I haven't read much Spike/Angel(us), but I was wowed by the story above. Just...wow.
And as for meta, one can only say word to this: "...not only is gay subtext alive and well and DELIBERATE on television, [but] seeing it does not make me a worse or less objective reader of the show than you." Except I don't necessarily think that's an attribute of readers who might be in the process of a slash conversion--who often end up saying things like, "Huh, it really *is* there, I see it all the *time* now!"--as it is of people who simply dig in their heels and resist anything but the most conventional, LCD reading of text, while claiming the elephant of subtext is not at all squatting on their living room carpet.
But never mind that. Jenny's meta here is just one long, intelligent rant of beauty that words all my own half-formed, unarticulated thoughts and utterly slays me.
("...you're surprised/amazed that us "slashers" might also believe in canon and characterization and good writing and we're not just writing gay porn with character names attached to get our jollies.")
Sigh of fangirl lurve.
Except for the shorthand remark. I mean...having used that phrase recently myself, I hope I didn't help spur this rant. I think there often is a slash shorthand. Not in reading canon, so much as in writing it. And I could talk more about that, but it's late and I'm fairly drunk. So I'll just leave it at that.
Edited to add: I think there often is a slash shorthand. Not in reading canon, so much as in writing it. Not reading canon, but reading *fan-fiction*, that's also another matter. But maybe I'm just on crack and it's all about reading agendas. Except...I think these are fluid, and that the more *fluent* you get in a reading template or paradigm--the better you are at seeing certain patterns, and in reading (sub)text like its own language--the more shorthand you can then use. The neural connections are there, snapping you associatively from thought to thought like a tesseract. It's just...different. You sometimes have to learn this, though, as many people have to learn a language who aren't born to it. I was a born slasher, but not everyone is.
And now I really am done.