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14 September 2007 @ 12:19 pm
SG-1 Meta: On Gen, Ship, and Slash (Jack)  
I don't get to meta too often because I am either too exhausted and too busy, but I decided to babble today. I do wish I could participate in more meta I see on other people's LJs, but again I'm often too tired of busy with RL bad stuff to participate much. Or by the time I get on LJ, the discussion seems to be over. Anyway...

As most of you know, I'm gen for SG-1 (and SGA when I watch it) and prefer gen fic in the fandom. Gen doesn't mean the characters can't have strong or intense bonds. Gen isn't just emotionalless action. Gen isn't strictly canon. Gen explores the friendships and other kind of relationships between the characters in complex and rich ways.

However, that doesn't mean I don't like to explore ship or slash in fanfic. It gives me a challenge and I'm an idea person. If I get a workable idea, I'll explore it even if it's not normally something I would write. If I find a story that is interesting and convincing, I'll read it.

Some characters I can ship/slash more so than others. I've written a lot of ship with Sam, but it's not because she's the girl. It's more personality based. The same with characters like Daniel and even Cam or Teal'c.

The character I have the most trouble with is Jack. This is both for the show and in the fandom.

Emotionally, Jack is a very closed character. Sure, he jokes around and will do anything for people he allows into his inner circle. He's a great leader and isn't to be underestimated. But he isn't a very open guy. He has trouble vocalizing his feelings and would rather not go there. Now, in extreme cases that wall breaks down -- Jack holding Daniel in Need, Jack taking Kawalsky's hand in Enemy Within, Jack hugging/touching Teal'c in Lost City, Jack supporting Sam in Death Knell. Jack can express emotion, but it takes something to move him. While he's always been a hands on guy and likes tactile touch, that doesn't mean he's an extremely openly emotional guy.

This is why I have a hard time buying ship or slash with Jack. Jack would not be the one to take the first step when it comes to relationships, especially with people he works with and who he is friends with. There would have to be something intense to break that wall to get him to move. If not, it really falls on the other individual to push him in the right direction.

This is problematic in certain pairings. While Sam tries to explore this, since Jack doesn't budge it often makes her look bad. But she also is reserved and an emotional mess in many ways so I have difficulty seeing this pairing hooking up. In fanfic, it would take something serious for me to get them. Plus, I feel these two characters have a lot of respect for each other which further restrains Jack from action.

Jack and Janet I can't comment on because I've only ever really saw some spark early in the series. I haven't read Jack/Janet fanfic, but I would be curious on people's thoughts on this pairing.

Jack and other random women...I have an easier time with this, actually. Jack is a bit flirtatious and he obviously has no qualms becoming involved with women. It may be easier for me to see Jack/OC because it's not within the team and it's not really the focus of the show. On the show, these relationships are fleeting and don't usually take away from the team spirit. However, unless it was really really well done, I doubt I could read fanfic with Jack/OC as the main focus.

I also don't have much trouble with Jack/Sara. I'm not sure why. Again, it's non-team so I can get past the interteam friendship/coworker issues I have with Sam/Jack, Jack/Daniel, and Jack/Teal'c. (I don't see any basis for Jack/Jonas.) Plus, it's also a past relationship so the awkwardness of "falling in love" is over. I loved when past Jack/Sara was referenced on the show because it added another layer to Jack. Now, I do have a special interest in rekindled Jack/Sara but I'm picky. This pairing has a lot of baggage and it has to handled well.

Jack slash is even a harder sell. Let's say that Jack had some buried feelings for Daniel or Teal'c. For me, he's too much of a guy to even go there. That would be up to Daniel and Teal'c to open him, and I see both of them having similar denial or buried feelings issues. Plus, the military thing. This is probably because none of them have been portrayed as nothing but straight (as far as I can see.) Jack hasn't had enough interaction with Cam for me for me to comment, though I can't really see it. And I think there was too much indifference between Jack and Jonas.

So, for slash fic, it takes something special to convince me.

This isn't a slam on anyone's preferences. I'm just saying that it takes a lot of work and some expert handling for me to buy Jack breaking through that wall he has around himself. Some fic writers can do it and I applaud them. I've even tried myself - sometimes with success and sometimes not. And I don't just have interteam issues with Jack. I have that problem with everyone. I just can bypass the issue easier with other teammates.

Maybe if Jack was more open, I could ship him more easily. But then he wouldn't be Jack. I love him just the way he is :)
Current Mood: hothot
eregyrn: SG - Jack - Reactioneregyrn on September 14th, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
I get what you mean on a lot of these points. I've definitely heard other people bring up some of these things in relation to a particular point. And I think it's fair to say that this is how it pings you, and it's not about trying to convince you otherwise with argument, because how you react/feel is a visceral thing not often swayable by argument.

So, just to offer my own perspective...

I agree with you about Jack as emotionally very closed and guarded. I tend to dislike stories that show Jack being too externally emotionally articulate. But, what I get out of Jack's closed-offness is... tremendous *intensity* of feeling hidden behind it. (And for me, that explains why it often comes out in touch rather than in words.) I find the way his emotional reactions are usually downplayed to be incredibly intense, and it's very easy for me to be convinced by linking that intensity to eroticism.

The best examples (I feel) on the show of intense emotions bottled up behind Jack's facade occasionally spilling over, and hinting that there is a *lot* under there: his anger. I think it's instructive that Jack on the show is often grumpy, pissy, irritated, or angry -- slices of emotion that he is willing to show -- but that only on a few occasions do we see him blow his top. Usually even his expressions of anger are cold and sarcastic, but there have been a few notable times where he boiled over: at Cromwell in "A Matter of Time", at that guy in "Red Sky". Similarly, he has on very few occasions not just offered touch or comfort, but let what I think are true strong emotions to be openly expressed -- the famed spacemonkey hug in "Serpent's Lair", for example.

For me, the few examples of Jack slipping his control (one way or another) work very well to sell me on the idea of a deeply-feeling guy who keeps a lid on it (rather than on a naturally inexpressive one, or a non-feeling one). And I therefore find it relatively easy to be convinced by slash or ship writers who suggest that his control can slip in regards romance/sex with the right combination of catalysts. Plus, I truly believe in his very strong attachment to all of his team, his deep caring for them, and thus I don't find it a huge leap to imagine them having the power to be that strong a catalyst. (Conversely, I don't have such an easy time with OCs.)

This is why Jack's non-openness in fact probably works *better* for me, in shipping him, than a more open character would. (Thinking about it -- there have been a lot of more open male characters on shows, who I wasn't as attracted to reading about.) And I think the bottom line for me is that it captures my imagination, and I think we get enough canon hints of really deep, intense things going on underneath, that it seriously intrigues me and makes me want to see things get underneath his walls.

For me, too, the military thing and the "he's depicted as being so straight" and "he's too much of a *guy*" thing -- those are non-issues. For one thing, while I don't disbelieve that he strikes some people that way (you're not the only person I've seen say this), RDA's performance *doesn't* strike me as all that typically straight. *shrug* YMMV, clearly.

However, I do agree that Jack reads as very much a "guy" -- however, I just don't see that as having any bearing on the believability of Jack as gay or bi. (I believe in bi, because I believe his relationship with Sara was real, at that time.) Gay comes in may forms, and it's just not as outwardly obvious as a lot of people presume it to be. Therefore, I don't see a contradiction between "a guy's guy" and being homosexual. Which dovetails with my knowledge that while the career military thing is a logistical obstacle, the truth is there's lots of straight-acting gay men in our military *right now*, and we can't tell who *they* are, either.

But, as I say, these are just my reactions. I think it's entirely reasonable for others to look at the same show, and performance, and come away with a different set of feelings about it.
Working for the Mandroid: Unprotectedmoonshayde on September 14th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
I've never argued that Jack lacks intensity. Some of my fave episodes have been the ones where you can see him explode: Red Sky, Meridian, Abyss, Window of Opportunity. I think it makes a deeper impact because we don't see that intensity in Jack often. In contrast, we see that kind of intensity in Daniel more often than not. It's when Daniel gets cool that we know something is wrong.

I've always loved how RDA has played the character. There is a restraint there and when he lets go, you see what is under the surface.

I think that restraint is very difficult to capture in fanfic. We can se eit on the screen and have a 1000 different people see it a different way and then you can have a fanfic with one intrepetation one that may not match what you normally would see. So, I think fanfic is a harder sell with a character like Jack.

Of course, these are my own opinions. I state this but I still can write fic where I ship or slash Jack. I break my own "rules." But that is what I enjoy about fandom. What I want and see on screen doesn't always match at what I can explore in fandom.
(no subject) - ravenclaw_devi on September 18th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
knightshade: SG - Man of Honordknightshade on September 14th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm. Jack does keep people out, but I don't see him not wanting a relationship because he doesn't want to have to be emotional. I mean, he was with Sara (in the flash back in Cold Lazarus he's very affectionate with her and the way the scene is shot implies a lot of intimacy of the emotional variety). I think a big part of his emotional wall is Sara and Charlie. But I think that maybe it's not really his nature to be closed so much as a bad habit that he's learned because of being in special operations and the Stargate program. He can't share that part of his life with anyone (I don't buy for a second that Sam could have told Pete about it -- it was more realistic in the first season when she couldn't even tell her father who was a general). So I think with the habit of shutting people out of his work life and then Charlie he just retreated a lot more than was his nature to. But I do think he'd like to have someone he could let in and with Sam there is the added benefit that she knows about the career too.

In my personal fanon (YMMV), he hangs back on the issue of a relationship with Sam because he knows he has a lot of baggage and maybe doesn't feel like he's good enough for her in some ways. Or that a relationship with be fair to her. I think he sees her as a young, beautiful, smart woman who could have a relationship that isn't burdened with all that Jack would bring to it. I think he'd like a relationship with her. It is very clearly established in canon that he's attracted to her. But I think he is absolutely not going to make the first move because he'd want Sam to be certain that that was what she wanted, baggage and all.

Jack/Janet, I don't know. I never really thought about it. I read a fanfic once that was from Janet's POV and it's mentioned a couple of times that she knows a lot about him from his medical files. And I think that would be off-putting to him - knowing that the person he's interested in knows a lot more about him than he'd be comfortable with.

My Jack is stubbornly straight too though. It kills me because I love him with Teal'c, but the man just won't play.
Working for the Mandroidmoonshayde on September 14th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
Oh I never implied he doesn't want an emotional relationship. Maybe he does and maybe he doesn't. I'm just commenting on the nature of his character and how it's difficult for me to ship or slash him. He's the hardest character for me to do place in a relationship, especially in fanfic when we dive into the characters' heads. RDA plays Jack so subtle yet so deep that trying to snatch that in fanfic is difficult.

It's all subjective but that is how I see it :)
(Deleted comment)
Working for the Mandroid: Jack and Daniel (Urgo)moonshayde on September 14th, 2007 11:59 pm (UTC)
I don't have a hard time seeing J/D, though I prefer to see the two men portrayed more as brothers or father/son.

You know that I am a huge Jack and Daniel fan. I tend to see them more as friends/brothers than anything else. I'll get as far as the two of them having some repressed feleings that some through as homoerotic subtext. But that's pretty much where it ends for me. I can do different things with it in fanfic, just like most people do. Fanfic is about exploring possibilities. I just find Jack's character in and of itself very difficult to ship or slash. On tv, we Jack's actions. they are so layered that they can be seen any number of ways. But in fic, we give these characters internal thoughts. Most of the time, I find those thoughts in fanfic (whether ship or slash) jarring. They end up seeming unJack like. I cannot stress just how good are the writers that make it believable :)
annerb: Classic Teamannerbhp on September 14th, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)
Very interesting. I can definitely see where you are coming from. (And even as a hardcore shipper, I *really* don't like ship in the show. They can all just be buddies and love each other to death in the team way. My shippy eye will fill in whatever it wants to. Lol)

And yeah, I totally agree that Jack is emotionally cut off. But then again, sex isn't always about emotions (as we have seen with some various minor characters and OCs, which you find more believable than hooking up with the team probably for the specific reason that Jack doesn't necessarily have a deep emotional investment with them) Personally, I find Jack's mix of desire and emotional unavailability so interesting to write in relationships specifically because of these reasons. (angst, angst, angst)

You know what is awesome about you? You've written this really great meta, you have friends of all camps, you are loudly proud of your own preferences and yet, you have still seriously experimented with writing a variety of things, gen, ship, and slash included. You like what you like because it is your favorite, not because you have refused to even try it. That makes you made of win in my book.

Now, for the serious question: how to you feel about team OT3 and OT4? ;)
Nialla: Plotnialla42 on September 14th, 2007 06:18 pm (UTC)
(And even as a hardcore shipper, I *really* don't like ship in the show. They can all just be buddies and love each other to death in the team way. My shippy eye will fill in whatever it wants to. Lol)

You m'dear, are a NOROMO - NO ROMance Onscreen.

I'm primarily a slasher for fanfic, but I don't want ship or slash to be canon onscreen, I want a team onscreen. Everything else is up to fandom, where we can have a whole lot more fun than anything they could put onscreen anyway. ;)
(no subject) - annerbhp on September 14th, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on September 15th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zats_clear on September 14th, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on September 15th, 2007 12:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on September 15th, 2007 12:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
Nialla: Stargatenialla42 on September 14th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
Jack and Janet I can't comment on because I've only ever really saw some spark early in the series. I haven't read Jack/Janet fanfic, but I would be curious on people's thoughts on this pairing.

I've heard that one of the original concepts was to have it revealed that Jack and Janet had a relationship pre-show -- I'm not sure if that meant pre-Sara, of if they'd had an affair, or it was post return from Abydos, which was only about a year -- and they changed their minds because they wanted to focus on the action/adventure aspect and not romantic entanglements between the regular/recurring cast members. Oh, if only they'd kept it that way. ;)

For most shippers and slashers, all that's needed to spark a plot bunny or set off the shipdar/slashdar is friendship or "buddy" moments, where fans so inclined can take it one step further. We saw those with Jack and Daniel right from the movie, so I was predisposed to Jack/Daniel when I watched the series. Though when Jack turned into dumb!Jack, I started feeling like Daniel could do so much better. *g*

One reason I've always been so anti-Sam/Jack is just not the regs things, but because in the beginning they were giving the audience something we so rarely see on tv -- a male in a supervisory role being a mentor of sorts to his female subordinate, without it being a romance thing. It was refreshing, and it was very sad for me to see that go.

I think Jack being "closed" is what attracts some ship and slash writers to him as half of their pairing. Since he's never really reacted in a romantic sense with them onscreen, fans can take the slightest thing and spin it into something much more and not really conflict with onscreen canon. Jack doesn't show his reactions in public very often, so the field is wide open to speculate how he would react if he did have romantic feelings for a team member.
Working for the Mandroid: and beyondmoonshayde on September 14th, 2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
I am fascinated that some people can use Jack's closed personality as a spring board for ship or slash. That is so opposite of me. And the fact that happens and is used just amazes me. We are all so different. it makes it fun.
zats_clearzats_clear on September 14th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
Jack as I see him in canon is quite emotionally closed off, but in a deceivingly open way. Honest, it makes sense to me at least LOL.

But I cannot see him with Sam. Ever. I see the AUs and love the AUs, but in the canon configuration, I see two people who are never gonna get together. She will have the mini-crush on him as The Man in Charge, he will eyeball her as the very sexy/smart/wonderful woman that she is, but they are both too invested in the team and the mission to do anything so blatently against Good Order and Discipline. I know I am thoroughly biased here, having spent (sorry if you have read this bio portion of me before) 8 yrs as an active duty AF officer, in Space Command, no less LOL. But I experienced both sides of that picture (idolizing and being eyeballed) and still managed to keep my shorts on, so to speak.

As for slash, oh I soooo see Jack and Daniel. In canon, I see them in a perpetual state of pre-slash. The blatent affection Jack shows Daniel, the way Daniel really does look up to him (in the early seasons) and quite frankly, emulates him in the later seasons. You can see a lot of this better in screen captures. There is no mistaking the soft look in Jack's eyes when he looks at Daniel.

Re: J/D slash - Good Order and Discipline is different here. First, as I said, I see it as perpetual pre-slash, so while they are subconsciously thinking about it, no one is actually doin' it. Second, altho Daniel is the acknowledged Geek (Damsel in Distress in early seasons) and a civilian, to boot, he does not have the same things to prove as a woman would. Chances are that Sam has been dodging labels like Bitch, Incompetant, Pilot-Chaser and Slut through out most of her career. You can see the salt on top of those wounds in her opening salvo in Children of the Gods. While most of the military is far more enlightened than modern media would have you believe, it only takes one whisper to start the gossip mill grinding. Daniel will never have to deal with this, because, Geek civilian or not, he is a GUY.

As far as what I like to read? I try to stay very open to all alternatives but am unable to read J/S schmoop thru to the end. I do confess to a love of OT3 or 4, especially in Apocafic. I mean, really, the world has ended. Grab something while you can, people. And make it pretty! But I love slash in the (excuse me, language alert) "be him or fuck him" viewpoint. I read that somewhere and it so perfectly summarized why I think many women write it and why so many more (of us) read it.

ok, done being thinky now. off to find some smut! thanks for letting me share and I absolutely do not rain on anyone's OTP parade. Sam/Jack all ya want. I just change the channel!
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - zats_clear on September 15th, 2007 11:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on September 14th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - majorsamfan on September 17th, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
cyren_2132cyren_2132 on September 14th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
I agree with most of this. To me, Jack's not all emotionally gooey, outwardly or inwardly. I don't think it's something he would allow himself to be, anymore. Not only can it be dangerous in the field, but it also opens him up to more pain and suffering ala Sara and Charlie -- and unlike Daniel he's not going to talk about that reason. That doesn't mean he doesn't HAVE those emotions, it just means it takes something major for them to bust through years of psychosis and training and defensive humor. Which I think it more or less what you're saying, right?

Regarding slash, I could never realistically picture Jack as a total instigator just out of the blue. None of that "I've secretly been pining for (fill-in-the-blank), but I'm just too afraid to do anything about it!" And really, I find that to be true in all pairings, for the above reasons. I think an example of that was in "Divide and Conquer" when Jack's all, "Don't know what's up. Must be a Goa'uld mind thing. Experiment on me!" He wouldn't accept anything else until it was dragged out of him, point blank -- and then he didn't seem to have a lot of problem leaving it in the room.

The one place I see Jack as susceptible is when it comes to intoxicating agents. We've seen Jack drink, and although a situation has never come up where we've seen Jack plastered -- also something he would be unlikely to do -- were it to happen, I think he's comfortable with his team to allow one of them in on an emotional level at that moment. Certainly not "Jack's a big weepy drunk, let's all have a group hug" but I think it's a situation that could be rife with one-on-one tender moments. Like you, I'd prefer those tender moments stay gen, but I realize it's probably not a far leap for that to be made shippy or slashy (but again, not with the secret pining).

And then there's the good ol' alien drug cliche, which I guess is best described by the synopsis of the half-finished, cracked, verging on PWP that's been sitting on my hard drive for months in which the team is negotiating with an alien race who has a lot to offer, but thinks they're all too uptight. They drug SG-1 to state that sort of reverts their judgment and hormones to teenage/young adult levels, supply them with alcohol and snacks and lock them in an apartment. Drinking games ensue and we find out Daniel's not entirely straight, but Sarah Gardner and Sha're and commitment to work/finding Sha're have really kept him from exploring that avenue.

I think, armed with that brand new knowledge about someone he thought he knew and the alien drug wreaking havoc on his judgment and libido, if Jack could get over pissiness over not being told (which I think would be his reaction, absent the alien drug) I could see him winding up in Daniel's room and perhaps after being unintentionally insulting maybe getting a little. But then I think they'd both blame it on the drug the next day and lock that memory away rather than be all tortured with 'love that can never be' for the rest of the time. But that's about the only way my brain will allow Jack/Daniel to happen. And now I kind of want to finish that fic.

I just don't see Jack/Teal'c as anything but brothers in arms and Jack/Sam, I can only really see coming to life in a "she's on the verge of death, what are these feelings??!" situation, which is actually kind of supported in the show.

So, there you have it. More from me on Jack than anybody probably cared about.
Working for the Mandroid: breathemoonshayde on September 14th, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC)
Whatever feelings Jack might have for whatever character, he kind of locks them away and regualtes them to a portion of his mind that don't seem to come out unless there is a dire need. I like that about him.

Your alien cliche fic sounds lovely though. If it's one kind of slash I can get behind it's "aliens made them do it." And the tyupe of resolution you're talking about is the realisitic type of ending I enjoy. Please go for it!
Jenn: jack- lost scruffsurreallis on September 14th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
Isn't it amazing how we all see different things in the show? I mean, I know that's something we all say all the time, but it's never more obvious then when a post like this comes along and people comment with their own views. And it's really all colored by our own experiences and interpretations, so it's not like it's something you can *talk* another person into. I can't demand a slasher see Sam/Jack, and they can't make me re-interpret Jack/Daniel into something romantic. It's really just so fascinating, or at least it would be if it didn't always end up so wanky. *sigh*

I can totally see what you're saying and why'd you have trouble shipping or slashing Jack. Also, maybe you need something a bit more substantial than dodgy subtext in order to assign him a romance? Lots of people do. I'm way on the other end of the spectrum where I can take a single look or, you know, NOTHING and totally create my own subtext, and I think that can give people fits sometimes.

I think also that a lot of us have a real yearning to *see* Jack in a romantic situation (in fanfic) and we want to know what he'd be like, or what it would take to break that stoicism. We want to see that emotional core exposed, and so that's what we create and write about. It isn't so much that we see anything different than you do, or that we see true love, as much as we just really want to explore it all and say 'what if'. But I could be wrong, and I'm sure this isn't true for everyone. (standard disclaimer, blah, blah)
Working for the Mandroid: War Storiesmoonshayde on September 14th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
It would be extremely fascinating if it wasn't so wanky. I know I tend to hesitate before I say anything because I don't want it to become wanky. But everything is subjective. We can have strong opinions about something, but as long as we don't force someone else to see our view and nothing else, it's fine.

I would argue though, it's not really an us vs them type of mentality. At least not for me. I've shipped Jack and I've slashed him. I'm not anti-romance and I'm not anti-Jack romance. I'm just saying that for me, his character is difficult to protray in a romantic relationship, at least between team members because there's a distance there. I think he's so invested in them emotionally that that distance is necessary. it obviously doesn't work quite the same way with people outside the team.

It's not that I need something more substantial either. We've seen him romance on the show. We've seen that side of him. For me, there is something about his character that makes it different. It's probably rooted in that same kind of something that makes it difficult for people to write Teal'c.

I've written all kids of fic. I've read all kids too. it just seems that for some characters it comes easier than others. And as for the show I'd just prefer subtext anyway. That way people see whatever they want :)
betacandybetacandy on September 15th, 2007 06:10 am (UTC)
ITA that it's hard to picture Jack making a first move with people. Not just because he's closed, but also he's not sure he'd be good for them.

Which makes it all the more significant that he is frequently the one to make subtle moves when Daniel's withdrawing. I'd need to rewatch for examples, but the sense I always had was that Jack had such thick boundaries with everybody else, but when it came to Daniel - nope, he had Daniel's back whether Daniel wanted him to or not.

To me, Abyss has always been the episode where we see the Real Jack O'Neill - who he is with defenses stripped away. And in it, Daniel has Jack's back whether Jack wants him to or not.

And yet, I resist slashing them because in my thinking the friendship between them is deeper than any romance I can think of, and making it sexual just seems a distraction. That's just my thinking, though - I do enjoy slash that's well-written and features Daniel pushing it toward sex, rather than Jack.

That's why your post here resonated with me. I immediately thought of my reaction to J/D slash where Jack pushes for a sexual relationship - I just can't buy it. I can totally buy Jack being bi-sexual, but I still can't see him pushing a friendship with a man or woman to a sexual point.
Advection: chevronadvection on September 15th, 2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
I resist slashing them because in my thinking the friendship between them is deeper than any romance I can think of, and making it sexual just seems a distraction -- That's exactly how I feel about the onscreen pairings on the show. I always respected the preference for Jack-Daniel friendship, the way I respect anyone's preferences whether they're the same as mine or not, but I have real empathy for the longing for the friendship not to be (and here's where I can never ever ever find the right word) trivialized? muddied? with romance. The show injected romance into relationships that I was invested in as friendships -- it violated some kind of Friendship OTP, for me. It's like 'Oh, they were really falling in love all this time, or they really just had the hots for each other all this time, and all that apparent friendship-bonding stuff was just courtship' -- as if the friendship in itself wasn't enough, wasn't strong enough or interesting enough or wasn't valid in some way. Or something. I have so much trouble articulating how this feels like a betrayal or a letdown to me, and it really only pertains to what's onscreen (fic's always a different story, for me), but ... I totally hear you about that. The same feeling keeps me from shipping other characters in fics, except as experiments and challenges for five-things prompts or the like. I resist, because the friendship is so much more important to me. I know that friendship can be an important element of or precursor to a sexual relationship, but TV just loves to turn strong bonds between women and men into romance, and that annoys me and disappoints me again and again. The Jack-and-Daniel friendship is an extraordinary and wonderful thing, and I so totally get the desire to keep it that way.
(no subject) - betacandy on September 16th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on September 15th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - betacandy on September 16th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
zats_clearzats_clear on September 15th, 2007 11:52 am (UTC)
thanks, sweetie, for setting up this little discussion! And thanks to all playing along for happily and calmly accepting that there are multiple perspectives. It has given me new things to look for! THIS is fandom I love!
Working for the Mandroid: Laughmoonshayde on September 15th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
It's a beautiful thing, eh? When we can all come to the table with separate thoughts and opinions and not end up at war? :)
Advection: jackadvection on September 15th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC)
It's great to read your perspective on Jack and pairings-with-Jack, and it all makes tons of sense to me. Obviously my favorite thing to do in fic is to pair him with Daniel, and I think it can work with emotionally guarded Jack, but I also like to imagine a Jack who's willing and able to open up more when he's away from work, a between-the-lines Jack that we don't see onscreen ... and I also totally get how that kind of Jack could push past the OOC boundaries. That Jack wouldn't be your Jack, at all. And I do love your Jack too.

The destabilizing effect on team dynamics of any within-the-team pairing niggles at me too, no matter who it is. And it strikes me as a pretty hard sell for onscreen!Jack to have a romance with anyone on his team while they're serving together. But fics are fantasies and what-ifs and creations of whole other worlds between the lines, and while the intra-team romance issues are always considerations, they don't kill my enjoyment of fic. I think the boundaries of plausibility and ICness are different for different people, and dependent on the set-up of any given piece of fic. I think it's awesome that you're flexible in reading and writing while maintaining your core conception of the Jack character.

I am so, so, so noromo as far as onscreen team member/team member romance goes. And I love Jack/Sara too, as you probably know. I'm so happy that there are people who are into her as more than ancient-history backstory for Jack.

I really liked some Jack/Janet I read, but there wasn't much of it, and I haven't seen anything new in an age and a half. My own sense of them would be two grown-up, experienced people enjoying each other's company in private, a lot of sparkage there and a mature, relaxed, easygoing appreciation that makes it worth the hassle of keeping a relationship under the radar (I don't think either would be comfortable, professionally, with anyone at work knowing they were seeing each other). Lots of humor and affection, and no feeling at all that they were just using each other for convenience, but not a strong in-loveness between them either -- I don't see it as a lifelong pairing. Eventually they'd decide to call it a day, and move on to be old-friends-who-used-to-be-lovers, with all the old, warm affection as an extra layer of bond underneath the continuing bond of loyalty and respect and caring at work. Kind of poignant, really. That's my vague conception, anyway.

What do you think about Jack/Kerry? I liked her so much, and I've always been intrigued by that brief thing they had, wanted to read more about what was going on there beyond what we saw on the screen. But I haven't seen a lick of fic.
Working for the Mandroid: Runmoonshayde on September 15th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
The destabilizing effect on team dynamics of any within-the-team pairing niggles at me too, no matter who it is. And it strikes me as a pretty hard sell for onscreen!Jack to have a romance with anyone on his team while they're serving together.

This is my biggets thing. maybe it's the canon part of me that struggles with shipping or slashing Jack so much. (Though, it doesn't apply to the other characters for me, so that's a bit on a contridiction.) The most I can get out of a fic and really believe the characters are in character, whether ship or slash, is if it doesn't go anywhere. If it stays in a state of UST. That just seems more believable to me. Now that we're post series, I wonder if that will change for me.

My biggest hang up with Jack and Daniel is that I don't see it going anywhere. If they do have feelings they probably don't even know it and wouldn't act on them if they did. It would take something extraoridnary to break that boundary. I think this where my love of "aliens made them do it" comes to play.

Sam/Jack is similar for me. I think Jack respects Sam and their careers too much to do anything. It would take something extraordinary to change that.

So onscreen, I don't see it going anywhere. In fic, Jack ship and slash would have to done with a certain finesse for me to enjoy it.

I think it's awesome that you're flexible in reading and writing while maintaining your core conception of the Jack character.

Maybe I'm weird? I've learned to separate the two. I can write for the sake of the idea not for what I personally believe. it's opened up a lot of doors for me and I'm happy. But I may just be weird ;)

What do you think about Jack/Kerry? I liked her so much, and I've always been intrigued by that brief thing they had, wanted to read more about what was going on there beyond what we saw on the screen. But I haven't seen a lick of fic.

I didn't like her much, actually. I wanted to like her but my problem wa sthat she was an obvious plot device. I have a hard time getting past that. if she asn't just a plot device, then I think I would have enjoyed that brief interlude with them. It shows Jack still yearns for physical and romantic relationships. Itw beene side of Jack to explore.
(no subject) - moonshayde on September 15th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - advection on September 15th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - moonshayde on September 18th, 2007 02:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - moonshayde on September 18th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
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Working for the Mandroid: SG1moonshayde on September 17th, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC)
I'm totally having a panic attack right now thinking that everyone who has read this must think I believe in the stereotypical notion of the tough guy. *sigh* I should have chosen my words better. My gender studies advisors will kill me.

Anyway, I used that phrase because I believe it sums up Jack pretty well. Even if he had feelings for another man, ones of a romantic or sexual nature, I think he's too rooted in heteronormative culture to really realize it or acknowledge it. Now, that is my opinion and I know tons of people see if differently. It's the vibe I get from him on the show. He could be madly in love with Daniel (or Teal'c) and not consider that possibility at all.

With Sam and Jack I really really do see it as a matter of respect. I think he respects his job, hiis duty to his country and his duty as a superior officer to allow romantic and/or sexual feelings to jeapordize that. I would argue this for Sam, too. I think she's come close several times to breaking past that because she's tired of it. But in the end, I still think she respects herself, her job, and her duty to get involved with Jack. So, I really really do think they respect each other. I would argue that this goes for everyone on the team or in command.

Of course, not everyone agrees with me and that's fine. And just because I don't think Sam and Jack hook up or that Jack and Daniel are too repressed by heteronormative culture to hook up, doesn't mean I haven't written ship or slash with them. Fandom is all about possibilities, after all. I just like fanfic to really capture the characters so much and still make me believe it.

Curious, you say that you believe Sam/Jack is canon. Do you mean as in they got together and have been seeing each other secretly? Because I believe that feleings between Sam and Jack are canon. I don't think it's ever turned into a relationship.
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(Anonymous) on June 2nd, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
My view of SG-1 is that they all love each other deeply , but that they're not *in* love with each other. I see them more as siblings.

When I first saw episode that hinted at Sam and Jack having romantic feelings for each other I was dispointed. Can't a man and a woman just be friends. ? Sheesh.

I've finaly rationalized it as the two of them loving each other and noticing that the other is atractive, but the military protocoles they try to maintain preventing them from analizing the situation long enough to realize that they're not *in* love.