I wrote a blog entry the other day called And how is this not bullying? which talks about my discomfort with the whole thing happening in Twitter about slasher fan fiction regarding the candidates’ sons. It’s been getting read a lot and I think someone saw it and posted it on their Facebook feed, but I don’t know who but my site is getting a lot of traffic since yesterday.
I’ve been talking about the whole thing with my friends on Twitter and even my Dad and some of my other friends who saw my tweets sent me a message to explain why that is and “they are all in the public eye and that makes them fair game” really mean.
I’m trying to reconcile all of this — my disturbed feelings and discomfort — and trying to find why it’s okay for a comedian, in a show, to parody or satire or impersonate someone like Sarah Palin or George Bush but I feel put off by this whole fan fiction thing.
It’s probably not because they are the president’s kids, because as I was told, they were used in the campaigns as political tools when they realised that they have an effect on young voters. Or they got traction when some sites decided to put out an article promoting the sons of the candidates and how attractive they might be (I didn’t like that article either). Whatever the case may be, they are there in the spotlight, so people can go for it.
So I was told: consider it social commentary. Consider it parody or satire.
A friend of mine said:
because these guys chose to be part of the campaign process, and have thus stepped into the public eye, i think fair game lang that theyve inspired this imagery
let’s not forget, though: it’s fiction
so they’d do best to have a sense of humor about it
in fact, if i was in their shoes, i would be flattered. to be seen as hot – to have inspired fantasy – isn’t so bad, is it?
I was thinking about that a lot and it just occurred to me that in movies they always have that line: all names and persons in this film are fictional and not based on any person living or dead. They put that at the end of movies so that they don’t get called out for libel, right?
Is that just it? That it’s okay to be seen as hot and that they should be flattered about it? That people would be fantasising about you having sex? I don’t know why that bothers me.
There are other reasons that is making me re-consider my over-reaction but that reason — they should feel flattered — doesn’t quite cut it for me. If that was the sole reason why it’s acceptable, then it really doesn’t hold water. But there are more reasons that people have given.
Maybe I’ve become sex-negative. That I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more conservative. I enjoy parodies and satire, when it is well-written, because the ones that I do enjoy actually make fun of actual characteristics of these people that’s being parodied. Aside from their appearance and that fact that they are the children of their parents, I don’t know anything about these people. That’s why it seems wrong for me because it’s not really a parody or satire, is it? When it’s completely made up?
Satire from an online dictionary:
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
Parody from an online dictionary:
an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect.
So, I don’t know if these fan fictions can be even called subversive political satires because it doesn’t really expose or criticise people’s stupidity or vices. All they do is put real people in sexual situations to elicit laughter and maybe even arousal.
Yes, there’s a comical effect. Yes, some of them are really good and funny. I just don’t see the point.
Maybe I’ve become corny as I got older. Maybe I’ve become sex-negative. I don’t know. I have to think about this further. I got into quite a lot of discussions about this and until now, I still feel uncomfortable about this whole thing. I still feel disturbed. I’m now thinking of looking into my social media accounts to see if I’ve ever done the same thing.
Who knows? I might be guilty of the same thing? In which case, then I know for sure that I’ve changed.
But after all that has been said and done and I still have a lot of thinking to do about this, I know I’m still uncomfortable and disturbed by this. And I know I wouldn’t want this to be done to me so I wish it wouldn’t happen to anyone.
Truth of the matter: I can handle it if it did. I’ve got a thick skin and I’m sensitive but I can roll with the punches. What happens when this happens again on someone who doesn’t have a sense of humour?
Yeah, we all have fun and a couple of laughs but what about the other person? It’s the fact that it’s so public and everyone can see. I just worry about how some people might not be able to handle it.
I have to keep thinking about this and try to get down to what I really think and believe. I have a lot of soul-searching to do here.