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Archive for the ‘Desperation’ Category

milo-ventimiglia-no-shirtSo, I fell off the face of the planet. Can’t promise not to do it again. I’m still struggling with this stuff, and still can’t face going out to try and actually interact with it. It’s not even the thing itself that worries me at this point, it’s the thought of The Scene. I actually now feel like I want to move towards this, to explore, but I just have no clue how to do it.

So instead, I’ll just keep trawling the mainstream media in the safety of my own home, getting far too excited about everything which looks even a little bit like something which might be my thing.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to post about Heroes for a while. Flawed as it is, here’s a lot to like in it, and I heartily approve of their equal opportunity approach to lechery. Season 2 was pretty much the season of half-naked Milo Ventimiglia, and Season 3 the season of half-naked Zachary Quinto. Thanks, Heroes producers.

In fact, though, Ventimiglia’s character, Peter, didn’t do for me at all in season 1. I might have loved him when I was 12, but as an adult, he was just a bit twee for my taste.

But then season 2 opened…

It’s the contrast as much as anything, so I’ll give you the back story. Peter was a sweet, soft, decent, floppy-haired pretty boy in a family of manipulative political near-mobsters. He was caring, gentle, emotional and perhaps a little fragile, and worked as a palliative care nurse. Then he turned out to have the ability to absorb other people’s superhero powers by empathising with them, making him potentially the most powerful ‘hero’ of the lot. He tried so hard to use his powers for good, but eventually he picked up some radioactive power that he couldn’t control at all, and at the end of season 1 his brother had to fly (like Superman, not like aeroplane) him out of New York in the nick of time to stop him accidentally blowing up the whole city.

So season 2 opens four months later, and Peter’s still missing. Noone really knows what happened when he, um, exploded. Through the whole first episode everyone’s wondering what happened to him. And then, far away, in Cork, some petty criminals with incredibly unconvincing Irish accents (really, rarely have I heard worse) go to a dockyard looking for some stolen merchandise, and open the crate to find not the ipods they were after, but a very confused, shirtless Peter, handcuffed to the wall. All cropped hair, dirt, and muscles. And with no idea who he is or how he got there.

I think my friends were a little confused by how excited I was about it. But I’m sure you can see it. Gentle Peter, suddenly turning up all dirty and muscular and bewildered, like someone picked up that soft, delicate creature, shaved his head, and brutalised him for four months. And then chained him up in a crate, and left him there. What did they have him doing all that time? Was he digging holes? Being forced to use his powers for evil? On a chain gang? Being experimented on? So many fun places the mind goes to.

And then, the not-Irish guys tie him to a chair and work him over. Still half-naked, so you can see all the muscles and sinews stretching. Splendid.

Video of Peter all dirty and bewildered and being beaten up in Cork (YouTube continues to be too smart for me, so you’ll have to watch it on Vimeo instead.)

By the way, it turns out that where he’s been is indeed a ‘research’ facility, where he’s spent four months being the plaything of the boss’s sadistic, lightning-wielding daughter. Awesome. And at first he’s all, ‘These people know best, I should be locked up because I’m a danger to myself and others,’ all docile and quietly taking the pills, but later (persuaded by the ‘English’ guy next door – another truly atrocious accent) he starts plotting to escape, and then he starts smooching up to her and letting her zap him, to distract her from the fact that he’s stopped taking the drugs. Which of course pleases my ‘men offering up their body when out of other options’ thing no end. And wow, I wish I could shoot electricity from my lips. How much fun?

Video of Peter being toyed with by sadistic daddy’s girl in a research facility

The following season, the lightning-wielding sadist, Elle, ends up in a facility herself, where she’s visited by series big bad, serial killer Sylar (Quinto), who killed her father to take his powers. He’s got a sudden case of the warm and fuzzies, having had a taste of unconditional love from his long lost (not really, but he thought so) ‘real’ mother. And so now his long lost (not really, but he thought so) ‘real’ father thinks he can change his ways, and learn empathy to take people’s powers without killing them, by learning empathy.

So Sylar lets Elle take her revenge on him. Which she does by lightninging him up (yes, I said lightninging) to the point where she’s literally flaying the flesh from his bones. I mean, sure, he regenerates, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt (hello, Wolverine, my old friend). And he just keeps getting up and letting her hurt him more, taking it all for her. And really, they could hardly have found a better body to rip the clothes off with lightning.

Video of lightning vengeance

And then, the next season, the government decided everyone with powers should be rounded up and killed/locked up/experimented on -so all the heroes had to go on the run. I love men on the run. The desperation, the fear, the loneliness, the physical hardship, the sheer unrelentingness of it. Yum yum yum.

So, yeah, a lot to love.

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You’ll have to forgive me, I really am in fangirl mode at the moment – I just saw the HBP trailers the other day, and the new Harry/Draco promo shots which are spawning a new wave of fanart, and I’ll all overcome with slashy joy.

Geek pride, my friends.

HBP was so great for H/D shippers. Plus, you know, Draco Malfoy terrified for his life and his family’s, stripped of his swagger, set an impossible task, trying and failing to bring himself to kill, totally breaking down and crying big fat tears in the bathroom, so lonely and frightened and desperate that he turned to the ghost of the world’s most annoying muggleborn girl just to have someone to cry at. Desperation. God, I love desperation. When it comes in a pretty blond package, so much the better. And tears. God, I hope Tom Felton can do the tears.

Anyway, as I haven’t posted any video for a while I thought I’d share this rather lovely compilation of beautiful young men kissing. You’re going to want to turn the sound off – the music really interferes with the ability to lap up the boy-on-boy action.

And why have I posted three times in one day? Because there’s a scary piece of official paperwork I’m supposed to be filling in.

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So you may be wondering what the arse the criteria are that I’m picking my mansub poster boys on. It’s a bit of a misnomer, perhaps. It might be more accurate to call them ‘Men that take my fancy’. Really, I suppose, they’re just guys that for one reason of another have caused the ears to prick up on that bit of me that likes suffering men. But that’s not very catchy, and I can’t be arsed to rename it now, so we’ll stick with ‘mansub poster boy of the day’. /disclaimer.

OK.

KrycekToday’s MPB is Alex Krycek. Now, I have little helpful to say about Krycek, because the X-Files was so bloody long ago that I can barely remember any details. All I remember was this utterly desperate man on the run. Desperate enough to do anything to survive. He started off working for the bad guys, so the good guys already hated him, and then he cocked up and pissed off the bad guys too, and pretty soon all of the world’s most powerful organisations were after him. He had to get pretty creative to stay alive. At one point he even had his arm cut off by some escapees from a gulag (it was injecting experimental drugs into their left arms). Really, when you’re at the point where you’re chopping off bits of yourself just to stay alive a tiny bit longer, that’s real desperation. What reason does he have to live at this point? Basically none. We’re talking sheer animal instinct. Which means a kind of dehumanisation. No, not really dehumanisation, more de-civilisation. Or something. The point is, if you could get your hands on this guy you really could get him to do anything you wanted. And you’d still have that sharp little edge of knowing he’d turn right round and kill you in a heartbeat if you messed up and gave him the opportunity.

I love desperation. I love men on the run. I would quite happily get out the dogs and chase Krycek myself. Mm. Yeah, that’d be a lot of fun. Or maybe a helicopter. Yeah, helicopter and insanely high-tech tracking equipment. I’d love to chase a guy in a helicopter. Hm, I’ve just remembered… oh god, was it a Jean Claud van Damme movie? The one with the guy who later played the Mummy. The bad guys were organising literal manhunts for depraved rich men, paying down and out soldiers to be the game.

You know, I always sit down thinking I have nothing to say, and then all kinds of crap just starts pouring out. I should probably make some effort to make it make some kind of sense. Ah, who has time for that?

Anyway. Sadly there seem to be no real clips of Krycek on YouTube, only those bloody fan-vids, but I managed to find a fan-vid that wasn’t set to Celine Dion, so here we go.

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Johnny Castle

Another boy from the wrong side of the tracks relying on his body to make a living. Dancing is Johnny’s only marketable skill, and he’s poorly paid even for that. He depends on the ‘generosity’ of wealthy, powerful older women, who only want him for his body, paying him to dance with them, and sometimes a little bit more. They toy with him and then cast him aside at will. Meanwhile, all the ‘respectable’ employees despise him, seeing him as a piece of trash who’ll never amount to anything. Even Baby’s kindly doctor father assumes he’s a piece of scum who knocked up his partner and sent her to a backstreet abortionist. But however badly they treat him, he still has to swallow his pride and cowtow to them, because he just can’t afford to lose that job. His anger and resentment bubble away just under the surface, but can’t dispel his deep-rooted shame and feelings of worthlessness.

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I’m really not a big fan of Ben McKenzie. He’s the least convincing boy-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks ever. But I am a big fan of emotionally tortured men going cage fighting in a vain attempt to get a moment’s respite from their pain.

Here’s why I got sucked into the OC. I turned on the tv one day and found this playing:

A bruised and bloodied young man, living in squalor, avoiding the people who care about him, and sneaking off to a cheap motel to meet a wealthy older woman? Yep, sounds like my kind of thing. So I kept watching, and the episode progressed like this:

Cage-fighting, emotional dysfunction, and revenge.

And that’s how I ended up watching the OC. Of course, it turned out to be largely bollocks, but it does have good archetypes, and I love me an archetype.

Can I have my credibility back? Extenuating circumstances? Oh, screw it, sexuality makes us all do odd things. I embrace my inner cheap-tv-fan.

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One of my favourite men-in-pain is Wolverine. ‘Does it hurt?’ ‘Every time.’ Plus, you know, he was a test subject for a mad scientist, locked up, tied down, all manner of horrible things done to his body. He’s practically a mansub poster boy. Then there’s the whole unrequited love thing.

So, I went to edit together that clip, and then realised there’s a whole other thing in there that I love. Cage fighting.

There’s something really great about a man fighting for money. It’s degrading, but it’s a particularly masculine form of degradation. I guess it’s the macho equivalent of prostitution – when all else fails, when you’re desperate enough, when you’ve got nothing else to sell, you sell your body for other people’s pleasure and profit. I don’t know why so much of stereotypical femdom/mansubbery involves trying to degrade a man with forced fem or housework. Apart from the fact that, like Beej, I find it utterly insulting, and profoundly unsexy, there’s also just no need. There’s a perfectly good form of masculine degradation, degradation which is macho and tough and therefore actually hot for women, right here. Cage fighting, pit fighting, even forced thuggery – they all reek of shame and desperation and powerlessness, and other people’s use of your body. He’s down about as far as he can go. And he’s still fighting. Yum.

(Course, male prostitution appeals, too, in the right light. There’s a great piece of OC slash where Ryan’s a ‘hustler’. And yes, I know, it’s profoundly embarrassing that I’ve watched the OC, but I’ll explain why as soon as I can find the time to upload the relevant clip. Anyway, slash, Ryan, hooker, part 1 here and part 2 here.)

Then, maybe they can find a way to claw they way out of that world and struggle to make a better life for themselves, but there are some people who just won’t let them forget it, and keep trying to drag them back down… Mm. I love flawed heroes, repentant sinners, men struggling to escape the shame of their past. Jase Dyer in Eastenders, trying to put his violent past behind him, but hounded by the firm he ran with as a desperate teen. Ryan in the OC, trying to better himself, but constantly being dragged down by those around him. Michael Garibaldi in B5, a decent and competent man, but a recovering alcoholic, and people just won’t let him forget it. Russell Crowe’s ex-gunslinger priest in the Quick and the Dead, forced to face his past by his angry former compadres. Guilt, shame, remorse, and a dark side barely held in check; a heady cocktail.

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