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[personal profile] dreamwitch
I am a horrible lazy no-good person. Ugh, finals week, uuuuugh. It really wouldn't be so bad, except I should've done transcription of a bunch of voice-recorded interviews weeks ago and put it off, and guess what, it takes FOREVER and I think I'm even slower 'cause I'm always listening to things 4-5 times to get it super-perfect/correct and I can't help it. What concerns me here is that it's like, representative (in theory) of anything that wouldn't come 'naturally' straight out of my head, like your average English paper does: this can only be done by sweating it out, and guess what, it's the thing that might've cost me this quarter, easy as pie. I'm not too thrilled with my performance re: the transcription issue. I mean, what performance? Though I already handed in the paper, I only wrote it based on maybe 8% of the whole of transcription I was supposed to do. :/ So now I've got two more nights to finish the other 92% and I've a headache and want to sleep. :/ Sigh.

Even more hilarious is the idea of 'self evaluations' that are supposed to be super-positive about yourself. I mean, um. How am I supposed to do *that*. :/


As usual, though, when it's exactly the wrong time, I've experienced a rebirth in my fannish self, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] discordiana (...who ships K/B), hehe. Nu!Kirk/nu!Spock epics (recs if you have any?), pls, with a side-order of annoyance and discord. ♥. But really I can't *blame* anything on that. It just was... convenient. Also, I've realized breaks are absolutely the *wrong* thing for me. I mean, small 3-4 day/long weekend breaks? Yeah. Week-long breaks just before the final push of the whole quarter? Just long enough to get me out of the groove of actually working. Not cool.


I've also realized [livejournal.com profile] bookshop was right when I was complaining madly about HP and how much I hated fandom & wanted to leave (hahaha IT WAS 2005 AHAHAHAHAAHHA). Even more hilariously, I know I've been saying that since '04, maybe even '03. Anyway, Aja said that basically fandom's the one who won't leave me even if I stop talking to everyone, basically, 'cause it's a pov/method, and it's truuuue. It's funny 'cause I basically hate 'fandom' 45-75% the time, but I definitely absolutely love it 25% of the time.

We were talking in class earlier about how academic lit study never really addresses emotional response, and how people, y'know, actually relate to literature. No duh. We were also talking about how different and deeply enriched one's understanding of any text becomes upon discussion in a community of readers vs one's own solitary perception upon reading, and no matter how a class tries to emulate such a community through discussion, the bottom line is that we can never be fandom, where people are there because they want to engage, they're invested, and they genuinely have something to contribute-- it matters to them already, or they wouldn't be there. In class, so many people are just taking up space, or don't care/connect to the some of the work at all. For a person who loves discussing literature (like myself) and is most comfortable, in the end, on the emotional-response level first and analytical meta second (like myself), while an English class may be fun and challenging, fandom is my absolute ideal environment, except when it's not, y'know, haha, since there's the rabid anti-meta faction, and then in the meta faction there's the rabid anti-canon faction, and rarely do the twain ever meet, etc.

At many points in the class, I was thinking about how this or that related to fandom and/or was relevant, and it sucked to not be able to share that with fandom. A lot of times people complained about something (in the current state of social interaction with texts/media) that fandom 'fixes' or answers, when they thought there was only entropy & decline. Basically, I think fandom is in fact one of the most fascinating and encouraging and positive aspects of the glut of brainless monstrosity that is modern pop culture. I used to think it only made sense to 'outgrow' fandom at one point, but you know what, it would be really sad if I did. It really would be.

Date: 2009-12-10 03:14 am (UTC)
ext_6866: (Two for joy of talking)
From: [identity profile] sistermagpie.livejournal.com
Ha! Nu!Kirk and Nu!Spock? Seems like everybody I know is about Kirk/McCoy in the reboot!

And yes, you can't ever leave fandom. Really, when are you really in it or out of it? Like, you can feel in it when you're on newsletters or people are reccing your story or art or whatever. But if you're not talking so much about something anymore, does that make you out of the fandom? Sort of, since you're out of the loop about what's going on a little, but otoh, you might suddenly have something to say tomorrow.

Fandom is a state of mind!

Date: 2009-12-10 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
Hahah yeah, so's [livejournal.com profile] discordiana. :> I guess I agree with her in that the nu!K/S is there mostly as potential (and, um, in-movie meta... oooh anvil), but the the thing is, considering I've been a semi-shipper (platonic!shipper? I sort of teeter-totter, but these were the pre-slash years) since I was 13... basically there's no way I'd ever care near so much about poor Bones. Trying to imagine what I'd feel like if not for my history, I'd probably not really be invested in the same way.

I guess that's the thing that makes me not *stereotypically* fannish? I don't literally view every canon through that lens, or not near so many canons as other people. I could like a canon a *lot* without needing to 'see more', even if I discuss it with pleasure. Avatar's like that. I mean, I luuuuurve it, but do I really want fanfic? Maybe if it was some sort of ideal fanfic? But not in a general sense. Nu!Kirk/Spock is that rare combo of being loving the canon and finding this canon to not quite address the possibilities (yet); I think that's why I've always been ambivalent about Trek before. I felt K/S got covered *so* well as a canon (platonic) relationship, there's not a whole lot slashing would add, and much it could possibly subtract if you're not careful. It's rare an important-in-canon relationship is both strong and yet under-addressed... like, I think that's what always draws me in. Nu!Kirk/Spock, Duncan/Methos (only a few eps!!), Picard/Q, Duo/Heero, Buffy/Spike, Mulder/Scully, even (god help me), Bella/Jacob in Twilight-- what they have in common is the fact that they're very important to the central canon character(s) and yet the relationships were never fully explored/addressed within canon as it stood, I felt, in whatever direction. Usually the central people in the character's life are understandably the people canon addresses the most, y'know? Usually my pov/state of mind is to accept canon if it satisfactorily addresses a given relationship, which is why I could never really ship Sam/Dean fannishly, say (the whole show's about them!), or even Buffy/Angel (I feel like their arc's fully addressed/wrapped up, even if not happily). Normally I'm like the sort of Ron/Hermione shipper who never bothers to read/write fanfic or bother about H/Hr shippers 'cause who cares, they're just crazy (not even getting upset; that's how arrogant I normally am, haha). So when I compare myself to people who literally ship characters in a non-canon way left and right, I feel I'm 'different'; of course, when I compare myself who almost *never* ship non-canon or can't easily go beyond canon if motivated (because they're so totally canon-centric/perfectionist), I know I'm different too. I can go far beyond canon, I just have to feel there's lots of unaddressed 'potential' and yet *also* a strong canon basis for an importance to the relationship. I mean, H/D is classic in this sense: clearly Draco is important both to Harry & the canon in general and can be made deeply pivotal/reflective, and equally obviously, he wasn't being addressed (this was obvious to me early on, and so I didn't really care when he still wasn't addressed by the end of book 7; indeed, the degree to which he *was* addressed in book 6 was the degree to which I lost interest). In that sense, I can't really ship H/R at all, since Ron's very important to Harry but that relationship is totally covered. Similarly, I can't ship Kirk/McCoy since that relationship seems totally clear in canon; there's not a whole lot of mystery/openness to it, it seems to me. I can't really see it going 'off the page' and changing the game; McCoy's place is pretty defined in Kirk's life-- Spock's is both wide open and 'pre-destined'/set, which is an

Date: 2009-12-10 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
irresistible combination for me.

ANYWAY. So I still don't know if I have 'the' fannish state of mind? But I'm pretty sure I have *a* fannish one, hahahahah. I can always suddenly have something to say, haha, though since I don't follow mainstream media much, this is less likely than it could be. And yeah, I've always felt confused by the whole boundary there. I knew I was in it when people were aware of me and I was aware of them! But now I'm like, in it on some meta level, haha. But on that level, I've been in it for like, at least 10 years before I was in it. :D

Date: 2009-12-10 05:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cellia.livejournal.com
I like the last paragraph.

You can check out of fandom anytime you like, but you can never ~~leave. :D

Date: 2009-12-10 05:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
Haha omg yeah. Somehow that song seems fitting. Fandom: juuuust like a 70s power ballad. Except with more gay... maybe.

Date: 2009-12-10 02:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
Heeeey, heeeey *pokes*

I was thinking about you lately because -- well, for many reasons, but also because I've got this massive crush on Kirk!

Date: 2009-12-10 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cellia.livejournal.com
heeeeeyyyy <3 :DDD

wait new Kirk or old Kirk?

New Kirk is lame to me (total cliche and also boring), but different strokes and all that...

Date: 2009-12-10 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
<3<3<3

I love both Kirks. New Kirk is not that cliché, only in crappy fanfic. But I also have this giant crush on old Kirk, though I've just started watching TOS. I love his fucking smirk. Aaaand his gutsy nonchalant ways. He seems like the type of character who doesn't get written much anymore, because he's actually in charge without being authoritarian or secretly whiny. Or so it seems to me.

My favourite is Bones though.

Date: 2009-12-10 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cellia.livejournal.com
Ha, I thought new Kirk was cliche in the movie (I've only read 1 or 2 fanfics with the new people... just couldn't get into it. New Kirk just annoys me--there is no way he should be in any position of authority in a pseudo-military organization, and I also see no spark of greatness in him. The actor is cute though.)
Old Kirk is such a cool bundle of contrasts. IA w/ that type not being written much any more. Stargate and some of the newer Trek tv show iterations had people who were good at being in charge like you describe, but I think Kirk was the one who also was the weirdest/most strangely charismatic.

Which I think was the result of sometimes actual good SF writers on TOS + 60s-70s culture in US + trying to make Kirk a "leading man" as well + Shatner's cool-weird acting choices

Date: 2009-12-10 04:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
There's something so genuine about him, I guess, all character and no propaganda. I can actually believe he's got the job because he's got what it takes. The hypermasculine authoritarian one is just a bully who I want to punch in the face, and anti-heroes try to subvert all that by being pretentious. They substitute the bullying with this insufferable brooding that's supposed to attract me to the person but winds up making me doubt their leading abilities, mostly because neither the story or the characters focus all that much on the people around them, which they're supposed to lead and manage. Ie, too much self-absorbtion. If you think about it, it's the same principle: the leader is a Marty Sue, only the first one is for fascists and the second one is for bleeding hearts. (Possibly??)

Kirk seems to me like he's outside of this game in a place that seems to have to actually do with how a commanding role works in reality rather than in wish-fullillment. Now I'm thinking it has to do with writing choices in general, because I'm getting this sense of adulthood from TOS rather than the usual teenage power fantasies. Of course, I might be projecting my own thematic preferences here.

I loooove Shatner's acting. So far it's not even that much ott. And I love his eyeliner!

Date: 2009-12-10 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
the first one is for fascists and the second one is for bleeding hearts

ahahahah <33333333333333333

You might like the essays on TOS!Kirk here (http://allyourtrekarebelongto.us/kirkmyths.htm), here (http://allyourtrekarebelongto.us/whykirk.htm) and here (http://allyourtrekarebelongto.us/kirk10.htm), as well as others on that site, though warning for K/S bias unless you focus on pure character essays. :) To be 100% honest, I personally have a hard time imagining being into TOS and not loving the K+S relationship in some way, but maybe that's just me; I mean, if people can like HP and hate the Trio, absolutely anything is possible. Anyway, those essays go into why/how Kirk is a 'classic' hero in the truest sense. :) And I also love her hardcore 'Spock is a bastard & Jim must be masochistic' take on the character, hahah. Just watch the Pike ep and you'll see what I mean; it really sort of blew my mind also, and it's really sad most people gloss that over & focus on Pon Farr. :/

I'll always love all sorts of heroes along the whole range, because variety is the spice of life, I guess, hahaha. I like flawed/egoistic/etc people who're problematic; the real issue is when the narrative excuses them, not that they exist. This is partly why I'm good with nu!Kirk. Kirk is always genuine, though.

I don't think Kirk represents how most commanders are, but certainly it's hot it should work; most people aren't near so principled, truly open-minded, pacifist, sincere, big-hearted, especially people in power. There's definitely plenty of immaturity and silliness in TOS, though. :) Hahaha oh Shatner.

Date: 2009-12-10 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
I'm sorry but your descriptions of those essays are a turn-off. It's not even the K/S, it's just the slash aesthetics coloring everything.

Yeah, I notice all the silliness and the problems. Though I still stick to my first impression that there's something more adult to the basic structure of the story than twenty millions heroes crying about their manpain. It just seems more focused on humanity than the one/few special humans.

Date: 2009-12-10 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
I didn't mean TOS wasn't special; I just meant it was plenty cheesy (to the point where some eps are kinda painful to watch). But the philosophy behind the show is absolutely solid in my mind, of course.... I mean, hopefully. I did build my almost my whole worldview around it, ages 13-17, so hopefully it wasn't a *complete* waste of time. ^^;

Aand she really does have solid insights into both Kirk and Spock, like I said, if you just keep to the character essays. It's not like 'Jim must be masochistic' is her main point in describing him, that's just a throw-away sentence. In many ways, taking it in a certain way, you can't really argue with it; he courts situations that leave him bruised and battered, and it's a running joke in fandom that Kirk has to have his shirt off and/or get hurt like, every (other) ep. Aaaand Spock really is frequently a bastard, though that's not her main point in her main essay (http://allyourtrekarebelongto.us/spock10.htm) about him either, buuut I can't help but focus on things I find humorous so I accept I make things I genuinely like sound either over the top or ridiculous many times.

Date: 2009-12-10 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
he courts situations that leave him bruised and battered

But isn't he the Captain? And isn't he action-oriented? And seeks confrontations? And has a huge ego?

OK, I must stop doing this before I have a more solid understanding of the source but uuuuh, I really hate "my kink is canon!!!" theories and have a knee-jerk adverse reaction. Especially w/ Kirk I suspect after such a long exposure to horrorific fanfic.

However, I will also skip on the essays until that day comes.

Date: 2009-12-10 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
I'm sort of 'eh' on that take on Kirk, but like I said, that's a minor/throw-away point of the essays actually about Kirk the character. But it makes sense to watch all the series before reading meta/commentary, of course. :)

I agree that he's action oriented/etc, but if you compare him to Picard and Sisko and so on, he's different. He really is ridiculously brash and he gets beat up like, 1000000x more times in canon than any other Trek captain (or any of his crew). I think it's actually questionable to say he *seeks* confrontations, which is part of the interesting thing the essay(s) covered (esp. the myth-busting one), and his ego is tricky as well (he has one, but it doesn't get in his way as much as you might think). In some ways, say, Spock's ego is an issue a lot more often. I just think for whatever reason, the writers of TOS went WAAAY over the top in making woobie suffer... or whatever equivalent. He just... he gets captured all the time, and it just gets ridiculous. In a way, saying he's got a thing for it (even unconsciously) just explains/justifies what is essentially sort of a silly/over-the-top aspect of the show (and similarly an attempt to justify some of the harder-to-square aspects of his relationship with Spock). I honestly don't think it's *extremely* shippy/biased, but it's an extrapolation you don't have to accept; like I said, it's not the major aspect of her essay, though, but I see where it makes sense to keep it for later.

Date: 2009-12-10 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
I suppose Bones is a 100% canon submissive because he's a codependent self-hating alcoholic who is into the whole sacrifying himself for others thing and following and supporting and nurturing his one true Captain friend.

Date: 2009-12-10 10:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
I don't know... do you mean TOS? You'd have to back that up with canon examples, my friend, the whole 'sacrificing himself' thing. He *really* doesn't like away-missions, fighting, dealing with Spock, or in fact following orders without grumbling and insubordination. :) It'd be interesting to read TOS!McCoy meta. I definitely think the relationship isn't near so close as in the movie; if anything, I'd say McCoy's the sane/easy-going one for all his neurosis. It's an odd balance; he's always basically the voice of common sense (if grumpily offered). So he rarely does anything super-heroic or anything. It's Jim (or Spock) generally rushing head-first into self-sacrifice/danger; Bones seems lots more laid-back/subtle about it, sort of being like, 'ok calm down and sit still or I'll hypo you straight in the nuts' or something. He's got a secret drollness to him, hahaha. Bones & Scotty are basically the normalizing backbone to the extremities of service/valor that are represented by Jim and Spock; in their different ways (flesh vs machine) they keep the ship actually *running*.

Jim and Spock are definitely co-dependent in TOS (especially by the time the movies roll around), but Bones? He's pretty grounded. He's really good friends with Jim but calls him on his shit, he can't stand Spock and *always* calls him on his shit but secretly is sympathetic (when it counts); he tells Jim what the limits are & is there to patch him up when he ignores his advice and overshoots himself (again). It's hard for me to associate 'nurture' with someone *as* brusque/gruff as Bones, unless being a great doctor automatically = nurture...? He's supportive, but like, it's not in the over-the-top way you can say Jim can be 'supportive' to Spock, where he makes these huge gestures and 'I'll do anything for you, including get Court Martialled', etc. I can see how Bones is a sub archetype? But. I guess I think of it mostly as some undiscovered country. In some ways, Spock too is a sub archetype (if you can get through his barriers; I mean, Bones just has different barriers). You can make an argument for Spock being 100% devoted/codependent/sacrificing himself for others (he has this whole saying 'the good of the many outweighs the needs of the few-- or the one', and I just can't picture McCoy saying that, 'cause as a doctor he's pretty much all about individual lives). Anyway, now I want to watch some eps with McCoy in mind. :)

Date: 2009-12-10 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
Reena, I think you missed the point.

Anyway, about the self-sacrifice, I dunno, I keep hearing people talk about how altruistic and generous he is. So are they inventing? Weren't there a couple episodes where he sacrificed himself for Kirk and/or Spock? I will try to dig up the links.

He definitely gives me a neurotic vibe in the movie, and he's anxious a lot in TOS as well.

Date: 2009-12-10 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
Oh yes, he's altruistic and generous, for sure. Self-sacrificing/supportive seems slightly different in context/subtext, but altruistic-- for sure. He's probably the most *empathetic*/truly 'human' character in some ways, but he's also got that common sense/gruffness thing and he's no Great Big Hero in the typical sense of heroics. But he's 100% generous. Just, if Bones sacrificed himself once, Jim and/or Spock did it like 100 times; that wasn't his role in the narrative, mostly, I think; it was to keep things running so that neither Jim not Spock's sacrifices actually became permanent. :> And yes, he's always anxious. :)

Date: 2009-12-10 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
Yes, I wasn't really arguing he's a superhero or that K & S aren't more superheroic.

Date: 2009-12-10 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
Oh wait, the masochistic isn't meant to be sexual?

Date: 2009-12-10 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
There's bits of it where she does mean it sexually, but that's only in the shippy essays and the 'why Kirk is important to BDSM folks' which I thought you may be interested in since you did relate him to that. But in the context of the show/Spock/general, yeah, she didn't mean sexually. She just meant, ummm he's very much a glutton for punishment. I think people associate that trait with a personality type (sub, sad & whiny, pathetic, whatever) that isn't Kirk's, which is where people may get confused, and that's her point, I think (he's inspiring for her partly 'cause he's an example of a healthy/pretty dominant/strong character who nevertheless gets beat up on a lot and then puts himself clearly into more situations like that). I honestly don't think it *is* sexual, but he's clearly (even in the movie) getting something out of being beat up even if he hurts people in the fights. I'd even say it's more about him hurting than hurting others, like maybe a drinking/forgetting/escape (entertainment??) type thing.

Date: 2009-12-10 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
I'm just... describing my understanding of what she said? She was like, 'in a lot of BDSM writing, the characters are sad/pathetic, but Jim seems to represent what I see as a kink-friendly character who bucks that trend'. I actually don't see him as an especially kinky/BDSM-related character? But if you wanted to see it that way, you could? I don't know? Sorry. I actually didn't fully read that particular essay before I linked you, since there are so many and I grabbed a few semi-random links, haha. ^^;;

Date: 2009-12-10 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
The whole "topping IRL and bottoming in the bedroom" isn't exactly a new thing. In fact right now it's more a cliche than anything else in fandom.

Oh you're going to become a bottom Kirk fangirl, I can just see it.

You even quoted the movie! Like, maybe he gets into fights because he's aggressive? Also, for the most part he got into fights because people beat him up because they were crazy Romulans or emotionally compromised Vulcans whose ship he had to steal.

Date: 2009-12-10 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
I think-- my honest opinion-- in the movie he got into fights *partly* 'cause he was aggressive and had all this bleed-over unused energy, but it *was* unhealthy-- he was obviously wasting time, avoiding reality, etc, which Pike called him on. I also think *on some level* he enjoyed the sheer physical release of getting all beat up, and the rush of adrenaline/endorphins, sort of like any intense/extreme sport. To me this isn't related to bottoming, the way I meant it personally.

Suspecting me of becoming a bottom!Kirk fangirl is uncalled for and possibly a bit paranoid, haha. I think if you had to push in either direction, you'd have to say he's a top. But I don't think he has enough power issues sexually/otherwise where he'd *have* to top. Like Harry had to top partly 'cause he wouldn't let Malfoy bottom and it was an expression of power, say. But Kirk is in balance with his power (at least in TOS) and doesn't have much to prove, so in my mind he's just open-minded with a toppy default. TOS!Kirk and movie!Kirk are pretty different in that sense 'cause movie!Kirk has plenty of raw/unresolved power/ego issues and he does have something to prove. And I only meant the bar fights; this sense that he got into lots of stupid fights before Starfleet basically 'cause he was a delinquent. That was sooort of a shout-out (I thought?) to the constant beatings Kirk got in TOS. And it's not like there weren't plot reasons, generally, but honestly, half the time in TOS they were *seriously* flimsy reasons, like aliens would pick Kirk and only Kirk to torture, and he'd literally be hanging there by his wrists and whipped prettily but not too hard... it was silly. I personally never even paid much attention to this, you must understand; to me, it doesn't really matter-- I don't think it's a big enough aspect of his character/the series to bother about. Regardless, though, that writer's point wasn't that he was 'toppy IRL' because it was *as a captain* that he got into these situations where people whipped him prettily and/or he let Spock be mean to him/etc, haha. Anyway, if indeed this was the bulk of her insight into the characters, I'd never even bring it up. To me it's a non-issue; I definitely don't see Jim bottoming in the *subby* sense just 'cause he obviously doesn't like giving power away. But this doesn't mean he himself hoards it. He's independent-cooperative, which is... hard to stereotype. :))

Date: 2009-12-10 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
Sorry if that came across as an insult, I meant it to be flippant.

so in my mind he's just open-minded with a toppy default Me too, but as I said other times I'm not interested at all in debating this, my whole thing was a response to yet another claim that he's A Bottom From Canon. I wasn't countering with my own analysis that he's a totes top, or even that he has no issues (though, how do they make him a bottom? And the aliens thing seems a bit silly -- the aliens are kidnapping him, and we make conclusions on his choices?)

Date: 2009-12-11 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cellia.livejournal.com
The hypermasculine authoritarian one is just a bully who I want to punch in the face, and anti-heroes try to subvert all that by being pretentious.

Love this take on it!

I can't tell if you're talking about nuKirk or (real)Kirk.

But I do agree that, behind all the more immature teenage power/wish-fulfillment/fantasy aspects of the original 60s tv show, there is a more "adult" sensibility at work imho.

I think this is almost more a symptom of the era than anything else. Looking at all tv shows and movies from then vs now. More recently there's something about youth culture and.. I guess immaturity and sexy sleekness that seems to have replaced a more adult worldview. I feel it really shows in the Star Trek nu!movie vs old!tv show. haha I sound like an old lady (back in the day...)

The old tv show, however cheesy, also tended to have real SF writers write for it. They cared about ideas and SF. The new movie has no new ideas. There is no SF soul in it. It barely even bothers to uphold the *1960s* groundbreaking ideas. Ugh. (Don't get me wrong, I liked the movie, but it was slick, flashy fun... so lame and empty-hearted and empty-minded as Trek.)

Shatner's acting made the series. Spock is necessary as well, but Shatner creates this lynchpin for everything to turn on.

Date: 2009-12-12 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
I forgot to say I also want to punch the pretentious ones in the face, as well. I don't put new Kirk in that class though (I don't consider him pretentious and I don't want to punch him in the face) though what's interesting is that people's reaction to him is the same characters in that class generally get. This is why I said he's only like that in fanfic. I think people project themselves on him so they can be an angsty rebel who's theoretically a badass but is essentially superneedy and gets a lot of attention from their love interest of choice. It's a weird mix of female and male wish fulfillment.

I was talking about old Kirk in the comments above.

I'm not sure if it's a "back in my day" thing or a response to the globalized capitalist way of producing entertainment. Ooooh. What I mean isn't that we've regressed, but that we're dealing with a new set of problems that cause of a lot of populism that is but isn't the same brand as before.

Obv good stories are being written and there's always been standardization in entertainment, but a lot of the emotional content is so commodified now, and a lot of the so called thematic exploration seems lip-service to give a pretense of adulthood to things that are little more than button-pushing. Also, the exploration is commodified as well. Oh, daddy issues. Oh, he was a hero and the son feels inadequate. Deep.

Ok, so I thought the new movie was better than that, often clever in the way it dealt with relationships and characterization (ie, for example Uhura and Spock weren't boringly going through the sexy moves) but yeah something's been lost in term of vision and, I dunno, patience and curiosity? It really freaks me out how *fast* movies have to be now in order to sell, for example.

It's what rubbed me the wrong way in a lot of JJ Abram's interviews, how he went on about courting the emotional response because whose emotional response are we talking about? And how much of it is due to being the formula that's recogized by most people? And isn't so much of the intellectualism they cut what actually allowed the series to explore new things, new perspectives, different kinds of people?

I don't consider this the only thing going on with current story-telling but it's something that factors in. And also I just used you to vomit a lot of thoughts about bad art that are only marginally related to Star Trek. Sorry :(

It's odd how everyone is SPOCK SPOCK SPOCK. Or is it just hardcore fans? Some sort of nerd affinity? I like him, but I prefer Kirk.

Date: 2009-12-13 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
It's odd how everyone is SPOCK SPOCK SPOCK. Or is it just hardcore fans? Some sort of nerd affinity?

Haha, since I'm (I guess) well-qualified to answer... except not with nu!Spock, and not really with 'fandom response' in the internet fandom sense, I guess... but I can't help it, I love analyzing 'why do people feel X' type stuff.

My first feeling, my first feeling is that *maybe* it's nerd affinity, but that's not the 'hardcore fan' reason? I think. I think in general you always get the biggest response to the more distant/cool/self-controlled/mysterious+sexy character. I mean, merely saying 'nerd affinity' is deceptive in that sense, because if you're a character that's nerdy in the 'wrong way', you won't get the same kind of fans.

First of all, with TOS, even though Jim drives the show, Spock is like, in many ways the symbol of Trek to people. The whole 'live long and prosper', 'Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations' thing, him being 'our' alien like ET, sort of, except not cutesy. He's a very aspirational character, but I think, in a different way than Jim-- I mean, Jim is more of an adventure/mythic story type: he's a true hero. He's not that unusual, merely a great character for what he is. Spock, on the other hand, is pretty unusual in that he's an unashamedly cerebral character who's not just 'the sidekick' or 'the brain' (Hermione, say) or an evil bitter plotter (Snape) or the lame/weirdo nerd (Luna). He's well-rounded enough that his extreme talents are purely useful and admired-- and he can kick ass when he has to and no one really questions or looks down on his abilities. There's the Vulcan prejudice things sometimes, but his actual character is never a true hindrance. He's very unique and unusual in that sense; even the true 'nerdy heroes' of literature like Sherlock Holmes are quite poisoned by their use of intellect/neuroses. Spock's logic is not a neurosis at all. I mean, full stop, it never functions that way. That is *extremely* aspirational and in many ways symbolic of some main themes of the series. I mean, sort of a mascot, really. In some ways even if you're a fan of TOS!Kirk, say, you'd be a fan of Spock to some degree automatically, just 'cause it's such a huge part of Jim to be Spock's biggest fan; it's sort of similar to how most big Harry fans are big Weasley fans, I think. It works vice versa, but less so (you can be a fan of Spock without being a huge Jim fan) because Spock isn't *as* obviously hung up on Jim (or emotional, obviously).

I think there's a lot of people who're non-logical/non-nerdy who just sort of look up to him and think he's awesome. Lots of people criticize Jim 'cause he's hot-headed and popular with the ladies (which some people unreasonably resent), whereas there's no such barrier to popularity with Spock-- he's non-threatening, without being so omg-perfect he's annoying. I honestly think he's probably one of the most well-conceived and ground-breaking, fictional iconic characters of the 20th century; Jim too, but Jim is different-- you almost need to be more of a fan of Trek to be a fan of Jim, whereas Spock *is* Star Trek to people who're not even fans, so it's the opposite of 'just hardcore fans'. He's to the Star Trek universe & franchise what Mickey Mouse is to Disney, really.

Date: 2009-12-10 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
To be fair, all of the cast except for Uhura seem to be doing unprofessional things that should prevent them from being in their position.

I dunno, I see the spark in Kirk, although I guess it's an adorable one whose face often looks like this: O_O I latched pretty hard on his character because I'm always into people who embody this or that attitude (in this case, leaping without looking) while being removed from the stereotype the attitude is usually associated with, which I think Kirk is doing.

I read a bunch of fics (mostly Kirk/McCoy) but I hate a lot of them. Kirk is this empowered woobie Stu and McCoy is his objectified love interest. And yet I keep reading, just like I did in a dozen other fandoms even after realizing most of it was OOC and formulaic. I guess I have to waste my time one way or the other.

Date: 2009-12-11 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cellia.livejournal.com
To be fair, all of the cast except for Uhura seem to be doing unprofessional things that should prevent them from being in their position.

Oh true true. It just irks me more with nu!Kirk. Original Kirk broke the rules all the time too, but never in ways that made me think he'd be a bad commander. I think he does look a little before he leaps though, so maybe he's less your ideal in that way? I have no love for a *leader* who leaps w/out looking though. Just irresponsible aggrandizement imho. I liked the idea that (like Naruto) there were somne leaps of faith, but they were actually calculated gambles. These guys just had the guts to risk a lot more than many would.

I just see nothing original in any way with nu!Kirk. They even almost systematically actively destroyed so many of my favorite non-manpain cliches about old!Kirk. Now he's all a ~rebel who didn't work his butt off at the academy (studying and actually working hard within the system is for ~~losers amirite?). God, wasn't Kirk's original tragic past of surviving the Kodos massacre as a teen enough? And they made him an only child and gave him ~daddy issues. ugh + yawn

Nu!Kirk's kobayashi maru felt more like straight-up cheating and less like outside the box problem solving. Sorry, but if you go the ~~such a ~~rebel, no ~~repect for Starfleet/the man... WTF is he doing trying to be a Starfleet officer. Of course because there's a total logic wall between nu!Kirk's ~~rebel, fightin-the-Man status and actually working well with others in a command structure, they had to write a totally contrived way of him becoming captain that is even more offensive to anyone anti-Authority, because it all came down to Pike just ~~liking him.

haha I have more thoughts and passion about this than I realized. I did enjoy seeing the movie... but it did kinda take a shit on so many cool things about the original series, and had, like *no* gutsy progressivism in it comparable to TOS's women officers, and racial and international mix.

I tried reading some of the newer fics, but, eh. Some of my fav older fics are actually very plot-heavy. The world-building in nu!Trek is so weak and almost-offensive that I wouldn't be surprised that if it didn't lead people to fics that explored it. (The future isn't what it used to be etc etc... or maybe the future they made for nu!Trek is *too* disturbingly like it was in 1960... but LESS progressive)

*sprews fangirl hate and ~feelings*

Date: 2009-12-11 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
...just as a note.... as far as I know, cheating on the Kobayashi Maru is old canon...? I've heard it of yonks and yonks ago, anyway. :)

Date: 2009-12-11 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cellia.livejournal.com
Yeah, it was always canon that he reprogramed, but in original flavor it really did feel less like cheating-cheating imho, if that makes any sense (I mean, we only had it alluded to, but...). It's more a mood/tone issue. nu!Kirk eating the apple was all about being all annoyingly not-taking-this seriously/ too cool for school. It felt more about "beating the test, which is lame haha I'm such a ~badboy" than "no I truly do not believe in no win scenarios, I will save people, because we are talking lives here in RL, and also I'm a little bit of a maverick." And the actual dialog/event progression really rubbed me the wrong way too in that scene, though I can't remember exactly why now.

tl;dr breakdown: my feeling was that nu!Kirk did what he did because he didn't respect the system and is a ~rebel, old!Kirk respected the system so much, he responded to it in a genuinely honest/brilliant way.

Date: 2009-12-12 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
Hm... I see what you're saying, though it's sort of iffy 'cause it's a subjective issue, I think? So it's hard to say definitively, for instance, that the old Kirk was 'working within the system', or in fact that the new Kirk wasn't at least significantly partly motivated by the desire to defeat 'destiny' & save lives (certainly, his past/father dying indicates he'd have motivation to beat similar odds). Personally I was more miffed he depended on Gaila to hack the computers (I think? not sure). I see what you mean-- an apple definitely indicates insouciance-- but I think young!Jim was always a lot rawer/more brash in my mind, and in some tie in novels I read. :> He can't possibly *start out* all balanced and command-material from the get-go like, that'd just be too easy/boring as far as narrative, and no one's perfect (Jim especially). And I think the movie just ran with that, but the kernel was always there in the character, methinks.

I sort of don't think old Kirk was playing *against* the system, but neither was he playing explicitly *by* its rules with the Kobayashi Maru-- he was obviously bending the rules, as he often did, yet within acceptable limits (since he got away with it, as he pretty much always did). But him getting away with it doesn't indicate he was operating within set parameters, just that he had the talent of shifting parameters just enough that his charisma/talent could carry him through the rest of the way. Not too much, in other words. I definitely think he pushed the envelope with Kobayashi Maru the whole time, though, and I doubt his motivation was respect for the system; I mean, this is a 20-22 year old guy, asking that's probably unrealistic anyway, command material or no. Kirk had no business getting command, but he wasn't *that* much more raw/hard-edged than you can imagine him being in the original universe-- that's 10+ years of experience in the lower ranks we're missing. I mean, he got 'battlefield promoted'-- which actually happens in wartime/crisis situations-- which the original Kirk didn't. The system also worked for old Kirk in a way it didn't (father died, no one cared, etc).

I mean, nu!Kirk's definitely a young punk, or whatever. And I agree that in my mind, old!Kirk 'beat' the test because he genuinely just couldn't take the odds as they stood, and he had this 'saving people thing', and I'm sure a healthy bout of ego, whereas nu!Kirk wasn't *as* genuine. But it was still pretty genuine-- the affect (I think) is the major difference, and that Gaila helped, and that Spock programmed it in the first place. I think the affect is hard to compare, since we've never met a young enough old!Kirk. I would guess he was still brash (all fiery leaders are at least somewhat egoistical/brash in their youth, even Picard), but not as confrontational. On some level I think nu!Kirk isn't Starfleet material, but I also think it's obvious they need him, as he's still brilliant, and this is still the early days of the Federation and they're also in crisis mode 'cause of the Romulans. In a way, giving him command is a way of actually putting him on the fast track to maturity-- responsibility stabilizes people like nu!Kirk. Plus Spock is there to spank him.

Date: 2009-12-12 12:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
I guess it's just I always thought that Jim was we saw him must've been the product of some inner journey. I don't think he ever believed in the *system* of the Federation/Starfleet so much as he believed in the most lofty/highest ideals of this system-- he believed in it in ways I don't think most Starfleet officials did, really. You see that Jim is driven by ideals often in the series, but you don't really see it contrasted with the pure systematic limitations of a military hierarchy that much-- 'cause Jim had to basically be free to keep exploring, so they couldn't very well court martial him for real. I think it's mostly luck that he got off the amount of times he did (even in the old series), though. I think Jim was the best of Starfleet-- he believed in its cause whole-heartedly, rather than feeling bound by 'the rules'; so when (rarely) Starfleet's rules contradicted his own values/ideals, he broke Starfleet regs before he broke his own values-- as with movie 3. He actually faces the fact that this Starfleet official telling him he can't go after Spock *is* a part of the system in a way Jim isn't, and that's okay with Jim 'cause it's *Spock*. But the rules-for-the-sake-of-rules doesn't really mean much to Jim, I think.

Date: 2009-12-12 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
lol I really love new Kirk a whole lot but your whole description of him is so hilarious. I also think a lot of people see him exactly like that, except they LIKE IT. I don't even know. Am I deluding myself?

I just feel the character is better -- I've heard fangirls say he subverted Kirk's machismo (??? Kirk isn't a macho so far in the episodes I saw) but to me it sort of was the opposite. It subverted the whiny pseudo-badass woobie by calling back to the stereotype but having so many little touches that made him different. For example I don't think they made him out to be such a misunderstood victim, he's actually annoying and crass in the scene in the bar. And he's pretty obviously a baby alpha man, which is interesting when you mix it with the adorableness. I see him as someone who is neither insecure!!!! neither a stereoype of a self-confident stoic buff. He's v. self-confident but not buff. I really like my interpretation of him which is that he needs Starfleet and a purpose rather than someone's approval and luv, which is so boring and I think, was deflected. Also Uhura shot him down. So that's why I like him.

BUT I actually also agree that what you described is a part of the character -- I guess there are two sides of him, one which is stereotyped and full of manpain and the things that balance it out and bring the character back to something that feels real to me wtr leaping without looking. It's a delicate balance so it's easy to mess it up.

You know I'm with you on this, why do so many characters need the TRAGIC CHILDHOOD and the MENTOR AUTHORITY who likes them best and be a REBEL WITH A HEARTH OF GOLD. I feel this annoyance is more about the context than the movie itself which becomes more obvious because it's got the backdrop of an original series made in a different context.

Though I don't think he's a rebel actually.

I was hoping the next movie had more focus on the ensemble cast, teamwork, world-building and themes but I'm not holding my breath.

Date: 2009-12-12 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
You know I'm with you on this, why do so many characters need the TRAGIC CHILDHOOD and the MENTOR AUTHORITY who likes them best and be a REBEL WITH A HEARTH OF GOLD. I feel this annoyance is more about the context than the movie itself which becomes more obvious because it's got the backdrop of an original series made in a different context.

Ok, moment of lolling irl, because Naruto also has a TRAGIC CHILDHOOD and many MENTORING ADULTS/AUTHORITIES who like him best though he's not a rebel. So for a moment I was like, what the fuck is going on here, before I remember why he's not boring and deserving of a punch in the face.

But, funny. Especially since you were also talking about him.

Date: 2009-12-10 02:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
You're making it sound like I ship Kirk/Spock, which is slander!

I was also having thoughts about emotional responses and fandom, though they went in the exact opposite direction of yours. :D How shocking. It's the reason why me and fandom didn't work out.

Date: 2009-12-10 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godspoodle.livejournal.com
Ok, fixed. Though I immediately told Sister M otherwise but I guess noooo one reads comments. :P

Haha I think you're more genuinely attached to fandom than I am, though, in the sense of pursuing more fandoms, reading more fics across fandoms consistently, and just-- consumption. You seem to dislike the people-oriented aspect (ie, people are idiots), but fannishness itself in terms of interacting with media seems to come more naturally to you, in a way; like I was telling Sister M, I don't naturally view texts 'askew', so to speak. I mostly accept texts. When I do ship, I almost never read/write stuff for the pairing canon pays much attention to (though there are exceptions), almost always looking for that unique mix of 'there' but 'not there enough'. I dunno, I often think that I often admire/enjoy fandom without being naturally a part of it in terms of pov/method, while you're a part of it without admiring/enjoying it...??

Date: 2009-12-10 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
I didn't mean you had to fix it ;P But thanks.

I have an instinct to get attached to characters and look for stories about them, through, but I also have an instinct to read a whole slew of non-fandom blogs & communities I don't even care about just to procrastinate doing my own thing. So I guess it's not a perfectly reliable indicator of anything.

Emotion isn't bad, obv. Collective emotion and the kind of culture it creates is a different pack of problems. Also at this point I'm thinking that while I definitely have huge emotional responses to stories there's not that much overlap with the way fandom shares & codifies them, which is more about language & community.

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