When I posted my first list of "top 5" meta for the year I already knew I would do a second list, because there were too many good meta from the year to limit to just five. What I hadn't known or planned on was how neatly the two lists would fall into groupings. Where the first concerned itself with issues within the Buffyverse itself; this second set combines analysis and history with personal meditations and observations. My response to BtVS was on first watch and continues to be a combination of emotion and intellect I haven't experienced with anything else in pop culture; and essays that reflect this complicated response and bridge the two not only touch a chord in me, they demonstrate why the story of a Slayer and her friends still matters.
"Some Willow [Rosenberg]-y Thoughts, Part 1" by local_max The brief self-assessment at the beginning of this essay, followed by his usual incisive examination of Willow's arc, nearly breaks my heart; in describing himself, it feels as though he is describing me on my behalf because I lack the courage to do so. And as always, his examination of Ms Rosenberg sets me back on my heels to reconsider everything I thought I knew about her.
"Moar Buffy Meta for Mid Season 6" by coracle33 Her (I am assuming gender, with apologies) analysis of Willow and Buffy's shared addiction arc - the misdirect both characters make from from the real sources of their problems onto their addictive habits - and why it works for her is very much against the grain of general fan opinion regarding that storyline. She argues persuasively for it nonetheless, and as another member of fandom who struggles with depression, she reminds me all over again just why S6 strikes struck a deep emotional and intellectual chord in me. She's only written two posts, both about S6, on her LJ, but I hope for more in 2013.
"In Which I Ramble On" by rahirah A sharp, incisive meta about interpersonal fandom dynamics, factional divisions and the toxic results of hanging onto our own "principles" to the exclusion of respecting one another, by one of the most respected voices in this fandom. Can’t we all just get along? The cherry on top: one of my favorite descriptions of Buffy Anne Summers, bar none.
"Being a Buffy Fan on the Internet 1998 - 2012" by shadowkat67 . A personal response and historical timeline of nearly every major development in this fandom from the beginning: the near-simultaneous birth of BtVS and the explosion of fandom on the internet; the sites were fans congregated, celebrated and fought; every major controversy, faction and war. Recommended for cultural historians, long-time fans nostalgic for the "good old days" - or not; and newbies like myself who had no idea what they'd gotten themselves into and are trying to avoid the landmines.
Originally posted on DreamWidt http://buffyversetop5.dreamwidth.org/330
"Untitled (Ruminations on Writing Fanfiction, Personal Expression, and Depression)" by angearia This one hit me hard because I see myself in every word of it. A very personal meditation about writing in fandom, and finding small spaces of release and relief in letting the words flow on the page; the unfair stereotypes of the people who are unemployed and/or work very hard in crushing "menial" jobs just to get by; and how unemployment and depression combine to strangle creativity. Like Buffy, Emmie is full of love - and courage. Simply admitting that one is un- or underemployed (i.e. poor), or depressed, is terrifying in a world interprets both states as personal failures and moral sins. (ETA:
I didn't realize when I posted that this meta is friendslocked. Post is now unlocked.)