As always, I’m only eligible to be nominated for awards related to fan writing (because my fiction writing is… sporadic and also super NSFW when I do post it). If you were so inclined to nominate me for something – like the Hugo Award for Fan Writer or any similar award – here’s what you could nominate me for!
I’m a fan writer because I’m a fan writing about fandom – maybe not fandoms you think about on the regular, but spaces that need coverage that strays from solely celebratory. My writing primarily focuses on queerness and/or race in media/fandom spaces and I document and push back at established narratives about the supposed progressive spaces and what fandom is actually like when you’re in the thick of it.
As of this point in 2020, I posted 101 pieces on my site for a total of 185,232k words. These pieces covered antiblackness in transformative fandom, Korean pop/hip hop fandom, how a popular Tor release missed the mood of 2020, music reviews, the Star Wars fandom’s endless awfulness… and so much more. I uploaded a handful of videos to my YouTube channel, recorded and posted like nine podcast episodes, wrote for I-D and Teen Vogue, and pissed a lot of racists off in fandom just for pointing out the facts of fandom.
2020 has been tough, but I have put out some of my best work so far despite all the wild shit I’ve been through and it’d be cool if folks recognized that, you know?
I’m in Polygon for the first – but hopefully not the last – time!
Building off of how many of Taylor Swift’s fans leapt onto Ginny & Georgia star Antonia Thomas to defend Swift from a joke made on the show at her expense, I look at how Stan Twitter encourages aggression as a form of defense and love. I even touch on “report accounts”, a phenomenon I find fascinating for how often the fans running and working with them… turn on other fans who aren’t doing anything wrong.
I live on Stan Twitter and so at times have had to pull back from the urge the spaces instill to support my celebrity favorites however I can. (And believe me, that means having to go “no, I do not need to dunk on a younger adult with a bad opinion about “my” group” and walking away from my computer or at least taking the whining into the nearest group chat.)
The behaviors that these fandoms urge as part of the parasocial relationship (which I find positive a lot of the time actually) can be great. We can get incredible amounts of social justice charity work, widening understandings of the world around us, and communities that help us be ourselves, but better.
But we can also wind up whipped into a maenad-esque frenzy in the name of our beloved celebrity and that’s not great. So let’s talk about that!
Since I’m still locked on main because the harassment won’t stop until I cease to exist, please feel free to share the Polygon link with anyone you think may be interested!
if your talking point for why the biggest fic archive ever can’t (or ~shouldn’t~) do anything about dehumanizing racist fanworks or the racists posting them on the site sounds IDENTICAL to the weirdos screeching about Dr. Seuss’s most racist works being removed from HIS archives you have a deep RACIST problem and you should work on it
the first amendment protects freedom of speech, true. but if you’re using that to be adamant in protecting overtly racist fanworks along the lines of racists moaning about racist “children’s” books from decades ago…
holy fuck are your priorities scary (seriously, using the 1st amendment in fandom discourse is weird no matter what, but it becomes a PROBLEM if you’re using it to defend racists and NOT people of color who talk about racism here) and i hope you step on something very sharp!
(also the 1st amendment protects freedom of speech from THE GOVERNMENT/CONGRESS making laws, not a TOS: referencing it to wield it against BIPOC in fandom talking about the racism here/in fanworks – who have no power in or out of fandom – is super fucking racist & needs to stop)
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is probably the most important Gundam Series in my life – yes, even though I was very invested in the off-the-wall wackiness of G Gundam and would absolutely sacrifice myself so that Tieria and Neil Dylandy (the first Lockon Strators) could live happily ever after together. Gundam Wing was a series I was obsessed with as a teenager… and as a young adult… and now in my thirties.
Who worked on this series?
I don’t wanna be like “who didn’t work on this series”, but Mobile Suit Gundam Wing has huge crew behind it. Produced by Sunriase and Directed by Masashi Ikeda and Shinji Takamatsu, this series’ script and story were written by Katsuyuki Sumizawa while the iconic character designs were done by Shukou Murase. If you’re a long time fan of mecha anime, you probably already knew that the best Gundams in the history of the franchise – and all the other mech and tech – were designed by Hajime Katoki, Junya Ishigaki, and Kunio Okawara!
These dudes pretty much built out the Gundams we can’t stop thinking about – and one day I will get a good Deathscythe model kit and put that bad boy together while drunk!
I don’t know that I get any particular vibes from the settings used in “Bermuda Triangle”? The video opens with a wasteland shot in black and white, swings to a neon-lit alley where the trio play at being gangsters for Zico’s first verse and part of Crush’s, the second verse is set in… maybe an outdoor restaurant… Then there’s the hotel room – very luxe even before the introduction of the money all over the bed and the hot tub surrounded by expensive alsochol bottles- and the church – because Zico’s Catholic faith is so important to him that it was actually maybe one of the first things I knew about him?
There are things about “Bermuda Triangle”’s different settings that I can… squint and see as nods to hip hop culture and other artists’ videos? Shots – like Zico in the hot tub – that give me “Godfather” energy and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was on purpose because of how hip hop artists worldwide reach for that film to signal at how hood and hardcore they are.
What Ginny & Georgia gets right: the mother-daughter relationship, dealing with trauma (poorly, as a person), how tough it is to be the new girl in town, the MYSTERIES.
What Ginny & Georgia gets wrong: the racism. It literally does not know how to handle the thing it manages to build most of its series around.
If you saw the video of Hunter and Ginny’s exchange going across Twitter and were uncomfortable with the nonsense on display, check out my article to see how this is just part of a pattern across the series.
I love a tol and a smol and if you’re in fandom… chances are that you do too.
There’s something supremely thrilling about size differences in a pairing. I know people who’ve gotten into their ship of choice specifically because of the huge height difference between the pairings. Hell, I got into Devilish Joyspecifically because the lead pairing has almost a foot difference in height between them when she’s not in heels. Even before you get into macro/micro content, a lot of fandoms and different internet subcultures are pretty positive towards size differences and body differences.
Now, what does that have to do with fandom racism?
As you all know, I am largely on social media hiatus. As a result, I have been making use of the Disney+ membership I got Meems so she could watch Wandavision. (Which is very good but Wanda is whitewashed – to an extent, it feels like the wrong word here but I don’t know what fits – in the casting and that’s not going away any time soon.) Anyway, in watching all of the MCU movies except the Spider-Man ones as they don’t seem to be on the platform, I have come to experience a deep loathing for Infinity War and Endgame.
So now, instead of doing literally anything else I am supposed to be doing, I bring you… a list of loathing.
In my latest Fan Service column for Teen Vogue, I got downright celebratory! We’re talking about seeing yourself in fandom and how fans have made fandom a place where they can see themselves – give or take a few issues of representation that do crop up.
Please feel free to share the link with interested folks as I can’t hype it up on Twitter the way I usually would since I’m still locked on main because of harassment over the last column (and my general existence, they really don’t like that)!
Anyway: I’m looking forward to continuing to bring y’all quality commentary on media and fandom in March’s installments of Fan Service!
Missed what I’ve been doing with Music Video Anatomy? For the most recent installments, I covered Jay Park’s 몸매 (MOMMAE) and Taeyang’s MA GIRL! This time though, we’re looking at a girl group that probably should’ve quit before they got started… the since disbanded WA$$UP.
Title: WA$$UP (와썹)
The main setting of WA$$UP’s debut video is a basketball court in the middle of a city – I’m honestly still not sure if this was filmed in Korea or in the United States, actually. It’s an unsubtle callback to the origins of hip hop and teenagers coming up with rhymes while playing around in their neighborhoods. (Think of the kind of setting early in Netflix’s Roxanne Roxanne!)
There’s also a dark alley where one of the members does her own spin on ghost riding next to a very expensive car that I would be worried about crashing. I don’t think it adds anything to the music video, but it’s just… funny to me.
(Please don’t take this too seriously. I beg of you.)
I’m watching Age of Ultron as I write today and I need y’all to understand that this movie is really just keeping me going because James Spader as Ultron is unfortunately My Thing. But what this movie makes me think of – aside from how bad Whedon’s writing is from start to finish – is how the MCU often frames the reasonable negative backlash to the Avengers and the superpowered US Military Interventionalism they represent as The Ultimate Villainy.
In Age of Ultron, there are murals and graffiti in Sokovia that are against the Avengers and US intervention on their behalf. Because Hydra (who are Nazis, not even Nazi coded or inspired like the Empire or First Order in Star Wars) are the folks spurring the backlash to the Avengers, the hatred is framed as irrational and evil –
But at the end of the day: no one wants US interventionism except those that profit from it.
I’ve never seen folks in fandom cut up aspects of a white hero to then give those characteristics to another white character. No one’s writing stories where Bucky was always Captain America and he went on to link up with the Avengers as a fandom norm. No one’s rewriting the Skywalker saga so that Luke is actually the (totally unrelated) rogue who falls in love with Leia while Han is shot into the icy vacuum of space.
White heroes are never stripped of their backstories, motivations, and the like to boost a minor white character or villain up to heroic status. The things that make heroes like Captain America, Luke Skywalker, or even Batman relatable are never stripped from them and handed to some other white hero. (And yes, that’s two superhero franchises and Star Wars, but I get to do that.)
What I have seen are plenty of instances where a hero of color has the things that make them unique in in their media not just stripped away, but then given to white characters in their show, film or comic franchise.
So I’m watching Thor: Ragnarok, since I have to do something while I work now that Twitter is currently not an option for me and… I really love this film. It’s fun, it’s weird, and it’s something that does not actually require a lot of effort on my part to engage with.
Beyond that, however, I was reminded of how ridiculous the hate for this film was from die-hard Loki stans who missed that this was actually some of the best treatment Loki’d gotten since the first Thor film.
Some of the great things I read between last time… and this time! Feel free to pop what you’ve been reading into the comments so I can catch up with your cool thing too – especially if you literally wrote them!
DOOM was a worldbuilder, and he was committed to that practice as much as anyone else in music. For me, Mm..Food? was the gateway to an entire universe. His flawless collaborative album with producer Madlib, 2004’s Madvillainy, is an endless array of non sequiturs, multilayered lyrics with hidden meanings, and more of the villain persona, all spat over jazz-inspired production. “Fancy Clown” is the embodiment of the DOOM experience: a narrative about DOOM stealing the girlfriend of a guy named Viktor Vaughn. The catch: He rhymes from Vaughn’s POV. DOOM even released two albums under the alias Viktor Vaughn, a more down-to-earth version of the comic supervillian’s character. (Dr. Doom’s real name was Victor Von Doom.)
This article is just… so good. I didn’t know that much about DOOM before he passed away and my life is poorer for it. DOOM seems to have been the sort of hip hop nerd that I would’ve done well to know as a kid. He was brilliant, skilled, and nerdy on main with a bit that did not quit. I loved this piece so so much because he was someone my older siblings probably grew up listening to and now I do feel like I can understand part of their own journeys through hip hop a bit better.
Wanna be a part of Stitch Talks Ish Season 2? Ping me!
Morg and I are giving away one copy of her delicious debut novel Honey Girl! Leave a comment with your favorite trope and your email in order to be entered! The giveaway runs from Feb 12th through Feb 22!