The Bad Art Files. Episode 30: FANFIC
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Aug. 24th, 2005 | 02:19 am
posted by: nanji in lumatorium
Seems like such an innocent word. It stands for "Fan Fiction", stories written by people about their favourite TV programs, films or celebrities. That sounds nice doesn't it? Art inspiring art. Well I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you, but it's actually a cover for porn.
"Porn on the internet? Surely not..."
In fanfic (Porn4women as it should rightly be renamed), the author writes a story involving their favourite celebrity-and-object-of-their-affections wandering into a variety of compromising situations involving some young lovely who typically seduces them in deja-vu situations.
There is an appalling lack of original thought amongst these fantasies, which only glorifies its bad art status.
Rediscover cult classic scenarios such as the rehashed plot to 'Pretty Woman'. With the alternative negative ending that we all wanted to see at the end of the real film - where the prostitute gets dumped in favour of a proper girlfriend, who like, doesn't have sex with people for money.
A fair enough request from any boyfriend in this day and age.
Relive the classic film noir stereotypes of favourite celebrity-and-object-of-the-authors-affe
The reader's immediate reaction to this is "in your dreams". Which is exactly where these fantasies should really stay.
But because of, or thanks to, the internet, the cringe-worthy ramblings of 15 year-old Tom Welling enthusiasts are made public. This situation, considering the potential embarrassment for the parties concerned once word gets out in their home towns, is pretty funny.
But at 15 years old, they could be forgiven for their silliness, it's normal, they're at a stupid age.
Where it gets downright hilarious and a tad disturbing is when the authors in question are older. They might even have jobs and stuff, maybe even children of their own..*horror*.
And yet they come home every night, sit down and write twenty pages on things they'd like to do to Dr Dan Jackson from Stargate. The reader then gets to enjoy the rare feeling of being simultaneously amused and scared. And when you think about it, very few stories can claim to produce both emotions, and certainly not at the same time. This humble bad art suddenly becomes groundbreaking.
And what does it take to become a fanfic writer? Very little.
A smattering of bunny-boiling tendencies, a basic grasp of HTML (optional), some writing ability (optional) and a high embarrassment threshold, maybe a poster of their idol on the wall to gaze at if their conscious mind tries to drag back into reality.
These people could be your neighbours, your colleagues, even your daughters... I say daughters because fanfic is for the most part written by females.
You see when men fantasise about some famous actress or singer they go for visuals.
It's men who take the naked body of some XXX good-time-girl and awkwardly stick a picture of Jessica Simpson's head on it. A simple 5 minute job = guaranteed laugh from colleagues and being 'the man' for the day at work. The benefits are social as much as sexual and the job is very much a quick-fix.
Fanfic, however, is a much more time-consuming activity. You've got to enjoy the process. Contemplate sitting down and writing 20 pages of smut about your favourite actor. TWENTY PAGES. That's a lot of smut. It adds an entertainingly sinister twist not present in mere photo collages.
My one note of respect towards Fanfic writers is that, on the whole, their spelling is pretty good. Which, considering it's on the internet, just makes them seem all the more eccentric really.
And the result?
Well it's something of a starter kit for the bad art lover. It's got a bit of everything, self-parody, cliché, gratuitous sex scenes, shallow characterisation (blatantly done in order to bolster the author's self image - my favourite type), potential public humiliation of the author.
So the verdict is: pretty entertaining all round. Not from the point of view of the writer though. They're in a cuckoolicious world of their own weirdness. The bunny has been boiled, served up, eaten and digested by now. And has remerged as fanfic. But when has that type of thing not been a source of boundless joy to Lumatorium readers?
To find good examples of bad fanfic you no longer need to enter potentially incriminating words into a search engine - because someone has rounded up the worst for you already!
Happy 30th Entry Lumatorium!