs. i'm still in shock that this even exists, but i love it. it shows quite clearly the crazy dedication and mania that can go into creating a vid. LINK!

- Moons of Jupiter by Eunice (doctor who), because i was just so overjoyed to find a vid that highlighted the rather wonky happiness of who, and was not an angst-filled "ROSE/TEN 4-EVAR OTP!" type of vid. also, i love the licking / monster / running / hugging montages. love. this vid seems to me to be a ten/tardis 'ship vid. or maybe i'm drunk. one never knows. the point is, this vid captures the mad and quirky energy of who.

(also, i can't help but smiled back at scenes 1.44-1.50.) LINK!

- Rodeohead by Absolute Destiny. I've loved this guy's vidding since his early days in amvs. the song can be a little annoying, but if you can get over that then i think the vid grows on you.

- Jack, Or Adventures in Reading Against the Text, by LC, just for being so aware of what she is doing when she makes vids. (also, i like the song.)

- Vids=Joy! by CounterAgent, for having the hutzpah to make a vid about how much she loves vids, using clips from other people's vids that she loves - without actually making any cuts to them at all! craziness. it makes my heart happy. LINK!

- Filthy Mind, by SE. i love the stream-of-consciousness methodology behind this vid, crossing boundaries between shoes at will. i love love love worship the idea of sydney bristow, faith, the life on mars cops, captain jack, angel, and the lot all in the same club. brilliant. talk about collapsing boundaries between shows. LINK!

- Improper Dancing, by Mary Crawford. because it's lovely awesome fun. lovely awesome. the joy of seeing rarely-vidded older shoes, as well! and as she says in her commentary: "hiro wins at life." LINK!

- Walking, by Seah and Margie, for giving a great old mockery towards all who don't understand/know about vidding specifically, and that great series of tubes we call teh internets in general. don't worry, old peoples, it will all make sense one day. LINK!

and thus begins my proper foray into researchy-type stuff. hopefully i'll get this blog arollin' again to be used for actual communication with people in the internets.

so hello again, big world! bring it on