Now, perhaps you've heard of this show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and it's L'il Brudder, Angel...
Do you know about this? Have you heard about this? And for those of you who have been around these parts a spell may have noticed that I like the funny. Stoney loves the jokey jokey. But that doesn't mean that's all there is here: poop/dick jokes. Okay, it's a big part of what's here, but there's a reason. Let's all jump into the way-back machine...
Laughter is the Best Medicine
It's an old saying, but god, isn't it true? how many times have you been with a friend, snot on your face, chest heaving with sobs, and they'll pull a face, or make a joke and it just gets... easier? Not for always, but right then? Or there's something horrible happening in the world, and Jon Stewart and the gang at TDS just rip it apart and make you laugh at it? And instead of feeling a cloud hanging over your head, you can laugh at the absurdity of it all? Because folks, life is fucking absurd. Michael Jackson may get off. (ba dum bum ching!) Bush is in the White House. Again. Laugh or cry. I pick laugh.
Now, how the hell does this fit into BtVS and fandom? Well, I'll tell you. Without the jokes, Buffy and Angel would just be another show. Yes, the dialogue is phenomenal. The angst is so, so hurty. But I can think of ten shows that have that. Now, throw in how goddamned funny (and angsty, and philosphical, and well written) it was/is, and now you have something that is so incredibly unique, we're all hanging out here everyday making new stories, essays, songs, art, etc. Because the show was/is so freakin' good.
And I'll admit that I'm late to the game of fandom. Never wrote fanfic before Buffy. Didn't know people did that sort of thing. I was stuck with all my wanna be artist friends writing bad poetry, essays, etc. and wishing I could go write for SNL one day. Or anything on Adult Swim. So when I found "this," I soaked up Philly like a SPONGE. Read anything and everything coming down the pike, trying to figure it out. And realized: lots of ff writers must read a LOT of Anne Rice. And make Spike and Co. dress up their mouths in Anne's words. Which isn't Joss and ME's words. But... to each his own, right?
And I kept reading (I don't always comment. If I am not onboard with the fic, I may keep reading and not fb, or I may click away. But I check out a LOT of stuff out there) and started getting depressed. Because it seems like THE VAST MAJORITY OF FF WRITERS write the sad stuff. They (certain writers) like to hurt, bang and bruise my beloved characters - over and over and over and.... And again, to each his own.
But why I may not want to read that type of fic is because that writer seems to have forgetten a fundamental element of EVERY SINGLE BUFFY/ANGEL EPISODE. There was a joke. In every one. And it helps the story. It helps the tension. It helps make things REAL.
Example, using two of the most hurty episodes on Buffy. Ones I go ahead and grab the box of tissues and a cat in preparation.
Oh, Joyce. I just bawl in this one every single time. When Anya is crying and trying to make sense of how Joyce won't ever have ______ again, and how stupid and mortal death is.... How perfectly sad and raw that is. And then Xander wants to kill something and Willow pouts and puts up her dukes. How I miss that relationship between those friends. Or Xander punching the wall and being stuck. Tension breaker, had to be done. (You can't cry ALL the time. You have to let SOMETHING else out of your system.)
I'm a sucker for the swan-dive. Oh, Buffy... With your pants creeping up your tushie... (I wonder If SMG ever watches that and wishes she could have pulled those pretty pants out of her crack?) But back to the episode. Ow. Gratitude mixed with incredible sadness. All of the gang creeping to her broken body (oh, I could cry just typing this!) Giles having to look away and mentally steeling himself to LOOK. To WATCH and later, record. Spike. Dawn. Willow crying on Tara. (I'm totally bawling now.) And then.... Tombstone. It's the "A Lot" at the end. So perfect. A smile when we REALLY need one.
I'll let you in on a secret: wanna know why S6 didn't work for so many of you? Willow/Xander snark is gone. Xan/Anya snark is gone. Buffy/Giles snark is gone. Re-watch it and tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. Dare ya. Dark, dark, trouble, gloom. Bah. THAT'S why you don't like it. Oh, yeah, and the character assasination. But that's because they were all FUNNY!! And then they weren't!
And, um, that's why I may not be reading your fics. Not *you* you, but some of you out there that I don't know well. You're writing the dark and more dark and gloom and where's the levity?
And then there's me. And I'll be the first to tell you I'm wrong. I am! I laugh at HORRIBLY INAPPROPRIATE things. Because I'll cry about them, otherwise. I saw the pilot ep of South Park (my god, has it been 9 years??) and thought the heavens had split open and a light was shining down on me. These... these are my people. They joke about NAMBLA. About sex-change operations. About a shitty, mean fat kid who's mom is a German Porno star and a hermaphrodite.
And I know from funny. Bob Newhart? Fucking hilarious. So dry I need a glass of water to watch his act. Don Rickles? Dear, god. In your face, insulting, balls-to-the-wall funny. Totally opposite humor from Bob Newhart. Would it surprise some of you to know they have been best friends for over 40 years? I STILL laugh at things Mark Twain wrote. Carol Burnett was my GOD when I was a child. Screw Lucille Ball (I can't stand her, BTW), gimmie Carol Burnett as Mrs. huWiggins, or as Scarlett O'Hara with the curtains literally draped off her shoulders. She was my first hero. I spent five years working the comedy circuit learning the art of a joke. How to make people in front of you laugh. How to make a joke come full circle in a ten minute set. Not always a winner, because the shit is HARD. But that's mostly delivery....
There are a lot of talented writers out here. So talented I boggle at them not being paid to continue to entertain me with their turn of a phrase. You can *write* and write well, but don't be afraid of the joke. Don't be afraid to make people laugh out loud. It's one of the most powerful feelings in the world. Anyone can make a person cry... *Pinch* Or, you could talk about dead puppies. You'll get someone crying, to be sure.
Ultimately, I want to remind people of how FUNNY the writers of ME are. Come on, the mental picture Angel gets of what he'd look like dancing at a party? Remember how good Cordy used to be? Lord, was that character funny. Demon Rogue Hunter?? "You do! You do doodle, too!" That's gold, baby. So you have someone that I love (and will 'til the day I die) crazydiamondsue who writes some owie, chest clutching fic. And has a joke to break the tension. Which underscores the owie. And makes the characters more real. This post brought to you by the Crazydiamond Sue for President Foundation
And I know there are a bunch of you on my flist who avoid my parodies like the PLAGUE. I know who you are, dont think you're fooling me. And I know it's because you worship the ground James, or David (or fill in the blank walks upon, and to read about Spike being miniaturized and shoved up Angel's bum is distasteful. I can't believe I just wrote that sentence. Ha!! But... I write that as a comic foil to the angst and OOC stuff I find out there. Little One? And Spike (a mass-murderer who most likely killed over 10,000 people - 2 bodies a week for 126 years, thanks karabair for the math) cuddle wuddles in Angel's lap and purrs? I just... Huh? Did you not WATCH the same show as me?
And so... I mock. Good-naturedly, and nothing I wouldn't call myself on. But I'm a fan of the Airplane movies and of Top Secret and Jim frickin' Carrey, so it should be expected that I'm sacriligeous. But the funny (to me, at least) is to take these super serious scenarios (say... childhood prostitution) and make them so far-fetched that you can't help but laugh at it. I'll be the first to say that pedophilia and incest make me want to light torches and burn the monster. But.
Someone commented on the Connie fic and said: I love how EVERYONE wants to be with Connie. Thanks!! You GOT IT!! I'd say 90% of my flist HATES Connor. (Which is a topic for another day because you people don't underSTAND!) So, I'll make him the object of everyone's affection, including his dad's. Who normally can't be affectionate because he'll turn into a monster. So let's make him a monster if he DOESN'T sleep with his kid. Absurdity: it's a way of life. Or poor Spike. How that vamp's cock hasn't fallen off with the sheer volume of fucking he does... So I'll make him 5 inches tall and climb up someone's butt and make it about his PARTNER instead of the glorious 15 Foot Dick he has. That egresses. Soupy cream of cum. WOW.
I guess ultimately, I'm rebelling against the lack (I could be just missing them. PLEASE let me know where to find the Jossonianesque - heh- fics) of humor amongst the angst, pain, love, sex, food. Always need food. Or maybe I just need lunch.
I know not everyone likes the stuff I bring to the table. This isn't about that. It's about living in darkness and angst in EVERYTHING. And, to use a famous quote, "I can't help you out of that hole if I climb down in it with you."
I'll be over here, playing with my toys, wishing you all a great, sunshiney, happy-filled day.