Archive for September, 2013

oh my sweet, summer child

MK : wait why would a cab driver lie to me
Pru: because new york is a horrible place to live?



‘Marienkind / Mary’s Child’ by the Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Heinrich Lefler. Part of a fairy tale calender published 1905 by Berger & Wirth, Leipzig.


Similarly to your last ask re: fandom fuckery, would you recount some of the LoTR stuff? I don’t usually check comments on your posts (there’s always so many! I get lost ;A;) but I’m guessing (considering LoTR’s text) that it was either racist or sexist stuff. If you don’t want to get into it, that’s fine, I’m just curious.


Sure! Let me preface this by saying that the reason I’m talking openly about these things is for two reasons:

1) Enough time has passed that I feel like I’m not rekindling the flame.

2) I’d really like to do my part to stop this behavior from taking place, so speaking about it will hopefully get some folks to understand why certain behaviors online are not acceptable or appropriate.

There were four big problems I had with the Lord of the Rings fandom:

1) You could not talk about any issue ever in regards to the original text.

During my read of The Two Towers, I spoke about the unfortunate knowledge that orcs were physically based on “Mongol-types,” devoted maybe a tenth of a very positive, glowing review to how distracting this was, and then ultimately said that I don’t care, I still love this book and Tolkien in general.

Some of the more egregious threads aren’t there anymore, but the LotR fandom FLIPPED. THE. FUCK. OUT. People begged me not to call him a racist. (Note that I never did once, but that’s the problem with anti-racism reactions online: White people routinely believe it is worse to call an action or a person racist than the act of being racist or upholding racism itself.) People claimed I could not do such a thing. People said awful things to me. I got the best death threat ever, though: Someone emailed me and said they wished they could resurrect Tolkien just so he could kill me. Shit yeah GHOST MURDERERS

I had a similar experience when I complained about how white Middle Earth was and how few women there were. People were appalled that I should ever suggest that there was anything less than perfection in Tolkien’s work. It was consistently awful, and most of my mods hated it. Every day was a nightmare, but not just for this.

2) The fandom did not understand how Mark Reads worked, and consistently spoiled me.

Despite that the point of my site is to read a work of literature or watch a show unspoiled, people refused to believe that someone could read the Lord of the Rings canon without knowing every detail. A lot of my writing contains rhetorical questions, which is my way of working out plot or character development out loud. It is understood that I’m doing this without the readers responding and answering my questions. 

Not the LotR fandom. I cannot tell you how many people violated the spoilers rule MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY. They would just flat out tell me the ending, tell me every plot, and do so with that particular brand of condescending nerd rage. You know, “HOW DARE YOU NOT KNOW THIS THING YOU HAVE LITERALLY NEVER READ BEFORE. WHY DON’T YOU HAVE THE SILMARILLION MEMORIZED? HOW. DARE. U.“ And it wasn’t just one person. It was tons of them every single day

Now, people not understanding the rules of my site when they stumble on it is totally common. And I get it! But we are talking about people who were warned for spoilers 20-30 times over the course of me covering the series. They’d find out they couldn’t post spoilers AND THEY WOULD GET ANGRY! 

But y’all, it wasn’t even the worst part:

3) The fandom refused to let me be wrong about anything.

Now, again, I accept that some people come to my sites and don’t get the rules. That’s fine. People need to learn the rules. However, this isn’t necessarily related to the rules because it’s more about how fandom can be condescending, overwhelming, and downright rude in their quest to make sure people do the RIGHT things and get the RIGHT interpretation and YOU MUST DO THINGS RIGHT.

So. Lord of the Rings is dense, complicated, full of words and terms that Tolkien invented, and consistently references a fully fictionalized history that isn’t given within the text itself. It’s understandable, then, that I missed out on a lot of things on my first readthrough, and I know I’ll never get every detail of canon. 

That means I made mistakes. It happens. Some of them were misinterpreting plots or spelling things wrong. However, the fandom at large could not let such wrongs go un-righted! When I started reading Return of the King, I made the mistake of calling Denethor the King of Gondor. He is the steward

The comments are largely gone because in a rash of pure anger, I deleted most of them, but I’m not exaggerating: Nearly the entire front page was people angrily correcting me about Denethor’s true role. It continued on to page two of the comments. But I didn’t see the comments first. No, I checked my email first that morning, and by 7am, I had 86 separate emails from people yelling at me that I had gotten Denethor’s role in Gondor wrong

And that’s when it started. People suddenly understand that I was reading this unspoiled, and this could not stand. By 10am that day, the emails had a different tone to them. Not only were people correcting me, they were insisting that I adjust my reading schedule so that I could read the corresponding parts of the Silmarillion BEFORE each chapter so that I could understand all of the history and all of the references, and if I didn’t do this, I was disrespecting Tolkien’s intended wish for how to read his work. DISRESPECTING

There came a point where I met Eówyn, and she is colloquially referred to as Théoden’s “daughter.” In NORMAL PEOPLE LAND, that means she is his child. That’s not what Tolkien meant. But without saying anything but the fact that Eówyn was Théoden’s daughter, everyone magically knew I had meant the wrong thing. Cue 100+ more emails with quotes from the Silmarillion, quotes from PASSAGES I HAD NOT GOTTEN TO YET, and every fucking email was dripping with that kind of nerd condescension that I despise.

It was relentless. Every single day, I just felt like my blog and my writing was under siege by the worst killjoys in the history of the world. Which brings me to my last point:

4) Large parts of the fandom had no sense of humor and were viciously anti-shipping and anti-queering the narrative.

I hate the idea of saying that people don’t have a sense of humor when they don’t like your brand of humor, so please understand that I am not referring to such a phenomenon. That is a shitty thing to do. I am talking about fanboys (Surprise! They were all men.) who literally told me that any time I poked fun at Tolkien, I was ruining his legacy. All those reviews that were plays? They were akin to (and I am quoting an email I’m looking at right now) “peeing on Tolkien’s grave with acid.” Which… how does that work? Wouldn’t my own body be eaten from the inside if that were the case? NEVERMIND. 

If I made any comment about shipping characters, I was told to keep that romantic nonsense to myself. (But canon relationships? That romance is okay.) If I made comments about how obvious it was that Merry and Pippin are in love, or that Legolas and Gimli deserve to be married and living in domestic bliss, I’d get angry, homophobic-laden tweets/comments/emails about how I am perverting a children’s story with my dirty dirty gayness

Y’all, I ended up liking Lord of the Rings out of spite. I refused to let these people win and make me hate it. Because I genuinely thought it was fantastic!!! And THE MOVIES. THE MOVIES. However, no fandom was ever so consistently rude and mean to me for months upon months. We’ve had small issues with nearly every show or book I’ve covered because it’s the Internet and human beings use the Internet. But fandoms I’ve been in through my sites have been so loving and accepting to have a new member in them, and this was the first one where so many people wanted me to feel like I absolutely did not belong.

Shit, I just realized, after typing all of this, why I felt so awful. These people did everything they could to ensure that I felt like I wasn’t welcome in their exclusive club. No fandom ever did that to me.

So, there it is. Wow, that’s long.



This man is gonna get divorced because of VIne.

Oh my god, his kids are freakin adorable.

Hello! I’ve recently discovered your fic, Drastically Redefining Protocol, in AO3. I think it’s absolutely brilliant, possibly the best Merlin/Arthur fic I’ve ever read, and I would like to thank you so very much for writing it. :) The embedded photos and whatnot do not work anymore, however. Is there anywhere else I could view the fic in its entirety (with all the photos and the PDF)? Thank you for your time and I look forward to your favorable reply. :)

WHOOPS. Thanks for pointing that out! I’ve been meaning to swap out the links for a while – this should be fixed by the end of the day.

What we see through social media is a generation of ignorant social activists. Young men and women all too willing to care about and defend something they don’t truly understand and refuse to educate themselves further on because they assume the limited information they receive has been vetted by someone more knowledgeable than themselves. This happens on both sides of the fence, with both conservatives and liberals.

I’ve seen arguably intelligent young men and women stand up at banquets and rallies, demanding answers about things like healthcare, DOMA, federal military actions. Asking questions about things they’ve seen on Facebook, on twitter, things that they’ve taken little to no time to research for themselves, and they look like fools. No matter their age, they paint themselves with a red mark that announces ‘I’m not mature enough to be here, to discuss these issues’.

But even so, it isn’t truly about age. It’s about social awareness. You are not discounted until you make a mistake. Say the wrong thing or quote the wrong statistic. Until then, your legitimacy remains intact.

Tumblr is like this.

I’ve seen people furious over gay rights legislation that doesn’t actually exist. Wars that haven’t happened. Most recently text posts with tens of thousands of notes alleging that China and Russia are going to go to war with the US over Syria.

Blogs relaying damaging misinformation written by individuals who can’t seem to be bothered to read a newspaper or use google properly. This is a crippling trend, and no one sees it.

These people get untold attention and affirmation until one person with a large enough follower count points out the flaw in their argument. Corrects the mistake, and shifts the tide. But this doesn’t fix the thousands of people who liked and reblogged the original post. The damage is done.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from working on political campaigns, very little is more damaging than an activist who argues only one side of the story without recognizing the existence of the other; because your opinion, no matter how solid and seemingly factually based, is invalid the second your audience realizes they know more than you.

And the result of all of this is a generation of young activists who don’t understand why they aren’t being taken seriously.

a recent conversation with a colleague regarding social media (via onawingandaswear)


East Coast Gazette has a terrible editorial focus and tends to use a lot of ALL CAPS but TOTALLY NOT BECAUSE OF HARRY POTTER. Stories in progress as well as snapshots will be listed in the "box full of snapshots" below, website archive for stories and assorted tomfoolery is glitterati.

recs (on