I haven't read more than a little of the discussion on bad_penny, although "everyone" is talking about it. I tend to refrain from putting my oar in on wanks, kerfuffles and Big Fandom Issues partly because I am more or less on the fringes of fandom these days and have very little understanding of all the politicking and side-taking that goes on (and thus can't take sides, because I don't know all the details) and partly because I get so sick of everybody posting about said Big Issues. Having metafandom full to bursting recently with links to posts about the Hate Meme issue has been frustrating for me because I want to read meta but I don't want to read about that meta. But metafandom is not my own personal directory, and apparently everyone else wants to read/write/discuss that meta, so that's what's there. Oh well!
Anyway. This is probably going to sound awfully insensitive to all the people who are having this stuff ("The Msscribe Story") dragged up out of the depths of determinedly-backlogged memory, and who have been or are being hurt by the drama that's being rehashed, and I'm sorry. I really get no pleasure out of wank or out of people being hurt (and I don't think/hope this post isn't wanky or mean). But...it's fascinating. I don't this story in particular, or any other fandom horror story, but the fact that they exist and keep being invoked. That it is considered important for younger/never fen to be made aware of the great wars of our fannish history. That blog-based fancommunity breeds things like bad_penny "where we revive past wanks and bead them to death." (link). That it spawns entities like charlottelennox and huge works like "The Msscribe Story" are created "to provide entertainment and amusement for its readers", "to preserve fandom history that is in danger of being lost" and "to try to explain events that were complicated and hard to understand when they happened."
I'm not passing judgement on anyone - charlottelennox or anyone else on bad_penny, msscribe whom I know absolutely nothing about, or anybody who's posted on LJ or Journalfen about this - but doesn't anyone else think it's interesting that we create/discover/join fandom to discuss and create-fanworks-about/for a particular work of fiction - in this case, Harry Potter (I think?!), but HP is not the only fandom that's an example of this - and then spend huge amounts of time and energy creating, compiling, discussing, distributing and arguing about works that have nothing to do with that canon whatsoever? It's like (bitter, angry, disappointed) fandom about fandom.
There are people who say we shouldn't do this, and I am not one of those people. I don't participate in fandom_wank and, as I noted already, I don't often get involved in heated non-fannish fan discussions on LJ, either, but I do think those things serve a purpose (or are inevitable). While I am sometimes upset by the things that fandom does or encourages, I don't think there's any benefit in saying "we shouldn't do this." Still, it's a fascinating phenomenon. Why does it happen?