What Is Jonas's Favorite Color, Anyway?
by A.V. Meren
I've never written something like this before because I never really felt the need to.
I've stayed out of the discussions that take place in so many fandoms about how best to write a character because, no matter how they are written, if they're written *well*...I'll most likely enjoy the new insight.
I'm aware that many people don't feel that way, but, frankly, I never really cared. Let each go to Hell in his own way...and hey, have fun while you're at it!
And I felt (and still feel) the same about "favorite" characters. Oh, Lord knows that I prefer to read stories featuring particular characters, and I also enjoy chatting about them and generally raving over them like every other fan I know, but! And here's the thing--I don't go so far as to actively obsess over them to the point where I won't even give a new character a chance.
Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.
Daniel Jackson is dead. (Or ascended, or whatever, but you know what I mean.) That's really sad, because you know what? He was my favorite character, and one of the reasons that I watched Stargate SG-1. And I was, like so many, unbelievably upset about his death. Characters are real to us, and their deaths hurt just as much as a living person's do. And Danny's death was a sad event.
But you know what was sadder?
The complete lack of respect that was shown by various fans of Stargate SG-1--and no, I'm not talking about those who gasp! actually like Jonas Quinn. I'm talking, rather, about those who chose not to even give him a chance.
Let's talk about Danny for a moment. Why was he a part of SG-1?
Well, says the fan, because he offered something that was unique to him, a sense of understanding and appreciation for other cultures and people. The military could find many experts in ancient and mondern cultures and language, but it takes someone rare to offer understanding.
Does anyone really think that someone like that would approve the vicious attacks on Jonas?
Now, I haven't watched much Stargate lately, due to my not being able to find out when it's on as much to the fact that I actually read more fanfic than watch TV shows. However, I just discovered around a month ago that the Scifi Channel was showing it on Fridays. Well and good. I knew, due to fanfic, that Danny was gone.
At the time, however, I didn't know that there was a new character. Not one fanfic that I had read, even after the season had long since begun, mentioned him. I was introduced to him during "Prometheus", and thought, "Hm. This character is interesting."
I hear you going "But he's not DANNY!"
No. He isn't. And that's the point. His name is Jonas Quinn, and he's a smart, somewhat interesting, kinda funny guy who isn't all that bad-looking either. And I rather have the feeling that there's more to him that we aren't seeing, or being told.
But even if he were an annoying sixty-year-old Mary Sue, I still would be dismayed at the treatment he's gotten.
There have been nasty comments and cartoons, and refusals to put stories featuring him on websites, even if the story is well-done. There have also been several stories, by several different authors, that just disgusted me. These stories, for example, place him in situations where he is badly hurt, and the rest of the team ignores or mocks him for it because he "isn't Danny." There was even one story, and I'm not naming title or author, where Jack goes nuts and beats Jonas up very badly--almost kills him, in fact--and then Daniel comes back and says, "It's ok, I understand, you were grieving for me, yadda yadda".
I think you can see how this could disconcert me.
And you know, the worst part of all this is that the authors are not writing a story here--they are essentially putting themselves in the story and doing all this to Jonas. I mean, this so totally out of character in so many ways that I cannot even begin to count how many.
And it shows a deep disrespect, however unintended, of the other characters, not only Jonas. I'm not even sure if I like the guy, but I'm certainly feeling a great deal of sympathy for him, and disappointment in in the SG-1 fandom.
I understand disliking a character, especially since there are one or two that I cannot stand myself. But I got to know these characters. I watched the shows, and, more often, read the fanfiction in those fandoms; I got to know the characters fairly well. And just didn't like them--even, with one, actively going so far as to verge on loathing.
But I knew them. I did not decide, sight unseen and heart and mind unknown, that I would dislike them no matter what. I learned about them; how they thought and acted, and what they believed. And just--didn't like them.
That kind of feeling is something I understand. It may not be rational, but there it is. Sometimes you just can't help how you feel, or in this case, who you like.
You see the difference.
If authors want to write stories featuring Jonas in a bad light because that's how they see him, then more power to them. But they should, before attempting such a project, get to know him first. You know, find out the usual stuff, like when was he born, does he have any family, what's his favorite color?
I don't mean to attack anyone; that's the last thing I want to do. Instead, I want to attack an attitude that I think shows a very ugly side of the SG-1 fandom in the hopes that, with some light, it will shrivel up and die like the malignant weed it is.
I'm going to keep an eye on Heliopolis, since that's pretty much the only place I know of to go read Stargate SG-1 stories, but to tell the truth, I've lost heart. This fandom used to have some truly great stories and authors, but not anymore. (Except for the old ones still archived.) Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places, but it seems that the producers of Stargate SG-1 killed more than Danny.
I never thought that the show (and the interest in it) rested wholly on one character before, but--it looks like I was wrong.
And that's saddest of all.
I don't know why I wrote all this, because I've never done something like this before. I just needed to get it off my chest, and decided to try posting it here in the hopes that someone would be affected by it. Likely a fool's wish, but still...
I suppose the best way to close is to explain just why I felt that this was so important. It's because I love stories--and people. I like listening, reading, watching a universe and it's cast come alive before my eyes. And honestly, it's best when the universe is *interesting*. (Like the one we currently live in, for example, *snickering*...)
But you already know this as well as I do. My point is that I always saw Stargate SG-1 as a whole--I appreciated Major Davis, Maybourne, Makepeace, the Goa'uld, the Tok'ra, and all the rest as much as the members of SG-1. Colonel Jack O'Neill may have been a favorite, as was Dr. Daniel Jackson, but it was the way that they interacted with their universe that drew my attention as much as their intrinsic characters.
I think that a lot of people have forgotten that, if they ever felt the same way at all. And as a consequence, I doubt that this show will live on after it's run like so many others have, because no one is writing anymore. It's a damned shame. I'm really going to miss it.
This column was turned out to be more than I thought it would; I only intended to try and get people to be a little nicer--in effect, treat Jonas as they would a newbie on a mailing list. But it seems that I just needed to say goodbye. Oh, I know that things change, but the way people are acting, I think that this change might not turn out for the better. So I suppose this is my eulogy for one of the funniest, saddest, most challenging universes that have been created. You inspired a lot of good authors and they worked magic with your substance. A lot of people will miss you.
Goodbye, Stargate SG-1.