Friday, May 1, 2015

Wasting Our Time (On Cheap Talk & Hutch)

A favorite movie moment from Metropolitan ^ (dir. Whit Stillman, 1990)--clip here, at 0:39
I don't read fan fiction.  I prefer reading about it.

But I wrote my first fan-fiction story yesterday. 

I'd happened across a fanfic that bugged me so much, I couldn't get it out of my mind––(re Starsky & Hutch, of course, I read it over a certain person's shoulder)––and like many fan writers before me, I was spurred into writing by annoyance.

I wrote my own version. 

And––wow–– now I see the attraction: 
it was so sweet and easy [relatively (you don't have to labor over character!)], it was like mainlining...

Which relates to the story I was revising.

It's a take-off on an episode, "The Fix," where thugs kidnap Hutch and force-inject him with heroin over several days. 

Classic hurt/comfort: 
Starsky cares for Hutch as he goes through withdrawal >

This is a very popular episode.

The fan writer sets her story after these events: 
Hutch suffers from PTSD because drugs are so awful. 
Starsky comforts him . . . by talking to him.

This kind of fanfic so clearly reflects a certain female fantasy:
What do men really want? 
To talk about their feelings!

Another example: 
A story about S & H talking about whether or not to become lovers. 
They decide, yes, they want to. But they've talked so late into the night, they are too tired to have sex.  They agree they'll do it later, then fall asleep together.

(As they say in Galaxy Quest, Did you guys ever watch the show?) 

(Did I say I don't read fan fic? 
No, really, I don't. A certain person summarizes it for me.)

Actually, I don't watch the show either. (I just hear about it. A lot.) But naturally I agree the violation Hutch suffered in being forced into drug addiction would be awful enough to induce PTSD. 
The drug itself, however, sounds awesome. 

Russell Brand wrote, in "Life Without Drugs":
I cannot accurately convey to you the efficiency of heroin in neutralising pain.      . . .
Drugs and alcohol are not my problem, reality is my problem, drugs and alcohol are my solution.
I would never try heroin, I have enough trouble with ice-cream.  

So, Annoyance #1: 
The fan writer got the wrong end of the stick: a drug that neutralizes pain would be seductive to Hutch, an empathetic type in a, to put it mildly, stressful job.

Annoyance #2: 
The writer pussyfoots around about Hutch's intimacy with Starsky. 
In the "real" world, it is not important to me whether S&H have sex or not, but in this story's world, clearly they do but the writer is too namby-pamby to say so. 

I redressed these points, staying within the framework of the fanfic.
I'm not going to post it, I just wrote it for myself. Annoyance aside, it was a gratifying writing exercise.

A certain person pointed out that I have a habit of spending my time on fruitless endeavors like this. 

Is this really a habit? 
Maybe so.

But is it really fruitless?

I don't think so. But I do wish I liked to do things that paid money as much as I like to do stuff like this.

"wasting our time on cheap talk and wine"
––Eagles, "Best of My Love" (1974)

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