So here’s a bit of a confession. I read fanfic. Sometimes. It’s kind of a phase thing based on the particular show, where I am in watching it, and how I feel about it. Trek fic never appealed to me even though I was a voracious Trekkie in my early teens. For some weird reason, I read a little CSI & NCIS fic and liked it. Torchwood fic’s a no-brainer, there wasn’t enough Jack/Ianto onscreen so I was more than happy to look for it elsewhere. After “Children of Earth” I stopped reading it.
But as I said, it’s a phase thing. I recently opened Opera, which I used to use as my backup browser but which has been replaced by Chrome. It had remembered all the tabs I had open last time I closed it (in July?) and I was kind of embarrassed to see the three of them were slash-related. (I have some shame issues with slash fic reading for fairly obvious reasons.) One NCIS, one Torchwood…and one was actually a site that mocks badfic called Piratates of the Caribbean.
“Piratates” had stopped posting in 2008, so I’d been reading through its archives. But I saw that it had actually started posting again in the fall (wasn’t lying about it being half a year since I opened this browser) and checked it out. The PotC fanfic community has been writing plenty in the interim and they found some excellent stuff to spork — sporking being the commentaries, etc, that makes the badfic fun. It’s not unlike the commentaries on MST3K.
Even (and perhaps especially) if you’re not really into Pirates of the Caribbean but you enjoy the occasional literary(?) trainwreck, you might enjoy it. How can one but snicker at lines like “I am underweight for my age, being 5-years-old and weighing only 4LB”? (and having worked as a tech in a NICU I know exactly what 4lbs looks & feels like)
Of course, this isn’t the only badfic community. There used to be a site called Godawful FanFic, which showcased some real epic bads. It’s gone but has been replaced, sort-of, by the Why, God, Why? forums (I’m not a member so I don’t really know what’s going on in there since it’s a private forum). There’s also a livejournal community called Pass the Sporks & Bleeprin (bleeprin is the combo of brain bleach and aspirin necessary to read some of this stuff).
Should one be reading and mocking the work of enthusiastic teens (or adults…there’ve been some women in their 30s who’ve gotten mercilessly sporked)? If I were such a teen, I’d probably be pretty upset. On the other hand…it’s really really bad. The commentaries aren’t very nice, but if someone took them to heart they might be able to write some pretty good fanfic (it exists) or other original fiction.
And it’s good for a little amusement on a lazy Sunday.