count to 5

Happy birthday Zen!
Here’s my April Fools’ prank. I promised something spicy but you get fluff instead. I hope you’re not making a sad face. I’m smiling (: 

mynormalusernamewasalreadytaken  asked:

Do you know when "canon," like as a concept, became like a standard nerd thing?

The amazing thing about the term “canon” is that it didn’t bubble up from the undifferentiated mass of fandom (who actually knows who came up with memes?). We know exactly and specifically where the word comes from when used in this context: an essay written by a Sherlock Holmes fan in 1911, who compared the wild and crazy veneration that fanatical Holmes fans have for the original stories, to holy writ. Another name for the books assembled in the Bible was the canon, as opposed to other books that, for various reasons, were left out of the Bible and “didn’t count.” In other words, the term was originally used ironically and in a self-deprecating way to talk about the almost religious intensity of Holmes fans. 

Part of the reason the term canon caught on was because, even in the 1910s, the public was so mad for Sherlock Holmes that there were all kinds of illegal imitators and non-Conan Doyle authors and knockoffs, and yes, there were even amateur works that were distributed by mail (what today we’d call “fanfiction,” some of which even survives today), so a crucial distinction began to arise between the stuff that was “official” and the stuff that wasn’t. So, here we have the three things that we need to even have the concept of canon as we define it: 1) a group dedicated enough to actually care, who can communicate, 2) a necessary distinction between “official” and not, particularly due to the presence of amateur works (what today we’d call fanfiction), 3) a long term property that could sustain that devotion. 

Now, of the three, which do you think was the one that was absent from a lot of science fiction fandom’s first few decades? It’s actually 3. Canon only matters if it’s something other than just a single story, which the business model of the pulps discouraged. Like TV in the 1960s, every story had to be compartmentalized and serial storytelling was mostly discouraged.

One fandom, big from the 1930s to the 1960s was E.E. Smith’s space opera Lensman series. The Lensman stories were so popular that it received 5 sequels, all of which were planned from the outset. Some Lensman fanfiction from the 1940s is actually still available for reading. Part of the reason the Lensman stories were so popular is that it described a consistent world with consistent attributes: Inertialess Drives, aliens like Chickladorians, Vegians, Rigellians, pressor beams, space axes, Valerian Space Marines, superdreadnoughts, “the Hell Hole in Space,” the works. It was way easier to get sucked into this than it was with the usual “one and done.”  Take for example, this amateur guide to the Lensman series, with art by Betty Jo Trimble.

Canon “policy” as we know it today, as a part of a corporate strategy, started with Star Trek: the Next Generation. Before that, there was no “multimedia property” big enough to necessitate it; Star Wars just didn’t care, which is why pre-Zahn “expanded universe” stories like the Marvel comics were so bonkers. There was no reason to believe that the Trek novels, including good ones by John M. Ford and Diane Duane, were anything else than totally official. Roddenberry, though, was deeply angry about losing control of the film series, and due to his illness (hidden from the public at the time), his canon policy was enforced by his overly zealous attorney. In Star Trek canon, for a long time, the only thing that counted was what was on screen. And not even that…the Star Trek animated series, for several decades, was decanonized. (It wasn’t until Deep Space 9 that animated references crept back in, and today, it’s as canon as everything else).

I don’t want to scare anyone, and this is hearsay, but I’ve heard from three people who were there that Next Generation writers, at least as long as Roddenberry and his attorney were around, were encouraged to not think of the original series as canon at all. References to Spock and even an episode that had an appearance by the Gorn were rewritten.

The Star Trek canon policy was so harsh and unexpected that rules were invented deliberately to kick out popular reference sources, like the rule that starships could only have even numbered nacelles, which meant much of the Franz Joseph guides, published in the millions and praised by Roddenberry and others as official, were vindictively decanonized. 

Star Wars canon is interesting because it was entirely created by the West End Roleplaying Game. It was the only major Star Wars product printed in the Star Wars Dark Age, the 5-6 years between 1986-1991 when all toy lines and comics were canceled and the fandom was effectively in a coma or dead. The Roleplaying Game was the first place that information was collected from diverse sources like the comics and novels. Every single Star Wars novelist read the West End game because it was the only time all this information was in one place. 

Marvel Comics canon is a very interesting example because it was a harbinger of things to come: superhero comics were one of the earliest places in geek culture where the “inmates started to run the asylum”…that is to say, fans produced the comics, guys like Roy Thomas (creator of the Vision and Ultron) who started off as a fanzine writer. Because of the back and forth in letters pages, there was an emphasis on everyone keeping it all together that didn’t exist at DC, which at last count, had 5 (!) totally contradictory versions of Atlantis. 

My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1

 I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2

 I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3 

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31

 For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27 

In me you live and move and have your being.Acts 17:28

 For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28 

I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5

 I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12 

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16

 I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26 

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

 I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

 And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6

 I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me.John 8:41-44

 I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16

 And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1

 Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1 

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11

 For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48 

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17

 For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33

 My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11 

Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

 My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore.Psalms 139:17-18

 And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

 I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40

 For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5

 I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul.Jeremiah 32:41 

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3 

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29

 Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

 For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13

 I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20 For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

 I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18 

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11 

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4

 And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth.Revelation 21:3-4 

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus.John 17:23

 For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26

 He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3 

He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31

 And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.2 Corinthians 5:18-19 

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 

His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10

 I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32 

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23 

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again.Romans 8:38-39 

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen.Luke 15:7 

I have always been Father, and will always be Father.Ephesians 3:14-15

 My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13 

I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32 

Love, Your Dad

Almighty God 

Is this Relationship Working for You?

Not every friendship is helpful and worthwhile … and sometime we need to ask ourselves the following:

1. What am I getting from the relationship? Is this person there for me when I need them most? Do they build me up, and bring out the best in me?

2. Is this friendship draining, or is it mainly negative? Do I feel I’m just being used? Are things always about them?

3. Can I be genuine and real – and just myself - with this person? Or are they likely to react if I share my honest thoughts?

4. Do they care about my feelings, my views and my opinions? Or do they treat me like an object, whose feelings never count?

5. Am I putting up with things because it’s started to feel normal? Am I scared that no-one else would really want to be my friend?