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be careful not to mess with the balance of things, or why wizards might be a perfect(ly doomed) dystopia

by jannika and folkloric_feel

Warning: This theory is probably a) really insane, b) tremendously depressing, c) might require a little bit of basic knowledge about dystopian fiction (although I'll do my best to explain everything as thoroughly as possible), and d) really insane. (It's also purely speculative and not meant to be a be-all end-all analysis, just a different look at the world of Wizards canon.)

If you're a fan of Wizards of Waverly Place, whatever your ships or opinions on specific plot arcs are, you can probably agree on a few things: one, for as cute and fun and ridiculous as the show is, there are a lot of times where the writers seem to be making up the mythology of their world as they go along, and two, the Wizard competition, whether you think it's a fair or unfair rule, is one of those things that has always seemed prime to be leading toward revolution, whether it's something that will actually happen in the series or not. The world-building hodgepodge has only grown exponentially since the movie, with the introduction into what used to be a fairly simple world of wizards (with the occasional elf or fairy) of Juliet, Mason, werewolves, vampires, monsters, monster hunting, angels, angels of darkness, mummies, cucuys, levels in the wizarding competition, beasts, beast taming… well, you get the picture. Whether or not there's been any actual forethought in the world-building or whether Wizards started with the initial premise of "there are three kids and one day they're going to have to compete against each other to see who keeps their powers" and the writers just sort of pieced it together week by week from there on out is highly debatable—and not the argument here. This isn't a "prove Wizards is a hodgepodge mess of mythology" or a "prove Wizards has been thought out perfectly from the beginning" type of discussion; we're going with what we've been given and taking it at face value.

Which, even though it's a tween sitcom on the Disney Channel, jannika and I have long felt that it's very, very possible that what we've been given is a fairly complex dystopia.

everything is not what it seemsCollapse )
31 December 2010 @ 10:01 am
BTR Song Meta Series: “Oh Yeah”
Or That Song Of Which I Could Not Make Heads or Tails
Or That Song That Moment When I Finally Said “Oh Yeah.”
Or, throwing all that out, The James Diamond song

Hello there. Here at metamusketeers we are big fans of dissecting Big Time Rush’s simple pop songs into something character driven, and honestly, rather ridiculously perfect in a way that constantly has us wondering how BTR can exist. In fact, we even went so far as to have a whole tag dedicated to this specific series of meta. And now, I make my introductory post with the song “Oh Yeah.” As always I thank my cohorts and companions, technicallysane and folkloric_feel for allowing me to bounce these ideas off of them. ♥
and everybody's screamingCollapse )
27 December 2010 @ 01:18 pm
BTR Song Meta Series: Shot In The Dark

Alright, musketeers! We promised you some activity around here after the holidays, and now that we're all surrounded in mountains of wrapping paper and we've eaten ourselves into proper food comas and are settling in to await the new year, how about a crazy meta theory on my personal favorite BTR song, Shot In The Dark?

Note: This meta, even more so than everything we do here, is a super highly collaborative effort between the three of us, so make sure to throw extra special love to madwomanpoems and technicallysane for this!

If any of Big Time Rush's songs break the standard boy band pop mold, it's certainly Shot in the Dark. While many of BTR's songs are unexpected for their extreme attention to character detail (Famous, Any Kind of Guy, This Is Our Someday) or their over-the-heads-of-tweens mature content (The City is Ours, Till I Forget About You, Big Night, Oh Yeah… should we just keep on going down the list?), Shot in the Dark is something of an enigma: it sounds like a love song but definitively isn't, it uses seemingly-cliché metaphors in complex ways, and its uptempo beat masks some surprisingly heavy lyrics. It's also somewhat of a mystery in that it premiered in full music video form within the verse of the show in Big Time Terror but is the only one of the boys' songs to not be released as an iTunes single or on their debut album either as a regular or bonus track—it's the only BTR song that, by all appearances, only exists in showverse.

While the way it ties in with Terror suggests an OT4 (whether platonic or more) spin, there's more going on in the song than just the we're better together message of the episodeCollapse )
Of Dakdall and Skateboarders From Wisconsin: A Big Time Rush Fandom Thought Process

We know that the forty-odd of you who follow this blog and the random others who find their way here from various communities come here for meta insight and discussion by way of our posts, but much, much more frequently than we give official credit for, and we couldn't do it without you occasionally here at metamusketeers, something happens in fandom to get everyone thinking and our fellow musketeers and readers do all of the work for us before Kait, Gina, and I can even get to analyzing anything. And when that happens, so many times, all of you readers come up with something that's so brilliant it renders the three of us completely speechless.

So, in keeping with the holiday spirit, we thought we'd like to share some of that collaborative community goodness with all of you.

Because this blog isn't just a collaboration of three people – it's a discussion between dozens and dozens of members of a community who all have ideas to share about the fandoms and ships and characters and canons that they adore. It's a community, and we couldn't do it without each and every one of you that contributes your thoughts through comments, discussion, or mere support of the ideas that we spam you all with here.

We've got a handful of essays in the works to be posted here in the next week or two, so be on the lookout for this community to explode with new meta goodness over the coming weeks, but in the meantime?

enjoy a fandom-wide collaboration about what makes Big Time Rush the show we all love to overanalyze at every possible opportunity.Collapse )
Question, fellow musketeers: does music video meta count as some branch off of song meta? Well, whatever, whether it does or not, have some thoughts on the in-show "Til I Forget About You" video in Big Time Live.

Big Time Live is one of those episodes that's the lightest and fluffiest flavor of BTR: It's an episode with no relationship drama, no great imminent threat to the band's future in Hollywood, just wacky hijinks and our boys working together as a foursome to make lots of ridiculous and totally inconsequential things happen so that they can make their first major television appearance ever, on Los Angeles' top morning show. Likewise, the in-show music video for "Til I Forget About You" is as silly as possible, with each of the boys adopting a different newsroom persona in a mock morning show. Some adjectives you might use to describe this video could include "adorable," "precious," "darling," "cutest thing ever," and "totally random and of absolutely no value whatsoever in developing any characterization or thematic elements of the show," right?

wrong, because as we've come to find out, everything in btr is deliberate and connected. everything.Collapse )
So let me tell you all a little story.

In my one of my graduate English lit theory classes, we read a queer theory essay called "The Sphere of the Intimate and the Values of Everyday Life," by Jeffrey Weeks. The essay mostly talks about what we consider to be the "public" and "private" spheres in society, but it uses some discussion of alternative sexuality communities (both based on sexual orientation and preferred sexual activities) to make a lot of its points. And the one major point that stuck with me was the idea of what Ann Ferguson calls "chosen families" – basically, the idea is that people within the LGBT community, for a number of societal and personal reasons, are more likely to develop friendships that are closer and take on more family-type roles than most traditional friendships in heterosexual communities, between both opposite-sex and same-sex friends. Sometimes it's because the biological families of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and people who identify with other non-traditional sexual orientation labels aren't as understanding or supportive of them as a result of their sexual orientation, and therefore people in the LGBT community are more likely to seek out tight groups of pseudo-family friendships to fill those roles and positions in each other's lives that are traditionally thought of as a family thing; sometimes it's simply because people going through the same sort of experiences and living the same sort of lifestyle are better able to understand what they're going through and better able to relate to each other than they would with members of their biological family or friends from outside the community. But basically, it's extremely common for people in the LGBT community to form friendship bonds that are closer than – and different from in a number of ways in general – what we normally think of as the traditional boundaries of friendship in heteronormative society.

And that idea, moreso than anything from my lit theory class, stuck with me, because my brain immediately went, "…hey, you know, that kind of sounds like the BTR boys." Because, sparkles aside, even, their friendships are much closer than the average male-male friendships between high school boys – the boys have, in so many ways, formed their own little insular pseudo-family, something that's continually reaffirmed by canon backing up their "we're all in this together"/"the four of us are better together" mentality. And so I've had this idea in my head for a long time now that there was some sort of plausible, if kind of crazy, link between BTR and queer theory.

And, as I do, because I'm crazy, I started getting way too in-depth in thinking about all of it, to the point of reading up on more queer theory – and the result?

the btr boys may just be the most amazing unintentional subconscious example of queer theory, at least when it comes to tween television.Collapse )
04 October 2010 @ 10:32 pm
BTR Song Meta Series: “’Til I Forget About You”
Or, “The One Wherein The Boys Are Breaking Hearts, But Not Really Taking Names”
Or, “Holy Shit Gina Only Used The Strike Feature Once”
Or, "The One Wherein Gina Was... Temporarily Distracted From Posting By... Stuff. Yeah."

As we all very well know, Big Time Rush loves to take our meta, our headcanon, and spit it back out at us, sometimes word for word. Or. Characterization for characterization. Either way, nearly everything we have ever theorized about the boys has been proven right at one point or another, and “Forget About You” is, naturally, no exception. “Forget About You” deals with the boys’ methods of coping, more than anything else.Collapse )
The Javid Spectrum, or, How Newsies Is the Basis For Everything In Tweendom

So here's a little story for you, fellow meta musketeers.

madwomanpoems and folkloric_feel have these three fandoms they love: Newsies, Drake & Josh, and Big Time Rush. And earlier this summer, they started talking about how it's funny that their ships in these three fandoms all tend to follow similar archetypes and have a lot of similarities with each other. Because really, Kendall and Logan were a lot like Jack and David, weren't they? And they already had seen how Drake and Josh were like Jack and David, hadn't they? And what about James and Carlos and Blink and Mush, or Jo and Camille and Megan and Mindy?

Well, because they're meta musketeers and all, they decided to dig a little deeper and figure it all out. And after more than four months of being ridiculous people who stayed up till 5 in the morning coming up with overly pretentious scientific terminology for talking about adorable boys and girls in love with each other spamming up all of your Twitter feeds until you were so sick of hearing about it you could scream having everyone question their sanity intelligent academic conversation, by george, they were onto something.

And that little something was called the Javid Spectrum.

let's start at the very beginning, so to speak, with newsies.Collapse )