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Updating and remembering when...

I was looking at the old LJ and realized that most of my links were defunct. Not that I expect many people actually click on them to see what I've linked to, but on the off chance, I figured I should update, seeing as some of my interests have changed as well.

In the course of doing so, I was reminded of a webzine/discussion group I used to be active in called Zendom and how much I missed the discussions on the Zendom mailing list. It's been really quiet for a couple of years, so I posed a question on the list to see if folks were still around - lo and behold, I got replies! It looks like there is life yet!

The "What's it all About" post references jennyo's infamous Bitter Old Fic Queen essay. Sadly, the link is now defunct. Even though the essay is out of date and refers to X-Files fandom, it rings as true today as it did then, and anyone who has ever been caught in the crossfire of fic wank will recognize the principal truths.

For posterity; Bitter Old Fic Queens and Why They Need to Get Over It

This will probably piss the Debbilmice off, because they, at least in my
head, fit this category a little too well. But who cares? I get myself in
trouble all the time and they said to send essays...

Anway, I'm talking about and to the bitter old fic queen, a most
theatrical and amusing, yet venomously poisonous species. They're their
own special club, but announce to us most noisily, "Fan Fiction Does NOT
Have Snobbery, or Cabals, or..." whatever. They haven't actually *liked*
the show since "The Blessing Way" but continue to watch the show with
increasing hatred and sado-masochistic glee. They mourn for the Good Old
Days when fic was a brave new world with *talented* authors and low
traffic. They bitch about all the crap out there and sulk when the
philistine newbies prefer-- gasp, clutch, choke-- sappy, inane, mediocre
MSR to their own impreccably written, brilliantly characterized
masterpieces.

You know who you are. You know I'm talking to you. You know you want to
know who I am so you can find my fic and tear it to pieces starting with
the first misplaced comma. Don't deny it. I'd probably do the same thing.
Equal-opportunity bitchdom is cool with me. Be proud-- you're a Bitter Old
Fic Queen, while I'm an Arrogant Young Fic Nobody. I don't hate you.
Sometimes I laugh at you. Mostly I wonder about you.

My first question, the obvious one is: why are you still watching the
show? I mean, I'm a lazy, shiftless person, and I still don't have enough
free time to watch shows that have lost their spark to me, which is why I
don't know what's going on during Xena: Warrior Princess any more. I guess
that's not really fair, in consideration. You get attached to people
online and stuff (though I've seen some bitch-slapping, flame-flooding
Bitter Old Fic Queen fights, and they are a sight to behold, let me tell
you.) You don't want to abandon your niche. I guess I'm no different. I'd
hang even if they replaced Gillian with that chick who plays Jen on
Dawson's Creek-- though I don't think anyone would ever hear the end of my
bitching.

So here's my second question: do you ever wonder if you don't really hate
the show? I mean, really. I know most BOFQs have this idealized version of
the show in which everything past a certain point in third season didn't
happen. I think that maybe you're just secretly pissed off because your
uber-cool little television show went mainstream, and all those obnoxious
people who didn't get it back in the day are stealing your thunder. Of
course, being a Proud Watcher of X-Files since before the Abduction, I
understand. The show isn't the same. Chris Carter's lying has become
proverbial. Fanfic sure as hell isn't the same.

So why bother? Does it gall you so much that despite what you see as
character betrayal, descents into sheer babble (aka The Mytharc), and the
intolerable pain of popularity (face it, behind every Bitter Old Fic Queen
lies an Indie Elitist Dork who HATES popularity on principle), despite all
of this, you still, oh, like the show? You know you do. You feel really
guilty about it. And what's even worse, you still like some of the fanfic.

Ah, yes, fanfic. Which is why this essay isn't titled "Bitter Old Fans and
Their Denial Issues." Can I just tell the BOFQ that sometimes I wonder
which fanfic you're reading? Of course there's a remarkable amount of crap
in fanfic. I suppose there's more crap now than back in the day when
authors posted maybe twice a year and you had to watch the show on Fridays
after walking barefoot in the snow uphill both ways. Of course, that could
possibly be because, well, there's more fanfic period? I've read the old
stuff. Some of the old classics, the ones I've had enthusiastically
recommended as "must-reads" by people-- well, to be blunt, they suck.
And there are things that get posted, say, this month (Pillar of Salt,
maybe?) that will always be fic classics to me.

Good writers are a rare commodity. I won't even pretend to be one yet. But
for some reason, fans who bitch more than they contribute, be they Bitter
Old Fic Queens or brand newbies who never used a spellcheck before, well,
they always seem to be in stock. I have some advice for both.

Get over it.

Sure, Chris Carter is a total liar. Sure, some episodes suck (note to the
newbies: if the name "John Shiban" appears solo in the "written by"
credits, prepare for a crap-fest) and some episodes get hyped by people
while you think what the hell show was everyone else watching. And
definitely the X-Files is a different show, and fandom a different world
than it once was. I, for one, am glad. And really, I have no problem with
people who wish the show was a little different. In my ideal show, Krycek
would have both his arms and Mulder would call him Big Daddy at least
once. And Darin Morgan would write again. Sadly, though, the show belongs
to that Carter guy. I've learned to deal with it, and enjoy the journey.

I'll say it again, just in case your advanced age as a fan has destroyed
your eyesight.

Get over it.

My dear Bitter Old Fic Queens, it's NEVER going to be 1995 again. You
know it, I know it, and the government knows it. The old days will
never come again. Well, not unless you get a time machine, take it to
Vancouver, and hold Chris Carter hostage so the show follows your vision.
And then you'd step on the wrong blade of grass and Sadaam Hussein will
take over the world. And then I'd have to be his American harem girl, just
because you never got over it. thanks a lot, you bitter old cows.

Ah, Fandom, your wank never fails.

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