||[Aug. 4th, 2007|12:12 pm]
Fandom- I don't get it. |
Why would you want to mess with someone else's characters when you can create your own?
Does J.K. Rowling take pleasure in badly written stories about her characters having sex? I doubt it. Why- If you admire and enjoy her work - would you want to disrespect her so?
Isn't "fan" a bit of a misnomer?
But lets move from the general to the specific. An artist just got banned by LJ because of an image she posted of Harry and Snape.
Only the banning seems ineffective because she's bounced back and the image is viewable. (I'm not giving links. I don't want to give her any more publicity than she's getting already).
I clicked. I was expecting an image of them kissing. Boy, was I in for a surprise.
The characters were clearly modelled on Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Rickman. Isn't this defamation of character or libel of something?
Even more to the point: British comedian Chris Langham is about to go to prison for downloading images which (I assume ) are comparable to this.
So- forget morality- LJ needs to guard itself against prosecution.
But I don't want to forget morality. You take characters from a beloved children's book and you produce an image of them that any paedophile would be proud to own (you can quibble over whether Harry looks underage or not if you want to be legalistic and miss the point) and I can't think of any grounds on which I'd be prepared to defend you.
A lot of fans are up in arms and banging on about censorship. I just watched a video of a girl give a little self-righteous speech then attempt to burn her LJ shirt with a blow torch . Fine. Off you trot to some less scrupulous site and good luck to you! As it happens, I'm perfectly happy to see you go.
I don't get fandom either. For me, the joy--and challenge--of writing fiction is in developing my own characters. I don't have a problem with other people doing fanfic, but I have no desire to write or read it myself. I don't get the thrill.
I don't totally fault LJ for covering their asses, either. They have the right to determine what they will and won't allow on their site. It is infuriating however that they won't provide a clear definition of what those things are to their users. If you have rules, you should share them with the people who are expected to abide by them. And if you don't want to specify your rules because you want to take things on a case-by-case basis, then you can't just jump in and delete people's journals without warning, simply because they didn't know they'd crossed a line.
As for whether people just shouldn't create this stuff given the current political climate--I heartily disagree. Here in the U.S., at least, freedom of speech is being eroded out from under us every day. Not just sexual speech but political speech as well. The solution to this is not just to slink off and refrain from saying anything that might offend someone. That only allows the government to further erode our rights. I realize that most people don't consider slash fiction and criticizing the Bush administration to fall in the same category, but if you stand by and let people silence speech that *you* don't like, who is going to stand up when your speech is being silenced?
Granted, I'm coming at this from a U.S. legal perspective. I'm pretty ignorant about free speech laws in other countries. You mention a man being arrested for downloading fictional child porn, so clearly there are differences (and I'd be interested in hearing about free speech laws in the UK).
I don't get the thrill.
I have no idea why people would want to get up on a stage and say lines and do movements that have been done a thousand times before by different people, but they do, and pretty much every acting department does some Shakespeare plays. You don't have to understand the thrill to understand that some people enjoy it greatly, and others like to see the results.
As for whether people just shouldn't create this stuff given the current political climate--I heartily disagree.
I get tired of hearing "well, they're cracking down on porn--you'd have to be stupid to post it!"
And if you don't want to specify your rules because you want to take things on a case-by-case basis, then you can't just jump in and delete people's journals without warning, simply because they didn't know they'd crossed a line.
That's what the current outcry is over. Not over their actual standards (which would cause plenty of wank, but we're fandom, we'll wank over anything, and we know the difference between "wank" and "real discussion")--but over their refusal to give examples, guidelines, or rules, followed by suspensions that violate their own stated standard procedures.
When pressed for more specific guidelines, they kept hedging with things like "well, graphic descriptions of rape of an 8-year-old..." which in no way relates to this image.
The English courts are very jittery about pedophilia right now. I certainly wouldn't feel safe with that image downloaded onto my hard drive.
I agree about free speech. I'm a libertarian. I'm prepared to defend LJ for covering their backs on this one issue- but I do see the dangers of the slippery slope.