The Midnight Rider (sabinelagrande) wrote,
The Midnight Rider
sabinelagrande

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I'm proctoring. And by proctoring, I mean writing meta.

So here's the thing: I just can't read RPF.

It's kind of weird, right? Because I usually don't have a problem with stories in which real people interact with fictional ones. I've even written stories which contain people who really exist (okay, person, because it's just Alan Turing over and over, but w/e). And I think I could probably read it if it was about people who cultivate a really strong public image- but I've never been in a fandom like that, which I think is part of it.

And my inability to read it doesn't stem from a moral objection. I don't see it as an invasion of privacy, (any more than biography is); sure, it's invasive and weird if you show it to the people it's about, but I feel that way about showing FPF to the actors, too. It might bother me if people I didn't know wrote it about me, but I think mostly I'd think it was hilarious.

The thing is, though, that I have to think about it way too hard. It feels so weird to say that, because I love thinky stories and mindfuck of all kinds. But this isn't that kind of lighting-up-the-dark-brain-areas thinky; this is I'm-not-even-supposed-to-be-here-today thinky.

I can't not think about how we got to this point; I can't not think about the historical trajectories and the social forces that encourage us to think of people we've never met as close friends. And then I can't not think about the other side- we spend hours and hours with these people, they talk to us, we have interactions with them- how are they not our friends, even if we're not theirs? It hurts my brain, you guys. It's a busman's holiday; I get paid to sit around and think about shit like this. I don't want to do it on my day off. It's like how I stopped being able to listen to the radio when I was a music major. It's like not being able to suspend my disbelief, except that it goes completely in the other direction; I just can't suspend my belief that these are actual people.

It gets even weirder for me when it's an AU; I don't even get that, really. It's different when it's a fictional character; a fictional character can be separated from hir surroundings. It's the way we conceptualize characters- we think of them (at least, I think of them?) in suites of interconnected traits that are reducible to a paragraph or a character sheet. John Sheppard is a pilot who smirks a lot and doesn't like to talk about his feelings. Greg House is a manipulative asshole with a quick wit and a debilitating drug habit. Maya Fey is a spirit medium with a positive attitude and a strong devotion to her friends. Done.

That's what separates them from real people; real people are inherently situated. How we know real people is not anything like how we know characters. We expect characters to be consistent, to adhere to the same traits over time, and we expect a damn good reason and a logical progression when they don't. Real people aren't anything like that at all. Real people are inconsistent.

I feel incredibly uncomfortable with trying to know people that I don't (like, I get weirded out just reading famous people's Twitter accounts sometimes. I can't even look at picspams if they're out of character (In fairness, though, I sometimes have this problem even with people I know IRL?).), and then with trying to reduce them to the level of characters. I'm of the opinion that you really can't write characters and have them be just like real people; and if you could, it would be boring and totally unsatisfying. We want stories to have a narrative force that real life lacks, and it's incredibly uncomfortable to me to try to shoehorn real people into that pattern.

So there's that.

All that being said, I have this weird exception in my brain for the Mythbusters for some reason? I don't know why. Perhaps it is because I am so very gay for Adam? Or perhaps it has something to do with Tory's biceps (guh). It might even be Buster himself. I have no idea. And this is in despite of the fact that nobody ever, ever writes the one pairing I ship like FedEx (where are you, Adam/Tory shippers? Come the fuck on, he keeps looking at Adam like he's a little puppy and he wants to be told how very good he is. I'm just sayin'.).

And I suspect that you're going to see this story recced up and down, but man, have you ever got to read Normal Working Relationship by [personal profile] toft. I just. It's pretty much perfect, is the thing.
Tags: fandom, meta, recommendations, rpf
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