[LMB] Re: Slash'n'Romance (OT

Ruth Frey solsticebiz at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 11 22:23:00 GMT 2006

  Laura Gallagher wrote:
>Just imagine - Captain Jack/Captain Jack slash!

       If you mean Jack Harkness "squared", I'd say you'd be making a character's deepest fantasies come true (er).  However, if you mean Jack Harkness/Jack Sparrow, that's just *twisted* . . . :P  :)
Elizabeth Holden wrote: 

  >> I've gotten the impression that the
>> subversion/"underground" aspect is rather important
>> to slash ...
>Is there?  I'm not entirely sure what the 'subversion'
>aspect means; I would therefore tend to say 'no, that
>isn't it at all', but that might be simply
>misunderstanding what your comments mean.

       I think part of the misunderstanding comes from our apparently different definitions of slash as a genre.  What I was always told/led to believe was that slash involved (usually explicit) fanfic about relationships that would be *directly counter* to the stated gender identification of the characters in the original material.  So, in other words, homosexual relationships between two characters normally portrayed as heterosexual, or, potentially, heterosexual relationships between homosexual characters (though the latter would be a lot rarer, since till recently, genuinely homosexually identified characters were rare in genre -- and esp. media -- fiction).  An example would be the classic "Kirk/Spock" type stuff.
       This would put slash in a separate category from more "mainstream" sexually explicit fanfic, in which characters act out relationships that follow their "original" orientations (even if such a relationship was never seen in the original material).  An example here would be "Kirk/Uhura" (though I guess you could argue that one, if you really want to, given that I'm not sure Uhura ever stated an orientation . . .Anyway . . .)
       The one person I knew who was really into what she called "slash", as according the the above definitions -- was really big on the whole, "This is the really hot stuff you'll *never* see in the *real* show/book/whatever!!" and that seemed to be a major attraction.  Since, as I said, it's never been my thing, I was taking her word on it, and, really, one is a pretty small sample size, but I've been qualifying my comments with "based on my experience", so . . .
>Generally speaking, I think the 'subversive' aspect is
>more in the minds of people who aren't into slash than
>those who are - which is mostly to say, it isn't
>something I've heard slash fans discuss as an
>attraction, ever, though people who aren't slash fans
>do tend to mention it.

  Possibly cuz they've run into fans similar to the one I knew, and if you aren't out doing a serious survey, you don't really know if it's representative or not.
>>        Heh -- that line of thought led roomie and me
>> to speculate if it would therefore be possible to
>> write any "true" slash about Captain Jack Harkness. 
>Well, why not? I am writing Captain Jack slash in fair
>quantity these days.  I obviously consider it
>perfectly possible. (Not to mention fun.)

       My intended joke was about whether you *could* write gender/orientation-bending "slash" about a character who, in the original material, already considers pretty much anything fair game.  But that presupposes there's some sort of gender switch going on, which does not appear to be a requirement of your definition of slash.  So we're kinda talking past each other.  :)
       FWIW, I can and do write some fanfic myself -- mostly as a writing excercise ("how well can I keep someone else's characters in their defined roles, while still adding new material?"), and for the challenge of working out plots I think would fit a particular show/series.  It's also fun to try playing out some aspects of intercharacter relationships, though I tend to be more interested in "general" rather than outright romantic/sexual relationships in that sense.  I've done a couple Ninth Doctor bits with Jack in them -- and that boy is great fun to write.  He usually ends up hijacking the proceedings and being the main viewpoint character, simply because it's so entertaining to get inside his brain.  Even more fun, I'd hazard, than getting inside his pants . . . (sorry, rude comment just slipped out there, bad Ruth!).  :D
>> Is it slash if at least one character would be there
>> with bells on *any*way?  :)  :)
>Yes, of course. Just as people slash "Queer as Folk"
>and "Oz" and other shows with canonical same-sex
>pairings. No different from other slash, really.

       Another example of our two different definitions of slash parting ways . . .Not that I'm saying mine is the One True Definition, by any means.  Just that it's the one I was using when I wrote my post.  
>> and partly that
>> there's no "threatening" individual of the viewer's
>> own gender involved to distract the viewer, if that
>> makes sense.  
>That argument has never made sense to me at all. 
       *Shrugs*  Seems to be a common territoriality response, though, more common in men, but I've seen it in women, too.
  >So why do I probably/generally prefer slash? No idea.
>It's all in the hormones as far as I'm concerned.
  As are so many things, really . . . :)
  -- Ruth

"Y'know, when you're a kid, they tell you it's all grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid, and that's it.  No.  The truth is, the world is so much stranger than that.  It's so much darker, and so much madder . . . and so much *better.*"  Elton, "Love and Monsters."
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