Kataang or Zutara?
This argument has come up a lot, what are your opinions about Kataang and Zutara? Which pairing is more likely? Do you think they're age differences really matter? Everyone's invited! Keep it respectful, though.
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RisanF

I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with Kataang Forever; I was a pretty active member of it myself. After a long absence, I decided to check the forum again only to discover it had turned into Ba-Sing-Se. Every single topic relating to the shipping war has been locked, and everybody pretty much tip-toes around the subject matter. I tried not to go back there since.

To clarify my position, I'm not a fan of excessively attacking other shippers. I admit I've had fun poking at GreenifyME's Zutara essays, but I don't go around attacking Zutara fanfic and fanart (I hate fighting online in general), and I think all the bogus attacks on people's sexual tastes is a bunch of crap. The problem is, with Kataang Forever's new rules, we can't actually talk about the show. Like it or not, Kataang vs. Zutara is a part of the show (Bryke even fanned the flames themselves), and discussing what makes or breaks a pairing in any given series is always going to be interesting. It's the kind of thing that made TV Tropes popular; finding out how things work, picking apart the flaws, and just having an opinion on something. It can get a little whiny, but the A:TLA fandom was alive, and people really wanted to talk about the elements of writing fiction.

What really gets to me in when certain people get snotty and judgmental about anybody wanting to talk about shipping and immediately shut them down, even though they all ranted against rival ships in the past. Honesty, I think it's high-handed and hypocritical, and at heart its no different than the shipping rants they did before; it's still intolerance to any opinion other than your own. I'll take any one of GreenifyMe's essays over this; they're at least fun to pick apart. Moreover, they're passionate, and as a fellow fanfic writer, I can appreciate them on those terms, and allow her to have her fun like I've had mine.

I could understand it if some forums merely wanted to add sort of decorum to help discourage bad behavior. If you made a rule that prohibited ad-hominen arguments and attacking shippers personally, you'd still be able to talk about Kataang vs. Zutara without it getting too nasty. But when there's a shipping forum that doesn't allow talk about shipping, then that's a sign it's time to leave. And it's a shame. Most of my favorite Avatar forums I used to go to have become stuffy in one way or another, a shadow of their former selves back in the show's heyday. If this is the atmosphere of the fandom going into Korra, then it's not going to be any fun being a fan of this new show.

2/5/2012 . Edited 2/9/2012 #1
Amira Elizabeth

I will be honest, I haven't been on that site in a while either. It's a "Kataang" site predominately and as a Kataanger I didn't feel it was particularly friendly anymore. You got it exactly right - tip-toeing around things. And the ship war, despite the "let's love everyone's ships" attitude, is still very prevalent. Look on Tumblr, look on LiveJournal. I did a search the other day on LJ for Kataang and Aang and the first two pages were Zutarians ripping it and him apart.

The ship war and the ships are still very talked about. The Promise has brought Kataang again to the forefront. Korra has at least one Kataang child (and 3+ grandchildren in it). The ship wars and shipping discussions are still there. And I thought Kataang Forever was a safe place for Kataangers to go, but it isn't.

So I made my own...LOL...on LJ called "atla_sanity." We welcome everyone, but there is no ship bashing, just debating and discussion.

2/5/2012 #2
Lamalux

I am currently an active member of the forum. I rarely, if ever, post in the kataang section or other ships section. I don't feel I have the freedom to express my opinion on the ships since it " offends" another ship. Everything is so touchy freely there its almost unbearable. So I just forget about shipping on that site all together. These are fictional characters. I seriously don't see what the big deal about debates are.

KF is no place for shipping anymore. ( Until korra comes of course pfft)

2/5/2012 #3
Fullmetal Catalyst

I know what you mean, all of you. A word of advice: either avoid the shipping in Korra entirely (my recommendation) or troll it (...my stance...).

Half the fandom (a term I use loosely, because there's so much shipping tension that it's barely even a single, cohesive fandom anymore) is going to be refighting the last war, which was supposed to have ended with the first show. Much of the other half will latch onto every smile and proclaim it canon. This will make it to the web rather quickly in essays, fanfic, and videos. It's quite pessimistic of me to say it, but short of a miracle that's how it'll go.

As far as forums go...it's annoying that they're shutting things down like that, but I can't blame people for being tired and disillusioned. I can't think of any good that came out of AtLA's shipping war, and it's been going on for six, going on seven years. Seven years too long, IMO. Of all the posts in this forum, there is one (well, more like eleven) by Marius that is more true than all the rest combined, and it came down to this, "It's been said". Every possible argument that's been made for/against the ships has been made, examined, rehashed, scrutinized again, rebutted, countered, re-examined...etc. For the ones who've been around any longer than a few months, there's just no point in debating anymore, and the show's old enough that fresh blood is coming in too slowly to replenish the enthusiasm.

I feel for you, and I agree that it's a shame you can't go into an Avatar forum without Aang's lightness-of-step despite the hypocrisy that abounds on all sides (it always saddens me to see one forum trashing another forum's discussion when I can't even tell the two apart for their similarities in bashing). But it's too late to change it, and because Korra's initial fandom will be comprised heavily of the first show's fans, there's going to be a LOT of carryover.

The effects of shipping on the Avatar fandom are why I flee in the opposite direction when I see a hint of such war in a new fandom I've joined. I'm actually nervous for Korra.

Speaking of The Promise, though, is it out yet? Officially, that is.

2/6/2012 #4
Mrs Pettyfer

Speaking of The Promise, though, is it out yet? Officially, that is.

I think it came out in the end of January? Part One, at least. I read some of it, but then I stopped because it seemed out of character to be honest...like Aang and Zuko particularly.

Half the fandom (a term I use loosely, because there's so much shipping tension that it's barely even a single, cohesive fandom anymore) is going to be refighting the last war, which was supposed to have ended with the first show. Much of the other half will latch onto every smile and proclaim it canon.

Yeah I have a feeling that many Zutara fans will automatically ship Mako and Korra because it reminds them of Zutara, while anti-Zutara fans will automatically hate Mako and Korra because it reminds them of Zutara. There are some obvious similarities, but there's already some differences, like the fact that Mako and Korra are going to be friends. At least from what we've been told. I think I read that Mako and Bolin participate in pro bending fights, and there's a clip of Korra doing the fights, so I'm assuming this is how they meet. But I could be wrong. :P

Anyway, I'm just ready for it to come out. Or some new teasers or something. Dying here.

2/6/2012 . Edited 2/6/2012 #5
Fullmetal Catalyst

Yeah I have a feeling that many Zutara fans will automatically ship Mako and Korra because it reminds them of Zutara, while anti-Zutara fans will automatically hate Mako and Korra because it reminds them of Zutara.

^

I think I read that Mako and Bolin participate in pro bending fights, and there's a clip of Korra doing the fights, so I'm assuming this is how they meet.

These could be quite fun to watch...cue incredible animation? The Earth Rumble alone was pretty freaking cool, and it ended up merely being a way to introduce Toph (and later, show off her skills). Fire and Water and Earth in teams all at once will be quite fun to witness.

2/7/2012 #6
RisanF

Amira, I'll check out "atla_sanity" sometime. Actually, I never even stopped to think that Kataangers might need a safe place to vent after enduring angry Zutarian comments. I don't know what the rules are about bashing are, but I'm rarely interested in insulting someone personally while arguing for a ship. Actually, I'm not all that angry against Zutara right now; there are worse ships that sailed.

Cadmos, I understand that people get tired of the vicious, fruitless bickering that became prevalent in fandom, but they really need to decide on their own not to fight, or to leave a situation if it becomes too volatile. Trying to shut everybody up while acting smug to anyone who disagrees isn't much different in spirit than shouting down a rival shipper. Yes, there's not much I can do about Kataang Forever other than leave; shaking my finger disapprovingly at them isn't going to change anything. But you're right in that nothing Kataang Forever does is going to stop shippers from getting into it over Korra, whether it be over the actual new characters, or something in the show that relates tangentially to the older characters.

3/4/2012 #7
Fullmetal Catalyst

Cadmos, I understand that people get tired of the vicious, fruitless bickering that became prevalent in fandom, but they really need to decide on their own not to fight, or to leave a situation if it becomes too volatile.

I know. But I've found my thoughts influenced, if not necessarily changed, by rational discussion, here and elsewhere. Enough times to believe that it can be done. If people are open to change an attitude, it's quite possible.

Trying to shut everybody up while acting smug to anyone who disagrees isn't much different in spirit than shouting down a rival shipper.

I agree. Shuts down discussion way too much. And I don't see what it does for discussion to bring in non-Kataangers if there's a censor (which won't influence people's views, just their speech), but that's just me. Not my place to question the forums' policies, but I think it makes the site's name a bit of misnomer...

3/4/2012 #8
Amira Elizabeth

The fundamental issue that I think people forget is that...

NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU SHIP!

If you ship Zuko and the Cabbages, no one cares. It's not the ship. No one cares what you ship.

What people do care about is how you attempt to justify or explain your ship. If your entire argument is based on a poor grasp of characterization, then people are going to have a problem. If your entire argument is based not on the good things about your ship but what you hate about the rival ship or a rival character, people are going to have a problem. If your argument is based on hypocrisy and double standards, then people are going to have a problem. If your argument is based on using hot-button words like "misogyny" and "P***", then people are going to have a problem (especially when it is unfounded). If your entire argument is based on things that never happened in canon or have evidence to the contrary in canon, then people are going to have a problem. If your entire argument is based on glorifying one character and assigning traits that the characters does not possess in order to discredit a rival character, then people are going to have a problem.

Trust me, people do not care what you ship. If you like it and you think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread, more power to ya. But don't do any of the above and think that it's all because of what you ship. I mean, yeah, people don't like certain ships - but the most OMG!In-You-Face arguments on these boards have happened because someone did one or several of the above.

3/4/2012 #9
Minami-Sui
Yeah I have a feeling that many Zutara fans will automatically ship Mako and Korra because it reminds them of Zutara, while anti-Zutara fans will automatically hate Mako and Korra because it reminds them of Zutara. Actually, I haven't made my mind up about the ships in Korra yet :D
6/17/2012 #10
RisanF

Honestly, I'm not sure if any of the Korra ships are up to s*** yet. The teen crushes and misunderstandings have very low stakes at this point. Compare that to Kataang's "love of an entire people reincarnated into one person" or Maiko's "she's the one good thing in my new Fire Nation life." The characters of Avatar: The Last Airbender were all from broken homes and had to bond under the threat of war; I'm not sure that Korra needs her friends the way the Gaang needed each other, at least at this point in the story.

6/17/2012 #11
RisanF

Well, Kataang Forever is closing its door on the twentieth. I spent a long time there during the hey-day of Avatar fandom, so I should be sad, but honestly, I think that place had already gone down the tubes by the time I left it. The atmosphere got arrogant at times and nobody seemed to want to talk about the show, which is the whole point of a forum. I'm still wondering if I should save some threads, though.

11/18/2012 #12
TigerShadow
What people do care about is how you attempt to justify or explain your ship. If your entire argument is based on a poor grasp of characterization, then people are going to have a problem. If your entire argument is based not on the good things about your ship but what you hate about the rival ship or a rival character, people are going to have a problem. If your argument is based on hypocrisy and double standards, then people are going to have a problem. If your argument is based on using hot-button words like "misogyny" and "P***", then people are going to have a problem (especially when it is unfounded). If your entire argument is based on things that never happened in canon or have evidence to the contrary in canon, then people are going to have a problem. If your entire argument is based on glorifying one character and assigning traits that the characters does not possess in order to discredit a rival character, then people are going to have a problem.

Amira has written something I've thought for years. When you're sharp with people for liking a character or ship for boneheaded reasons (e.g. "he/she/it is SOOOO HOT"), if they don't get defensive, they use the old "it's just a TV show" shtick. I think a lot of people don't get the idea that what you think about fiction is usually indicative of what you think about real life.

11/19/2012 #13
The Cretin

TS: I've seen that same concept and logic applied to a hundred other shows. From the golden oldies of the 80's to today.

11/21/2012 #14
RisanF

See, this is where I disagree. It's not usually a good idea to make assumptions about someone's character based on what they ship. It's basically the same thing that Amira was talking about; using hot-button words and personal attacks. It doesn't matter to me if someone ships Zutara; I'd rather limit my arguments to the ship itself and why I think it's boring or bad for the show.

This is a problem with the Legend of Korra fandom, concerning those who dislike Makorra. I don't like Makorra, either, but a lot of the arguments are getting this pseudo-politcal edge to them, like "Mike and Bryan are white, male misogynists who want to keep Korra down" or "fans of Makorra support abusive relationships." Makorra may be dull, but it is necessary to attack everyone who likes it, before they even attacked me?

12/1/2012 #15
TigerShadow

That's not what I meant at all--I'm sorry if it came across that way. The post to which I specifically replied was referring to why they shipped something or liked something--I won't judge someone on what they like (e.g. "Makorrians are misogynists", "Kataangers are pedophiles", et cetera), but it's why they like it that matters. I'm not saying that I'll consider someone "less than" even based on why they like things, but I do think that your motivation for things, no matter what they are, is at least somewhat indicative of who you are.

12/1/2012 #16
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