Spotlight On – SLASH

May 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

(Originally posted February 17 2011)

You heard me.

Oh my god, SLASH. We all know how this story goes — boy/girl encounters media artifact, boy/girl is thoroughly entertained by media artifact, boy/girl decides media artifact NEEDS MOAR GAY. So what does boy/girl do? He/she writes some slashfic, of course. Because why not! In your mind you can make anyone have sex. And boy howdy, what fresh hell (sex) is this (sex)!! The possibilities really are endless; I’m blushing just thinking about it. Oh wait no I’m not! Because UM IT’S CALLED THE INTERNET, I don’t know if you’ve heard but it’s made of penises and cats.

Also there’s this little thing called rule 34, one of the very few agreed-upon rules On Internet (lol shameless plug-fail, you’re already here). Oh, you’ve never head of rule 34 you say? Well gather round children! Rule 34 states, and I quote, if it exists, there is porn of it. NO EXCEPTIONS. Still don’t understand? Ok, think of your fondest childhood memory. Now make it have sex with something! Feel better now?

As they say, knowledge is power.

Oh dear god.

So, the first point is fairly simple: of course there is such a thing as slash. The internet is basically built for slash. It is an unregulated, often anonymous (or pseudoanonymous, which often amounts to the same thing) space in which creative, resourceful people have the freedom to be creative and resourceful. In other words, to play. One is allowed, if not downright required, to scavenge — in the best possible sense. See something you like? Then take it, friend. See something you wish were different? Run that shit through photoshop. See something you wish were your own? Do it, because why not.

Which of course leads me to my second point, namely that this week’s word is (from my perspective) directly (for me at least) connected with last week’s word. Because at bottom, slash is about resistance. Not just resistance to heteronormativity, though of course there is that — it’s awesome to make Harry Potter and Malfoy have sex because there isn’t any gay sex in the series and dammit, there should be (or at least gay hand-holding, since not even the straights ride the broom to bone-city). But it’s also resistance against the top-down producers of content, i.e. filmmakers and authors and artists or whatever, who in no uncertain terms tell you what happened between whom, and when, and why. Slash is the act of saying that actually not so fast, this allegedly finished product exists in my mind as well, and you know what, I say it’s not quite finished, and so I shall make changes as I see fit. It is a rallying cry for the dismantling of the producer/consumer dichotomy, as is all fanfic — though slash takes it to the next level by deliberately disregarding the “rules” of a given set of social relations. It is, in other words, an entirely badass endeavor. So I say, keep on keeping on, you sexxy sex Potterpals!

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