oceana: (Default)
( Jul. 19th, 2009 07:36 pm)
This is just to inform you that Bring on the Night was nominated in the Best Romance category of the NCIS Awards.

I was going to tell you weeks ago, when I got the mail from the moderators, but, having never been nominated in awards before, I didn't know what the etiquette was about telling people before the nominations were official.

I'm not going to win, but the nomination filled me with squeee and totally made me want to go and write more NCIS fic, because I still love Tony and Gibbs very much. (only, there's real life, and the horse, and the inappropriate falling in love with a french guy, so I really don't have time to write.)
oceana: (Default)
( Jun. 14th, 2009 02:13 am)
I've been involved in fandom for more than 8 years now. I know, doesn't seem like such a long time, but it's longer than the average marriage.

I've learned many things during my time in fandom. (Many of them involve gay sex, but that's besides the point.)

One of the things I learned is that it's not a smart thing to start reading a 39-chapter fanfic at 1 a.m.

Know what I haven't learned yet?

Not to start reading a 39-chapter fanfic at 1 a.m.

[livejournal.com profile] margueritem is here and we decided that we are going to meet you.
*Margueritem and Oceana make resolve faces*
So, we thought, we'd let you know.

Let us know where (D or K?)
And when.

Now we are going back to watch more Supernatural. We are already 15 minutes into the Pilot and it only took us, oh, 35 minutes or so.

Dean is pretty.
He wasn't even shown in daylight yet and he's so pretty. Oh, look, daylight.
Dean's so pretty.
It seems that David Hewlett has been spotted somewhere closer to fandom than most actors. Apparently, people are looking for him on lj, too. You shall not have to look any longer, for of course, I am David Hewlett. I'm also a bit confused about me appearing in so many other places, so could someone please tell me where these rumours originated?

(also, does anyone really think that any actor, let alone someone as smart as David Hewlett, would hang out in fandom to read fanfic and watch vids? I know I wouldn't if I were him. Wait, I am him. So I don't. I also seem to have a serious case of split personality, but I'm not the only one in these here waters. And there is something wrong with my language today. I think I'll just go. Call Joe, see if he wants to hang out and watch some fanvids.)
Apparently the cold has us all locked inside and in front of our computers, where we have nothing better to do than to rant. And the rant du jour seems to be incest fic, once again.

In Which I Write An Essay About Not Writing An Essay

I, too, was tempted to write yet another essay about incest fic, which I did, actually, quite a good one too, if I may say so. The more I think about it, the more interesting (at least to me) my conclusions become. But after following the recent discussions, I don't feel like posting it anymore, for one simple reason: 90% of fandom seems to be unable to have a reasonable discussion about any fannish subject, especially a delicate one like incest fic. I don't mean people flaming the writer, no, I mean the simple process of reading an essay, understanding it and reacting to the arguments made within. Look at any discussion in fandom and you will find, as I myself have often experienced, that the replies of the author often begin with "As I said before...".

I'm tired of this. It's one thing that people can't properly voice their own arguments. I'm a lawyer, I expect to be better at that than others. It's another, more annoying thing, if people bring up something that is an argument, but that is completely beside the point. Many fannish discussions read to me like this:

Me: "Cows can be black and white."
Commenter:"If I want my dogs to be yellow then I can damn well MAKE them yellow."
Me: *bangs head against the wall*

The sad thing, and also the reason why it is an agonizing process to try to follow these discussions, is that people often react to that kind of statement. Which means that an essay that was supposed to be about the color of cows, ends up being a controversy about dog food. Of course, if we'd actually talk about cows and dogs, people would be able to make the distinction, but take any more intelligent subject and they are not. Which is not to say that cows and dogs are not intelligent, oh no, I would never say that. (see how I barely avoided having the first comment to this be something like "but cows are very intelligent!"?)

What annoys me most, however, is that people are not even able to understand a text in the first place. Write certain key words, like incest, rape, slash=feminism or Rodney's nipples in any context, and you can be sure to get the same results from the same people, no matter what the rest of your text says. Which proves that

a) some people don't even bother to read your opinion (but react to the keyword and then are rude enough to comment and expect their opinion about Rodney's nipples to be read, even though they didn't care to read yours)


b) some people try to read the rest of your arguments, but are unable to understand them (and then, maybe not even realizing that they didn't understand them, comment on the keywords anyway).

Option a) makes me angry, option b) makes me just sad. Unfortunately, it's hard to tell them apart, and so my participation in fannish discussions often ends in frustration and many *bangs head against wall* comments. But don't get frustrated, you are not alone with your insufficient reading comprehension skills. Many highschool kids today can barely follow a comic book.

I admit that as a lawyer, I feel sort of responsible when people don't understand my arguments. After all, I'm getting paid to put legal facts into words that laymen can understand. If I'm not able to write an argument on a fannish subject in a way that other fans can understand, I'm doing something wrong. Or so I thought for a long time, which was even more frustrating. But that's not it at all. It all depends on the audience. As a lawyer, I can't choose my audience, but as a fan, I can. And I will, because unlike in real life, no one here pays me for talking to the stupid people. So I choose not to have discussions with people who are too stupid to understand me anymore, or with people who are so rude that they ignore what I'm saying. Yes, I referred to people as stupid. Get over it.

I will still happily participate in any intelligent discussion, with people who are intelligent enough to understand me (and I, hopefully, am intelligent enough to understand them). But it also means that I will ignore all the "My Dog is YELLOW" people, whose "arguments" don't even deservce to be called arguments. An argument, by definition, is a statement in support of another statement. Meaning: if you read an essay and want to respond to it, your statement should respond to something the author of the essay said (preferably in said essay, which seems to be yet another problem for some people). A statement about dogs, no matter how true, cannot be an argument in a discussion about cows. It's that simple.

Two arguments I'd especially like to never EVER see again (oh, I wish!) are the following:

1) Fiction is not reality.
This can be found in any fannish discussion. I think there is a Secret Club somewhere, whose members detect fannish discussion only to insert a "Fiction is not reality" comment in one of its many incarnations, and then wait to see what happens. And lo and behold, someone always falls for it.

I'm not quite sure what the "Fiction is not reality" is supposed to say, since it is, as shown above, rarely if ever used as a real argument. Most often it appears in a context that makes me think that whoever wrote it wants to say something like that: "Fanfiction is not reality, therefore everything is allowed, especially as it is based on fictional characters."

This is wrong for many reasons. While I can whole-heartedly agree with the statement "Fiction is not reality.", I cannot agree with the implied "fanfiction is not reality."

See, many fans forget that - unlike writers of original fiction, whose only limit is their imagination, - fanfic writers have a reality. TV, books, comics, whatever you base your fanfic on is your reality. Fanfiction is therefore a special kind of fiction, one that is based on imagined events while at the same time making claims about its "source reality." It is a mixture between fiction and non-fiction. With the source reality also being fiction and thus being a lot more flexible than real events, fanfic has much more possibilities than "real" non-fiction, but they are not endless.

In other words: if you state in your fanfic that Dean is driving a white Ferrari, and has always done so, your are wrong. (Yes, fanfic writers can be wrong, and people are allowed to say it!) On the other hand, if you want to write a fanfic in which Dean's car mysteriously turns into a white Ferrari (car-changing demon, perhaps, or crossover with Miami Vice), the fiction part of fanfic allows you to do so. You don't even have to explain yourself to your readers, though in my experience readers appreciate some kind of explanation for blatant changes in canon (=your reality).

2) The other "argument", my favourite one, without which no fannish discussion is complete, is the wonderful

If you don't like it, you don't have to read it!!!

Apart from the fact that this is not an argument (see above) and therefore has no right to be in the discussion (and you can tell that it doesn't feel welcome by the way it stands there, all alone or in groups, accompanied by the heated exchange of progressively irrelevant reactions), apart from that, it is true.

Completely true.

If I don't like a fic, I don't have to read it.

Well, let me tell you something: If I don't like a fic, I may not HAVE to read it, but I can still do so if I want. And you know what? I can then tell you or anyone else that I don't like it. I can even say why I didn't like it. This is even more true for a whole genre of fiction, but really, it goes for your individual fic, too.

As long as you can throw out your fics into the public where anyone can see or read them, people are allowed to react to them. You don't get to tell people that they were not supposed to read your fic. If you are allowed to write and publish your fics, I am certainly allowed to have an opinion about them and to WRITE about that opinion, on the internet, in public, where everyone can read it. Even you.

If you don't like my opinion?

Oh, you don't have to read it.

Thank you, and good night.
oceana: (Default)
( Nov. 2nd, 2005 07:57 pm)
I don't think I'll be able to send christmas cards this year, so I won't ask for your addresses, and I haven't signed up for anyone else's cards either. It seems only fair not to ask for them if I won't write any in return.

However, [livejournal.com profile] boniblithe is organising a fantabulous fandom holiday card exchange, which I just signed up for. This, of course, will be more fun the more people there are, so I suggest you all sign up as well. Besides, how will I get my Tony card if no NCIS fans sign up?
In a perfect world

  • icon-makers would attach their names to the icon-file.

  • writers would never post a fic without their email address or at least their name

  • vidders would tell you their name and the name of the song they used before or after the actual vid. Especially vidders.

  • vidders would also make NCIS vids.

  • lots of them.

  • possibly fanart.

  • with naked men.

  • I would never have to study law again, weigh 15 pounds less and eat pasta everyday.

Speaking of "A Perfect World". Does anyone remember the movie? And why is it that I feel so wrong about liking Kevin Costner? Dammit, but I like him!
I even liked Waterworld.

*exits stage left to study law*

So not perfect.
oceana: (Default)
( Oct. 16th, 2005 06:26 pm)
I just wrote "shepcific" instead of "specific".
You know that a wank is huge when it spills onto your flist even though you have nothing to do with that fandom.

I like to think of my journal as rather wank free. I don't think there ever was a wank in here. And I can't remember other people wanking at each other in the comments either. I never had to stop a thread or ban anyone from my lj.
Well, there was that one occasion where that a total stranger attacked me with racist comments and I had to disable anonymous commenting for a while, but that had nothing to do with fandom.

I also like to think that I'm not afraid to voice opinions, strong opions on some things. I enjoy discussions, and there have certainly been enough that were interesting, at least for me. And well, I hope for some of you too. After all, there must be a reason why people read me, and it isn't for the non-existing fic or the equally non-existing icons.

So, why is there no wank? )

And this is the secret of the wankfree journal: be polite, be open-minded, be informed.
behave like a civilized human being.

Of course, if you do that, you'll never become a BNF.
But I think I'm having enough fun over here without being famous.

(and I will not admit that a tiny part of me triumphed when it saw that more people have my lj friended than the LJ of a particularly bitchy BNF. Because *summons Faith* "it's wrong*)

P.S.: Mark Harmon is very very sexy. I'm unreasonably jealous of Meg Ryan and not just because of the hair.
Why yes, I did watch Presidio. *g*
I wasn't really going to comment in the whole frienditto thing, but as I see the world exploding around me, I feel I should take the chance as long as anyone still has me friended. Because the whole "unfriend everyone to protect yourself" thing? If you want to do it, go ahead, I'll stay here and have fun by myself.

Fandom tends to explode fast, and things usually settle down just as fast.
Let's just wait and see how long that site stays active and how fast the interest in it fades.

Do I feel threatened?
Yes and no.
Yes, because I almost 200 people have my journal friended, and the thought that some of you would archive my posts over there without my permission is rather unsettling. No, I don't think any of you would do that, but, see, 200 people? Do the math you can figure out how "well" I actually know most of you.

If I friendslock posts I usually do it so RL life people can't recognize me. No, no one in my RL knows that I have an LJ, but it would be easy enough to figure out for the few who know that I'm involved in fandom. It wouldn't kill me if they did, but it's definitely a place I don't want to go. So yes, it would be uncomfortable for me if someone archived my flocked posts over there.

No, because really, what are the chances that someone who suspects that I have an lj, manages to find out somehow which one it is (which he can't do via frienditto, and on the lj site he still can't see my flocked entries, would then, after he had found out that I'm Oceana, head over to frienditto and manage to find the one interesting flocked post I ever made that just happens to be archived over there?
Not very high I'd say.

But even if I don't feel threatened personally, I can understand that this can become uncomfortable for many people. It's the principle of the thing: you could argue that a flocked entry which is shared with hundreds of people isn't really a private matter anymore, but it is.
LJ is still a journal, and thus is falls under the protections law has created for this kind of thing. Do you know how hard it to use a diary as evidence in a german court? We value this kind of privacy so high that our constitution protects it. And if the age we live in means that a diary is now something that is shared with the people we choose to share it with, it doesn't make it less of a diary.
It is still private.

That's why frienditto makes me so angry, because its only aim is to provide people with a means to destroy our privacy.

Sure, everyone can save friendslocked posts and put them on a website, making them available for everyone. Fandomwank has done that on countless occasions. But it's still different if you give people a toy that is meant to do exactly that.

That said, here's the rule: if you use frienditto, you are gone. Unfriended, banned, not before I personally out you to everyone else and make your life a living hell.

But I really hope that none of you is going to do that anyway, so let's foget about this whole thing now, shall we?
Most of you have probably heard that whatever organisation holds the rights to NC-17 and other ratings is trying to stop people from using them.
Yes, there are links, but I can't provide them, because I wasn't that interested.
However, a fic just got posted to one of my MLs (the crackhead list, you guessed it) with the rating FMR (fanRatedMature)

Which got me thinking.
I did some intellectual property law, including trademarks. In German law, there are various complicated definitions for a trademark that I won't get into. One of the criteria however is that a word which is used for a whole genre of things cannot be protected as a trademark.
Say, if you invent a new car and call it car, you cannot protect the name "car" as a trademark, thus prevent other people from using it.
German law thinks that the word car needs to be free for use by everyone.
Smart law.

This works the other way around as well. For example "jeep", "Jeep" is a name of a certain car, and it is protected as a trademark. "Jeep" however has become so popular and common that it is now used as a general term for off-road vehicles.
Because of that, it has lost some of its protection. You still cannot write "jeep" on every off-road vehicle you want to sell, but no one can prevent you from writing about off-road vehicles under the term "jeep", even if you are writing about Mitsubishis, or for selling a toy car as a a toy-jeep.
(the same is true for the famous Tempo-Taschentuch. Tempo has become a collective term for all sorts of tissues)

I don't know if anything like this exists in US law, and I don't know enough about the specifics of the whole NC-17 thing to make any judgement if that kind of logic is even applicable.
All I'm saying is that just because someone walks around telling people he has the rights to something, it doesn't necessarily have to be true.
And that common sense is sometimes so much more useful then strictly obeying the "law".
Laws are made by people, and they change with the people.
oceana: (Default)
( Dec. 15th, 2004 06:54 pm)
I'm tired and I feel sick, and I hate hate hate HATE my work.
I hate it so much that I could cry, heel, I do cry regularly because of it.

And then I looked at my flist, and it's SQUEEEING and BOUNCING with the Stargate season 9 casting news, and I remembered that there's new NCIS to watch, and new Stargate downloading right now.

I love fandom. It keeps me sane.
(please someone remind me of this when the next big wank is frying my brain. *g* )
No, it really does, wanking and all, but most of all the collective squeeeing and bouncing.

*hugs you all*
My lj is usually a politics-free zone.
I'm not interested in talking about politis here, for no special reason.
But today I've got to say something.

Read this, if you haven't yet.

This scares me beyond belief.
My country is a democracy, with rights for everyone, and courts that are independent, and - while we are at it - homosexual marriages (because they are, even if we don't call them marriage).
I feel safe in my country.
I may not agree with many of the things our current government does, but I trust them to protect our constitution and our civil rights. I trust them to keep peace. I trust them to accept religions, and to protect our children against aids and unwanted pregnancies. I trust them to be relatively SANE.

And sanity is the one thing that "the world's greatest leader" clearly lacks. If he gets elected again? God help us all.
To think that someone like him has the power over a-bombs is the scariest thing ever.
To think that a religious fanatic is the leader of what may be the one of the most important nations of the world.
When I hear about his AIDS programs, or rather, the nonexistence of them, when I hear that he wants children to be taught that abstinence is the only protection against pregnancy, I am so afraid for this world.
I feel bad talking about another country like that, about a situation I can't properly judge, because I don't live there. Besides, it's always easy to sit and point, without actively changing things, and I have no right to change things in other countries, so I really don't have a right to talk badly about them.
But in this case, I must.
Because I am honest to god scared, scared that the world as we know it is about to change more than we can ever imagine, and not for the better. And it certainly won't become safer.

Today I heard that (starting in a few years) the US are going to allow only people with a new passport to enter the country, a passport which includes your fingerprint. For a terrorist, it will be the easiest thing ever to counterfeit such a passport, but for us normal people it means that a government which isnt even my own has my fingerprint on record, and I have NO saying in what they do with it.
If this becomes reality, then I am sorry to say that I will never ever visit that beautiful country again.
The US government scares me.
Sometimes, the whole world scares me.

Edited: Oh, and I don't really care about the content of the original post, which prompted the Secret Service to investigate. They may have been right to investigate, but maybe not.
The whole thing just made me come out of my hole and say how I feel about things.

LJ especially, and fandom in general, are - at least in my experience - rather multinational communities. We don't judge people because of where they come from or what they believe, these things simply don't matter much online.
I wonder why?
Is this because we are all incredibly open-minded, liberal people who are tolerant of different lifestyles and beliefs?
Somehow, with such a large group of people from all over the world, I don't believe that is the case. Especially not when I look at shipper-wars, or the downright hate that can result when someone dislikes someone elses favourite characters and dares to say so.
In a way, fandom isn't different in these things. We just focus our energy on different things. It's not the religion or skin color upon which we judge someone new in our little circle, but his prefered fanfic and wether or not he likes het, gen, slash etc.
These things may not be the most important ones, but it beats fighting over religious beliefs any time.
[livejournal.com profile] slippery_fish linked to fanatic Phelps fans discussing penis sizes, and it's the funniest thing I read all day.
The opinions range from "cute" to "I blushed and quickly clicked out" and then lead to the why and when of teenage boys getting erections and the never-ending question of SIZE.

It's hilarious.

Of course, it's also deeply scary to think that all those people are discussing one person's penis as if their lives depended on it. I almost feel sorry for Michael Phelps.
On the other hand, a guy who wears shorts like this?
Beware, )

You'd have to be blind not to look.
Still trying to catch up with my friendslist and discovered that [livejournal.com profile] skater_g8r has made the most perfect Jack/Daniel wallpaper, here, and I just had to share the love.
(nakedness, so probably not worksafe)

In more scary news, look at this
Brad Fitz, the "President" of livejournal, posts one post to his lj, and gets swamped with comments like "I would like to report a theaf", "I don't know how 2 to anything", "How can i add more html to my journal!" or "like since your a cretor n stuff can u help me with my journal? i really want a cool back ground n stuff."
And that's just the first page of comments.
Good stuff, I tell you. Better than any fandom wank.

Are they all trolls or don't these people have brains? Can't they go to the section that says HELP, right on top of their user info?

Edited: On second thought, don't go to page two of the comments. Urgh.
Edited again: I have been told to specify my warning: don't go to page two because there is a pic you don't want to see, and no, it is definitely not work safe. I shall now sit back and see how you all hurry over there, because that's what happens when you warn people not to go somewhere.
[livejournal.com profile] lasultrix and [livejournal.com profile] rhiannon_jehane are currently using the brain bleach, get in line if you want it.
oceana: (Default)
( Aug. 9th, 2004 11:07 am)
The moment we've all been waiting for has finally come:

The Winners of the Stargate SG-1 Fan Awards 2004 have been announced!


Okay, first: congratulations to all the winners! If I like your writing or not, it is an achievement to have influenced fandom enough to win in fandom awards. Especially in these awards, where the fan get to chose the nominations and the winners, which should be obvious, but believe me, there are many fandoms where they have "committees" for chosing winners.
So, congrats!

And now, on to the slash category: Let's see what crack fandom has been smoking this year... *g* Long, long review of the SG Award winners, in which I shamelessly praise some of my favourite authors and offer some gentle (and some not so gentle) criticism )

Last, but not least, I'd like to say Thank You to the writers. To all the writers, even then ones I don't like. Yes, even to the beagle fic author. Fandom wouldn't exist without fanfiction, and ever fic, no matter how bad, has a place in someone's heart. If you make just one fan happy with your story, you have done something special. You make people happy, and you create new worlds for us fan, everyday. Thank you for taking the time and effort to write. Thank you for publishing your fic, for throwing them out to the wolves, who, like me, take them, devour them, spit them out and then dare to make fun of what's left.
I wouldn't want to live without you.

Now you can bitch at me all you like.
oceana: (Default)
( Nov. 25th, 2003 12:39 pm)
I have a question to all of you.
When you find something on a website that you think doesn't belong there, like pictures, art, fiction etc. Do you tell the artist? If you are an artist, do you want to be told? Does it depend on how much there is on the site? And how do you know if it doesn't belong there? Most people probably give permission, but I alwas wonder when I find something without a link to the artist's site.
I feel kinda bad, going around blaming people: what if the site owner has permission, and I'm just the stupid visitor who gets on everyone's nerves by writing emails?
Any advice is very welcome!


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