wren_kt7oz: (w_Wren)
These are just some random thoughts going through my mind. No idea if anyone is still reading this stuff, but if you are and care to comment I'd be happy to host a discussion.

I've read two fics in the last couple of weeks where Brian decided to cut ties with Justin while he was in LA and both authors took the stance that Brian was totally unjustified and that his decision "destroyed" Justin.

Not saying that Brian isn't at times a complete asshole, but at that particular point in time, I think Justin was actually a worse one.

Let's think about what it would have been like if the situation had been reversed.

What if it had been Justin who had been diagnosed with cancer, had fought through the initial treatments but was still a long way from getting any medical all clear. Meanwhile Brian gets a career opportunity in New York say. He goes off to explore it and decides, without apparently a moment's consideration for Justin's precarious medical situation, any thought that his partner might face a recurrence of a life-threatening illness, to take the opportunity which will mean that he's away from Pittsburgh for at least six months. He doesn't even call Justin to tell him about it. In fact, he goes back to Pittsburgh and at least two days later he still hasn't told him that he's leaving.

Can you imagine how everyone - both in the show and in the fandom - would have reacted?

And that is exactly what Justin did.

It's not just that he took the job with Keller without discussing it with his partner (and if he were my partner I'd feel entitled to be pissed about that under any circumstances) but he gave no thought at all to the possibility that Brian's cancer treatment might not have been effective. And what that would mean. None. It's not like Brian had a bone spur removed. This was a life-threatening illness, and it didn't even figure in Justin's consideration.

Personally, I think if I were Brian, I would definitely feel like I'd been given a pretty clear idea of where I came in my "partner's" priorities list, and it wouldn't give me a great deal of confidence in what choices he'd make if the Hollywood opportunities kept coming.

I've never understood why Brian was selfish and inconsiderate and all that shit to consider the job in NY in S1, but it was okay for Justin to take off to LA the way he did at the time he did at the end of S4.

If it's okay for Justin to put his career first, then Brian was equally justified in doing that in S1. If Brian's priorities were wrong then, then Justin's, IMO were even more wrong when he went to LA.

Just my thoughts.

Interested to know yours.
wren_kt7oz: (GH__GR_Locarno manip)
Hi everyone

Just to let you know that the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] mander3_swish has come up with a brilliant idea for this year's gift exchange (on the [livejournal.com profile] qaf_giftxchnge community).

A number of people have said that they'd like to take part, but (rightly or wrongly) they don't feel that their writing, icon making, vid making, etc. talents are up to offering their work in exchange for someone else's efforts.

So ... this year, the community is holding a fund-raising raffle.

The way it works is that in exchange for a donation to either the Ali Forney Center in NY, or to a similar charity that supports LGBTIQ youth in your local area, you get entries to win either a story from [livejournal.com profile] xie_xie_xie, or a Bj/ QAF doodle from [livejournal.com profile] reeface or a vid from [livejournal.com profile] maybe742.

The more you donate, the more entries you get. Which means you can have a chance to win a Holiday gift from some of the fandom's talented creative types, even if you're too unsure to submit something yourself.

So please check it out and consider a donation. Heaven knows it's in a good cause.

The details are here:

QAF Community Holiday Gift Exchange Raffle

wren_kt7oz: (GR_Bilbao01)
It occurred to me the other day that there may be people who are reading my stories who wonder why I'm so mean to, and negative about, the Michael character.

Plus, there was someone at the Convention who, in a question to Gale and Randy, actually said that she thought that the only reason BJ fans didn't like Michael was because they saw him as a threat to the BJ relationship. (As if!)

So ... couple of years back I posted a long entry regarding my thoughts on Michael, and why I believe that his character isn't just "cute but dumb", but is actually quite viciously destructive. (And this view has absolutely nothing to do with seeing him as a threat to Brian and Justin's relationship, except in as much as I see him as do his best to threaten and undermine any and every relationship Brian forms except with him.)

For anyone who's interested, it's here: My Thoughts on Michael.

One more thing ... I will say here, what I have said before ... I don't believe it's possible to read the Brian character the way I do ... as a man who is damaged, and who sometimes lashes out to protect himself and behaves like a total prick, but who is at base an extremely generous-hearted person who, when he loves, will do anything, at whatever cost, for the ones he loves ... and have any time at all for Michael. To me, seeing Brian that way and liking Michael are completely incompatible.

Just saying, so that we're all clear.

As always, open to comments and views of all kinds as long as they're expressed with respect to others and as long as no one expects me to modify mine, because I've held this view of Michael since I first saw 101 back in 2001? 2002? Over ten years, anyway.

wren_kt7oz: (GR_Bilbao01)
One of the projects I've been working on for the last few weeks is doing at least a little to help put together the transcripts of most of the Gale and Randy sessions from Bilbao. The main drive for this came from [livejournal.com profile] mytearsinheaven and most of the work was done by the amazing [livejournal.com profile] kinwad who is hosting the transcripts on her livejournal. I was lucky enough to help with one or two and to do a bit of beta work on some as well.

The link is at the bottom of this post, but I just thought that I'd add a few sentences to clarify for anyone not familiar with the way Conventions tend to work:

Panels are open to all attendees and are usually held in the main hall, so the guests are up on the platform and people who want to ask a question queue up at the microphone.

Meet and Greets are smaller groups (you pay to attend these separately) - usually around 20 - 25 people, and they are much less formal - everyone sits around the room on couches and arm chairs and people just jump in with their questions whenever there's a lull (there are more of those than you would think).

Coffee sessions are sometimes smaller again, but in Bilbao they were actually the same (and held in the same room) - the only difference was that you might be able to get a cup of coffee - if you jumped in early enough and the urn hadn't run out.

Aside from the opening and closing (which were both really short) all the panels were individual sessions (i.e. either Gale or Randy but not both), but there were both individual and "duo" meet and greets and coffee sessions.

Before you go to the link, please be respectful of the hard work that has gone into preparing these and don't repost anywhere without credit.

Anyway, here is the link to the first one - the opening and Randy's first panel. Links to the rest are being placed at the end of that one as Kin posts them. It might take a few days to get them all up.

Bilbao Convention transcripts for Gale and Randy

wren_kt7oz: (a_bj_discussion)
Hi everyone

A few weeks ago I posted a bit of a rant in response to something from a blog that I found problematic.

Since then for a couple of reasons I've been going back through old posts and old comments and along the way I found a response that I'd written to someone who asked the question "Is it the illusion of them that we love so much?"

Re-reading my response to that question served as a reminder to me of what I believed at the time (and still believe) to be at the core of why this relationship is so compelling.  I thought I'd post it in the hope that it might generate further discussion.  All views are welcome as long as they're respectful of the fact that others might see things differently.

My Response )

wren_kt7oz: (GR_Bilbao01)
Ignore my abysmal typing (I should never try to type anything longer than two words from my phone).  But here is a F/B conversation with the lovely Sheena Metal from earlier this week.

So keep your fingers crossed, everyone.  Gale's last gig on her show was amazing.

sheena fb response
wren_kt7oz: (bj_308)
Somebody sent me a link to this article:

Why Do Women Love Toxic Gay Television Relationships?

asking what I thought about it. I want to thank her very much because writing this has crystallised a lot of things about how I see QAF (then and now) and why it fascinated me so much.

So ... what did I think about the article?

This is the full response to that question (and be warned, I was annoyed by the article and some of the language that follows is ... er ... colourful. Worthy of Brian Kinney, in fact. )



26 Mar 2014 03:02 pm
wren_kt7oz: (GR_LA_6)
So I'm here in Bilbao kind of excited but also strangely a little sad because in a few days it will all be over. Oh, well.

Meanwhile if anyone who can't make it has anything they would like me to try to ask any of the guys at the meet and greets please let me know and I'll do my best.
wren_kt7oz: (g_brian_withbabygus_redblankie)
I've been working on the next chapter of Homecoming and something stuck me for the first time that most of you have probably been aware of forever, but I thought I'd share my 'epiphany' anyway.

It's that while there are lots of mother figures in QAF - Deb, Jen, Linds and Mel, even Ted's Mom and Em's 'Aunt Lulu' (or whatever her name was), none of the principal characters have decent fathers.

We know what a shitty father Jack was, and Craig turned into one; Lindsay's father was a dead loss, and Mel's apparently no better; Ted's father was never mentioned, nor was Ben's, Michael's was at best an absentee father to say the least, and one suspects that Emmett's wasn't much better than good old Jack.

Now, there are two things about this that interest me.

One, is that it makes me wonder about what kind of relationships Dan and Ron's had with their fathers and whether they explain the absence of any kind of decent role models for a father dealing with a gay son.

The other is that the whole 'gay men only relate to their mothers' is such a cliche and I'm wondering why that fact alone wasn't enough to make them avoid it.

Of course, the overall result of all this is that it makes Brian look like father of the year by comparison. *g*
wren_kt7oz: (Default)
Hi everyone

As some of you may know, over on IJ they've started a season three "marathon" - one ep per week.

Yesterday was the first, so we got to share our thoughts on 301 - which included The Punch, and all that led up to it and came from it.

All of which, of course, triggered my own intense feelings of ... well, loathing really, for Michael.

I expressed some of that over there, but thought I'd spend some time exploring why my reaction to Michael is so extreme.

For those of you who like, or can even tolerate, Michael, I'd suggest that you don't bother to read - you won't like it. If you do want to read, and debate, you are very welcome to do so, as long as the debate remains cordial, and we can all accept that sometimes we need to agree to disagree.

Why I absolutely detest Michael and believe that his actions border on true evil )

Oh, and if you're interested in participating in the marathons - the next is obviously 302 - here is the link: QAF Marathons

wren_kt7oz: (bj_tuxfitting_injustinshands)
Sometime in the next day or so, I'm going to be posting an update to Reverberations - my "rewrite" of some of S5.

Before I do, I wanted to make some comments on what I'm trying to do in the chapter and why.

Normally, I'm content to let my work stand on its own feet ... but there are so many strong feelings around the fandom about S5 - and particularly about Justin - that I wanted to say something about what I'm trying to "fix", and why I thought it needed fixing in the first place.

Unlike many, I wasn't absolutely gutted by the end of S5.

And the reason for that was both complex, and very simple at the same time.

In the complex view ... it was linked to how I see the two characters; and what I believe that their journey to that point had been about; and how I believe strongly that some people do have a karmic link, and that Brian and Justin have such a link, and that, at the end of S5, they were a long way from working through all the things they have to learn from each other, so the link will remain in place, as strong as ever until they have; and that theirs is truly a story of eternal lovers ... all of that. And that C/L were so busy making their little political statement that they lost sight of the thing that that they had created that made a far greater statement than their petty little "you can bomb us but you can't destroy us" message. They forgot, or didn't see, that dividing the world into "us" and "them" is always counter-productive when you're trying to reach out to the common humanity in all of us and that they had the most powerful means of doing that in their tiny little hands and totally blew it. Because the reason that BBM did so well, and broke through so many barriers, was that it was a damned love story. And they had in their hands an even more beautiful and sweet and real love story that we'd all lived with for five years, and the most powerful statement that they could possibly have made about why gays, and the loving bonds between gay couples, should be treated with the same respect that is given to straight couples would have been to have Brian and Justin and their relationship survive all the shit that's been thrown at them and to have them happy and joyful and together on their own fucking terms. And that, IMO, is what the "statement" should damned well have been, and if it had, then C/L would have done what no one else has been able to do, and establish a gay love story with a happy ending in the heart of popular culture. And the fact that they didn't is due to their fucking incompetence and has absolutely nothing at all to do with the characters or with their future together once the writers stopped fucking them about in their search for Emmy glory (which was damned well doomed to failure because they are such incompetent self-absorbed idiots that they couldn't let the characters be the message - they had to write words, and put speeches in their mouths and they should have listened to Brian all the times that he's said it's not about the words, it's about the actions!). So the ending has, for me, absolutely nothing to say about Brian and Justin, it's all just political posturing and vainglory on the part of two pretentious morons who weren't smart enough to see their real opportunity to make history, make a real statement, when it was right there in front of them.

Anyway, that's the complex bit.

The simple bit, is that, after gradually eroding my confidence at various times all through S4, C/L's Justin lost any resemblance to the character that I understood (and understand) Justin to be when he took that job in LA, and that this got worse all through S5, so by 513 I'd stopped taking any notice of what their Justin did at all.

And this is the thing, and the reason that Reverberations came into being at all.

It wasn't so much that he took the job - but that he did it without even a moment's thought about the fact that his partner was still in recovery from a life-threatening illness, and had not yet been given even a provisional all clear. For all Justin knew, the cancer could have recurred at any time during the six months he was away, and that, in fact, those months could have been the last of Brian's life. But neither that, nor the fact that even common courtesy demanded that he give his partner at least a head's up before accepting the job, weighed with him at all. So I went through the whole of the hiatus between S4 and S5 reconciling this with Justin as I know him, as I see the character, as I believe the Justin of S1 would have evolved, and came to the conclusion that C/L totally had their heads up their asses, especially where Justin was concerned, and I could neither trust nor believe anything they wrote for him from that point on. So, by 513, I no longer felt any impulse to believe anything they were showing me about the character.

That approach stood me in good stead for all of S5, in fact, as their writing for the character for most of the season just eroded the "real" Justin further and further. The head spinning turn abouts they wrote for him that earned him the Sybil!Justin moniker drove me nuts.

But what I hated most about the way that they wrote him, was that there were so few points during the season when Brian's feelings about what was going on seemed to matter to him at all.

The young man who had been so closely attuned to Brian that he had understood Brian's internal battles over the whole parental rights thing in S1 without Brian ever saying a word, the one who had understood enough to stay behind after Mikey's party, the one who had read how unhappy he was without Michael, and had gone out and done something about it ... all gone.

The man who had known how freaked his partner was by his "possession withdrawal" and known just how to deal with it - vanished.

The one who'd practically thrown chicken soup at Brian while telling him what an asshole he was for thinking Justin would leave him - forget him. Gone, deceased, defunct.

Where was any recognition of how hurt Brian must have been by Mikey's attitude towards him?

Any understanding of what the whole battle over JR's custody must have said to the man who'd given up the rights to his son to try to give Gus a stable homelife that had now evaporated into bickering and discord and downright spite?

Any recognition that, no matter how silly Justin might think the cause of it, the crisis with Brandon, the loss of his status as youthful stud, was just that for Brian ... a real crisis? Some glimmer of empathy, of understanding that this was a time when he needed (and deserved) his partner's love and understanding, not mockery and thinly veiled contempt?

These were the points that upset me in S5 far more than the ending.

These were the points at which I felt that Justin (and us) were most betrayed by the writers. Probably in their pathetic attempts to write "politically relevant" material

Or maybe because Randy had them pegged correctly right back at the beginning and they simply had no idea how to write a self aware, confident young gay man for this generation.

These were the things that, for me, meant that I had to tackle Reverberations, because the Justin I was writing in Homecoming could not have behaved the way that Justin did in the first half of canon S5. Just could not.

I'm not trying to turn Justin into a Mary-Sue character. But I am trying to take the character we came to know in S1, and allow him to evolve into someone that can at least recognise when his partner is in real pain and not want to add to it.

And that's all that I really want to say.

Well, except that the Reverb thing is taking longer than I expected to write so I'll be posting it in two or three parts over the next week or so.


wren_kt7oz: (w_Wren)
[livejournal.com profile] court1429 posted a response to Justin's Christmas Carol which gave me much food for thought. And set me off on another post S5 rant.

I started to respond but it turned into another longish post S5 rant - er discussion. So I thought I'd put it here instead. I've put it behind a cut to protect those of you who are sick of the subject. *g*

The Ending, and the character of Brian )
wren_kt7oz: (GH-eyes)
Spoiler thoughts (of course) - previously posted to the spoilers board

Read more... )


5 Jun 2005 05:40 pm
wren_kt7oz: (a_bj_discussion)
Spoiler talk (well, talkette, really lol)

Read more... )
wren_kt7oz: (a_bj_discussion)
Apologies to anyone who read this before I put the spoiler warning.

And to those who haven't yet - serious spoilers for 513.

Read more... )
wren_kt7oz: (a_bj_discussion)

And now for some new thoughts.

At least ... new to me.

and yet more 513 spoiler thoughts )


19 May 2005 04:56 pm
wren_kt7oz: (a_bj_discussion)

This is the next ... salvo ... if you like.

more 513 spoiler discussion )


19 May 2005 04:52 pm
wren_kt7oz: (a_bj_discussion)

This is something that I posted to the bj spoilers board, and now I'm putting it here as well.

It's my interpretation of what I think that last scene in Babylon means.

Open to all comments (even the rude ones).

epiphany - major spoiler warnings 513 )

wren_kt7oz: (a_bj_discussion)

spoiler discussion - S5 finale )


wren_kt7oz: (Default)

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