Subject: You've got a point!
Posted on: 2022-08-04 22:10:53 UTC
Old-school forum/LJ-based fandom focused on being "truer" to canon, and we see that in the DNA of the PPC as well -- canon is used in Bad Slash exorcisms, canon is the yardstick for which DMS charges are written, etc. That being said, there were still some people who said stuff like "Ronmione is abusive" -- I remember sixth-grade me comparing Harry/Ginny to Henry VIII and Anne Boelyn on a Fictionalley anti-shipping thread!
But! People said "x ship is abusive" back then without the corollary "so if you ship x ship, you also support abuse". As you said, I'm sure the idea of the corollary was there, but it wasn't really said out loud. People didn't involve each other's offline identities in their online behaviour as much. But now that places like Facebook are requiring people bring their offline identities online, there's a growing generation of internet users who don't think very much of using some variation of their wallet name + showing their face online. It's not surprising then that when the ship wars evolved, they brought our offline identities and beliefs into the fray with a good smattering of social justice language.
Granted, this is from my perspective of having been deeply involved in old and new fandom, and the internet is multifaceted enough that people can definitely have different experiences of this shift than I have had. I do agree with your observations, though!
On the idea that the APC wouldn't exist if the PPC hadn't been created during old-school fandom, I mean... you're not wrong, per se. The idea of writing something to spork bad fanfiction has largely fallen by the wayside in favour of brigading fics with harmful comments or attacking the writer on social media. I just wrote this as a thought experiment of what could've happened if I had, for example, taken my 2013-era missions into their logical extreme by adhering strictly to Tumblr anti-shipping dogma.
Maybe in that alternate multiverse Alvin and Xena decided that the gentler way to tackle all the ~problematic fic~ out there was not in sending hurtful messages directly to the writer, but to ~set an example~ by writing their very wholesome agents into those sinful, problematic fics to
show them the light get rid of the problematic elements before they can happen and ruin the lives of those fictional characters who are actually Very Real People with Rights. It's coming from a place of condescending, holier-than-thou, hate-the-sin-love-the-sinner sort of mentality.
The normal PPC has had eras where that mentality was in play, but never to the extreme of implying that the agents sent Elrond into conversion therapy! We're now more along the lines of "there's just some fics that are so bad that it's funny and we just want to point that out and also develop our own OCs along the way".
ETA I should also mention that canonicity is still a concern in New Fandom Shipping Wars, but in a... different way? Canon ships are evaluated for how healthy they are, or if the canon has yet to determine endgame shipping, the ship wars focus on swaying the opinions of the show creators (and, ofc, dogpiling them if they go in a different way). The Keith/Lance vs Keith/Shiro wars during the latest incarnation of Voltron are a good example. Another major one was John/Sherlock from BBC Sherlock, where a subset of the shippers created a conspiracy theory that John/Sherlock was endgame and the writers had been hinting at it throughout the series, even when they stated time and again that it wasn't going to happen. This ended up with them believing the first episode of a completely different series was going to be some "secret actually good episode" of BBC Sherlock after its disastrous season 4 finale.
(And for the record, I shipped John/Sherlock! Though granted, I was going off of the ACD stories as well as the BBC show, and when the BBC show made it pretty clear in season 3 that they didn't think Sherlock mattered that much to John, I dropped it like a hot potato.)
So it might mean (and this is directed at hS's Multiversal Atlas blurb) that the canons in APC's World One are much the same as they are here, but the Guardians of the Continuum only protect the canons they deem "worthy" of their protection. Tolkien scrapes by because obviously Frodo/Sam and Legolas/Gimli are endgame ;) Canons can absolutely lose GotC protection if they do something problematic in the storyline, or if the creator says something problematic elsewhere. This makes it different from the PPC where people will defend a canon from Suvians even if they personally disagree with it, like Twilight.