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Episode 38: Insider Interview

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Jan. 3rd, 2013 | 07:26 pm

Episode 38 Interview Transcript
Host: emmagrant01
Guest: snacky

Emma: Welcome to the Slashcast Insider Interview, I’m Emma Grant and my guest today is Snacky, who is one of the mods of fandom_wank. And since this month’s episode is all about wank and wank in fandom and that kind of thing she’s gonna talk to us today about the fandom_wank community and basically everything you ever wanted to know about fandom_wank. So first of all thank you very much for being my guest today.

Snacky: Thank you for asking me, this’ll be fun.

Emma: And, er we’re speaking on the day of the apocalypse so-

Snacky: Right!

Emma: -hopefully that doesn’t actually come out.

Snacky: [laughs] Well, it would be a very nice wank if we created it for the apocalypse.

Emma: Exactly. Apocalypse wank.

Snacky: Yeah.

Emma: Well I’d like to start off just by asking you a little bit about yourself. How did you come to be in fandom?

Snacky: Um, in fandom? I think I was one of those people who, you know, my whole life I was fannish about things, but I wasn’t anywhere near a community or anything that I knew about. So by the time I got on the internet I was a bit older and I was googling something about – it wasn’t even google back then, I think it was yahoo or whatever it was the search engine – and I was googling something about comic books and I found fanfic and then I realised there was fandom. And that was how I sort of got involved from that.

Emma: Oh wow, and what was your first fandom online?

Snacky: Um probably X-Men comic books, was what I was looking for at the time when I had first found it. And from there I went on to a whole different – other ones, X-Files was probably the biggest one I was involved in, um, in the beginning, I was in that for a long time until the show ended and we all moved on and went our separate ways kind of thing. And from there it just branched out into other fandoms. I was involved in, like, Buffy fandom for a long time, Buffy, Angel, Joss-verse stuff I guess, Lost, Lord of the Rings, all those different things, Harry Potter I kind of dabbled in that, I was a big fan of the books and the movies although when we talk about wank, it kind of scared me from that fandom sometimes. [laughter]

Emma: That fandom was in so many ways and it was huge in its wank. So how did you first become involved in the fandom_wank community?

Snacky: When it first started on Livejournal, you know people were talking about it, ‘oh this community where people are making fun of us, making fun of fandom, can you believe it?’. And what was funny for me was, like I said I was in X-Files for a long time and there were some really wanky things that went down in that fandom, and I remember it was – a lot of it took place on usenet mailing lists back in those days – and I remember thinking all the time that I would be watching these big fights and battles and accusations of rigging fandom – fanfic awards and [Emma laughs] things like that and I’d be like ‘this is crazy, am I the only person who finds it really funny?’ and big like BNFs who would be, you know tell- dictating to rest of fandom how you should do this and how you should do that, and sneaky people who set up sock puppets and argued with themselves, and just caused really big flame wars and stuff. So when I saw fandom_wank I was like ‘that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about, [both laugh] people think this is funny, it’s not just me’. So that’s how I started following it on livejournal, and that was- that was over 10 years ago now.

Emma: Oh wow. Yeah.

Snacky: Fandom_wank has been around for a while.

Emma: So for people who aren’t familiar with it how would you describe it? If someone in fandom out there, someone who’s like on tumblr, who’s never gotten onto LJ or any other site can you tell them, like, what fandom_wank is?

Snacky: I think, I mean, I think that’s a good question because there are a lot of people who wouldn’t know what it was now. Like just coming in from tumblr and things like that since fandom has gone off in so many different directions. Um, it’s a community [chuckles] of people, it’s not just one fandom it’s people from all over all walks of fandom, and it’s hosted on Journal Fen which is a Livejournal clone and it basically mocks the various absurdities of fandom, if I was gonna, kind of try and sum it up. And those absurdities could be anything from, like I said, BNFs dictating how fandom should run, or, you know, people sockpuppeting or pseudo-cide as you will, that kind of stuff. So it can be all kinds of things.

Emma: And I think you just said you can find it on Journal Fen these days, but actually I think if people, if you just google fandom wank you’ll find it.

Snacky: Yeah. It’ll pop right up. And, um, it’s a community, you know, um Journal Fen is a small livejournal clone, as I said, and it’s, you have to sign up for an account there. It’s not always easy, they don’t always have account creation on, and then people just join fandom_wank. I think we’re at like 6000 members, it would probably be more if account creation was on, but um it’s kind of slowed down its growth. It had its peak probably, you know, around Harry Potter peaking, kind of thing. It kind of went hand in hand with that fandom, I will say that. So people will post a wank, you know they’ll find something funny that they think is funny and they’ll post it to the community and then the community members will react to it, whether it’s laughing at it or mocking it in its own way, or saying ‘hey that was kind of interesting’ and you know moving on from there. That’s kind of how it operates.

Emma: So how did it get started? Do you know who started it and when?

Snacky: It started in, I think it was 2002 on livejournal and it was started by someone whose name was arcane156, and she still has an account on Journal Fen but livejournal deleted fandom_wank after a few months. It got shut down after people complained to livejournal abuse about harassment. And then she got her own account deleted because they said that she owned it so they deleted them and, um, I don’t know it was actually harassment, any harassment going on to be honest, I mean when I think about what goes on today in fandom in anon comms, on tumblr, and so on I think ‘wow it was pretty mild’ then.

Emma: Yeah. [both laugh]

Snacky: People didn’t want to be made fun of, and I understand that, but I don’t know that it was actually harassment, but maybe back then as a whole we as fandom were just really unused to being criticised. [both laugh] So after it was thrown off of LJ it went over to another livejournal clone which was called blurty, and I don’t even know if that’s still around. But fandom_wank was there for a while and I think that was kind of when I got more active in it. I think when it was on livejournal I had just been reading along, and then on blurty I sta- I remember commenting, and there was some really, we did have like um some wanky things that happened then. But again somebody complained and it got thrown off, all deleted, everything was lost. And so after, the people who own Journal Fen are fans themselves, as you might tell from the name journal fen. And they had been planning on opening that themselves, they also hosted I think it was Slash City [Emma makes sound of agreement], websites for people – slashers at the time – to do your own private website, that kind of web space. So they had planning on, I think, opening Journal Fen and when fandom_wank needed a home they kind of rushed into it and opened it and offered to host us. So we’ve been there, I looked this up, since March of 2003, so we’re coming up on the 10th anniversary on Journal Fen.

Emma: Oh wow. Is there anything planned for the 10th anniversary, or do you think it’ll just pass quietly?

Snacky: I don’t know. We used to do stuff like that a lot, like anniversaries and April Fools’ jokes and stuff like that and we kind of let it drop after a while. But we talked about it a little bit, some of the mods, so we might try and do something for the 10th anniversary. I’m not sure what, so stay tuned, because something might happen in March, but I’m not entirely sure. Maybe we’ll try and find wankers of great times past or something.

Emma: Oh wow. [laughs] Where are they now? Exactly.

Snacky: Exactly.

Emma: So for people who aren’t familiar with it, you’ve already talked a little bit actually, about how the community works so people just post stuff to it; but could you talk a little bit more about that? What do the moderators do? And what do the people who read and follow the journal – like take us through a typical wank.

Snacky: A typical wank. Well what will happen is, like I said, say you were in – we’ve mentioned Harry Potter fandom – you’re in Harry Potter fandom and say you found something where two people are like having sock puppet wars or something like that. Something weird was going on and people were getting very wanky or, you know, they weren’t enjoying themselves let’s say. But it still seemed kind of amusing and odd so they might take it to fandom_wank, and they would have to be a member to post. And then they would create a post writing up the situation and offering links to it is usually what happens. After that it gets submitted to a queue, um fandom_wank is moderated and really only because people used to submit - ‘cause they hated fandom_wank – they used to submit things like Eff you all over and over again in, like, 100 point, just to bring the servers down, which it would. So we started moderating the posts so that wouldn’t happen, any kind of abuse or just Eff you over and over again kind of thing. But for the most part we don’t really moderate anything beyond that, you know, we just let people decide what they want to post and if it doesn’t violate any of our major rules we let it go through. And then once it’s posted people will read it and they’ll probably follow the links and then they make comments on it and often discussion is started in the comments, maybe about fandom topic, whatever they were talking about , or sometimes they’re laughing, and sometimes they go off on tangents. So the community all have their own thing they are there for, it’s a pretty big community, and people are all there for something different. Sometimes people are there just because they want to read what’s going on in fandom and the fandom gossip, although I will say fandom_wank is a lot quieter these days than it used to be, so it’s not quite that hub that it used to be.

Emma: Oh yeah, and we’re going to come back to that subject here in a little bit. I mean would you say there’s a particular philosophy that fandom_wank has toward fandom, or towards what it does, or is it just kind of a free-for-all? I don’t know.

Snacky: [laughing] This is one of the things I brought to the other moderators, and one of them said ‘it really frightens me to think that we have a purpose.’ [both laugh] But I think, you know, on our info page on JournalFen it says ‘because we think “Fandom is Fucking Funny” is not taking it far enough’. So, um, I think that, and that’s kind of an old joke that really came out of Livejournal when it was still back then, because people would say ‘oh, you think fandom’s fucking funny, but this is taking it too far’, but no, it wasn’t taking it far enough. [laugh] And, um, you know we would, the other thing we used to say was ‘mock, mock, mockity, mock’ because that’s what we were there to do. So, um, I think if we have a philosophy that’s probably it. We’re just here to laugh.

Emma: So is there anything that would be off-limits? Like is there a point, like are there subjects or are there things that if it came up the moderators would step in and say no?

Snacky: Yeah, we’ve had to reject some posts. The main things are we don’t wank minors because they’re not allowed on JournalFen, the owners of JournalFen did not want it to be opened up to minors for reasons of their own, because they felt it was an adult website, you know, and they didn’t want to have to answer to parents if the case came down to it. So we don’t wank people who are under 18 if we know about that, and if we find out that somebody is we’ll delete that if it’s gone through. There are some people who were banned from JournalFen by the JournalFen owners and we don’t wank them, I don’t really want to start listing names-

Emma: Right, of course.

Snacky: There’s more than one. I know there’s one that people always think, ‘oh yes, that person’ and um, but there’s quite a few actually, I think, over the years it has come up. And there are some times where the JournalFen admins will ask us, it’s been very rare, but they’ll ask us to delete a post for certain reasons and we’ll do something like that. Non fandom topics aren’t allowed. One thing about fandom_wank it kind of splintered off into a whole bunch of other comms, so there’s like, otf_wank for things that weren’t part of fandom, and then there were specific other wanky things I think the Harry Potter stuff at one point fed to a comm we called the hp_cornfield [Emma laughs] because it was just so overwhelming. But for the most part there isn’t a lot that’s off topic, like I said we try to keep things that aren’t funny, and I don’t mean like that’s just a matter of perspective, you know like some people will say ‘that’s not funny that’s my friend being wanked’, but that’s not what I mean, like one time we had to delete a post about a murder-suicide shooting, and that was really not anything we were ever going to p- let go through, because that’s not – like I said we don’t really have a purpose or a philosophy but that would, if we had one that would definitely not be what it was.

Emma: Right so it sounds like as long as it’s all in sort of the spirit of, you know, mocking ridiculousness in fandom then it’s fine but when it crosses the line to things that could actually cause people actual harm then yeah…

Snacky: And you know people’s mileage varies on that.

Emma: Sure.

Snacky: A lot of people have thought what we put up is not funny [chuckles] um, but you know that’s where we let that lie fast and loose I think. It’s only when it’s only when it’s really demonstrated, either it’s very clear to us ahead of time that that’s going to hurt someone – like the murder-suicide thing was not going to go through – or if it’s been demonstrated afterwards that it’s really causing people extreme pain or distress, or you know something that is really tangible that we can tell and that’s hard to make a rule because it’s one of those we know it when we see it, and we’ll get rid of stuff that will, you know people sometimes contact the mods off fandom_wank. We have a very visible email address and there is a lot of stuff that we deal with behind the scenes that people don’t actually ever see. And often people threaten to sue us, [laughs] that has happened over the years more times than I can count. But, um, people will come to us with legitimate complaints and we’ll take of that.

Emma: What do you see as the role – and this is the question I ask as, like, a serious interviewer, right and I have a feeling you saw this question and laughed your ass off, but I do think there’s an answer to this so I’m going to ask it anyway – what do you think is the role of fandom_wank in fandom? What does it do for fandom that is valuable?

Snacky: I think, you know sometimes in fandom – and I mean this is probably just from me, I can’t really speak for everybody on list members, and even the other mods – but I think that sometimes in fandom that people get really caught up in it and they take it really, really seriously. And I’m all for taking it seriously, you know, it’s one of the best hobbies I’ve ever had, one of the most fun things I’ve ever done, I’ve met some really great people, you know people have become my best friends over this, you know on the same side of that I think sometimes we take it really seriously and we let things that are not really matters of life and death become so important that we fight with people over ship wars. [Emma makes agreeing sound] You know there’s threats made and people get angry and stuff like that. I think fandom_wank the role is to remind us to laugh at ourselves. You know we can’t take it all that seriously. Again I don’t want to call that a purpose, ‘cause we’re just there to laugh at it, [Emma makes agreeing sound] when it looks like it has reached critical mass of absurdity, whatever it is, you know people fighting over ships, or people sock-puppeting their lives away, or stuff like that we’re going to be there to laugh at it. I think a few years ago when fandom was less splintered, before people started, you know, leaving livejournal for other platforms that kind of stuff, I think it did function as a central clearing house of fandom, sort of. You know like a gossip central, or a maybe almost like a fandom news kind of thing, it wasn’t ever its purpose but it was so active and people were posting so many things from so many different fandoms you could really get a good idea of what was going on in fandom.

Emma: You know that is a really interesting point because actually kind of remember back in like, say 2005-2006 that you could go over to fandom_wank and just sort of scroll down the page and get a sense of what big things were happening. And there’s not really any sort of big clearing house like that, I mean like you said things have kind of slowed down on fandom_wank, but that’s really interesting. Do you think that fandom_wank had any kind of – I don’t want to say, they weren’t like the fandom police – but I do remember there was a sense back in like the mid-2000s, at least in the Harry Potter fandom, where people were cautious about posting things that they thought were going to create wank. And they started to be much more self-conscious, at least in the circles I ran in, people started to be much more self-conscious about what they posted. Um, did you see that in the fandom circles that you ran in? Did you think that fandom_wank kind of had this, like… it was kind of like this presence, like ‘now don’t be too much of an asshole, ‘cause you’re going to wind up on fandom_wank’.

Snacky: I d-, you know and I’ve heard people say that, I don’t think we ever wanted to be the fandom police or function as that, again I can’t speak for everyone as a whole, I mean certainly people have come to fandom_wank and posted wanks and they’ve been called out for grudge wanking. We’re not- and a lot of- and the members would respond en masse: we’re not here to be fandom police, we’re not here to fight your battles for you. But I do think, I don’t know if I want to call it a chilling effect, but, some people looked at some of the things that were happening and they’d say maybe ‘okay maybe I am thinking twice about writing this post’ or ‘maybe I’m thinking twice about doing this or doing that’ and, you know in some ways it was that they were scared that, you know, something bad would happen and they’d end up on fandom_wank and they’d be immortalised forever, but for the most part I think that there are very few people who have that reputation. You know? [Emma makes agreeing noise] I think that you could probably count them on, alright, two hands maybe ten people that you could say of all the people who were wanked over the years: these are the ones that really stand out as, like, super-wankers and they can’t shed that reputation. But that’s probably because they were repeat wankers, ‘cause we had a lot of those [Emma chuckles] and they did things over and over and over again. So for the most part people, even though they were scared and they were cautious, which like I said I’d heard, I don’t know that that was actually anything, a real repercussion that would of come back to them. I mean think of all, I think of all the wanks I’ve read and saw over the years and nine times out of ten I go ‘well who was that person?’, you know-

Emma: Right.

Snacky: -it would never occur to me, if their name came up, I’d be like ‘oh that one’, no it doesn’t really ring a bell. Kind of thing.

Emma: I think too, like, just sort of social, like enforcing social norms of fandom, like this is what you don’t do kind of thing. It was almost like, maybe it still has this effect in some fandoms, but I do remember there being a time when, you know what, you just don’t do that and if you do that you’ll wind up on fandom_wank and you deserve it.

Snacky: Yeah.

Emma: That kind of- you know? It was the only way we could punish each other in this land of avatars, you know?

Snacky: Yeah. I see what you’re saying yeah. And I think a lot of people did feel that way. Don’t behave like that or people are going to laugh at you. And in the long term lau- people laughing at you is not the worst thing that could happen, I guess.

Emma: Right.

Snacky: So if it was going to be punishment, it was probably going to be one of the best punishments you could get.

Emma: [sounding amused] A slap on the wrist. But then some people, I’m sure, didn’t take it that way.

Snacky: No. No they did not. And you know some people really still hate us to this day. In the early days of fandom_wank when I would run across some people in, outside of fandom_wank , in other communities and stuff like that they would say ‘oh, you’re that person from fandom_wank’ and I’d be like argh and I’d find myself in a position of having to answer for all of fandom_wank’s sins and I kind of gave that one up a long time ago. I can’t really defend fandom_wank like that to people who are upset by it and who have been hurt by it, you know all I can say is I’m sorry, it’s not for everyone, some people have thicker skins than others, some people find things different than other people do. And you know I really, we really are never, it’s never our intention to hurt people but I know that people have been upset by it. And I think a lot of people got over it and moved past it, you know I see people someday- sometimes say ‘you know I was wanked, and you know it was kind of funny, you know I locked things down for a while, but I got over it’, but like I said I’m sure there are some people who bear massive grudges against us.

Emma: So do you think that the role of fandom_wank in fandom has changed in the last five years? I mean one of the things that we should probably go ahead and talk about is sort how wank has changed in fandom over the last say, let’s say, decade. We’ve both been in fandom for, you sound like you might have been in fandom a little bit longer than I have, but I’ve been around for about a decade. And so from the mailing list days, to everything being concentrated on LJ, to splintering to journal sites and splintering off in all these other directions do you see wank happening differently than it used to? Or how has that changed over the years?

Snacky: One of the other mods, phosfate on journalfen and annlarimer on livejournal, she says, er, “wankiness never changes but the way fandom reacts to it does”, so I think, you know, there’s a swing in fandom_wank and I think people prefer to talk about it anonymously these days. I think there’s been a great rise in anon memes and some of them are fandom specific, and there are a few that are fandom in general. And I think that’s where a lot of discussion and wank goes on, or discussion of wank, I think they’ve taken over a lot of the role that fandom_wank used to play.

Emma: That’s interesting, I mean so when you talk about anon- when you think about like anon memes on LJ, or are you thinking of anon comments on tumblr? Like what kinds of?

Snacky: I think more in a fandom sense anon memes on LJ or Dreamwidth. You know there are fandom specific ones, so like I know the Doctor Who anon meme was very big for a long time. And then there’s one on LJ fail fandom anon that people just feel comfortable interacting anonymously, and that is one drawback to fandom_wank because we don’t have anon commenting on most of the time because when we have it’s always turned really sour really fast. People r- partly because, I think, the people are named in the thing and when, you know, people hide behind anonymity and really can be cruel. So that was one of the things that we kind of cut out early on in fandom_wank, we, when it started to get really bad for people. People making threats, people saying really inappropriate things we shut it off and I think some people really like to have an anonymous outlet. There’s been shifts in fandom in terms of tones of discussion I want to say with, like, social justice discussions, like race fail. You know, that brought a whole different tone to fandom and I think for the most part in a good way but I think a lot of people got really scared about saying something and saying something wrong, and perhaps afraid of being dog-piled. You know I see that a lot, so I think they turned to anon memes where they could discuss things without fear of putting a foot wrong and then getting attacked.

Emma: So there’s definitely been a slow-down at fandom_wank, it seems like there if you just look at the dates now, the dates of posts compared to say five or six years ago there’s a slow-down. So is it the same people? Are new people coming in? Or is it kind of the same members who are just interacting there?

Snacky: I think it’s the same members, we don’t really have much growth any more. Like I said Journal Fen doesn’t turn on account creation and we don’t really allow anon commenting so I think you know that kind of did that for us. I think part of it is because the mods are really o- you know hands off at fandom_wank. We only – we’re more reactive than proactive and I think a lot of people would say that’s a fault for modding [laughs] but for that community and the way it started that was what the community wanted, you know they did not want hands on mods, they did not want people saying, you know ‘don’t do this’ all the time, ‘don’t do that’. The rules that we have grew up over the years and I think if you look at them, I think there’s eight rules and I mean some are very long, but there aren’t any more than eight rules and that’s stuff that, you know, we add to very rarely. So it’s mostly self-modding so what we do is we allow the community to say if they don’t think something belongs at fandom_wank, you know somebody’ll post something and everybody’ll say ‘oh that’s unfunny don’t put it there, don’t have that’ and I think that’s part of what happened with fandom_wank and I don’t want to say it’s dead but I feel like it’s just really slowed down. We don’t really have any kind of growth and we have people who have been there for a long time and they know what they like and so it’s, you know, new people don’t really go there.

Emma: I guess the question I h- the follow up question I want to ask then is: you were talking about, like, the f- the anon memes that are on LJ and things like that now that people seem to have gone to, I haven’t really spent much time on those so I can’t really do a comparison, but do you think that the nature of the way people respond to wank, or report wank is different if they do it anonymously than it was on fandom_wank where your name would be attached to it forever?

Snacky: I think they’re still naming people and linking to things that happen but I think they don’t have to worry about being the one who has reported it or somebody hating them for doing that. I don’t think it’s really that big of a difference, I think it’s just anonymous discussion. People are saying that they want. I think fandom_wank it still has its place and people still come to it when there’s some really big things that happen, but it’s not the same as it was and again that’s just a- it’s a combination of factors, it’s fandom splintering off of livejournal because of all of livejournal’s antics, you know, and going to dreamwidth or going to wherever they went to from that; tumblr, you know some people do everything on twitter these days, so it, you know there’s people everywhere and fandom is all over the place there’s still, there’s forums on fanfiction.net that people are very active in. So it’s all over the place and it’s going to be that same thing it used to be and the one thing that JournalFen offered to fandom_wank was it was never going to be thrown off of it. So as much as it focussed on livejournal and that aspect of fandom people could complain all they want but Journal- the JournalFen owners were never going to throw us off because people were being too mean. It was a different kind of situation back then so we had that freedom of stepping back and looking at people and saying ‘haha that was really funny’, but there’s no- that central clearing house has gone so we’ve had people post twitter wanks – they’re very hard to follow-

Emma: [laughs] I bet!

Snacky: It really is. You have to work the timeline backwards and try and get that right. And you know Tumblr is not as hard to find and there’s been some really funny stuff, you know the craziness with the One Direction fans earlier this year, although we couldn’t really mock them because most of them were underage.

Emma: Back in what I guess I think of as the glory days of, like, fandom_wank and fandom on LJ, like the mid 2000s, 2004-2007 somewhere in there I remember that when wank happened in a fandom it would kind of paralyse the fandom for a few days and it was like all anybody could talk about, everyone would make f’locked posts about what they- how they felt about the wank and everybody would go over to fandom_wank and see what was going on and it was kind of all anyone could talk about, but there was nowhere else they could go. It was kind of like in the mailing list days if there was some kind of a flame war between BNFs going on that was all you could do. You kind of had to go off-list to do anything else. Now these days it doesn’t seem like that happens quite so much because it’s on tumblr you can just not look at that.

Snacky: Right.

Emma: You can filter it out, or if it’s on tumblr you can go to LJ, or if it’s on LJ you can go to twitter. I mean does this mean that mean that wank has the same impact on fandom as it used to? Or sometimes when I’m looking at my tumblr dash people will be talking about wank and I haven’t seen a bit of it. You know? I’m like ‘I’m in this fandom, how did I miss it?’.

Snacky: I know.

Emma: I wouldn’t have missed it five years ago. How do you? I mean what’s your experience with that?

Snacky: I don’t know that it’s that same kindof ‘oh we all have to stop and be upset about it’ kind of thing. I think some people seem to really enjoy this fighting that goes on and stuff like that, but on the other hand I think it’s a good thing for people who are like ‘I can’t deal with this’, you know they really now have the option not to.

Emma: Right.

Snacky: I don’t want to look at it, I’m just going to, I’m going to retire to my journal and not see anything anymore for a while. Or I’m just going to be over here in my corner writing fic, and I’ll be okay.

Emma: [chuckles] It is funny that sometimes, and this where I’m going to sound like the old lady shaking her stick and saying ‘get off my lawn’, that every now and then when I do see a wank happening, like on tumblr especially where the age seems like it’s pretty skewed young, at least in the fandoms that I’m involved in, and they are like going on about things that fandom has been fighting about for decades and they’re acting like it’s new, and they’re like ‘how are you people acting like this?’, and ‘why are you doing this?’ and derderderderder, and I’m thinking ‘because that’s been happening for twenty years’ I want to, like, link some back to old wanks. You know, like, look, we’ve talked about this before, this is not new. It’s amazing.

Snacky: I think that was something we used to see a lot in fandom_wank, like every summer you’d have the same round of ‘is slash out of character?’ kind of thing. [both laugh] I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat through that one. Or ‘is RPF, are we all going to hell if we read it?’ or you know, all those different things. So when you see it come up on tumblr with the new fans, it is, it’s kind of funny you’re like [sucks breath through teeth], oh we’ve done this one before. Here’s I’ll send something, have a look. [Emma laughs] And that was one of the ones, again, the One Direction thing that happened a few months ago I think, when Asia wrote a story for the Daily Dot about One Direction tin hats and was talking about older fandoms where they were tin hats and tin hatting going on and those kids just lost their minds. [Emma laughs] [Overdramatic] She was bullying them! She was breaking the fourth wall! She was doing all these terrible things! And yet they had all the same things that everyone has ever said about a tin hat fandom, you know ‘the poor boys are being oppressed by the evil PR’ and all that stuff and there is nothing new under the sun. [both chuckle] You just think these kids just have to outgrow it and yes, I am an old lady shaking my cane, you kids get off my lawn! But the weird thing is at least these days with so much interaction with the people that they’re fanning about, you know, they see what’s going on. I know that that has been a big problem with the One Direction fandom, that the people in One Direction, the boys in One Direction have this direct interaction with the fans and they’re like ‘you people are being crazy and you’re threatening my mother’, or something, you know ‘stop’, because it’s all happening on twitter, in real time.

Emma: Which is just amazing, you know when I think about, like, ten years ago when I was in fandom the idea that you could have that kind of interaction with people you were writing fic about blows my mind.

Snacky: Right? I know, it’s crazy.

Emma: The next question I have for you is about the future of fandom_wank.

Snacky: I don’t know about the future of fandom_wank! We’re still there, we’re not going anywhere. I know people have worried about, you know, if it gets deleted, or, you know, what if we just shut the whole thing down and we’re not going to do that. We like to have that archive of wank. It is kind of a little historical thing of fandom, you know, and I know some people don’t care about that, but there’s fanlore now and the OTW who do, who are concerned about the history of fandom. And I know one of our members at one point had downloaded a big chunk of fandom_wank to save just in case something happened. I would, if possible, someday back it up to somewhere else if we could. I know you can port communities to Dreamwidth now and I would do that for that reason. Just to save it. Just to have a backup archive of it. JournalFen they’re not planning on going anywhere. I know we talk to the owners sometimes and, you know when they’ve had down time or outages people worry because it is kind of, you know fandom_wank their big draw, I think, for a while and things got quiet over there and they worry ‘oh are they going to take that website away?’ but they have no plans to do that. We just hope it’ll stay the test of time. Um, there’s always the wiki, which is not complete, but you know, anybody can sign up for that and add wanks as they feel free. It’s just nice to have, I guess, you know, to look back sometimes at some of those crazy things that happened. It is a part of fandom, I’d hate to see it be lost forever.

Emma: Yeah that’s really true. I mean I think that your point about it being part of the history of fandom is definitely a good one. I mean, even when you look back – I was looking at the wiki earlier – and looking back over something like, I think there’s like a page of the most famous wanks and looking back over them some of them took me back, but then some of them I thought ‘wow that’s like, that’s really going back quite a ways’, and just when you read the description, you look at who was involved and what was happening, you kind of get a window into how fandom operated then and in a way that it is different now. And I think especially as technology keeps changing and as we move forward and you know we’re not as centralised as we were back then it’s going to be really interesting to look back at how we fought then compared to how we’ll fight in the future [laughs], cause you know we’re going to.

Snacky: Oh we’re always going to. There’s never going to be a difference, um, you know different fighting or different wanking, but just what happens with it is what’s going to be different. I mean it’s still chugging along so we don’t have any plans, and maybe things will swing back to we need a central clearing house for fandom who knows? You know people might want to use it again. Maybe JournalFen will open up account creation again and maybe some people will come over there and decide it’ll be fun to post tumblr wanks or something like that. We’ll see what happens. It’s always going to be there.

Emma: Awesome. Well, before we go I just wanted to ask you what is your favourite wank of all time?

Snacky: That’s a hard one. I really did, after the fact, with miss scribe [?], that wank, that was something else, you know. That was one of those things when it was revealed all those things she did and how she played everyone in fandom for years and years, including fandom_wank, cause there were always wanks being posted and people were like ‘ohh look at that’, and then to look at it in retrospect it was kind of amazing that one woman pulled all that off. And I liked a lot of the Lord of the Rings ones back in the days, like the Victoria Bitter thing is still such an amazing story, which said eat this now, you now, it goes by than fiction, you know stopped being quite as funny when you saw what was going on, but it was pretty funny in the beginning. That was a really funny one. Some really old school ones make me laugh still.

Emma: And if anybody wants to learn more about these awesome wanks of fandom past we’ll post the link to, not only to fandom_wank, but also to the wiki on our Post Show Post. People can go and check those out. I think my personal favourite is still His Wife, a Horse, and that’s all I’ll say about that because I think that might come up in the Meta Chat. [Snacky is laughing]

Snacky: And if you go to our, if we link to the info page of fandom_wank there’s links off of that to everything: to the wiki, if people want a link to all our tags so they can go through the tags and look at everything there’s links to everything right there, so, all the other comms, all the history it’s all there.

Emma: Fantastic. Well thank you so much for taking time on this day of the apocalypse.

Snacky: Yup!

Emma: To talk to me about fandom_wank.

Snacky: Talking about fandom_wank did not bring the apocalypse on.

Emma: It didn’t amazingly enough.

Snacky: Thank you for having me. [laughs]

Emma: Alright. Thanks a lot. Bye bye.

Snacky: Bye.

Transcribed by: angelbabe_cj

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