alexwearspants: (Et tu)
[personal profile] alexwearspants
Hello Internet! How are you? I am well. On the creative front things have been fairly stop-start. I managed to get fic finished, which is now doing the rounds in beta hell and has no title. Long-fic is going nowhere, which is sadfaced, and I have three videos in the works. Cheetah is viable but increasingly problematic, Shalka is grit-your-teeth-and-work-through-it-you're-never-going-find-any-more-animation-than-this and Three is ... at the unfortunate stage of both being the easiest to complete and the one that needs the complete overhaul. So I'll probably poke at that next.

And I've been sketching, a little, and considering icons, but nothing's really coming of that. So we'll see how it all goes.

Also, I'm afraid I have a confession to make.

Internet, I do not like Cumberpatch!Master very much. Actually, it would be fair to say I loathe Cumberpatch!Master. It has gotten to the point that when I see Cumberpatch!Master mentioned I want to scream and possibly do something violent to the person espousing his virtues. There are instances where this is not fair. Actually, in every instance this is not fair, because violence is not cool. But there are cases where people are just musing (which is awesome) and cases where people are doing more (which makes my blood boil.) And I have now seen enough of the latter that my hatred spills over into the former, so Internet I have written a very long post about why this is so. It is very long, and filled with bits of anger and at times it may not be clear! But if you want to read it, it is there. And now I will go maybe eat something nice and try to be cool. Or perhaps I will watch Bones? I do like Bones a lot.

First of all I will own, openly and honestly, to a bit of resentment at collective fangasming that I am not privilege to. It comes down, I think, to that conflict between wanting to be at one with the collective and wanting to be able to make one's own informed decisions. When the crowd constantly tells you this thing must be so it causes tension. I want to be able to make my own mind up! But I want to join in on the squee! I'm so confused, sod you all now I just hope he never sees hide nor hair of Who even in a bit part, just for spite! It's not rational but it's natural and I don't begrudge myself it, as long as I can identify where it is affecting my judgement and where it comes down to other factors. And on closer reflection it does also come down to other factors, not just an emotional lashing out.

Two side-notes before I get further into it - I haven't seen Sherlock. I no doubt will eventually, and then I will have Thoughts. I've have ..... lowered expectations, some relating to the above, some to other concerns, but I intend to put all that aside for the moment. The point I am trying to make is that my loathing for Cumberpatch!Master does not really have much to do with the man himself. I've not seen him in anything, I have no opinions on his acting. No, this is all based on the actions of fandom. And that leads into my second aside.

Dreamcasting: Love it. Well. Don't mind it. God knows I indulged in that delightful Anthony Stewart Head bait-and-switch before Season 3 aired with as much glee as the next fan. And there's nothing wrong with saying 'oh so and so would be a great Doctor/Master/Companion/Rassilon's ass-wiper'. It's fun, it's interesting, I have no issue discussing it. But here is where fandom seems to be taking it a bit further.

Because what frustrates me about fandom at the moment, what I loathe about Cumberpatch!Master, is not when people dreamcast him. It's when they produce or request fic, art or graphics based on the assumption that he is the Master. That is what really inspires the hate.

Because you see, what dreamcasting entails is looking at an actor's ability or repetoire and generally saying either a) s/he looks like what the character should to me or b) s/he has the acting skills to pull off the character. Very rarely you can say 'wow that character that they played in y was so much like the Doctor/Master/Companion I'd love to see something along the lines of that'. At my kindest I suppose I can describe what fans are doing with Cumberpatch as the last. They've seen Sherlock, they liked it, they want more. And that's a key point, to me. What is wanted is not the Master. Because Sherlock? Is not the Master. If Benedict Cumberpatch was cast as the Master, we do not know how he would play the role, or what material he would be given. I personally hope that he wouldn't be made to reprise a previous role, because how dull (and what I've heard of the way the character of Holmes was done doesn't tally up with my mental image of the Master, but that's hardly the point). I want something fresh and interesting. And this is where things get sticky for me.

Neither having a longing for more of something or wanting to see something grafted on to something else you love are things I object to. But why on earth, internet, has fandom decided to awkwardly wedge this thing they want more of into a character that is already set (for a given value of set, regeneration etc etc, I know)? Fandom already has a means for the thing you already love and the thing you love and want more of to meet. It's called a crossover. Internet, if you want Sherlock in Doctor Who, write it! As Sherlock in Doctor Who. Even as Sherlock-was-the-Master-all-along, I can see. But just writing it as the Master, but with all of Sherlock's characteristics? Throws me, and makes no sense. This is not a thing that exists. Why is it being treated as though it were so? The Masters we already have do not have Sherlock's characteristics. And if you were writing new-Master-with-Sherlock's-characteristics you are not writing the Master or Cumberpatch!Master. You are writing Sherlock!Master. Which also does not exist.

Aha! You say. But I do not want Sherlock!Master! He can play him however he likes! I want Cumberpatch!Master. Which is lovely. I would class that as dreamcasting. Except. Except. Except when you're still producing fanworks that treat Cumberpatch!Master as a thing already in existance. I reiterate my previous point: Cumberpatch!Master does not exist. Therefore any character you create for him will either be him which. Is its own area of fandom, RPF is not my thing so I'll leave that be. OR it would be an OC!Master. Which can be done well, can not be, but the thing is, at that point I have to ask. Why do you need your OC!Master to have Benedict Cumberpatch's face?

You see, when you live in a corner of fandom that is slash-oriented and you ask that question? You tend to jump to certain conclusions. I mean, I am only going on secondhand information that Cumberpatch is attractive, to me he looks like - you know when you make gingerbread men? Before they're cooked and they have doughy pasty mishapen faces with squinty scary black currants for eyes? Yeah, that's how I see him. But I understand many people find him good looking. So frankly, internet, when you tell me that you're writing an OC but you want it to have a certain actor's face and body, my mind jumps to certain places. And then if you happen to write that into sexual situations, my mind leaps into certain places, takes a look around, and back slowly away. Frankly, internet, I end up feeling like I've walked in on you with your pants down. And even though I'm staring right at you, you won't stop moving your hand.

OK, so. A few things. Wanking to fanworks, producing fanworks that are wank material, wanking to actors, crossing over the two, etc etc etc are all fine. Really completely and totally all fine. I have no issue with other people doing it. The thing is I just don't want to know you're doing it, and I certainly don't want to know what you're doing it to. I assume you go to the bathroom, Internet. I don't watch.

Perhaps also you are reading this post and saying 'I do like Cumberpatch!Master! And I neither want him to be Sherlock or use him for wank material! I am offended!' Well, do you produce or request fanworks with him in it? No? Then internet, this was not really provoked by you. If you do produce fanworks, then this paragraph is maybe for you! First of all, as noted, if you do either of these things that is totally cool for you. I find it incredibly awkward. I wish it wouldn't come up in comms I am part of. But I do not begrudge other people their fun! I just don't understand their fun. And also I am trying to rationalise just why this thing so squicks/enrages me and in doing so trying to ascribe some motivation on the parts of the internet that do this thing. So if you are a part of the internet that does not use him for wank material (or to be politer, need to visualise someone you're attracted to to write fic for them) and doesn't want more Sherlock in your Who but still produces fanworks involving Cumberpatch!Master, I have to ask why? In genuine curiosity, because writing this has led me to the conclusion that a big part of the squick comes from the assumption that I'm being confronted with someone's titilation, and the rage comes at the (oh fancrazy you lol me) assumption that people are either too lazy to write their own Master's or don't ... I don't know. Like the others enough to write them? Which is not a whole lot of sense-making, I confess it! But to me producing fanworks about something that doesn't exist isn't a whole lot of sense-making, so I am at something of a loss! Give me a reason that isn't these, if there is one, and I may find my hate lessening. (Aha I say this but really I do not expect anyone to have read this far. Or at all.)

Finally, and maybe to clarify more? There are things that I like that may look at first like they are this, and you might be saying, 'Alex! You like this, but not the Cumberpatch! Why the hypocrisy Alex?' To which I will wisely say, analogies are always falacious, Internet, let me take you out to lunch and we will talk more. Also I will then expand on how these analogies are falacious, but in case you are busy and do not have time for lunch, let me discuss them here!

Example A!: Warchief!Master. This is not, you maybe saying, a real thing! Alex how dare you have rage on one and not the other? Well ok but here is how the Warchief, to my mind, is different. He is an actual character in the show. So he is not someone brought in by the fans because he is pretty, he was there already! He has a face and a characterisation you cannot change (unless it is for the purposes of the fic, fandom is complicated yo). So we are not talking about 'I made him that way cos he's purdy' we're talking about something that requires consistent writing to be recognisable as a character already extant in the source material. Also fandom does not agree on WC!Master! It is fun watching the debate, and the explanations, and it is in no way accepted. And sometimes there have to be write-arounds and discussions and it is very interesting. This is not forcing him to be something he is not, this is a potential interpretation, and I do not believe fandom assumes and accepts him to be this thing. (And if they do they are possibly being slightly silly.)

Example B!: Katy Perry!Master. Alex this is a little confusing and out of left field, you may be thinking. WHY YES INTERNET, YES IT IS. And if Cumberpatch!Master were treated as confusing and out of left field, I would like him more too. This is the example of where if you want the Master to look like/act like/be another character/actor/person (Kennedy for lulz?) that he is not explicitly set out to be in the canon, you explain it in the text. You say 'it was a hard day of work for Benedict Cumberpatch, but that was ok, because he knew as soon as he got home he could put on his HOODIE OF EVOL and he would become ... THE MASTER!!!' or whatever words and me are not friends. Essentially you do not treat this wierdly different Master as normal and accepted (except again, in certain fic where there are reveals or twists FANDOM IS COMPLICATED YO) or just post up a big picture of Katy Perry being cute at the top of your fic and say 'this is the Master you guys!' You accept that it is out of the norm and work that into your fic, either as a throwaway line or as the point of the fic.

So, these are both examples I am ok with!

Also perhaps I should make it very clear that this is not something I see EVERYWHERE EVERY DAY I AM DROWNING OH NOES. But I've seen it about a bit. And it's really quite annoying.

And finally, again during writing this, I've realised that I definitely cannot think of another fandom where I might have this problem. Regeneration (sing along if you know the words) is complicated, yo. Perhaps in James Bond fandom? I don't know? Is that a thing that can happen? If you accept that whenever 007 dies the new one is given the same name? Perhaps then? ... I am glad I only have one bunch of crazy to deal with right now. We can get into more of that later.

Or hopefully never?

Wow that was a lot of words. Now if only I could do that much on my fic.
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