I was sick last week and had reached that not-quite-well-but-not-still-sick state where you have absolutely no energy to do anything.

So I watched TV.

I have Netflix and can view streaming video, so I was perusing the offerings in the animated section when I came across something called X-Men:Evolution. I had never seen the show but I like the X-Men well enough, so I clicked on it.

Oh. My. Unspecified Diety.

It is like someone took a collection of X-Men fanfics that were all set in high school and made a show out of them.

 I’m not really a rabid fan of the X-Men, but I’m familiar with some of the various characters. The whole time I was sitting there watching this thing I was thinking to myself  – “That’s wrong. That’s really wrong. I’m not sure what that is, but it looks wrong. What the bloody hell? What were these writers smoking?” I’ve never been one of those nitpicky nerds who can write ten pages worth of angry rant because a character’s costume is a slightly different shade of yellow, but this was really jarring.

I was curious, so I pulled up ff.net to see if there were any fanfics for the show.

Hells yes – most of them truly terrible. I found ten snark-worthy ones in about five minutes. You know how when you make a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy it can be really blurry and grainy and filled with misspelled curse words? It was like that.

Slightly related to that, a few days ago I was browsing for some fanart for the Library’s Artastic Tuesdays and learned that it is a very bad idea to google for fanart even with SafeSearch turned on.

There are some very odd people out there – and coming from me, that’s saying something.

I noticed something as I was cringing at the fanart – I recognized one of the characters in an image as Rogue from the X-Men. She was in rather … intimate contact with another character and all I could think was “That’s wrong.”

But I wasn’t thinking that because it was bad art or offensive (yes to both counts, though) but because of the character, Rogue, being depicted. (Rogue, for those of you unfamiliar with the character, has a special power -she drains the life force and/or mutant power from others via skin contact.  It is completely involuntary.) Had the actual canon character had that sort of close contact with another character, it would have put them in a coma or possibly killed them.

That was my first thought – “She’s gonna kill him.” not “This is making my eyes bleed.”

I think my prolonged contact with bad fanfics had desensitized me to the actual horror of this stuff.

Another thing I’ve noticed since I started to riff fics for the Library – I read differently.

Last night I was reading before bed and caught myself editing the book I was reading. I was mentally adding in commas, changing semicolons, restructuring sentence fragments – and I wasn’t really aware that I was doing it until I found an especially terrible error. I was fumbling around for a pen when I realized what I was doing.

AR would be so proud.