what the everloving fuck
Honestly though, the meat/candy thing feels like an extra layer of meta-trolling on the community. Everyone is reacting to completely different stories depending on which side they started with.
And the bait-and-switch with meat vs candy means that everyone who started on the obvious grimdark path (meat) is finishing and going “well, that was pretty mean to Dirk and Jane, but otherwise not terribly out of line with what I’d expect from HS?”
Meanwhile, everyone who started on Candy is like “Nooo? That was awful”
And on top of that, half of those who try reading it are giving up halfway through either side, which misses the big reveal that is meant to lessen some of the sting. Meat is Dirk taking control of the narrative, Candy is the muse. It’s intentionally off-kilter and OOC.
Candy isn’t meant to be light fluff. It’s Trickster mode narrative. It’s adult Callie’s well-intentioned but ultimately shitty fanfic.
Not that any of that excuses how bad it gets, or some of the things it does that are clearly meant to be “true to character”. But it does make it cohesive and bring everything back in line with existing HS canon.
I don’t care enough about HS to get super upset over this. It’s not that important to me anymore. The meta-text nonsense on Meat was clever enough that it excused some of the more egregious sins. Candy was extremely painful in a lot of ways, but it did have some neat ideas.
I’m just waiting for everyone else to have read both sides so that the discussion can move onto the parallel and cross-over elements, because the meta-structure has always been the most fascinating part of HS. Honestly, it’s all at least much more coherent when read together.
And the debate over the dubious canon-status of the thing is much more sensible after having read both sides.
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