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Howard Hughes is Allergic to the Stupid

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Geoffrey (readingthedark) is back in Framingham now. Unfortunately, I may never wake up.

In a comment to yesterday entry, Chris (scarletboi) wrote:

I keep running into people saying (of the Evelyn Evelyn kerfluffle) that fiction must be consensual.

And I have no fucking idea what this means, "fictional must be consensual." I suppose I could waste part of my life googling to find out, but if it means anything close to what Spooky says she thinks it means...I honestly don't want to know. I really do fear that the world is getting too stupid for me to participate.

Maybe it's time to cut my losses and gracefully bow out.

Yesterday, the ice began to crack, the ice in my skull, and I started a new piece called "Persephone Redux," though I only wrote 600 words. Alas, I may be spending all of today in bed trying to recover from insomnia and other nonconsensual crimes that have recently been wrought upon my mind and body.

Comments

( 38 comments — Have your say! )
gargirl
Feb. 19th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
Fiction does not have to be consensual... whatever the fuck that means. I think they might mean that if people don't know it's fiction it's fraud or something. War of the Worlds freaked some people out but it was awesome and it was fiction. bleh. People are stupid. So so stupid.
blakesrealm
Feb. 20th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
If someone pulled a War of the Worlds today they'd be locked up and shipped off to Guantanamo as a terrorist threatening the well-being of the children.

Sigh.
mrs_ralph
Feb. 19th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
If they ever get around to putting a tax on stupid the governments of the world will never have to worry about money again.

As for consensual fiction all I can say is WTF? I have no idea what that means nor do I have any need to know. It is obviously made up by people who don't have anything better to do than complain about something that has absolutely no bearing on the price of eggs in China and will be a mere blip on the radar in 100 years.
robyn_ma
Feb. 19th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
'Non-consensual fiction' is apparently rape-fantasy fiction, so consensual fiction would be ... the opposite of that? I dunno.
cucumberseed
Feb. 19th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
fictional must be consensual

Is this from RPG forums? I could sort of see it there, but elsewhere... what the hell is that?

I think Evelyn Evelyn sounds like a really bad idea, that no amount of execution is going to make a good idea, but consensual fiction? How can something be consensual if it is not interactive? How does that even work?

Sorry I know you have no answers for these things, but damn.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 19th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)

I think Evelyn Evelyn sounds like a really bad idea

I cannot even begin to imagine why you think this. I think it's a marvelous idea. But we're not going to have that argument.
cucumberseed
Feb. 19th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
I've had very little exposure, so far. It *sounds* like a bad idea from here, but many good things have. Apologies for sounding like I've passed judgment, when I actually meant to reserve it, but have suspicions.

Edited at 2010-02-19 06:14 pm (UTC)
timesygn
Feb. 19th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)

Re: consensual fiction.

If I may, this:

" ... we are in the age of the mediocre man. He is dull, colorless, boring - but inevitably victorious. The amoeba outlives the tiger because it divides and continues in its immortal monotony. The masses are the final tyrants. See how, in the arts, Kabuki wanes and No withers while popular novels of violence and mindless action swamp the mind of the mass reader. And even in that timid genre, no author dares to produce a genuinely superior man as his hero, for in his rage of shame the mass man will send his yojimbo, the critic, to defend him. The roar of the plodders is inarticulate, but defeaning. They have no brain, but they have a thousand arms to grasp and clutch at you, drag you down."

"Do we still speak of Go, teacher?"

"Yes. And of its shadow: life."

"What do you advise me to do then?"

"Avoid contact with them. Camouflage yourself with politeness. Appear dull and distant. Live apart and study
shibumi. Above all, do not let him bait you into anger and aggression. Hide, Nikko."

- Trevanian, Shibumi, p. 557
scarletboi
Feb. 19th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
Their belief is that fiction must present itself AS fiction. The audience must knowingly participate in the fiction, otherwise it's a lie, a hoax.

To them, it's part of the creator/consumer contract that they can't be led into the story under the false assumption that what they're about to experience is true.

Forget that one look at Evelyn Evelyn makes it blatantly obvious that it's Amanda and Jason.
theninth
Feb. 19th, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
Their belief is that fiction must present itself AS fiction. The audience must knowingly participate in the fiction, otherwise it's a lie, a hoax.

Of course, this would mean the end of talk shows and "reality" television.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 19th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)

To them, it's part of the creator/consumer contract that they can't be led into the story under the false assumption that what they're about to experience is true.

And as you know, I have always denied the validity of this so-called "writer/reader contract," or "creator/consumer," or whatever. I have no contracts with anyone but my publisher.

Forget that one look at Evelyn Evelyn makes it blatantly obvious that it's Amanda and Jason.

That's one of the aspects of this I can't get past.
scarletboi
Feb. 19th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
While I agree that one should probably know the mold before they attempt to break it, I think the most enduring art, particularly the art that shapes so-called traditional art moving forward, is the stuff that breaks the mold somehow.

We're entering an era of transformative, interactive narrative. The static novel is being assailed by video books (I hate the term "vook"), multimedia cross-platform stories, ARGs, video games, augmented reality, and more. These kinds of metanarratives are only going to become more prevalent. There is no "contract" or "covenant" between a writer and her readers. The rules are a living document, constantly shifting to accomodate new concepts.

in 2007, William Gibson said "One of the things our grandchildren will find quaintest about us is that we distinguish the digital from the real, the virtual from the real." Reality is being rewritten. Why should fiction be left behind?

blakesrealm
Feb. 20th, 2010 01:49 am (UTC)
Imagination is one of the first things to die in modern day society.

So what you get on the surface is all there better be or else the general public brains will implode.
kambriel
Feb. 19th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
This is... Spinal Tap. (I mean Evelyn Evelyn.)
I started posting a comment which ended up becoming a post in itself.

I wish we could talk about this in person... so many thoughts.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 19th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
Re: This is... Spinal Tap. (I mean Evelyn Evelyn.)

I wish we could talk about this in person... so many thoughts.

Yeah...but I read your post. Good job.
kambriel
Feb. 19th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
Re: This is... Spinal Tap. (I mean Evelyn Evelyn.)
I wanted to say something, and yet, there's so much more to say. And you know what, that's a beautiful thing in some ways, that a lot of people aren't giving the project credit for inspiring (even if it was inadvertent).

The thing that worries me is what happens if these voices *do* start getting under the skin of creators? What if everything written has to be second-guessed based on how someone will choose to interpret it? It would take you a day to write a paragraph if you have to keep backing up and re-phrasing to make something more "palatable".
greygirlbeast
Feb. 19th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
Re: This is... Spinal Tap. (I mean Evelyn Evelyn.)

What if everything written has to be second-guessed based on how someone will choose to interpret it?

This has been happening with a lot of writers for quite some time now.
fornikate
Feb. 19th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
The only thing I'm going to say is that I wish people would get past the idea that doing something without malicious intent excuses the harm that it does.
mckenzie34
Feb. 19th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'll buy that line of thought, if and only if, we are also apply it to religion.
fornikate
Feb. 19th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
I think that about religion too.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 19th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)

The only thing I'm going to say is that I wish people would get past the idea that doing something without malicious intent excuses the harm that it does.

The idea that Evelyn Evelyn has done anyone "harm" is only slightly less absurd than the idea that the earth is flat.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 19th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)

As I said already, there are people who live to be offended.

Edited at 2010-02-19 11:03 pm (UTC)
flowpoid
Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
On offending people
If a community of thousands is merely put-off/offended by the actions of one, they can choose to bitch and moan or concentrate on more important things.

//The only thing I'm going to say is that I wish people would get past the idea that doing something without malicious intent excuses the harm that it does.//

Agreed. But from a water cooler joke to 30 Rock we've been making fun of people's particulars for ages. A conjoined twin act won't change that. It's a unique situation, to be sure, but if people can't laugh about it they can't really be expected to be taken seriously when you protest your own quirks being lampooned. Also, they performers are taking on a persona. It's perfectly legal to do that. It's comedy, it's stage play. I tried watching //The Big Bang Theory// and its portrayal of nerds as socially inept buffons made me turn it right off! But I can't decry the show, they got us just right.

Lastly, from one of the Disabled Feminist articles

//The stereotypes about disability here are pretty well-worn: according to this (fictional) backstory, the twins were “discovered by” and need “help” from two abled individuals, Palmer and Webley, to realize their musical potential. Add to this their “inspiring” origin story — which is fodder for a graphic novel tie-in — and you’ve got yourself one hell of a three-ring circus of disability stereotypes.//

The use of quotes around these words demonstrates a lack of understanding, depth, humor, insight and personal second guessing. Whoever wrote this wanted one thing to be true, and ran with it. Shame it was poorly done.
ardiril
Feb. 19th, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
Disabled Feminist does not speak for everyone who is disabled; she speaks only for herself.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 19th, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)

For starters...
fornikate
Feb. 20th, 2010 12:25 am (UTC)
I have not claimed that she does, so I don't see your point.
ardiril
Feb. 20th, 2010 03:07 am (UTC)
Was that blog writer harmed? If so, she speaks for herself. If not, what was your point in posting the links?
fornikate
Feb. 20th, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
For some odd reason, I thought people might actually read the articles and see things from a different perspective. I was obviously wrong.
seph_ski
Feb. 19th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's time to cut my losses and gracefully bow out.

No, please no! Then the bland, hipster, PC, brainless, mushy masses win.

Art needs to be provocative, and big girls and boys need to grow tougher skin and realize that life isn't all cotton-candy unicorns wanting to snuggle. Honest to goddess, people are getting so spoon-fed and soft that extinction can't be far off now, and that's more and more a comforting thought.
ardiril
Feb. 19th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
Then the bland, hipster, PC, brainless, mushy masses win.

Is that the case here? My impression is that this is a very small yet vocal minority of extremists.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 19th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)

My impression is that this is a very small yet vocal minority of extremists.

You're right. This is, in fact, a very few, very loud, very stupid people getting a lot of undeserved attention.
stardustgirl
Feb. 20th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
This is, in fact, a very few, very loud, very stupid people getting a lot of undeserved attention.

That applies in *so* many cases.

I just don't get all the brouhaha about EvelynEvelyn. Are these same people outraged about Santa and the Easter Bunny?

stsisyphus
Feb. 19th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's time to cut my losses and gracefully bow out.

I think that discretion is the better part of valor on this one, Ms. K. All this is gonna do is cause more turmoil for you and that, nixar, is shit you don't need.

Go grind up some murloccs. Find the story. Upload yr consciousness into Insilico and fuckabunchabullshit.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 19th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)

Nothing there I can really disagree with.
omika_pearl
Feb. 20th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
Most people are completely corporeal creatures that have misguided notions of what "reality" is. For all their boo-hooing and carrying on about how much they hate deception, it's interesting how they so eagerly delude themselves and seek escapism.

Fiction is whatever you need it to be. If my life is good, but based on a "lie" (by the standards of the majority), I could care less.

As someone earlier said, though, this appears to be an especially stupid and vocal minority. The stupid ones always scream the loudest.
drflup
Feb. 20th, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC)
I am just reminded of the whole uproar over Bonsai kittens, and in the end, to save my brain, I deleted the post I'd previously written in response.

I do however have to go write Nick Cave a sternly worded and very public letter of disappointment at his abusive depiction of the life of a carnival worker. Carny, if you will. A section of society that has long been recognized to have it's own culture and ways. It's just intolerable what some artists will exploit.
( 38 comments — Have your say! )