Basically, rant about fandom. What is wrong?
I'd like to say recently, but really it's been going on for a few years now. I'm seeing more and more of the Character/Reader type of "fanfic". I don't understand this nonsense. Why are fans so eager to read a story with a nondescript self-insert character into whom they may...well, self-insert, just so they can read about how they are being wooed, fucked, or otherwise engaged with completely fictional characters? What is the appeal of this?
I mean, I understand that sometimes girls (because let's face it, these kind of fics are almost always requested and written by girls, I've yet to see a male - gay or straight - associated with this kind of behavior) want to dream about how they're with McDreamy-flavor-of-the-month. And that's perfectly normal, sure. But why is it suddenly okay to share those id fantasies on the internet? Why is it suddenly taken for granted that all the other girls have those very same id fantasies?
Some might say that the fanfics of yore are little more than self-indulgent fantasies, too, that the shitty Mary-Sue and self-insert fics are just as self indulgent. But at least there is an acknowledgement of self indulgence here. There is an unvoiced social contract that when you write fanfic, you are writing your fantasies, not bringing to life someone else's. And most importantly, they were considered bad writing.
But with these Character/Reader type fics, the writer is explicitly stating they are writing these fantasies for the reader. But that's ridiculous, because no reader needs their own fantasies written for them, it's already playing out in their heads all the time. Zero service has been rendered, at all. And yet...for some reason, fandom is eating this shit up and being completely unabashed about it.
Are we, the fandom, just at the point where shame is no longer in our vocabulary? Are we unable to understand that fandom is not a monolith, that everyone has different kinks/tastes and want different things from their what they read and that the fanfic writers do not have a universal understanding of fandom fantasies?
Are we really at a point where we throw concepts of quality out the window and are actually actively requesting shitty fic just because it strokes the readers' ego? WTF? What is happening?