Bitter Old Fic Queens and Why They Need to Get Over It

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Title: Bitter Old Fic Queens and Why They Need to Get Over It
Creator: Debbilmice Jennifer_Oksana
Date(s): 1998
Medium: online
Fandom: The X-Files
Topic: Bitter Old Fanfic Queen, Fanosaurs
External Links: Bitter Old Fic Queens and Why They Need to Get Over It, Archived version
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Bitter Old Fic Queens and Why They Need to Get Over It is an essay "as seen on the Debbilmice page." It was written by Jennifer-Oksana early in her fannish career.

The Essay

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.

My first question, the obvious one is: why are you still watching the show? I mean, I'm a lazy, shiftless person, and I still don't have enough free time to watch shows that have lost their spark to me, which is why I don't know what's going on during Xena: Warrior Princess any more. I guess that's not really fair, in consideration. You get attached to people online and stuff (though I've seen some bitch-slapping, flame-flooding Bitter Old Fic Queen fights, and they are a sight to behold, let me tell you.) You don't want to abandon your niche. I guess I'm no different. I'd hang even if they replaced Gillian with that chick who plays Jen on Dawson's Creek-- though I don't think anyone would ever hear the end of my bitching.

So here's my second question: do you ever wonder if you don't really hate the show? I mean, really. I know most BOFQs have this idealized version of the show in which everything past a certain point in third season didn't happen. I think that maybe you're just secretly pissed off because your uber-cool little television show went mainstream, and all those obnoxious people who didn't get it back in the day are stealing your thunder. Of course, being a Proud Watcher of X-Files since before the Abduction, I understand. The show isn't the same. Chris Carter's lying has become proverbial. Fanfic sure as hell isn't the same.

So why bother? Does it gall you so much that despite what you see as character betrayal, descents into sheer babble (aka The Mytharc), and the intolerable pain of popularity (face it, behind every Bitter Old Fic Queen lies an Indie Elitist Dork who HATES popularity on principle), despite all of this, you still, oh, like the show? You know you do. You feel really guilty about it. And what's even worse, you still like some of the fanfic.

Ah, yes, fanfic. Which is why this essay isn't titled "Bitter Old Fans and Their Denial Issues." Can I just tell the BOFQ that sometimes I wonder which fanfic you're reading? Of course there's a remarkable amount of crap in fanfic. I suppose there's more crap now than back in the day when authors posted maybe twice a year and you had to watch the show on Fridays after walking barefoot in the snow uphill both ways. Of course, that could possibly be because, well, there's more fanfic period? I've read the old stuff. Some of the old classics, the ones I've had enthusiastically recommended as "must-reads" by people -- well, to be blunt, they suck. And there are things that get posted, say, this month (Pillar of Salt, maybe?) that will always be fic classics to me.

Good writers are a rare commodity. I won't even pretend to be one yet. But for some reason, fans who bitch more than they contribute, be they Bitter Old Fic Queens or brand newbies who never used a spellcheck before, well, they always seem to be in stock. I have some advice for both.

Get over it.

Sure, Chris Carter is a total liar. Sure, some episodes suck (note to the newbies: if the name "John Shiban" appears solo in the "written by" credits, prepare for a crap-fest) and some episodes get hyped by people while you think what the hell show was everyone else watching. And definitely the X-Files is a different show, and fandom a different world than it once was. I, for one, am glad. And really, I have no problem with people who wish the show was a little different. In my ideal show, Krycek would have both his arms and Mulder would call him Big Daddy at least once. And Darin Morgan would write again. Sadly, though, the show belongs to that Carter guy. I've learned to deal with it, and enjoy the journey.

I'll say it again, just in case your advanced age as a fan has destroyed your eyesight.

Get over it.

My dear Bitter Old Fic Queens, it's NEVER going to be 1995 again. You know it, I know it, and the government knows it. The old days will never come again. Well, not unless you get a time machine, take it to Vancouver, and hold Chris Carter hostage so the show follows your vision. And then you'd step on the wrong blade of grass and Sadaam Hussein will take over the world. And then I'd have to be his American harem girl, just because you never got over it. Thanks a lot, you bitter old cows.