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The Death of (the Origin of) Fanfics

There is, firstly, Robert Fisk's article, "It is the Death of History", published on September 17, 2007, in The Independent, for which this post was formed. I like Robert Fisk, even if I think his opinions are sometimes very far left and very cynical (though he, out of all the Mid-East reporters in the world, actually has the right to be very far left and cynical). But this article. I had real trouble getting through half of it. I felt enraged, unspeakably enraged.

More than the loss of life and bombs, which are to me mostly semantics and statistics in the news, the loss of history really stabs at something in me. At the point the article talks about the US base in Ur, I felt like I could cry. This is Ur damn it. They built a US base on it. They rolled tanks over it. And it's still getting robbed anyway. We could learn so much about ourselves as human beings, about our ridiculous religious wars over semantics from the ancient Sumerians, seeing as how our three major monotheistic religions pretty much stole their stories.* People protect Jewish death camps as historical sites better than this. It's just appalling. Neither illogical nor unexpected, but still, appalling.

The sad and truly rageful part of this story is that the outcome will not be seen until Iraq is at peace, and that might never happen. Indeed, in the way of civilisation, lots of pottery will get trampled upon, new cities will rise over the graves of older ones, and history will likely forget.

Of course, my real problem with all this is that what this destruction is really doing is that it's killing the source of my fanfictions. Fanfictions, you ask?** Religious books to me are the ultimate genre fiction. It's genre fiction that's managed to get right down to the source of our disbelief and just bypass it. Imagine what we could learn about writing from books that many people will believe right on the spot, however strange or surreal the things they say, to the point where they'd build the largest fan clubs in the world to talk about them.

Imagine that even for hardcore Trekkies, for example, there has to be a point where one realizes, there's a real world out there and one has to interact with it. Religions can bypass even that last bastion of unbelief. They can fuse together our world and their imagined realities, and people are happy to run with it.

I guess I'm the sort of fan who writes these really dissenting fanfics about killing off the most loveable characters, and slash-ing the heroes at every turn.

In any case, they're killing the mother of all fanfictions, a place for which the fanfictions haven't even been completely catalogued and deciphered yet, and I am mad.

* The proper terminology would be "Abraham swapped recipes with the Sumerians", for which I have already been duly corrected by mokie. I highly recommend viewing her explanation on the origins of Abrahamic religion and monotheism in the framework of a foodfight dating back to the dawn of time here: http://mokie.livejournal.com/569338.html

** The rest of this paragraph, and the two paragraphs directly after it, were directly taken from my comments during my interview with ASif! last month. As the scanner_darkly would say, "So, you basically write about genre without believing in it?"

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