whenever I stop saving obsessively is inevitably when my games start crashing on me I’m pretty sure this is a punishment of some kind
Oh, absolutely! This is actually something I plan to discuss (at length) in my thesis - the idea of the escaped remnant and cyclical apocalypse that is both Norse and actually Catholic in origin. I find it interesting though that Tolkien specifically describes history in one of his letters as “a long defeat” - it’s punctuated by victories but in many ways those victories are futile and fleeting, although there is that escaped remnant that allows some hope to remain, and the myth of Dagor Dagorath is one that ends in renewal and recreation (though after destruction).
Yeah - I think people tend to interpret “they win” as “hopeful/escapist” and forget that, like…in Lord of the Rings Frodo is worn out and essentially killed by the quest, and unable to live in the world anymore. The War of Wrath imprisons Morgoth but it also destroys half of the world. Sauron is defeated but magic goes out of the world. Tolkien absolutely always writes about sacrifice and loss throughout the Legendarium.
now that I have spewed my opinions all over the internet I think I am going to go get a bowl of ice cream and play some dragon age
for instance let me talk to you about the difference between the treatment of gwen/morgana and arthur/merlin about which I am forever grumpy and no I really don’t think it has to do with the fact that they become rivals in later seasons
cause come on lbr if they were two men who were friends and then became bitter enemies
I see a lot of people asking why girls ship slash pairings so hard. It’s often put aside as a fetish, and I’ll admit, it is pretty hot. That’s not really what it’s about for me though, anal sex isn’t even all that appealing to me. What I have found though, is that in shows/books/movies etc, the male female pairings are thrown together because they are a pretty girl and handsome man. We get very little background and when we do it’s all very similar. I hardly ever feel any chemistry between them. I think I only have a few canon Het pairing that I even like (Doctor/Rose, Katniss/Peeta) and as we all know, the back story and chemistry built up between them was very thorough and interesting.
I ship mostly slash pairings because time is taken to develop their relationships, be it friends, enemies, brothers in arms. There is an established devotion that goes so much deeper than the typical, you’re a girl, I’m a guy, therefore we should be together. It isn’t about it being two men, it’s about a foundation of respect, character development and the buildup of a devoted relationship that is almost always taken for granted in Het pairings. The potential possibilities are so much more interesting and unpredictable to me. There are other reasons but this is probably the biggest for me.
I don’t know if anyone else agrees, but it’s something to think about.
I like this explanation and would like to believe it is true, but the fact is that I just don’t think it accounts for all the less nice reasons slash pairings are the favored mode for fandom - because even when there are developed female characters, or developed male/female relationships, or god developed female/female relationships - what fandom focuses on is the relationships between men. I’ve read so many different theories about why - that it allows women to write without fretting about putting women in stereotypical gender roles, that it lets women place men in positions of emotional vulnerability, what have you, but what it comes down to, for me, is that no matter the reasons it still erases women.
Look at Phil Coulson/Clint Barton, which is a fairly sizable slash pairing. Phil Coulson is not a major character in the MCU. His relationship with Clint consists of one line in one movie that they exchange, and one other line in another movie about Clint. Fandom, however, has developed this, enlarged upon it, and created depth for their relationship that results in over 6000 tagged works for the pairing. Or for a non-MCU example - take Derek/Stiles, the most popular pairing in the Teen Wolf fandom. While Scott’s relationships with both Allison and now Kira have developed slowly and involved a great deal of interaction between the two of them, and a complex relationship at least in the case of Allison and Scott, what fandom chooses to focus on is two male characters who are hardly even friends.
Fandom has, again and again, shown that it is capable of enlarging roles of overlooked characters, providing depth for characters where little is given, and filling in holes in character or relationship development - but where that occurs is overwhelmingly in the case of white male characters. I recently reblogged a post about Natasha Romanoff in the Winter Soldier movie - despite her enlarged role, fandom writing is still about Bucky/Steve.
It may not be conscious, but fandom’s focus lasers in on male characters to the exclusion of everyone else, even when female characters are present and developed. Fandom has shown it doesn’t care much about the limitations of source material when it comes to expanding the inner lives and romantic lives of white male leads. It doesn’t show the same courtesy to others.
tl;dr - the answer is still sexism. Maybe not consciously, but it’s still there, lurking under all the excuses. Far be it from me to exempt myself from that - I fall into the same trap. But a trap it is, and sometimes I get tired of fandom refusing to call a spade a spade and admit that people internalize prejudices, including ones that assume that female characters are just not worth their time.
(For a great article on the disparity between how fandom talks about female characters and male characters, I recommend this piece. It’s about Orphan Black, and not about shipping, but I think it still applies.)
This is in fact a quote that many people have used - but generally the accusation of “escape” leveled at Tolkien is not in the context of this usage of the term. Also, I’ve read a few people pointing out that if Tolkien is “escapist” in the usual sense (or actually, I would argue, even in this way), his choice of world is astonishingly grim in a lot of ways.
For instance I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the ways in which sin and (relevant to my thesis) apocalypse in terms of cataclysm are built into the cosmos of Middle-Earth due to their inclusion in creation from its inception. Rather than being something that comes into a perfect creation, the fault is in Arda from the beginning of the Music.
Basically, while this is one of the functions Tolkien believed fairy-stories had, and I think it is a powerful quote, I’d argue that Tolkien’s own work shows a dark enough vision of history that calling it an escape seems to be a little odd. The Silmarillion specifically is a series of “long defeats” - another Tolkien quote - and ages punctuated by world-ending cataclysms. Calling Tolkien’s work “escapist” - even in this sense - I think ignores a lot of the bleaker implications that are just under the surface.
…at some point I should stop waffling around and start actually writing, shouldn’t I. Maybe if I format my thesis in the form of tumblr posts it would be easier to do?
finished a fic and I’m not sure if I don’t feel good about it because it’s not good or because it’s the first thing I’ve written in like ever that isn’t porn and also isn’t part of an enormous sprawling epic
so far my reading for my thesis on the topic of “is Tolkien’s literature escapist?” veers back and forth between “yes and that’s okay” and “NO IT’S NOT HOW DARE YOU” and this amuses me