sexuality

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Current WIP Excerpt – Opening

Published June 22, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Well, it may be a mistake, but I’ve decided to post the opening of my WIP.  It doesn’t currently have a title — it probably never will have one, since it would only need one if I ever tried to publish the finished product — and it’s probably going to suck just as hard as everything else I’ve written, but I feel like there are quite a few good bits so far, and I’m going to post those later on.

The opening…well, it’s not bad.  Not by my standards.  It’s a bit awkward, though, and a bit…almost argumentative.  (Given my narrator’s character, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.)

I’m a little unsure about the way I handle the lists right at the start.  Feels a bit cheesy, but “1. Once” would feel pretty cheesy, too…


Excerpt:


1ce upon a time, there was a beautiful girl.

2 She was being abused and/or was very unhappy.

3 A handsome prince rescued her.

4 They fell madly in love.

5 The end.

There’s a whole slew of fairy tales that follow that outline, though sometimes steps three and four are reversed.  The motif infected other genres, always following the two cardinal rules:  the lovers must be young and beautiful, and they must decide they’re in love almost immediately upon first meeting.  (And don’t think high literature is exempt from this dreck.  How long did it take Romeo and Juliet to decide they were in love?)  Hollywood inherited the outline and embraced it with considerable verve, though they did eventually add a slightly improved variant:

1ce there was a good-looking boy.

2 He set his heart on a beautiful girl way out of his league.

3 He almost won her love…

4 …but then he lost it again.

5 Then he decided he loved the girl next door better anyway.

6 The end.

Yeah, it’s better since “the girl next door” is often his “best friend” at the beginning of the picture, but it’s always hampered by the fact that she’s either so hot that it’s utterly unrealistic that he’d bother looking any further than her in the first place, or the filmmakers work to make you feel like he’s “settling” for her and could really do better.  (Sometimes they break their backs to do both.  And that absolutely should not be possible.)  And, bottom line, it still gives you the message that love is based on physical attraction, and that you can decide you are or aren’t in love overnight.

Now, I won’t lie.  Physical attraction is very important to love.  Maybe it’s even at the center of it.  But not everyone sees the same things as attractive.  Sure, we follow what society tells us to a certain degree, but we don’t follow that far.

You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all this.  Well, it’s because I want to do my part to fight those outlines.  I want to tell you a story where that isn’t the case.  Love based on a moment’s glance at a pretty face is doomed to failure, but love based on a lifetime of friendship…well, that’s another matter altogether, isn’t it?

So if you want a story about a girl who sighs “I knew the moment I saw his face that we were destined to be together forever!” and is never proven wrong, I suggest that you put this book down and go look for another one.  There’s lots of ‘em out there.

What kind of book is this?  Well, it’s the kind filled with words.  Currently in English.  (I could translate it into ancient Greek or Latin, if you’d like?)  And in those words is a story.  Is it a true story?  Well…basically, but in the Dragnet sense of “the names have been changed to protect the innocent.”  And it was more than twenty years ago, so I’m fudging some of the dialog, I’ll admit it.  Maybe a few people got combined into one, or split into mulitples.  Or whatever.  But at the core, it’s a love story.  And an anti-love story.

And it’s a story about collegiate finances, if you’re into that.  (Is anyone actually into that?)

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(Netflix) Movie Review: Velvet Goldmine

Published May 27, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

This review is long overdue a re-write!  So it’s finally getting one.  (3/2/17, for a post first published on 5/27/16.  Definitely long overdue!)  I’ll leave the original review below in strikethrough, in case anyone’s curious to see what it said.

So, a proper review of my new favorite movie, Velvet Goldmine.  It’s from 1998, but I only first saw it last May, mere days before it was taken down from Netflix.  I had come across its thumbnail earlier in browsing through Netflix, and had clicked on it because I wondered what in the world the title meant.

Velvet Goldmine thumbnail

(To be honest, I still don’t know what the title means.)  Since I quoted the Netflix summaries before, I can give you both the shorter and longer version of their summaries.  The “on mouse rollover” summary was:

Trying to find the man behind all the mystery, a journalist delves into the life of a missing glam rocker.

Clicking on it brought up this further summary:

A decade after a British glam-rocker fakes his assassination and disappears, a tabloid journalist is dispatched to deconstruct the star’s legend.

That’s all it said, along with the information that it starred Ewan McGregor, Johnathon Rhys-Meyers and Christian Bale.  (Well, that’s what it said the first time I saw it on the Netflix list, months earlier.  When I saw it there again in May, it had replaced Bale’s name with Toni Colette’s.  Presumably because she’s third in the cast list and he’s fourth, but considering his character’s mentioned in the summary and hers isn’t…)  And I must say in looking at that second summary, two things leap to mind.  One:  he is not a tabloid journalist!  He works for a perfectly respectable newspaper (as far as we can tell, but he had previously been assigned to cover the visit of President Reynolds to NYC, which seems pretty legit to me).  Two:  the word “deconstruct” should officially be banned from use by all people who don’t know what it means.

So when I read the premise back whenever that was, I added it to my “to watch” list, for three reasons.

  1. Two hot actors.
  2. Intriguing plot, what little of it was described.
  3. I was wondering why it was listed in the “Gay and Lesbian” section.

Yeah.  Netflix failed to add that little tidbit to its summary.  Oh, and the distributors of the DVD and Blu-ray versions?  They failed to add that to their summaries, too.  For that matter, the theatrical trailer didn’t even hint at it!  I cannot imagine what I would have thought of this movie if I had discovered it in some other way.  (Well, okay, actually, because of when I discovered it, I still would have liked it.  If I’d seen it in the theaters when it came out without knowing what it really was, I have no idea how I would have reacted.)

A more accurate back-of-the-box blurb for the movie might be written as follows:

In a bleak, almost Orwellian version of 1984, a young reporter (Christian Bale) is given the assignment to write a retrospective on the career of legendary ’70s glam rock singer Brian Slade (Johnathon Rhys-Meyers).  As he interviews Brian’s ex-wife Mandy (Toni Colette), the audience begins to see the other side of Brian’s career, especially his passionate affair with fellow rock star Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor).  But no one seems willing to answer the question “whatever happened to Brian Slade?”

Of course, even that fails to do it justice.  Most of the movie takes place during the 1970s, as you might expect, including the opening, before we get the first 1984 sequence.  (Well, okay, actually the opening starts in the 19th century, with the birth — uh, arrival on this planet — of Oscar Wilde, but that’s a bit different.)  You might be surprised by which primary cast member you meet first in that first 1974 sequence:  Christian Bale’s.  His character, Arthur Stuart, was a big fan of Brian’s in the ’70s, and was in the audience when he faked his own death on stage.  (Which is, of course, where the movie starts.)  So it’s rather odd that he’s the last name before the title, because he’s probably got the second largest amount of screen time in the film.  (Not that I’ve timed it or anything.  But he dominates the 1984 sequences, for obvious reasons, and we get a lot of his flashbacks to the ’70s, too.  And he was still young enough in 1998 that he convincingly looked like a teenager in those sequences.  Now that I’ve discovered Newsies is streaming on Hulu, I have to watch that and have a look at how his appearance in that compares to Arthur’s teenage self, since he’d have been about Arthur’s ’70s age when that was filmed.  Also I’m curious if he was towering over the adults in the cast…plus I’m generally curious about the movie in the first place…)

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I wonder if they get it?

Published October 3, 2014 by Iphis of Scyros

I noticed an advertisement on the back of a bag of chips in the grocery store today and did a double take.  At the top of the ad was a big statement saying “You could win an awesome” followed by a graphic of what I presume you’re supposed to want to win.

My first thought was “Holy cow!”  Because surely, I thought, there was no way a major snack food company would be giving away something like that!

A closer look revealed that the tip of the object was actually shaped like a football.  Which does, I suppose, make a bit more sense.  It’s way less cool than giving away an awesome, metal dildo, however.

But that blatantly, unmistakably phallic prize just proves what I’ve always believed about football.  It’s most especially aimed at that group of men who are too homophobic to admit their latent homosexual tendencies and try to convince themselves that they’d never have those kinds of thoughts about other men by getting into something “macho” and violent like football, or wrestling, or goodness-only-knows-what.

Because ultimately, what is football really showcasing?  Violence, yes, but also men in tight pants bending over.

Seriously, how many times have I been in a store or a restaurant or whatever that was running football on TV, and whenever I happened to glance up at the screen, all it was showing was male buttocks, barely hidden by some thin cloth.

It wouldn’t bother me if it was just honest about it.

There was a time when some civilizations got it.  Sexuality shouldn’t be confined.  (Says someone who’s never even kissed anyone…)  In the ancient Mediterranean, they didn’t even have the concepts of “heterosexual” and “homosexual.”  Sex was sex, regardless of the gender of the other person.

Now, obviously, there were a lot of other problems with their sexual attitudes.  Bisexuality being the norm is terrific, but in modern society, you shouldn’t really have sexual relations between a person under eighteen and a person over eighteen.  And it’s best if I don’t even get started on their bad attitude towards women and female sexuality.  (Though, let’s face it, that’s still a problem today, albeit not as much of one, and not as universally.)

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