Tuesday, January 12, 2021


So-eh, you might notice that, despite having as many options for streaming as I do, I tend to find myself back, searching for stuff on Youtube more then anything. I drift through a lot of different Youtubers for difference reasons, some I probably watch too much of, some I probably watch too little of,... anyway, I look for a lot of things there, but I do look for a lot of entertainment stuff; history stuff, anything else I can comment on or just learn about. Sometimes I dive a little deep and I find out stuff I didn't know about... A lot of this involves minutia detailed circling around fans and fandoms, often of stuff that I'd never heard of or looked into much before. I don't know everything and I can't just cover anything, so anybody that seems intelligent and talks about stuff that I don't know or in some cases, frankly don't want to look up more closely, believe it or not, I try to seek out. They put in the work that I wouldn't; if feels like the least I can do, and often its rewarding.

Not all of this is entertainment; for instance I'm learning a lot more about MLMs and how other companies and such are absolute shit from Illuminaughtii's Youtube page, (I know MLMs were pyramid schemes already but now I'm diving into the "business" of it; I guess) but usually I do dive more into entertainment and that includes, believe it or not Fandom stuff. And as far as I can tell, the big Youtuber for that is that I've found, that I can somewhat tolearate is this woman, Sarah Z. (The Z is pronounced Zed; I think she's French-Canadian? I might be wrong about that.) 


She-uh, she's interesting; she's also very thorough and knowledgeable about subjects, that um, well, frankly I- I just... , well, I mostly wish I wouldn't go through these rabbit holesa at all, but apparently she's okay with doing it, which makes me worried about her frankly, 'cause some of these experiences with these little infighting debates withub these fandoms are just- so insane. Like, really insane, scary...- Seriously, fans, and fanfiction people, like OMG, what is- why do people not see that fandoms are evil and cultish?! I swear!!!!!!-

(Deep breath) 

Okay, I had to calm myself down there for a second. I won't go into all her stuff; 'cause frankly I can barely understand or follow most of it; the only things she's done that I found that I really had an opinion on were her recent piece on "Supernatural"'s finale, which-, look I- I know its popular and I know friends who love the show, but I have no idea why anybody would watch this garbage! Seriously, I don't get it; it's just a dumb down-for-idiots redoing of "The X-Files" and mostly the worst parts and ideas from that show; I legitimately have no idea how this show lasted like, (IMDB search) OMG 15 YEARS!!!!!!!!! WHY!?! HOW!?!?. I- I don't get it, but apparently people liked it, and boy did they have issues with its finale, and much of the show in general. 

There was also this earlier video she did on "Sherlock" which is the other show I know about and have opinions on...,  I mostly liked the show, but, oh boy, apparently there was a lot about the show and showrunner that I didn't know about, 'cause apparently not only were there fans obsessed with shipping characters, and "Supernatural" is guilty of that as well, btw, but-eh, yeah, there's an issue when "creators" or "producers" are like, purposefully trying to stir up, encourage or mock them, frankly any/all of this shit, and people behind those shows were doing it to varying degrees. It certainly explains some of the stupid shit on "Sherlock" especially the last two seasons that went completely off the fucking rails..., but yeah, needless to say, I'm starting to think that anything after "Coupling" that Steven Moffat did is probably a lot worst then we think it is. (And even "Coupling" kinda lost it in its last season, but I'm gonna give him a pass on that 'cause there were extenuating circumstances, and it was still pretty good.) 

More importantly then that though, WHAT THE HELL is "SHIPPING"?! I-eh, I-, WHAT?!?!?!?!

No, seriously; I never heard of this, and I kinda wish I didn't, but like,...- well, okay,  that's not technically true, I have, um, well, sorta heard of this; I never knew it by this word, but I also never heard of it becoming this obsessive and troubling before so.... 

Basically, the idea of "Shipping", in this context, is that, there's a piece of media that someone likes. Then they take two, or more, character from that piece of media, (or sometimes medias [sigh]) and then in fanfiction, or just in one's own minds, pair these characters into a relationship. Like, on the surface, there's nothing wrong with this, but-eh, the things is, most of the versions of this that I'm kinda familiar with this idea, are stuff where, it's clear that some of those "shippings" are a possibility, if not a probability. You know, the reasons, for instance I care about eh, Ross & Rachel from "Friends"-, actually that's not the greatest example, um, let's use instead, ummmmmm, what's a pair that took forever to get together, ehhhhhh, Tony and Angels from "Who's the Boss?"...- so, for instances, the reason I care about, Tony & Angela possibly getting together is that the show and the subtextual and textual storylines between the character is specifically about the sexual tension and chemistry between them; its clear that we care, because they're making us care. That's the story they're telling, which, from what I can tell, isn't always the case in a lot of these situations on some of these shows, or kinda is, or they're trying to make it seem like it is to stir up the fans when it clearly isn't....- it's confusing.

They actually list a couple example of this on Wikipedia, from shows that-I, um...- um..., hmmm.... and they have a couple others that I looked up...- ummm.... Tsk...  


Okay, I'm just gonna admit here, that in my notes, I wrote down to write about "My Own History on Ships? If Any?"..., 'cause I kinda figured at some point during this I would come to a realization that I did indeed think about shipping characters together like this with favorite shows of mine that do kinda correlate with this concept; sorta as a way of proving myself wrong. Show that I'm improperly overly concerned with this form of fan behavior and exaggerating the downfalls of this behavior as something that's a much more normal media interpretational behavior as oppose to something much more fringe and lascivious, which, even despite having heard and been introduced to some of the more extreme examples of this behavior recently, is probably true. 

So essentially, I'd be saying that this article is essentially me freaking out about something that I shouldn't necessarily be freaking out about as much as I am. I write a lot of stuff like that, and sometimes I do want to undercut myself in my own criticisms and rants because, you know, I should be able to challenge myself and my own opinions, thoughts and behaviors, et cetera. et cetera. 

That said though, I gotta be honest here; I'm not coming up with anything. I've been working on this idea for an article for a few weeks and I've been seriously drafting and writing this article for a few days now, and I- I thought something would've occurred to me that, "Oh yeah, I did used to want or think So-and-so would get with So-and-so at some point, but-um, maybe that's why I am freaking out a bit at this because I just don't have this experience at all, at least not the way these fans apparently have and continue to do....

Is that too weird? I know I'm against partaking in most fandom activities, but that doesn't mean that I haven't participating in some extent to a few of them, a lot of the time, that's part of why I'm against them 'cause I know and understand that they're not good things to do... but-eh, I, I think this is one that I just haven't....- I guess I just don't have this experience. 

Am I the one that's weird here for not doing this? 

I feel like I'm actually the weird one in this case, 'cause as much as I am kinda irked by a lot of this, especially if you really go deep into it, but I really can understand the idea of wanting one person to get with another and certainly I do want characters to inevitiably get together..., mostly, kinda.... Like, I don't- I don't think any ideas I would have about who should get together with whom, that I should be the one that leads the show towards that direction however. (Unless I'm actually in the Writer's Room of course.) Just because I would want two characters two characters to be together, that doesn't mean that they should, or that it's even a good idea. Like I said, when the "Will they or won't they" aspect of their characters is clearly written into the series, or even like, subtextually part of the series, then I kinda get it. However, um, honestly, I can't imagine it elsewise, and certainly not to an extent where I'm calling the BBC pissed off that some TV show wasn't a special secret episode of "Sherlock" that would explain everything!!!!! Seriously, that apparently happened 'cause they were reading (fingerquotes) "secret clues" into a series that genuinely didn't have much of them! ([Sigh] Fans are such the worst, I swear to God; I genuinely can't understand how I'm the only one that's so anti-fans....)

(Clears voice embarrassing)

Sorry. That said though, maybe the reason I seem to not be particularly good at reading material like this, is that I never had to look for relationships this way in media. 

From what I can tell, this trend, whether it gets out of control within the fanbases or not, originally started with gay and lesbian viewers and fans of media who, essentially had to create fictional ships, because, well, there just weren't gay and lesbian relationships actually portrayed in film/television media for them. 

Now this, I get. Cause this idea of trying to seek out alternative interpretations of the text through symbolistic meanings of subtextual clues, that was often how you seeked out those relationships, and frankly, that's how homosexual characters and relationship were often written into media. The first time, I actually remember hearing about this, was with Xena and Gabrielle on "Xena: Warrior Princess". That's not a show I ever watched much of, but I did have some friends when I was young who watched the series specifically because they wanted to read the material as symbolically depicting a lesbian relationship between Xena and Gabrielle, and from what little I have seen of the show, yeah, I thought that was a pretty reasonable interpretation of the show. 

Now I've since been told some of this in "Xena...", again, the writers apparently intentionally played up for the "Fans", which, I cannot stress this enough; I have absolutely zero respect for anybody who does this. The absolute last thing writers should ever do is listen to the fans, and possibly an even worst extention of listening to the fans, they should absolutely never be trying to queerbait them like this. If you want to create a subliminal homosexual subtext then just create it; more then that, fans are awful and you should never be trying to please them. (And certainly not trying to trick them like this! Seriously, that is fucked up!). It doesn't even make sense, they're already fans because you know, created something they already like, why would you then look to them; they didn't know they'd like it before it was created, why would you want them now to have influence on it now. You didn't need it before you didn't have any...!? 

Sorry, believe or it not, I am trying to limit my raging against fans in this piece, but trust me, it's hard.

Anyway, that said, I at least still get it with "Xena..." some of it might be exploitative fan service for the sake of fan service (Eye roll), although I think in this case, and others, even with that, you can argue that it was still basically written into the subtext of the series from conception, if not at least early on. It was certainly the best and closest example I could think of a gay relationship portrayed on television at that time, keywords, "relationship" and "at that time". There were gay characters and a few controversial moments on television previously, like that post-coital scene on "Thirtysomething" or that cutaway kiss, from...- was it "...90210" or "Melrose Place"; I get those two confused still.... Even when "Ellen" came out as gay, she didn't come out as in a gay relationship, at least not on her show. I know the first gay couple that were regulars on television were on as far back as the '70s on a very obscure Norman Lear show called "Hot L Baltimore", (Yes, it was based on the play) but that show lasted like, a month, maybe. In terms of something that lasted and had a cultural impact that was truly a non-sublimineal gay relationship, at least on mainstream television, you still had to wait 'til, um... at least until "Queer as Folk". Personally for me, the first one I really remember was Keith & David from "Six Feet Under"; that's the first one I really cared about anyway, but "Queer is Folk" is basically the beginning of regular portrayals of that, and even that show and its pseudo-spinoff "The L Word", especially "The L Word", could really dive head-first into over-the-top soap opera territory at times.

 (Note-to-Self: Remember to write one day about how they so badly fucked up Mia Kirshner's character on that show; that needs a whole piece of analysis in itself someday.) 

Other then that though.... Well, I guess there was eventually also Willow and Tara on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", which ummm.... you know what, I'm already fearing that I'm pissing off enough people with this post, so-eh, let's just not get into my thoughts on that series, shall we? 

Nowadays, well, it's clearly better on that front; there's whole networks devoted to LGBT programming and outside of them there's now plenty depictions of LGBT relationships over much of television, so it's a lot less necessary to strive to read media through this "Shipping" lens. Clearly though, that doesn't mean it's still not happening, and again, on the surface level, you wanna see people get together; I get that. Other then that though, ugh, I don't know... I'm certainly not big on the fanfiction idea, but I'm generally questionable of fanfiction, so my thoughts could be too bias. I guess theorizing about a series future isn't awful either in theory or wanting some things to happen on a series between characters..., but yikes, at its worst and most ridiculous, when it leads to...- like I didn't like how everybody had to break into teams for "Twilight", but you know, at least "Twilight" was about the sexual tension between those three characters. 

For me, extreme fandom is extreme no matter what it is, and I believe fandom itself is extreme so.... More then that though, I really have issues with creators and writers of TV shows frankly encouraging or promoting or especially baiting these fans. Like even beyond what some of these people do when they seem to like the medias are trying to, at least seem like they're trying to connect their little fantasies about the series into the show, that's just bad. Like, that should just not happen, period. Don't pretend or insinuate to them that it could happen, and certainly don't force it or make it seem that me and then piss them off by not.... Honestly, especially if you know they're devoted and gullible...; that's just fucking evil, doing stuff, just to fuck with them. Just, do the program!? I hate fans influencing/forcing the creators of their favorite art and media to pander to them and make them influence it more then the people actually creating, but the artists also shouldn't be creating and shifting their art just to bait them either. Both approaches hinders the art in the same way, but more then that, with the latter you're basically backhandedly insulting your audience, even if they don't know it.

As to shipping characters itself, I can understand it, if not appreciate it, and I think it does have value in certain situations, like as a way for repressed or mitigated groups and individuals to find representatives of themselves in media where they otherwise can't find them; if I was in that kind of position growing up, then absolutely, I can see why I would do that with my favorite shows and characters. 

Other then that though, I-eh,...- yeah, not really a fan of it; I guess you can say.

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