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The AO3 Tag of the Day is: Bon appétit 
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me: with the way that things are coming full circle on the Hamilton mixtape, I feel like there is not enough attention paid to the fact that LMM has won a Tony, Grammy, Pulitzer, and host of other awards and become a multi-millionaire via writing an historical RPF bandom AU@ponyregrets: You are not wrong
Title: Hamilton: An American Musical
Fandom: Historical RPF
Pairings: Alexander Hamilton/Eliza Schuyler, Alexander Hamilton/Angelica Schuyler, King George III/The American Colonies, implied Hercules Mulligan/horses
Rating: E
Word count: 20,520
Summary: How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten sport in the Caribbean by providence impoverished, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?
Tags: AU - historical rap (free form), CABINET RAP BATTLES, idek I was on the beach and this just came to meme: Author’s Note: here’s a link to the facecast I put together :)@ponyregrets: I know Hamilton looks like me but he is NOT a Mary Sue!!

#like he literally did a facecast using his favorite rappers for the historical characters in the book he was reading #now said rappers have remixed his racebent fanfic
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I’ve had this prompt generator I put together for a while now, so I thought I’d share the link for anyone who needs an inspiration. There are:

3 150 au ideas

900 humoristic sentence/dialogue prompts

85 other sentence prompts

180 movie/show/book AUs, 179 setting AUs, 84 profession AUs

56 relationship and 217 theme ideas

You can shuffle each category independently or just refresh the whole page . The generator works just as good on the phone. 
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if u ever get disheartened just remember people in the 19th Century were painting hot Napoleon/Tsar Alexander boyfriend yowz before our great-grandparents were even conceived

annicron I thought of you

THANK YOU i had been thinking of this post and how to find it again


Oh hey this one may be right up your alley? When it comes to history I am a Filthy Casual, but I do know sort of why Napoleon and Tsar Alexander’s relationship was a thing in the public collective? 

So Alexander was still in his ‘young sexy aristocratic-but-liberal’ phase in the early 1800s. He runs hot and cold on Napoleon until  ‘04 Napoleon straight up execute the Duke of Enghien on shoestring evidence, horrifies Europe (again), and Alexander decides to Fight this French Shit-Starting Shit-Starter with all he has. 

Meanwhile Napoleon would still really, really like Russia on his side, since sweeping reform is his jam and Russia is a pain in the ass to fight let alone try to annex, so he stays as friendly to Alexander as he possibly can while fighting a war against him. He opens negotiations, gets knocked down, gets up again, etc.

Alexander is having none of it, decides it’s his divine whatever to fight Napoleon, ignores everyone who tells him ‘Yo the French might be about to kick our asses, maybe neutrality?’ To which he answers ‘no, the Prussians and I will never get our asses kicked because God and the peace of Europe and I am young dumb and invincible.’ 

Then Alexander does indeed get his ENTIRE ass handed to him at the Battle of Friedland (aka the rout of Friedland), and sort of sheepishly decides to make peace.  Napoleon soaks Prussia for all the territory they’re worth, but he’s still got his eye on a Russian alliance and he knows that Alexander is still young (30, at the time) and has big dreams.  So: instead of twisting Russia’s arm he shows up with flowers and a box of chocolates and says ‘I know we’ve had our differences but I never forgot, let’s be allies’ 

Which brings us to 1807 and the treaty of Tilsit, conducted on a raft in the middle of a river.  


Young firebrand hotty 

His best frenemy Napoleon, they had a Thing but Alexander tearfully swears it’s over


Napoleon gracious in his victory

Alexander welcomed into his arms, the exes reuniting

If you’re picturing a scene in a manga I promise you so were the French propagandists. This whole making-peace-on-a-raft caught the public imagination and illustrators got very invested in the idea of this classical romantic male friendship™ between Alexander and Napoleon. Partially this was because the French really hoped that the alliance would stick because fighting in Russia -sucks- and part of it I’m pretty sure was just that people have always, always, in all of the history of mankind, been into celebrity gossip and celebrity romances. 

This is why during the period you get illustrations of it ranging from ‘intense eye contact over a treaty’ to ‘passionate continental kissing’. The word ‘brotherhood’ probably got thrown around a lot. Mentions of the intense friendship pop up in a Tale of Two Cities and Lord Hornblower (written 50 and 130 years later respectively) and that’s just the books I know?  The narrative stuck, is what I’m saying. 


I don’t have a lock on the French or Russian mores in the early 19th century, and I can’t tell you how many of these artists privately sketched some naked followup illustrations and how many were thinking about sanitized non!gay Greek shenanigans.  My gut tells me that if collective RPF fandom had been a Thing, the super popular tropes would be ‘Napoleon saves Alexander from peril’ and ‘Napoleon nurses Alexander back to health’ with a smattering of ‘Napoleon and Alexander United take over the world and everything is perfect’ and ‘they break up but UNITE AGAIN on another raft’. 

I’m also imagining an 100K epic adventure h/c fic where maybe there was a lion (yes in the middle of a Russian forest shut up guys don’t like don’t read)  that kills Alexander’s horse and Napoleon singlehandedly kills it and together they make their way back to civilization while IDK being captured by a cyclops and having other unlikely adventures.  1 million hits, 60K kudos, lots of fanart.

In conclusion though: yes, for a few years there Alexander and Napoleon being bosom companions was very much a thing, though it would take a less cazh historian (POSSIBLY YOU?!) to figure whether the popular notion was SanitizedGreeks or SodomyGreeks or whether the difference particularly mattered to people at the time. 

(And in the end It all kind of fell apart. Alas. #it all ends on elba, #never forgotten, #angst.) 
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Inspired by some posts I saw today: 

When I joined fandom in 1995, we had usenet, which was pre-world-wide-web, but was basically a nonthreaded messageboard. Usenet and email lists were the only way we had of distributing fanfic digitally at the time, and I hung out on both, but both were split up by fandom – you had two usenet groups for X-Files, a mailing list for Due South, et cetera. By the time I went to college three years later, the web existed for most of us and was accessible, so we also had archives, but all of the archives had started out as ways of storing fanfic posted to usenet (Gossamer, an extensive x-files archive, is an example). 

You could also put up a personal archive at geocities or tripod or angelfire, which were the precursors to “build it yourself” sites like Wordpress and Squarespace, in that you had to hand-code all your html or build it in programs like DreamWeaver. Once you had put up a fansite, you could join a “web ring” which was a bit like a friendslist only there was no post aggregator – you had to visit each site of the ring in turn in order to see your friends’ sites. Web rings were really more so that once you found ONE fansite in a fandom, you could go to all the rest as well. They weren’t for the webrings’ actual members. And unless you were super fancy at coding, people would have to email you if they wanted to leave feedback. 

So when I went to college in 1998 and essentially dropped out of fandom (because college), the closest thing to AO3 that existed was a single-fandom archive where you could only get your fic uploaded by contacting the owner of the archive and asking to add it, or being contacted by them to see if they could (Gossamer actually was an exception, it auto-archived any fic posted to

It was much more likely you’d just have a fanpage you owned and maintained, and you’d post fanfic there, and then you’d send out an email announcement to your readers. Using a mailing list that you probably kept stored in a text file because contact lists in email wasn’t really a thing yet. 

In 2003, five years later, I came back to fandom because I started re-reading the Discworld books and wrote a bit of fanfic for them, and I googled “where to post discworld fanfic” because I just didn’t know anymore.

(Things that also didn’t exist when I left fandom: Google, in any meaningful sense. We used Dogpile or Altavista or Yahoo.)

I had thought I was going to have to build a fanpage and then find a mailing list or a messageboard to post to in order to get the word out, but what I found was

Now, FFN is a pit, don’t get me wrong. But in 2003 it was also revolutionary, one of the only archives of its kind and certainly the only one with any significant population of fans. AO3 didn’t exist. Neither did Dreamwidth or Tumblr. LiveJournal was invite-only. I got a LiveJournal account by begging an invite code off someone who left nice comments for me on FFN. And in 2003, in particular, it took a long time to realize FFN was a difficult, terrible place; back then the “no adult material” was basically a show-rule nobody followed, and if you were in a civil fandom like Discworld was (and continues to be) it was quite a pleasant place. 

AO3 was a leap forward. The user interface is so much better and it’s a smooth-functioning site which allows for adult material, easy tag searching, custom skins, and fast downloading. But I have fond memories of FFN, because when it first appeared, it was the only one of its kind, and a multifandom archive was pivotal in bringing fandoms together in a way nothing else up to that point had been. Before FFN and LiveJournal, multifandom gatherings were almost exclusively contained to conventions and meetups, which were expensive, tough to get to, impossible for kids to attend without alerting their parents to their fannish ways, and tended to be exclusive of – well, from what I’ve heard, any fan who wasn’t a middle-aged white male or spouse thereof. Panfandom mailing lists didn’t really exist; I think we would have seen them as weird, because to our minds we didn’t really have anything in common. We were fans of X; why would we hang out with fans of Y? Fannish culture did exist in the macro sense but a lot of us weren’t conscious of it, even when we moved from one fandom to another. 

I guess what I want to say is that the history of where we are today doesn’t begin with FFN or LJ or any of the other early-millennium hellsites, obviously. But in the history of fandom they are one spot that the big obelisk from 2001: A Space Odyssey would show up. And I thought it might be interesting for kids who came into fandom with AO3 already established would like to hear about the earlier days. 
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when you’re not in a fandom anymore but you see that your old otp had a good episode
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every time i hear “tag wrangling”, im imagining a herd of unruly cattle with things like “voyeurism” and “slow burn” and “fuck canon” branded into their haunches stampeding while a couple of harried farm hands attempt to lasso them in


Sometimes a herd comes up out of a canyon, no warning at all, and there’s only one wrangler on the scene. Their panicked yodels bring other wranglers racing out to the new edge of fandom, a fandom that didn’t even exist last week, in an effort to steer the tags into their proper pens.

Sometimes, though, no one hears anything at all.

Tumbleweeds roll by. There is silence, a great stretch of sky. A soft rumbling. The closest wrangler left the area last month, looking for greener pastures. There have been no tags here for long years. Then suddenly….

~ lion king music, followed by wildebeests ~

“Can’t keep hands on this one,” explains a lead for a popular fandom, tilting her hat to block the sun. “greenhorns come in, get their first shock of a stampede, and refuse to leave the barn. Scares ‘em right off. You got to have solid, experienced hands on a fandom this big, but experienced hands take one look at this place and laugh. They know right away how much work it’s going to be.”

~ the camera pans over milling tags, no apparent order to them ~

“We’ve got over a hundred thousand of these, with a hundred or so coming in every day. And that’s just on this side of the creek.” She waves at a distant speck, who seems to wave back. “Megafandoms,” she says, as if that explains everything. To other wranglers, it probably does.

(There’s also a collaborative steampunk version, which is much more exciting)
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say what you want about woobifying villains, but i think tragic backstories and redemption via love are staples for good reason. we want to believe that people are fundamentally good, just hardened by a harsh world. that suffering earns you a happy ending. because then it means something, then pain isn’t just senseless and futile.

people don’t ‘excuse’ the actions of villains because they just don’t take those actions seriously. i think it’s a kind of projection - we forgive them because we want to forgive ourselves, and we look for the good in them because we want to see that in the world, even in people who have wronged and hurt us. because earth is a goddamn terrifying place if other humans really are evil, if they’re really monsters.

and idk, i just think it’s kind of beautiful that we all want to believe that the scariest mass-murdering motherfucker alive can be brought down by something as pure and innocent as love. that love is the answer, not violence. i don’t think that’s cheap or ‘problematic’ or a bad influence. i think it’s human, and profoundly optimistic in a way that few people are brave enough to be.

If I didn’t hold the hope that love could make a difference, my world would be cold and bleak.

People who ONLY ever like “pure, cinnamon roll” characters and try to buff away every flaw and every morally grey dimension and reduce stories to pure heroes and pure villains give me the creeps, because it seems to me like those are people who refuse to acknowledge their own capability to do terrible things, the inevitable fact that they have done things that hurt others in the past and will do so again (because that IS inevitable if you interact with other humans), who never question themselves, who think incredibly harsh standards of judgment are just fine because of course THEY would never need forgiveness or mercy.

THOSE are the people who are most likely to stomp on your face with a boot while being utterly convinced they’re doing the right thing and you deserve it. And they will never admit they were wrong and they’ll never apologize, because only bad people do bad things, and of course they’re not a bad person, so if they did it, it must have been good.

Give me friends who are honest about their own capacity to harm, who know where their own darkness lies, and can see it played out in characters good, bad, and - best of all, somewhere in between. Who understand when to rage, when to forgive, and when to just walk away. Who understand that other people, just like them, are ever-changing bundles of contradictions. Those are people I feel I can trust.

^This last comment. I’ve been thinking about this, and it’s not just that “every villain is a hero in their own mind.” I think it’s that act of making oneself into a hero in one’s own mind, of giving up self-criticism and clinging to an identity that’s based being Good, that opens the door for a person to do truly horrible things to other people. I honestly wonder whether philosophies or faiths where good is a thing you ARE rather than a thing you DO are more prone toward instigating violence in the name of said philosophy.


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strix alba

February 2017

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