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Geography fail... - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
Geography fail...
'Twisting the Hellmouth' is currently being spammed with stories by a co-writing pair of obsessive Xander fans. They specialise in stories in which those who have not treated Xander with the respect that he deserves meet horrible fates. In one of them Willow is tortured to death by Angelus and it is obvious that the writer regards this as appropriate punishment for her failing to back Xander up in a dispute, with Buffy, over how to deal with Angelus. One of the writers also is obsessed with pairing Xander up with Jenny Calendar - can I be blind now?

None of that is all that unusual and I wouldn't have bothered mentioning them on those grounds. I have, however, been reading the reviews (I gave up on the actual stories very quickly), trying to work out what kind of people actually like that sort of fic, and I saw a couple of people picking up one of them on a glaring error.

He has Xander and Faith drive from Boston to California in 8 hours.

It's three thousand miles. Lewis Hamilton, in a Bugatti Veyron, with the roads closed to other traffic, would still be a thousand miles short at the end of 8 hours (even without allowing for the multiple refuelling stops that would be required, and assuming that he's been catheterised).

The author, in his reply to the first reviewer to point this out, says 'I do not live in america and so do not know how far boston is from california.' Dude. Please. Boston, East coast. California, West coast. The USA, pretty damn big. It should be blatantly obvious that you're not going to drive it in 8 hours. Google the distance. It's not rocket science.

Although rocket science is probably the only way of getting a car from Boston to Sunnydale in 8 hours.

Current Music: Tracy Chapman, "Fast Car"

44 comments or speak 2 me
maryperk73703 From: maryperk73703 Date: June 14th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ugh, it takes 8 hours to drive from St Louis to Enid Oklahoma and that's without taking any breaks whatsoever. Yeah, someone needs to use mapquest.

I don't read all those Xander-centric stories there at TTH. They seem to think he's a wonderful, can-do-no-wrong Knight of some kind. He's just a guy as human as the next person. Sheesh.
liliaeth From: liliaeth Date: June 15th, 2010 08:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I think a lot of them seem to have a problem with the fact that Xander wasn't the main char on the show. Especially considering how many of them sideline Buffy herself. (when they don't reduce her to little more than Xander's love interest. (though admittedly, some Spike, Giles, Angel, ... fans do that as well.) Makes me wonder if people really are that weary to accept a female char as the hero.
enigmaticblues From: enigmaticblues Date: June 14th, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
It takes me 7 hours to drive from my home to my parents' home, and Colorado is right next door to Nebraska. Seriously. Google maps is brilliant.

*sigh* Sometimes I just don't get people.
makd From: makd Date: June 14th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Boston to California in 8 hours????!!!

Yes. It boggles the mind. It's a distance of about 3,000 miles!!! Last time someone I knew tried it, it took 5-6 days, and that was in the days when the speed limit was about 65 mph. (Today, it's 55 mph.)
liz_marcs From: liz_marcs Date: June 14th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, on most major interstate highways it's back up to 65 mph. Unless that's just in the New England region, in which case, never mind.

But the timing of 5 to 6 days is about right. I had a friend that went from Southern California to Boston several years ago, and took him about 6 days, which included a half-day stop in Colorado to stay with some LJ friends.
rahirah From: rahirah Date: June 14th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Out west, a good many interstates are back up to 75. Everything's too damn far from everything else out here to drive 55. :P
julia_here From: julia_here Date: June 14th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Given the sloppy thinking apparent in his treatment of canon I'm not surprised at the offhand dismissal of space and time.

I've broken my brain on doing research to get my own stories up to my standards, and envy, in a way, the ability to blithely dismiss mere reality to forge ahead into sheer nonsense.

(Eight hours on Interstate 90, which is part of the path of least resistance between Boston and California, gets you from Seattle, Washington to the turn off for Helena, Montana with much of that at 70mph; other routes are more direct but do not have long stretches of higher-than-55mph speed limits).

Julia, I suspect he also has Xander think in metric units...

Edited at 2010-06-14 08:37 pm (UTC)
frenchani From: frenchani Date: June 14th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
and assuming that he's been catheterised


Google the distance. It's not rocket science.

Although rocket science is probably the only way of getting a car from Boston to Sunnydale in 8 hours.


petzipellepingo From: petzipellepingo Date: June 14th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Although rocket science is probably the only way of getting a car from Boston to Sunnydale in 8 hours.

I'm doubtful even then...

It takes 10 hours to get from Copper Harbor (in the Upper Peninsula) to Monroe (near the Ohio border) for god's sake. And that's not leaving the State of Michigan.
agilebrit From: agilebrit Date: June 14th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
*dies* I can't even drive from Salt Lake City to Pueblo, CO in eight hours, and the states are right next door to each other. Googlemaps. It's a couple of mouse clicks. It's not that hard.

But considering the apparent utter Fail of other things on the authors' parts, I am not surprised that they would be that sloppy over such a minor thing as REALITY.
slaymesoftly From: slaymesoftly Date: June 14th, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee! Fun way to point out the errors of someone's ways. And yeah, anyone who disregards both reality and canon that easily probably isn't worth reading anyway. :)
jgracio From: jgracio Date: June 14th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have you considered that they might be using a magic car? :D
hurry_sundown From: hurry_sundown Date: June 14th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, speakr. That's the best laugh I've had in days.
ralob From: ralob Date: June 14th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Those stories always make me roll my eyes. There seems to be
of those stories on TTH, too.
audela From: audela Date: June 14th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure what's scarier, reading the stories or the reviews. I can understand why people like Xander more than I do, or why they like Spike or Buffy less, but the extreme distorting character hate? Don't get it. If your view of the show is so twisted that Buffy beating Xander almost to death for his "Kick his Ass" in Becoming2 without the slightest remorse, or opposition from Willow or Cordelia, makes any kind of sense to you, then I guess a US where the 2 coasts are just a long days drive apart is nothing.

I guess it's not about the show, or about writing, it's just getting some psychological buttons pushed. And what buttons! I don't think I'd like to meet these guys IRL.
shipperx From: shipperx Date: June 14th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Google the distance. It's not rocket science

Seriously! I always do that for road trip fic. Google is so darn helpful. Not only does it give you the distance, but the closest route, the alternative route, how long it would take to drive it, and pictures! Any and/or all of these things can be helpful!

Edited at 2010-06-14 10:18 pm (UTC)
ffutures From: ffutures Date: June 14th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
He's a moron, why let it worry you?
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: June 15th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
It doesn't worry me, I just thought it deserved to be mocked.
paratti From: paratti Date: June 14th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know what this calls for: Top Gear Challenge/Clarkson voice

Though this may be beyond even The Stig.
liz_marcs From: liz_marcs Date: June 14th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
And THIS is why I stay far, far away from TTH unless it's a direct link to a BtVS writer I like.

Even I'm mystified by the Xander-worship and the Other Characters hate over there.

And this is someone who loves Xander as a character.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 14th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Obsessive Xander fans still exist? Hell, even I have stopped caring as much about Spike as I did back then by now, how do they keep up the energy after all these years?

Still doesn't mean that I don't want more Tabula Avatar, though. :p After all it's combining two of my favourite franchises ( though the Buffy brand is severely tarnished by the stupid comics, ugh ).

From: (Anonymous) Date: June 14th, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

yeah, but..

TtH has nothing on the pit of voles, and that's just from the summaries. I swear, I've seen some stories where "Murder" is spelled "merder". Oy.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: June 15th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: yeah, but..

One cannot simply walk into Merder!
rahirah From: rahirah Date: June 14th, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Magic car? Wandering sod? Time travel? Take a plane?
dalmeny From: dalmeny Date: June 14th, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even before the Internet, there were atlases. He has no excuse.
kantayra From: kantayra Date: June 15th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Chicago to Minneapolis? Also about 8 hours.

*sigh* This reminds me of the kiddies who use the excuse "but that was before I was born!" for not knowing that, say, there was something called World War II. It makes baby unicorns cry.
infinitewhale From: infinitewhale Date: June 15th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Xander's awesome and everyone else sucks.

Complete inattention to simple details.

Cracky plots.

Obviously you've stumbled upon a couple ghostwriters for the comics.
gabrielleabelle From: gabrielleabelle Date: June 15th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, I read a fic where Devon raped Willow as punishment for her driving Oz away in S4. And by the Author's Note, it was very obvious that the author thought that Willow deserved it. In the fic, Willow even concedes that she deserved it after Devon lectures her about what a bitch she was to Oz.

Don't ask me how Willow's to blame when Oz made the decision to leave. I don't know.

Whew. That bothered me.

Boston to Cali in 8 hours? Hee. Somebody needs to learn how to work Google Maps.

El Google says 2 days.
evilawyer From: evilawyer Date: June 16th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Hah! Google is overly optimistic, too, by 3 days. Maybe 2 if one person sleeps while the other drives, you get really get good gas mileage and no one minds peeing into a plastic jug. Still, 2 days is far better than 8 hours.
edenfalling From: edenfalling Date: June 15th, 2010 02:29 am (UTC) (Link)
*boggles* My family sometimes does a mad roadtrip thing where we get four people in a car and drive nonstop from the NYC area out to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Even if you subtract the time spent stopping for calls of nature and meals, that's about a 20-hour drive, assuming an average speed of 70 mph. So if it takes nearly two days to drive a distance roughly equivalent to the distance between Boston and, oh, St. Louis (which is not quite halfway across the country), how the hell does anyone expect to get all the way to California in 8 hours???

America: bigger than some people apparently think.
desdemonaspace From: desdemonaspace Date: June 15th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)
What a bonehead. It takes almost eight hours to drive from the southern part of my state to the northern part(but a canoe would be handier, the further north one goes.)
melodyunity From: melodyunity Date: June 15th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC) (Link)
He has Xander and Faith drive from Boston to California in 8 hours.

Ahahahahahaha no.
willowgreen From: willowgreen Date: June 15th, 2010 04:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe he's basing his concept of U.S. geography on "Supernatural," in which the boys routinely make multi-state drives in no time at all. (If neither Xander nor Faith needs to pee when they arrive in Sunnydale, I think my theory is proven.)
liliaeth From: liliaeth Date: June 15th, 2010 09:15 am (UTC) (Link)
The Impala is magical...*eg*

and well the boys are willing to drive for days to get somewhere. Even if only because Dean's scared of flying.
ozma914 From: ozma914 Date: June 15th, 2010 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe it's some kind of alternate dimension United States, to go along with the alternate characters ....
evilawyer From: evilawyer Date: June 16th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC) (Link)
It's like folding a cloth over, except that land is usually harder to fold.
ozma914 From: ozma914 Date: June 16th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Exactly. And now we know where earthquakes *really* come from.
lusciousxander From: lusciousxander Date: June 15th, 2010 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)
If he's not from the US, he should have asked someone to beta his story.

I'm also not from the US and English isn't my first language, so I don't dare post a fic without a beta reading it first. (Unless it's a drabble.)

What's 'Twisting the Hellmouth'? I'm so obsessed with Xander and yet I never heard of it. Though, I never read a story from Xander Zone because I don't like Xander-worship and character-bashing. So, I guess it's better I never heard of 'Twisting the Hellmouth'.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: June 15th, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
'Twisting the Hellmouth' http://www.tthfanfic.org/ is a huge site dedicated to crossover fiction, mainly but not exclusively Buffyverse. There is a lot of extremely good stuff there but unfortunately there is also a contingent of mad Super!Xander fans who rate fics on the basis of how powerful and awesome Xander is and how much the other characters can be shown as morons for not recognising his supremacy.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 20th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
From Tactless;

To be fair there are a lot of Super-Everyone-Else factions at TTH as well. From Buffy single-handedly defeating The Avengers, to Willow saving the world with a wave of her hand to Spike and/or Angel being immune to dusting in the sun because the sun rises and set from their back-sides. The 'Super(?)' stories come from every angle.

On the other hand there are more than a few authors where the question isn't 'Why are you writing fanfic?' but should be 'Why did you watch the show?'

Truth be told, I think I have become desensitized to some of the dumber stories, not due to other fanfic, but due to some of the writing that was actually published in my youth. Case in point: When I was kid back in the '70s and '80 I read a series of books called 'The Horse-clan Series', (looking back I think it was far worse than most of the fanfic I read today)where all of the female characters were either victims, or evil and all the villains were all crazy and gay.

I think my point is that most of the SuperXander fics (as much as they are vilified) are not much worse than a lot of the other works out there and are actually better than things that have been published in the past.

Of course, bashing is always patetic and the Jenny/Xander pairing is just another sad "Because they're hawt" 'ship that should be sunk before it leaves the 'shipyard.
daibhid_c From: daibhid_c Date: June 15th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Where do the writers live? I think it takes about 8 hours (possibly more) to get from Inverness to London. I know this. I know America is bigger than the UK. Therefore...

I'm reminded of the story of the chap living in Vancouver who got a telegram from his sister in Liverpool saying "YOUR NEPHEW ARRIVES IN HALIFAX TOMORROW. PLEASE PICK HIM UP" His reply: "YOU GO. YOU'RE CLOSER"
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: June 15th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of them has a website with a .de address so probably German.
solunvar From: solunvar Date: June 17th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Still not an excuse, really. Going from one side of Germany to the other is barely doable in an eight hour drive. Fairly impossible if you're going through the center of the country. And then you're driving at least 75 mph (Germany's great that way).

I think it says more about the authors' age than origin.
evilawyer From: evilawyer Date: June 16th, 2010 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
So, they have no maps where this guy is from? Google does not lead to displays of continents for him? (Although why I have any map-reading skill from people who don't know the meaning of capitalization, I don't know. BFD if it's internet-speak, I say; it still looks moronic.)
44 comments or speak 2 me