I Might Be Crazy

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But is it a bad thing that I hate poetry?
I’ve no idea when this happened, but somewhere along the road of my life I began to r-e-a-l-l-y hate reading other people’s poetry.

I’m not referring to the kind of poetry that appears in songs or chorus lines in music. I am referring to the kind of poetry that doesn’t rhyme, doesn’t flow, contains more imagery than a landscape of flowers and for all intents and purposes is really someone’s emotional angst put into words.

A while back some guy on a dating site sent me a poem IM and added that if I gave him a topic he’d write me a Haiku. Yeah, cheesy I know, but I thought wth, I’m bored, so I did and he did and I still wasn’t impressed and added that I had never really liked haikus. He didn’t believe me and insisted that I just hadn’t given haikus a chance… um yeah okay.

But I honestly have never liked poetry and although I read some during my self-directed writing education I never understood why anyone would want to read it. Never mind write it.

For me poetry is someone else’s emotional angst or pain or joy hidden behind flowery images that disguise or filter the truth of an experience to the point that the reader has to guess or imagine what the author is getting at. It doesn’t matter what the author is trying to portray, the response I have every time is one of annoyance and irritation.

If you want to share an experience that’s fine but don’t flower it up with fancy imagery that attempts to make it more memorable than it really is. Everyone experiences strong emotional events at some point in life but does it really need a poem written about it?

I think not.

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An Aside

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Was just browsing the vast and never ending blog sites that are the mainstream of our new and improved online society. BTW…I say that with a healthy dose of sarcasm since I firmly believe that in many ways our current “online” society is not much of an improvement.
Everyone just loves to list all the great
benefits of a connected society that
makes the world a better place and supposedly makes our world less isolated. Yet honestly I firmly believe that the exact opposite is true. Gone are block parties and dinner with the neighbors. Gone are kids getting physically active at the local public park. Gone are informal social events that allow you to get out of the house to socialize with real live people in real time.
Now before you climb on your soapbox and list all the great things digital society has enabled, ask yourself this one thing. How has the internet enhanced and improved your social life? Do you have more friends? Do you participate in more social gatherings as a result of being more connected? Do you feel less isolated? Happier? More fulfilled? Succesful?
From what I’ve seen in my own life and that of my family, as far as I can tell our connected society has not improved our social lives and relationships and by extension our society as a whole. I believe that while on the surface we’re more connected to others we are also more isolated than ever before.
Which is why I think there are so many bloggers out there. It’s the new “connected ” way for writers and others to feel less isolated than they truly are. But in my opinion, it’s a poor substitute for forging true and long-lasting real life relationships.

And that, as they say is that.

http://www.cwtv.com/shows/supernatural/halt-and-catch-fire/?play=1abc4f3e-bd60-4e85-b1cf-b3347422a309

Supernatural and Fan Fiction

So what makes a television show like Supernatural popular? What creates a fandom, a following and/or dedicated sites run by fans for any form of popular culture? Fan fiction always springs from fans (stating the obvious here), but it makes me wonder why. What inspires anyone to write fiction based on an established popular fiction that already exists with its’ own canonical history. It’s not as though these writers are likely to get noticed or gain popularity or even make a living from it. Writing is hard and writing takes time but one caveat regarding fan fiction is that for good writing to work, you have to be passionate about your subject. Which obviously is in big supply if you’re already a fan of your subject matter. As a fan, passion is what drives you to watch every episode (TV), see every movie your object of interest has a role in, or play every game your favorite character appears in. That’s passion, but writing fan fiction goes beyond simple fandom. It takes time, work, effort, dedication and likely a lot of research as well, which in my opinion seems just a little bit obsessive.

I don’t have anything against writers of fan fiction, far from it. What I do have against fan fiction is when fans take the next bizarre step that veers way off the beaten track of established canon for any work of fiction. When Supernatural aired it’s 200th episdode, Fan Fiction, they covered some fan fiction that’s not canon and, in my humble opinion should never be explored or even written down. Part of this non-canonical fan fiction was mentioned in a previous episode of Supernatural, during Season 4, Episode 18 The Monster at the End of this Book, when Sam and Dean discovered a series of books called Supernatural, that somehow chronologues their lives. Dean mentions that he is “full frontal” in one book and on the fan website that Sam has found, the following conversation occcurs:

Dean: There are “Sam girls” and “Dean girls” and – what’s a “slash fan”?
Sam: As in… Sam-slash-Dean. Together.
Dean: Like, together together?
Sam: Yeah.
Dean: They do know we’re brothers, right?
Sam: Doesn’t seem to matter.
Dean: Oh, come on. That… That’s just sick. (he shuts the laptop in disgust)

I have to agree with Dean’s assessment on this one. Some things should just never be explored or expressed. It is a work of fiction people. Now as if that wasn’t going too far already, apparently fans have taken this non-canon fandom to an all new level of just plain wrong. As mentioned in the episode Fan Fiction, the second act of the play that (thankfully) is never shown, Dean is told that the second act explores the “subtext” of the relationships between Sam, Dean and Castiel, which is elaborated on by the director when she says that you can’t spell subtext without s-e-x.

Now I understand that fantasy s-e-x is something nearly everyone likes to explore, but in my opinion taking existing fictional characters that have no business engaging in sex with each other is just plain wrong. I don’t care how attractive, sexy or “hot” a fantasy might be, there are just some things that are best kept to yourself. I’m not against any form of sexual preference of any kind, but taking fictional characters that have no business becoming romantic interests to one another, (especially when canon has already firmly established that the basis of their relationship is the strong family bond the main characters have for each other), no one (and I don’t care who you are unless you’re the original creator of the work), has any business creating connections that don’t exist.

Fan fiction writers and other types of fans can be downright scary when you dare to dip your toe into a world of http://sizzlingsuperstars.com/misha-collins-an-american-actor-and-director/fandom you have only looked at from the outside. I’m a fan, but I’m not scary about it. A few weeks ago, I caught a tweet request from Misha Collins that I happened to be in the right place and time to respond to but within minutes of posting my @ reply, was slammed by an uber fan who felt it necessary to point out my error… which, by the way was not an error, but knowing what I know of uber fans felt it best to let it slide. I mean seriously people, it’s not as though Misha was going to respond to either of us Twitter fans so who really cares who got there first? It’s nice to think that a celebrity you admire will like what you have to say but realistically, if I was the one with over a million followers I would not ever make it a habit to respond to individual messages from people I don’t know. More than likely I would live to regret that one time of reaching out to a fan tweet only to have my Twitter account crash as a result (or some other equally unpleasant repercussion).

Bottom line, if you want to write fan fiction don’t let anything stop you. But if you do, think long and hard about writing anything that isn’t canon. If characters are related by blood, they shouldn’t be sleeping together, period. If established characters are not in any way romantically involved and are never intended to be, don’t create fictional romantic connections where they don’t exist and never will. In my honest opinion that’s just crapping all over someone else’s hard work involving character development and plot lines and in the words of my man Dean, “that’s just sick.” (And wrong).

Join me next time when I explore what truly makes Supernatural so “super.”

Television and Supernatural: Who Decides?

Supernatural-Season-10-Episode-200-Series-FinaleSo the popular tv show Supernatural recently surpassed its 200th episode. In the world of television, this mark is something that writers, actors and producers can only dream about.
To put this in perspective, in today’s fragmented television landscape the only other show to reach this mark in the past decade is The Simpsons. In the science fiction landscape, The X Files reached 201 episodes and Dr. Who has surpassed this and is currently in it’s 8th season with over 800 episodes to date.

That being said, there are a few things that bother me. For one, for a show that has reached a milestone like this, why is it not bigger news or for that matter why is it still struggling to reach a mainstream audience? Is science fiction/horror just not that interesting? As a gamer I find that very hard to believe. The most popular video games involve a lot of  nudity, graphic violence, foul language and at times apocalyptic monsters. How is this different from a television show that has some of these basic elements but never crosses the line into adult or restricted ESRB ratings? Is it because it delves into religious beliefs, both christian and pagan? Does it just not reach the geographical areas that are against philosophical comments/discussions regarding beliefs?

If any of these are part of the issue, then I would have to ask why? Why in today’s day and age is this still an issue? Does The CW (the company that produces this show), have investors or owners that prohibit its distribution to areas that don’t focus test approval of the show’s content? Makes you wonder who’s guiding or deciding who gets to see this show or any other show for that matter, and who decides where it gets broadcast.

As an aside, Supernatural used to air in Canada on the popular Space channel and I was an avid fan, until one day a few years ago it just up and disappeared from the listings. No announcements, no explanations, just gone. Which is a real pain in the ass considering that the entire show has always been filmed and produced in Vancouver, BC, Canada. So why was it dropped from Canadian television? Seems very wrong that a show produced here in Canada is not offered to Canadian viewers before being aired in the United States.

Who decides these things and how is it that no one seems to care?