2. The reason I haven't posted anything substantial here since con.txt is... *drumroll* .... I am feeling guilty about not doing the con-txt followup I said I should do. So if there's something I told you I would do at/after con-txt and I haven't done it yet, pls poke me again? Either I've forgotten or I've been marinating in procrastinator's guilt and need somebody to kick me in the reset button.
3. So I finally watched Pacific Rim! It came in at the library, and people were still excited about it at con-txt, and also I acquired this DVD player I wanted to test, so we watched it projected on a sheet taped up to the screen porch, because that seems like the right way to watch a movie like that. (Then I watched it on my laptop so I could actually catch the details. Like Raleigh's drivesuit scars that there is NO FANFIC AT ALL ABOUT, wtf fandom.)
Anyway not going to bother with a spoiler cut since it's a year old and I'm not discussing plots, but here are my thoughts:
Both the worldbuilding and the plot are 100% incoherent, the giant monster fights were okay but I kept getting distracted from the awesome by trying and failing to make them make sense, they really really really dropped the ball on diversity otherwise even though Idris Elba is amazing and Make is also amazing, but don't let anyone tell you her story was groundbreaking, it's pretty standard and it's mostly about the men in her life.
This will probably remain a favorite of mine, because it is approx. 0% heterosexuality by weight. And that doesn't mean it's particularly queer either - there's just no portrayal of sexuality in it at all. This is a movie where you can easily argue that not only all the protagonists, but also the entire society, is asexual and aromantic.
And for a movie that is almost entirely about close, intense relationships, that's astonishing - but all the relationships, from Newt and Hermann's working partnership, to the various family relationships, to Mako and Raleigh's adorable bffs-at-first-sight, this is a movie that glorifies the nonromantic and nonsexual to the extent that it seems to forget that romantic and sexual exist. Other than one line in a flashback where a tertiary character casually mentions a semi-successful date, there's nothing - no offhand attempts to establish the heroes' het cred, no background advertisements selling sex, no casual references to attractiveness, not even any mentions of, like, people having parents who were a couple, that I can recall. (Even the Kaidonovskys, iirc, aren't mentioned as a couple in the movie canon, and don't interact in any blatantly romantic ways - taking the movie as a standalone, they could be, you know, cousins.)
And that was - it was so restful, you can't even imagine. Finally a movie that felt like me, you can't even imagine, it was so great.
..so then I went back to the fanfic and of course it's like 90% shipping by weight. I know I almost always end up dissatisfied with the shippy fic once I watch canon, but in this case it left me ... itchy, probably because of the way the canan just felt so comfortable in its total lack of shipping and sexuality.
So I read some of the Newt/Hermann fic I've been saving, and it still did what Newt/Hermann fandom does so well - body mods, soulbonding, relationships with long histories, social maladjustment, disability, extremely smart people who like showing off, competence porn, snark hiding affection, xenophilia, weird telepathy stuff, people two feet beyond the end of their rope who can't even remember how to fall, etc. -- all things I like in a pairing, and it left me deeply unsatisfied.
So then I checked out the novelization because I'd heard it was good and it seemed like it might be what I wanted in terms of More Of Canon, but I still get too antsy to have gotten very far, because something in me knows exactly what I wanted out of Pac Rim fandom, and that's not it.
So finally I sat down and asked myself, okay, what is it you do want out of this fandom that you're not getting?
I want some fanfic that's novel-length, about the doomed, hotshot pilots who risk their lives fighting to protect the defenseless, in the last days of the Resistance, with an aesthetic of abandoned WWII bunker + neon and tattoos + SF technology taken for granted, in a war where the stakes are so high that entire planetary ecologies are just minor collateral damage. With a cast that's blatantly, in-your-face diverse on a bunch of axes, dealing with disabilities and scars both mental and physical and loss after loss of love ones, but resilient and idealistic despite that, drinking their pain away in makeshift dive bars deep in massive military installations. Most of the important relationships aren't Lots of stuff with organized crime intersecting the resistance, plus aliens and robots and maybe some poorly explained psi powers.
..and then I went "oh crap, I know what that is" and started re-reading the X-Wing novels instead.
So there's that.
I did start a Newt/Hermann fic where one of the side effects of Drifting is that you are no longer neurologically capable of finding your Drift partner sexually attractive - because that's the other thing that I *definitely* wanted out of this fandom - but even odds now if I'll finish that before I finish the one about Master Pentecost and his motley band of Jedi Pilot trainees and washouts, one last holdout on the Planet of the Kaiju in the decades after the clone wars, and how former Knight Beckett showed MAko Mori the way to her Jedi trials.
(The X-Wing novels hold up surprisingly well, better than I feared! I'm noticing some of the really awful stuff with how the universe handles aliens-as-metaphor-for-race more now that I did fifteen years ago, but the X-Wing novels try really hard to give you real diversity anyway, even if you do know that one of the nonhuman female pilots is always going to die first.)