tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (in want of a companion)
For anyone else who feels that new friends are a good thing, especially since LJ has been a little quiet lately, I direct you to the Doctor Who friending meme that [livejournal.com profile] eve11 is currently hosting. 

tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (zoe show some respect)


This gorgeous BAMF has been brought to your screens courtesy of the campaign for Zoe Washburne in Fandom March Madness.

As of the moment I'm typing, Zoe of Firefly is losing by just 30 votes to Sansa Stark of Game of Thrones.  Meaning no disrespect to Sansa, but I'd like to turn that around.  There are only about ten hours left in the polls for this round. 

Browncoats on my flist, let's do this.  Vote here.  Come tomorrow, will our Firefly quote of the moment be "may have been the losing side.  Still not convinced it was the wrong one"?  Or will it be "we have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty"?

If you're coming to this entry after the Sweet Sixteen round ends around 1 pm eastern time on Tuesday, go vote in the next round.  John Watson will need your votes, and Donna Noble will be up against either Zoe (oh god how do I choose?) or Sansa (battle of the gingers).

(In other news, I really don't need another show right now, but the campaigns for Parks & Recreation, Misfits, and Miranda all intrigue me.  Dammit, fandom.  You are dangerously entertaining.)
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (fandom makes kitty scared)
Watch out, y'all. It's that time of year again.



Fandom March Madness!

That's right it's time to pit characters from different fandoms against each other in a seemingly pointless yet really HIGHLY IMPORTANT competition. Right now it's perhaps the most heartbreaking round, the preliminaries where you have to choose just one character from within each fandom. Seriously, how am I supposed to choose just one character from all of Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Sarah Jane Adventures when there are so many fantastic individuals in the Whoniverse? (Spoiler Alert: I picked Donna. She's the most important woman in the universe, plus a strategic vote to get past Amy Pond and unite the fandom in later rounds.)

Go tear your hair out in frustration at these impossible choices VOTE!  Also, enjoy all the pretty gifs and capslock flailing in the comments.  Voting on the preliminaries lasts until 1-2 pm Eastern on Thursday. 

Might I suggest:

John Watson for Sherlock.  We'd be lost without our blogger. 

Donna Noble for Doctor Who.  She is our household god!

Neville Longbottom for Harry Potter.  I am honestly confused about how he is not sweeping this bracket.  He's the biggest BAMF in the series and also a really great guy. 
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (keep calm kettle on)
I'd known that LJ was huge in Russia before the recent DDoS problems, but I hadn't realized it was such an important platform for political speech over there (see this Time article, found via [livejournal.com profile] wendymr ).  Fandom teaches you things!  I fervently hope Livejournal manages to fend off these scumbags and keep itself open, not only for the sake of our fannish squee but for the sake of free speech and the people of Russia.

I haven't gotten around to importing the contents of this LJ to the Dreamwidth account I keep to comment and read over there.  LJ is my fannish home, despite issues internal and external.  However, in the unlikely event of a sudden Livejournal apocalypse, my online presence can be found over on Dreamwidth (also as tardis_stowaway).  My fics are all archived at AO3*.  My Doctor Who/Torchwood fics are also at A Teaspoon and an Open Mind (where all the comments are, especially on my older stories). 

*For the sake of having a comprehensive archive, my AO3 account is now updated to include the very first fic I ever put online, back in college when I was a lurker in the BtVS fandom.  It's clearly written a long time ago, yet rather amusingly me with the first person POV and random literary references.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (donna & ten LOL)
So, there's this big multifandom March Madness cage match poll thing going on.  It is extremely frivolous and seems likely to devolve into wank, yet fun!  So, here is a link and a tiny bit of pointless rambling on behalf of my favorites.



The first round, pitting characters within each show against each other, is going on, and the Doctor Who category is insanely close.  When last I checked, Ten and Eleven were way ahead of all other competitors, with Ten in the lead by a mere six votes out of many hundreds cast.  If you have an opinion on this matter, you have until I think 1 pm Eastern time Thursday to vote in this round.  (My vote, for anyone interested, went to Donna Noble.  I considered strategically changing my vote to Ten to help him beat Eleven, but I just can't. Donna Noble > all others.  FACT.) 

Also, in the Sherlock category, where are all the John fans at?  Realistically, I understand that Sherlock is almost certainly going to win, but our John deserves way more love than I'm seeing.  Watson fans, go vote!

We now return to comparatively non-controversial matters, like Wisconsin politics.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (the sound of torchwood)
Tonight I went to a concert of old-time music by Evie Ladin and her band, part of a local concert series in an old barn converted into a community center.  The music was excellent, able to set feet stomping or move my heart.  In addition to the usual bluegrass instruments like her banjo, the group also did body percussion, and at one point the string bass player pulled out a bass harmonica.  I had no idea that harmonicas came in bass, but apparently they do.  It was a lot larger than a normal harmonica; you wonder if bass harmonica players get teased about compensating. 

Most of the music I've seen live in the past few years has been in really small venues like this, like coffeehouses, contra dances, free community outdoor concerts, etc.  Though the music I listen to at home includes plenty of genres like alternative, pop, and rock, the large majority of the live music I hear is folk and traditional music.  While at the concert tonight, it occurred to me that there's a certain similarity between this niche of music and what we do in fandom. 

The emphasis in traditional-style music is not producing something staggeringly new.  Artists play plenty of covers of tunes that have been around for centuries and songs written by other contemporary artists, and even when they write original tunes they are working with a set musical vocabulary rather than trying to make something utterly unlike anything that came before.  However, there is still ample room for individuality in old playing styles, and there's tremendous artistry involved in making an ancient tune one's own.  Fandom is also not about creating something never before seen, but there is still plenty of creativity in making someone else's characters shine in a way unique to the fic writer. 

Both fandom and traditional-style music emphasize community and participation.  The concert I was at tonight featured an open jam session before the main performance started.  Other community members participated by organizing the event, doing the sound, or arranging refreshments, and everyone in the audience gave feedback directly to the artist with our tapping feet and applause or talking to band members during the intermission.  At a contra dance, the musicians and the dancers collaborate to create the beauty of the dance.  In fandom, everyone is encouraged to pick up a metaphorical fiddle by writing their own fic if they feel like it, but they can also participate by making vids or fanart, hosting comms, etc., and even those who don't create or organize can still interact directly with authors in a way that TV and mainstream literature don't allow. 

The point is making something that people enjoy, not money.  Of course, many musicians, unlike fic writers, are trying to earn a living through their art, and I try to put my money where my ears are in support of them.  Still, they know they could probably be making more money doing something else.  Some of them have day jobs.  It's about love of the creative process, love of the audience appreciation, love of listening or reading. Sometimes the songs and stories have a larger purpose, like protesting for social change or empowering a character neglected by canon, while other times they're just fun tunes to dance to or fun stories about favorite characters having sex.  It's all part of the community.

People have made music and told stories since long before there was any way of recording them.  It's in our souls.  There is value in a well-played tune or a well-told tale: original or derivative, high art or low, for an audience of millions or a dozen.  Capitalistic society has tried to convince us to follow a large-scale, top-down approach to stories and music, and the money mobilized by this approach allows for some pretty impressive creations.  That's great, but it's not the only worthy way to create or enjoy other people's creations.  The community of fandom is as grassroots as bluegrass and just as full of life and beauty.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (high five or die 10)
Happy New Year, everyone!  *raises glass*  May your coming year be full of joy, hope, fellowship, and triumph over challenges. I have a mild cold, so I spent the evening at home coughing.  Now, time to greet 2011 with a 2010 retrospective meme. 

year in fandom meme )

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