Friday, May 21, 2010

Love in the Time of Coalition

Once upon a time, the world fell in love with two men for very different reasons. And I'm not just talking about the electorate, because clearly the Tory/Lib-Dem government is just as symbolic of deep division as it is of unity. This said, hearts have been set aflutter in burroughs, of a sort, across the Internet. Whether or not the Clegg and Cameron duo that the fandom are 'shipping' are anything like the real deal is yet to be seen.

Since the election the UK media has been having a field day with the whole situation, the moment talks were announced journos were bandying about innuendo and words like 'wooing' comparing Labour and the Tories to suitors, as though building a government had turned into some sort of Pride and Prejudice-esque parlour drama.

Of course, if we're following that route, then Clegg is Lizzy, Brown is Wickham and Cameron is Darcy. For a moment, we think that Lizzy might chose the idealistic, poorer candidate. Then, of course, true colours are revealed and she marries the posh one because she'll get to be the mistress of Pemberly and run things when Darcy's away.

But I digress.

For the uninitiated the idea of fan fiction seems somewhat akin to stalking, or at least a close cousin of defamation. If you haven't heard of it, the principle is pretty simple. Fans of books, films or even real life figures write graphic short stories, poems, or 'one-shots' (first person or short vignettes) about their heroes. To be honest, a lot of the time it's just sex. Puzzling, I know. Why do groups of largely heterosexual women queue up to write about and discuss the idea of Cameron and Clegg being gay for each other (and of course for Britain)?

On its most base level it's a direct counter to the fixation on girl-on-girl porn, albeit of a more cerebral nature. In fact, one of the most striking attributes of fan-written Clameron-fic (in comparison to the majority of sexual material in the marketplace) is that it's generally well written and mixes tax reform with pants action. I know, these observations are valid enough but the question that begs to be asked and answered is WHY WHY WHY? It just seems so WRONG.

Perhaps, yes. The idea of a newly-elected Conservative Prime Minister playing footsie with his liberal deputy may seem crass or even incredibly offensive when taken in the context of the real world and the reputation of these men as husbands, fathers and politicians. However, I would argue that it is the contrasting dynamic between Clegg and Cameron's personalities that has the Guardian and other respected publications making throw-away references to 'commitment issues' and the like.

Call it what you will but as far as I'm concerned it's just good casting: One is Oxford, the other Cambridge. One with any number of royal connections, the other a hardy blend of immigrant stock. On every single layer this pairing plays to a classic star-crossed lovers literary archetype. The key difference in this case is that it's real, and they have to make this relationship work or the country will suffer. The odd couple move into Number 10, if you will.

It's this fertile backdrop that makes for some terrific writing. The majority of it has to be hosted on communities and journals with as major sites like will not accept real life pairings. It would be foolhardy, however, to think that the authors of this work honestly believe in the sexual pairings in a real-world sense. They see it for what it is, a once in a lifetime opportunity for satire, smut and common-garden variety fun. Sometimes, people come up with stories out of thin air, other times a series of exchanges will lead to a request. Boris Johnson, Peter Bone and Vince Cable all make cameos, and many an alternate future is speculated upon; some of the best of which include the odd Zombie apocalypse.

So to conclude, I leave you with an amusing request example from an anonymous, unnamed Clameron fic site, and the message that they're not mad, they just know great characterisation when they see it.


Clegg/Sarkozy - Nick has to use all his multilingual talents and knack for diplomacy in dealing with Nicolas Sarkozy's epic Napoleon complex. Bonus points if somewhere else Cameron is desperately trying to keep Sylvio Berlusconi off his wife/Theresa May/the entire Cabinet

(Reply to this) (Thread)

2010-05-17 06:57 am
I would so love to write this ... but I don't think I can.

I hate Sarkozy with a visceral hatred that is far worse than anything I feel for any British politician (even climate-change denying bone-headed freaks). He tried to throw us (Corsica) out of France (probably because he hated the Napoléon comparison).

Clegg and Sarkozy? Just no. Gideon and Sarkozy? May be possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment