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Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.





text that says Renay's Section

➝ I discovered soundrown. There are lots of things like this but seriously, the combinations here are perfect to let me read without distraction. ♥

➝ I've probably talked about Child of Light before because I am super excited about it. It comes out on April 30 and it's only $15! Here is a trailer, with its gorgeous art and beautiful music:



➝ I don't watch the shows mentioned in this post about Mad Men promos, but I liked what they said about fandom:

The reason this is on our minds is because of the True Detective finale, which, if you go by the online reaction is The Worst Thing Ever (until the internet decides on the next W.T.E.) and that reaction seems to be largely born out of several weeks of extreme over-analyzing and theorizing, none of which came true because none of it was ever the point of the story. This isn’t to say the True Detective finale – and the series as a whole — is above criticism. There were plenty of flaws. But most of the complaining has centered around how it didn’t pay off the dozens of fan theories that sprouted up in online commentary. We’re reaching a point where we can’t let the shows we love breathe and tell their story anymore. Hundreds of thousands of online commenters want to finish the story before the writers do. Then they criticize the writers for not telling the story they imagined was going to be told.


I've been through this with Teen Wolf in season 3A and 3B. I've forgotten to put my fanon wall up. It's an interesting idea and a path of fan investment I'm really curious about as almost instant fan criticism continues to grow online.

➝ I read Why Women Rightly Fear Failure and I nodded the entire way through. I should stop being surprised by the sexism that permeated my childhood. This part gutted me:

In a series of studies in the 1980s, psychologist Carol Dweck looked at how bright fifth graders handled challenging materials. She found that girls quickly give up when given something new and complex. Boys, on the other hand, see it as a challenge and are more likely to try again instead of throwing in the towel. In writing about this study, Heidi Grant Halvorson, says, “The only difference was how bright boys and girls interpreted difficulty—what it meant to them when material seemed hard to learn.” Bright girls lost confidence quickly, and researchers found it’s because they think their abilities are something innate and immutable. Boys think that can gain abilities by trying harder.


I think about video games with this. If I die repeatedly, I get furious at myself, and if there's someone with me, I get humiliated and anxious, and can have anxiety attacks because when it happened as a kid I was mocked a lot (big reason I skipped arcade culture). I think about math, too, and how when math started getting harder, it seemed like teachers wanted us to come up to the board and do everything in front of everyone. When I got stuck I was always sent away, while other kids (often boys) were given multiple chances because they weren't frozen in embarrassment. I have severe math anxiety even now — if I make a mistake with numbers, simple logic problems, counting, etc. I'm going to get triggered, especially when it happens in front of other people. I don't like doing new things first — I don't like failing first. I want to know how well I have to do, how I have to act, and what to avoid if the other person does things wrong. It's so weird to read this article and see how I operate as an adult based on how my failures were received as a child.

➝ I really loved Kameron Hurley's essay, I’ll Make the Pancakes: On Opting In – and Out – of the Writing Game. "Because, shit: I’ve been screaming on the internet for ten years. What’s forty more?" Perfect.

[community profile] ff_exchange opens soon! I AM REALLY EXCITED.

➝ Finally, A Censored History of Ladies in YA Fiction, which is brilliant.




text that says Ana's Section

➝ I have three links for you this week. First, Genevive Valentine wrote an excellent piece about the extremely troubling dynamics between Boyle and Rosa in Brooklyn Nine Nine and how they're played for laughs. They were two things that put me off this series when I tried it a while back: this and the constant fat jokes. I have to admit, though, that the Boyle/Rosa storyline was why I failed out of it in the end. To clarify, I think there are dozens of other things the series is doing right and that there are plenty of valid reasons to love it, but we all have our no-go zones and this crossed one of my boundaries. It was great to see Valentine articulate the issue so perfectly.

➝ Secondly, Zadie Smith in conversation with Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie: *head explodes* I LOVE THEM BOTH SO MUCH.

➝ And lastly, this video is perfect: Youtube Abuse Recovery. Link for context.





text that says Jodie's Section

➝ Fun fact - you can write treat stories for the [tumblr.com profile] rarewomen fic exchange even if you're not an official participant. Here's how. OMG do it!

Pictures of Maggie Stiefvater, family, and goats. I'm sorry, is there something else you need?

➝ Theodora Goss talks about her writing life:

First, let’s be realistic. The number of people who get to do nothing but write is small. The number of people who get to do that because they make enough money from writing is vanishingly small. When you see a writer who just writes, there are four possible scenarios: the writer has inherited family money (this is a lot more common than you would think or than I thought possible); the writer is being supported by a spouse (again, very common); the writer is making money from writing, but his or her primary income comes from freelance writing, usually nonfiction for corporations, writing the corporations will own; and the writer makes enough money by writing only what he or she actually wants to write. That last scenario is very, very rare, statistically. So what do most writers do? Well, they work.


I find posts about how authors live really helpful — makes it seem a little bit less impossible to write and work and live.

➝ A Fake TV Meme post The Siren Initiative absolutely needs to exist. Drop everything.

Date: 2014-03-26 07:25 pm (UTC)
nymeth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nymeth
Just adding a comment about one of my links in lieu of an ETA: here's Angie being thoughtful and insightful as always.

Date: 2014-03-26 09:18 pm (UTC)
jinian: (tomoyo)
From: [personal profile] jinian
Oh, wow, I want Child of Light SO MUCH. It looks like it will remind me of Okami, which is to say it will be about the best thing ever.

Date: 2014-03-26 11:10 pm (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
THAT is a perfect comparison! :D

Date: 2014-03-26 11:05 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
Kameron Hurley's essay is great and kind of makes me want to go hide forever.

Date: 2014-03-26 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingtheend.pip.verisignlabs.com
I love that quote about fandom. I worry about that instinct in myself. I wonder, though, is it any different than it used to be before the internet? And the only difference now is that you can hear the fans talking about it?

Date: 2014-03-26 11:15 pm (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
It's more focused because of the expanse of opinions made possible by being online. Without getting into spoilers, after a recent finale of Teen Wolf, a few fans spun out this amazing theory about the show and where it could go when it starts back up again in June. I feel like if you're in a fannish group that churns over pet theories online, it's easy to forget that someone else is telling the story. So now what I suspect will happen is that the next season will start, what goes down will be completely different, and a lot of Teen Wolf fans invested in that theory will be like "oh, well, Jeff Davis isn't that clever, anyway!" when in reality it's just that he took his own story in a different way. I'm sure this happened offline, too, but I look especially at tumblr culture and has FAST excellent theories spread and get adopted, and definitely think there's an element of fan mass involved in creating that environment.

Of course, I think everyone should embrace fanfic for these theories and love both canon and fanon. But what do I know. :P

Date: 2014-03-28 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theliteraryomnivore.wordpress.com
Renay, I find that quote about fanon really interesting. I think fandom requires blank spaces to function, which leads to fanon, which inevitably leads to fanon getting Jossed. But the difference is the fact that this now occurs at lightspeed and that fans are very aware of their own power as an audience as fandom (or a version of it) disseminates into the mainstream culture. This certainly changes the dynamic, especially in the eyes of the fan.

This deserves much more thought. I will think on this.

Date: 2014-03-28 06:24 am (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
Yes, I'm convinced it's social media at the core of the behavior in a lot of intersecting ways. I keep going back to Teen Wolf and the whole Sterek debacle — the story never hinted at it, but we were catered to independently of the main story line causing all sorts of theories and predictions about the future of the show. Then when it not only didn't happen, but the two characters didn't even share the screen unless it was violence or misdirection...bad news bear.

I was told Jenkins touched on this; I know you've read him a little. Did this come up at all? I really want to read his books but holy academic text costs, Batman.

Date: 2014-04-01 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theliteraryomnivore.wordpress.com
Exactly! Encouraging fanon is a great way to get people interested and involved in your show—but you have to be careful that you don't start promising people things. There's a very fine line to walk, and, obviously, Teen Wolf overstepped.

Textual Poachers is from the nineties, so it obviously didn't touch on that. But it looks like Spreadable Media does. And anything more recent will be on his blog.

Yeesh, academic text costs. Well, there's a new edition out, so the original's price might be falling soon?

Date: 2014-04-04 04:51 am (UTC)
myfriendamy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] myfriendamy
That quote about fandom is so interesting. I think with shows that do have mystery, like True Detective or Teen Wolf, it's especially possible. I mean when you're really into a show and not writing/producing/worrying about a million other things going on with it, you can really spend a lot of time reading theories, thinking about it...even looking at things in the fabric of the show that are not always intentional. Lol, this is clearly what happened with the Lost finale for a lot of people and even happened with Gossip Girl with me lollll. I even remember hearing that people were disappointed over Breaking Bad's second season explanation, something that didn't even occur to me because I watched it all in quick succession and didn't have time to formulate theories.

But it also helps explain how people just end up feeling about differently about a show based on how much it ends up being the show they think they are watching.

Anyway, great links! Sorry to be so behind in blog reading.

Date: 2014-04-09 07:40 am (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
Yes, and this is why more people should embrace fanworks. Come on, wider fandom! Fanfic and vids and fanart are awesome! WE HAVE A SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM! We can resolve all your favorite theories some theories you never even knew you wanted! You just have to embrace some makeouts and maybe some tasteful erotic, or okay, fine, some explicit hardcore sex. But it's a nice system. It works. Bonus: less fury at the creators, more dopamine in your system.

As always, we love thoughts even on old stuff. ♥ There's no behind here. :D

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