February 2016 Round-up (Other)

This playlist:

Spotify does not have quite enough Russian music, so pretend these are also on there:

 

 


Clothes acquired:

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Found these Express jeans at a thrift store. I can’t quite justify buying any Express pants at full price—not that anything at Express is ever at full price, really, since there’s constantly some sort of buy one, get one 50% off  or spend x dollars to save  dollars sale going on and I’m sure there’s a fascinating/horrifying behavioral economics explanation for it all—because if you’re willing to spend $60+ on jeans, might as well get them from somewhere more interesting than fucking Express. But for $12 and seemingly good condition? Sure.


Beautiful fashion:


Books acquired:

  • Penguin Lost, Andrei Kurkov
  • China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan

Hey, what’s going on with the Star Wars: The Force Awakens ships?

Boy, am I glad you asked.

As of March 1, 2016, this is what was going on:

tfa.03.01

Since then—as of March 28, actually—Hux/Kylo Ren has overtaken Poe/Finn as the dominant (lol) ship on AO3. Which is weird, because Poe/Finn certainly feels more popular everywhere else.

Anyway, some half-baked theories to try to explain the Hux/Kylo Ren coup:

Racism would be the obvious answer, and it may turn out to be the most true answer, but it is also such a boring answer, so let’s explore our other options, since it’s definitely not the only thing at play.

  • Villains are sexier than heroes, and Draco in Leather Pants is a whole fandom Thing that I shouldn’t have to explain in 2016. So the fixation on Kylo Ren is not at all surprising in that light, since he is a villain with some moral ambiguity and emotional vulnerability and HAIR. Plus, we know more about Kylo Ren’s backstory than any other new character’s at this point, just by virtue of knowing about Leia and Han and everything that went down in the previous movies. But then why Kylo Ren/Hux rather than Kylo Ren/Poe or Kylo Ren/Finn? Well, Kylo Ren and Finn really don’t interact at all onscreen until that lightsaber fight, do they? And if you can take any ship away from that sequence, it’s probably going to be Kylo Ren/Rey, unless you have a very specific power dynamic kink that is satisfied by (iirc) a dialogue-free fight scene between two dudes that ends in Dude 1 almost killing the Dude 2, whom Dude 1 probably just sees as an inconvenient former employee, if that—not exactly an emotionally-charged duel between nemeses. Kylo Ren/Poe, on the other hand, has a lot more potential, if we consider that they probably knew each other growing up and there are definitely going to be some feelings there wrt their respective filial relationships with Leia. So why is that not a bigger ship? The fact that they don’t actually have that many scenes together, and the ones they do have involve Kylo Ren torturing Poe? But wait, wouldn’t that inspire more fanfic? Or is torture only sexy if the victim eventually gets the upper hand? Who knows.
  • I think there’s some relationship between a ship’s proximity to canon and the amount of fanfiction it gets that isn’t strictly increasing. Up to a certain point, the closer something is to canon (i.e. the more subtext/chemistry/etc. there is between characters without necessarily ever having them confess their feelings/make out/etc.), the more fanfiction it will get. But I think there might be a point where something becomes too canonical and it’s no longer interesting to speculate about? Which may explain the relative lack of Finn/Rey. And yet, Steve/Bucky is about as canonical as Poe/Finn (if not even more so), in terms of being something that large swathes of the fandom have practically accepted as True despite it not having yet happened onscreen (if it ever even will), and Steve/Bucky is still producing a shit-ton of fanfic per day. Which brings us to the next hypothesis:
  • Maybe it’s the lack of angst in a Finn/Poe or Finn/Rey pairing? Sure, fanfic authors can come up with tragic situations to put them in, but there’s not much of an inherent barrier to their love in-universe.  It certainly seems that race and sexuality would be non-issues in the Star Wars universe; I haven’t read the novelizations and I don’t give enough of a shit to look it up, but in the world that the movie presents, it doesn’t seem like anyone would have a problem with two dudes in the resistance fucking, since they presumably don’t follow the weird Jedi celibacy thing (and is it even a celibacy thing or is it just a no attachment thing?). So while a lot of people would like to see either of those romances develop on-screen, probably, they don’t necessarily have any stories to tell about it, because the more committed and long-term fics seem to depend on drama and angst and challenges to the relationship rather than being romantic comedies—I don’t know if any fandoms are sustained on “fluff” alone. Whereas the Hux/Kylo Ren pairing would certainly have a lot of angst because of who those dudes are and the specific power structure they’re operating within.
  • But maybe it’s racism.

For the record, I do not ship Hux/Kylo Ren. As much as I love Domhnall Gleeson, Hux just did not really register as much of an entity in the movie; Hux/Nazi rhetoric is the only ship that makes sense to me from what we saw of that character, but I don’t necessarily see fics of some dude masturbating whilst reading Mein Kampf reaching more than a very niche audience. I don’t know, I’m not actually super interested in reading any Star Wars fanfiction—I just like seeing the numbers—but if forced to choose a ship, it would probably be either Finn/Poe or Rey/Kylo Ren (especially if there is an angsty incest reveal, because I am Curse of the Golden Flowerloving garbage). Finn/Rey would also be very cute, even if it is the most obvious.

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