sekritomg: (mew mew)
The only site I could imagine being worse for fandom than Tumblr is Twitter. Like Tumblr, Twitter serves its purpose well and fills a niche in the web 2.0 landscape c. 2006. I'm not saying Tumblr is a bad site, or that Twitter is a bad site; they're both pretty good for what they're meant to do. Tumblr is a hyper-simplified blogging platform that's great for spreading memes and native advertising. Its straightforward layout is particularly suited to people who want a low-key site on which to create something like a scrapbook, an assemblage of other people's content that makes sense only to them. I also recommend it to older people who are just getting started with blogging because it doesn't rely on a knowledge of literally anything to run immediately. I'm telling you what I find compelling about Tumblr in order to point out that I really only think it's an awful locus for fandom, and that's always been my position. I hate it for fandom.

Twitter similarly does what it does just fine, though I never adopted it full-time. It's an extremely abbreviated communication tool. It lacks almost all of Tumblr's functionality by limiting posts to 140 characters in length. It quashes art and is useless for fic or any other kind of longform writing. It's best used for sharing links or brief, pithy observations. Snappy rejoinders. Like Tumblr it could play a useful and productive role as part of a fandom experience that took place on many sites. I'm discussing the main functionality of Twitter and not its behind-the-scenes workings or its bizarre, shifting approach to archiving and presenting content.

Basically, a fandom that moves onto Twitter is the most ephemeral possible version of the site. Tweets are so fragmentary and so fleeting that they effectively abbreviate human experience.

I'm posting this only so that when the apocalypse does arrive, and it will, I'll look prescient.
sekritomg: (mew mew)
The chances of Stan and Kyle having an mpreg baby with red hair are pretty low. Though [ profile] negniahn points out to me that both Stan's Uncle Jimbo and Aunt Flo have red hair, I would argue that Jimbo's hair is more brownish than not. Also, Aunt Flo is an old woman so she's probably dyeing her hair. I have pointed out that Aunt Flo is actually a personification of Stan's mother's period, to which [ profile] negniahn has argued that "Kyle is the personification of everyone's period," which I guess is a fair point. But even if Aunt Flo's hair was actually red, she's Stan's great aunt (or maybe great-great aunt?), which means the genetic link between them isn't that close. So, sure, it's possible that Stan and Kyle's mpreg baby might have red hair, but, look, probably not.
sekritomg: (mew mew)
Taking a break from playing SOT to have an anxiety attack, so I'm taking a break from that by writing some brief meta.

For a while I've had the idea that "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" is the keenest articulation of South Park's view of its main characters. I think there are shades of this in the game and I think it's pretty consistent. The thing that initially got me on about it was the first verse. It's so painfully indicative of how I think the show would like you to view these characters. To wit:

some minor SOT content/spoilers -- nothing plot-related )
sekritomg: (mew mew)
A response to this post! I tried reblogging and responding that way, but I'm sorry, reblogging an ask is just too ugly to organize my thoughts. Please accept my apologies, [ profile] formerdinosaur. The thing is, I mostly agree with what's already in that post, to the extent that I just scrapped the longer post I was writing. Here are some disjointed thoughts of less import:

- I think the show implies at a couple of points that Kyle is into rap music. He's probably not that into it, or a huge fan of music in general. He probably doesn't, say, go to shows. He probably just listens to top-40 radio.

- I love the idea that Stan writes non-complex vaguely political songs that are musically catchy but lyrically feckless.

- The idea that Cartman is into Sublime came from the idea that he could easily grow up and become some douchey bro frat-boy, or the Cartman approximation thereof. He's also clearly into anything self-aggrandizing and over-the-top.

- I actually have songs that remind me of all of the characters and/or various pairings, and many of the fics I've written. I would be more than willing to discuss it if people care, though my assumption has always been that people didn't.

- In terms of hobbies, they are all clearly into video games. Stan would follow the NFL and be into the Broncos, whereas I think Kyle would maintain a shallow interest in basketball that he gradually grows away from. For some reason I get the idea that the older he gets the less he'll be into mainstream things and the more he'll kind of retreat inside of himself and spend a lot of time studying/reading. You'd think maybe Stan would get into some kind of animal-rights activism habit, or at least volunteer at a shelter. In high school Kyle would probably get very involved in a bunch of high-achievement clubs like Model UN or editing the yearbook -- that kind of thing. Maybe he'd be like student government secretary. He's not popular to actually be president, and he's not as legitimately invested as Wendy would be, but it would be important to him to do the right thing and get involved in some capacity that makes him look good/accomplished. He'd probably be involved in his synagogue youth group, too, which isn't so much a religious thing as just the kind of thing kids get swept into doing because it's a safe social environment. His mom's already got him in Jew Scouts, after all. Probably when they grow up I think Stan's hobbies would remain fairly consistent, while Kyle would probably spend too much time working and not know what to do with himself when he wasn't. Almost certainly Stan would want to have a nice garden and raise chickens. Kyle would want a nice garden but not want to work in it himself and would be very anti-chickens.

I have this idea that Butters probably draws really tame hetero fan art of like, comic characters like Brenda Starr. Not even as part of some internet fandom thing, that's just a natural setting for him. Probably it's like him kissing different women. Butters making out with Lois Flagston, there you go.

- My basic conviction about Stan and Kyle is that they are enormous nerds. I mean, all of the kids are huge nerds. They are all into LARPing and WOW and gaming and quote Star Trek prodigiously and so on. And they are in the Terrance and Phillip fan club, which is a geeky thing in its own way, like, on par with old-school nerds who are obsessed with Monty Python. They can quote all the lines to old episodes!

Why did I write this?
sekritomg: (mew mew)
There was some arguing on Tumblr and you know me, I love arguing. It's a long thread, or whatever, so start here and read back. A lot of people there have covered all the points I would make really well, but [ profile] formerdinosaur mentioned that she is sick of seeing the conversation about bottoming and characters who are depicted as bottoming. She's right, it's an old discussion that keeps coming back, over and over again. So quickly, I jotted down a few points that came to mind on the topic, some of which are only loosely related:

It’s been done before. I got into this fandom on Christmas Eve 2007. That is six years ago. Six years. Part of me at all times is like, what the fuck, how did this go on for so long? Another part of me is just like, wow, it’s amazing that I’ve been in this fandom for six years and people are still arguing over the same stuff, namely the top-bottom dynamic between Stan and Kyle. I have heard this conversation so many times. It’s not in any sense the fault of people who keep starting this argument that they don’t realize it’s been had before, but it has. It’s good to acknowledge that this fandom has been around for a while and ask around to see what kinds of responses you get. Many of us have been here for a while, watching the same topics get rehashed over and over again. I would be happy to discuss almost anything, and I’m sure most people would be, too.

Read more... )
sekritomg: (champagne)
"She has a reputation for reserve: for being likable but shy and thin-skinned, and not at all comfortable with the personal impact of having created a modern myth, sold four hundred and fifty million books, and inspired more than six hundred thousand pieces of Harry Potter fan fiction, a total that increases by at least a thousand stories a week." [source]

I like how this is somehow seen as just as significant as the actual books.
sekritomg: (Default)
I've noticed that people seem to be especially sensitive to "spoilers" lately, not just in the sense that knowing the conclusion of a story or key plot details will ruin it for them, but even the topic of a TV episode, or a snippet of dialogue, or a 10-second clip from a much longer work, or even an image of how a character/set is styled. In the past day I've seen this come up specifically in regard to the new Hobbit trailer, and the new Comedy Central South Park Halloween episode commercial. Now, I am not that sensitive to spoilers, like, you can basically tell me the ending to something and it won't ruin it for me -- but I totally get preferring not to know the ending, or some crucial aspect of the ending. Like, with Harry Potter, there were leaked copies of the books, particularly the final book, before the actual release, and I was very invested in knowing what happened or like, what the point of the whole clusterfuck had been. And that was such a spectacularly shitty book that I can totally say that, yeah, going into it with a knowledge of what is going to happen (i.e. nothing) would have diminished the experience.

But I think the definition of "spoiler" has possibly gotten out of hand. The SP commercial is a 10-second snippet of what I presume is a Halloween episode. It's likely that they made part of it, gave Comedy Central 10 seconds of footage for a commercial, and won't air the thing until October 31, or finish it that week. I'm really curious as to how that diminishes someone's enjoyment of the actual episode. Previews are supposed to make you more excited, not less. What's going on in that clip? Well, it's Halloween so the boys are trick-or-treating, which they always try to do on Halloween. They're dressed up as the Avengers, which was a huge popular thing recently and I bet lots of kids will be Avengers for Halloween this year. A guy makes a Honey Boo Boo joke, which comedians have been making jokes about for the past month already. South Park tends to be pretty topical or maybe five-months-late topical, so I don't really see this as shocking. Moreover, the clip doesn't reveal anything of the plot of the episode or the decision-making process behind any aspect of what's presented in those 10 seconds. South Park is rarely a mystery. Arguably the biggest shocker ending in SP history, Cartman's Chili Con Carnival, was made 10 years ago and reflects a kind of outmoded model for SP episodes. Now if there's a twist ending, it's often because the writers are out of ideas and think slapping something from left field on there would be funny.

Above all else, SP is just not a plot-driven show where consequences matter. Even when things shift or evolve ever so slightly, they pretty much maintain the status quo. While the boys are now 10, they're not arguably different than they were at age 8. Likewise, the idea of aging up to grade 4 would mean anything was openly mocked. Stan's cynicism disappeared into the ether, his parents got back together, Cartman doesn't seem to be practicing Judaism, Clyde doesn't appear to be grieving for his late mother -- this is a show where stuff changes glacially, and those changes are rarely dwelled on. The idea that Kenny could be killed repeatedly, in every episode -- or not, fuck it, who cares -- remains one of the totems of the show's philosophy. When Kenny died "permanently" he was resurrected within a year. When Garrison changed his gender, they juiced all the laughs they could out of it over two years, and then changed him back. And even when he was a woman, he wasn't substantially different. The farthest-reaching change I can think of on South Park is the death of Chef, a character who no longer appears because his voice actor voluntarily left the show and died. And even that development wasn't really the end of a long plot development or some kind of twist; it was a visual manifestation of the absurdity of a real-life situation that was covered extensively by the press.

I'm not saying not wanting to be spoiled is bad, mind. I think everyone should do whatever they want to avoid whatever content is necessary to enjoy media. But I am asking questions: Can South Park really be spoiled? If so, how?

And is this a subject with further-reaching implications for fandom? For ... society???

Okay, that's enough meta for today. As you were.
sekritomg: (champagne)
I have no idea what this is but I found it saved as a draft in my LiveJournal client, so apparently I wrote it. It's about, um, how Cartman is portrayed -- I guess. Looks like some kind of typology. Anyway. Rather than toss it, or let it linger, I guess I'll post it, incomplete and unedited.

wtf. )
sekritomg: (champagne)
The first problem I solved today was how to make my Semagic client work. The second, getting the old second-hand crap my friend gave me for no reason out of my trunk. Now I will atempt to take on the man, the man being for some reason anti-porn about people who are depicted as formerly being 9-year-olds. (I assure you, that sentence makes sense in some dimension.) Despite the fact that I am all like an adult with a job and shit, often I enjoy this type of thing, and seeing people I don't know on the internet get upset annoys me.

If you are unfamiliar, DeviantArt has always basically had a "no under-aged erotica of any kind, including cartoon characters" policy. In the aforeposted link, they basically call out the South Park fandom: Some animated series might actually allude to its underage characters being placed into sexually themed situations or "adult" situations; “Family Guy” has alluded to toddler “Stewie” having sex or having homosexual desires and “South Park” routinely places its grade school cast into mature situations are two such examples. Regardless of how the creator or series treats its cast the current deviantART policy will still govern submissions without exceptions.

So, some SP artists are like basically calling jihad, or something. And I see why this kind of thing would infuriate artists. So, allow me to present for your enjoyment some practical solutions to this OMG PROBLEM. I hope that maybe some of this will also prompt discussion about various issues in South Park art in general.

Get out the way! It's time for srs bzns. )
sekritomg: (craig)
Memo to the entire world, or perhaps just the South Park fandom: Everyone, please stop requesting/writing fics in which someone passes out and someone else is there and the first person has a sexy dream about the second person and starts moaning his name and whatever. This idea isn't good enough to warrant really more than one example, yet I feel like I'm wading through so many of these I have to wear clam diggers. Thank you, everyone, for complying.

Meta II

Oct. 20th, 2008 08:34 pm
sekritomg: (my friend kenny)
Okay, when I first started writing fan fiction for South Park, I sat down and wrote out an entire manifesto on how to ... do it ... correctly or ... something. Actually, I wanted to keep my characterizations consistent, so I wrote this up as a rough guide to some of the kids' personalities. I did this in, like, early February. Why am I going to post this? I like posting things.

Man, I suck.

So, here's some of it.

Read more... )
sekritomg: (my friend kenny)
I have a lot of (very likely uninteresting) meta fandom or really, just South Park crap stashed in various places: my computer, my old computer, my other LiveJournal, drafts in Gmail.

So basically, I stumbled on the SP fandom in late December while I was looking for something else. This is the post I wrote about an hour after I decided I wanted to learn more about the fandom. I'm aware that this is probably pretty boring, but Jesus Christ, I actually have a fucking SP-only journal, so really I should start using it. All this post will detail for you is what I thought of the South Park fandom after basically typing "south park slash" into the DA search. I guess these assessments are pretty premature. This isn't like Nobel Prize material, either. It just .. is what it is. Shit, why am I talking so much?

The feel-good post of the summer. )

March 2016

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