?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
18 May 2007 @ 04:37 pm
Discovering "Smarm"  
Not the obsequious kind, either.

Yesterday, wandering through metafandom, I happened on a discussion of "smarm" fic. thelana is probably laughing her butt off right about now...


So, "smarm" is what one really might consider sexless slash. Proponents don't see it that way, and it doesn't always cross that line, but sometimes the manLove is more than brotherly, you know?

What thelana's going to laugh about is that I have unwittingly written "smarm" on occasion. Sometimes I still think of it as Gen (the manLove is typically brief and doesn't go on and on), and other times it's supposed to be Slash but doesn't get as far as I'd intended (in which case, I really consider it "light Slash").

A very thorough definition/argument of what constitutes "smarm" can be found here. The audience for it is readers who want big manLove and affection and often touching and cuddling, but no sex. Slash lovers may wonder what the point of that is, but I clearly remember that my first Slashy desires were around age 13/14, and I would have been perfectly happy to fade out with romantic kissing and snuggling together in bed. Obviously, I've expanded my horizons since then, but you get my point. The thing is, though, that's still Slash to me.

So, case in point there is this Sentinel story, Beach by two very big fans of smarm, and for me that is definitely slash. Check out this chapter here, where there is kissing, tonguing, and I believe also declarations of love.

Looking at the larger story (I wasted some 3 hours at work reading this thing, and hating myself afterwards), if you look past the buckets of crying in the story it is a big hurt/comfort-fest of touching, cuddling, kissing, hair-petting, declared love, romanticizing of the other person, pondering on "joined souls" and "owning each others' hearts". There are also some 11 installments of naked showering, and some 6+ of naked bed-cuddling before it wanders off into a dream sequence (still a WIP).

See, now, that is clearly romantic love to me-- it might be brotherly love if they were actual brothers (though if there's tonguing, I think some misunderstandings are going to arise!), but how is that NOT light Slash? The fact that there's no mention of arousal when they're mooshing their groins up against each other? (Seriously. And as the rest of the story is written, if you're that emotionally thrilled by someone I don't see a physical reaction not happening, especially for men).

So, I read some more in that genre last night (could not help myself-- and I never even watched the Sentinel!). Some of it is just a hug, a touch here and there. But there are loads of what can only be called cuddling, honestly.

I don't know. I can definitely see why there would be an audience for stories that cut off at the pre-sexual point, but most of what I read I'd still say is Slash or Slashy.

And that particular story, 70+ installments and not yet finished... I have to call that emo-Porn, because it totally is. Not a bad thing, but that definitely describes it.

Clarification: I totally forgot about the range of canon behavior. I.e., if we're talking "Starsky and Hutch" even a single kiss on the mouth might just be Gen smarm, depending on how romantically skewed that was. Virtually everthing else was already canon. NOT that I have any complaints about that...

What do all of you think? Probably many of you were already aware of it long before me!

So, thanks to the time wasted on the story in the cut zone above, I never did get out to exercise yesterday. :( Which means that today, I had legs and then some! In other words:

Cycling: 34 miles for speed today! Whoo! Plus a couple more to warm down. I did nearly get hit by a van, making a U-turn right into the bike lane where I was progressing, and she stopped right in front of me. I was pissed. I smacked one of her back windows with my fist and came around to discuss this with her, but she was already stumbling through an apology and was honestly so horrified with herself that I relented, and thanked her for apologizing. Yikes!

No interesting animals today-- not even the pygmy goats were out! Earlier this week, along this same route (the office, not the bike path), I caused a mini cattle-stampede. \o/ On the plus side, the roadkill count is still down.

Got a drabble to post this weekend for bluesister, if I can force it to be 100 words and not keep creeping up. Almost there...



Tags:
 
 
 
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on May 19th, 2007 08:36 am (UTC)
Non-fiction to me is at the moment mostly funny stuff (especially Bill Bryson). And that's what makes listening to them bearable too. Though I'm sure I look like I'm idiot when I start grinning in the subway because I'm listening to something particularly funny in my headphones.

Some stuff I've been listening to lately has been:

Bill Bryson - Short history of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson recounts the history of science from cosmology, to biology, to chemistry)
Bill Bryson - Made in America (Billy Bryson recounts in a humorous way the history of modern America)
Michael Shemara - Why People Believe Weird Stuff (author talks about some of the most famous weird believes and explains the sceptical POV of creationism and holocaust denial; as well as analyzing the arguments that are used in these kinds of conflicts)
Lewis Black - His Biography (that's the guy from the Daily Show)
Noam Chomsky - America's Involvement in Columbia

As you can see it's not exactly heavy thinking :D But I also got myself some audiobooks for the history of Islam and the Palestine conflict.

Most of the documentaries I watch are pretty edutainment at the moment though. And some even without the "tainment". Like Louis Theroux' Weird Weekends (some can be found on youtube) or Dark Side of Porn. I also got PBS' America At the Crossroads, but there are some boring episodes mixed with the more interesting stuff. Like these was this one whole episode "A Case For War" which talked about why it's important to spread democracy to the Middle East. When the real problem in a lot of cases, I think, isn't that people don't think that it's good to export democracy to these countries, it's that they don't buy that the people in charge are (a) serious about that and/or (b) particularly well equipped to do it. [inserts long political rant]
she said mysteriouslyresounding_echo on May 19th, 2007 08:46 am (UTC)
Yeah, I can do funny non-fiction only in essay form. Book-length would bore me. :is petulant and difficult:
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on May 19th, 2007 08:50 am (UTC)
See, that's why you got chapters ;D

Though I think that for me it's probably a craving to sort of feel in contact with science-y stuff (it's not really science, it's just science-y) again. Since books on algorithms and programming are pretty darn brain-killing boring.
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: 1ww gah in the rainthelana on May 19th, 2007 09:05 am (UTC)
Plus, sorta science-y stuff is to me sort of like poetry or uplifting religious texts are to other people. Being raised by a mathematician, it got sorta instilled into me that math and science that works out is just a really, really pretty thing.

she said mysteriouslyresounding_echo on May 19th, 2007 09:09 am (UTC)
"That 2+2 is 4 is always a bit sad." -- Jose Ortega y Gasset

:D
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: 1ww confident sparringthelana on May 19th, 2007 09:15 am (UTC)
But 2+2=4 is only for smallminded people :D I'm more in favor of 2+2=0mod4 or 2+2=1mod3 :D

And E=mc² and co are pretty. As is the table of Elements and halftimes and such and such :D

I think I'm conveying the reason why the boys in my high school wanted to declare me a honorary boy as I was apprently too insane to be a girl :D