Idolator Goes Deep Into The Emo Fan Fiction Underground

Aug 22nd, 2007 // 40 Comments

75881544%282%29.jpgBy now it’s no secret that the internet is a haven for bored teenagers, music fans, and individuals with unique proclivities, groups which intersect as often as not. Online fan-fiction has existed since the early days of the web, but only in the last few years has a scene so perfectly tailored to the form seeped into popular culture. Designed to appeal to introverted, overwrought, sexually frustrated adolescents, the pale waifs parading around the emo universe–with their snug pants, same-sex makeout sessions, and penchant for eye makeup–practically beg to be objectified by horny teens. And one GreatestJournal group, discovered after putting together our own male-objectification list, exemplifies the farcical tone and tenor of emo fan-fiction fandom. It’s also a little like watching nature-show rutting if all the animals were wearing girl’s jeans:

The Bandflesh group is a 40-member collective of emo devotees who write round robin stories featuring Gerard and MIkey Way of My Chemical Romance, Pete Wentz and Patrick Stump of Fallout Boy, William Beckett of The Academy Is…, Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco, and many other musicians associated with the genre. Some of the stories are set in a strange alternate universe emo high school called St. Danzig’s–these kids are more clever than you give them credit for!–complete with a prom and a principal (represented by a picture of Samuel L. Jackson). Others are just good ol’ fashioned porn. The most disturbing aspect has to be the Gerard/Mikey incest angle. (Though to be fair, the female twin-on-twin fantasy rarely rates a second thought.)

When we dropped in on the action over at St. Danzig’s, things were heating up in the library where Patrick Stump is trying to study and William Beckett refuses to lower his erection to a whisper:

WILLIAM: Patrick! *straddles a chair* My wrists are still chafed from the ropes. Kiss it better?

PATRICK: We’re in a public place!

WILLIAM: *bats eyelashes* It’s first aid. You can’t get in trouble for just playing doctor, can you?

PATRICK: Uhhhh. I think the first aid you want is not going to be okay with the librarian.

WILLIAM: We can hide in the reference section. It’s the only action it ever gets.

PATRICK: *is indecisive* Someone is going to catch us…

WILLIAM: No, just leave this situation to my manly charms. Well, girlish charms…*pokes you* My girlish charms! Appreciate my girlish charms!

PATRICK: *pokes back* I think I appreciated them many times over Saturday night. And Sunday morning. And Sunday afternoon. And in the car on the ride here.

WILLIAM: *grins and pushes you against shelf* My charms never fail! *kisses*

PATRICK: *mock surprise* I thought we were researching! *kisses*

WILLIAM: *giggles* We’re researching the sturdiness of the shelving. It’s important work. The lives we save may be our own.

PATRICK: Public service! I can put it on my resume. *wraps hand around your neck*

WILLIAM: *moans* I love your spirit of volunteerism.

I wonder if Patrick was wearing his fedora at this point?

Meanwhile, out in the hallway Spencer from Panic! At the Disco and Avril Lavigne are having a heated Election-esque argument about prom posters.

AVRIL: Don’t you “Avril dear,” me you fucking FREAK! You are RIPPING down my posters!
SPENCER: *smirks* I did not lay one solitary finger on your precious posters, Avril dear.

AVRIL: Fine, whatever, you’re having your fucked up friend rip down my posters. Look, I don’t know what your damage is that you want to be prom queen, but in case you haven’t noticed, you’re a guy. At least, I assume you are. I have no proof of it.

SPENCER: *narrows eyes* I don’t need to prove anything to you, darling. My “damage” is that I’d rather Pete’s dog be Prom Queen than a scene queen wannabe with little verve and even less class. And you had better watch your mouth about Brendon. He’s a better person and much better dresser than you’ll ever be.

And back at the Way household things are getting very inappropriate between brothers Gerard and Mikey of My Chemical Romance.

MIKEY: *lying curled around Gerard, sticky, sated, and definitely no longer platonic* *smile* Hi. Did I wake you up?

GERARD: *smiles back* No, you didn’t. How did you sleep?

MIKEY: Really, really well…what about you?

GERARD: *hugs you tight* Better than I have in a long time.

GERARD: *inhales deeply* But if you move, I have to let go of you. I don’t like that plan.

MIKEY: *sneaks fingers up to your chest and strokes you* I don’t either. *yawns* I think maybe I should stay right here and touch you in all the ways I’ve ever wanted.

GERARD: *shivers pleasantly* I think I like that idea a whole lot more…*kisses you lightly on the lips*

MIKEY: *grins and kisses you back* *strips your shirt off and runs hands over your shoulders and chest* Wanted to do this forever…

And it only gets freakier from there.

It’s easy to point and laugh at these kids if we’re being honest. But on some level, you also have to hand it to them: They’re having fun, expressing their freaky urges in a healthy, non-threatening manner, and writing emo porn that has its own creative flair. Their round robin is a neat twist on a time-tested format and most of the writing is surprisingly competent, if not a little trite. On the other hand, it is fan-fic, which itself is fundamentally creepy, and this particular brand is especially cringe-worthy due to the emo factor. But to be fair to this GreatestJournal group, they are not an isolated unit: A Google search for “Gerard Way fanfic” returns 118,000 hits alone. These emo erotica authors could probably raise an army. A very emasculated army, but a force to be reckoned with nonetheless. So think before you snicker too hard, or you might wind up with an eyeliner pencil to the jugular.

  1. Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee

    …Thanks, Idolator.

    I think I might be gay now.

  2. brainchild

    ummm… errrm…

  3. ascot-revival

    Reenactments with the My Chemical Romance action figures seems like the logical next step.

  4. jetblackturd

    Good God! This is the best Idolator post i’ve ever read! And to think I was just about to comment on that pissy Pitchfork one…

  5. noamjamski

    Does this mean going to the Warped Tour now counts as LARP’ing?

  6. phaballa

    This is bandslash, or bandom, and it’s not even proper fanfic, it’s role playing, which is entirely different and tends to be much more porn-oriented. If you’re going to expose fandomers to the outside world, you should at least point to good examples of RPF (real person fiction). Bandslash isn’t the first music-related fandom out there (popslash, Duran Duran slash, and so on) and it’s only just starting to gain momentum as a fandom in its own right, so there aren’t that many good fics out there.

    If you want to read something really creepy (thanks for assuming that all fandomers are 14-year-old secret cutters who can’t get laid, by the way), read the fic where Justin Timberlake is a cult leader. It makes a surprising about of sense.

  7. Kate Richardson

    @phaballa: Actually I never implied that all fanfic writers were 14-year-old cutters who couldn’t get laid. Just in this particular genre. And I never said cutters. I did say creepy.

  8. phaballa

    @kaate: But you did say:

    “Designed to appeal to introverted, overwrought, sexually frustrated adolescents, the pale waifs parading around the emo universe–with their snug pants, same-sex makeout sessions, and penchant for eye makeup–practically beg to be objectified by horny teens. And one GreatestJournal group, discovered after putting together our own male-objectification list, exemplifies the farcical tone and tenor of emo fan-fiction fandom.”

    And this, from what I’ve seen of bandom, isn’t accurate at all. I know you were just trying to be clever and write an amusing description, but the clever phrasing pales in significance when it’s not actually true. I think that before people go ahead and mark all fanfic as “creepy” and written by “sexually frustrated adolescents,” you should maybe do a little research on the subject and read actual fic (as opposed to RP-ing) before you make that judgement call.

  9. Lucas Jensen

    @phaballa: You fanfic defenders are always so quick on the draw! I’m impressed. I’m sorry that there is a stereotype associated with your work. But it’s there and, in the small sample I’ve encountered in my life, VERY accurate. I mean, who here reads or writes fanfic?

    And I really hate the attitude of fanfic writers who actually think they are improving the “canon” (hello, Harry Potter fanfic!) and talk about how boring the “canon” is, as if their work would even exist without it.

  10. phaballa

    @Lucas Jensen: I’m fine with the stereotype, as long as it remains beneath the public consciousness. I don’t know anyone in fandom who actively wants fandom to be exposed to the general public. And this is the reason you’ve only read crappy fanfic–because the communities and online forums where one would find good fanfic aren’t the obvious ones.

    All I’m saying is, if fandom is going to be exposed by bloggers, etc, then they should at least acknowledge that a large segment of the fandom community doesn’t consist of “horny teens” and it’s not all porn, either. I mean, there’s a lot of porn and we like our porn, thanks, but that’s not all it is.

  11. RockStar15

    No one actually knows that actually happened between Patrick and William… unless there was a spy there or something, but I doubt that Patrick would tell the pubic when in the story he was so scared/afraid for someone to see him with William anyways. But the story didn’t have much of William trying to hide it so… maybe he was the one that told everyone, so it might be fake but there is also a big chance of it being true.

  12. the rich girls are weeping

    @phaballa, @Lucas Jensen:

    Not that we’re into making sweeping generalizations or anything, but most fic writers (and yes, that includes RPers) of any stripe are nearly always 20-30 something women in unhappy relationships working out their sexual, intimacy, and lack-of-friends related issues out through canonized characters, Mary Sues, and sometimes real people. (Not like we know from experience or anything.)

    Now, stop sniping at each other, okay? Sheesh.

  13. MJ

    I’m a bit confused. As a fanfic reader, should I love this post or not?

    On one hand Kate doesn’t seem to look down upon fanficcers (even going so far as to draw the parallel between men’s female twin-on-twin fantasies and incest slash, instead of using a sexist double-standard and running for the hills in horror), on the other hand… it’s not fanfic, but role playing, and why this “healthy, non-threatening” artistic hobby has to be considered “creepy” three lines down?

  14. MJ

    @therichgirlsareweeping: Awww, your ignorance is cute. :)

  15. the rich girls are weeping

    @MJ: I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not, so I’ll just pretend I didn’t see that comment.

  16. MJ

    @therichgirlsareweeping: That’s fair enough, I can’t actually decide, myself.

  17. Jess Harvell

    these “non-threatening perverts” are actually tearing idolator apart. brothers, sisters, brothers who do their brothers–come together,

  18. phaballa

    @Lucas Jensen: There’s a reason for the defensiveness, and that’s because we don’t like it when outsiders expose us in any way. Fanfiction lingers in a legal grey area and is only sort-of tolerated by authors. Real Person Fiction… I don’t even want to think about the legality issues, but can you imagine what, say, Anderson Cooper would think if he happened across a fic where he’s having sex with Jon Stewart? Probably, the reaction would not be amused or pleasant or, “Wow, what a creative group of imaginative teens!” Fandom is already having issues with Six Apart (the company that owns LiveJournal, where most of fandom resides), users have been banned by their work being exposed and reported, so if we’re defensive, it’s because we have good reason to be.

    @kaate: Greatest Journal is not the place to find fandom. I have several bandom writers on my LiveJournal friends list, and none of them are high schoolers. I don’t pretend to understand why they enjoy Panic! At the Disco, but you know, I’m a JC Chasez fan, so I’m not going to start throwing stones. What annoyed me most about this piece is that it’s not only NOT reporting anything new or significant, but it just seems like you wanted to take some cheap shots at some role-players while simultaneously (and rather condescendingly) implying that androgeny and femininity somehow equal emasculating. David Bowie would be very disappointed.

  19. MJ

    @Lucas Jensen: You’d be protesting too if people made sweeping judgements about your mental sanity, sexuality and level of maturity based on a quick glance at Google results on your hobby of choice. These are usually not reports so much as sensationalistic filler articles on slow news days.

    We’re all music geeks here, what’s your problem?

  20. phaballa

    @therichgirlsareweeping: I hope you’re being sarcastic, and not just incredibly ignorant. I write fanfic and I’m not ashamed of that. I write Real Person Slash, and I’m not ashamed of that either. I’m also not remotely unhappy, I don’t have intimacy issues, and I have plenty of friends, thanks.

    Although yes, most fandomers are women. Except in WoW or Everquest. I think a guild war would solve everything!

  21. the rich girls are weeping

    @phaballa: Whatever, we found your LiveJournal. And it wasn’t all that difficult to do, either. (You might want to spell check your bio, you’ve misspelled Pentecostal — and really, when it comes down to it, do’t kid yourself, you’re just as judgmental as the next person — glass houses and all that.)

    Anyway, I imagine any data I now present to you will just lead you to retort, “I have a life, I just spend it online.” Which is all well and good, that’s your choice — but believe me, after many years in the trenches of various fandoms, knee-deep in fanfic of any kind, I’ve found that, as with most subcultures, stereotypes hold true for a reason. (And yes, there’s exceptions to the rule, but those people are few and far between). I could enumerate the other categories of ficwriter/RPer that you might fall under, but that would just be unnecessarily cruel, and this thread’s devolved far enough from common decency already.

    Yay! Maybe this post will end up on FandomWank. All right!

  22. Kate Richardson

    @Laura5: Sorry I thought I knew how to read live (or greatest) journal group info. It says you have 42 members (I guess it said you had 40 when I wrote it).

    You guys do seem to go about it with a great sense of humor, but I would be truly shocked if everything on there was one great big ironic joke. That would be so thorough! If that’s the case, then my bad…lulz on me. Also I sense some defensiveness? You guys must take at least some pride/genuine enjoyment from it. And I honestly don’t care about that! I’ve done things on the internet that others would probably snicker at. I’m not judging. We just found your site and I thought it was really compelling, and yeah, kind of freaky, but at the very least something that would generate interest at Idolator, which does seem to be the case, judging from page views and comments.

    Mainly I was compelled by the connection between the emo (or whatever you term it) genre of music and its fanfic (or role playing) potential. Obviously it’s not my thing, but it is interesting, and that was part of this post.

    In conclusion, I have no hate or bad feelings towards the group. I think you guys, girls, cats, whoever posts on it of whatever age, write strange, often sexual stories about mediocre musicians. I’m drawn to that kind of novelty. Also, if you cannot prove to me that you are a group of twenty-something Brooklyn residents doing this as some sort of sarcastic way to amuse yourselves, I will continue to assume (perhaps incorrectly!) that you are imaginative teens. If you’re not teens…Panic! At the Disco? Really?

  23. strangebeastie

    Hahaha, bandslash has existed at least since the 60s, in printed fanzines.

    There are even published bandslash comics etc about many bands, like Japan and Duran Duran.

    It´s what´s kept popmusic afloat for decades.

    N00b.

  24. phaballa

    @therichgirlsareweeping: I wasn’t exactly trying to hide my LJ. I don’t care if people go look at it; that’s what it’s there for. And yes, I admit it, I can’t spell. Your comments about what “category” of fan I might fall under only underscore my point about ignorance and generalizations, so thanks for that.

  25. the rich girls are weeping

    @phaballa: OMG I HOPE THIS GETS FANWANKED BECAUSE THIS COMMENT THREAD HAS OFFICIALLY PASSED THE POINT OF RIDICULOUSNESS. I give up.

    Quit defending your choices, please. And of course I’m judging you — you write at length about being worried that that the real people you write RPS about will find out about the existence of said writing. If you were really that worried, for crying out loud, you wouldn’t write it.

  26. phaballa

    @therichgirlsareweeping: I don’t think this is the appropriate forum to discuss my personal opinions on RPS and why I write it. If you want to discuss the actual topic at hand (bandom, and the way in which it’s being characterized), then I am happy to continue. Otherise, you’ve obviously read my LJ post on the subject, and any personal comments should be directed there. We don’t need to flame Idolator’s comments.

  27. the rich girls are weeping

    @phaballa: *yawn* I’ll pass, but thanks. There’s nothing that you could tell me that would make me change my mind on the matter.

    This conversation has officially passed the point of being interesting. You’re defensive on every point and I’m not interested in enabling your self-righteous fury any further.

    Thanks for playing!

  28. MJ

    @Laura5: is for the “lulz” (ask Fox News for a definition if you don’t know what it means)

    Hahaha, I love you for that.

  29. KurticusMaximus

    Are you guys actually arguing about fan fiction?

    Arguing about fan fiction is even lamer than fan fiction itself.

  30. Lucas Jensen

    @kaate: The defensiveness amongst fanfic types is their trademark. Any time someone dares even REPORT about them, pow! the comments light up: “You don’t understand us.” “It’s all for fun.” “We’re all well-adjusted.”

    People can do whatever, but I’m always worried why they doth protest so much.

  31. Laura5

    I’ve been in various fandoms for many years and have heard all the name-calling before. That’s just par for the course, really.

    What surprised me was that you couldn’t even get the facts straight about the group. It’s pretty obvious that we don’t have 40 members, for a start. And you really thought the role playing was serious? Come on. It’s pretty clear that our entire community is for the “lulz” (ask Fox News for a definition if you don’t know what it means): everything is open (or was), anyone can join in and none of it is taken seriously. Many of us don’t RP but are more interested in general discussion.

    You don’t have to like us by any means but if you can’t even make the effort to be accurate, then I’m really not sure why you wrote the article. It honestly looks like a case of you taking cheap shots just to, well, I’m really not sure what your goal was. Maybe you just do stuff like this for the lulz, too.

    Laura

    P.S. I would have preferred to email you directly but there was no contact email, so I’m leaving a comment instead. I’m not interested in signing up for this site.

  32. nonce

    I learned a lesson today! After reading the first excerpt above, I briefly lost touch with my homosexuality and worried that this kind of thing would fall into the wrong hands: fundamentalist Christian gayhabbers.

    Then Labtheque mentioned Stephen Colbert and it was like an after-school special up in my limbic system. I get it now. I’m still not interested in reading any, but I get it.

  33. nonce

    @phaballa:

    Just rereading this again because the “media studies” part of me wants to write a research paper on this (I’m sure it has already been done) but a few things:

    1) Sensationalism and judgment are half the fun of the internet. As for the latter, head over to Gawker and search “Robert Olen Butler.”

    2) The internet is PUBLIC. Anything’s up for grabs. See the ROB flap above.

    3) The weirdest thing about this is that–as a gay man–I find it really hard to take gay porn seriously. Any gay porn. And maybe I’m a relic, but a pic of Gerard Way fingering the collar of his faux-Hussar outfit is way more hot than a pithy description of him fisting Pete Wentz (or whatever). There is some porn I do like. Because the internet is public, you could probably find this out easily. Or I could send you a list and you could mock me, which would be fun.

    4) Vicodin makes you think way too much about this stuff. Just say no, kids.

    5) The stakes aren’t really high enough for legal action against fan-fictioneers, and any fanfic object with a brain would encourage the enthusiasm as long as one of the .05% of fan-fictioneers who might be a little “off” doesn’t put together a rape kit and stalk (insert attractive celebrity here).

    6) Finally, on the MCR/Hussar angle, I would actually totally be up for a Cult Classic emo film version of D.H. Lawrence’s “The Prussian Officer,” which is also a great porn-writing lesson.

    7) People will also assume emo fanfic/bandom/etc. is written by teens because the bandmembers themselves are youngish and the music is targeted at teens. There’s probably a NAMBLA Fall Out Boy “fanclub” out there but I don’t want to know about it.

    8) And let’s hammer this “internet is public” thing home: my fetish for 19th c. military uniforms is clear, now, right? Especially c. 1820 to 1850, which is right where those MCR outfits fall.

    9) Holy shit this post is long. Sorry. Kids, don’t combine Vicodin with barbituates and benzos. Crack is wack!

  34. Maura Johnston

    @nonce: I know you’re gay, but I am totally in love right now. Whew!

  35. Maura Johnston

    @nonce: (Also, yeah, that whole “the Internet is public” concept is something that seems to be forgotte…?)

  36. Maura Johnston

    @maura: What the hell. I was going to link this:

    [youtube.com]

  37. Labtheque

    Oh man, if this makes it to F_W I will be so pleased. We’ve already got mentions of boldthrough! All we need is someone slashing Daniel Radcliffe into this mess and it will be a thing of beauty.

    @phaballa: But if it involved Stephen Cobert, we all know he’d love it. Didn’t he read the begining of a fic on the air?

    @therichgirlsareweeping: Okay!

  38. Get Euphemistic!

    *FLAILING*

    Never dug disco, but …fuh-what? I can’t believe you are arguing with someone about fanfic, Candy Hotpants! Are you serious!?

  39. the rich girls are weeping

    @Get Euphemistic!: In case this wasn’t ever clear, blatant publicly-posted RPS and/or RPS-infused roleplaying is where I officially draw the line. Everyone has a threshold, yo.

    @nonce: my fetish for 19th c. military uniforms is clear, now, right? Especially c. 1820 to 1850, which is right where those MCR outfits fall.

    I <3 you, dude. Srsly.

  40. As if we don’t know about his group of girlfriends on the sly

Leave A Comment