Why is there such an overlap between thinky people and fans of fantasy and science fiction?
Why do we put so much effort into celebrating the unreal?
It's not just exploring the possibility-space. There is an element of celebrating the unreality of it, of delighting in the distance between reality and imagination. One might argue that these are mental stretches, to keep us flexible enough to deal with black swan events in reality. But I think there's something else to it than that; there is entirely too much fun in exploring possibilities far outside the realm of the plausible.
I think there's a perverse glee in gently abusing common sense.
The concept of kink is surprisingly useful, once you stop thinking of it as limited to leather and whips in the bedroom. We ride roller coasters to be scared; we eat sour candy because it's unpleasant; we play challenging games because they frustrate us; we climb mountains because of the hardship and adversity they provide; we seek intensity without differentiating between pain and pleasure.
The intellectual seeks truth and falsehood with equal zeal. Truth, because it is true; and falsehood, because it is false.
Is it a coincidence that "interrogating the text" sounds like enhanced interrogation, torturing the text until you can make it say whatever you want?
Yeah, maybe. But it's fun to think about, isn't it? (Case in point.)
Fan fic, dark fic, fix fic, crack fic, apologism. Start with X and make it do Y. Because it's difficult, because X doesn't naturally lend itself to Y, because you're contorting it into a stress position.
Because it's fun.