eumelia: (Default)
So, I've been bitten by the bug.

I've brought myself up to date with "Elementary" and I'm enjoying it immensely!

I have many thoughts, none of which are to do with the cases, which honestly, so so easy, but the mental exercise Holmes and Watson go though are fun to watch.

I can see why the BBC "Sherlock" people took issue with it at the start, but it is so different, both in concept and characterisation (up to a point, they are clearly Holmes and Watson), but this Sherlock is so... sympathetic.

I mean, I feel compassion towards him in a way I didn't with the BBC version. And while the BBC Watson was more fleshed out, I do really enjoy how this Watson takes none of his shit.

Also, Bechdel Fucking Win in ep five! Between two women of colour! \o/ (Plus, Sherlock hinted at a "Sapphic" - really, CBS, really?! - entanglement and you know how observant he is ;)

And there are random people of colour in the show! (not enough to be sure, for a place set in New York city)

In addition, (and this when my brother should stop reading because I'm about to talk about things that will make him reach for the brain bleach - don't say I didn't warn you, [livejournal.com profile] hemlock_sholes) I absolutely adore how openly kinky this Holmes is. He likes bondage, he likes to be dominated, erotic asphyxiation is third date material! He has a zipper mask!

So, uh, people of my lists who are watching this, point me to the comms and kink_memes! I have gone to the AO3 page and, well, let's just say that page leaves a lot to be desires.

I'm not feeling the same degree of attachment (obsession, love, adoration?) as I do to "Hawaii Five-0", but let's see if I can juggle two fandoms, yes?
eumelia: (dandies)
"Slash, drug use, torture..." in the Warnings section of the header of a Sherlock fic.

I have the story open in a different tab and I'll probably read it later on, but damn, I contemplated not bothering with it.

As I write this, a few other stories have appeared on my list containing the warnings "M/M Kiss" and "There will be slashy sex"

I know, that it appears petty, possibly insulting, to equate Slash fiction with Queer lives. But I can't separate the two issues, especially when it is so acute with regards to a text (BBC's Sherlock) that I find to be one of the few actual canonically queer texts out there at the moment.

[livejournal.com profile] rm said it best in her post:
The queering of Sherlock. By which I do not mean that I see Sherlock as gay, bisexual, omnisexual or ace. I don't know. In fact, if the show presented me with a heterosexual Sherlock, and did so credibly, I could get on board with that too, without a problem, because it wouldn't make Sherlock any less queer in the literary sense.
[...]
There is an inherent "other" about him in regards to his instinctive presentation of whatever his sexuality may be, and it is recognized by people who see him, both in the audience and in the narrative. Even a theoretically heterosexual Sherlock is, in this presentation, still queered.

I really couldn't agree more.

What happens in non-fictional situations that actual queers live through is that this Otherness is an inherent part of our lives. I'm not even talking about the over exposure to violence and the fact that our lives are considered forfeit in many ways. To stay on topic, our representation in culture is minuscule (and demographically skewed to begin with) and when it appears it is often vilified.

When I was a kid and I began reading Slash, I discovered alternative narratives and stories based on stories I already loved. Many times, these narratives weren't even "alternative" just, you know, another way of explaining a dynamic.

When I was a kid and understood myself to be bisexual, I watched shows with the knowledge that what I saw wasn't everything there was to get. That within the lines spoken, an entire world of meaning of hidden or coded and all I had to do was expose it, or crack it.

My Slash goggles have been a major tool in my studies of literary theory, even if I was forced to remove them, they were still a part of my interpretative machine.

Slash is not just a genre (it may not be one at all), it is, as I've said before, a conscientious dynamic that manifests a homoeroticism that already exists in the canon texts, whether it's more sub-textual or less (or totally overt, like in Torchwood), because tension between characters is what happens when there's interaction.

When one writes Slash, you're writing an overt homoerotic and potentially queer event, whether there is explicit sex or not. Because a dynamic between characters, is a dynamic of identities.

When one writes Slash, you're writing about identity, you're writing about literary identities that can and do, exist outside of fiction.

"Slashy sex", i.e. Sex between two male characters, i.e. sex between two men, surprise! It happens in real life.

Not only does it happen in real life, people have been punished for it and moreover they are still punished for it, we are still paying the price of the stigma that is placed on people who commit sexual acts that are considered... wait for it... unnatural.

The connection between warning for Slash (as a dynamic of identities in fanworks) and the experience of homophobia by gay people is connected. Not only is it connected, it cannot help but have a negative effect and affect of queer people who are consumers and producers of culture.

Sherlock is a queer text, because it deals with and manifests dynamics of marginalised characters - Sherlock specifically (and obviously) and John to a lesser effect, but still, John, as a veteran of an unpopular war and a person who has experienced war-fare and trauma, those experiences also marginalise him, but we as a culture, have better tools with which to understand John as human.
Sherlock, not so much.

When you warn for Slash, you're warning for Queer. When you warn for Queer, it is implicit that Queer identity and dynamic is dangerous to those identities that are habitually considered "normal" and "safe".

Just like 30-40 years ago, when Slash zines were more marginal and underground, we as consumers and producers of text and textual dialogue, were also marginal and underground.
Gay liberation and Queer culture have come a long way in terms of visibility and in many ways perpetrating and perpetuating homophobia is worse today because we are no longer invisible and we can't be ignored and we have shouldn't be vilified and told to "wait for change".

Things have changed and to see this kind of ignorance of the meaning of the word "Warning", the implications of putting Slash there and ignoring the fact that deciding to ignore queer persepctives on Slash and fandom in general is pandering to homophobia (at best).

I'm not asking for a safe place. I don't consider fandom a safe place nor should it be. But alienating those who want to participate and don't bother to fix a problem that is really so easy to fix, because "other people's feelings will be hurt" is disingenuous.

I may talk about this some more, later.
eumelia: (queer rage)
Today I wrote a post regarding the really atrocious warning system I've seen in Sherlock fandom at large.
Almost every story coming out of this fandom has a warning for slash and a warning for the mere idea that slash could be implicated within the text.

For fuck's sake.

Just to put this in perspective, I'm currently pursuing two fandoms quite actively, the other is Inception. The difference in attitude is staggering.

The post I wrote was sent into queue for [livejournal.com profile] sherlockbbc and was rejected.

This is what I wrote (verbatim with typo fixes):
I'm a recent joiner of the fandom and I've mainly lurked. I suppose this is not the best way to de-lurk or announce myself to the fandom at large, but this comm is the largest and most comprehensive on Livejournal.

I don't know if this has been discussed in this fandom before, but it has been discussed on the meta level on fandom in general and I'm sad to see it pretty much ignored in BBC's Sherlock fandom.

I've read the guidelines, I've read the FAQ's and I'm pretty sure that this is on topic so here, goes.

I'm talking about warning for Slash.

Warning for M/M, boy kissing, naked men together, whatever. And seriously, a huge amount of fanworks that I see on my f-list that are in Sherlock fandom have warnings for the above, along with various kinks, drug (ab)use, incest, etc.

The warning that this fic contains homosexuality.

Now, the warning debate on fandom is fairly current and has a history. You can find it on [community profile] metafandom's Delicious easily. To put "BDSM" in the warnings section along with "Non-Con" and "Incest" is debatable, but that's not what I want to talk about.

I want to talk about the fact that warning for slash or even pre-slash is homophobic.

You know why?

Because that's not a warning for actions in the fic or art. That's warning for the identity of the characters as they are portrayed in fiction.

Sherlock is a Slash based fic, whether you interpret Sherlock himself as Ace, Gay or Queer is some other way, he will generally be paired (if he is paired) with another male character and warning for that is not only redundant, it's insulting.

I'm Queer. I'm a Lesbian-Identified Bisexual. I like to read Sherlock fic among other fandoms and I do so while I am Queer. This is not something I turn off, this is not something I segregate from the rest of my identity in my daily life and if affects the way I read and understand the world and its texts around me.

Those warnings are saying that part of the queer identity is upsetting for some and they need to be warned against it. I'm upset to see a warning for an identity that still bears a social stigma of being "Other".

When you warn for Slash, you're warning that this fic contains people who do queer things, like same sex kissing, or even just cuddling (as happens in Ace!Sherlock fics) and let me ask? How the hell is that on the same level as non-con?
Warning for the most disturbing acts of consensual kink is appropriate I guess, because lord knows those can be triggering, but warning for who is committing those acts?
And with pre-Slash it's even worse because the warning is for sexual tension between two men, which you may or may not notice, depending on your interpretation, i.e. the "squint".

I find it hard to click on fics that warn for slash and pre-slash, because it reads as though you're (general you) are more worried about being flamed by homophobes (who, if they're reading slash are fucking hypocrites) that being, you know, loyal to your characters who are on some level queer or at the very least not-straight and to your QUILTBAG* readers and yes, we're here. I wouldn't be surprised if many of the writers are queer but because of convention also warn for slash.

This was not easy for me to write. I'm very much enjoying Sherlock fandom. I enjoy the fic and the art and the discussion and all that.

But to see this kind of thoughtlessness is upsetting and even if you think this is "cry moar", I urge you to rethink about what it means to warn for homosexuality in a fandom that is Slash based.

Thanks in advance for reading.

*QUILTBAG is a comprehensive acronym for Queer, Intersex, Lesbian, Trans, Bisexual, Asexual and Gay.


Nothing I've never said before and certainly nothing that's never been discussed at large in fandom in general.

Here's what the rejection letter said and I'm cutting it for pertinent information only:
Thank you for this post, but we're going to have to reject it for a number of reasons, not least because we don't want to open this argument again as it has already consumed a great deal of time and energy for the mods.

It also does not pertain to the show itself, only acts as an objection to the acts of other users, which is not the purpose of this community. Comments of that nature should be directed to the moderators.

The mod who rejected this, then goes on to tell me their personal situation with regards to sexuality and relationship which I shan't quote because that's not important. But here's what is:
[W]e [the mods] totally agree that from our perspective it's ludicrous to list 'slash' as a warning. We don't like seeing it and we don't like people doing it.

Yes.
But, excuses, excuses...
However, this community covers all aspects of the fandom, from icons to fan meets to fiction and crafts. The users here may not always be aware what they are getting into if they click on a story, having come here for icons or news on releases.

Utter bullshit.
If you're in fandom, in which the main pairings and almost every other pairing is m/m, you certainly know what to expect. Warning for the fact that the two (or more) characters in the story are in a situation in which there may be sex is a fucking given!
The nature and explicitness of the situation is what you warn for!

Even though they are few and far between, I've yet to see het stories warned for in the same manner.

Sherlock and John kissing is more "explicit" than John and Sarah fucking.

Yes, that is the implication.

They go on with the excuses:
Many members here are totally new to fan fiction as a concept, never mind the idea of slash (which for many, when first engaged in fandom, is a very confusing concept as they cannot rationalise characters written generally as heterosexual being portrayed in homosexual situations).

Are these people watching the same show?
And in any event, fan-fiction, the debate around it and the slash debate (that it's all about the sex and is automatically porn and therefore there needs to be an "OMG! Warning!" should not perpetuated in new fandoms over and over again.

All it does is entrench the notion that queers and queer behaviour needs to be extra supervised!

If people feel that it's necessary to make that warning on their fics, then it may be misguided but we believe that is based on their naivete, not on hostility. If they were writing slash, they probably aren't against it.

This naivitea comes from attitudes consistent IRL. When two women or men kiss, it is more "noticeable" and "disrupting" than when a man and woman kiss. This heteronrmative distinction and hierarchy is a homophobic mechanism and using it as an excuse to say "oh well, they don't know any better" is simply not on.

In fic headers, we ask for only two things: rating and warnings (with severe penalties for those who do not comply), and as a result of that, some people have been overly-cautious, listing everything from kids to smoking to fluff. Although this is irritating for us, it is also better than losing the warnings which are necessary and relevant, and it's a concession we have to make.

Asking for a list of things that the fic contains (which is reasonable) is not the same as warnings. It's not. Fluff is a fic genre that is independent of Gen/Slash/Femmslash/Het, like Angst, like Hurt-Comfort, etc. And like Slash doesn't need a warning!

In general, our warnings warn for ANYTHING that people may not wish to read - right down to fluff, as you will note in some headers.

Please rest assured that in this community we will not tolerate homophobia or any form of deliberate prejudice against any group. We have rules in place which include instant banning for those engaging in harassment or behaving in an offensive/hostile manner toward other users.

I have no words.
I have an analogy regarding Donovan and Anderson, or indeed Donovan with anyone, but I won't.

I'll just conclude by saying that warning for the idea of two men in a sexual/romantic (in all its permutations) relationship is on the same level as "Incest" and "Non-Con" is asinine, offensive and downright prejudicial.

Fuck that.
eumelia: (flog it)
I've just re-watched BBC's Sherlock ep "A Study in Pink" and found I still couldn't watch it as critically as I wanted.
Too much fun!

I did however, try to be more attuned to the details that I think has captured fandom's imagination.

I'd like to state, before I start spieling my own thoughts, that everything I say here is personal opinion and interpretation of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson (2010) as characters - interpretations in fandom may differ - it's what makes it all the more fun, but I've found that without the proper disclaimer things tend to get fiery.

And so, without further adieu.

Spoilers ahoy )

Next time, some more on Sherlock (not sure what, but probably sexuality) and possibly John. I might go the other way around. But we shall see.
eumelia: (Default)
Dear, dear me.

Gone a second time and back with more insight and a bunch of icons.

Where to begin? And can I ever end.

Let me first say, the clothes. My god, the clothes.

Friends, I want to be a dandy.
I want to wear Tweed and braces and waistcoats and a bowler and a cravat! The clothes seemed to be hyped up versions of themselves. Feh, the whole movie was a hyped up version of Sherlock Holmes and was faithful to the books in many ways - though departed in many many others.

This is a bit long. Just a bit )
eumelia: (Default)
And I freakin' loved it!

OMG! So cool! The music, the action, the flirtations! So awesome!

Now f-listers who have seen it: rec me the fics! where can I get good quality icons?!

I shall write a long detailed review over the next few days!
eumelia: (Default)
I haven't seen Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes yet, and I fully intend to.

As those of us who follow the media and enjoy movies know, there's been a huge amount of talk and play regarding the more homoerotic facets of the new movie.

I've only seen the trailers, and even there, despite Ms. Adler's fetching lingerie, the Slash Factor between Holmes and Watson is apparent.

RDJ and Jude Law have been playing up on that for promotional reasons.
It wouldn't surprise me if either of these men were queer, but for convenience sake and because Hollywood is a conservative corporate town, chose not to disclose this and had public heterosexual relationships.
Hollywood is not conductive for being out of the closet.

That's beside the point.

The point is, that slash is a way of interpreting text. Finding homoeroticism is the original Doyle books is so easy - Watson being divorced (or widowed) twice, Holmes not actually even appearing to be in a relationship, Ms. Adler being possibly the only woman that misogynist (if you contradict this by saying that Holmes is a misanthrope, I will be annoyed, if he were really such a misanthrope, he wouldn't tolerate Watson as much as he does... besides which, misanthropes are not immune to societal misogyny) considered intelligent enough to find human and interesting.

I hear Carole Nelson Douglas Irene Adler stories are worth reading, is this true?

Back to my point. Not every interpretation of the text is a good one, you have to be able to create a cohesive and essentially un-contradictory (in- ?) analysis and give good, clear examples and indications from the text that what you say is indeed supported by the words, images, metaphors, Synecdoche, etc.

I apologise for the Literary Lingo, there's more of it coming, please don't hold it against me! Thanks.

The Queering of Sherlock Holmes is about as out there, as Queering Star Trek, that is, it's bloody easy and people do it.
A lot.

But again, it's a reading that does travels along the weaving of the plot and focuses on the relationship between the two men, or rather, on the fact that Watson's admiration of Holmes has an erotic edge to it.

In the movie, which I have yet to see, because it isn't in fact the story as seen through Watson's eyes, but an action adventure movie in which we, the audience is sucked in via diegesis that we are shown and not told, which makes the queering both easier to see and easier to refute.
Why?
Because while there is a revealed text (i.e. what we see on the surface, the text itself) there is also subtext which contains hidden meanings which are more subtly revealed via interaction with the reader and the narrative as it goes along.

There is a reason why slashers call "Subtext", "Buttsex" (anagrams are teh awesome).

Thus, when Andrea Plunket who claims to hold the remaining US copyrights of Doyl'es estate is quoted:
"I hope this is just an example of Mr. Downey's black sense of humor. It would be drastic, but I would withdraw permission for more films to be made if they feel that is a theme they wish to bring out in the future." She then added, "I am not hostile to homosexuals, but I am to anyone who is not true to the spirit of the books."
Emphasis mine.
Regarding RDJ's antics regarding the more-or-less obvious (I'll let you know when I see it) homoeroticism between Holmes and Watson, I call foul.
Foul, I say!
Because who the fuck are you, Ms. Plucket, to say what is and what isn't in "the spirit of the books"?
Being that, a) it's a movie! b) it's based on the books and isn't in fact telling a story Doyle wrote and c) there isn't, in fact, anything wrong with Watson and/or Holmes being Gay *gasp* Together!

Oh, and when you use the term "Homosexuals" when talking about gay and/or queer folk, it sounds as though you think we're sick, because that's the psychiatric term when speaking about the identity of many an LGBT.
It's also the term used by right wing conservatives who do their best to misname us as a group, under the guise of neutrality: "But you are attracted to your own sex, so you're homosexual".

So, yeah Ms. Plunket, it actually sounds like you kind of are hostile to the Homosexuals, deviant text manipulators that we are. The mere fact that you felt the need to defend your position pretty much gives away your homophobic ass.

Hopefully, I'll get to see both Sherlock Holmes (and Avatar) over the coming weeks.

Edited To Add: I now want an icon that says "Deviant Textual Manipulator". Alas, I have no skillz!

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Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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