Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Creatch and nitebird
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Creatch|
|Interviewee:||Creatch and nitebird|
|Date(s):||April 13, 2012|
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This interview was transcribed in 2013.
For more information about the origins of this interview, where it is housed, contact information, suggestions regarding future interviewee candidates, and how to become volunteer interviewer, see the Media Fandom Oral History Project page.
- how they got started in fandom
- meeting at a Highlander con for the first time without knowing what the other one looked like, thinking "she doesn't look too dangerous"
- "Future generations note, Web TV was not very good!"
- vidding: watching them, finding them
- print zines
- inadvertently telling an author that her Due South zine was terrible
- the differences between betas and editors
- the perils of feedback
- their definitions of gen, het, slash, pre-slash
- power relationships, BDSM, RPF
- The Shield Brothers Arc by Maygra
- a Philadelphia slash group that has its own mailing list
- The Sentinel: "Absolutely amazing fic. Horrid show. But amazing fic"
- fannish platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LiveJournal, the irony of fans being on five kinds of social media and then complaining about their privacy
- Lord of the Rings movies as a lot of peoples' gateway to RPS
- personal decisions about how open to be about fandom in slash to one's family and friends
[nitebird]:I was born this way [laughing]. I mean, I was doing fannish things, even doing slashy fannish things, when I was in grade school. But it wasn’t until-- I started to become fannish--the VCR was the greatest invention ever for fans. I mean, it really--I started taping Star Trek Next Gen religiously, and from there I went to X-Files, but when I really became a fan, was--I’d started to watch Highlander and my roommate had a computer and I just typed in Highlander, and I found the Highlander forum and all of a sudden--I was not alone. I was, you know--because I had been crazy obsessed with the show, every ep--and I could talk to other people and it was just like--well, I guess that was about 1997?
[Creatch]:For me [my first exposure to slash] was like, okay, I have arrived. This is what I had been--because I had been reading fanfic almost from the beginning. And it wasn’t very long--it didn’t take me very long to find slash. I was reading, you know, Duncan slash whoever, whatever female character, you know, or it was gen stories and things like that. And I stumbled on this one website and it said: Duncan/Methos, NC-17. And I couldn’t click on it fast enough! It was “The Firebird Suite”, remember that? By Kellie Matthews. That was my first fanfic--my first slash fiction. And I was just like: I’m home. I’m home! I’ve been a slasher--I was playing out slashy scenes from High Chaparral with my girlfriend in the playground in my little Catholic school girl uniform, okay? Hurt/comfort....first I think it was shock. Because Methos/Duncan, NC-17--no comprehension. I--what the--is this? So I opened it up and I started reading--and what--oh. Oh! [laughing] However, I kept reading, and I kept seeking out more. And then of course I come to find out that the stuff that I was reading the first time probably wasn’t the best stuff ever, but, I didn’t know, I came upon it by accident. It was by an author name whose name I don’t want to say because I don’t want to be mean, but--they’d write all PWPs and in retrospect now, I don’t think I would ever go back and read anything by this person. They did a whole bunch of PWPs and it was all nothing but PWPs...by the time I discovered slash, we were already up to Windows ’98, so I didn’t really know about slash before I had a computer at home. And I’ve never had a job where I would be able to download fic at work if I needed to.
[Creatch]:...you know, sometimes you meet somebody at a con and then you go back to your normal life and you meet friends online and blah blah blah.... [nitebird and I] came back from that con and two weeks later she was visiting at my house. We just realized we will have been friends ten years this fall, this September.
[nitebird]:Actually, there used to be a much more cohesive--or at least I thought--vid community. I mean, I had a bookshelf full of tapes, with fannish music videos on them. We used to--in fact, I think one of our gatherings, it was just like, we were just going to watch music vids. So I don’t know--I mean, there would be like--Chi, you know, she shows like a million--she has every vid on the planet. [laughs] She’s awesome. She’s definitely someone you want to try and talk to. But I don’t know--fic, the actual show, stuff that I watch over and over. Conventions--I love conventions. Unfortunately, I think the economy is really putting the hurt on conventions. I know that I was supposed to go to four this year and I’m going to two.
[Creach and nitebird]:I like zines, but zines are expensive, depending on some people. Some people have stuff that’s not online, but often times you go and you look at the zine can find the stuff on the zine online. And to sit there and to spend all money to purchase a zine when I can read it online for free--I’m kind of like, especially the economy right now, I’m a little more picky about what I’m spending my money on these days. I like zines, but--I have to say this, I’ve never had a zine that was complete dreck, where it was so hard I couldn’t read it. I’ve never spent money on something that I found--oh my god, I can’t read this, it’s horrible. Some have been better than others, some have been kind of like--okay, but at least I can read it. But there’s stuff online, that I start and I can’t even get through the first chapter.
[Creach]:“The Shield Brothers” arc. : Oh yeah! The thing is, Maygra killed Methos, and I don’t think she ever wrote anything good again. nb: I think that probably took part of her soul writing that--it was an epic fic. C: Yeah, I mean--she used to write--she used to update her stories, like daily--hourly, practically! Oh my god, and I would be at work--this was before--and I’d be just sitting there, I wasn’t busy, and it was like--let’s see what’s going on with Methos and Duncan, you know? She put all these warnings on the story and all this stuff, but I never read her stuff again. nb: Because the thing with death fics, I know some people like it and enjoy it, but the thing is, if you don’t--my thing is, I don’t want to read it know, and if you don’t label it, well how and I going to know to stay away, but at the same point if you know it’s coming, are you going to enjoy it as much? I don’t know, because that’s not something that I’d--that’s just not my thing. That’s not my thing. I don’t want to go there. I just--I’m definitely not quite Pollyanna, but I like my happy endings. Then again this is the girl who watched Battlestar religiously.
[nitebird]:But I mean, even Firefly was not slashy, and that show was awesome. So I think fans in general tend to watch things in a different way. I know that other people--it’s like, I’ll be watching an episode of Castle, and they’ll bring in some suspect and blah blah blah and I know that’s not the guy because it’s only twenty minutes into the show and they’re not going to have the big reveal twenty minutes into the show, you know? [laughs] I think we watch for the tropes, I guess, is that--I don’t know if that’s the appropriate word. It’s like how things go.
[Creatch]:I think some people will just take--oh, he’s a man, he’s a man, they’re pretty, let’s slash them. For me there has to be something on the show that warrants them being slashed. I don’t feel the need to go and slash like, say, Castle when it’s not there because I can just put on Hawaii Five-O later --and they’re freaking bickering like an old married couple from the day they met! Or in CSI: LA, it’s the same thing, I mean, they’re just--they’re handing it to you on a silver platter. So I can watch another show and enjoy it, and not have to worry that, okay there’s no slash there, that’s fine. There’s plenty of other shows that they’re just presenting it to me.
[Creach]:I use Facebook. Facebook more than email, now. There are certain people that I have to remember to email this person because I know she’s not on Facebook. But LiveJournal, I never took to it. I felt like I had to be a programmer to figure stuff out. Everything was so splintered. Trying to search it is really, really difficult. I think one of the best things that has happened recently, since the invention of LiveJournal and the disintegration of archives which, I mean, I really relied on-- Yeah, all these things were in an archive, and it got updated and you could go and look and follow an author and stuff like that. When LiveJournal came on--besides the fact that it limits the length that you can post, and so a story of any length, if I want to download it, and put it on here, I have to be extremely, extremely--you know onto my phone or onto my tablet or my computer or whatever, I have to be extremely patient, and you can’t just select it because there’s all these fucking comments at the bottom. So you’re not just getting the story. So if the story has 58 parts, you have to select just the text, then cut and paste, and if you mess up, you know, and you’re reading along and all of a sudden it’s like: Oh, I missed Chapter Three--it’s like, fuck me! You know? So I think the best thing that has happened is Archive of Our Own. I remember at the time when they were first talking about it, it was this--ah, you know, you’re going to try and take over the world and define what is a transformative work and da da da--and all this stuff and oh my god, thank you, thank you!
[nitebird]:We went to see Return of the King. I went with my parents, and my dad, obviously not somebody who was looking for the homoerotic subtext, comes out of the movie and he was like: Why were those hobbits all in bed together? What's with the hobbits?
As far as like, slashdom, unless you’re in fandom, you don’t--the muggles don’t know what slash is, so to have to sit there and talk about it and what not, they’re going to be like, whatever. If you can freakin’ sit there and watch Hawaii Five-O or watch NCIS: LA, and not--then you know what, that’s fine. You go on in your little bubble, and I don’t how you’re doing that, but okay fine, you’re going to sit there and not see it and okay, that’s fine for you.