Nov. 11th, 2013

heron61: (Hat)
I read a modicum of fanfiction, which usually involves glancing at and avoiding a wealth of fanfiction that is not to my taste, sometimes because it's dreadful, but just as often because it's about subjects and involves tropes that I have no interest in.  One of these is the alpha, beta, omega trope, which is also explained in rather graphic NSFW detail here.  So, this is clearly a BDSM-related trope and it often involves werewolves (typically in fandoms where the characters are not normally werewolves)[1].  However, I was talking with [livejournal.com profile] teaotter about a story she read that subverted this trope in interesting ways, and realized that it was about more than BDSM & werewolves, it was also a fetishized version of stereotypical 1950s male/female gender roles.  I'm still not into it, but I now think that its existence is awesome, because that implies that at least for the audience of most fanfiction, these sorts of ideas are starting to drift far enough outside of the mainstream that they can enter the realm of exotic fetishization, and that's actually very cool.

[1] When I was reading X-Men: First Class fanfiction, I remember when the trope hit big there, and I was confronted with a surfiet of stories about the X-Men as a pack of werewolves, where I just wanted to read about mutants.
heron61: (Gryphon - emphasis and strong feelings)
[livejournal.com profile] teaotter & I continue to watch The Tomorrow People, which has gone from being unwatchable, to barely watchable, to OK, but it is also still very much a tv show of this era. I'd long ago watched a few episodes of the 1970s version, and while I'm not certain, I think that I remember that the fact that the psychic kids can't knowingly kill people was presented as a difficult but ultimately good thing.  Here, they kept the fact that psychics can't kill, and while a few of the psychics declare that this is a good thing, it's not presented as such.  Instead, when the villain talks about this limitation as a weakness to be cured, our protagonist recoils in horror, but then later in that episode and also in the next one, the one psychic who was modified by the villain so that he could kill, did so, once to eliminate a large-scale threat, and the second time to keep a thug from killing to other characters, and in both cases this killing was clearly shown as the only useful choice.

I find this sad, but also unsurprising.  We live in an era when President Obama finding a peaceful solution to the problem of chemical weapons in Syria is widely seen as weakness and when negotiating with Iran to stop them from making nuclear weapons is frequently denounced as foolish and useless. Mao's famous quote "power grows out of the barrel of a gun", is widely believed in the US, in a way that it wasn't 40 years ago.  In large part, I see this as yet another legacy of the spreading of libertarian ideas by the far right for the past 30+ years, and I'm very tired of it.  Today, many, and likely most people in the US look at the idealism of the 1970s as foolish and doomed, I look forward to eventually seeing an ideological swing in the other direction, where the brutal cynicism that passes  for "realism" today is widely seen to hideous and wrong.

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