Lemme just preface this with saying that I am a writer. I have been writing for most of my life. I have taken actual classes about writing and about what fiction can offer you, me, and people as a whole. I have won an award for something that I wrote. I know and love fiction, be it in written form, graphic novels, or film. It is all so good and complex and it’s something I am passionate about. That said, let’s get into this.
A good majority of the discourse that goes on in most of the fandoms I’m in stem from the idea that violence and forbidden sexual acts in fiction will encourage those actions in reality. It is important to know, firstly, that the only time this happens is when a person is immature enough or not mentally healthy enough to distinguish reality from fiction. Growing up, my parents would often stop horror movies (back when I first started watching them) to ask me questions. To be fair, they were pretty shitty people, but in this one aspect, they were so good about making sure I knew this difference. “You know this is just a movie, right? None of the stuff on the tv is real.” They’d assure before continuing the film.
It’s not real.
Now, half of the stuff I read or watched back then was nowhere near pushing boundaries or making me think critically about society or whatever. However, I knew that what I watched wasn’t real. It was images on a screen. If I don’t like what I’m seeing, I can walk away. It doesn’t have to affect me, personally, unless I let it.
Now, lets circle back. School. College. I took a writing class that used this book:
Granted, it was a screenwriting class and most of the chapters were about various script formats, but the beginning chapters focused on why we write and why we make the stories we do.
It had a section in it describing how human needs and desires are met through fiction. It detailed those needs in a list. This list:
Please draw your attention to the ones on the list that say that fictions helps people to:
Be purged of unpleasant emotions
To have vicarious but controlled emotional experiences
To confront, in a controlled situation, the horrible and terrible
To explore taboo subjects without guilt
Just because you personal don’t need various forms of ‘taboo’ media, doesn’t mean that others don’t. Media, in all of its forms, is a way for people to explore things safely. It’s an outlet that doesn’t harm anyone and it offers the creator and viewer/reader a safe way of exploring the complexities of situations (or in some cases relationships) that these people do not want to be involved in irl. Because we can distinguish reality from fiction. Because none of us are going out killing people or getting into abusive relationships or fucking our sibling.
While being critical of the media we consume is important and it is vital to dissect the whys of the media being created, there is a line between creating open discussion about these taboos, about the society and personal experiences that makes one need these outlets, and verbally abusing and harassing strangers.
If you want to create a dialogue about media or a ship you don’t agree with, fine. Talk about it. Dissect it. Really dig deep into the human condition and the psychology behind these outlets, but don’t shame people for them to the point of telling them to kill themselves or telling them they are human garbage or what the fuck ever.
Fiction isn’t always meant to be picturesque. It’s not always going to be SFW. If that isn’t your cup of tea, then great. Stop going into the tags of things that make you feel unhealthy. You do you. Keep yourself safe. Stop continuously exposing yourself to content that you can’t swallow. To keep getting involved, to keep harassing people, to keep abusing strangers shows that you don’t give a damn about the content. You need an excuse to bully someone else and indulge in holier-than-thou circle jerks with other people who also have no sense of what fiction is for.
there’s a rule about taking Doctor Who seriously and it’s that to take it seriously you need to not take it too seriously
this show doesn’t take itself seriously, no matter how dark it might get at times
this isn’t some fucking gritty Edgelord show, this is a show watched by millions of children about hope and belief and trying to help people even when it seems hopeless and even when it doesn’t work, we should never hope that anyone in it stays dead, especially not anyone that represents so much for so many
above all we should never as older fans want anything for it that would take away from the enjoyment of the younger fans
you can’t treat it the same way you would a lot of other shows. its demographic is anyone who is willing to believe in it, anyone of any age.
this is a show about an idiot in a magical box who fixes things with a screwdriver and a belief in the goodness of people
an idiot who gets into ridiculous situations that are often also dire, who saves the day always but only uses violence as a last resort, who tries to win with words and cleverness first
over the last few years it’s been one of the only shows on television still trying to tell a hopeful story in a world obsessed with Edgy Cynical Realism, while never shying away from how harsh the universe can be
it is a show about possibility where almost any thing or person or story that can be imagined could be plausible (hello, people being killed by plastic inflatable chairs, a small box being infinitely huge on the inside, a lesbian being saved by her magical star girlfriend)
it is a show created by lifelong fans, it is a constant love letter to itself with stupid little in jokes and nostalgic trips, and above all it is a message and lesson of hope and kindness
take it or leave it but that is what it will or at least should always be
Tell us how Steve managed to cause a disaster on his bicycle, only hours after he was banned from using motorized vehicles.
you must know steve pretty well, because that is exactly what happened.
the morning after throwing yet another motorcycle at a supervillian, steve woke up early and decided to go out and get bagels. not at all unusual, except that his favorite bagel place is in brooklyn. so naturally steve decided to just bike there.
tony keeps a dozen or so bikes in the vehicle garage, and pretty much every one of them is weirder than the one before. one is a concept made by ferrari; another one is made from bamboo and was a gift from an MIT student whose research he funded. one appears to have some sort of rocket engine attached. with selections like that, you can see why steve chose the oldest, plainest bike in the group.
what steve did not know was that this was the Deathbike.
see, when tony was 14 and starting at MIT, he wasnt licensed to drive and needed a way to get around campus quickly. so, like many other college students, he got a bike. a very nice, high-end bike, of course, but otherwise perfectly innocuous. (it was a bit too big for him. he insists it wasnt, and that he’s not short.)
tony rode it home and painted it black.
within the first month of owning the Deathbike, tony ran into two people, was run into three times by other cyclists, and just barely missed being hit by a car. tony refused to admit that either 1. the bike was cursed or 2. he was just a terrible cyclist, and instead painted a tiny white skull on the side of the bike for every collision, and rode it for the rest of his time at MIT. somehow, he survived, and no one was seriously injured. (he admits that there may have been a few broken bones. but he paid the medical bills, so it was fine.)
by the time steve took the bike out, there were twenty-seven little skulls.
steve knew none of this, and headed out on the sidewalks aboard the Deathbike. he made it a block or two on thankfully empty sidewalks before tony’s modifications kicked in.
little 14-year-old madman stark, drunk on alcohol and puberty, decided that his two-wheeled killing machine didnt go fast enough. so, using the genius and lack of foresight the stark bloodline had given him, he made some changes. and now the Deathbike has a little electric engine that kicks in after a certain speed, which basically increases how fast the bike goes per pedal. tony says the fastest he was ever clocked on it was about forty mph–but insists he could have made it faster, except he didnt want to make it too bulky.
steve was doing fifty miles an hour by the time he was six blocks from the tower.
since steve is himself, instead of maybe slowing down when he realized how fast he was going, he decided to see how fast he could get. and it turns out that a supersoldier on a bike built by teenage tony stark can go plenty damn fast.
a traffic cam on the brooklyn bridge clocked him at nearly 115 mph.
but dont forget–this is the Deathbike. it earned its name, and would fulfill its mildly inconvenient legacy regardless of who was riding it.
also, its tires were never built for that kind of stress.
steve turned around the corner of the block where the bagel shop is going some eighty-odd mph (having slowed down to turn), and hit a heap of cardboard. if he’d been going slower, or if the wheels had been in better shape, he might have been able to brake in time. as it was, he was still going pretty fast when he hit it. and since the universe loves to laugh at steve, the pile of cardboard was shaped pretty much like a ramp.
steve and the Deathbike went airborne.
somehow, the early morning commuters failed to notice captain america hurtling through the sky on the worlds most sadistic pedal-powered monster, so when he landed in the bed of an old metal pickup, nobody checked on him when he didn’t pop right back out. instead, the Deathbike, steve, and steve’s shiny new concussion remained right where they were, in blissful unconsciousness.
when steve finally woke up, he was somewhere in southern virginia, and there was a very confused pickup truck driver wondering how the heck he’d wound up with a giant man and a bike in his truck.
we would have made steve bike back, but we didnt want to tempt fate. instead we sent a quinjet.