Canon? Canon? What is canon? (was: Gary Mitchell and Contradictions in Canon & Fanfic)

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Mary Ellen Curtin

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
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JK wrote:
>First of all, the term "canon." I think we see quite a bit of mixed
>usage. Some people use it to mean "what I like, what I believe, or what
>I write."
<snip>
>To me, canon is the shared starting point, the common knowledge on which
>we agree. The ship is named the Enterprise. They're on a
>five-year-mission. Spock's father is the Vulcan ambassador. Those are
>all bits of canon. That has nothing to do with whether or not you like
>it or write it that way. It just is. I think it's important for a writer
>to be aware of when s/he's tapping into canon and when s/he's not. Not
>b/c either of those are wrong, but b/c it's the writer's job to make a
>story readable. When you take a story in non-canonical directions, you
>can't write in the same way that you do when you're writing canonically.

I both agree and disagree.

I certainly agree that people on the ng are using one
word, "canon," in a variety of possibly contradictory
ways. I don't agree that "canon is the shared starting
point." At least, I don't agree that "what's on screen=canon
=shared starting point."

I think most of us, most of the time, have agreed to
call "what's on screen"="canon", whatever other uses
we put the word to.

It is my experience, especially working with Istannor,
that "what's on screen" is not necessarily the shared
starting point, the point where ze can assume the reader
is beginning and from which ze should lay what JK so
accurately calls "a trail of breadcrumbs." I don't know if
anyone has ever stuck closer to screen canon than Istannor,
but that doesn't mean that hir stories (like the one that's
up on the lift with the damn engine out and in pieces, *again*)
are always easy for readers to accept. The readers don't
really start from canon: they start from convention.

I have been known to say, "you haven't explained where
such-and-such comes from," to which Istannor replies,
wailing, "but it's canon!" and I have to say, "true, but it's
not what the readers are expecting, it's not what they
remember." We have found that you have to lay down
breadcrumbs to get readers to canon, if it conflicts with
their expectations.

I'm not saying that readers should come without expectations;
no-one does. I'm saying that writers (as JK points out) have
to be aware of what those expectations are likely to be. One
of the fun things we do here is play with expectations, and
that play won't work if you don't know where the readers
are starting.

This is particularly interesting with Trek, especially TOS,
because it has soaked so far into the general culture that
even material for a very general audience can play with
those expectations -- whether they are supported by Trek
canon or not.

For instance, the popular US strip "Kudzu" on Jan. 8 showed
a marriage counselor's office. The clients are a woman and
a Vulcan, the latter sporting a shit-eating grin while the
woman says, "Ever since Viagra all he wants to do is
mind-meld."

Now as JK has pointed out in another thread, there's no
screen canon evidence that Vulcans bond, or have
mind-melds for sex. But *everyone* thinks so: it's not
just a fanfic convention, it's now part of the culture as a
whole. So if you want to write a story in which Vulcans
do not associate sex with mind-melds (which I think
might be pretty interesting), you have to lay down that
trail of breadcrumbs quite carefully, even if you're sticking
close to screen canon.

>Which brings us to "your canon."
>
>I've read a few stories that I just gave up on, b/c the writer wrote
>according to hir ideas (great!) but didn't bother to build a foundation
>for them or give us any reason to believe them (not great!). It may be
>canon to you, but the rest of us need some help.
<snip>
>The term "my canon" can also mean that the writer is creating a series
>of stories that either build on each other or all take place in the same
>Trekkiverse.

Here I disagree. It's confusing because "my canon" is
used in two different ways, neither of which is the above.

I have a theory, which is mine, that fanfiction often has
a science-like quality. One of the ways it is science-like
has to do with canon. Fan writers treat screen canon
the way scientists treat data. It is physical (pictures and
sounds), reproducible (play the ep again), and . . . not
all of it is good.

Those of us who are scientists know that *no* scientific
theory accounts for all the data, because some of the
data is always bad: error-ridden, buggy, just plain
incomprehensible. I think most of the debates about "is
this canon, is that canon" can be translated to, "is this
data worth keeping?" So, for instance, most of us react
to "Spock's Brain" by saying "No! It's not canon, it didn't
happen -- it's bad data."

My understanding is that when Laura JV says, "STIII is not
in my canon," what she means is, "the data from STIII is
so flawed I prefer to do without it."

But when Istannor says of one of hir stories, "this is my
canon," I believe ze means that this story is not just part
of a Trekiverse, but part of hir best-fit Trekiverse. We all
have Trekiverses; only some of us, some of the time, have
a personal canon.

These are two different usages, and Laura & Istannor
have used the same word for each, as have I. I can see
how that can be confusing.

>Unfortunately, "my canon" is sometimes used as an excuse for
>under-writing a story and depending on the generosity of the readers to
>just go along with it.

I am uncomfortable with criticism -- positive *or* negative
-- that gives no examples. At a minimum, it confuses me.
All the people who use the expression "my canon" that
come to my mind are, in my experience, extremely open to
comment, and don't mind being told "this didn't work for me."

>At times, it also comes across as an attempt to
>put the writer's ideas on a level with actual canon, which I think is
>completely unnecessary.

I assume this is also what Wildcat meant by "it sounds
presumptuous."

Now, I definitely agree with JK that:
>BTW, interpretation isn't canon.

in the sense that it isn't data, it isn't what is on
screen. But we all interpret, all the time. The moment
we say anything other than "it's a bunch of actors
pretending" we are interpreting, major league. Even
such an apparently canonical statement as, "Kirk is
Captain of the Enterprise" is an interpretation. It's
a convention, but it's not screen canon. What *is* screen
canon (data) is "Bill Shatner is called 'Kirk, Captain
of the Enterprise'." It is, of course, very easy to lose
track of where canon ends and interpretation begins,
and to call some obvious, universal interpretations
"canon."

When John Ordover says "canon," he means "the
official Paraborg interpretation." When I call an
interpretation "my canon," I *am* being presumptuous,
in Mr. O's eyes: I'm privileging my interpretation to
be on the same level as his. The horror, the horror.

To my ear (eye?), when Laura (for instance) says "my
canon," she is being the opposite of presumptuous,
because by implication it is in contrast to Istannor's
canon, Isla's canon, Roisin's canon, Doc canon, etc.,
as well as to Ordover's canon.

I don't know if it would help if we used other words
than "canon" for these things: for the data we choose
to accept, and for the theory (picture? vision? history?
interpretation?) we hold nearest to our hearts. I like
playing with the word, having it mean different things
in different contexts, teasing John Ordover with it, etc.,
but if creates crankiness instead of IDIC, then maybe
we need another term. What do you-all think?

Mary Ellen
Doctor Science, MA
http://www.eclipse.net/~mecurtin/goodbook
Now featuring: Good Book of the Millennium
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Laura Jacquez Valentine

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
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--On Friday, January 14, 2000, 11:17 PM -0500 Mary Ellen Curtin
<mecu...@alumni.Princeton.EDU> wrote:

> Now as JK has pointed out in another thread, there's no
> screen canon evidence that Vulcans bond, or have
> mind-melds for sex. But *everyone* thinks so: it's not
> just a fanfic convention, it's now part of the culture as a
> whole. So if you want to write a story in which Vulcans
> do not associate sex with mind-melds (which I think
> might be pretty interesting), you have to lay down that
> trail of breadcrumbs quite carefully, even if you're sticking
> close to screen canon.

Actually in the middle of that one. Got the idea today. I bet you can
find the post where. :P

--laura
also in the middle of senslash. Joy, joy...

laura jacquez valentine -+- http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/~jacquez
Unused Steven Seagal Movie Title: RENT TO OWN
Jesus is a meme. -+- http://www.memepool.com/

Wildcat

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
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--- Mary Ellen Curtin <mecu...@alumni.Princeton.EDU>
wrote:

> So, for instance, most of us
> react
> to "Spock's Brain" by saying "No! It's not canon, it
> didn't
> happen -- it's bad data."

Although this is really a great post, I'm a bit rushed
for time (All-district band and basketball,
basketball, basketball, all in the same day! Aargh!)
and I'm going to have to keep it short. I'm going to
throw in a remark that hopefully won't completely
change the subject. Consider this an "auxiliary"
subject.

This is COMPLETELY just imo, but I always have a
problem with disregarding *any* part of canon just
because we don't like it. Maybe it's just me being
anal, but if it's on the screen, it's canon, deal with
it. Now, I accept it when someone says that
such-and-such an ep doesn't fit into their own
timeline, but to me, that's automatically a/u. Just
my two cents.

> I don't know if it would help if we used other words
> than "canon" for these things: for the data we
> choose
> to accept, and for the theory (picture? vision?
> history?
> interpretation?) we hold nearest to our hearts. I
> like
> playing with the word, having it mean different
> things
> in different contexts, teasing John Ordover with it,
> etc.,
> but if creates crankiness instead of IDIC, then
> maybe
> we need another term. What do you-all think?

Oh yes, another little comment. <g> Since I was
possibly the first person who griped about the use of
the words "my" and "canon" when used together, I feel
somewhat responsible. I would like to examine my own
position on this a little more, so if you'll excuse
me, I'm going to kinda think out loud.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that seeing "my canon"
makes me cranky. I tend to shrug and chalk it up to
simply a difference of opinion on what "canon" means.
BUT... it *does* tend to take me out of the story or
discussion or whatever, because my first reaction
isn't wholly positive, either. I have to step back
and convince myself to accept it. So, maybe it's just
me, in which case no one should change the way they do
anything, but if it interferes with the message
("noise" in the message, perhaps?), it might be worth
finding another term. Heck, I find it much more
palatable when I see "my version of canon," rather
than "my canon," and that's probably a very minor
distinction at best.

I want to emphasize, however, that I think that people
should choose to do this on an *individual basis*.
I'd really hate to have us come up with something as a
collective group and impose it on everyone as if it
were some sort of edict.

Wildcat, interested in hearing what others have to say
on this

=====
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Jungle Kitty

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
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> --On Friday, January 14, 2000, 11:17 PM -0500 Mary Ellen Curtin

> <mecu...@alumni.Princeton.EDU> wrote:
>
> > Now as JK has pointed out in another thread, there's no
> > screen canon evidence that Vulcans bond, or have
> > mind-melds for sex. But *everyone* thinks so: it's not
> > just a fanfic convention, it's now part of the culture as a
> > whole. So if you want to write a story in which Vulcans
> > do not associate sex with mind-melds (which I think
> > might be pretty interesting), you have to lay down that
> > trail of breadcrumbs quite carefully, even if you're sticking
> > close to screen canon.

True. What I was trying to get at in that thread, but didn't go all the
way with it is this: be aware of where your "canon" is different than
with most readers' "assumptions." I beta'd something once where the
writer and I had an interesting discussion about just that. She was
writing canonically but the conflicting fanon had assumed such weight
that she had to build a lot of background for her idea.
--
Jungle Kitty
http://www.accesscom.com/~jkitty

----------------------------------------------
"Literature is not a Rorschach blot."

- Jane Thompson
----------------------------------------------

Jungle Kitty

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
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Mary Ellen Curtin wrote:

> It is my experience, especially working with Istannor,
> that "what's on screen" is not necessarily the shared
> starting point, the point where ze can assume the reader
> is beginning and from which ze should lay what JK so
> accurately calls "a trail of breadcrumbs." I don't know if
> anyone has ever stuck closer to screen canon than Istannor,
> but that doesn't mean that hir stories (like the one that's
> up on the lift with the damn engine out and in pieces, *again*)
> are always easy for readers to accept. The readers don't
> really start from canon: they start from convention.

I think you're getting into interpretation of canon, more than canon.
Readers may not accept someone's interpretation, but few will argue
about the actual events on screen (except the ones that have been cut
out so often that no one's really sure if they're there anyway). They
may argue interpretation, but not the event itself.

> I am uncomfortable with criticism -- positive *or* negative
> -- that gives no examples. At a minimum, it confuses me.
> All the people who use the expression "my canon" that
> come to my mind are, in my experience, extremely open to
> comment, and don't mind being told "this didn't work for me."

I understand that, but I've stated before I don't give feedback to
stories that I just plain don't like. So to me, it seems unnecessarily
cruel to point out what to be is a gigantic flaw in a story, so huge
that I really don't want have anything positive to say about it, other
than perhaps, "Nice sentence structure."

> in the sense that it isn't data, it isn't what is on
> screen. But we all interpret, all the time. The moment
> we say anything other than "it's a bunch of actors
> pretending" we are interpreting, major league. Even
> such an apparently canonical statement as, "Kirk is
> Captain of the Enterprise" is an interpretation.

Maybe so, but is that the shared staring point for anyone? My definition
of canon is that it's the MOST COMMONLY SHARED starting point. Most
people started out watching the TV series, not reading fanfic.

Robin

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Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
to

> From: Wildcat <wildc...@yahoo.com>

> I want to emphasize, however, that I think that people
> should choose to do this on an *individual basis*.
> I'd really hate to have us come up with something as a
> collective group and impose it on everyone as if it
> were some sort of edict.

Without buying into this discussion too much, I'll be happy for people to call
or not call their stories whatever they like. What I *won't* be happy with is
having yet *another* code to add to a story title, or another label people can
slap dismissively on a person's story. I have Hurty!Spock in the Wet Carpark
A/U and call it that because I want to. If I want to write about Peaches the
Bondage Pig, and her adventures on the Enterprise, then whether I call it an
A/U, or my canon, or my version of my canon, or fanon, or a brain fart, it's
all a matter for me. What the readers of this story decides to call it is up
to each individual reader. I can't control what you label a story as, and
could care less. What would concern me is that if my story was a *good* story,
readable, and made me happy writing it.

But if *you* label a story canon, you gotta be prepared for people that care
about that kind of thing to be picky about it *sticking* to canon. It's a
tricky thing, but getting upset about people "mislabelling" your story is too
much like hard work.

Robin

Laura Jacquez Valentine

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Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
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> Organization: Society for the Preservation of Kirkology
> Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 13:58:31 -0800
> From: Jungle Kitty <jki...@accesscom.com>

>
> From: Jungle Kitty <jki...@accesscom.com>
>
> Mary Ellen Curtin wrote:
>
> > It is my experience, especially working with Istannor,
> > that "what's on screen" is not necessarily the shared
> > starting point, the point where ze can assume the reader
> > is beginning and from which ze should lay what JK so
> > accurately calls "a trail of breadcrumbs." I don't know if
> > anyone has ever stuck closer to screen canon than Istannor,
> > but that doesn't mean that hir stories (like the one that's
> > up on the lift with the damn engine out and in pieces, *again*)
> > are always easy for readers to accept. The readers don't
> > really start from canon: they start from convention.
>
> I think you're getting into interpretation of canon, more than canon.
> Readers may not accept someone's interpretation, but few will argue
> about the actual events on screen (except the ones that have been cut
> out so often that no one's really sure if they're there anyway). They
> may argue interpretation, but not the event itself.
>

I disagree with this.

For example, one thing I've encountered over and over is "Spock doesn't
touch people".

Yeah...well...

He touches Kirk and Uhura a lot, actually, and I went through a bunch of
episodes once and counted touches.

These are my findings (I used to have this stuff in a file, but it was
on my Old Dead Macintosh):

* Kirk touches people most, but usually only Spock and Chick'o'the'Week.
* Scotty doesn't touch anyone except on rare occasions when he's fighting
or get the girl.
* McCoy touches people who are in sickbay or otherwise under his care, and
occasionally Spock.
* Sulu rarely, if ever, touches anyone.
* Chekov rarely touches anyone.
* Uhura touches Spock.

Next to Kirk, Spock touches people the most, and he touches more major
characters more frequently than Kirk does.

--laura

Jungle Kitty

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Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
to

Laura Jacquez Valentine wrote:

> I disagree with this.
>
> For example, one thing I've encountered over and over is "Spock doesn't
> touch people".
>
> Yeah...well...
>
> He touches Kirk and Uhura a lot, actually, and I went through a bunch of
> episodes once and counted touches.
>
> These are my findings (I used to have this stuff in a file, but it was
> on my Old Dead Macintosh):
>
> * Kirk touches people most, but usually only Spock and Chick'o'the'Week.
> * Scotty doesn't touch anyone except on rare occasions when he's fighting
> or get the girl.
> * McCoy touches people who are in sickbay or otherwise under his care, and
> occasionally Spock.
> * Sulu rarely, if ever, touches anyone.
> * Chekov rarely touches anyone.
> * Uhura touches Spock.
>
> Next to Kirk, Spock touches people the most, and he touches more major
> characters more frequently than Kirk does.

Laura, I don't understand how this example applies or contradicts. If he
does touch people, then it's filmed canon. If people are assuming that
he doesn't, it's a case of fanon being so commonly acknowledged that it
supersedes canon. Something else that writers should be aware of.

----------------------------------------------
"Literature is not a Rorschach blot."

- Jane Thompson
----------------------------------------------

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Laura Jacquez Valentine

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Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
to

> Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 12:43:03 +1100
> From: "Robin" <rob...@s054.aone.net.au>

>
> From: "Robin" <rob...@s054.aone.net.au>
>
> > From: Wildcat <wildc...@yahoo.com>
> > I want to emphasize, however, that I think that people
> > should choose to do this on an *individual basis*.
> > I'd really hate to have us come up with something as a
> > collective group and impose it on everyone as if it
> > were some sort of edict.
>
> Without buying into this discussion too much, I'll be happy for people to call
> or not call their stories whatever they like. What I *won't* be happy with is
> having yet *another* code to add to a story title, or another label people can
> slap dismissively on a person's story. I have Hurty!Spock in the Wet Carpark
> A/U and call it that because I want to. If I want to write about Peaches the
> Bondage Pig, and her adventures on the Enterprise, then whether I call it an
> A/U, or my canon, or my version of my canon, or fanon, or a brain fart, it's
> all a matter for me. What the readers of this story decides to call it is up
> to each individual reader. I can't control what you label a story as, and
> could care less. What would concern me is that if my story was a *good* story,
> readable, and made me happy writing it.
>
> But if *you* label a story canon, you gotta be prepared for people that care
> about that kind of thing to be picky about it *sticking* to canon. It's a
> tricky thing, but getting upset about people "mislabelling" your story is too
> much like hard work.
>

I don't label anything I *write* canon. I have a somewhat different
set of "things I will use as canon when writing" than some people, but
anything I write is strictly...well, what I write.

Now, I'm currently having an ISSUE. It's an ISSUE I've had in the past,
and it's this: I write some things that people seem to consider A/U.
They, in fact, are *not* A/Us.

For example, the OSO stories are not an A/U. As far as I know, there is
nothing in those stories that contradicts or ignores the *full* Trek
canon. My Sentinel series Dog Tags is also not an A/U--it merely
contradicts a nearly universal assumption (namely, that Blair was lying
when he said he'd flown Apaches--Dog Tags is based on the assumption
that Blair was telling the truth). I get lots of comments on both of
those about what interesting A/Us they are.

The only thing I can figure is that OSO, like Dog Tags, violates some
nearly universal assumption. I can't figure out what, but I suppose
it's there...

--laura

Laura Jacquez Valentine

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Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
to

> Organization: Society for the Preservation of Kirkology
> Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 21:15:05 -0800

> From: Jungle Kitty <jki...@accesscom.com>
>
> From: Jungle Kitty <jki...@accesscom.com>
>
> Laura Jacquez Valentine wrote:
>
> > I disagree with this.
> >
> > For example, one thing I've encountered over and over is "Spock doesn't
> > touch people".
> >
> > Yeah...well...
> >
> > He touches Kirk and Uhura a lot, actually, and I went through a bunch of
> > episodes once and counted touches.
> >
> > These are my findings (I used to have this stuff in a file, but it was
> > on my Old Dead Macintosh):
> >
> > * Kirk touches people most, but usually only Spock and Chick'o'the'Week.
> > * Scotty doesn't touch anyone except on rare occasions when he's fighting
> > or get the girl.
> > * McCoy touches people who are in sickbay or otherwise under his care, and
> > occasionally Spock.
> > * Sulu rarely, if ever, touches anyone.
> > * Chekov rarely touches anyone.
> > * Uhura touches Spock.
> >
> > Next to Kirk, Spock touches people the most, and he touches more major
> > characters more frequently than Kirk does.
>
> Laura, I don't understand how this example applies or contradicts. If he
> does touch people, then it's filmed canon. If people are assuming that
> he doesn't, it's a case of fanon being so commonly acknowledged that it
> supersedes canon. Something else that writers should be aware of.
>

OK, I wasn't all that clear.

People will argue that it is *canon* and *on-screen* that Spock doesn't
touch anyone/anyone but Kirk. If you show *some* of these people Spock
touching other people, they will fail to see it (I've run across two of
these people--they seem to literally *not be able to see* Spock helping
Uhura up off the floor).

The fact that it is *strictly* fanon that Spock doesn't touch people has
no effect on such people. They honestly and truly believe that this is
canon, and will argue this at some length.

Jungle Kitty

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Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
to

Laura Jacquez Valentine wrote:

> OK, I wasn't all that clear.
>
> People will argue that it is *canon* and *on-screen* that Spock doesn't
> touch anyone/anyone but Kirk. If you show *some* of these people Spock
> touching other people, they will fail to see it (I've run across two of
> these people--they seem to literally *not be able to see* Spock helping
> Uhura up off the floor).
>
> The fact that it is *strictly* fanon that Spock doesn't touch people has
> no effect on such people. They honestly and truly believe that this is
> canon, and will argue this at some length.

So how do you handle this as a writer, if you want to write about a
Spock who does touch people? How do you handle inconvenient canon or
assumptions? I've discounted something similar by having the character
address it. I needed Spock to lie in "Blood Claim." So there was a convo
btwn Brandt and Spock:

"Interesting. I've always heard that Vulcans never lie."

"That is a widely held misconception that has sometimes proven useful."

----------------------------------------------
"Literature is not a Rorschach blot."

- Jane Thompson
----------------------------------------------

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

skazki

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Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
to

>
> The only thing I can figure is that OSO, like Dog Tags, violates some
> nearly universal assumption. I can't figure out what, but I suppose
> it's there...

I agree with Laura that her OSO violates assumption, not canon The mental
adjustment I make before reading an OSO story is 'here Spock is not
inexperienced, and is sexually pro-active, whereas in most things I read,
he's relatively (not completely) inexperienced, and makes the second move,
not the first'.

The mental adjustment I make before reading OSO2 stories is to print them
out, open a beer, get really comfortable and prepare to enjoy a serious
treat, but there again, it's only an assumption that she seems to me to be
disregarding.

Jane

Laura Jacquez Valentine

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Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
to

> Organization: Society for the Preservation of Kirkology
> Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 00:10:44 -0800

> From: Jungle Kitty <jki...@accesscom.com>
>
> From: Jungle Kitty <jki...@accesscom.com>
>
> Laura Jacquez Valentine wrote:
>
> > OK, I wasn't all that clear.
> >
> > People will argue that it is *canon* and *on-screen* that Spock doesn't
> > touch anyone/anyone but Kirk. If you show *some* of these people Spock
> > touching other people, they will fail to see it (I've run across two of
> > these people--they seem to literally *not be able to see* Spock helping
> > Uhura up off the floor).
> >
> > The fact that it is *strictly* fanon that Spock doesn't touch people has
> > no effect on such people. They honestly and truly believe that this is
> > canon, and will argue this at some length.
>
> So how do you handle this as a writer, if you want to write about a
> Spock who does touch people? How do you handle inconvenient canon or
> assumptions? I've discounted something similar by having the character
> address it. I needed Spock to lie in "Blood Claim." So there was a convo
> btwn Brandt and Spock:
>
> "Interesting. I've always heard that Vulcans never lie."
>
> "That is a widely held misconception that has sometimes proven useful."

The way I handled this particular issue--Spock touching people--was
this: I made all of his touches deliberate, and put a cultural purpose
behind them. That way, people *think* that I'm agreeing that Spock
doesn't touch people, because after all, Spock is carefully considering
who to touch, and how to touch them--when actually, I'm explaining *why*
he touches people so durn much.

Obfuscation is the spice of life.

--laura

Jungle Kitty

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Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
to

Laura Jacquez Valentine wrote:

> The way I handled this particular issue--Spock touching people--was
> this: I made all of his touches deliberate, and put a cultural purpose
> behind them. That way, people *think* that I'm agreeing that Spock
> doesn't touch people, because after all, Spock is carefully considering
> who to touch, and how to touch them--when actually, I'm explaining *why*
> he touches people so durn much.

Clever.

----------------------------------------------
"Literature is not a Rorschach blot."

- Jane Thompson
----------------------------------------------

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Laura Jacquez Valentine

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Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
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> Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 08:53:38 -0800 (PST)
> From: Wildcat <wildc...@yahoo.com>
>
> From: Wildcat <wildc...@yahoo.com>
>
> --- Laura Jacquez Valentine <jacq...@andrew.cmu.edu>

> wrote:
>
> > Now, I'm currently having an ISSUE. It's an ISSUE
> > I've had in the past,
> > and it's this: I write some things that people seem
> > to consider A/U.
> > They, in fact, are *not* A/Us.
>
> I agree! They aren't a/u's. You've done a very
> artful job of never contradicting anything we ever saw
> on screen. To me, that's a big challenge, and a lot
> of the fun of writing Trek.

Exactly, Wildcat! I love seeing what I can do in those gaps. Despite
the fact that I find a lot of on-screen events implausible, I *do* enjoy
working around them, having fun with that. Seeing new ways to interpret
things.

--laura

Laura Jacquez Valentine

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Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
to

> Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 20:23:05 -0000
> From: "skazki" <ska...@globalnet.co.uk>


>
> From: "skazki" <ska...@globalnet.co.uk>
>
> >
> > The only thing I can figure is that OSO, like Dog Tags, violates some
> > nearly universal assumption. I can't figure out what, but I suppose
> > it's there...
>
> I agree with Laura that her OSO violates assumption, not canon The mental
> adjustment I make before reading an OSO story is 'here Spock is not
> inexperienced, and is sexually pro-active, whereas in most things I read,
> he's relatively (not completely) inexperienced, and makes the second move,
> not the first'.

Huh. It hadn't occurred to me that that might be the assumption I was
violating, despite the fact that I've *discussed* this very assumption
with Mary Ellen on more than one occasion. It never occurred to me that
it was a strong enough assumption that it required mental adjustment, or
if it did, I didn't think about it long enough for the thought to
imprint itself on my mind.

> The mental adjustment I make before reading OSO2 stories is to print them
> out, open a beer, get really comfortable and prepare to enjoy a serious
> treat, but there again, it's only an assumption that she seems to me to be
> disregarding.

Hehe. I'm tempted to write a long, meandering, pointless mush-fest
now. I won't, because I'd probably vomit halfway through--I don't *do*
mush--but I do need to work on the next OSO2 tale.

Wildcat

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Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
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--- Laura Jacquez Valentine <jacq...@andrew.cmu.edu>
wrote:

> Now, I'm currently having an ISSUE. It's an ISSUE
> I've had in the past,
> and it's this: I write some things that people seem
> to consider A/U.
> They, in fact, are *not* A/Us.

I agree! They aren't a/u's. You've done a very
artful job of never contradicting anything we ever saw
on screen. To me, that's a big challenge, and a lot
of the fun of writing Trek.

Wildcat

=====
http://members.tripod.com/~TSU_Campus/Wildcat.html
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