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Alternate Universe Versions of Myself

Yesterday I was convinced I should have studied computer science and today I think I should be a professor of fandom.

My workplace recently had to replace many of our computers, and since we have proprietary software, we needed to re-format the hard drives and re-install Windows on them before sending them to lovely new homes. This task fell to me, as the resident computer guru. I actually really love doing this kind of thing, especially since I *thought* it would be a pretty easy task. Well, to be fair, it WAS easy to reformat and then re-install Windows. I just hadn't realized that each computer would need me to babysit and install a ton of drivers, too. My experience in that regard has been fairly limited. Anyway, I figured that out on Friday, and managed to bumble my way through online documentation, forums, and driver discs to end up with machines that connect to the internet, install updates, and even make noise!

As I was finishing up one of said machines, I thought that I really should have been a CS major, because I love the feeling of fighting my way through ignorance and making a computer work. I actually had a moment when I thought that I probably sold myself short when I was in college--I kept thinking I should take a CS class and never did.

Le sigh.

Anyway, today I was thinking about Sam and Jack and Laira, as one does (if one reads thoughts by Sharon on 100 Days). She made the astute observation that if Jack showed up on *her* planet, she'd totally try to sleep with him, so she really couldn't be mad at Laira. That led me to laugh and then think that she was totally right, and at least one big reason that some of us Sam/Jack diehards don't like Laira is because we have already identified Sam as our proxy*. And then I thought that it would be totally cool to study how the audience identifies with characters based on the longevity of their roles on a show. (My hypothesis is that the longer a character is on a show, the more the audience identifies with them, and that the audience rarely even sympathizes with a guest star.)

That whole train of thought made me think I really should have gone for Fandom Studies. :-)

*I'm not saying we (read: I) don't like Sam in her own right, btw. Or that I don't like Laira, because I think she's actually a pretty good character and it's totally understandable that Jack likes her... but I also kinda hate that she exists.**

**I don't feel at all the same way about Pete. I quite like him. Huh. What in the world does this say about me?***

***Probably that I belong in the Sam/Jack rabid shipper camp after all. Even if I do know where the sekret OT3 passage is.

This entry originally posted on DW. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.



( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 21st, 2013 12:57 am (UTC)
That all makes sense to me. Althoguh I kinda liked Laira.

And I didn't like Pete.

And that chick in a 100 days - hated her. But mainly that was because she was a) too young and b) I'm irrational.

Hmm. I think I may be rambling. OT3 for the win!
Aug. 21st, 2013 12:59 am (UTC)
Wait, do you mean Brief Candle?

I wouldn't have minded Pete so much if he hadn't been so stalkery and house-buying-without-discussing-y.

Aug. 21st, 2013 01:40 am (UTC)
Well, there is that. Serious lack of good judgment.
Aug. 21st, 2013 01:44 am (UTC)
Seriously. Who buys a house they intend to share with someone else as a surprise.

Aug. 21st, 2013 01:49 am (UTC)
Badly written characters, that's who.
Aug. 21st, 2013 01:51 am (UTC)
Hah! Agreed.
Aug. 21st, 2013 02:01 am (UTC)
And probably goats, too.
Aug. 21st, 2013 02:12 am (UTC)
Oh how I wish I had the artistic ability to draw Pete as a goat.
Aug. 21st, 2013 02:17 am (UTC)

Sounds like commentfic to me. :P
Aug. 21st, 2013 03:05 am (UTC)
Aug. 21st, 2013 03:06 am (UTC)
The goat resents your implication.
Aug. 21st, 2013 03:15 am (UTC)
You know, there's a well-beloved J/D story in which Jack buys a house and sets it up all love-nest like but never lives in it or mentions it to Daniel, and then he leaves it to Daniel in his will, and it's all romantic and shit. I mean, people luuuurve this story. Me: :-/

(Nothing to do with the ship, just: NO.)
Aug. 21st, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
Wait. This sounds familiar. I think I saw that somewhere a couple of years ago.

Edit: no, I definitely did. I read it, even! I remember being sort of baffled by the concept.

Edited at 2013-08-21 05:02 am (UTC)
Aug. 21st, 2013 01:43 am (UTC)
Laira was from 100 days, and Kynthia was the young chick in Brief Candle, which mentioned the people living for 100 days. Just to be confusing.
Aug. 21st, 2013 04:40 am (UTC)
I think after all that I actually meant threads. PREGNANT BRAIN IS MY EXCUSE ANDD IM STICKING TO IT
Aug. 21st, 2013 05:00 am (UTC)
Hah hah oh that is perfect. Jack, you have too many women!
Aug. 21st, 2013 06:21 am (UTC)
Aug. 21st, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC)
This will be going off topic, sorry. I was watching Lost City yesterday. I liked blonde Weir. Why did she get replaced? Did she look too similar to Carter?
Aug. 21st, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure! It could have been a scheduling thing with the actor(s), or they just thought that a brunette was a better choice, or the chemistry between actors was better, or... yeah. I have no clue.

I don't think she was that similar to Amanda Tapping, though, except that they were both blond.
Sep. 11th, 2013 02:38 am (UTC)
Jack, you have too many women!

that reminds me of what jack said do daniel in the broca divide; "you keep this up & you'll have a girl on every planet."
Aug. 21st, 2013 05:52 am (UTC)
Well, technically...
I know it was probably just a fleeting thought and all, but it's really not too late to get into Computer Science. Also, the research and problem-solving skills you used to set up those computers are applicable to a lot more than CS-related fields.

Anyway, I'm sure I didn't say anything you didn't already know. I just felt compelled to give my point-of-view as one who did major in the field you mentioned.
Aug. 21st, 2013 01:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Well, technically...
Yeah, I am pretty happy where I am, but I was thinking that I could take a few classes. And yeah, my skills aren't so much "I'm great at CS!" as they are google-fu and tenacity. :) Those apply to lots of problems.
Aug. 21st, 2013 03:04 pm (UTC)
So, does that mean
That if you had to pick one person on the show to sleep with, you would pick Jack?
Aug. 21st, 2013 03:16 pm (UTC)
Re: So, does that mean
I suddenly feel a little odd about this conversation. ;-) (Probably because I'm taking the question too seriously.)
Aug. 21st, 2013 08:37 pm (UTC)
My hypothesis is that the longer a character is on a show, the more the audience identifies with them, and that the audience rarely even sympathizes with a guest star.

Hmm. I can think of a number of examples where this isn't true for me. It tends to be the better actors, the ones who are just in a lot of stuff and know how to come in and be interesting from cold (the ones from the Vancouver Acting Pool, or the 37 British actors you see in everything the UK ever produces). And some characters I warmed to within moments, no matter how long they ultimately were around - and some I never warmed to, even though they were around forever.

I mean, in general, I see the sense there. I discover love for characters when there's good fanfic that gives me a new perspective on them, or when they're around long enough that I have to find some way of rationalising why I'm still having to watch them. :) And I'm probably able to think of the exceptions BECAUSE they were exceptions, i.e. they stuck in my minds as 'that one I really loved who was only in the one ep', whereas there are actually dozens and dozens of other ones-who-were-only-in-one-ep that never pinged for me at all. Hm.

Hm.... *pondering*

You should explain more about your hypothesis!
Aug. 21st, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah. For me, at least, there's a difference between a Laira-level character and a main character. Some of the people in that kind of role I've warmed to quickly and liked them, or have otherwise made an impression... but I don't (usually!) want them to become main characters, and I don't necessarily feel bad if they die at the end of the episode (or at least, I don't feel TOO bad). I think that's partly because they ARE a one-shot character, or maybe a recurring character. I don't value their happiness above the happiness of a main character--it's not a visceral.

Or maybe it's me who is weird--I don't usually recognize the background characters like a lot of fandom does. It took me a while to even remember who this Siler guy was--and I think I did that partly in self-defense because fandom knew who he was and talked about him a lot. In Merlin I still couldn't tell you the majority of the other knights' names. Guest stars are actually often MORE memorable than these kinds of characters to me.
Aug. 23rd, 2013 02:13 am (UTC)
I think the differences between Laira and Pete are the context in which they are pursuing relationships with our beloved characters. Pete and Sam are in the context of everyday life. She is still on her team, still interacts with Jack and the chance for romance is still there.

With Jack and Laira, which I do like, seems more final within the context of being stranded. It stings a little bit more because it feels like Jack gave up on his team, on Sam a little bit.
Sep. 4th, 2013 01:51 am (UTC)
Maaaybe, but it HAD been quite a while, and there was no way to get at the gate--back then I think they thought something like that would destroy it altogether. So I don't think it's reasonable to expect Jack to not move on. Maybe because I see Laira as being a little pushy in that regard? I don't think she IS--the two comments she makes* are over the course of a long time, of which we only get to see a tiny fraction--but they rub me the wrong way.

*She talks about grieving for her husband for 100 days, which is obviously pointed toward Jack, and I think she makes some other comment sometime, but I could be wrong.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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