We've gone ten rounds of "non-con fic is awful and no one should write it" wank over on Tumblr lately--there is always going to be one more outraged person on Tumblr tagging their outrage for trash partiers to find and argue with--but in the last 24 hours I've been really, really feeling my love for the Dumpster and all my trashmates.
So for me the trash party is a throwback to a part of fandom that I never really participated in during its heyday: the mostly anonymous Dreamwidth-based kinkmeme. The hydratrashmeme is juuust busy enough to make me feel engaged without being totally overwhelming (and the things that are not relevant to my interests generally have nice, descriptive subject lines so I can delete the notifications unread/scroll quickly past them). I've written a couple of things to prompts and am following some awful/wonderful WIPs and generally, you know, enjoying the whole anon/kinkmeme experience for the first time in 2015.
So last night a prompt got posted for a scenario where Bucky was sexually abused by various Hydra personnel over the years, and recordings of those abuses went out in Natasha's Hydra Data Dump, and consequently there is now all this horrible footage of Bucky out on the internet: it's a scaldingly awful scenario to contemplate, and my first reaction to it was NO NO NO DID NOT HAPPEN DO NOT WANT.
But then I watched the comments start flowing in as people speculated about how this would play out--the ways Steve would try to protect Bucky, but also the ways this would hinder Bucky's recovery, the shame he would feel in this exposure repeating his trauma again and again, and so on. By the time I went to bed last night it was just a dark well of infinite suffering.
And then this morning, the collective speculation about the scenario continued--but it hit an inflection point, and various anons started talking about how Bucky would push through even this and recover, would reclaim his own agency, would identify himself without shame as a survivor and bear up fiercely under the scrutiny, not only for his own sake but for the sake of every other survivor shamed for the ordeal they'd been put through, and this vortex of suffering turned into a thousand possible triumphs for Bucky. It just made me so happy to watch all of these anonymous trash partiers decide to turn that corner and find a way for Bucky to overcome even the most miserable of compounded traumas, just because none of us could bear to leave him at the bottom of that well.
It felt like a whole microcosm of fandom, the way we tell stories to each other, try out different possibilities, arrive sometimes at a consensus about the kinds of stories we want and then tell them out and elaborate them, all gathering together around a character or a pairing or a trope or a single prompt.
So, yes. I really love the Dumpster, you guys. I really love my fandom and my people, both narrowly and broadly construed. And I really really love anyone who actually clicked through and read all of that.
PS, tonight Tumblr led me unto the Internet Archive's collection of every episode of The Joy of Painting, in case you need some soothing palate-cleanser and/or a kindly affirmation that you can do whatevvvvver you want with the fictional worlds you create.
(Bucky cries a lot in mine, that's just how I like things to be. Maybe in yours he's happy and eats pizza and has a lot of happy sex with the partner or partners of his choosing! Everybody gets to make their own world. Thanks, Bob Ross.)
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