Sunday, January 12, 2014

Where Can You Stick Your Data/Geordi Slash? One Guess...

Laurie Penny of the New Statesman harangues us on the matter of "fan fiction."  It is the next logical step in the evolution of storytelling, she says. It is all but implied that we have conquered narrative for democracy, as if it was some kind of holdout territory resistant to the ideals of equality.

I agree with the latter, much to my chagrin; and I severely hope that the former thesis is dead wrong. Fan fiction is an indulgence for someone who wants to play in another's sandbox. At best, it is a security blanket for the talented but underconfident that allows them to dabble in the artifices of narrative without having to put their own work in character development and plot fully on the line. At worst, it is the rape of the creative by the lazy-but-opinionated, people who presume that the creator doesn't really understand his creation, and who take it upon themselves to show the world "the way it really should have happened." As if having merely the energy to read text or watching a show was the sole prerequisite to having the power of rewriting someone else's work – whether to invent love interests, run sexual orientations through the blender, or what have you.

Bottom line, it is my considered opinion that, to paraphrase the old saying: those who can, create; those who cannot, write fanfic.

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