?

Log in

Chaos
06 January 2012 @ 01:33 am
So I admit, I am a reader and writer of homoerotic fan fiction (AKA Slash). I'm also gay. As such, I often look at the entertainment world with gay-subtext-tinted glasses. I can latch on to the tiniest most insignificant of hints, glances, or physical contact to feed my slash monster.

Of course, some movies don't make me work very hard; occasionally the subtext is so powerful, even those who lack said gay-subtext-tinted glasses can see it. In this case, often even the actors or directors who made the movie admit to being aware of the homoerotic subtext and on-screen chemistry between the characters. Hot Fuzz, Star Trek 2009, X Men: First Class, the first Sherlock Holmes...all excellent examples of this.

Well I just saw the second Sherlock Holmes movie, and I've got to say, there was nothing 'sub' about that homoerotic text. It was blatantly, in-your-face, no holds barred, gay.

It started out on par with the first Sherlock Holmes movie. It is reestablished fairly early, for those wishing to look for it, that Holmes is in love with Watson. The trend of Sherlock not happy with John getting married from the first movie is continued, and it culminates in a couple longing and wistful looks Holmes shoots Watson on his wedding day. The subtext is very much present, and to miss it I think you have to be unwilling to see it. I am very willing to see it, and it is a bit more obvious in this movie than the first, so I was left thinking 'Awwwee, poor Holmesy!'

Soon after that, though, is when the slashy shit hits the homoerotic fan. Holmes is forced to sneakily tag along on Watson's honeymoon, because the big bad guy threatened to harm Watson, and though he's heartbroken that he's lost Watson, Holmes still loves him and will do anything to protect him. Plus, he doesn't want to be apart from him.

So the scene begins with Holmes in one of his disguises. Of course, to add the gay whipped cream and cherry to the top of this slashy scene, Holmes just happens to be in drag. The assassin goes to murder Watson in his room on the train, and Holmes pops up to save him. Of course, Holmes tosses Watson's wife off the train the first chance he gets. So John is pissed off, what with the murder attempt, and Holmes popping up on his honeymoon and chucking his bride out the door. Of course, this is all Holmes's fault. In the scuffle, Holmes lands on the seat, lying on his back, with Watson on top of him. His legs are wrapped around Watson's waist. Watson rips most of Holmes's clothes off, before shifting down a little lower, throwing Holmes's legs over his shoulders...

Oh, I'm sorry. I started out talking about Sherlock Holmes 2, but I must have switched to a gay porn movie there at some point.

Oh, wait, never mind. I WAS talking about Sherlock Holmes.

Later on the boys move on to talk about their relationship (Holmes's word, which Watson is slightly uncomfortable with, they finally agree on partnership). In another scene toward the end, they're at a social gathering full of political figureheads. It's a tux and ball gown type affair, Holmes is first dancing with their lady ally (Noomi FUCKING Rapace!!! She rocks my socks off so hard. She, Robert Downey Jr, and the slashyness of the first movie, were my main motivations for seeing this movie in the first place) before coming back and asking Watson to dance. His response? “I thought you would never ask.”
 
 
Chaos
I work at an abortion clinic.

The Women’s Health Center is more than an abortion clinic, but if you ask the protestors who congregate in front of the building every morning, that’s all it is. We also offer free STI testing to MN residents, pregnancy tests, birth control, health screening (PAPs, breast exams etc.). It just so happens that we are also the only facility on northern MN, WI, and MI that offers abortions. Other than the WHC, the closest abortion clinic to here would be in the twin cities. Someone should probably tell that to the people from the Christian radio station who protest over at Planned Parenthood.

Every morning when I arrive, I have to walk by the people protesting on the sidewalk out front. Some days there is only one person who arrives in his grey minivan. Although if you were to have to describe the minivan to the cops, you probably wouldn’t call it “the grey minivan,” you would probably say “the minivan with the giant fetuses painted all over it.” Not your typical grey minivan.

Other days (the days when the heavier-than-typical foot traffic into the building tips the protesters off to the fact that it’s a clinic day), there are lots of people out there: people handing out pamphlets with such inaccurate information, you wonder if they have ever even taken a science class (though if you’re trying to convince your followers that the world is 6,000 years old, you probably discourage scientific studies); people praying with rosaries; children who barely look old enough to stand holding signs bigger than they are; occasionally people carrying a life-size wood cross… I often wonder where they store their cross when it’s not in use. I also often wonder if they carry nails and a hammer as well, just in case they catch one of the employees alone and unprotected.

On clinic days we have volunteers to escort patients into the building, though sometimes the protestors get to them first. We often have patients complain about the harassment. The windows of the building where I work are bullet-proof, just in case.

Across the street from the WHC there is a gay bath house (duluthsauna.com). Today I look out the window of my office, and I see two guys leaning up against the side of it. They wear the typical uniform of teenage boys who want to look like they are tough and dripping with street-cred: saggy pants, wife-beater tees, and backward caps. I find myself wondering if they know the building they lean against is a gay bath house. It’s possible they do; what better way to make a little money than to suck some guy off in a hot, steamy room? Or they could be waiting for an easy target to beat and rob. It could also be a coincidence that they chose to loiter against that particular wall, totally oblivious to the looks they get from those in the know passing by in their cars. I prefer to think of them as secretly gay, and looking for love (albeit the temporary kind). I wonder if they drive a grey minivan with a giant cock and balls painted on.
 
 
Chaos
This blog post is very stream of consciousness, bear with me.

First off, a quote:

“Look, I'm all for believing whatever it is that you want to believe; but you say "religion" and I'm thinking Da Vinci's Last Supper. Jesus looks sad, the apostles look miserable - I don't want to go to their party. Shouldn't religion be more like Dogs Playing Poker?” - Carrie (2002)

So, I’m no theologian, but I have studied many religions, both current and extinct. I’d probably venture that I have studied the Christian faith more than many Christians have. I was recently watching a documentary about religion and homosexuality (For the Bible Tells Me So, I highly recommend it), and in one scene there was one of the generic rabid “Christian” guys talking about how homosexuality is condemned in The Bible. He said something to the tune of “It’s mentioned in there (referring to The Bible). It’s probably in there, like, 20 times.” I always gave these people the benefit of the doubt and figured that they have read The Bible, and their own ignorant small mindedness caused them to interpret the bible in a way that would justify what they do. I was sorta appalled that this guy was so rabidly professing his hate, when it was clear that he hasn’t even read document that he claims justifies it. He was totally going by what others have told him, and not even trying to decide for himself. I thought that was the beauty of having bible printed in the common language, so each person could have their own relationship with religion that needn’t be mediated by the clergy. It was a friggin’ big deal when Bibles were first translated into German. Of course, lay people still need to rely on reading someone else’s translation, but at least it gives them the chance.

My problem is that many people think The Bible is the literal word of god. They can’t seem to wrap their heads around that fact that it was written by MEN, who wrote about their beliefs in a way that made sense to them at the time. You have to read it with its historical context in mind. “Christians” are obviously capable of doing this, because they so conveniently ignore many of the other laws in Leviticus that relate to work, diet, lifestyle, religious observance, and social rules.

So I would like to point out one passage from the bible that I think some rabid Christians need to get to know better. And offer my own interpretation of it.

Matthew 7:15-23 (There is also a very similar passage in Luke)
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

So, my interpretation is that this part deals with situations like homosexuality, abortion, witch burning, the inquisition, et cetera… More specifically, it deals with how CHRISTIANS respond to these issues. If your religious prophesying causes or encourages harm (unequal treatment, hate, bombings, beatings, torture, murder), even if you do it in the name of God, you are wrong. I think, if anything, unequal treatment, hate, bombings, beatings, torture, and murder are bad fruits. Whoever wrote this passage foresaw that The Bible (or the religion behind it) would be used as justification for horrific deeds, and was attempting to convey that that’s not cool.

I know some exemplary Christians who embody the true meaning of Christianity. I also know some Christians who have made me want to cringe to the point where I am uncomfortable to enter ANY Christian church. Unfortunately I also know some Christians who, even if they disagree with the rabid ones, don’t bother to speak up against them. To those Christians, I say, “Silence Is Agreement.” If some of you had bothered to speak out against the various Christians who have made me feel unwelcome in the church throughout the years, I wouldn’t to this day get twitchy even when I drive by churches.

You can call yourself open, affirming, or whatever, but in a congregation of 500 people, even one negative comment taints the whole group and lets me know that I’m not REALLY accepted. That may seem unreasonable, but imagine you’re a black guy walking into a church full of white guys for the first time. Most of them smile and greet you warmly, but one simply calls you the “N” word then refuses to look at you. Even though every other person is kind to you, and a few might even walk up to you and tell you that that one asshole was out of line, and that not everyone in the room agrees with him, are you likely to want to go to that church EVER again? I have meet dozens of that one asshole who have let me know that I am not accepted.

On a parting note:

Matthew 7 verse 1 - Judge not, lest ye be judged.
 
 
Chaos
06 December 2010 @ 07:06 pm
I don’t know how many people have read the Newsweek article about gay actors playing straight characters. Many celebrities have spoken out and given their two cents on this topic. I thought y’all might want to hear my opinion. As a non-celebrity, I’m sure you’ll find what I have to say completely relevant.

So basically the point of the Newsweek article is that gay actors cannot convincingly play straight characters.

My response is: Well, duh!!!! No amount of acting ability will ever be able to convince me that a homosexual actor is into his or her opposite-sex costar. I mean, just think about Silence of the Lambs. It was totally ruined for me, because I could just tell that Anthony Hopkins wasn’t really a cannibal. I mean, biting that nurse’s tongue out? Come on!! Anyone can tell he was fantasizing about a hamburger as he was doing it.

And the kid from The Sixth Sense??? All I could think about while watching that movie was that he couldn’t really see dead people.

You know what was worst of all? Alec Guinness didn’t really have Jedi abilities!!! Way to ruin a franchise, Lucas!!!

Don’t even get me started on Equus, I couldn’t enjoy the play at all, because I knew that Daniel Radcliffe wasn’t really semi-sexually obsessed with horses. Thank God he really can do magic, or the Harry Potter series would have been utterly ruined for me…

What?

HE CAN’T!!!

Well, Goddamn it!!!!

Next you’ll probably try to convince me that Johnny Depp is not a crazy, candy-making, murderous, barber/pirate, and Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto aren’t half-Vulcans. Of course, there is the complication that Zachary Quinto is also a telekinetic serial killer, but I’ll just have to assume that he looks back at that time of his life as pon farr gone horribly, horribly wrong.

I’ve lost most of you, haven’t I? Sorry. I guess that just proves my point. I cannot convincingly play a non-geek.

I guess my point is, the original article was so blatantly prejudiced (I mean literally, a based on pre-judgement), and its arguments so obviously flawed, I don’t know why people are taking it seriously enough to get outraged about it. Among some of my (very) limited roles on stage, I’ve played a homeless person, a (male) school bully, a stripper, a werewolf, and a housewife. With the possible exception of werewolf, I am none of those things.
 
 
Chaos
05 October 2010 @ 01:03 pm
Rape  
If the same treatment by officials in the "justice" system (police, lawyers, judges) toward rape victims was tolerated for victims of other kinds of crime:

Mr. Smith, you were held up at gunpoint on the corner of First and Main?”
“Yes”

“Did you struggle with the robber?”
“No.”

“Why not?”
“He was armed.”

“Then you made a conscious decision to comply with his demands rather than resist?”
“Yes.”

“Did you scream? Cry out?”
“No, I was afraid.”

“I see. Have you ever been held up before?”
“No.”

“Have you ever GIVEN money away?”
“Yes, of course.”

“And you did so willingly?”
“What are you getting at?”

“Well, let’s put it like this, Mr. Smith. You’ve given money away in the past. In fact, you have quite a reputation for philanthropy. How can we be sure that you weren’t CONTRIVING to have your money taken from you by force?”
“Listen, if I wanted –”

“Never mind. What time did this holdup take place, Mr. Smith?”
“About 11:00 P.M..”

“You were out on the street at 11:00 P.M.? Doing what?”
“Just walking.”

“Just walking? You know that it’s dangerous being out on the street that late at night. Weren’t you aware that you could have been held up?”
“I hadn’t thought about it.”

“What were you wearing at the time, Mr. Smith?”
“Let’s see … a suit. Yes, a suit.”

“An EXPENSIVE suit?”
“Well – yes.”

“In other words, Mr. Smith, you were walking around the streets late at night in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you might be good target for some easy money, isn’t that so? I mean, if we didn’t know better, Mr. Smith, we might even think that you were ASKING for this to happen, mightn’t we?”
“Look, can’t we talk about the past history of the guy who DID this to me? He’s robbed before…”

“I’m afraid not, Mr. Smith. I don’t think you want to violate his rights, now would you?”
 
 
 
Chaos
21 July 2010 @ 07:12 am
I was looking forward to this one, because I have always thought that the sexiest person in Twilight and New Moon was Victoria.

Victoria has quite a big part in Eclipse, so I was all fired up and rearing to go.

Imagine my disappointment when Victoria appears on screen, and she is a water nymph.

What the hell???

Oh well. No offense to Bryce Dallas Howard, but THIS Victoria can nibble on my neck ANY time:

 
 
Chaos
20 July 2010 @ 12:58 pm
I'm going to wait until the next announcement about a (heterosexual) celebrity relationship or wedding, find the most public celebrity news forum, and make this comment:

"Why do celebrities like (name of celeb) feel the need to shove their private lives in our faces? Why do they have to make such a big deal about it? I mean, I have no problem with people (dating/getting married), but why do you have to flaunt their lifestyles in my face? Shut up and just (sing/act/jump your motorcycle through 30ft high flaming hoops/whatever the hell else the celebrity is famous for). I don't care what you do in the bedroom."

I just want to see if some of the hetero bastards that populate the internet complain or get defensive. They'd probably just be confused, not even able to wrap their little heads around why I'm making such a big deal about the story.

Okay, done. Sorry.
 
 
Chaos
09 November 2009 @ 04:43 pm
I love movies, I can usually find SOME redeeming characteristic, even in the most horrid of movies. I’m also something of a horror movie junkie, and if you’re familiar with horror movies at all, you probably know that some of them are pretty bad. But still, I can even watch the most cheesy “The Sorority House that Dripped Blood” B-movie and enjoy myself. Even if the acting or the effects are bad, I can usually enjoy the movie for a laugh (see Zombie Strippers). This is not so for Serge Rodnunsky’s 2007 film, Chill. If I were a film teacher, I would use this movie as an example of how not to make a movie. Low budget is no excuse, there is nothing redeeming about this movie.

Story: Okay, the movie is based on a story by HP Lovecraft. I’ve never read that story, so I can’t tell you how much of the horrible plot should be blamed on that story. The plot contained many holes, some of which were haphazardly filled with characters or situational explanations that felt so forced, they must have been added after the fact. Forget the lack of character development. Most bad horror movies lack that, but now imagine a sex scene that came out of nowhere, and went nowhere. It wasn’t even gratuitous, so it wasn’t added for the T & A value. The rule on editing is that if a scene, or a character, does not add something to the plot, it should be cut. This movie is filled with scenes and characters that should have been cut.

Acting: It’s really sad to think that THESE were the people who passed the audition. I can’t imagine how people of this acting calibre could still consider themselves actors. I bet a random sample of people pulled in off the street could do a better job. There’s a lot of overacting, especially during simple dialogue, but in “horror” scenes where the overacting would at least provide a laugh, ironically, there is only UNDERacting. The fuck?

Editing: The bad acting was only exacerbated by bad editing. Imagine a scene with forced, unnatural dialogue, cut so that you never see both actors in the same shot, but instead when each person is talking, their head fills the screen, then you cut to the other bad actor to get his response while his face fills the screen.

Sound: The music was almost comical. The “creepy background music” that we all take as our cue that something bad is about to happen doesn’t just happen in those scenes where something bad is about to happen (or when they want us to think something is about to happen), but all the time. It’s like they could only afford to pay the composer for one song, so they just used it everywhere. Lack of money isn’t an excuse for this one either; director John Carpenter scored Halloween himself, and gave us a classic horror movie soundtrack in the process.

Effects: Oh. My. God. There’s “low budget”, then there’s “not even trying”. The effects for this movie were so bad, they would have been put to shame thirty years ago. The explosions, the smoke that filled the sky afterward, they looked like a cheap transparency overlaid on top of the original scene.

Makeup effects: This was probably the least crappy aspect of the movie, but being the best thing about a bad movie is a bit like being the prettiest turd in the toilet bowl. There were some bad make-up effects in this one, and some almost not bad ones.

Overall, I know I could have made this movie myself, using my own friends as actors, and only using filming and editing supplies and software that I have used in the past, and made it better.
 
 
Chaos
27 October 2009 @ 07:21 am
 
 
Chaos
02 July 2009 @ 06:37 pm
Sexuality is really a multifaceted enigma, and I’m not going to pretend I totally understand my own, much less anyone else’s, but for me, being gay was not a choice. The scars on my arm mark the road map of my self-hate that began when I was 12. I grew up in a homophobic country, and though I was never told explicitly that homosexuality was wrong, I got the gist. When “faggot” is the absolute worst insult a boy can be called on the playground, it’s a subtle but ongoing message. I can’t imagine the young queers growing up now, when “gay” is a synonym for “crappy.” It took me a while to realise that there was nothing wrong with me, and that those who hate me for being gay are just as stupid as those who hate someone for their skin color, religion, or style of dress. I am no longer even remotely ashamed or apologetic; my gayness is just one thing about me, like my natural talent for music, my penchant for philosophy, and my dislike of lima beans. I’m cool with me now.

Enter political lesbianism. Wha??? I am definitely a feminist, and I am definitely a lesbian, but I am not a political lesbian. Political lesbianism, from what I understand of it, is the rejecting of men and heterosexuality and a conscious decision to identify oneself as a lesbian for political reasons. In the 70s many feminist groups took this road as a way to fight misogyny. I can see how enveloping oneself in the lesbian feminist movement is very empowering for women, I happen to think that lesbians are awesome, feminists are awesome, and lesbian feminist are awesomer still, but there are a couple of problems I have with the idea of political lesbianism.

At least in the 70s, lesbianism was touted as a conscious choice for otherwise heterosexual women to undertake for political reasons. It was said that all women can and should forsake men and become lesbians. This represents a number of problems for me.

The first is that this concept seems very heterosexist and heteronormative. Heteroseuxality is the assumed default, and anything else is a choice to be different.

Second, though sexuality may be a choice for some people, for others, it is not. I think of sexuality as a spectrum, and though most of us tend to fall in the middle, there are those who are actually either 100% gay or 100% non-gay. For some in the great bisexual midland, a choice to stick to the ladies would be easier, but for those who fall closer to that hetero side, or for those few who are truly 100% hetero, this could be a great hardship. Though I don’t think I’d consider myself 100% gay, I know that I am close enough that if I were to have to choose a heterosexual life, I would not find it fulfilling. Is it fair to ask women to give up their true selves to conform to their group’s ideals?

Third, I understand wanting to immerse yourself in those like you, but why do we have to think of men as the enemy? Is the feminist movement so strong that we can afford to exclude possible allies? Some men are feminist, and are willing, wanting, and waiting to fight alongside their mothers, sisters, daughters, lovers, wives and friends. These men are every much as feminist as I am, some of them even more so. Political lesbianism excludes these men by labelling them as the enemy. I, personally, am against any such prejudice behaviour.

Lastly, political lesbianism is a love of women that is built upon a hate or fear of men. I want a lover who chooses to be with me because she loves me, she thinks I am funny, intelligent, she loves my personality, and she thinks I am sexy as hell. She can be with me because I am a woman, but I don’t want her to be with me because I am not a man. There may not seem like much a difference, but I think it’s a big difference. I want her love for me to be because of me, not because of men.