Posts Tagged ‘fandom’

About this blog

August 10, 2012

I’m going for the fake FAQ format here and answering questions I assume readers might wonder about other than the autobiographical. Like all other post-dated entries here that disappear and reappear, this one was retrieved from the waste bin for revision.

What about the quotation under the blog title?

It’s from a poem by Robert Browning called Fifine at the Fair.

Why ravens4rooks?

One obscure King Arthur legend, transcribed from a Welsh oral tradition by a monk or aristocrat long before The Once and Future King became a standard, includes a battle in which King Arthur and one of his enemies marshaled their armies, but chose to do battle on a chessboard between themselves instead, to decide the day without sacrificing their men. Magically, their game board moves were acted out above by armies of crows.

Also, Charlemagne is in the best punchline of the Indiana Jones franchise. Umbrella on the beach beats chase sequence by cheating at the chase sequence and ending it.


Why “Many fandoms, one love?”

You don’t choose the fandom, the fandom chooses you. And while it’s commonplace to obsess more over one than the others at any given time, you don’t really leave a fandom behind once you’ve figured out how to think in fan references. My most recent fandom is The Legend of the Seeker, known for the One True Pairing with the epithet: “To know Richard, is to know Kahlan.”

What are your writing goals?

Prose instead of poetry is a relief, from several years of practicing film commentary in meter and rhyme and trying to use the characters played by some of my favorite screen actors as narrators to experiment with perspective taking in the imagination. It’s just easier, even if some of the pressures of description on one’s sense of integrity still apply.

Writing in the realm of observation seems more dangerous than it probably is when you’ve had encouragement at it.

On the kitchen table under the harsh light
.. as if it still wished
To hide beneath soft down that gross entrance which
Your pellets made, the stiff wing lies folded.

.. I must try in words to catch
That something .. missed
As wild and shy, the squawking mallard rose
Abruptly up from the shore grass – to a grand, majestic
Flapping into twilight, its graceful neck outstretched
Its webbed feet flush with ..

Tom O’Malley’s poem comparing himself to a hunter talking up the proof of experience where a “wild-duck lies, a green sheen on its stiff neck” reveals how strangely self-conscious writers get looking over their own accomplishments, using the metaphor of a mallard on a table top.

And the science and public health curios?

Information handling theory and health research practice are still interesting to me, but I’m getting far more tentative about the contributions I can consider myself qualified to make.

Quality of health services research is even more daunting, coming out of a wild goose chase for signs of embarrassment or eagerness for explicit attempts at problem-solving within the health professions, when it comes to injection safety lapses and HIV in Africa.

I should not have looked so far from home for disappointments. A hospital poem like “In the Land of Wince and Whinny” lands one credible moment in “a vanilla slice” encountered between shifts nearer “a copier on speed” making “computed-tomography-scan snaps poems I have written” feel subjective in attitude but not committed, more like “poems I have yet to write.”

The intellectual privilege and self-absorption attributed to research professionals by those who haven’t ruled out joining their ranks someday by going back to school likewise seems a foolhardy level of social tolerance for the retreat of the otherwise unemployable into intellectual nooks and crannies where errata production can escape oversight more easily.

Fandom is my inspiration

July 7, 2012

While the Sword of Truth books that inspired The Legend of the Seeker are known for their humorlessness, there is definitely a fluffy side to fandom. But there is serious inspiration too, and a dark side to the sentimental self-indulgence fan art often represents.

Listen for the lyrics hinting at the bittersweet intensity of a shared experience that, for fans, can seem especially one-sided.

But it is futile to call on actors to seek out Rome. Theirs are not those parts, and even fans need to remember it. Mostly they’re just sentimental when they get scared.

“Small things can pit the memory like a cyst:
Having seen other fathers greet their sons,
I put my childish face up to be kissed
After an absence. The rebuff still stuns”

– James McAuley, Because

The blueness of a night, as warning against what can be ascertained by that light, is not prone to “silver glass” treatment in the off screen life of the mind, but in the fan video above, there is an impression of other things more true to life.

In Angela Greene’s depiction of this sort of night, one sees the effect of blue air, agitating darkly, “to loose and grab at the moon.” A woman cries twice,

“but the third call becomes
a frail and exotic sound –
some primitive bird’s perhaps?”

The backdrop in the “object” below greets movement with a like apprehension, from a real tendency to mistake such a night for a portent – specific to the wanderer, a queer feeling that alertness is needed even if dreamtime upholds and seems to hold it in suspension.


The night kind of unusual blueness, when the air is clear and the lack of greater darkness alarming in open woods on slight hills, can almost be heard in the instrumental Blue as the Turquoise Night of Neyshabur as well.

Fan art rarely holds my attention apart from vidding, but in fan videos the sentimental mirror creates a display, if not art of its own kind, that can showcase a response and ascertainment of one viewing of certain film moments that itself can speak to the fan’s experience of diaspora in the imagination, far from the interior of a subject but in that sense far from home.

Read this way, the video above raises a rhetorical question that can be answered with another.

It’s easy to wish a reprieve toward those actors who have already shown their hearts to the mob. Anyone’s time may yet come, and work done is known to fans by being done as well as it will be, and already in hand.

“Cruelty has a Human Heart,
And Jealousy a Human Face;
Terror the Human Form Divine,
And Secrecy the Human Dress.”

– William Blake, The Divine Image

So they have our love, and our answer. We want to hear from them again, but not because we have not heard them say what they mean and known that we already agree. Somehow, we already have something in common with those whose names we learn at all.