Friday, December 8, 2017

Fixation Friday: The Beat Goes On

It's been a bit of a rough week here. Ups and downs in the weather meant super fun migraines early in the week, followed by a sprinkling of depression. But! A few walks to and from the library, some comic books for review, and a possible trip to Annapolis this weekend have me optimistic. What happened this week? I'm so glad you asked.

Fixations Of The Week: 

Runaways on Hulu

My comics buddies shoved a volume into my hands a few years ago. The cover had a group of mis-matched teens, and when I saw that the title was Runaways, I thought it would be a modern day Newsies or something. It turns out I was very wrong.
Runaways is about a group of kids trying to stop their apparent super-villain, definitely murderous parents. Yup. All their parents. There's a dinosaur and a girl that glows like a human rainbow. Imagine Harry Potter vibes with Batman level luxury (oh right...all the families are ridiculously wealthy...but even their fortunes have sinister backstories...) and a dash of Jurassic Park.
The television show got casting right on all fronts. Everyone looks like they walked straight off the pages. Oh, and the ensemble cast is about as diverse as you can get.
If you aren't watching Runaways yet, you should do something about that.

The "fake fan" debate

This is actually an argument we've had in my family a thousand times. It started as a sports debate, but it's branched out into all sorts of things. Here are the facts: there are no such things as "fake fans" and if someone tells you there is, they are a gatekeeper. You can be a fan of the Yankees just because you like their uniforms. You can be a fan of Lord of the Rings even if you've only seen the movies. Even if all you watched them for was Orlando Bloom's cheekbones.
Gatekeeping is used often by dudes who want to keep women away from "geeky" passions- they grill you with obscure facts or ancient rules to prove that you're not "worthy" to call yourself a geek/nerd/fan. People use it to say that posers are making it harder for the "real fans" to get in to things like Comic-Con.
Yes, children. Stop playing this game for Children.
Somewhere I thought was safe from gatekeeping (and I realize now that was a foolish optimism) was the Harry Potter fandom. But apparently not. That article sparked a domino effect for me, and I wound up quitting my volunteer position as a news intern. You can see my last two articles in the list of "published this week" below if you're curious as to just how fast this transition occured.
This particular case of gatekeeping was surprising and upsetting because of the inclusive nature of the source material. For a story about an evil guy who only believes in "pureblooded" magic, who has a  team of wizard racists around him saying there's only one way to be a real wizard and that all others should be not only excluded but murdered...this attitude seems specifically ironc.
Gatekeeping seems innocent on its surface. Who cares what someone else thinks about your devotion to a fictional universe? I agree. But the intention behind it--to exclude someone from something you both love, to purposefully try and take something away from them that brings them joy? I'm not here for that. Not to mention that when it gets to a professional level (and don't pretend it doesn't), it keeps us from hearing diverse voices, from women writers and POC directors. And yes, you bet that minorities are most often the target of "gatekeeping". Probably more on this later, but my final word for now:
Gatekeeping is gross. Don't do the thing.


I love spreadsheets so much. One of my most popular blog post on this site is about spreadsheets, so I'm guessing that if you're reading this, you dig them too. This week I made a few new ones to track my monthly publication goals, and where/how many times I've shared each article on social media. They've already been massively helpful to my freelance writing career. I hope they can help you, too! 

"Harry Potter and the Sacred Text"

 It's a podcast. I'm rereading Chamber of Secrets as I make my way through the episodes (already binged the first "season" and I had read Sorcerer's Stone recently enough.) The hosts of the show are an atheist Chaplain and a young man attending divinity school, so they know what they're doing when they examine a secular text through a sacred lens. If you're into Harry Potter, check these guys out--they'll have you thinking about the books on a whole different level.

Star Vs. The Forces of Evil

Star and Marco on an interdimensional adventure
The show is a grand blend of American animation style and Japanese magical girl tropes. The characters are witty and their adolescent drama is handled in a surprisingly complex and mature way by the writers. A character that could have slipped into the manic pixie dream girl territory instead joins the main group of friends, and by the time she and Marco go on a date, they are comfortable around each other. Some episodes get a little meta, some are completely absurd, but the unpredictablilty of the show is part of its unending charm. Get on this crazy train ASAP.

Published this Week:

Dame Julie Walters on the Hogwarts Express Via MuggleNet
Sir John Hurt Nominated for Posthumous Award Via MuggleNet
STAR WARS International Trailer Reveals New Location Via Monkeys Fighting Robots
Graphic Policy: Picks of the Week Via Graphic Policy

On the Schedule

Working on a long-form article about what to do when all your faves are problematic for one reason or another, via Monkeys Fighting Robots.

Agents of SHIELD tonight! Catch my Live Tweets @jenisaur Back to one hour but I AM SO EXCITED! I have a time travel weakness (see also: Doctor Who, Outlander)

Star Wars in one week!

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