Fangirl Saves the World

just who the hell do you think you are, anyway?

G.I.F.T.

with 5 comments

(Title taken from the TV Tropes article; it’s an acronym for the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory.)

Both Fandom Wank and Encyclopedia Dramatica (both links are NSFW and ED in particular is basically the polar opposite of a safe space) exist, more or less, to make fun of people who make fools of themselves online. Okay, that’s cool. Maybe a little schadenfreude or gossipy or whatever, but sometimes – as a fan – you have to sit back and laugh at the antics of your fandom. (Admit it: you’ve whined about people who don’t ‘ship your OTP and wondered if they’re even reading/watching the same story as you, gotten annoyed at the newbies who missed the first thousand discussions about the epileptic trees and think they’re the first one to come up with it, and there are some voice actors who should just not talk about their characters, because they’re doin’ it wrong. Remember, there was a time when you were probably not wise enough to keep this outburst in the comfort of your own journal, or a community dedicated to whining about these things.*)

So, now that we’ve established that poking fandom with a big stick can be fun, because this is fandom and we’re all here to have fun, right?, what I wanted to write about is the completely different ways these two sites go about doing what they do. For example, in a recent post in Fandom Wank, the OP made an edit/announcement that the person in question was to be referred to with masculine pronouns, as is his preference. (The person in question – thanfiction – had been known in fandom as Victoria Bitter before he transitioned.) There was some confusion, and a lot of asshattery – but here, in a community dedicated to making fun of people, the OP lays down the law: you can make fun of thanfiction for the drama he’s caused, now and in the past (and boy, has he ever caused a lot of drama), but you may not mock his gender identity.

This is awesome. Here’s a group of people who gather to make fun of other people on the internet, but they’re encouraged not to be douchebags about it.

Encyclopedia Dramatica… well, not so much. (Read at your own risk.) I happened upon an article and it came across as “my [cis/straight/abled] male privilege, let me show it to you shove it in your face!” You could probably play *ism bingo: put a marker down for each oppression you find on ED… but you have to cover the whole board, since I’m sure you can get bingo on one article alone. (I wouldn’t recommend a drinking game; you’d probably get alcohol poisoning from the first article.)

Of course, I’m sure the denizens of ED would claim that they’re just doing what f_w is doing, and I’m just being ~too sensitive~ because I don’t have a sense of humor, or something – but as f_w has shown us, you can be snarky and funny and bitter without being a douche. I’m not sure why that’s so hard for some people.

Thoughts?


*sometimes, wank is not just whining, it’s discussing a legitimate concern; in my opinion, that’s moved out of the realm of “wankery” and into the realm of “important discussions worth having,” even when the argument gets heated

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Written by Fangirl

February 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Posted in fandom is funny

Tagged with , ,

5 Responses

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  1. I only play peripheral attention to FW and ED, but I do like that the FW folks laid down the law about personal attacks like that. It’s the sort of “do as to others as you would have done to you” principle, and it’s really not necessary to drag in things like someone’s gender identity when talking about fandom if all you’re doing is attacking them.

    The problem I have with ED is the same problem I have with shows like Family Guy and South Park, they just come off as mean. I’m all for satire and calling people out for being stupid, but I have a line that ED crosses.

    (Finally found your blog, btw! This is athenaltena from LJ)

    Rosemary

    February 1, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    • “The problem I have with ED is the same problem I have with shows like Family Guy and South Park, they just come off as mean.”

      Very much this. I find nothing funny about simply replicating existing prejudices. It’s not even clever or subversive, like they seem to think it is; just lazy, privileged people trying to take refuge in audacity.

      Fangirl

      February 2, 2010 at 6:12 am

      • I tend to get weird looks when I mention that I don’t like Family Guy or South Park (which seem to be the staple comedies for our generation) but I think I can best sum it up by comparing it to The Simpsons and Futurama, which are shows I grew up on. They make fun of everyone in those shows, and even though the characters act stupid you still get the sense that they’re decent people at heart.

        There have been a few Simpsons episodes that have tackled issues like gay rights and race, but what sets them apart from the other two I mentioned for me are that they don’t rely on stereotypes for cheap laughs and actually seem to give the issue some thought. The episode where Marge discovers her sister is a lesbian is actually a pretty good take on the subject and handles it with some sensitivity, while I cringe every time South Park or Family Guy bring up the subject. It’s not easy to articulate, but they’re night and day for me as to how they handle it.

        Rosemary

        February 2, 2010 at 9:51 pm

      • Haven’t Patty and Selma always been lesbians?

        Which one?

        Or was it subtext?

        Futurama is great, as well as the Simpsons.

        Adelaide Dupont

        February 3, 2010 at 12:39 am

      • It was Patty that was a lesbian, and they’d actually been hinting at it for a while.

        Rosemary

        February 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm


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