Sunday, 17 August 2014

Hating on Hans

Admiral Hans Westergard, Prince (13) of the Southern Isles has possibly drawn the shortest straw of all time in Fanficland.  His fatal mistake was probably not dying - at least at the end of the film.

It has given Fanficland license to put him through hells he couldn't have imagined.  For every fanfic in which he is redeemed - including one in which he becomes a baker and falls in love with a girl whose only wealth lies in bun skills - there seems to be another in which he is horribly, horribly doomed.  Descent into madness is a popular fate, with or without an ice statue of Anna to keep him company, though nearly often accompanied by a guilt-plagued Elsa, who has her fair share of portrayals as a raving lunatic.  

He frequently features only to behave appallingly - often by being the archetypal teenage boy, I notice - and get his butt kicked. In the modern AUs he is usually a jock and the butt-kicking is often by Elsa, which is very satisfying and frequently funny.  It leads to my supposition that the reason the Prince in the Arendelle AUs is wandering about burnt by his own fire powers, destroyed by absorbing Elsa's ice powers, scarred beyond recognition, tortured to dementia/death or with limbs missing - name a limb, the Prince has lost it somewhere -  is to do with his being both the archetypal suave villain and the boy you just couldn't go out with - because they are pretty much the same thing.

Dan in Bridget Jones' diary may survive, but the original - George Wickham - gets the fate worse than death - married to an empty-headed girl with no means of support in a world of perpetual debt.  The writers about Hans are simply doing the same thing.  Except for the ones with literal castration.  I think that's pure revenge. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

A Glimpse of Something Gorgeous

So what with all the time hanging out in hospital I have become a fan of fanfic.  Yeah. What I like about it is that it's kind of the opposite of writing - and by extension reading.

Because fan fiction starts from a common, "canon" idea, which is not the same as most writing.  Usually your attitude as a reader is "I've paid for this, I don't know what you're on about, impress me."  With fanfic, it's "ok I picked this but you did it for fun, I'm doing it for fun, we both know what the rules are, let's go".  More like dating than an arranged marriage.  Much less room for recrimination.

Also, the vast majority of fanfic is about "shipping" - i.e. relationships you jolly well wished had happened in the book/film/tv series BUT SOMEHOW DIDN'T.  You will be thrilled to know that in various fanfic universes, Sherlock Holmes is going out with Molly, not realising he's in love with Molly, or married to Molly with children (idk how.  I think those stories must be wildly OOC.   Snobbish sniff).  In the more likely universes, he is with John.  It is possible that somewhere he is alone, solving mysteries, but usually he isn't.

I adore the fact that fanfic world is a chandelier reflection of the fiction that it sprang from; anybody can do anything - can wake up in a world where they are a graffiti artist instead of a lost princess, or a hockey player instead of a salesperson.  Thought you got married at the end of the film, babe?  Guess again.

What's fun about it is that it can be wholly without proper story, or bizarrely accurately detailed - you can always spot the people who are writing from their own experience of the navy or military or European history degrees - that it can be a one-off, or a multi-chapter fic which offers the pleasure of weekly updates - and the corresponding pleasure of cliff-hangers.  There aren't actually very many places you can get that.  And with fanfic it's thrillingly secret; sometimes somebody gets well known, but usually - it's just you and the fan base.  All twenty seven of them.

You can also leave hopeful hints for what you hope will happen next, because that's part of the culture - read and review.

The weaknesses are that some stories are awful, and many are pretty derivative; you can draw the comfort of familiarity from this or you can go and find something else.  There's plenty.  A worse conundrum is that PEOPLE DON'T FINISH.  Or update slowly, or irregularly.  This is the biggest annoyance.

The only defence of paying for reading matter is that it is - well, it should be - better.  The weakness here is that my reading this summer has included We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (unattractive first person narrator),  After the Fall (worthy - all right in a glum sort of way), Sunshine (Robin McKinley - info dumping, emotionally shallow) and Queen of the Damned (oh my LIFE would it ever finish?)  I'm really looking for something to read.  David Mitchell and Marian Keyes have new novels out in the autumn; it's a long wait.

References for YO MOMMA


Dear Sir/ Madam

I can wholeheartedly recommend my Mummy for this post.  She tends upon my every whim, waking at night, gazing dotingly upon my beauteous chubby face when same is smeared with pureed carrot making me resemble a pumpkin with human or perhaps demon purpose, and literally cleaning up my poop whenever the opportunity occurs.

No task is beyond her - she carries me about like a Rajah, takes full responsibility for doling out helpings of Pink Medicine when I shout at her about my sore gums and has shown great initiative in planning a full and varied agenda of two or three entertainments per day with full hostessing and food preparation - a schedule which would stagger any party-planner.

Truly, she would be the best person for any job you can imagine.  No pride, no ability to negotiate, slavish devotion and 24 hour call.  The best.

I am not planning to let her go, but thank you for your interest.


George Smithson
Aged 1


Dear Sir

Whaddup? Why for you want my momma?  She no good.

Recommend her for WHAT now? You want da biiii-atch, you help yo'self, only you be helpin yo'sef better if you don tek her.  She leave mi clothes inna hamper for two days when I be needin' them, she dis my bevs and she raggin' on mi girl when she got sick in her hair.  What she be raggin' on mi girl for wid de offers of water?  Mi girl Caroline Sophie she done drunk a whole bottle of voddy, she got no call to be gettin' up in mi girl's face which she need for her puking up of da bevs.

She dis my banter and she be all "clean yo' room, now, 'fore you go out" when mi room don't need no cleanin.  Da Bitch so lazy she got a CLEANER fi clean the bathrooms!  SHE don't clean hessef, but MA room, I'm sposed to clean?  Nah, dat's no the way it gonna go down.  No respect.  You take her....

Yours faithfully

George Hamilton Parker
Aged 17
Wimbledon SW17