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Old Nov 28, 2001, 09:42 AM   #1
ImaginePeace78
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Default The Beatles and \"Slash\"

I realize that some people write fan fiction, but I wondered what people's opinion's were of the pretty recent genre "slash" (concerning the Beatles). When I first heard of slash, I thought people were talking about slasher (blood and guts) "B" movies. After browsing through fanfiction.net (particularly the Beatles portion), I soon discovered what "slash" meant in a new sense. My question is--Why? Why are people into slash--especially with the Beatles? From what I've read about slash, it can contain homosexual relations with John and Paul (or any of the other Beatles), rape, kidnapping, murder, etc. Why do people want to write about the Beatles in that way--especially something as awful as rape and murder? We all know the Beatles were never like any of the things I mentioned. Why write them in that light? What do you think they'd say, if they saw the kinds of things people were writing about them? Even though this is another type of fiction (and I do understand that the whole "slash" genre is fiction), why go to the extreme? Will people think they're improve the way they write or exploring their ideas for a story? I know that people write fan fiction for seriousness or fun, but, I think, this may have gone too far. In a way, it may be degrading the Beatles or who knows, they may have enjoyed reading this. I or no one else would really know, of course. This is not to flame anyone who is a fan of slash (to each his/her own), however, I was only wondering 'why' people write about the Beatles in that way, since they were real people (unlike Buffy, for instance, who's a character of a TV show). Comments?
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Old Nov 28, 2001, 10:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Beatles and \"Slash\"

I guess people just "Run out" of things to write about. Also, I think there is "SHOCK" value to these fictious events. It is like "Science fiction" written about well known people. Nothing to get hung about,It's just not my cup of tea....................

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Old Nov 28, 2001, 10:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Beatles and \"Slash\"

I'm a bit surprised by this. I know the origin of slash pertained specifically to Star Trek and Spock/Kirk pairings back in the 60's. The term 'slash' coming from the slash between their names. I think generally it is all in good fun, but I'm uncomfortable with using the Beatles in this regard, because as you said, they are real people. It is one thing to take liberties with fictional characters, but to take real people and write them into sexual situations (whether same-sex or not) seems almost an invasion of privacy. BTW, I'm also disturbed by the existence of Harry Potter slash. Yes, they are fictional, but they are children. Snape/Dumbledore pairings are fair game, I guess, but Harry/Ron and Harry/Draco is just plain sick. Isn't there some kind of law against the sexualization of children, or does that just apply to photographs?

Since I don't write fanfiction myself, I don't really know what motivates anyone to write slash, but it probably is very similar to what motivates fans to write fanfiction in general. I think people like to write about their fantasies and maybe for Beatle slashers their fantasies involve the boys being more than friends. I mean it does add a whole new depth to their relationship, doesn't it?

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Old Nov 28, 2001, 10:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Beatles and \"Slash\"

Yeah, now that I think about it, I think 'shock value' has something to do with it. Oh God, that's awful that they have Harry Potter slash, (such sick minds!). There should be a law against writing about children that way....very sickening.
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Old Nov 28, 2001, 01:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Beatles and \"Slash\"

This article about fanfic and "slash" appeared a while back. I don't have a link, but I THINK it's from Salon. It's long, but it might answer some questions about why people write slash, even though it doesn't talk about Beatlefic at all -- and I have a problem with their contention that fanfic about "real people" is not as legit as that about fictional characters, because I believe that Beatlefic (or Backstreet Boys fic or N'Sync fic, or whatever) is just as legitimate as Trek Fic...but I digress.

This is long, but worth reading...

*****************
Luke Skywalker Is Gay?
Fan fiction is America's literature of obsession.
By David Plotz

Friday, April 14, 2000, at 10:30 a.m. PT

Have you heard the latest dish from Hollywood? On Friends, Monica and Rachel are both pregnant! Dr. Susan Lewis is returning to ER, and she's going to marry Mark Greene. (You always knew they belonged together.) Speaking of ER, Dr. John Carter has a new love interest too: He's dating Walter Skinner from The X-Files, who has just broken off his three-way affair with Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, Luke Skywalker has gone over to the Dark Side—and I'm not talking about his infatuation with Han Solo, though that's as hot as ever. "Han turned his head, tipped my palm up, pressed his lips to the center of it. … His kiss connected with the core of me."

Sadly, we'll never see Luke and Han smooching on the big screen. Their torrid romance is occurring only in the fevered imagination of one pseudonymous Destina Fortunato, an acolyte of one of the oddest and most delightful subcultures on the Web: fan fiction. In "fanfic," as practitioners call it, devotees of a TV show, movie, or (less often) book write stories about its characters. They chronicle the alternative adventures of Xena, warrior princess; open the X files that Mulder and Scully don't dare touch; and fill in the back story to Star Wars Episode I.

Fanfic, like so much weirdness in American culture, is rooted in the '60s, though it has older antecedents. When Arthur Conan Doyle stopped publishing Sherlock Holmes stories, his readers wrote their own. Star Trek: The Original Series (or "TOS," in fanspeak) kick-started the fanfic vogue in the late '60s. Within a year of the show's debut, Trekkers were scribbling their own tales of Kirk and Spock, binding them in mimeographed zines, and handing them out at conventions. Fanfic communities rewrote Star Wars and TV shows such as Starsky and Hutch.

Fanfic used to be confined to fanatics who attended conventions and mailed their zines to several dozen (or, in rare cases, several hundred) subscribers. That zine industry still exists, but most fanfic has decamped to the Web. The Web has taken fanfic public, massively increasing the number of writers and readers. Today there are fanfic sites devoted to every TV show you have heard of and many you haven't. Star Trek's "fandom"—the show's fans—maintains hundreds of fanfic archives in every possible category: TOS, Deep Space 9, Ensign Chekov, Data, etc. Each archive may contain hundreds of stories. The Star Wars and X-Files fandoms are nearly as prolific. The X-Files fandom even issues annual literary awards—"The Spookys." Dozens of fanfic archives pay homage to Xena: Warrior Princess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Highlander, and ER. Blake's 7, an old British sci-fi series, enthralls writers. Due South, which concerns a Canadian Mountie, has a fanfic cult. So do The A-Team and Miami Vice.

Most fanfic authors write short stories, but novels, screenplays, poems, and even songs (called "filks") are popular as well. (A "fan film" industry thrives, too: Click here to learn more about it.) The quality of the writing varies. Some fics brim with misspellings, grammatical lapses, and risible dialogue. But many are surprisingly good, with excellent character sketches and vivid descriptions. Fanfic writers tend to be highly educated, and several fanfic writers have graduated to careers as science fiction novelists.

Some fanfics fill in plot holes left by lazy producers: A Spock half-brother appeared out of the blue in a late Star Trek movie. Fanfic writers responded by inventing a credible past for him. Other writers simply deliver extra episodes to junkies: When Millennium was canceled, loyal fans posted a whole new season of episodes. Still others explore alternate universes. What would happen if Luke joined the Dark Side? Fanfics frequently resurrect popular characters whom producers had rudely killed off.

Fanfics often celebrate peripheral characters who don't get the screen time they deserve: Writers have lavished millions of words on Boba Fett, the bounty hunter who cameos in the Star Wars series. Skinner, the minor boss on the X-Files, has won a rabid fanfic audience. "Crossover" fanfics drop characters from one show into another's universe. Mulder and Scully visit Buffy to investigate vampires. Benton Fraser, the Due South Mountie, teams with U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard—Tommy Lee Jones' character in The Fugitive—to hunt Canadian villains. In some fics reviled by veteran authors, fans act out their fantasies—seducing Obi-Wan Kenobi, for example—by inserting themselves into their stories. These stories are called "Mary Sues."

One surprising aspect of fanfic is its indifference to plot. The vast majority of its writers are women, and Deborah Tannenism pervades it. Most stories are much more attuned to emotional dynamics than narrative. MIT professor Henry Jenkins, the leading scholar of fanfic, notes that fans usually choose shows with a pair of closely bonded leads: Kirk and Spock, Mulder and Scully, Xena and Gabrielle, Starsky and Hutch. Fanfic writers pore over the relationship between the pair. One popular subgenre is "hurt-comfort," which explores what happens when one lead gets hurt and the other has to help him. Some X-Files fans write only "MSR" fics, their acronym for "Mulder-Scully Relationship."

The obsession with emotional intensity has spawned "slash," the most flamboyant genre and perhaps the weirdest prose in America today. "Slash" fanfic describes, in vivid detail, homosexual relationships between characters such as Starsky and Hutch or Kirk and Spock. (Click here for a history and discussion of "slash." Definitely click.)

Fanfic writers are not nutters or losers or lowlifes. A slash fanfic writer whose pseudonym is WPAdmirer (for "Walker Percy Admirer") told me that her circle of writers includes a lawyer, a linguist, a computer specialist, an insurance executive, and a mystery novelist. She, like most of the 20 other writers I interviewed, is well-employed. Many have spouses and children.

So why on earth do normal people spend their lives writing fantasies about TV characters? Almost all fanfic writers hide behind pseudonyms. They rightly fear ridicule, because fanfic invites mockery. Though the United States admires sports fans, it treats TV and movie junkies derisively. America's most famous movie fan: John Hinckley. Pop culture fans are pinned by caricature: Spock-eared Trekkers or loon-bird stalkers. Fanfic seems to confirm every stereotype about fans: They are obsessive. They can't separate fantasy from reality. Their lives are so empty that they fixate on banal TV shows. (What kind of loser writes story after story about Quantum Leap or The A-Team?) They don't even have the imagination to make up their own characters.

But this condescension misses the point. In his superb Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, MIT's Jenkins argues that fanfic represents a flowering of modern folk culture. For thousands of years, we have shared stories about mythical popular heroes, from Prometheus to Paul Bunyan to Brer Rabbit. Each storyteller embellished the tale, inventing characters, adding details, rewriting the ending. In the 20th century, however, folk culture has been privatized. The characters we share today are TV icons and movie heroes. Paul Bunyan has been supplanted by Xena. These characters don't belong to the public. They are literally owned by studios and producers, who run the character's "life" and expect us to accept their decisions gratefully.

Fan fiction rebels against the private folk culture, Jenkins argues. Writers reclaim folk heroes by creating new stories about them. They embellish the myth. Viewed through Jenkins' lens, a fanfic writer keen on Capt. Jean Luc Picard is no different from a 19th-century folksinger who paid tribute to John Henry. Fanfic writers assert control over a pop culture designed to be passively consumed. "I wanted to make the show mine," explains Kat of her Friends fanfics, echoing the battle cry of fan writers. By writing fics about Monica and Chandler, Kat is insisting that they belong to her as much as to NBC. Fan fiction puts the pop back in popular culture.

Writing fanfic, Jenkins argues, is an act of "fascination and frustration." Writers are fascinated by the characters but frustrated at the cavalier way producers treat them. Fanfic is a "way of repairing the damage done to the core mythology by producers who mess up. The fanfic folk culture pulls it back into realignment." When producers make a beloved character disappear or end a love affair that should continue, fanfic restores the mythology. "Even though I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there are times when the show doesn't go my way. So I use fanfic to create the outcome I want," says Buffy fanfic writer Carrie Cook. The actor George Clooney has left ER for a movie career, but fanfic writers adore his character, Doug Ross. They also know that Doug and Nurse Carol Hathaway belong together. So they write story after story about the characters' continuing romance. (The Clooney/Ross split highlights the first commandment of fanfic: Thou shalt not write about real people. Click here for why .)

Fanfic also can be a political act, a way to elevate marginalized minority characters. Fanfic writers worship Lt. Uhura, the neglected black woman on the original Star Trek. In fanfic, she has been promoted, given her own starship, and made the mistress of a torrid threesome with Lt. Sulu and Ensign Chekov. ER's producers overlook crippled, irritable Dr. Kerry Weaver. Other characters lead glamorous, romantic lives. She goes home alone. But fic writers have corrected that with stories about her love life.

Fanfic seems odd in part because it defies modern convention about what writers do. In the individualistic United States, the author is supposed to be an untethered brain: Her ideas and characters and plots are her own. By this standard, fan fiction looks like a cop-out. Writers too lazy to invent their own characters rip off plot, dialogue, and ideas from the boob tube.

But fanfic turns writing into a communal art, as folk culture has always done. Writing and reading become collaborative. We share the characters and work together to make them interesting and funny and sexy. Write a short story about your crazy uncle and post it on the Web, and no one will read it. Write a short story about Dr. Who, and hundreds of folks will flock to your site. Fanfic writers meet at conventions ("cons"). Thanks to the Internet, writers communicate constantly on e-mail listservs. They invite e-mail responses and crave feedback. MedianCat, who writes Buffy fanfic, says he has heard from more than 400 people about his stories. Of the two-dozen-odd fanfic writers I e-mailed about their work, only one did not respond. (The Internet is also changing fanfic by opening it to kids. Click here for how the Backstreet Boys became literary heroes.)

Having juiced fanfic, the Internet may now cripple it. Studios own the characters and shows that fanfic borrows, a fact that is never lost on writers. Every fanfic opens with a disclaimer noting Paramount or Fox or whoever's copyright and renouncing any intent to profit from the story. (All fanfic writers are amateurs by necessity.) But since fan activity has migrated to the Web, studios have grown anxious about trademark and copyright protection. (Trademark law requires holders to police their trademarks by preventing unauthorized use.) Sites hosting fanfics also usually have transcripts, audio and video clips, screen captures, and logos. Studios don't like this. Fox recently sent cease-and-desist letters to Buffy sites ordering them to remove show transcripts. Fox also warned Millennium sites to remove logos and clips. Lucasfilm cracked down on audio clips and logos from Star Wars, and Paramount has been similarly protective of Star Trek.

The studios have treated fanfic more gently, so far. No court has ever addressed the legality of fanfic but, unlike transcripts or clips, it could be protected as "fair use." A 1997 article by Rebecca Tushnet in Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Journal concludes that fanfic constitutes fair use because it is noncommercial—(no writers try to profit from their work)—because it sufficiently transforms the original work, and because it does not damage the market for the original work. (On the contrary, fanfic keeps viewers engaged during the six days a week the X-Files is not on.) Perhaps mindful of their dubious legal standing, studios tend to leave fanfic alone. Lucasfilm has suppressed Skywalker slash on the grounds that it harms the Star Wars image, but it allows PG-rated fanfic. Fox ignored fanfic when it went after the Buffy sites.

But fear is mounting among fans that the studios are getting too pushy. Lucasfilm lit a brushfire last month when it offered fans free pages on its cherished www.starwars.com site. Fans would be allowed to post all their Star Wars hagiography there, including stories, songs, messages to other fans, and essays. But the small print says that Lucasfilm retains all copyright to anything placed on the site. If I were to write a great story about how Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader and post it on my starwars.com fan page, George Lucas would own my idea.

Lucasfilm is flexing this muscle for obvious reasons. It fears a lawsuit by some fan claiming that Lucas stole her plot for his next movie. But fans believe Lucas has gone too far and have launched an online rebellion. Their complaints resonate. They adore Lucas and his movies. But Star Wars is theirs, too. After all, they think about it, write about it, talk about it, and care about it as much as Lucas does. "Legally, it's theirs. But emotionally we feel we have a right to participate in the story," says Elizabeth Durack, a fanfic writer who is leading the starwars.com protest. Lucas jury-rigged Star Wars from a hundred myths that he heisted from Joseph Campbell. Fanfic writers are borrowing it back. They don't want a dime in return. They just want to be left alone to write their own, very modern myths.

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Amateur directors have made at least 100 Star Wars fan films, many of which you can watch on the Web. The Mos Eisley Multiplex links to a dozen of the best, including Troops, a brilliant and hilarious fusion of Star Wars and Cops. It's well worth the hassle of downloading it. Horror movie buffs produced a spate of Blair Witch Project fan films last summer.

The ethos of fan films differs from that of fanfic. Fanfic writers tend to be passionate amateurs: They are uninterested in turning their fanfic into TV writing careers. Young directors, by contrast, often make their fan films to grab attention from the movie industry. A couple of fan film directors, including Troops' Kevin Rubio, have parlayed their tributes into snazzy industry jobs.

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Within a year of the first Star Trek fanfic, "slash" had kinked off on its own. Women fascinated by the friendship between the emotional Kirk and the logical Spock began writing stories that, shall we say, advanced their relationship. The Vulcan "mind-meld" was not the only kind of melding going on.

Fans called the first erotic sketches "Kirk/Spock" or "K/S" stories. Soon the genre was named for the slash between the names. Starsky and Hutch soon found themselves in bed. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo were slashed, so were Luke and Lando Calrissian. Today the most popular couples include Mulder/Skinner, Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan from Star Wars Episode I, and Xena/Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess. (Lesbian slash is somewhat less common than gay slash.) Almost every character on television has been placed in a compromising position. Crockett and Tubbs engage in their own special Miami vice. Hawkeye and Trapper snuggle in their cold M*A*S*H tent when Frank Burns takes a three-day pass to Tokyo. Jar Jar Binks from Episode I can be found pleasuring Darth Maul. Lock up the kids! Click here to witness some of this variety: Scroll to the bottom of the screen for a guide to slash abbreviations: "SS/JL: Sam Seaborn/Josh Lyman (The West Wing)"; "C/P: Chakotay/Tom Paris (Star Trek: Voyager)"; "SA-M/O: Sith Academy's Maul/Obi-Wan (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)"; etc., etc., etc.

Reading slash for the first time is disorienting. I'm a straight prude who likes to keep his favorite TV characters locked in the television. My brain could hardly process the images—in lubed-up detail—of Hawkeye and Trapper masturbating each other and Obi-Wan Kenobi having anal sex with Qui-Gon. (Pause for a practical question: How do fanfic writers move Spock and Kirk from consulting on the Enterprise's holodeck to rolling around in bed? Click here for an example.)

Slash certainly is intended to feed sexual fantasies. "I find the idea of two men together to be erotic," says WPAdmirer, who writes Carter/Skinner slash. "And I don't know anyone who could look at the body of Mitch Pileggi [who plays Skinner] and not be interested."

But the porn generally isn't the point. Even at its filthiest, slash, too, is guided by Tannen, not Larry Flynt. According to Jenkins and to slash writers, slash is rooted in female fascination with deep male friendships. Slash writers seek to turn men inside out. "Theirs is one of the most intense friendships I have seen on television, and it seems quite plausible to me that the relationship could have a physical component," says Jane St. Clair, who writes Kirk/Spock slash.

Protagonists spend more time talking about their feelings than groping each other. "What could be more exciting than love between two grown men—the hiding, the secret meetings, the confessions of love?" asks Belynda, a slash archiver.

What matters is not the sex, says Chrysothemis, who writes Due South slash, but "the emotional relationship of the two characters." Her slash often mimics romance novels, with sex hinted at but not described. Slash's interest in how characters feel sometimes reaches parodic proportions. In some K/S slash, Kirk and Spock quit their jobs with Starfleet to work on their relationship.

If you missed the link on how slash writers get their characters into bed, click here .

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Writing about real people is taboo among traditional fanfic writers. "Actorfic" violates the basic principle of fanfic, which is that writers are creating a rich, expanded universe around a show or movie. Actorfic merely indulges a fantasy. This is doubly true in slash, where writers risk enraging straight actors. Slash infuriates actors even when it focuses only on fictional characters. According to slash writers, one reason William Shatner so detests Trekkers is that he's disgusted by the slash fanfic written about Kirk. He takes it personally.

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Educated, white, middle-aged women have traditionally dominated fanfic. But the Web is opening the culture up to kids. Their writing usually limps, and they don't share old-timers' interest in shows with pair-bonded leads. But they are wonderfully boisterous. Younger writers have deluged the Web with fanfics about Buffy and Dawson's Creek.

They also irk the traditional fanfic community by writing about real people, especially music idols. Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers and the young men from 'N Sync are subjects of much fanfic. The most prolific fandom belongs to the Backstreet Boys. BSB fanfic is heavy on first-person "Mary Sue" daydreams—"The Boys saved me after our plane crashed" and the like—but slash also pops up regularly. Stories such as "Backstreet Lust" describe how a Backstreet Boy—usually Nick or Brian, the two pretty ones—seduces a young male fan. Unlike other slash, Backstreet Boys slash tends to be written by males. An Internet skirmish is raging over Backstreet Boys erotica. Some BSB worshippers have organized online opposition to the X-rated fanfics. Their motto is "WWTT," as in, "What Would They [the Boys] Think?"



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Old Nov 28, 2001, 03:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Beatles and \"Slash\"

(Gonna reply to several people at once here, bear with me.) Kristi, I think that the article Susan posted (thanks!) is right when it says the slash stories focus on the male-male emotional relationship. I haven't read any that were especially violent; some of them are even tender. However, as a Beatles fanfic author, I do my best to be accurate in my portrayal of the Beatles and their surroundings. I wouldn't feel comfortable writing slash because it's not true to the Beatles' personalities. And McCharlenstar, I don't think slash is like science fiction about the Beatles. Science fiction is a completely different genre. Or did you simply mean slash started in science fiction?

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Old Mar 10, 2007, 03:13 PM   #7
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I really don't like it, I once read one story about and it was terrible!!
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Old Apr 30, 2007, 10:49 AM   #8
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I agree with some things that have been pointed out, so forgive me if I am repetitive.

I guess your feelings on slash as a genre just depend on your moral views, as would any heterosexual stories along the same lines. I wouldn't denounce slash altogether just because I don't agree with homosexuality. For myself, I just don't enjoy overly graphic or violent stories...

I understand how people would be upset when writers aren't true to a real person's characteristics and being. The Beatles definitely showed who they were and I don't think slash fits into that.

But isn't that one point of writing fiction? To create situations that otherwise may not have existed? There are tons of "Mary Jane" stories involving our boys, and that obviously wasn't true to their lives either. Maybe they aren't the greatest fanfics out there, but they can be entertaining. Each genre has its audience, and each writer the freedom to create.

I agree that one should have the utmost respect when they are writing about actual people that have existed, to respect their rights as a human being. I think one problem is that in many peoples' minds, The Beatles weren't real human beings. They tend to be seen as larger-than-life symbols of a generation, or a product that's made to sell. And this problem is magnified by the fact that The Beatles were a performing act decades ago. The lines between fantasy and reality have been blurred when it comes to The Beatles, and I think that may play a part in many of the stories that are written about them.
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Old May 23, 2007, 03:28 PM   #9
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Miss_lennon makes a good point. While the older fogies amongst us may have been there at the time, I for one didn't exist. They were so huge and so iconic even forty years on, that to me they really do seem to have separate identities: as the Beatles, legends in their own lifetimes, and then as real people, warts and all.

I read and write slash, some of it about the Beatles. Until I became interested in Beatles fanfic, I was leery of Real Person Slash (RPS as we call it) for the same reason that most people cited here: they were real people with real lives and not just my slash-playthings. But I got over it. As far as I can square it, RPS doesn't really cross the line so long as you remain aware that it is fiction, and however much the idea of John and Paul together intrigues you, it didn't happen.

I do want to make one thing clear. Slash isn't just about sex. It isn't just about sex, rape, abuse, BDSM, h/c or anything else. Slash comes in all the shapes and sizes het does. It isn't just about middle-aged white women writing down their homoerotic fantasies, either. And there is certainly nothing wrong with underage kids reading and writing it. I did, and I turned out alright! It might freak out some adults, particularly those with kids, but it's harmless. Even the darker side isn't damaging, just freaky if you don't know what to expect.

And I don't know who said it, but 'slash' isn't a label. It's a declaration! We're here and we think they're queer - get over it!
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Old May 29, 2007, 03:05 PM   #10
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I personally agree with Jimminy on this one. I have read a lot of fanfiction, and, though my friend introduced me to slash quite a while after I started, I had no problems – I was reading about fictional characters, in a situation and with issues that they don’t have in canon, but were interesting to read about (my original fandom was Harry Potter, and it was a Harry/Draco – they were both 18, I believe).

I recently became more of a fan of the Beatles than Harry Potter, and, originally, started to read fanfiction with my friend which was completely het, and of course we came across the usual plot devices: time travel, Mary-Sues, Woke-Up-In-Vegas, unwanted pregnancies – the lot. But we didn’t mind – we’d read a lot of random rubbish before. However, the idea of Beatleslash was completely mind boggling, as they were all so incredibly straight.

Our other friend (who introduced me to Harry Potter slash), was not so phased by the idea, as she prefers reading slash to reading het, in whatever fandom. She even picked out a favourite pairing (Paul/John) but we protested to her that it was completely out of character, and, well, they were both so goddamn straight!

However, we thought about it, both having read quite a bit of Harry Potter slash, and, thinking realistically, thought that it was plausible. Of course, we know that they were straight, and John was mildly homophobic, but is it too much a stretch of the imagination to imagine that Paul and John’s amazing friendship could have the potential for something more? Of course, in real life, nothing came of this potential, but we started to think, and, thinking, ‘what if, what if?’, we started to write, and have now written a chunk of our own Paul/John slashfic.

Now, which is more believable; a story where the Beatles travel forward three decades and decide to seduce two girls about five years their junior, this resulting in true, lasting love, an unwanted pregnancy, and a second, bigamous, shotgun wedding? Or a story where the potential for John and Paul’s friendship to be something more was realised, and how that affected them?

And as for the talent of people reading slash, sometimes, there is a lot more talent needed to write convincing slash than there is for writing convincing het – you have to show how a canonically straight character could possibly be having gay thoughts and feelings, and how this affects this character. You have to write about how everyone else takes this, especially in a stagmented society like the wizarding world, or a less accepting society, like the sixties.

And the ages of people, well, I was twelve or thirteen when I read my first slash story, and I don’t think that it has negatively affected me at all. It was very well-written, and very interesting, to see the situations that Harry and Draco were placed in, because of the acceptance of the wizarding society and Harry’s friends. This would not be possible with a het story, because what stigma would there be, and what issue could Hermione possibly take with Harry and, say, Pansy having a romantic relationship? Practically none at all. But make Pansy male, say, Draco, and it’s a completely different kettle of fish.

I have read far more graphic and disturbing het than I have slash, and I think that it is really the plot, not the pairing, that makes the fic. There is fluffy slash, and angsty slash, H/C, BDSM, touching, incredibly slow-moving, incredibly fast-moving, graphic, tender, and practically any kind of slash you care to name, just as there is het. Just because it is slash does not mean that it is disturbing. It just means that it is less likely to be true, and, in fanfiction, surely that is the point?

Admittedly, it is harder to justify with RL characters, because they are, well, real. This does not, however, mean that it is impossible to justify. It might well be construed as libellous, but it is fiction, and if it is taken as fiction, then you could take it as just another direction that their characters could move in, and it can be just as good fiction, and better, than a fic where the Beatles fall in love with, and marry, fangirls of theirs, (and can be more believable), or a one-shot where they have graphic sex with a groupie.

Neither of which I think the Beatles would be particularly happy to see, either.

And, well, here's the first Beatleslash I read. It goes with canon, and could realistically have happened. No-one is saying that it did, but it's a what-if. It goes from teen days to John's death, and I think it is really good.

http://darling.revolution-1.org/stor...owmyname1.html

If you [i]do[i] read it, and it says that the next chapter can't be displayed, just type the chapter link in up at the top - it'll be http://darling.revolution-1.org/stories/youknowmyname[chapter number].html

Last edited by Limpet : May 29, 2007 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Forgot something. *blush*
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Old May 30, 2007, 08:49 PM   #11
Maggie Mae
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I haven't read the whole thread yet, but I just wanted to add my two cents, kinda along the same lines at Limpet.

"Slash" doesn't necessarily have to be explicitly pornographic or sexual or aggressive or anything like that. I've written one (complete) story to date that I would consider "slash-y" and it had no sex in it whatsoever. It focused on the emotional relationship between Paul and John, from Paul's point of view, on the first night they're in America back in '64. I imagined that Paul missed John because they hadn't had time to sit down, chat, write songs, or do anything since they arrived in America, and the story about their deep friendship went from there. It was totally heterosexual, but I made no bones about showing how much the two loved one another as friends, brothers, possible soulmates, and all that jazz. Like others here have said, slash doesn't always have to be rated R.

Having said that, the majority of slash is quite racy. I've never had a problem with it, though I could see why others would. I think it was Susan very early on in this thread who said that she disliked the idea of separating something like Harry Potter fanfic from Beatles fanfic because of the fictional vs. real person distinction. I agree with her -- in fact, after ff.net stopped us from posting our real person (RP) fanfics on their site while still allowing fictional fanfic, I discovered that RP fanfic can't come under as severe copyright penalties as fanfics that use fictional characters (real people can't be copyrighted, while Buffy or Harry can be), which makes me wonder if perhaps we should all be writing RP fanfics! -- but I also see how the slashiness of RP fanfics can be offensive, especially if the characters involved are so completely straight and the slash scenes suggest otherwise. But some are very well written and believable, and worth the read if you can find them! :)
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