[12:07] furiosity: >:|
[12:07] goneril: no?
[12:08] furiosity: *polishes "be nice to computers plz" badge*
[12:08] goneril: i am lovely to computer when it is lovely to me
[12:08] goneril: at the moment it's a right bastard
[12:09] furiosity: that's probably because you have not shown it enough love
[12:09] furiosity: computers are people too
[12:09] goneril: but i am grumpy and in pain!
[12:09] goneril: it should make allowances for me!
[12:09] furiosity: ...very selfish people, computers.
[12:10] goneril: and it needs to tell me when something is wrong
[12:10] goneril: rather than making me guess
[12:10] furiosity: computers are playful like that!
[12:10] goneril: ahaha *pets f*
[12:10] furiosity: I'm so delusional.
Also, ahahahaha, best channel topic ever.
On an entirely unrelated note, this has been percolating since December and I think it'll be easier if I just type it out and let it out there rather than letting it clog up my brain. The subject? Friend!slash. Harry/Ron. Sirius/James. Legolas/Aragorn. You know. Best friends become lovers. There is porn. The end.
A lot of people who are more into antagonistic/problematic ships say such ships are boring and while I see the merit to that argument, I emphatically disagree that the ships are boring. They're only boring if they're written in a way that's boring. At the core of it, I think there's at least some quasi-intellectual snobbery involved in saying "oh, friend!slash is so easy". It is easy in many ways because there is no need to justify mutual like, no need to struggle for a scenario that will bring the pair together despite canon odds that are stacked against them.
But friendship isn't easy. We don't always see eye to eye with our friends, sometimes misunderstandings become full-blown rows, there's jealousy and competition that's far more difficult to deal with -- when competing against a friend, winning often feels like losing, for example. In short, a friendship isn't easy and turning friendship into something more than that is often far more difficult than writing random hate!sex between two rivals. If you're going for a canon feel, to justify Harry and Ron's mutual sexual attraction means to reexamine their entire relationship throughout the books under a different lens. It's easier with James and Sirius, who are far less developed than both Harry and Ron, but yeah.
Not to mention that once a friendship turns into something more than that, things can get pretty damn hairy. Things that were once innocent suddenly become sexualised (e.g. playful tussling matches) and depending on the characters involved, their sexual/social backgrounds, upbringing, attitudes towards homosexuality and a slew of other things, the relationship shifts and changes, and these things are no less exciting or interesting than the things that happen as two enemies find common ground and build a sexual/romantic relationship from that ground. It's not easy to write friend!slash -- in fact, as a Harry/Draco writer who has in the past attempted to write canon-esque Harry/Ron (and only in drabble form!), I can tell you that for me it's far more difficult to write Harry/Ron. I'll probably never attempt to write Harry/Ron seriously, simply because the pairing just does not push my emotional buttons like Harry/Draco or Blaise/Draco pairings do. That's personal preference, though, not a value judgement.
It's somewhat deliberate that I didn't include pairings like Draco/Blaise and Lucius/Snape above. That Draco and Blaise are friends is a bit questionable (it works in canon but their interaction, precious little of it that we see, does not speak of the same sort of friendship that Harry has with Ron or that James had with Sirius). We know that Snape is "Lucius's old friend", at least according to Narcissa Malfoy, but the portrayal of both characters in canon seems to also speak against the kind of open, earnest friendship that we see with Harry and Ron, for example. Plus, Slytherins are tricksy sorts, and while I think they're perfectly capable of friendship, I sincerely doubt that we'll ever see a flattering canon portrayal of a Slytherin friendship. Nevertheless, pairings like Lucius/Snape and Draco/Blaise are also way easier to set up than, say, Snape/Black or Harry/Draco.
So basically, I have absolutely nothing against friend!slash in principle, and I respect friend!slash writers' efforts far more than any of them will ever know because it is really difficult to shift a completely nonsexual dynamic into sexual territory. However (there is always a 'however', isn't there?). I do have to admit that the 'gotta slash 'em all' attitude grates on me, and this is usually most pronounced when it comes to the friend!slash pairings. "Oh, they're always together. They're so doing it!" It's often said in jest and it's part of the subculture humour, I suppose -- EVERYONE IS GAY! YAY! It's when it becomes a serious motto that I wrinkle my nose. Because hey, friendship doesn't need to mean sex. In fact, most of the time sex is taboo in a true friendship because it mucks things up more often than not (speaking from experience -_-). Obviously, there's pure fantasy slash where prior characterisation and/or canon is out the window and it's all about the porn -- I'm not talking about that, because I don't read that kind of fic.
Basically, to me it feels like adding sex to the equation totally cheapens the sentiment of a strong friendship -- sex is fantastic, mind, and the idea of experiencing the most intimate kind of closeness is definitely... appealing, on paper. But I suppose I'm just really committed to realism. It's possible that I just live on another planet, but most friendships I'm familiar with (both my own and those of people around me) are not sexual relationships -- in fact, a lot of people with close friends are heard expressing the sentiment that "it would be like sleeping with a relative" (and out here at least, incest is generally frowned upon and most people are not thrilled about the idea of sleeping with their sibling/mother/pet goat). But I digress.
Of course it also depends on the friendship itself and both friends' social/sexual backgrounds -- there are friendships where sex is a matter of convenience and both friends are able to keep the sex and the friendship separate. But in the strong friendships we've observed in HP canon, the only friends-with-benefits pairing that I can believe is Sirius/James -- and that's only pre-Lily and only because we know so little about these characters, compared to Harry. To me, the Marauders generally exude a sort of devil-may-care attitude that translates well into a FWB setup. But Harry and Ron? I've read and adored Harry/Ron before, but I don't see their friendship as at all sexually charged and both of them get a lot of face-time in the books.
I don't really have a point with this, by the way, you're fantastic for reading this far. I'm just rambling and trying to sort out the mess in my head. Because there's a knee-jerk sort of reaction I have to "friends become lovers" where I immediately think "ugh, cheap" or "ugh, friendship taint" but rationally, I realise that that doesn't necessarily have to be that way. Sex isn't dirty, nor does it have to be meaningless so the 'cheap' and 'taint' from my knee-jerk response don't hold up to any sort of logical analysis. -_- Chomp, chomp.
I mean, yeah, I can definitely see the appeal of Frodo/Sam and Legolas/Aragorn based on the movie version of LotR. However, I was a book fan first, and in the books -- well. The friendship between the members of the fellowship is an ideal standard that I've held my own friendships up to quite often, and to me, slashing members of the Fellowship feels just... like a cop-out. Like the friendship isn't real and what drives the interactions between the characters is an underlying sexual desire. And I guess I simply resent the sentiment that friendship is just an excuse for sex. Not because sex is dirty/wrong but because in my experience, sexual relationship dynamics and friendship dynamics are completely different, and to be totally honest with you? If I could choose between a) never having sex again but having loyal friends for life or b) spending the rest of my life never deprived of sex but having no meaningful friendships? I'd choose friends.
ETA: Since it's apparently not clear from my post (go figure), I'm not saying "all fics about friendship-cum-romance are cheapening friendship". Good? Good. Christ on a stick.