All right. This may end up being too sensitive for GD, but I’ve wanted to give this topic a try for a while. Flamepanther and I kinda touched on this earlier in a thread in TFGD. A few years ago, while I was studying for my communications & culture minor, I started looking around at buddy films to find a comparison film to…dammit, I can’t remember right now, but I was comparing the buddy film to a piece of literature. It might have been Shakespeare. I’m going to have to go back and have a look at that. …but the thing that I found strange and intriguing, as I did more of the research, is the way fans of subculture media treat the buddy relationships found amongst a pair of men (or, sometimes, a pair of women) in film. There are a variety of fan subcultures out there that have taken to homoeroticizing the “homosocial” (or “two social friends of the same gender”) relationships between the main characters in buddy films. This, for the those who don’t know, is often referred to slash fiction. Now, slash fiction exists in virtually every vein – there’s Buffy/Willow slash, Frodo/Sam slash, Vader/Luke slash…the list goes on and on. The most famous slash is probably the Kirk/Spock slash literature, which, although the literature itself is not a publicly present part of Star Trek fandom, there’s enough cultural acknowledgement of its existence that, yeah, it’s worked itself into the annals of not only Trekdom but ALSO it’s helped contribute to the view of Trekkies/Trekkers as strange, weird fans from the eyes of a common consumer (or someone not familiar with the subculture.) The thing that I’ve never quite been able to wrap my mind around, though, is this – what draws people to make the homoerotic connection between the two lead characters? If you move beyond the “dude, they’re gay for each other” garbage that most folks spew as a kneejerk when two buddy characters embrace or celebrate a mutual victory, you’ll note that virtually every male character in a buddy film is, ostensibly, established as heterosexual – John McClane was married, yet he developed a very personal relationship with the policeman in Die Hard, Sam and Frodo were flirting with the girls at the beginning of Fellowship and were shown doing the same thing at the end of Return, etc. So, in the context of the source literature itself, it’s already been established that these are heterosexual characters that match, approximately, a male stereotype. Kirk, Frodo, Luke, Spike, etc. – these are guys. …so why, then, do the authors of slash – who are, by the way, often very intelligent adult writers (not surprisingly, female as well) – feel the need to bring these characters together? Is it to indulge personal fantasy? Is it because they don’t feel the story they’re being told is the one they want to hear? Do they fundamentally disagree with the portrayal of these characters as men’s men or is slash fiction, from beginning to end, just a long-winded way for its authors to get their rocks off?