Because We Love Our Gods: Mythoi, Logoi, and Real People Slash

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Title: Because We Love Our Gods: Mythoi, Logoi, and Real People Slash
Creator: joudama
Date(s): February 4, 2003
Medium: online
Topic: Fanfiction, RPS
External Links: Because We Love Our Gods: Mythoi, Logoi, and Real People Slash, Archived version
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Because We Love Our Gods: Mythoi, Logoi, and Real People Slash is an essay by joudama.

It is part of the Fanfic Symposium series.


I do not write RPS--Real People Slash. OK, to be honest, I don't technically write slash. But I don't write about real people, and that's the main thing. The first time I heard about RPS, it totally squicked me out--I mean, these were real people! How can you write about real people?!!? I mean, if I found shit like that about me...uwaaaaaugh! That was my basic reaction. That was the feeling I had for years. But now, I'm defending RPS. I managed to kill my squick in five minutes, not by reading any, but by playing Devil's Advocate to someone who was virulently against RPS. I ended up convincing myself that there was a legitimacy to RPS, and I'm going to share.
Now that I've defined everything, I'm going to return to the crux of my argument. We, as human beings, need our gods. We need our celebrities, our larger than life figures, to help us make sense of our own lives. We see the foibles of the rich and famous, and they make us feel better, because that proves in the new Gods are fallible. After all, look at mythology--just about every mythology has their Gods fucking right on up in some incredibly human way, because we need that in order to make sense of our own mistakes and blunders and heartaches--we need to think something greater than ourselves has the same damn problems we do. Well, we don't have any gods any more, other than our celebrities, and RPficcers are simply creating a mythology of sorts. Personal mythology through their stories, but a mythology nonetheless because they are responding to their own, primal needs. (I am biased, I know, because I say this as a writer who writes to work out her own problems and because otherwise her head would be an unpleasant place to live--the act of writing is the act of pulling from the subconscious and making it conscious in an altered form that is one that can easily be held up to the light of day, as the subconscious so rarely can be--the best way to know the deepest part of a writer, in many cases, is to read the opus of their work, because there will be threads and themes and things like that, which will tell you more about the person than many people could even know just by knowing that person for years). We can't use gods anymore, so we use the closest thing because, really, who actually sees a celebrity as an actual human being? No one does. Because they give that status as "ordinary human being" up when they agree to fame and all it entails, and enter the realm of mythic. They become ubermensch; the supermen. They become the acceptable modern gods in a logos-based world that does not otherwise allow us access to mythos to answer our basic questions of humanity and what it means to be human and fallible. More important than that, though, is that part of why celebrities get so little protection is that it that know what they are signing up for when they get famous. Yeah, it's fame, but fame has a price, and you lose many of your private rights because you are in the public eye. If you don't want people writing slash about you...or if you don't want photographers following you around, you don't want to be in the papers and the tabloids...then be an accountant. You can rag on RPficcers left and right, but they do about the same thing as rags like the National Enquirer and all that, only they do it out of, as near as I can tell, a sense of enjoyment and affection for who they write about--it's in many ways a labor of love.