wordplay: (SGA: Chevron locked)
This summer I’m taking the quickest class EVER on American culture and television and it’s really kind of fun. One of our assignments is to survey a group of people about a show that they all watch and then talk about the place of the media property within the lives of the individuals and the community. Thank goodness for LiveJournal, eh?

So, then, below are some very open-ended questions, meant to elicit some information about your viewing experience. Answer as briefly or as fully as you think is appropriate. You may respond either in a comment to me (all comments screened) or via email at tea.and.toast@gmail.com. All responses will be stripped of identifying information in the paper I’m writing for my class and in any subsequent work; I have no plans to use this further, but, you know, it’s always possible. If there is interest, I may post the write-up here, but again, please remember that your responses will never be matched with your username or any demographic information you choose to provide which may identify you.

Because I am me, I put this off until ridiculously late and the paper is due this week. This means that sooner is better for filling this out, but I'll happily take late responses just so I have a more complete set.

Finally – THANK YOU, thank you so much for taking the time to fill this out.

Survey questions )
wordplay: (Yale linguistics inverse)
I have a ton of thoughts about this tagline from "Heroes", but with the election tomorrow I really don't have time to work them into an actual essay. This is unfortunate, because I think there's one HELL of an essay in here - it's all very interesting. For now, an opiniondump; feel free to chime in. Just working through my initial thoughts here.

An outline, even )

So, see? Lots to think about here. It's likely irrelevant because I don't think they'll be able to keep themselves from killing it, but oh. Oh oh oh. *pines for it done so much better*

And, things that have made me feel old this week:

+ A conference series that I helped midwife when I was in graduate school turned 10 years old this week, and even had a mention in the Language Log! OMG, our baby is all grown up!
+ Speaking of babies - my first one is now seven. Seven, y'all. He's so cool, and from here on out, he'll have an awful lot of his memories intact. And on a personal note - it's been seven years since I first knew that my life had room for more than one great personal love in it. Some days I feel a bit OVERloved, but I'll take that any day. Still - OLD! I have a child who has two permanent teeth!
+ The chief election judge is, I think, right about my age. I may still be the youngest poll worker in my precinct, but not by much. That's good, right? Still - a bit odd.
wordplay: (Carry On!)
[livejournal.com profile] jlh has a post here posing the question:

Is there a media fandom, of reasonable size, where the source text does not have either (a) a lot of slash potential or (b) SF content?

I'm thinking, and you should, too. If you come up with one, let her know!
wordplay: (Oh noez! Rodney)
I know, I know, I KNOW ALREADY, I totally get why we don't and why it's a bad idea and the whole bit about fanspace and, fine. FINE. However, I really really hate that. Ohnoez, indeed.

[livejournal.com profile] emrinalexander made a very nice post encouraging people to cool it and stop making a collective ass out of the entire SGA fandom over on the forums at David Hewlett's new website. To be perfectly honest, I can't even go OVER to the forums to have a looksee - I am too anxious about what I'll find and can imagine only too well. *winces* ETA: OK, so I went and looked. And, you know.... ) I've posted before about how conflicted I am about contact with the people involved in the creation of fandoms I'm part of. I think a big part of that is good old Fannish Shame, which I readily own and which I wish there were more open conversation about. And certainly, when things like this erupt, I remember all of the reasons why fannishness is shameful and something I don't feel completely comfortable with. At the same time, though, I'll totally cop - I sent an email as soon as I knew the site existed to encourage him to drag ADB out to DC, and I posted to his blog a few weeks ago saying the same thing. And while I feel weird about it, I also feel generally OK - I don't usually have a problem asking for things I want, after all. I think that the balance of power between creators and fans is something I'm really coming to terms with, and I think that's part of my anxiety. And certainly the truth of the matter is that I'm a pretty normal person and I LIKE the place I occupy here on one particular fringe of the mainstream and, to be perfectly frank, I don't want to be thought of as a stalkerish, socially inappropriate freak. Sue me.

< /fan neurosis>

Anyway.

I changed the name of my journal and although I'll miss "Bing Tittle Tittle Bong: Logan Echolls' Feelings Journal" and it may make a reappearance, "Here is the Universe: Solve for X" is much more representative of my current state of mind. I blame it on [livejournal.com profile] longtimegone, who called me on a Saturday night when I'd already had too much rum and then omg forced me to talk about physics. I think I broke her when I went into this rambly thing about all the reasons I sucked so hard at electrodynamics.

---

Locals: I'm idly thinking of going to see Parallel Lines tomorrow night at 7 pm at UMD. Is anyone else interested? I'm still not sure I'll pull it off, as I'll be out latish on Tuesday because of the election and it's stacking up to be a busy week, but I'm really interested in seeing it.

---

Finally, I kicked serious Uno ass this afternoon and my family is gunning for me - I overheard [livejournal.com profile] chromodynamics and our six-year-old colluding to spy on my cards and never pick my strong colors. Meep!
wordplay: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] chromodynamics linked this article for its discussion of SoaP's disappointing box office and speculations about what internet buzz means for actual ticket sales. And that part's interesting, especially as it mentions fannish favorites Serenity and Stargate. Check out the first half of the article too, though, as it discusses music fans and some of their participatory experiences online. I thought the idea of the Suzanne Vega concert was really interesting, although the limits of the technology seem to make it more gimmicky than anything more broadly experiential right now.

And this is another interesting article, talking about Terry McBride's attempts to revamp music marketing and what it means to performers, executives and music fans. A sizable bit of the discussion there is about BNL, who have clearly put a lot of time, energy and thought into these matters. Earlier this year they were instrumental in the launch of the Canadian Music Creators Coalition and although it's still early days there, I'll be interested to see what kind of progress that initiative makes.
wordplay: (SGA: Genius at work)
Those of you not of the SGA persuasion might miss this (unless you also spend time at Journalfen) but there's a kerfuffle over at [livejournal.com profile] sga_flashfic that's just INTERESTING, particularly as it appears to be time for LJ based fandom to have another broad and meandering discussion about intellectual property. This time, the basic question is: is it cool to use another person's fanfic as the jumping off point for your own fic without clearing it with the original writer? The majority opinion seems to be, "um, no, and haven't we covered this?" but there's a vocal minority who insist that since we never ask permission from the writers of the original source material, there's no moral or ethical obligation to ask for that from fanwriters, either. This cannibalizing of source material, the mishmash collage approach to ideas and inspiration, that's just what we do, they say - it's part of what the fannish writing collective is all about.

I... actually think they might be right.

One arguable position is that maybe it's OK to use the work of someone who's not of your tribe as your jumping off point. I have said before that I'm somewhat uncomfortable with the presence of creators at cons and maybe this is part of why. Is this basically about belonging to a subculture and a community and not screwing over your fellow fen? Or is it simply that professional writers got paid for their work and so they've gotten their due off of it, whereas a fanwriter's rewards are more intangible and therefore need to be more protected and more carefully preserved?

What do you think? I'm still working this out for myself. Is there a REASON that within the community, fanfic writers' rights to their property ought to be more respected than the rights of the writers of the source material? And what is that reason?


ETA: OK, I think I have worked this out a bit more now. Thoughts behind the cut. Read more... )
wordplay: (Reading)
Last week there was outrage in the HP fandom about a Guardian article about Lumos that the fandom broadly perceived as poorly researched, unnkind and unfair. At the time, I felt pretty blase about the whole thing; the article was pretty much what I expected from the random journalist assigned to cover a story.

But you know, forget the Guardian (I know, I know - not the first time we've had occasion to try to forget the Guardian, is it?), because there's a new book out about fandoms and passions and what they mean to us. It's called "Who Are You People" by Shari Caudron; there's an NPR story about it here and its website is here. Of particular note on the website is the blog, where at the moment she's talking about Aquaman on iTunes, a crackdown on Mayberry fanart, and why she loved Wordplay. Her tone throughout is fair, humourous and compassionate - she's clearly interested in the people she's writing about, she's genuinely TRYING to get it (look, she attends a furrycon and pushes through her initial sense of weirdness until she finds something she can relate to and understand) and although she often doesn't quite get the attraction of the passion she's examining at the moment, she always leaves plenty of space for others to get it. Very unjudgmental approach, for those who worry about those things.

I was going to write a long review of the book but I think it's experiential - the story she's telling is one of an experience, and you'll do better to go through it with her than with me. Very worthwhile read, particularly for fannish readers.

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