OTW Fannews: Unearthing Slash

OTW Fannews banner by caitie~ with the text Unearthing Slash along with stylized images of the members of One Direction with slashes between them

  • Vice speculated on why adults read One Direction fanfic, and discussed the appeal of slash. “The appeal of One Direction homoeroticism also seems related to how physically comfortable and genuinely playful the boys are with each other… It seems related to the fact that they are boys who sing songs about feelings and look like they mean it. It seems, unfortunately, related to Louis’s irreverent-shading-into-dickish personality, which fans… wish to understand and explain away. Perhaps most significantly, it seems related to taboo and tragedy: how impossible to fall in love with your best friend, while the whole world watches, and also how beautiful.”
  • Certainly the ease of stumbling on fanfic has created awkward moments for the subjects of that fiction. NME quoted The Libertines discussing the unnerving combination of fact and fantasy. “A lot of effort has gone into it. There’ll be a poetic stream of consciousness and then suddenly, BANG! My cock will appear in Carl’s ear.” The singer added that some of the descriptions were uncannily accurate: “I think it must be written by someone close to us, because apart from the actual sex side of things, which obviously isn’t true, some of it’s quite close to life.”
  • The Daily Dot provided a bit of fandom history by discussing Man from U.N.C.L.E.‘s slashy past. “As fandom academic Cynthia W. Walker put it, “if Trek was the Big Bang, (Man from U.N.C.L.E.) was the primer.” The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was the patient zero for the kind of passionate fan community we see for shows like Sherlock today.” It was notable in many ways. “At this point it’s practically tradition for TV shows to misinterpret which of their male leads is the real heartthrob. From Spock to Teen Wolf’s Stiles, female-driven fandoms tend to gravitate toward the characters who aren’t portrayed as suave ladykillers. And back in the day, Illya Kuryakin was a bona fide teen crush magnet.”
  • One bit of progress (?) in media coverage of slash is that the pairings are no longer the main surprise to people. Cracked‘s video gets a lot wrong, such as confusing characters and fandoms with genres, and discussing commercial bestiality erotica series as works of fanfiction. But the idea that pairings might consist of same sex doesn’t itself get dubbed as ‘weird’.

Is slash history something you know about? Share your knowledge on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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