Bitter Old Fanfic Queen

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Synonyms: BOFQ[1], Bitter Old Fandom Hag,
See also: Oldtimer, Fanosaur, dino, neofan, newbies
LJ icon with the abbreviation BOFQ
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Bitter Old Fanfic Queen is a term coined in The X-Files fandom with the essay: Bitter Old Fic Queens and Why They Need to Get Over It.

A BOFQ is a jaded, martini-swilling cynic who has seen it all. She might say something like "Get offa my lawn" on occasion, and will tend to be both familiar with and tired of common and recurrent arguments. This term seems to have traction only among X-Philes, although the term is transparent enough that other fandoms understand it instantly. The term has also been adopted, more broadly, as "Bitter Old Fandom Queen."

The opposite of a BOFQ is a newbie, or really, anybody who has not yet developed a cynical eye for earnest chatter.

Though originally used in a snarky manner by the Debbilmice posters, by now the term seems to primarily used to refer any kind of jaded fan.

Origin

This will probably piss the Debbilmice off, because they, at least in my head, fit this category a little too well. But who cares? I get myself in trouble all the time and they said to send essays...

Anway, I'm talking about and to the bitter old fic queen, a most theatrical and amusing, yet venomously poisonous species. They're their own special club, but announce to us most noisily, "Fan Fiction Does NOT Have Snobbery, or Cabals, or..." whatever. They haven't actually *liked* the show since "The Blessing Way" but continue to watch the show with increasing hatred and sado-masochistic glee. They mourn for the Good Old Days when fic was a brave new world with *talented* authors and low traffic. They bitch about all the crap out there and sulk when the philistine newbies prefer-- gasp, clutch, choke-- sappy, inane, mediocre MSR to their own impreccably written, brilliantly characterized masterpieces.

You know who you are. You know I'm talking to you. You know you want to know who I am so you can find my fic and tear it to pieces starting with the first misplaced comma. Don't deny it. I'd probably do the same thing. Equal-opportunity bitchdom is cool with me. Be proud-- you're a Bitter Old Fic Queen, while I'm an Arrogant Young Fic Nobody. I don't hate you. Sometimes I laugh at you. Mostly I wonder about you.

See Bitter Old Fic Queens and Why They Need to Get Over It by Jennifer Oksana for the full essay.

The term has been around since 1999[2] and has since than also used outside of Philedom in the 2010s[3]:

[ihateseatbelts]
Back in the days when only one person could use the Internet, and if Mum and Dad want to use the phone? Well, pfft. It's a wrap.

These kids today, with their fibre opticals and smarty thingamajigs...

[Karinta]
The very definition of the Bitter Old Fanfic Queen.

Examples of Usage

"Accept certain inalienable truths: People are bad about leaving feedback. There will be wank over hiatus. You, too, will become a Bitter Old Fandom Queen. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, fangirls left glorious feedback, hiatus was for porn and fanbrats respected their resident BOFQs....Respect your resident BOFQ."[4]
"Similarly, social justice fans gain cred through oppression olympics; bolster their positions by talking about and disclaiming their own privilege; cite academic texts as a means of power geeking; and demonstrate the “bitter old fandom queen” attitude of decrying n00bs’ involvement by saying “it’s not our job to educate you.” [5]
"I've been in online fandom since early 1996, which totally qualifies me for Bitter Old Fandom Queen-dom. If you disagree, you can just get the hell off my lawn, damn kids. *fistshake* *canethump*"[6]
LJ icon reading: Bitter Old Fandom Queen. Fandom: Smallville
"From my lofty bitter old fandom queen position, I’m going to hand out this advice to both sides. Stop being bitches. Seriously, stop it. I know, I know, I’m the worst example of being the better person but do as I say and what not. If you the poster want to have an actual, reasonable discussion about a controversial topic, then act reasonably. If you start out being all but but whhhhyyy do you haaaaaatttteeee meeeeee, well, you’ll get comments providing you a handy detailed explanation. If you the commenter are being baited, ignore it. Seriously, ignore it. Starve the beast. As for me, I’m going to sit back, eat popcorn and watch the fun. After all, I know how this story ends. Trust me, I lived through the Spike redemptionista wars in Buffydom. The Palinista thing? Pffffffft. Amateurs."[7]
As a Bitter Old Fanfic Queen (thanks Cofax7 for that one, though I'm really not bitter at all -- jaded is probably the better term), who is twice or three times of the age of those leveling these charges, I really don't get the desire to BE RIGHT and condemn the rest of us. I love fandom, I love fic, I love the Chronicles, and I love the communities that build up around them. [8]
From a satirical essay written from the POV of a fictional BOFQ:
"Every single one of you fucking SUCKS as a writer, and here's a four-thousand-word mailing list post addressed to each of you individually to explain exactly why you will NEVER be as good as any of MY best friends..."[9]
"There is private communication in media fandom, but generally speaking it is individual email and very small lists of personal contacts, for the same reasons that SFWA private lists are being attacked. In fanficNewbie, it is called the "Bitter Old Fanfic Queen Cabal" -- any flaunted sign of private communication, like a private list, is automatically taken to be a conspiracy. We're refreshingly crazy that way."[10]
"Where's the BOFQ in this scheme? You know, the one who wrote fic years ago, "back when the show was still good and fandom didn't suck," and now does nothing but complain, insult people, and wield the authority to order people out of fandom entirely if they fail to shower adequate adoration on her six year old fics that still have the original typos, including that one with the title spelled wrong, because fixing them would damage the artistic integrity of the piece."[11]
"I remember when I first jumped into fandom. Maybe some of the rest of you were somewhat more restrained and mature, but I certainly did have fun while MY crazy leap lasted. I think that the blissful insanity of total self-transplant into another (dare I say it?) imaginary culture only lasts as long as it is developmentally useful. When we get whatever it is that we get out of such learning experiences, we resurface. At this point, one is apt to see us standing around with a nostalgic (and, let's face it, slightly smug) smile, watching the neo-fans with their brand new doubleknit tunics and fresh-from-the-catalogue insignia. We feel...older, somehow. (In my experience, this usually coincides with getting a Real Job.) As we get older, we tire more quickly. Our resistance to certain fannish plagues goes down. We succumb to cynicism, disillusionment, gafiation. So my question is, after all of this... WHY do we go back? Why are we still faithful? Is it just that the crew of the Enterprise was our first love? Do we, as Woody Allen would say, need the eggs? Are we somehow participants in a mythos that transcends Paramount and the other guilty realities of the entertainment business? Or is everybody else having a good time, and I'm just a grumpy old bitch?" [12]
"Tumblr really does make me feel like I'm turning into one of those BOFQs who used to go on about how zines and Usenet were so much better than everything we were doing back when I got into fandom."[13]
"Being a fan is a celebration of the things you love. Being in fandom is getting to do that with other people. It’s not always roses and sometimes there are things we as fans have to deal with and break down and overcome because we still live in the real world, but it definitely shouldn’t be about proving who has the most old school street cred and that the new-new kids don’t know how good they’ve got it. So yeah, sometimes I wear my BOFQ badge and I roll my eyes at shit, but in the end, I’m still a fan of a thing (of lots of things) and I like being a fan with other people. So.. why the fuck do I care who’s been at it longer?"[14]

Meta

Trivia

On the /r/FanFiction subreddit, the term is used as a user flair by one of the former moderators.

References

  1. X-Files and Fanfic Acronyms on The X-Files Lost & Found
  2. New: You'll Never Eat Lunch With This Newsgroup Again by Dead4Sure in alt.tv.x-files.creative on Aug 1st 1999
  3. Reply by ihateseatbelts to Anecdotes about reading fanfiction back in the old days in /r/HPfanfiction/ Novemeber 16th 2015
  4. Everybody's Free (To Be Fannish) by elizah-jane, dated January 23, 2010, an essay based on the humorous graduation essay "Everyone's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)".
  5. ICFA Panel #114: Steampunks, Neopagans, and FailFen by Heather dated April 29, 2011; WebCite.
  6. Serrico's LJ Profile accessed January 5, 2012; WebCite.
  7. I know how this story ends by alexthechick, dated March 15, 2011;WebCite.
  8. Cannons blowing up ships and other ramblings, anon reviewers, etc. reply by rthstewart July 22nd, 2011 on LiveJournal
  9. The Life Cycle of the Bitter Old Fanfic Queen, a satirical essay by Valeria Fate dated 2001.
  10. Some comments, comment by veejane dated September 5, 2006;WebCite.
  11. Comment by spiletta42 in A Field Guide to Big Name Fans by Holdouttrout, dated January 29, 2008; WebCite.
  12. from 1987, the third issue of Sociotrek
  13. post in the Because of tumblr thread at fail-fandomanon dated June 8, 2012.
  14. So like, today on my flist I Saw dated Feb 13, 2013; reference link.