sweater back

Research list as long as my arm, check.

What I just googled for: the height in feet and inches of the Queen of England. Ah, the absurdity. (Buffy is really short. I'm sure you knew that, but she's short. I'm just coming to grips with it.) Have also been skimming for the meanings of heraldry symbols and other nonsense. I'll probably get it all wrong, so that means I'll need to be sketchy in the story so as to avoid embarrassing and suspension-of-disbelief-marring wrongness. Or I could get a subject-matter expert for an early reader. I am really and truly driving toward a complete draft of this thing, but oddly today I was distracted by more outlining for my original story-in-progress.

I am also procrastinating greatly with playlists. I've been hopping around through the mixes on A Strangely Isolated Place, sifting for melodic gems in the dry ambient dust. And mostly failing to find them.

Mr Pedia & I were discussing modern theme song travesties. One example would be the Doctor Who reboot music, which is an orchestral mauling of a musique concrete genius original. Seriously bad, for both Ten and Eleven versions. The 80s-era tinny Yamaha FM synth versions were better than the crap we have now. I wondered what the new Hawaii Five-O theme song sounds like. Mr P predicted that it would be sadly sucky. Neither one of us had heard it and we were, at the time, away from anything we could use to validate or ease our fears. I am happy to report that while the Ventures' original is still kick-ass, so is the re-recording. Sadly truncated, but what can you do? TV theme songs are generally diminished from past glories. The elves are leaving us and the world is thinning, oh woes.

Clute-isms are an in-joke in our household but possibly not in yours. I also note that I have about zero interest in watching the show, but I ♥ the Ventures so I cared about the music.

I see that metafandomwank is linking to grudgewank again. And that everybody who predicted a slippery slope from the warnings wank go-round two years ago was entirely correct. "Choose not to warn" looks more and more tempting to me. Well, if I level with you I went with that ages ago on my fic archive site. There are exactly two things I warn for, and one of them is about keeping my Australian friends safe from their government. The other is character death.

Because, you know, my stories are so edgy and full of dark stuff.
  • Current Music: Motoc : Loscil : Plume
I prefer extensive content labeling, because one person's "uh oh" is another person's "oh yay!" Especially when it comes to fandom-favorite tropes like "sex pollen" or AMTDI.
I remember the hours spent trying to figure out the London bus system just to figure out what kind of bus Faith and Giles were going to be on for one little thing.

The whole warning thing is ridiculous. I try to be accommodating, and, you know, I don't really write much of the suspense thriller stuff where it matters that much if you might realize what kind of content my fic is. But it pushed me a bit far to see someone get torn apart for a warning that explicitly directed readers to an extended discussion of whether or not the fic merited a dub-con warning. (Even though the author's position on the specific matter was idiotic.)

I'm supposed to warn for anything that could conceivably trigger someone, now? From Wikipedia: "Triggers can be quite diverse, appearing in the form of individual people, places, noises, images, smells, tastes, emotions, animals, films, scenes within films, dates of the year, tones of voice, body positions, bodily sensations, weather conditions, time factors, or combinations thereof. Triggers can be subtle and difficult to anticipate..."

Warning: my fics may contain all of those things.

In fact, I think a general warning, copied and pasted much like a disclaimer, indicating that fics one has written may contain troubling content, should probably be the minimum expected, but it also probably ought to suffice.
I'm torn. On the one hand, I want to tell people, fairly, what sort of story they're about to read so they can choose whether they want to read it. In the mood for crying over death fic? Here you go. In desperate need of something cheerful with kittens? Skip this story, go for that other story, the one with kittens.

On the other hand, I cannot be responsible for other people's emotional health. Warnings do not make people safe. Instead they create a dangerous illusion of safety. There's a warning header on this story! I can go ahead and read it... only to find that there's a vivid depiction of spiders biting people. Now I'm angry that the author didn't warn for spiders. How was the author supposed to know to warn for spiders? Or any of the other diverse triggers that might exist? Can't be done. Mix this with a fandom culture that has historically used "warning" to mean "stuff in this story that's an advertisement to half the audience and an anti-ad for the other half", like kink, and you've got a mess.

My solution is content labeling. If the rating, summary, and tags aren't enough to figure out if you should read a particular story, guess you'd better find another solution. (Generic you, of course.)
That fandomwank stuff irks me to no end. I used to follow a chick over on Tumblr who was always pissing and moaning about trigger issues. Ugh. Drove me up the wall.
There's an ugly undercurrent of social control going on there. Triggers are last year's hot, trendy moral cudgel to use to get people to do what you want while you triumph over them in an ugly manner (see that metafandom post). None of it is particularly useful in achieving its claimed goals, which is allowing people with past traumas to feel more comfortable reading random fic.

I have many more thoughts, most of them extremely grumpy.
I could kinda beta some heraldry, if you like? Very vague now, but I used to know some stuff and it hasn't all faded away.
It is merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative. It's not really a key point, but there's some historical crud that could probably use an informed look-over just to remove the worst inaccuracies. Some day. When it hits a second draft. This year.