Entries Tagged 'fandom' ↓

An A-Team movie finally coming together?

Proposals and scripts for an A-Team movie have been going around for over a decade, but now it finally looks like it’s going to happen for real. The main cast seems set: Liam Neeson taking over George Peppard‘s role as Hannibal Smith; Bradley Cooper in Dirk Bennedict‘s role of Templeton Peck; Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in Mr. T‘s role of B.A. Baracus, and now Sharlto Copley in Dwight Schultz‘s role of H.M. Murdock. Jessica Biel is also apparently in the cast as an ex-fiance of Peck now hunting the team, and Watchmen‘s Patrick Wilson will play a CIA operative on the hunt for the team.

The story and characters will be updated so that they will be Iraq War veterans instead of Vietnam vets; what else will change or stay the same remains to be seen, though early pictures show an A-Team van much like the original’s.

As a die-hard A-Team fan for many decades, my feelings about the project have been mixed from the start. I read an early script for the project back in the 1990s which was truly dreadful, bearing virtually no resemblance to the characters and tone of the original series. But at this point I have to admit to at least a little curiosity of what will come about now that the film is genuinely going to happen, with an expected release date of June 11, 2010. I’m a big fan of Liam Neeson, although I don’t quite see him as Hannibal Smith without some major changes to the character. Murdock was always my favorite character so I’ve always been highly resistant to the idea of anyone other than Dwight Schultz in the role (Jim Carrey was long a rumor, but apparently “too expensive” for the project and I’m glad for that). Yet Sharlto Copley seems like a potentially good choice based on what I’ve seen of him so far after his breakout performance in District 9. That said, a lot of the longtime A-Team fans I know are decidedly not enthusiastic about the project, no matter who is cast in the roles because it won’t be the team they know and love.

If the film is successful – which of course is no guaranty – I’ll be curious about the effect on the fandom, which has been steadily chugging along for decades with a low profile but fairly continual stream of fanworks production. Will there be a separate fandom that develops for these new interpretations of the old characters, much as what happened with the Star Trek movie this year? Will the popular slash pairings change or be the same (if there are any slash pairings that take off?) Will there be conflict between the new and old fandom, or will the old fandom try to capitalize on the newfound interest in the A-Team and try to welcome new fans in to explore the world of the original series?

It should be interesting to see, and l’ll be following news about the new film with great interest as it develops.

Dragon*Con – the overall con report

Yesterday I posted my report on the Dirk Benedict & Dwight Schultz panel at Dragon*Con. This is my day-by-day summary of the convention as a whole.

Thursday, September 3
For once, vespapod and I were leaving early enough that I could hopefully get some dealer’s room and artshow set-up done today. Our plans, however, were nearly thwarted when the radiator in his car went BOOM on the way to the airport! Fortunately we had time to spare to get the tow truck to pick up the car, catch a cab, and not miss our original flight.

We arrived in Atlanta about 2pm, got our bags, got on MARTA, and headed straight to the Marriott Marquis so I could begin dealer’s room setup. My annual, lovely neighbors, Chimera Publishing, had a surprise for me since I’d gotten there early: an extra table! We had to squeeze it in “L”-ways in my table space, but I was hopeful that the additional display area would be beneficial to sales. I did basic set-up and then went to check into my hotel, the Wyndham, where I’d scored a room through the great dragonconrooms community at the last minute. We still had some time to kill before art show set-up would begin, so we headed out for an early dinner at Benihannas. The place is usually too packed to even try to get in once the con officially begins, so it was nice having a chance to have a pleasant dinner before the crowds descended.

Registration line at DragonCon

On our way to the Hyatt, we saw that the registration line was not just out the door at the Sheraton, but stretched well around two blocks! Afterwards I heard that people stood in line for upwards of three hours to get their badges, and the line was even closed early Thursday so some folks had to get right back in it Friday morning. A friend of mine commented that it was far easier to just pay the extra money at the con to buy her badge than to preregister – that the on-site pay line was only about a half-hour long. Me, I’m glad for my dealer’s passes: no lines, no waits, just show up on-site and get my badges! How easy is that?

Vespa helped me with artshow set up and by that point we were done for the night. It had been a long, stressful day, so we headed back to our hotel, had a couple drinks at the bar, and then called it a day.

Friday, September 4
For once I didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to do table set-up, so we had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and got back to the Marriott about 10am to finish my table set-up. I was pleased with how much I was able to get out on display with my extra space, and was well ready for the room to open up at 1pm.

Spacial Anomaly Gallery table setup

vespa had a panel to go to right at 1pm, which was fine as Friday sales are usually pretty slow. This definitely proved to be the case: lots of crowds roaming through, but most people were just looking, perhaps mentally making notes on what they would like to come back for later (if they had the money after buying photo sessions and autographs.) vespa returned and then I left for the Dirk & Dwight panel, as described previously.

The room closed at 7pm. My numbers were a little low compared to Friday’s for last year, but I was still optimistic. I met up with a friend and we all had dinner together at Azio, a pretty decent (if pricey) Italian place, and then crawled the Marriott, checking out the costumes, posing for photos with everyone from R2-D2 to Jack Sparrow, and then hanging out at the Marriott bar until exhaustion took over.

Cylons invade the Marriott!

Saturday, September 5
Saturday came and I was hoping for big sales – last year it was my best single day of the con. Unfortunately, this year it would be my single worst day. The dealers room was quite often dead, and what people who were there didn’t seem to have much money to spend. I talked to a couple other dealers who were experiencing the same thing, although some others seemed to be doing ok. After talking to some friends and other folks, though, we decided that the slow sales were perhaps due not just to the slow economy but the huge amounts of money people were paying for autographs and photo sessions with the three main guests this year: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Patrick Stewart. It was $200 to get a photo with Patrick – and that’s before getting an autograph on it, too! I know a lot of people were balking about these prices before the con, saying they weren’t going to pay it, that it was unfair…and yet, the lines were continually back out on the street for their photosessions and I know a lot of people who DID pay the price. And stand in hours-long lines after lines not just for the photos, but then to see these guests in their panels.

So I really think that all contributed to the slower sales for dealers. It’s kind of a Catch 22: you want big name guests to draw attendees to the event, and yet if they are TOO popular and their autographs TOO in demand, those numbers don’t necessarily translate into better sales for the vendors.

At the end of sales hours I was feeling pretty bummed out, for certain. vespa and I had dinner on our own at a sushi place a little off the main track of foot traffic and spend a little while checking out costumes that night. But my heart wasn’t all that much in it at that point. I had paid and posed for an official shot with Dirk & Dwight that evening, so the one thing I was looking forward to on Sunday was seeing how my photo turned out!

Sunday, September 6
Sunday we got to the Marriott about 9am, as I was eager to pick up my photo which was supposed to be ready at that time. That was when I learned that Froggy, the guy who did the photo sessions, had had virtually all of his equipment stolen that night! The lock to the storage room had been broken and someone stole the camera equipment, AND the laptop with all of the photos stored on it. Fortunately, the Dirk and Dwight pics had been printed the night before, and the theives had not stolen any of the already printed pictures – whew! But I felt really bad for the folks who were now going to have to either get a refund or try to get their shots retaken, now would not receive digital copies they’d paid for, etc. Not fun, and given their system for tracking who asked for/paid for what is a little loose and confusing, I wonder how they actually managed to sort it all out.

Still, my picture turned out really great so I was happy.

After re-setting up for the day, vespa left to go to one of the Dukes of Hazzard panels, which he said was a lot of fun as there was only about 15 people there, so they could have a real conversation instead of a large group talk. I then headed out for a break from the table, debating whether I’d go to a wikipedia talk or to Dirk Benedict’s solo panel. On the way there, however, I was distracted by a woman in an AMAZING H.M. Murdock costume. Even more amazing, it turned out we were long-lost friends from our mutual days in Xena fandom. So instead of the wiki panel I ended up catching up with her for about a half hour. We then wandered into Dirk’s talk, but I have to confess I was getting a little bored after about a half hour and slipped out to head to the Walk of Fame and see if Dwight was there.

He was, and I got my picture from the day before signed. This time we had a little more time to talk and I mentioned I was friends with John Glover, a former classmate of Dwight’s from Towson. That set off a really fun conversation. After that, I checked back at my dealer’s table – still pretty slow – so I went back to the Walk of Fame once Dirk’s panel was up so I could get his autograph on my photo as well. He commented on how much fun they were having during the photos and it definitely shows!

Dirk, sockii and Dwight

After that was done, I pretty much stuck around my table save to hover in the artshow when bidding closed at 6pm. Sales there were ok – I moved about 2/3rd of the paintings I brought, even if mostly at minimum bid, and my mom did similar on her jewelry which I was agenting. Print shop sales were kind of slow for me, however. After that it was time to close the dealer’s room for the night. We met up with a local friend for a nice dinner at a nearby brewpub. After that, we were kind of too tired to do any more hotel crawling, so we called it an early night. Sales were still way down, though I was at least out of the red. I didn’t sleep that well, however, trying to scheme how to pull the con more into the black for me on the last day.

Monday, September 7
Mondays are always crazy for me at Dragon*Con. First I had to rush over to the Art Show to get a check-out number at 9am. I got there early, which was a good thing as they started giving out numbers early as well. I would be 6th for checkout at 4pm, which was good. Got back to the dealer’s table and, once vespa was set up to handle sales, I had to run stand in the line to buy my table space for 2010.

This line took soooooo long. I was in it for about an hour, as the only people moving fast were those paying in cash. Finally they added an extra helper to take checks, and I handed over my money anxiously – despite the poor sales this year, I am going for broke next year and paid the extra money for a second tale. *gulp* Guess we’ll find out in 2010 if it pays off…

vespa was ringing my cell yelling at me to get back as soon as I could. Sales were picking up, and to help that along we started doing some big discounts…30% off everything…it really helped even if it cut down on the profit per sale. With the push to move merchandise, at closing at 5pm (and combined with my art show sales), I estimated I was only down a couple hundred dollars from last year’s tally. Not great but I’d live with it. I got my stuff out of the art show and we did the mad pack-up, which took about 90 minutes. Made it to the airport with about three hours to spare before our flight.

I was completely exhausted and so was vespa. It was a long, long weekend and it’s taken me a good three days after the fact to begin to feel back to normal at all. I always feel like Dragon*Con is an endurance race, and by the end I want to sleep for about a week solid. I also don’t want to see many human beings for a while either as the crowds get really, really old, really fast. Even so, we managed to have a pretty good time and I’m going to look forward to next year’s con. Though you might hear me hoping that next year, they won’t have such big name headlining guests…!

Dragon*Con panel report: Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict

I only made it to one full panel at Dragon*Con this year, and that was the A-Team “Reunion” Q&A with Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict (actually, it wasn’t much of a Q&A, but I’ll get to that later…)

I had to rush to get to where the panel was located in the Hyatt from my dealer’s table in the Marriott. I was surprised that, when I got there about 10 minutes before the panel was to begin, there was a HUGE line to get inside! I really didn’t expect that for an A-Team panel. Nevertheless, the room was fortunately a fairly large one (seating 200 maybe, and it did fill up) and I was able to score a single seat fairly close, in about the 5th or 6th row. Much to my amusement, as I was sitting down the woman next to me pulled out a blue baseball cap. I then noticed her tan pants and converse sneakers, matching my own, and discovered that I was sitting next to a die-hard Murdock fan, much like myself.

An H.M. Murdock fan at Dragon*Con

Dirk and Dwight came out a few minutes late to an enthusiastic response from the crowd. They were both lively and in good spirits, their off-screen camaraderie as evident as always. Indeed, they talked for some time about their off-screen friendship and how that was rather rare in Hollywood (a place Dwight described brilliantly as being full of “malignant narcissism”), and also how that had been strengthened during a time after the series’ end when Dirk was going through a bit of a personal crisis. They talked a lot about the beginnings of the A-Team: how Dwight was “fired” after the pilot episode and then re-hired after the screening results came in; how Dirk was supposed to get the part of Templeton Peck from the start and what it was like to join the show after the early filming had been done; what it was like first meeting George Peppard and what he and Mr. T were both like off-screen. Much of this wasn’t necessarily new information to anyone who’s seen Dirk and Dwight at cons before, but they are always fun stories to hear them tell: and both Dirk and Dwight do some hilarious Mr. T impersonations!

Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict

They also talked about practical jokes played on the set, and some of the difficulties in the later seasons with Peppard and T that lead them to take on larger parts to carry the action and dialog (Peppard and T would only work 10am – 4pm, so Dirk and Dwight would go on late into the evening to fill in extra screen time as necessary.) On a more personal level, Dirk talked for some time about leaving Hollywood and why he had decided it was more important to be a full-time father to his boys than continue pursuing an acting career. This got a loud round of applause from the audience, as did Dwight’s mention that he had been married to his wife, former actress (now a therapist) Wendy Fulton, for 27 years.

The two of them talked for so long that there was only time at the end for maybe a half-dozen questions or so. I don’t remember the specifics of what was asked too well, although one person did bring up the James Bond-spoof episode The Spy Who Mugged Me, which got Dwight to do his great Sean Connery impersonation for a little bit. There was some mention of the potential A-Team movie but both expressed doubts it would ever really get filmed as there has been talk about it for so long, with so many different scripts proposed, and both were skeptical about the tone it would take. A number of people (myself included!) spoke up with thanks for The A-Team being their “first fandom” and the entire reason they were still in fandom today, which was really nice to hear. I managed to get in a brief question at the end for Dwight as well, asking if his talk radio show would be making a return any time soon, which he answered no, except for some fill-in positions, and deferred from going into any further detail during the panel since he didn’t want to/have time to get into politics there. Oh well; I wanted to ask because I wasn’t sure I’d have a chance to get away from my dealer’s space later in the weekend to catch him on the Walk of Fame.

They finished up soon afterwards and did mention they were heading right over to the Walk of Fame to do some autographs. So after checking in at my dealer’s space to make sure things were going ok there without me, I dashed over to the Hilton to get in line. Dwight recognized me right away and apologized for not answering my question further during the panel, so we talked then a little bit more about his talk radio work, what had become of “Dark Matters” and working with Don Ecker; how he was doing fill-in work at TRN on occasion and was still hoping to get a full-time/syndicated show in the future. I didn’t want to hold up the line too much longer (and later went back on Sunday to talk with him some more about other things) but I did get him to pose with me for a photo.

Dwight Schultz and sockii!

I also went to get Dirk’s autograph and a photo after that as they were seated right next to each other. Dirk’s line moved verrrrrrry slowly as he is quite chatty with people (and a lot of Battlestar Galactica fans were there asking him all sorts of questions.) He was nice as well, though I find Dwight a little more directly engaging and easy to talk to (as you come up to his table, Dwight gives you a big smile and reaches out to shake your hand. He really seems pleased to meet each person that comes to see him, instead of just doing this thing for the money.)

So that was my big A-Team adventure for Dragon*Con! Later on I posed for an official “staged” photo with both guys, and caught part of Dirk’s solo panel, but Friday was definitely the fannish highlight of the con for me. As an A-Team fan who had only had the chance to see Dirk and Dwight separately before, and neither for at least ten years, I was really thrilled to see them both here and hope that they will come back and do Dragon*Con again in the future (and hey, next time give Dwight a solo panel! I’d love to hear him talk more about his other genre work…)

A handy-dandy guide on how NOT to conduct research on fandom.

Want a perfect example of how NOT to conduct scientific research on a fannish community? 

Meet Ogi Ogas.

A self-titled “cognitive neuroscientist and game show contestant”, Dr. Ogas has managed to cause a considerable wankstorm throughout LiveJournal media fandom.  The kerfluffle primarily surrounds a survey he posted and promoted on LiveJournal, claiming to be studying “The Cognitive Neuroscience of Fan Fiction”. A full timeline of the details can be found in FanHistory’s article on Ogi, but for here, let me summarize where he went so wrong in fannish eyes. These mistakes should be noted by other researchers outside of fandom who may wish to “study” fen communities, if they want to have any chance of obtaining willing participants and useful information in their research.

1. Don’t lie about your intents. In his publicly promoted FAQ about the survey, Dr. Ogas (and his associate, Dr. Sai Gaddam) did not note anywhere that the research was not being conducted for a “hard” scientific study, but instead for a sensationalistic-titled book already up for publication in 2010: “Rule 34: What Netporn Teaches Us About The Brain.”

2. Don’t talk down to your potential study participants. In several comment threads in the discussion following the survey, Dr. Ogas’ attitude was seen as highly condescending towards members of the fannish community. The apparent lack of sincerity in his responses to being challenged did little except further anger and upset many who were perhaps originally willing to give him a chance.

3. Have at least some basic knowledge about the community you wish to study. Making basic errors in understanding fandom norms, genres of fiction, and styles of interaction, as occurred repeatedly in this instance, do little to give a community any faith a researcher will represent them fairly. And with a community which is already very sensitive about misconceptions and misrepresentations of it in the mainstream media, this is a crucial factor. Dr. Ogas should have at least vetted his potential survey questions before a large group of fandom individuals before unleashing it in a public fashion. 

And as a side note/emphasis to this:

4. Don’t just take the word of a few individuals when attempting to study a community. Apparently Ogas and Gaddam made some contact with fandom individuals a month before this survey was launched, but it was a very limited sampling. They did not appear to take any real time to read much of the already-published literature on fandom and fandom culture, nor explore the vast amounts of meta and historical information available on fandom on the internet – in places such as FanHistory, Fanlore, or elsewhere.

Of course, in this situation it may not have mattered very much as the authors seem already preset in the hypothesis they want to prove instead of being interested in genuinely researching fandom. Another error in their judgment.

5. Be aware of fandom’s sensitivity to certain topics and the appearance of privilege. 2009 has been the year that fandom has exploded with discussions of race, gender, sexuality, and ability privilege. A researcher should take the time to read up on events such as Race Fail 2009 and also the 2009 Warnings debate. Doing so will help them understand the importance of dealing with potentially triggering content carefully, as well as how not to appear cluelessly privileged.

6. Don’t underestimate fandom’s ire if you piss it off. It took less than 48 hours from the posting of Dr. Ogas’ survey for the situation to explode into a full on  metamob attack. Participants have been quick to screencap and record material before it could be deleted or changed by Dr. Ogas, as well as spreading the word to make sure others stay away from his “research project”. Some are discussing – or already have gone forward with – contacting Boston University, where Dr. Ogas is on staff, regarding the apparent problems in his research and potential violations of ethics.

And, of course, some have also responded with true fannish humor and proving Rule 34 correct after all: by writing Ogas/Gaddam RPS fic.

A funny thing happened on the way to my birthday…

…ten years ago today.

I went to see The Phantom Menace.

(OK, technically it was a midnight showing on May 19, the official release date, but you get the idea.)

I hadn’t been planning on going. At least not to a midnight show. While I was a Star Wars fan like any child of the 80s, I’m very allergic to hype, and the massive frenzy around the release of the new film had pretty much left me feeling “meh”. I’d see it when I could, but I wasn’t going to stand in line for hours or days to do so.

But it was my birthday, and I was kind of…depressed. 27 and with nothing planned, no one to spend the day with, grad school was sucking the life out of me and I seem to recall even the weather was shitty. I was running some errands and walked by the old, decrepit-but-beloved Sam Eric theater on Chestnut Street around 3-4pm that afternoon. The marquee proclaimed a midnight showing of the film that night.

“Gotta be sold out, but what the hell,” I thought, and being curious I checked if they had any tickets available. Surprisingly, they did – and no line waiting was necessary.


I went back home, nursed my morose mood for a few more hours, then went to check out the movie.

Thus began one crazy, crazy chapter in my life.

Now, I’d been involved in “fandom” for a long time by this point (music, tv, what-have-you), but not any kind of fandom in the mega-spotlight. Obscure and weird loves have always been my game, things like The A-Team. Even when I got into big fandoms like Xena, it was on the stange side of the spectrum (Joxer fandom, to be precise. Joxer slash fandom to be even more so. Oh the shame…) Small fandoms. Quiet fandoms. Manageable fandoms.

Then I saw that scene. The one near the end. Qui-Gon’s death scene. Up until that point I’d been happily reveling in just the pretty special effects and grimacing through the typical Star Wars stiff acting and cringe-worthy dialog.

But then Qui-Gon touched Obi-Wan’s face and died and ugh there was my tragic, epic love story for the ages. As Keelywolfe put it so eloquently,

“A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away, George Lucas created Star Wars. And he looked at it and saw that it was good. And all was right in the world. But then, we saw that Obi-Wan doth look upon Qui-Gon with lust, and that Mr. Lucas was not likely to include that in the next movie, so we said screw it and wrote it ourselves, even though we do not make any money off of this. And all was right with the world.”


I immediately rushed home and posted on, of all places joxerotica, virtually screaming “OMGWTFDIDYOUGUYSSEETHATISTHERESLASHYETOMGOMG!!!!” And a few others there went “OMGOMGOMG!!!!” too, and the very next day, I did a very silly thing.

I created Master and Apprentice over on dear old yahoogroups. And I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Foolish me, I thought it would be a lot like running Joxerotica, or my A-Team groups–some work but nothing too daunting. People started joining up quickly but I figured it was just an initial frenzy after the movie’s release. I set up a little archive on my simplenet web account, manually adding stories as they were posted. It was maybe a couple a day at first. Fun, short stuff–angst pieces and missing scenes, short AU’s to “fix” Qui-Gon’s death, that sort of thing. I had a co-mod from Joxerotica helping me out at first as we set up the archive/list’s basic rules. But then it started growing. And growing. And growing, until it became within a month or two The Fandom That Ate Cincinatti. Slashfen were flocking in from everywhere: Sentinel fandom, Highlander fandom, X-Files fandom. People were even bitching how Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan was “stealing” all the good writers from other fandoms!

It should be noted, too, that there was no small amount of concern about “The Wrath of Lucas” when I started the list and archive. While it may seem laughable today, at the time many fen still remembered his previous actions and stance against those who wrote and published adult–nevermind slash–fiction in the Star Wars universe. And also, there were other fen who would react strongly against those who would do so against George’s wishes, as I would learn firsthand from some of the people I would meet in this fandom such as Bev Lorenstein, who would become one of my dearest friends, and who told me what she went through in publishing Organia in 1982. That said, in my years of involvement in Star Wars fandom, I never received a cease and desist letter from Lucasfilms or had any other contact from them. So perhaps the worries were all for naught…

In any event, by the end of the summer of ’99 I was growing concerned that my little archive just wasn’t going to cut it as a few stories a day were turning into dozens. It was reaching a critical point and I was getting worried about the stability of my archive situation, and my friend Erik came up with a solution.

He could put me up on his own webserver. Register a domain for me–sockiipress.org–and then set up a database program which, although stories would still need to be manually submitted, would make creating story index pages automated, along with allowing for search functions and other cool stuff. sockiipress.org was registered on September 30, 1999 and the archive moved there, which would be its home for the next three years or so, before the archive moved to its own URL, masterapprentice.org, some time after I had left the fandom for good.

But before I get to that part of the story…

Being involved in this fandom from its point of creation through the height of the frenzy was, as I said earlier, a crazy experience. I’d never been involved in such an active fandom before. Never found myself in the Big Name Fan spotlight (though I was no real writer of note in the fandom, just archivist, occasional artist, and “ringleader”, in effect). Was it exciting? Sure! I loved waking up every morning to a emailbox full of new stories. And there was some wonderful fiction being written by some amazing authors. Was the attention thrilling as well? Admittedly, yeah, it was. I went from being the girl into very weird things at conventions like MediaWest and Eclecticon, largely lurking on the sidelines and being ignored, to getting a round of applause at ConneXions in 2000 for the work I’d done on the mailing list and archive. It was an ego boost for certain–but then it also gave me a taste of big fandoms’ ugly side as well, and how fandom can turn on you on the drop of a dime.

First there were scuffles on allowable content. The first one came up over the topic of Chan fic. I lost my co-moderator to the mailing list over this debate and the compromise position on the subject I favored. Real person fic also was broached and lead to some heated arguments until it was banned from archiving. The fandom went through typical growing pains as different subjects and content was being explored, but then our archive was having growing pains, too. Erik’s server was not all that stable, leading to sporadic downtime and a lot of headaches on his end. He put up with a lot helping me out with the site, for someone who wasn’t even in the fandom. At one point, in 2000, he thought it would be a nice idea to burn CD copies of the archive to make available to users through the mailing list. It was welcomed as a good “backup” to the unstable site, and he charged a nominal fee to cover his materials and time — I think it was $7 or so. No one raised a single complaint the first time around with this, and I think he mailed off something like 100-200 copies of the disk.

In 2001, the server difficulties were getting worse. Erik was getting frustrated, and I, myself, was getting a little worn out from listmom and archiving duties. While at this point we had a group of 5-6 assistant archivists, it was still demanding a lot of my time, and my interest in the Qui/Obi was…drifting. By that point I had been distracted by some other Bright Shiny Fandoms — Brimstone in particular. Erik decided to do a second run of the archive disks, at $10, because he was about ready to give up trying to work out a solution for our hosting woes.

That’s when things got ugly. One morning I woke up to several outraged emails from authors who had long been absent from the fandom, demanding that their stories be removed from the archive, not included on the CD, “or else”. Later that day I found out Erik and I were being subjected to ugly accusations of profiting off people’s work, that outrageous things were being said about us all over fandom chat channels (one reason I still avoid “chat” to this day). We defended ourselves and actions while of course agreeing to remove any stories that people did not want included, but were then told, point blank, to “Fuck off” from the community and archive we’d spent all those hours, days, months, years into maintaining.

And we were both only too glad to oblige at that point.

Thankfully, two Loris were ready to help us out. “Lori” took over maintaining the archive and list. “Lorrie” offered us hosting on her own server (for both the archive and sockiipress overall). Eventually I moved to my own hosting service entirely, cutting off completely from my connections to Q/O fandom.

Except, happily enough, ties to some of the wonderful friends I made there, despite all the angst and wank and aggravation. Many of them I am still in touch with today in other fandom communities, fabulous people I will forever thank my involvement in Star Wars fandom for bringing into my life. I learned a lot from my time in the fandom, good and bad, and I definitely would not take those years back for anything. That said, I’m also quite content to be back to lurking around in small and obscure fandoms these days. The pickings might be slim, but the pleasure is rarely overwhelmed by the aggravation.

So happy anniversary, master-apprentice! Our love may have been brief and heated, but when it was good, it was oh, so good…

Boldly going somewhere…maybe? The Star Trek movie.

I hardly ever go to the movies these days – partly the cost, partly the (in)convenience (thanks, Philly, for losing basically all your mainstream theaters in Center City!), partly the lack of interest and largely the lack of time.

But I do really want to see the new Star Trek movie. I’m not the scifi geek I once was, especially during the heyday of my graduate school years where I escaped the drudgery of research work by losing myself in Babylon 5, Trek, Star Wars and Xena fandoms.

But seeing all the excitement about the movie all over the place and from a lot of my old fandom friends makes me a little nostalgic and wanting to check it out. I don’t know if it’ll draw be back into the media fandom fold at all, but I am curious.

I’ve also been spending too much time watching funny Trek-related videos on YouTube. This one, poking gentle fun at Trek and Kirk/Spock slash, especially left me howling with laughter.