Deep Fanfic Thoughts, by Jack Handey

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Title: Deep Fanfic Thoughts, by Jack Handey
Author(s): Vali
Date(s): 2001
Genre: metafic
Fandom: Pan-fandom, media fandom
External Links: original site; on the Archive of Our Own

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Deep Fanfic Thoughts, by Jack Handey is a tongue-in-cheek look at mailing list-based media fandom circa 2001, particularly slash fandom. It is by Vali.

It uses the format and lines of a Saturday Night Live skit ("Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey") in a mix of meta and fanfic. It pokes gentle fun at fandom overall, story tropes (both panfandom and fandom-specific), mailing list culture, plagiarism, feedback, slash, trolling - you name it.

Vali assumed a multifandom knowledge on the part of her readers, naming characters from Hard Core Logo, The Sentinel, Starsky & Hutch, Due South, Angel the Series, The X-files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Oz without explaining who any of them were. She also assumed that her readers were aware of fannish events and people that crossed fandom lines, such as the Slash fiction is like a banquet essay, the influence of Prospect-L and Minotaur's Sex Tips for Slash Writers.

It went the rounds in mailing-list fandoms when it was posted, but vanished from the 'net in the mid-00s. In December 2009, Vali reposted it to the Archive of Our Own, where it was warmly received both by people who remembered it from back in the day and from people who'd just discovered it.

Some Excerpts

To me , slash fiction is like a banquet, except there's no food, no guests and everyone hates each other.

Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful Joe/Billy story, where they do a concert and then get into a beautiful fistfight? And they wrestle in a beautiful way on the floor, and that leads to them having beautiful rough sex right there. And also, you're drunk.

If I ever write a rapefic, I hope I am able to bring a certain lightheartedness to the subject, in a way that tells the reader we are going to have fun with this thing.

A writer doesn't automatically get my heartfelt praise. She has to get down in the dirt and beg for it.
Whenever someone asks me to define the elements of a really good slash story, I usually think for a minute, then I spin around and pin their arms behind their back. NOW who's asking the questions?

If you want to make friends on a fic list, here's a good thing to do: Jump into a really active discussion thread and say, "Well, technically, that's illegal." It might just fit in with what one of the other posters said. And even if it doesn't, so what, I hate this fucking list.

If you're on one of those lists that's always talking about how they want honest and hard-hitting fanfic critique, wouldn't you think it'd be a great idea to say to the listowner, "Boy, your stories are one big steaming pile of crap"? Trust me, it's not.
Somebody told me how frightening it is that fanfic is getting worse and worse, but I told that story around the campfire and nobody got scared.
Tonight, when we were eating dinner, my girlfriend said something that really knocked me for a loop. She said, "I love that new Wesley/Gunn story." "Good," I said as I gritted my teeth really hard. "Then maybe you and that new Wesley/Gunn story would like to go into the bedroom and have sex!" They didn't, but maybe they will sometime, and I can watch.

If you read a slash story with two characters named Hambone and Flippy, which one do you think would be on the bottom? I'd say Flippy, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong, though. It's Hambone.

I think it's high time we started questioning the old fanfic clichés like "Grunt big for Daddy."

If the Vikings were around today, they would probably be amazed at how we take male pregnancy fics completely for granted.
If they had fanfic back in the Dark Ages, I bet the most common question readers would ask is, "Can't you put a catapult in this story?" No, I'm sorry. That would violate canon.

Many people think that gen stories are dull. Dull? Is it "dull" when Jim gets bitten on the forehead by an ant, and at first it doesn't seem like anything, but then the bite gets worse and worse, so Blair takes him to a doctor, and the nurse tells them to wait, so they sit down and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and then finally Jim gets to see the doctor, and the doctor puts some salve on it? You call that dull?

One day, a member of a list I'm on asked me what I thought of the potential sociopolitical ramifications of real person slash. I had to laugh. Laugh and laugh. Because I didn't have a clue what she was talking about, and I thought that maybe if I laughed enough she would forget what she asked me.
There are many stages in the life of a fic list. In the first stage, it's young and all the listmembers are eager, like beavers. In the second stage, the listmembers want to build things, like dams, and maybe chew down some trees. In the third stage, they feel trapped, and then "skinned." I'm not sure what the fourth stage is.
I don't think I'm alone when I say I'd like to see more and more planets fall under the ruthless domination of Prospect-L.
Once my girlfriend and I read this Scully/Skinner story. My girlfriend said she'd like to see a Scully/Queequeg story. I told her she should write it herself, but she started saying it was a joke--just to get out of writing a damn story! And I thought I was lazy!

Fanfic is not something you can put chains on and throw into a lake. That's called Houdini.