Things have changed...

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Title: Things have changed
Creator: Sandy Hereld
Date(s): April 17, 1997
Medium: online
Fandom: Multiple Fandoms
Topic: slash, meta
External Links:
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On April 17, 1997, slash fan Sandy Hereld posted the following essay to the Virgule-L, one of the early slash mailing lists. By 1997, some 4 years after the founding of Virgule-L, slash fandom had taken to the Internet with the number of mailing lists across many different fandoms proliferating. Unlike Virgule-L which was multi-fandom, these mailing lists and newsgroups were fandom specific - sometimes pairing specific. In the essay, Sandy touches on the beginnings of the information overload and its impact on media fandom. At the end of the post Sandy asks the mailing list directly for updates on what is happening in their fandoms.

It is quoted here with permission.

Things have changed...

"...since this list first started. (Duh, I hear you say.)

One of the big changes is how many of us are involved in *current* fandoms. We've had a number of threads on why current shows are different for fans (the canon changing every week; having to wait for new episodes, etc.) but one current issue/problem/delight of current shows is just how effing much information there is on the Internet about them.

For example, in Highlander, there is a *active* newsgroup (alt.tv.highlander), a large gen fiction mailing list, a small R/X rated fiction mailing list, a Methos-drool list (ROG--ask Kronette if interested), a huge (but not easy to use) fiction archive and *lots* more.

Other current shows have more or less (XFiles more, DueSouth about the same, Sentinel maybe a little less).

And, of course, this is *wonderful*. If DueSouth or HL or XFiles or Xena or whatever is your current One True Love, then you're in fat city.

But, if you're a (ahem) fannish butterfly, or an out and out fannish slutpuppy, you're out of luck. There is too much information in any one of these fandoms to belong to lists for all the things you're interested in. I said awhile ago that one of the effects of the Internet is to have gen fans and slash fans communicating again; but to do that, slash fans have to have time to subscribe to the general info lists for our shows, and after you've subscribed to every slashlist you're interested in, who has time left?

So, as I said, when this list first started, we were mostly K/S, Pros and B7 fans; gradually, more and more of us found current fandoms, and more of the new members were fans of current shows, and we had lots of threads about these new shows. And, as well, lots of 'this is what's happening in 'X' show' informational posts.

One of the big online fannish changes of the last year or two is the rise in single fandom lists. This can be very cool, and I belong to (more than) my share of such lists. But one effect of single-fandom lists is most of the conversation of each show is happening in separate small lists dedicated to that show. (I mean, heck--no one mentioned on Virgule that Steve Adler had died! There are a lot of Pros fans on Virgule that decided not to join Ci5....)

It seems like NO one can keep up with all the shows currently out there with slash interest.

I guess what I'm saying is--on this list there are probably 5 DS fans rabid enough to belong to every DS list on the Internet, including the high-traffic DS gen group; another 25 who just belong to DSX and DueSlash....and another 25-50 who liked the show, buy the zines, and are curious what's happening with the 3rd season, but don't have the time to follow it more closely than that. (And of course, another 50+ people who delete everything with DS in the subject line...and more power to them.)

The same could be said for almost any fandom out there; I'm sure there are Sentinel fans who would like to know when the rerun season is over, but don't want to join a separate list...XF fans who just can't keep up...you name it.

[snip]

So, what's happening in *your* fannish show?"

Responses

By 1997, list traffic on Virgule-L had been dropping, so there were only a few responses (thereby underscoring Sandy's points about the fragmentation of fandom).

  • One fan offered an update on The Professionals: there were rumors that the UK owners of the show had been talking about launching a "New Professionals" TV series, sans Doyle, using Lew Collins in the 'Cowley" role
  • Another fan announced that Sentinel had been renewed for a 3rd season. Fans were worried that the producers would allow the actor who played Blair to cut his hair.

Morgan Dawn offered perhaps the most amusing (and wordy) response:

"Well for those into X-Files on a part-time basis. The shows creators are playing with the Mulder-Scully relationship this Sunday. Typical fanish (sic) plot - evil shapeshifter may (or may not) change him/herself into one of the partners and is shown attempting to kiss the other partner.

In the teaser clip the implication was that Mulder's evil twin skippy (the shapechanger) was about to kiss Scully.

I, of course, had to play the clip again in screen by screen advance just to see what was really happening. And yes, Mulder does swoop in for a kiss. No lip contact. And no, Scully does not look impressed.

So naturally, I started thinking of all the ways the writers could have them kiss, but not really kiss.

Scenerio 1: Sculler[1] allows the evil Mulder kiss her, but just as their lips touch, the real Muleder breaks in and they wrestle the evil twin to the ground. After Scully delivers a few vicious punches to the twin, Scully announces: "When he made his move, I knew it wasn't you. *You'd* never try something as stupid as that." The real Mulder mentally revises his seduction plan to include body armour.

Scenerio 2: Just before their lips touch, Scully'es (sic) cancer conveniently sets off her nose bleed, sending her dashing to the bathroom, saving her from a fate worse than death. Then the real Mulder arrives, the evil twin flees. When Scully emerges, the real Mulder is there. Scully pretends to forget the whole thing (but can't stop thinking about it), while the real Mulder has no clue why Scully keeps looking at him strangely. (Can't take credit for this one- saw it on the Usenet).

Scenerio 3: It's actually Scully who is the evil twin. Poor Mulder is suddenly faced with a flirtatious Scully. Figuring the poor dear was overwrote by her terminal illness he decides to "let her" seduce him. Later when the real Scully busts in and sees the two of them in a clinch, he claims he "Knew it was the shapechanger all along and was just testing her."

In other news: David D has been offered $4 mill to star in the X-Files movie that will be the sequel to the last season's cliff-hanger. No mention of Gillian Anderson."[2]

References

  1. This was a typo that led Sandy to comment: "Sculler? That's freudian, I must say."
  2. Quoted with permission.