You may have noticed that we haven’t been posting as much recently. We’ve never been quiet about the fact that this is an all-volunteer blog run in our free time, and while we love it, it’s been a hell of a year and this thing we love has started to be a bit of a drain.
So, as we mentioned at the beginning of Ace’s last post, we’re taking a slightly longer hiatus than our usual beginning-of-the-month week off so that we can recharge, reevaluate, and hopefully come back stronger in the new year. We’re so grateful to all of our readers for their support, and we hope you’ll come back to hang with us again in 2018.
Happy Halloween, everybody! Sadly, this will be the last post of the year. I know, it’s awful, but we writers have been working hard, and we need a longer break than usual to recover.
I do hope you have all been enjoying yourself, because I have not. October has been a rough month for me, and my quest to find something to watch to fulfill my Halloween needs hasn’t helped much. Lord knows American Horror Story is, well… it’s something. And the original 1990 It didn’t do much for me either. It was halfway through It that I realized Stranger Things’s second season was out—excited, I forced my sister-in-law to quit It with me and watch it. And oh, thank God. Stranger Things was the pick-me-up I needed. It is so wonderful watching a story where the good outweighs the bad. I hope my love for this show hasn’t been influenced by the shit I watched before it, but Stranger Things’s second season was awesome.
On this, the day of the Great Pumpkin’s return, I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to showcase a trailer in the horror vein. As with most horror movies, I, myself, probably won’t end up seeing this—against my better judgement, my viewing of a horror film is usually directly correlated to how grave its potential for badness is—yet there are some things within this film’s trailer that intrigue me. Maybe even enough to watch it.
I’ve recently been binge-watching Fringe for the first time. It’s a series about the “Fringe” division of the FBI, where Agent Olivia Dunham and her team investigate strange and paranormal events, visit parallel universes, and save the day by being smart and badass. I honestly can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get into a show that’s three parts X-Files and one part NCIS. I found myself most intrigued by a strange one-off episode during Season 2 that was actually filmed in Season 1, but aired out of order on a different night for boring, time constraints reasons. Fans aren’t even certain exactly where it fits in the show’s timeline. It’s called “Unearthed,” and was panned by a lot of critics.
But this rather bad episode succeeds at one thing: giving its audience portrayal of a real religion that isn’t wildly offensive or inaccurate. It does a great job giving us a small window into what Catholicism looks like today. Catholicism pops up all the time in science fiction, maybe because its trappings are easily identifiable for audiences. I’m happy to see a show get a lot of the details right, even though it’s tucked away in an episode no one really cares about. The most shocking thing to me is that the narrative doesn’t make these characters into perfectly good Catholics, either. They’re much more real than what I’m used to seeing.
In contemplating possible articles related to ace week, I tried to think of classic geek characters who are asexual. That led me to wonder, “How would I even know? It’s not like we get 24/7 access to these fictional people’s’ lives.” But then, very quickly, I realized that we do know that a lot of our favorite characters are not ace/aro because so many of them have had on-screen relationships and sexual encounters that are presented as a product of the characters’ own sex drive (rather than as ace people who are accommodating their partner). But why? Is there something about our sexual lives that is so essential to our identities that it requires exposition in our fictional characters, or is this just an example of ace erasure? After some additional geeky contemplation, it occurred to me that there is one beloved character who is, in fact, perfectly suited to explore this exact question: Lt. Commander Data.
Suaveness subroutine engaged. (Screengrab from Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG))
In addition to the issues surrounding Data’s own sexuality, the character is one seeking to achieve “greater humanity” and is therefore extensively used to represent what exactly we think that actually means, sexuality included. While the question of whether or not Data represents an asexual character is one that is widely open to debate (including in this post), the question of why and how we ascribe sexual identities to fictional characters as a way to “humanize” them and what that says about asexual representation in our media is perhaps the more interesting question.
It being the month of Halloween, with the actual day right around the corner, I decided I would go looking for something from a spooky fandom to rec for this particular Fanfiction Fridays. Of course, I realized shortly thereafter that I’m not in any particularly spooky fandoms, being a certified scaredy-cat and all. So instead I turned to a fandom that, while not too spooky in practice, is, in fairness, flush with ghosts and monsters in canon. Yes, I’m talking about Scooby-Doo.
I’d never ventured into the smallish Scooby-Doo section on AO3 before, but I was pleased to find a wide variety of fics there, especially fic supporting the Velma/Daphne pairing. Words To Me is one of those, and imagines a world where the Mystery, Inc. gang regularly hunt for-realsies monsters rather than capitalists in masks. Nothing particularly scary happens in this short, sweet fic, unless you consider that the real monster was facing your feelings all along.
With the second season of Syfy’s creepypasta inspired show, Channel Zero, well into its run, I figured it was finally time to sit down and watch its first season. You know. For science. Last year I showed off the trailer and addressed some of my worries surrounding this leg of the series, but I’ll give a quick recap. First of all, for those perhaps a little less internet-niche-y, “creepypasta” refers to short, scary (or attempting to be scary) stories that get passed around the internet until they become ingrained in that niche’s mind—or in the case of less serious creepypastas, they enter more mainstream meme status, such as the lines “who was phone” or “man door hand hook car door”.
Channel Zero’s first season, Candle Cove, was based off a well-beloved creeepypasta of the same name which, through forum posts, shows a short interaction between people remembering a children’s show from their past that may not have actually existed. As far as creepypasta-based media goes, Channel Zero is nowhere near the worst thing I’ve ever seen. However, it was disappointing to discover that most of my fears from my earlier post were well-founded, and that even though the creators had a clear love for the creepypasta itself, Channel Zero seemed to forget what made the story scary in the first place.