Slash Fiction and Henry Rollins: Readers React 

Thursday, Nov 7 2013
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Zachary Pincus-Roth's look at the world of slash fiction — where writers depict their favorite male characters from TV and movies falling in love with one another — won raves from readers ("Everyone Says I Love You," Nov. 1). Lizeckhart writes, "Well done, Zach! It's nice to see slash getting more respectful attention. As a professor who teaches both Shakespeare and slash (not at the same time) (usually), it's hard to walk that line between keeping fandom a safe space for exploration and getting people to take its creativity seriously. I think you've helped with that. Thanks."

Optimisticstorm agrees. "This was a wonderfully unbiased and respectful article! Thank you! So many accuse slash fan fiction of being nothing more than poorly written, silly smut, but it isn't. I personally love the emotional journey of the characters."

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Melanie Pinkard has a different take. "I am definitely not a fan of slash fiction," she writes. "The very thought of it makes my inner teenager shriek, 'Ew! Ew! Ew!' I can't believe you heathens put the Eleventh Doctor on the cover with Luke Skywalker! I'm a Doctor Who fan, and now I'm about to claw my eyes out."

Henry Rollins! The Discussion

Last week, we featured a letter from Paolo Giampietro, who confesses that he's puzzled by the popularity of Henry Rollins' column. The responses have come in fast and furiously. But until we can sort through the still-growing mailbag, we thought it only fair to give space to the other side — namely the very articulate George Stevens.

He writes, "Every week I can't wait until L.A. Weekly comes out so I can savor Henry's column. I haven't looked forward to a regular column like this since 1973-74, when Hunter S. Thompson was writing a regular column for Rolling Stone. I find his column just as biting with sarcasm, just as skewering of the hypocrisy of contemporary politics, and just as darkly humorous about the slings and arrows of the human condition as Thompson's writings. Henry also adds the personal touch of the reminiscences of his old neighborhoods from coast to coast. He does not merely rattle off all of this as a stream of consciousness; instead he gives context and reasons for his opinions, impressions and conclusions based either upon his personal immersion with the subject matter or his personal view based upon his reasoning processes; all very similar to Thompson's approach to writing.

"Yes, his column does not fit the formulaic style of columns in daily newspapers, nor the overblown sensibilities of what passes for mainstream literature. Yay! There's plenty of that literary white noise. Perhaps the most telling testimonial comes from Mr. Giampietro himself, who, despite his invective, finally has to admit he 'keeps reading (Henry's) column every week' even though he attributes that to his self-proclaimed masochistic streak. I have a feeling that the Black Flag side of Henry appreciates the irony of that."

You Write, We Read

Please sent letters to L.A. Weekly, 3861 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230. Or email us at ReadersWrite@laweekly.com. Full name and contact info preferred.

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