Doctor Who has survived as long as it has because of its fans, so it’s unsurprising they have been featured a number of times in the show itself. From LINDA in “Love and Monsters,” Malcolm Taylor in “Planet of the Dead,” to the meta fanboy references in “Time Crash,” the show has made subtle…
Uh, she’s got pens in her pocket. PENS. What is this, 1978? Where’s her calculator and her digital watch? *eyeroll*
I’ll be part of a panel next month with my boo Flourish Klink (Chief Participation Officer of The Alchemists Transmedia Storytelling Co) and writers Diane Duane and Ellen Kushner discussing the future of fanworks. The chat will be moderated by OTW staffer Angela Nichols and is being put on by the fine folks at transformativeworks.
Hope you’ll check it out. More info at the link.
I don’t know if some of you have been to these live reads at LACMA, where a classic film is read live on stage by actors who just sit and read the script. We did one recently of American Pie, but we reversed the gender roles. All the women played men; all the men played women. And it was so fascinating to be a part of this because, as the women took on these central roles — they had all the good lines, they had all the good laughs, all the great moments — the men who joined us to sit on stage started squirming rather uncomfortably and got really bored because they weren’t used to being the supporting cast.
It was fascinating to feel their discomfort [and] to discuss it with them afterward, when they said, “It’s boring to play the girl role!” And I said, “Yeah. Yeah. You think? Welcome to our world!
—Olivia Wilde crushing it when she talks about women in Hollywood. (via leanin)
So anyway, I was having this argument with my father about Martin Luther King and how his message was too conservative compared to Malcolm X’s message. My father got really angry at me. It wasn’t that he disliked Malcolm X, but his point was that Malcolm X hadn’t accomplished anything as Dr. King had.
I was kind of sarcastic and asked something like, so what did Martin Luther King accomplish other than giving his “I have a dream speech.”
Before I tell you what my father told me, I want to digress. Because at this point in our amnesiac national existence, my question pretty much reflects the national civic religion view of what Dr. King accomplished. He gave this great speech. Or some people say, “he marched.” I was so angry at Mrs. Clinton during the primaries when she said that Dr. King marched, but it was LBJ who delivered the Civil Rights Act.
At this point, I would like to remind everyone exactly what Martin Luther King did, and it wasn’t that he “marched” or gave a great speech.
My father told me with a sort of cold fury, “Dr. King ended the terror of living in the south.”
Please let this sink in and and take my word and the word of my late father on this. If you are a white person who has always lived in the U.S. and never under a brutal dictatorship, you probably don’t know what my father was talking about.
But this is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished. Not that he marched, nor that he gave speeches.
He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.
I’m guessing that most of you, especially those having come fresh from seeing The Help, may not understand what this was all about. But living in the south (and in parts of the midwest and in many ghettos of the north) was living under terrorism.
It wasn’t that black people had to use a separate drinking fountain or couldn’t sit at lunch counters, or had to sit in the back of the bus.
You really must disabuse yourself of this idea. Lunch counters and buses were crucial symbolic planes of struggle that the civil rights movement used to dramatize the issue, but the main suffering in the south did not come from our inability to drink from the same fountain, ride in the front of the bus or eat lunch at Woolworth’s.
It was that white people, mostly white men, occasionally went berserk, and grabbed random black people, usually men, and lynched them. You all know about lynching. But you may forget or not know that white people also randomly beat black people, and the black people could not fight back, for fear of even worse punishment.
This constant low level dread of atavistic violence is what kept the system running. It made life miserable, stressful and terrifying for black people.
White people also occasionally tried black people, especially black men, for crimes for which they could not conceivably be guilty. With the willing participation of white women, they often accused black men of “assault,” which could be anything from rape to not taking off one’s hat, to “reckless eyeballing.”
This is going to sound awful and perhaps a stain on my late father’s memory, but when I was little, before the civil rights movement, my father taught me many, many humiliating practices in order to prevent the random, terroristic, berserk behavior of white people. The one I remember most is that when walking down the street in New York City side by side, hand in hand with my hero-father, if a white woman approached on the same sidewalk, I was to take off my hat and walk behind my father, because he had been taught in the south that black males for some reason were supposed to walk single file in the presence of any white lady.
This was just one of many humiliating practices we were taught to prevent white people from going berserk.
I remember a huge family reunion one August with my aunts and uncles and cousins gathered around my grandparents’ vast breakfast table laden with food from the farm, and the state troopers drove up to the house with a car full of rifles and shotguns, and everyone went kind of weirdly blank. They put on the masks that black people used back then to not provoke white berserkness. My strong, valiant, self-educated, articulate uncles, whom I adored, became shuffling, Step-N-Fetchits to avoid provoking the white men. Fortunately the troopers were only looking for an escaped convict. Afterward, the women, my aunts, were furious at the humiliating performance of the men, and said so, something that even a child could understand.
This is the climate of fear that Dr. King ended.
If you didn’t get taught such things, let alone experience them, I caution you against invoking the memory of Dr. King as though he belongs exclusively to you and not primarily to African Americans.
The question is, how did Dr. King do this—and of course, he didn’t do it alone.
(Of all the other civil rights leaders who helped Dr. King end this reign of terror, I think the most under appreciated is James Farmer, who founded the Congress of Racial Equality and was a leader of nonviolent resistance, and taught the practices of nonviolent resistance.)
So what did they do?
They told us: Whatever you are most afraid of doing vis-a-vis white people, go do it. Go ahead down to city hall and try to register to vote, even if they say no, even if they take your name down.
Go ahead sit at that lunch counter. Sue the local school board. All things that most black people would have said back then, without exaggeration, were stark raving insane and would get you killed.
If we do it all together, we’ll be okay.
They made black people experience the worst of the worst, collectively, that white people could dish out, and discover that it wasn’t that bad. They taught black people how to take a beating—from the southern cops, from police dogs, from fire department hoses. They actually coached young people how to crouch, cover their heads with their arms and take the beating. They taught people how to go to jail, which terrified most decent people.
And you know what? The worst of the worst, wasn’t that bad.
Once people had been beaten, had dogs sicced on them, had fire hoses sprayed on them, and been thrown in jail, you know what happened?
These magnificent young black people began singing freedom songs in jail.
That, my friends, is what ended the terrorism of the south. Confronting your worst fears, living through it, and breaking out in a deep throated freedom song. The jailers knew they had lost when they beat the crap out of these young Negroes and the jailed, beaten young people began to sing joyously, first in one town then in another. This is what the writer, James Baldwin, captured like no other writer of the era.
Please let this sink in. It wasn’t marches or speeches. It was taking a severe beating, surviving and realizing that our fears were mostly illusory and that we were free.
We watched this yesterday. My son cheered every time one of the flower-spore guns went off in someone’s face. \o/
"With sixty employees at Lancashire brewery Thwaites facing the axe as the firm looks to relocate, workers appear to have hit back – by altering the neon ‘THWAITES’ sign on the town centre building to read ‘TWATS’.
The sign is mounted on a giant tower and is visible across Blackburn and much of East Lancashire.”
Sudden moment of patriotism.
The Archive of Our Own is eligible in the Best Related Work category.
Archive of Our Own is a fan-created, fan-owned, fan-operated multi-fandom archive and a project of The Organization for Transformative Works. More information about AO3’s creation and maintenance is available on Fanlore.
This probably seems a little weird as a nomination, but the rules for Best Related work are as follows: Any work related to the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom, appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year or which has been substantially modified during the previous calendar year, and which is either non-fiction or, if fictional, is noteworthy primarily for aspects other than the fictional text, and which is not eligible in any other category. Emphasis mine, although I would argue that the AO3 qualifies under the “is either non-fiction” bit, too.
I think the Archive of Our Own is pretty damn notable, friends. It made Time’s 50 Best Websites in 2013! As of writing this, it has 256,339 users and is home to 14,110 fandoms. Last year during our October drive, we raised US$44,594.05 in order to keep owning our servers. Clearly, we are pretty rad, and our archive is pretty rad, too. It deserves to be celebrated and recognized.
The AO3 has drastically changed my fannish life: between having a place to store all my work, the ability to download stories to read on my mobile devices, features like kudos that make appreciating works easier than ever, and fan work exchange features that have kept the exchange I co-own going strong for several years, it’s an integral part of my fannish life. I can’t imagine what I would do with it and am super thankful for the teams that keep it going. Thanks, AO3 Committees! <3
More information about participating in the Hugo Awards is available via minorearth’s Hugo explanation post and thehugoawards.org; there’s a spreadsheet with potentially eligible media/creators available on google docs. :D
I really do think the biggest problem about show runners, authors, and suchlike responding to fandom—online or otherwise—is that they’re fundamentally misunderstood what fandom is.
They see a group of fans and they assume that they, the author, is like unto a god for these…
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
Astolat wrote an epilogue to “The Empty Hearse” with:
*rolls around in fic*
The cure for what ails you. :D