McShep Match Team War 2009 Interview with sabinelagrande

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Interviews by Fans
Title: McShep Match Team War 2009 Interview with sabinelagrande
Interviewee: sabinelagrande
Date(s): August 7, 2009
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Stargate Atlantis
External Links: Team interviews: sabinelagrande: mcshep_war, Archived version
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sabinelagrande was interviewed in 2009 for McShep Match.

It is part of this series: McShep Match Interview Series.

This interview has a focus on linguistics!


How long have you been writing fan fiction and/or making fan art and/or whatever else (vids, knitted goods, pornographic gingerbread cookies)?

Um. Shit. It's hard to say. I've had a fic journal since 2003, and I had an account before that. The first time I ever sat down and consciously decided to write fanfic was in '03 (and it was GODAWFUL), but I wrote stuff that might be considered fic before I ever heard the term. I remember particularly that in the fifth grade, me and my best friends wrote a sprawling Star Wars fic with us and our friends replacing the characters.

I had to be the Ewoks. I was pissed.

More recently, I've gotten into doing crafty fannish things. I'm on a big cross-stitch kick at the moment, and I also do a little costuming...

Child. What fandom am I not in? I kind of stumbled into online fandom as soon as I stumbled online, which was, good lord, when I was 9 and AOL 2.0 was the new hotness. And I made a lot of really embarrassing fansites for The Secret World of Alex Mack and Rocky Horror and Whose Line Is It Anyway? (before Drew's Line, TYVM) and Monty Python and thank god most of them no longer exist.

Anyway. Besides SGA, my other main fandom at the moment is Phoenix Wright, and I'm sort of still tangentially connected to the House fandom. Previously, I've been involved in Firefly, Smallville, Cowboy Bebop, Harry Potter, Hellsing, The Big Bang Theory, DC Comics, Jeeves and Wooster, and probably a lot of other things that slip my mind at the moment.

What do you enjoy most about SGA and/or SGA fandom?

I just really love the show. I love the design, I love the incredible sketchiness of everything Atlantis does, I love Sheppard and Teyla and Zelenka and Lorne and Ronon and Ford and Caldwell and Weir and Grodin and Woolsey and, okay, okay, I admit it, even Rodney sometimes. It fills me with unabashed glee.

The first three seasons, anyway.

As for the fandom, the fic is SO GOOD and there's SO MUCH of it. The fandoms I'm used to, it's either 1) everything is great, but there are like seven stories and I wrote four of them 2) the crap and the awesome come in about equal measures. But in this fandom, it's more remarkable to find a really bad fic than a good one. I mean, seriously, I have ~500 SGA recs on my delicious, and there are entire pairings and whole genres that I don't even read.

Why do you ship McKay/Sheppard? What draws you to the pairing, what do you like and dislike? Favourite scenes or episodes? Quotes? Screencaps? What other SGA pairings do you ship?

I like to say that I ship McShep not because they're doing it, but because they should be doing it. I want to see it work out for them, because despite all odds, they go together, and I love those sorts of stories.

Favorite things. Hmm. The Last Man and The Shrine, definitely, even though they hurt my heart. The episode where I decided they were totally hot for each other is The Brotherhood (which one of my favorite episodes, and all about Kolya and his inappropriate feelings for Sheppard's boyfriend). Because Rodney is over talking to traitor girl, and she's all, "Hey, doc, come up and look at my tapestries ;)" and Rodney's all "John, I'm going to bed, HINT HINT" and Ford and Teyla are all "LOL OTP".

Then of course, there's the bit about John and the Mensa test, which I really like just for Rodney's expression (by which I mean it looks like he's about to hump John's leg right there in front of god and everybody).

My dear love of McShep notwithstanding, I ship everything. Multishippers for life, yo. Right now I'm on a huge Weir/Caldwell kick (but honestly, I'll take Caldwell/anybody, cause Mitch Pileggi = UNF), and the secret pairing of my heart is Ronon/Radek. I'll write damn near anything, too- I've done everything from Teyla/Todd to Woolsey/Sheppard, and I'll probably do even worse in the future.

Do readers (in your opinion) read Meredith as still being male and therefore excluded from a lot of the baggage of women in canon? Or is this an apples-and-oranges comparison?

I think part of the good thing about genderswap, particularly of the temporary/Ancient-induced variety, is that you can just throw off so much of the baggage and write without considering the broader social ramifications of, say, tying a woman up and coming on her face (which is uncomfortable even to type, and I like being tied up). We know, deep down, that it's okay for John to throw Meredith against walls and ravish her and things, because we know Rodney can take it. We couldn't necessarily say the same thing about, say, Elizabeth.

I often find that genderswap stories are more sensual than het stories for this reason- and by that I don't mean that they're hotter, but that there's more (and dirtier) attention paid to the female form, the sex is rougher, etc- though, admittedly, I don't read much SGA het (and none of it with Rodney or John), so I may not be making fair comparisons.

Then again, my main motivation for writing this genderswap verse, which I will never get around to properly naming, is to load Rodney up with baggage and see what he does with it. So, yeah. I think they do, but that's not necessarily a negative thing.

And then there's this whole other kind of baggage- I know that most of my readers will receive a story about Rodney and John in a completely different way and with a much more positive attitude than a story about, say, Rodney and Jennifer or Sheppard and Weir; people really, really like Rodney, in a way they don't usually like the female characters. I'm into telling people stories that they'll like; so if I can still do what I want, which is this pretentious conceptual gender thing, and still give people what they'll enjoy essentially unreservedly, which is Rodney/John, why shouldn't I?

What I'm trying to say is that we're very fanservice-y around here. ;D

What are the most frustrating parts of the SG universe, linguistically speaking?

Daniel's plenty frustrating, but mostly because he really is preternaturally good at languages, in a way that I will never, ever be. So it's professional jealousy. :D

I find Teal'c and Teyla's speech patterns- and the use of Spock Speak by people other than Vulcans and groups like the Tollan- to be incredibly problematic, for reasons that get a little tl;dr. Suffice it to say that it's not a good idea to show that the dark-skinned aliens are good guys by making them sound hyper-white. But, I think that's just a piece of a larger problem with the depiction of the Jaffa in general. It's not as bad in Atlantis, because the Athosians are multi-racial (which is a whole nother rant, but an anthropological one), and then there's Ronon, who's non-white, good, smart, and not hyperstandard- but, yes. It's a problem.

And then there's the Vancouver problem. There are varying levels of American accent competence among the cast(s)- Kavan Smith, in particular, is so good that I didn't know he wasn't American till I looked it up- but Torri Higginson is far and away the worst at it. It's like she's not even pretending to try to do an American accent; I think it's especially noticeable to me because 1) she's such a good actress 2) Weir's nationality is highly salient.

But the one that really fills me with LINGUIST RAGE is a scene from McKay and Mrs. Miller. So it's the part where Sam is talking to Rodney and Jeannie by satellite on the Daedalus, and there's this bit, which I have cleverly copied and pasted from the GateWorld transcript:

JEANIE: I solved your problem in my spare time ... with finger paints.

McKAY: Here we go.

JEANIE: I just can’t imagine how you’re surviving the humiliation.

McKAY: Look, if it wasn’t for my work, your little theory would be useless ...

CARTER: Whoa, whoa! Siblings, please!

McKAY and JEANIE (simultaneously as they turn back to the screen): Sorry.

(Sam ducks her head, unsuccessfully trying to hide a smile.)

McKAY: What?

CARTER: Well, it’s just that you both said “sorry” in that cute little Canadian way, and I ... [etc.]

As written, it's fine, because Canadians tend to tense and back that vowel, where Americans drop and front it, and it does sound very cute. But, see, here's the thing: NEITHER OF THEM SAID IT. In this instance, despite the fact that Hewlett tenses that vowel all the time, both of them pronounced it exactly like Americans. And I don't even know how that made it in, because it's so obvious, and EVERYONE IN THAT SCENE IS FROM CANADA. HOW DID THEY NOT REALIZE. IT IS IN THE DIALOGUE.



So, yes. That's me, generally speaking.