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Teeth and Kerfuffles - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
speakr2customrs
speakr2customrs
Teeth and Kerfuffles
Don’t be fooled by the humorous ficlets that I’ve been putting up recently. The last few days have not been a fun time for me.

A couple of weeks back a tooth snapped off at the gum line. It had been heavily filled previously and didn’t cause me any significant pain. Inconvenient rather than anything worse. I had an extra tooth inserted into my existing set of false teeth to fill the gap and on Thursday I was to get the stump root-filled. That shouldn’t have been too bad.

And then on Tuesday the matching tooth on the other side of my mouth did almost the same thing. It didn’t quite snap at gum level; a viciously pointed Spike that looked like a scale model of a great white shark’s tooth remained as a hazard for my tongue.

As a result my Thursday dental appointment was something of a marathon. Following a ten-hour night shift I arrived at the dentist and spent an hour and a half having root canal work (without anaesthetic) and also having the Spike smoothed and rebuilt. Something of an ordeal but it did leave my mouth in much better shape.

Until yesterday my lower palate snapped in half as I slept and I woke up in the evening with two pieces of sharp-edged plastic loose in my mouth. I don’t know how I didn’t choke – probably it was the palate snapping that woke me, although it was time for me to get up anyway.

This morning I phoned the dentist, who does have a surgery on Saturday mornings – but not today. Closed. And the probable reason for being closed on what would normally be a working day? It’s a Bank Holiday in the British Isles on Monday and he will be taking a long weekend. So I won’t be able to do anything about getting something done about the teeth until Tuesday. It’s only back teeth that are missing on my bottom jaw, and I can talk and bite perfectly well – but my chewing is severely impaired and it’s not very comfortable. Things like that always happen at the start of Bank Holiday weekends. And I work Bank Holidays anyway, if they fall during my scheduled nights, despite the fact that I work in a bank!



I have heard that there is a kerfuffle just coming to an end. I haven’t directly encountered it – the person at the centre is someone whose fic I wouldn’t read except perhaps at gunpoint (and it would have to be a fairly large calibre gun) – but it does seem to have upset some of my F-list. Luckily it seems to be dying down now.

I’ve taken more of an interest in the Fanlib affair. I received an invite ages ago and really took little notice. I looked at it, thought ‘scam’, and immediately marked it as Junk Mail and told Thunderbird to trash it and any follow-ups. It seems that it wasn’t a scam, at least not in the sense that I first thought, although I wouldn’t exactly call it legitimate either.

I’ve always accepted that I’m not going to earn money for my fan-fiction. I turned down an offer from Amazon to put one of their click-through links on my site because I felt that it could be held to be me profiting from the fic. But if anybody ever did profit from my fics it had damn well better be me and not some corporate sleazeballs who remind me very much of the slimy ‘80s Guy in the Futurama episode ‘Future Shock’ (only without the sharp suit and the obsession with ‘Safety Dance’).

Fandom has, of course, turned on them like a school of dolphins ramming sharks. Very commendable and to be expected (although it wouldn’t surprise me if one particular BNF-in-exile signed up to Fanlib in the vain hope that she could make some money from it). One aspect of the condemnation has, however, slightly perturbed me.

They are being criticised for being men and therefore alien to fandom.

Please. Criticise them for being vultures, parasites, looters, idiots, morons with all the ethical sense of a starving hyena, completely clueless losers, whatever; but please leave their gender out of it.

My subjective opinion is that fanfic is nowhere near as predominantly female as is claimed. Fanfic on LiveJournal is certainly overwhelmingly female, and women may well predominate on the Internet as a whole, but my experiences of fanfic on Usenet seemed to show quite the reverse. And of course there is the Super!Xander sub-culture of male fic writers, locked away in their underground bunkers, writing stories in which Xander dressed as the Navy Seals’ unarmed combat champion/top sniper/fastest draw/explosives expert at Halloween and retained all the memories. Okay, their stories are absolutely interchangeable, and devoid of anything remotely of interest to anyone who can’t disassemble a Desert Eagle with their toes in the dark, but there are quite a few of them.

Just because they don’t show up on your radar doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.

(Random thought; if the Fanlib people really wanted to prove they were part of fandom one of them would fake his own death – after a few despairing posts from the hospital, and even the operating theatre, of course.)

And finally; it hasn’t all been bad. 2 of my stories have been nominated in the Shades of Grey Awards (I must remember to tell them that I accept the nominations!) and another 2 are in the ‘Best of the Best’ round at Fang Fetish. And Lewis Hamilton has qualified second on the grid for Monaco – and I’m off work tomorrow and will be able to watch the race.

Tags: , ,
Current Music: Velvet Underground & Nico, "All Tomorrow's Parties"

68 comments or speak 2 me
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frenchani From: frenchani Date: May 26th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry about the teeth issue. Once upon a time I underwent root canal work without anaesthetic so I know very well how it feels. Dentists are evil.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.

My dentist isn't evil - it was my decision not to have anaesthetic and, as the tooth is dead, it was stressful but not all that painful. It's the timing, meaning that I'm going to have to spend several days not being able to eat properly, that really sucks.
trepkos From: trepkos Date: May 26th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
My bleedin' sympathies, mate.
I hate dentists with a fiery vengeance.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.

The dentist offered anaesthetic but I turned it down - I was worried that the resulting swelling of my gums would make it impossible to wear my upper palate afterwards. My teeth don't meet without that palate and tooth-on-gum is no fun.

It was an unpleasant experience but not particularly painful, as the tooth in question is dead anyway. The worst part was spending a long time expecting to feel pain and towards the end, when I realised that the pain wasn't going to come, I was able to relax.

It's the timing of the lower palate breaking that really sucks - as I am going to have to do over the long weekend!
adriana_is From: adriana_is Date: May 26th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
So sorry to hear about the teeth issues! I hate dentists, especially dentists that are not available when you need them the most. I hope you feel better soon.

speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

I can't hate the dentist - they have a right to time off too.
booster17 From: booster17 Date: May 26th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
As someone who's had his own share of teeth trouble over the recent months, I almost feel your pain. Nothing quite as bad as yours, but you have my deepest commiserations. :(

Congrats on the nominations, btw!

speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 05:44 am (UTC) (Link)
There wasn't much actual pain - the anticipation of pain, which wasn't fun, but very little pain materialised because the tooth is pretty much dead.

Thank you!
enigmaticblues From: enigmaticblues Date: May 26th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry to hear about the dental work. I hope you can get it sorted shortly, and that it doesn't cause you too many problems over the weekend.

Also, I would agree with you re: the gender. It's often hard to know online how many men vs. women there are, because fandom itself can be fairly clique-y. If you have a particular kind of fic that you like, you're probably going to stay in that area and not venture out.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
My weekend is going to suck - as am I! Thank you.
petzipellepingo From: petzipellepingo Date: May 26th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
As someone who is getting the final work done on four crowned teeth in early June I feel your pain, although I did have mucho Novacaine shoved into my gumline.
2 of my stories have been nominated in the Shades of Grey Awards (I must remember to tell them that I accept the nominations!) and another 2 are in the ‘Best of the Best’ round at Fang Fetish.
And congratulations on the well deserved nominations.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)
There wasn't much actual pain - the tooth is pretty much dead. The ordeal was in the expectation of pain but it didn't materialise.

Thank you!
elisi From: elisi Date: May 26th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eeeeep! Teeth! *sends painkillers*

They are being criticised for being men and therefore alien to fandom.
I think it's more that they (the Board of Directors) are ALL men, and none of them have ties to fandom. They want to talk to fandom, but not being a part of fandom they fail to understand that fandom isn't interested in listening. Which of course has nothing to do with their gender. However, I think a lot of fans feel that the fact that FL have not taken into consideration that fandom is largely made of up women somewhat sloppy and rather insulting. So gender and being outside fandom are not connected, but the combination is not good. (I hope that makes sense, I'm not exactly at full brain power.)

(Random thought; if the Fanlib people really wanted to prove they were part of fandom one of them would fake his own death – after a few despairing posts from the hospital, and even the operating theatre, of course.)
And now this made me laugh out loud! :D
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 07:02 am (UTC) (Link)
There is little pain from the teeth - but being completely unable to chew sucks (as do I at the moment).

ljs From: ljs Date: May 26th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
So sorry to hear about the teeth, but congratulations on your nominations.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
timeofchange From: timeofchange Date: May 26th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry about your teeth. That sounds awful.

The rest of your post is wonderful, though. Congrats on the nominations for your fic. And, excellent points about Fanlib and fandom.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
bogwitch From: bogwitch Date: May 26th, 2007 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congrats on the noms. Commiserations on the teeth.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
evilawyer From: evilawyer Date: May 26th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
So sorry to hear about the tooth. Tooth pain is the worst. Re: the kerfuffle --- I have managed to remain blissfully ignorant (yay, me!). And congratulations on the nominations.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 07:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! There wasn't much actual pain (the tooth was dead) but I didn't know that there wasn't going to be pain and the anticipation wasn't fun (as of course not being able to chew isn't fun).
missmurchison From: missmurchison Date: May 26th, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congratulations on the noms and condolences on the tooth problems. I hope you feel better soon.

The annoyance at the FanLib folks wasn't because they were men (I hope!), but because they were ignoring, condescending to, and/or insulting the women who are a good part of their intended audience. I think the last straw was when they failed to respond to questions by female fans and instead offered to be interviewed by a male academic. They're not in trouble for being men; they're in trouble for being as clueless as their business model would indicate. The unintended but obvious misogyny was just the poisoned cherry on top of the toxic sundae.

I don't know if everyone thinks fandom is nearly all-male. I certainly don't, having started in fandom by going to cons, which are certainly full of guys, and I value the men on my FL. The point the indignant ones were trying to make is that a very large percentage of fanfic is written, if not consumed, by women, and the advertising on the site was ignoring female writers and readership. (And fugly.)

There's an irony here. But by pointing out that the FanLib folks were ignoring the women of fandom and making them feel unvalued ("undervalued" hardly seems the adequate word), we did not intend to make the guys like you who do belong here feel undervalued.

I love your idea that they should commit pseuicide. It would at last show some faint understanding of the culture!
diachrony From: diachrony Date: May 27th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Having been following the FanLib controversy I have to agree with missmurchison entirely. The gender issue didn't come up *because* the FanLib execs happen to be male; it came up because they were a) condescending to the female fans from the start and b) rudely refused to respond to intelligent and mostly polite questions posed by these female fans ~ first speaking down to them, and then ignoring them in favor of responding to a *male* academic who, by the way, is not someone whose work they're trying to profit from.

This has made the gender issue hard to ignore.



spikendru From: spikendru Date: May 26th, 2007 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congratulations on the noms! Of course your fics are the best of the best!

As for the maleness of the FanLib guys, maybe I missed something, but I think what fueled the fire is that they refused to answer any of the erudite questions asked by well-informed, intelligent women fanfic writers, but the CEO agreed to answer the same questions put to him by a male academian. So, rather than responding directly to any of the women who had questions/concerns, he'll only answer them from a male professor. I think that's what left the lingering odor of sexism in a lot of fanfic writer's noses - that they had to submit their questions to Professor Jenkins, who would then ask them of FanLib, who would respond to Jenkins, but other than spamming a bunch of LJs and whining about the Mean Girls, he refused to directly speak with the questioners.

Owie! I feel your pain regarding the teeth. The meds I'm taking have caused several teeth to just . . . crumble, breaking off at gum level so I can empathize with you. (And we have Memorial Day holiday on Monday so everything here is closed, too!)

Darn you! Now I've got "All Tomorrow's Parties stuck in my head! (But there are certainly worse songs that could take up residence there. *g* )
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 07:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

I don't think that it is because Professor Jenkins is male that FanLib would talk to him, but because they're not trying to get Jenkins to work for them for no pay. They'd regard him as a neutral; Telesilla they regarded as an agitator in their potential exploited workforce and so as an enemy. Do you think that they would have answered the questions if I had posed them, or ffutures, or ludditerobot (all educated and articulate males)? I don't think so.

Sorry to hear about your teeth. We're in the same boat.
rahirah From: rahirah Date: May 26th, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good Lord. Did you piss off the Tooth Fairy?
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 07:58 am (UTC) (Link)
With this many problems I think that I must have accidentally pissed on the Tooth Fairy.
ayinhara From: ayinhara Date: May 26th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I offer much commiseration about the dental issues. Two weeks before we left for Colorado, I had a front tooth break off at the gum line. It was a tooth that had broken in a car accident almost 46 years ago. The nerve died which was very painful, I had had root canal work (with anaesthesia) and a metal post inserted on top of which a fake tooth was placed. I guess front teeth get all that extra work and eventually the metal post fatigued and snapped. I have some discomfort but no pain related to this. Now I can look forward to a nice time of dental work to repair the situation.

Congratulations on the nominations.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 27th, 2007 09:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Mutual sympathy on the dental issues. It's a bad time for teeth all round, it seems.

Thank you!
68 comments or speak 2 me
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