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what mood is that, sir? the subjunctive?

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I will not ask and neither should you
i heart yaoi
I want to talk about a mid-'90s sci-fi TV show called "Space: Above and Beyond." A few people on the internet seem to think it was amazing. I watched a couple of episodes, and I might just be spoiled by recent sci-fi shows, but I thought it was awful. The writing was terrible, the acting was horrific, the storylines were cliche, and the characters had no dimension. I was really disappointed.

Why did I care? Because this fic is so fucking good.

I'm thinking about this because I've had Hozier's "Like Real People Do" stuck in my head for days, and I feel like that song would make a fantastic Cooper/McQueen vid. But I don't want to vid the canon! I want to vid that fic. I want to match we should just kiss to images of them looking at each other, like real people do to images of the in-vitros' neck-navels, I will not ask you why you were creeping to Cooper standing outside McQueen's stateroom trying to get up the nerve to knock, I could not ask you where you came from to the in-vitro facility.

I probably won't actually make the vid. Even aside from the state of my wrists (if I do any ill-advised vidding anytime soon, it'll be the Fury Road/Na Na Na vid I've been itching to make for months) there wouldn't be much point. No one would watch it, because no one knows anything about this shitty show that got cancelled after one season. And I'm not going to waste time watching the whole show so I can clip for it, anyway. But I still want to--and I want to because of this fic, this 90k epic someone wrote twenty years ago for a TV show everyone's forgotten.

This is why I like the word "transformative." Because someone can take this premise that seems silly on the actual show, and these characters that make me cringe, and turn it all into an story that keeps me up all night every time I reread it. It's not derivative. It's not a weak reflection of the canon. It turns the canon into something better.

I know the author of the story probably wouldn't want to hear that, because they clearly love the canon. There's this whole thing in fandom about exceptionalism in feedback--I hate this character but I love this fic, I can't stand this kink but you made it hot, etc. Authors often don't like that. I usually don't tell Teen Wolf authors about my feelings regarding the canon for that reason, even though it's not exceptionalism for me but preference for fanon--if they've spent so much time engaging with the thing, they probably don't want to hear about how much I hate it, even in the context of explaining my love of the fanon. I try to keep that kind of analysis in my own space.

But to me, this power fandom has--the power to pick something up and take it apart and find the interesting parts and build them into something new and different that can be appreciated in its own right--understanding this is an essential part of understanding tranformative creation. Engaging with the canon is incredibly valuable too, whether you love it or want to criticize it or both (Play It Again certainly requires familiarity with the canon, and ask me sometime about that if you have an hour or six to spare) but it's not the only thing fandom does well.

This entry was originally posted at http://jedusaur.dreamwidth.org/102213.html.
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