ljlee: (sisko facepalm)
[personal profile] ljlee
Some posts, evidently, are forever. My Zutara post is going on five years old and I still get comments on it from time to time, not that that's a bad thing. Most comments are respectful and I reply with like respect. It's the others that flail at me about disrespecting their OTP that truly entertain me, though. It's a guilty pleasure.

A recent set of comments made some particularly irrational pro-Zutara claims that I had great fun kicking apart. Here are some of the lowlights:

5. Zutara is more popular!

"Yes, Zutara is popular. In fact, a recent buzzfeed poll concluded that Zutara is more popular than Kataang by 53% to 47%."

Um, why are you making the very argument that I started my original post with? I'm not sure why the anon thought this factoid would somehow be a revelation to me when I explicitly started my post by referencing the popularity of Zutara and set out to try to explain it.

4. The voice actors and my brother like Zutara

"Oh, and in case you didn't know, BOTH of the voice actors for Zuko and Katara, Dante Basco and Mae Whitman, ship Zutara."

"Pfft, my ten year old brother assumed that Zuko and Katara were lovers."

And the creators of a show called Avatar: The Last Airbender ship Kataang? And also that's the actual canon? The above seems to be some kind of misguided attempt at arguing from authority, but "other people like my ship" isn't a particularly compelling argument for why I should like it and I don't care whether these other people are the creators, actors, or some random fan. Here's a radical idea: How about we each ship what we like without trying to use "Well these other people like this pair!" as an argument for or against.

3. Zuko and Katara are like each others' parents, yay Zutara! But Katara and Aang are like siblings, boo Kataang.

"I definitely see Katara as the type to nurture [Zuko] the way his own mother once had. . . . I don't mean this to be weird, either. Logically speaking, we prefer to find mates with similar qualities our own parents carried. He'd see the warmth she has, and Katara sees the determination in his eyes her own father bears."

This might not be so bad in itself, though it is vaguely creepy, except the anon also said this in their prior post:

"[The anon's ten-year-old brother] thought Aang was [Katara's] brother."

So let me get this straight. Someone reminding you of your mom or dad means sexytimes forevar, but being mistaken for siblings is a death knell to romantic chemistry? Can the anon actually, I don't know, read their own words?

I also take this comment a little bit personally, seeing how my husband and I have been mistaken for siblings. (I'm also older and taller than my husband, so yes I may have a horse in this racemumblemumble) We dated for four years and have been married for three, and that's not even counting the years we were friends before we became an item. Sometimes people who are totally comfortable in each other's company, whether romantically involved or not, can seem so natural that they look like they grew up together. I'm opposed to the idea that this kind of comfort excludes the possibility of romance or means the spark is no longer there or whatever. In fact I think it's genuinely harmful to believe that romance must be perpetually performative and exciting, something I actually discussed in the Zutara posts.

2. Bryke are secret pedophiles who want fourteen-year-old Katara

"you have to realize that the creators aren't really seeing them in terms of compatibility itself, rather what they find to be the most fitting to their own creativity. They see Aang as themselves, and how could they not? It's their right. It Is their show, therefore their vision. It's brilliant, really."

How I have not missed you, old Zutara canard. *barfs forever*

1. My ship is based on events that never happened

"When I'd know [sic] Zuko had returned Katara's necklace to Sokka in order for him to give to her in the episode 'The Waterbending Scroll,' I sensed an instant spark of chemistry right then and there. It sounds absurd, but frankly it was rather sweet to know that he knew how much it meant to her. She was happy about it herself, and throughout the series their interactions continue to hint at something of a deep connection, if you will."

That would be sort of sweet, yes, if it had actually happened. As those who watched and remember the real Avatar: The Last Airbender will recall, however, in truth Zuko never returned Katara's necklace in "The Waterbending Scroll." In fact he used it once again in "Bato of the Water Tribe" to stalk and kidnap Katara and Sokka, and Aang took it from him while kicking Zuko's ass. It was Aang who returned the necklace to Katara, not Zuko. The anon's assertion seems to be part of a tendency of Zutarans to sanitize pre-"Day of Black Sun" Zuko, but it's unusual in that it's a baldly inaccurate factual claim.

I'm also not sure what the anon is going on about when they say "Zuko gave [Katara] nerve and bravery" or that "she just grabbed ahold of it and returned to him what was brought: instincts to follow, light." I'm pretty sure Katara didn't need Zuko to make her brave and that she wasn't a significant factor in his decision to turn away from his father's ways. Not in the canon show, anyway. It's a workable premise for a fanfic, but again it's not what was portrayed as happening in the actual show. I support the anon's right to ship whomever they like for whatever reason. The reasons for that ship become baffling, though, when they seem to be based on misremembered canon and/or fanfic.
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L.J. Lee

June 2016

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