?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Subcultural legitimation and its discontents; peer-to-peer storytelling - crypto [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
crypto

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Subcultural legitimation and its discontents; peer-to-peer storytelling [Mar. 24th, 2008|02:46 pm]
crypto
Jason Tocci at Geek Studies has a new post, "The Motivations and Problems Behind Geek-Media Activism," responding to this post by a blogger who's also written The Geek Culture Manifesto:

"...What we do is not a joke, except when it is. It is not parody, except when it is. It makes sense to us and that is all it needs to do. This is not something that we will translate for you. We will not explain it to you. Not out of spite, but because it is something that you can only understand if you are one of us.

"If you can not understand why we do what we do, then that is fine. This is not meant for you, it is meant for us. We do not ask you to understand. We do not ask you to come to terms with what we are doing. We simply ask that you leave alone those things that you do not understand. Pretend that we do not exist, that is fine with us. Do not try to explain us though. Do not try to understand where we come from or what motivates us. If you are not one of us, then you will never understand these things...."


The geek culture & media they're focusing on is comics and video games, generally coded as male. I'm interested in how some of their arguments recapitulate substantial parts of the discussions about female-inflected forms and genres, specifically fan fiction and fan vids. Though gender is not the sole axis of differentiation -- the comics and video games here are largely produced by corporations, while the fanworks come out of communities organized around peer-to-peer storytelling and artmaking networks.

Would cultural legitimacy for fanworks require asserting and importing the packaging of literature and art -- authors and canons and markers of "quality" (e.g. complexity, technical bravura, originality, moral depth, thematic seriousness)? Here are three posts that have discussed this in the context of vidding: 1) sockkpuppett talks about "drowning in the quicksand of outsider expectations" and "getting all of this wonderful recognition and was hopefully representing vidders well, but I was being recognized for something I seldom do." 2) theorynut asks "what are the stakes in allowing this or that vid to become representative?" 3) Louisa Stein explores "the prevalence of auteurist discourse in vidding specifically and fandom in general" and cautions "that we should be aware when we’re recreating auteurist discourse, and the ideological implications therein."

Authorship in fanworks feels fuzzier, even sometimes ambivalent -- at least, the degree to which a specific writer's attributed authorship shapes the reception of the story seems to vary in my own experience. I've read some stories which are strongly linked in my mind to the name and person(a) of the writer -- especially if they're on my friendslist, but also if I just want to check out more of that particular writer's work (vs. wanting to read more widely in that fandom/genre/pairing/etc.). I've also read stories where I don't remember the writer's name at all, even if I liked the fic; that's most often true with stories I find via comms (especially for challenges or exchanges), or via links and recs to someone who's further removed from my personal LJ social network. Authorship itself seems to fade in and out of relevance and significance according to context and location.

(Possibly related: fanfic as 'the id of writing' from if:book -- link via cathexys)
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: cathexys
2008-03-24 08:13 pm (UTC)
I was thinking about linking that post, though my thoughts were more along the lines of juvenile fans and queerness and youth (a la Edelman) and a refusal to "grow up" as being consonant with a countercultural and antiheteronormative stance? (And i'm throwing in 15 different thoughts here, but they all seem to circle around to the issues that he raises at the blog...except that I hadn't gendered it, though the queer aspects somehow might being gender back in?)

and OMG yes on my fear of creating a canon...at the very moment when in capital-L literature we've finally begun to dismantle it!!!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cryptoxin
2008-03-24 09:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's interesting -- I hadn't really thought of it viz. antiheteronormative. That approach to geek/fan cultures (the refusal to grow up -- the new hippies?) also makes me think of the UK/Japan demographic category of NEET (Not engaged in Education, Employment, or Training) -- I think the closest U.S. equivalent would be slacker, and there's the "Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family...." monologue from Trainspotting.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cathexys
2008-03-24 09:59 pm (UTC)
Yes!!!

I just...there's so much discourse on fannish behaviors being child's play, on obsessive fannishness or dressing up/cosplay or acting out/larping being things that children or teens do.

and that somehow really resonates with the ever-presence and focus on youth that Edelman celebrates and his rejection on futurity and/as heteronormativity...

Throw in there queerness and feminization, fans as feminized, queerness in fandom...as I said, these are very rough thoughts and noone other than heyiya has suffered through them yet (mostly, bc the queer twist can easily read offensive and/or stereotypical), but I just keep on coming across this again and again...fan as young is OK where fan as grown up isn't...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cryptoxin
2008-03-24 10:20 pm (UTC)
Throw in there queerness and feminization, fans as feminized, queerness in fandom...as I said, these are very rough thoughts and noone other than heyiya has suffered through them yet (mostly, bc the queer twist can easily read offensive and/or stereotypical), but I just keep on coming across this again and again...fan as young is OK where fan as grown up isn't...

There's this whole cultural thing about immersive, imaginative play as the domain of children, plus romantic fantasy as female/feminine terrain (vs. power fantasies coded as adolescent male?)....

At the same time, I have the impression that a lot of male geek culture (say, gamers) can be simultaneously homosocial and misogynist, which doesn't feel like much of a rejection of heteronormativity. It's sort of the Raymond Williams question -- are the cultural formations around geeks and fans alternative or oppositional to dominant culture?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cathexys
2008-03-24 10:23 pm (UTC)
I was just wondering the same thing. There's a clear alternate sexuality aspect of fan and geek culture (IDIC and all :), and I think Jenkins talks about that in his book with Tolloch. But then there's that homosocial/misogynist/wanting the girl Weird Science geek thing that's very much heteronormative.

I don't know! Is it a stereotype vs reality thing or something more complicated?

And yes, I like the imaginative play and romantic fantasy approach you're doing...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cryptoxin
2008-03-24 10:39 pm (UTC)
There's a clear alternate sexuality aspect of fan and geek culture...

It's funny, from within the cultures they look like spaces & socialities that make room for alternate sexualities, but from outside the cultures they're often cast as alternatives to sexuality -- that is, a kind of immature, fearful evasion of "proper" adult sexuality entailing sex with other/real people. It's seen as a dodge or failure, a deferral of the responsibilities of reproductive heterosexuality in favor of a fantasy world.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cathexys
2008-03-24 10:41 pm (UTC)
Ah!!!

Or is it that the sexuality cannot be read for what it is because it is alternate???

In other words, the lesbian representational conundrum where women could cohabitate, could be physically affectionate and noone saw anything, bc they weren't doing what was expected/were read as asexual anyway?

But yes, I love that last line!!!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cryptoxin
2008-03-24 10:54 pm (UTC)
Or is it that the sexuality cannot be read for what it is because it is alternate???

That's a really interesting question, which kind of speaks to the whole Queer Female Space discussions, right?

And then there's the whole converse, the tradition of excessive/inappropriate desires -- female fans of singers/bands/actors swooning & throwing their panties on stage, male geeks & fans lusting after cartoon women or real women who are "out of their league" (Beauty and the Geek), fans as stalkers (like the Kathy Bates' character in Misery).... It's kind of read as the failure of sublimation & inability to occupy one's proper place in the sexual economy.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cathexys
2008-03-24 10:58 pm (UTC)
Which brings us back to a certain not-grownupness though, doesn't it?

sexual excesses are the prerogative of teens but not adults--and there we get back to edelman and queer cultures...inability to occupy one's proper place and in the proper way...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cryptoxin
2008-03-24 11:03 pm (UTC)
I'll really have to read Edelman one of these days! So far, I'd gotten the sense that I enjoy him more filtered through you and heyiya and thingswithwings than I would reading him directly.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cathexys
2008-03-24 11:06 pm (UTC)
LOL.

i think you do!!!

When I first read him I screamed at him and wanted to throw him against the wall. But when I realized what he was doing, I kinda forgave him some of it...still not the entire yeah bareback fucking/who cares about AIDS/kill the children BS....sometimes even metaphors have resonance, y'know...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cryptoxin
2008-03-24 11:08 pm (UTC)
When I first read him I screamed at him and wanted to throw him against the wall.

That was exactly my response to reading Baudrillard way back when.... *g*
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cathexys
2008-03-24 11:06 pm (UTC)
I have the first chapter as a PDF (which is really the important stuff).

You want?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cryptoxin
2008-03-24 11:07 pm (UTC)
That would be great! You have my email address?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cathexys
2008-03-24 11:11 pm (UTC)
yup :)


sent....
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: laurashapiro
2008-03-24 09:07 pm (UTC)
Wow, this is wonderful! Thanks so much for the link! ::runs off to pimp::
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cryptoxin
2008-03-24 09:56 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it! Nothing like a good manifesto to start off the week.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jonquil
2008-03-25 12:30 am (UTC)
This is not something that we will translate for you. We will not explain it to you. Not out of spite, but because it is something that you can only understand if you are one of us.

Oh, FFS. Yes, I will explain it to you, cheerfully. Once. Maybe twice. After that, only if you're a blood relative. And to blood relatives, I say cheerfully, "Oh, it's my thing," and leave it at that. Some people build model railways. I /read about historic costuming/garden/write slash/bake/

But this whole idea that the Geek that can be Explained is not the True Geek -- bullshit. Newbies join the community all the time, and in any decent community they're welcomed.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cryptoxin
2008-03-25 12:48 am (UTC)
I hear you -- geekdom =/= Eleusinian Mysteries where I come from.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: anatsuno
2008-03-25 08:44 pm (UTC)
*hopelessly late on all the fun stuff, bookmarks*

:)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: laurashapiro
2008-03-25 09:22 pm (UTC)
I know the feeling!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: anatsuno
2008-03-25 09:24 pm (UTC)
I can't wait for this week and the next to be over! gah.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-03-26 01:15 am (UTC)
Hi, this is Matt Sweeney, the writer of the Geek Culture Manifesto.

First off, thank you for the kind words about my little rant. The piece may make a little more sense if you know some of the context which lead to it. The original post can be found here (http://tsuibhne.net/2007/10/12/a-manifesto/). That provides a link to the story that lead to me writing it. It is important to keep in mind that the piece was not planned out, but was a stream of consciousness reaction to several articles that I had read in the previous month, which were dismissive of geek culture (specifically nerdcore hip hop and wizard rock) for largely superficial reasons. Things along the lines of geeks rapping about computers or video games or anime, means that it must be a parody. Or that people singing songs about Harry Potter can't be creating "real" music, and surely can't be creating anything of any real worth.

The idea that geek culture is not something that can be understood by non-geeks, is based partly on what the piece was in reaction to, a group of writers who obviously didn't 'get it', for what ever reason. Part of it also is based in my own discovery that I see the world in a very different way then most people seem to and that that colors the value judgments that I make about the world. I've seen evidence that has lead me to believe that I am likely not alone in this situation in the geek world. I've been contemplating for awhile, if this difference in how we view the world around us isn't a significant factor in what makes geek culture different.

It is kind of like how one person can watch something like Monty Python and find it the funniest thing in the world. While another comes away just thinking that it is stupid. Either you get it or you don't. The statement wasn't meant to be confrontational, just more a statement that we enjoy it and just because you don't, doesn't invalidate our opinions or mean that we are wrong. You just don't get it, leave it at that.

Finally, in my current discussion with Jason (I'm working on a reply, even as work tries to sabotage my efforts) I've used video games and comics as examples, because those are the examples that Jason used in his original post, and I ran with them. My own side of the argument though is motivated more by grassroots level culture -- especially things like Wizard Rock or Nerdcore, since my own geek tendencies tend to focus around music.

OK, I think I've rambled on enough, and I need to get a couple things done for work before I go to bed. Thank you again for the kind words.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cryptoxin
2008-03-26 10:45 pm (UTC)
Hi, Matt, and thanks for your comments -- the context & impetus make a lot of sense to me, and I've been enjoying your exchange with Jason. I liked your manifesto, and got interested in how it connected to a lot of discussions in fan cultures about legitimacy -- not just for fan tastes in, say, science fiction, but also for cultural products like fan fiction and fan-made music videos. Here, the legitimacy context is also about taste and different ways of looking at the world, but takes on a certain urgency in that fan creations are at risk of running afoul of copyright laws. So the question of legitimacy is linked to both cultural legitimation and legal status.

But as the comments about the manifesto show, there's also a common fundamental "don't expect us to explain ourselves according to your value system" reaction. And of course there's a lot of overlap between geek culture and fan culture (i.e., Wizard Rock).
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2011-02-05 06:29 am (UTC)

Buy Aciphex | nexium dark urine

zoloft low dose
phentermine advice
valtrex and ms
cipro offices
how effective is valium
valium grapefruit
webmd celexa
tylenol 3 toxic dose
diazepam india
nexium and plavix interaction
trazodone and ambien cr
what is paxil for
amoxicillin abscess
walmart pharmacy viagra
scar treatment while on accutane
propecia scalp pimples
lortab buzz
sleep valium
the coumadin diet
5mg diazepam
cipro water retention
famvir or valtrex
carisoprodol reviews
drug class ambien
synthroid toxicity

[url=http://tamaebiku.atwebpages.com/14-natural-alternatives-to-doxycycline.html]natural alternatives to doxycycline[/url]
[url=http://rodochinewosu.getenjoyment.net/79-paxil-time-to-take-effect.html]paxil time to take effect[/url]
[url=http://oznamol.onlinewebshop.net/240-cbs-news-hoodia.html]cbs news hoodia[/url]
[url=http://pankima.medianewsonline.com/413-accutane-effects.html]accutane effects[/url]
[url=http://tanviawingprob.getenjoyment.net/511-prolactin-and-cymbalta.html]prolactin and cymbalta[/url]
[url=http://leroymollie.is-the-boss.com]Seroquel[/url]
[url=http://oznamol.onlinewebshop.net]Hoodia[/url]
[url=http://calvincade.dousetsu.com]Oxycontin[/url]
[url=http://pankima.mygamesonline.org]Neem[/url]
[url=http://rheanathaniel.is-the-boss.com]Strattera[/url]
(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2011-04-13 05:28 pm (UTC)

Looking forward to make a contribution

Hi - I am really happy to discover this. Good job!
(Reply) (Thread)