G'wan, G'wan, G'wan

I do have an essay quasi-written for today, but it’s a tricky one and I’m gonna sit on it for a day while I consider.  It’s a tetchy subject, to be sure.
So while I consider, let’s do an exercise: is there anything you want me to answer?  I’m happy to respond to any questions on anything – writing techniques, the shows I’m watching, my kink, poly advice, or just plain shit you’ve been wondering about me but never asked.  I’m open today.  Hit me in the comments.
Oh, and asking me a clever question that you don’t actually want the answer to, such as “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck?”  Not clever at all.  Annoying, in fact.  Eschew it.

George R.R. Martin's First Publication

…is a letter in Fantastic Four #20, published when he was fifteen.

Dear Stan and Jack,
I was really excited to pick up Fantastic Four #17, “In The Clutches of Doctor Doom!”  This epic story, as exciting and spectacular as it was, could have been even better. After the Fantastic Four defeat Doctor Doom’s robots by destroying the control discs and then jet off to Doom’s flying laboratory to rescue poor, blind Alicia Masters, I think you could have put in a lot more emotion if they had gotten there to find Alicia dead in a pool of blood.  Then Doom could have surprised them by ripping the head off of the Thing, extinguishing Johnny, and forcing poor Reed to watch as Doom gets his triumph by repeatedly violating Sue Storm with his hideously scarred Doom-penis.
Seriously.  I think there’s a market for this kind of fiction.  Can I get a No-Prize?
George R. Martin
35 E. First St.
Bayonne, N.J.


Followups To Yesterday's Rant (Will This Appear on Broken LiveJournal, Ever?)

So I have a couple of follow-up thoughts on yesterday’s post on how women are not ethereal, mysterious beings:
1)  I did mention my genitalia as being my “credentials” for being a dude, which is not something that I strictly believe in.  I’m pretty much of the attitude that if you say you’re a guy, you are to me, and if you say you’re a girl, you are, too.  I can even agree with someone who says that they’re a guy when dressed in this clothing and a girl when dressed in that clothing.
That said, when I write quickly, I tend to write towards the person I think is most likely to read it – and in the case of yesterday’s rant, it was written at the douchey sort of guy who would completely freak the fuck out at the idea of separating gender from genitalia.  So I didn’t think to make that argument then.
I don’t necessarily know that I would have made that statement if I hadn’t been whipped into a foaming rant on women – I probably would have made some other reference to my dudeness.  Because I think that going into gender fluidity is a whole different can of worms, and a guy who’s having problems understanding that core concept of “Women have differing needs but are not alien beings” is not going to be able to digest “And dicks doth not make the dude” at the same time.
Both are necessary arguments, but I think if you have them both at once you just overload their little heads and they go splodey. And I was writing to a specific jackass, and as such I left out the argument for a very vital thing I believe in.
It happens.  I’m sorry when it does, because it leaves the impression that “This is what I think” as opposed to “This is what I think person X can handle at the moment,” which are often very different things.  So apologies to anyone who thought that was untoward. When I write quick, I tend to write specific, and that’s a failing.
2)  That post, as predicted, exploded over at FetLife, getting onto their global “Kinky and Popular” list and getting over 70 comments and 110 likes.  Yet not one person mentioned the anti-genderqueerness in that statement, which makes me wonder whether FetLife is secretly very gender-bound, or whether my audience here is very progressive in such an area.  Odd.
3)  Of the 110 people or so who loved it, about 80% were women.  Zero surprises there.
4)  The highlight of the FetLife post was a guy called “MrCunningLinguist” – always a good sign – who, when told by women that they found his concept of “chivalry” to be stifling and irritating, went off on this magnificent rant:

Not pleasant eh???

  • So when I leave the elevator before you, that’s pleasent for you
  • So when I don’t hold that door open so you can go thru first, that’s pleasent for you
  • So when I walk right by you going up stairs and see you have a baby in one arm and a stroller in the other and maybe a bag and I don’t stop and assist you down or up those stairs, that’s pleasent for you
  • So when you and I are carrying stuff in the house from shopping and I let you take all the Heavy stuff in, that’s pleasent for you
  • So when I sit down at the table before you, that’s pleasent for you
  • So when I walk on the inside of the street, that’s pleasent for you (although in some countries I’ve learned why men do that, but that doesn’t apply in the US..snicker)

So doing all that after a month. And not putting you on this genuine pedestal of “Womanhood” Would create this feeling???

…and went off on some more thoughts on how the problem with chivalry is that women think they don’t deserve it.  To which I said:

Basically, your entire comment breaks down to one astonished gout of, “YOU SILLY WOMEN, THINKING YOU DON’T WANT MY HELP. HOW FOOLISH YOU ARE.”
And then you wonder why someone might be offended by this.
Come on, dude. If I had a baby and a stroller and an arm full of baggage, it’d be nice to offer a hand to me regardless of any perceived gender. If you do it only for women, it’s because a) you think women need the help more, and b) you’re a tool hoping to score points with the chicks.
That’s chivalry. Don’t confuse it with the genuineness of, y’know, “Being nice.”

Love 'Em And Leave 'Em: Boardwalk Empire

When it comes to women, I will chew my own arm off before I give up the ship.  There is always one more conversation to be had, one more issue we can solve, one more fight and this will be all good again.
But I am a terrible show boyfriend.
Seriously.  Piss me off once, Ms. Television show, and I will abandon my whole fandom in a heartbeat.  I can be radically in love with a show one moment, and then three weeks later I’ll be all like, “Who?  Oh, that show?  I forget it even existed.”
It’s like my love affairs with books.  Hey, buddy book, I can leave you at any time.  I can be three hundred pages in and still wander off, don’t think I’m one of those compulsive finishers.  When it comes to media, I’m a “love ’em and leave ’em” kinda guy.
Case in point: Boardwalk Empire.  Haven’t seen it in three weeks.  May not return.  And about two months ago, it was my Sunday ritual with Gini, my deep love, my favorite show on television.  Then they started in on Nucky, and Nucky was no longer a canny politician but a whiny runt who seemed to have spent the past decade in power notably acquiring no blackmail material on anyone, to the point where a Senate page had more moxie than Nucky.  All of Nucky’s time in power seemed to have been spent cultivating gratitude – which, as we all know, has the shortest half-life of any political sentiment.  Nucky had no muscle whatsoever, to the point where two guys with guns run rampant over Atlantic City and they had to bring in an explosives bohunk to give Nucky any chance physically.
Nucky was no longer a smart protagonist, he was an idiot surrounded by people who did him favors that he never appreciated.
Now, Nucky’s wanderings could have been forgivable, but Marget?  Oh, fuck you, Boardwalk Empire.  Margaret was second in command to the throne, the one person who looked like she could step up and take charge of Nucky’s empire… And what do they do to her?  They make her a bored housewife making googly-eyes at explosives bohunk, a plot I’ve seen a billion fucking times before.  Hey, I wanted to see Margaret become the next fucking crime lord – which you don’t see on TV, women acquiring criminal power – as opposed to her sluggishly pondering infidelity with Nucky.
Boardwalk Empire always had its flaws.  But that happened, and then Gini and I skipped a Sunday because we were out of town and I didn’t feel like watching it that next week, and then Sunday came around again, and now we’re way more excited about The Sing-Off than I am about returning to the turgidness of Boardwalk Empire and its unfeasibly stupid characters.  Maybe I’ll return at some point.  But only if someone I trust tells me it’s gotten good again.
Be warned, other shows.  I’ll boardwalk out on you, too.  ENTERTAIN ME OR DIE.

A Rant On The Understandability Of Women

There are certain writings that are, at their core, all pretty much the same.  Teenaged love poetry.  Rants about work.  And, of course, the ever-popular “Women are a mystery” lament.
Here’s the latest one I stumbled across last week in a post on relationships:
“ATTENTION. any man who thinks he understands a woman is out of his mind. we have to accept them as they are in all their glory, misery, etc.”
Every time I see this, I want to yank the balls off of the poster and throw them in a river of estrogen.
Look.  I am a dude.  (Seriously.  Look between the cleft in my legs for my credentials.)  I have dated women, some say too many women, over the years.  And this is the wisdom I bring you from afar:
Women are – and this may astound you – humans.
They are not aliens sent here from another force, they are not goddesses who stepped down from heaven, they are not some mirror-universe biological force of evil sent to dazzle men’s minds.  When I talk to women, I find they are largely driven by the same psychological impulses that drive us all.
Now.  They have different concerns, and if you are such a narrow-minded moron that you cannot see that “Does not like football” is not equivalent to “Mysterious ethereal being,” then maybe you need to work on your skills.  Perhaps because men have been treating women as a distinct race all these years, their needs and desires do often diverge from what men busy themselves with.  They tend to be more concerned with appearance on the whole (I’m pretty sure that if someone told guys, “You have to hand your keys and wallet off to your girlfriend because there’s no pockets here, but your ass will look cute,” we’d laugh ourselves into a vomit-frenzy), and they often have some understandable insecurities about, you know, an entire media structure devoted to telling them that they’re only worthwhile for their tits and ass.
This does not make them unreachable.  You can understand a woman in the same sense you can understand any other human being – which is to say imperfectly, with eddies of startlement and surprise (“Really?  You like Hannah Montana, Phil?”), but good enough to be a solid friend.
But getting to that stage involves being the sort of person who is willing to fathom concerns that are not your own.  If you go, “Oh, she’s upset about me going out with the boys tonight, what a silly thing,” then guess what?  You failed the fucking test.  If you go, “Hrm, she’s someone who generally seems to be reasonable, and as such there’s probably some underlying psychological concern of hers, like, I dunno, maybe the fact that I come home stinking drunk and demanding sex at three in the morning every time I go out” – then you’re probably Winning.
The point is that this kind of talk is a bullshit excuse guys tell themselves because it’s easier.  Hey, if you just say that women are ephemeral and/or crazy, you don’t have to bother with absorbing another world view, amiright?  And you can just continue working women like safes, enduring all of their dumb stupid wimmen-things because that’s the only way to get pussy.
Then you wonder why they’re a little irritable sometimes.