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Your compliance is vital

eagle-eye-shia-labeouf-1646I seriously doubt anyone’s going to be bothered, but just in case, I’m declaring spoilers for Eagle Eye.

I have a little Shia LaBeouf thing going at the moment. What a great manga-face. I looooove big eyes. To borrow a phrase from a young friend of mine, I would wreck that.

I mean, look at it.

Why am I boring you with my slightly sinister cradle-snatching lust? Because it represents a partial return to form for me.

You see, I haven’t been quiet just because I’ve been busy (though I have). Nope. I’ve been right off this whole bdsm&m thing. For a good month or so, my brain has been utterly refusing to engage with it at all. It hasn’t wanted to play. It’s been like, ‘You know, this thing is messed up. Let’s just not look at it. We can manage without sex. We can get by without intimacy. Wouldn’t that be easier? Move along now, nothing to see here.’

I’ve been feeling intellectually repulsed by it (I forget who called this ‘social nausea’, but it’s perfectly descriptive), and sexually detached from it.

And then I saw Eagle Eye, and found my… um, ears?… pricking up. And it quickly became apparent that of course it wasn’t the manga eyes that did it (though that helps), but that good old pain/shame/powerlessness/self-sacrifice thing again.

Shia’s character, Jerry, is a drop-out who is weighed down by feelings of inadequacy, having being consistently outshone by his twin brother Ethan and ignored by their parents. At the start of the movie, after being estranged from his family for some time, he hears that Ethan has been killed. Cue funeral scene, with some really top-notch crying.

God, I love crying men.

He then gets ‘activated’ by a mysterious woman who turns out to be a near-omniscient and -onmipotent computer, and spends the next hour or so being a helpless pawn, making futile attempts at rebellion, but ultimately being outclassed and emotionally manipulated. If only the computer had gone in for a little sexual harrassment as well. Sadly, she is a computer and wastes the opportunity.

Learning that his brother worked with the computer as a super-secret Air Force secret agent type, Jerry decides to go along with it and finish the job for him. He then discovers that Ethan actually tried to foil the computer because it was trying to kill the president, and so he has to race to stop the planned assassination.

And this was the yummiest bit.

To do this, he runs into the State of the Union address, where a tiny crystal bomb in a necklace is about to be detonated by a trumpet (I know, mental), climbs on a table and starts firing into the ceiling, knowing full well that, while this is going to save the day, it’s also going to result in him getting shot by every secret service man in the room.

The look on his face as he does this is simply gorgeous. He knows what’s coming and he can’t bear to look. So beautiful.

So, as I’m sure you expected, here are some clips. Funeral (with tears) first and aftermath, then we jump forwards to see him confronted with childhood memories, and then, of course, the grand climax. (If all you want to see is the look on his face as he sacrifices himself for the greater good and his brother’s memory, skip forwards to about 6.45.)

(Edit: Gah! YouTube hate me. You can watch it here instead.)

So, I guess I’m back in the game, dipping my toes in the water once more. I’m still feeling pretty uncomfortable with a lot of stuff – which I’ll write about another day – but at least I seem to be coming out of lock down.

(Edit 2: It seems he’s likely to be playing the last man alive (after a ‘plague’ wiped out all the men but left the women alive) in an adaption of Y: The Last Man. I can see some potential with that concept – but probably the series is miles away from my fevered imaginings.

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It seems this blog has only three modes: lusty, whingy, and ranty. Well, it seems I pulled the ranty straw today.

As you know, I’m a tad geeky. I was over at the Leaky Cauldron geeking out on Potter, and found this quote from Stephen King:

Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people… The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good… it’s very clear that she’s writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books. It’s exciting and it’s thrilling and it’s not particularly threatening because they’re not overtly sexual. A lot of the physical side of it is conveyed in things like the vampire will touch her forearm or run a hand over skin, and she just flushes all hot and cold. And for girls, that’s a shorthand for all the feelings that they’re not ready to deal with yet.

Now, I’ve got no beef with what he said about Meyer. She does suck. And for now we’ll leave aside the question of whether he’s in any position to be criticising the state of other people’s writing.

What’s got me ranting is the second part of that quote, the bit about the young girls and the feelings. ‘Oh, the poor young girls, they have these feeelings, but they’re scared of them, and they’re so confuuuuuused.’ He’s wheeling out that old pernicious idea that adolescent girls are naive and vulnerable and clueless about their bodies, and need to be protected from real boys and real sex.

You patronising cock! It couldn’t be, could it, that young girls like hot guys, and vampires are hot?

When you think about 14 year old boys poring over Playboy, do you think the poor lambs are confused and afraid of their own feelings? No! You think they’re horny and they like looking at hot girls.

‘Oh, but girls are different.’ Fuck off are they. You just want them to be different so you don’t have to think about your daughter as a sexual being.

When I was 13/14 we were all passing round Jilly Cooper and Jackie Collins. Were we going, ‘I’m not ready to be a grow’d up yet, yet somehow I find these books oddly satisfying’? Were we bollocks! We were all, ‘Check this out, it’s hot!’ Partly we were devouring any information we could get about sex because we wanted to know what it was really like. But mostly those books were just plain hot. We were getting our jollies off them just as much as the boys with the Playboy.

But apparently that possibility hasn’t occurred to Mr King. Because god forbid teenage girls have actual sexual feelings. That would just be creepy and unnatural.

Busy

My god, I can’t believe I’ve only posted once so far in January. It’s just not good enough. I do apologise. Things have been a tad busy, but I hope to get back to it in February.

And I don’t have time to post now, even, so really I’m just popping in to apologise for not popping in, which is a bit rubbish, I know. Here, go and have a look at someone who does this shit much better than me – Ms Jones has a particularly fine rant up today. And pop over and vote for her on the Bloggies, too.

Of course, I realise you’ve probably all already done both of those things, but just in case.

Man cryingStill feeling gypped? Here, here’s a beautiful man crying. Not very convincingly, I realise, but what can you do, this shit is hard to find.

So, I was idly thinking about the unexpected hotness of my friend kneeling in church, and thus about men kneeling in general, and then I suddenly remembered Tenchu.

Tenchu is a game where you play a ninja and sneak around killing people. I looooved it. I’m not a shoot-em-up fan, so creeping round and trying not to get caught was much more up my alley.

Anyway, in the first mission you have to make your way through a town to meet your master, Lord Gohda. Only of course the town is crawling with bad guys, and you have to have to carefully make your way through, picking them off one at a time. If you play the guy ninja, Rikumaru, you get a cut scene at the end of the level where he arrives at the meeting place, falls straight to his knees before his lord, and begs his forgiveness for being late.

He fights his way through crowds of enemies, risking his life every step of the way, then falls to his knees and apologies for being late.

And I was like, ‘Yeah! That’s how it’s done!’

The Japanese feudal paradigm involves total submission – but it’s the least wimpy thing ever. Every samurai owes total loyalty and obedience to his lord, and expects complete perfection of himself. Not only is he prepared to die in battle for his lord at any point, he is also prepared to offer his own sepukku for failing to complete a task satisfactorily, or just to save his lord embarrassment. And we’re not just talking about the big tough killing machines, here – theoretically women and children are also prepared to commit seppuku if their lord requires it.

Total submission. The opposite of wimpy.

The European feudal paradigm isn’t exactly wimpy either, even though it’s not quite as hardcore. Sure, we don’t have seppuku. But the point about knights is that they owe total allegiance to their lord, and every man in the system owes allegiance to someone, right up to the dukes. Like a kind of d/s pyramid scheme. And we really, really don’t think of medieval warriors as wimpy.

So, historical models of submission = practically the definition of brave and admirable.

So why does the world think mansubs are wimpy?

The answer is pretty obvious. Samurai and knights submit to other men. Mansubs submit to women.

Which is levels of sexism that make me want to hand in my humanity membership card.

But it’s true. Any suggestion that a man is governed by a woman is considered emasculating. And yet a man’s submission to another man is the pinnacle of courage and virtue.

You know, there were samurai who wouldn’t even have sex with women because they considered even that contact emasculating – they shagged men instead.

And how about the knights? Well, let’s look at our model for knights serving women – the concept of courtly love. Eleanor of Aquitaine invented the game of courtly love as a means of stopping all those hormone-ridden young knights from harrassing her ladies. She modelled it on the relationship between a knight and his lord, in that the knight was supposed to make himself a servant of the lady, she was supposed to be in total control. But he was supposed to worship her from a distance. There was no sex involved, oh no – in fact that’s practically the point. Instead, he adores her from afar, puts her on a pedestal, sees her not as a human being, but as an icon, a goddess, and his dearest wish is to endeavour to deserve the smallest glance from her.

See, this ‘kiss my boots but don’t fuck me’ bullshit started a really long time ago.

(As I’m sure you’ll have noticed, I’ve used ‘mansub’ throughout to mean ‘straight mansub’ – for which, apologies, but it was snappier. Of course, it would prove my theory quite neatly if we found that gay mansubs suffer less prejudice than straight ones. Anyone know whether this is the case?)

An interesting thing

I’m starting to feel the desire to take  a name on this blog, rather than be ‘Nameless’.

Something has shifted in me today. Perhaps it was this. I sat down late last night to write about fighting, and what came out was something else entirely, and I feel as though I’ve remembered who I am. A bit, at least. I feel more certain.

Perhaps also it’s a sudden rush of new blogs I’ve been reading the last couple of days – Axe and Eileen and MayMay and others. Blogging and the reading of blogs is, I guess, a bit like group therapy.

As hard as I can

OK, now the post I meant to write.

When I was with my ex, I sometimes had the strongest desire to fight with him, physically, to fight with all my strength. I wanted to kick and punch and bite him, as hard as I could. I didn’t, because he didn’t like it. He’d occasionally let me bite him a little, but gently. When we kissed, I always wanted to bite his tongue. He hated that, understandably, but once or twice the urge overcame me and I did it anyway.

Because I didn’t ‘really’ want to hurt him – at that point the idea was inconceivable – I used to long for a guy who was really good at fighting, so that I could fight as hard as I wanted and not damage him – so that he could contain my aggression in a safe space.

When I was tiny, my dad and I used to have ‘rough and tumble’ sessions. I fought him as hard as I could, but of course I was tiny, I could never hurt him, so he could happily let me throw all my might against him. One of my few memories of early childhood is the day I asked him for a rough and tumble, and he told me I was too big for that now. I felt bereft. I never had a great relationship with my dad. Those sessions are the only memories I have of connecting with him at all.

I really don’t know why it never occurred to me before now that those memories might be related to my desire to beat up the men I’m attracted to. Gah. Daddy issues. How pedestrian. I’m disgusted with myself.

Is it really daddy issues? Or were those sessions not a cause, but a symptom of my love of a good scrap?

I want to be able to punch my lover. To backhand him, and see him stagger a little. To kick him, as hard as I can – but not damage him. And I want to take men by the throat, and see a little fear in their eyes. Maybe even to squeeze, just a little.

I’m only starting to appreciate that this doesn’t necessarily make me a bad person, but I’m still not sure about that. I worry that alongside the ‘benign dictator’ there is a real bully in me. I have an urge, sometimes, to play the psychotic. In U2’s Vertigo, halfway through, Bono breathes, ‘Just give me what I want and noone gets hurt’. It thrills me. The menace of a loaded gun or a sharp knife, the threat, the holding hostage. Your power. Their vulnerability.

I honestly don’t know whether I’m kinky or just fucked up and mental.

Who’s queen?

Many years ago, in my early twenties, a drunk guy hit on me in a pub. He meant no harm. He was hammered. He started by trying to sweet talk me, and in true shy English style, rather than telling him to sod off, I smiled politely but absently and waited for him to pick up on the subtle ‘go away’ signals.

Then suddenly he leant in to kiss me. Without thinking at all, completely instinctively, I reached up and took him by the neck. I wasn’t afraid; I wasn’t angry; I was simply disabusing him of his mistaken idea.

He was astonished, as was his friend, who leapt in, apologising profusely, and hurried him away. My action took everyone by surprise, including me. I got many compliments from my friends for being ‘hardcore’ and ‘badass’. But what I personally felt was a kind of quiet satisfaction, because in that moment I had felt more myself than I had ever done before.

As time went by, I came to find that I felt most myself, most free, when I knew I was in charge. There are moments when I just know I rule. Literally and colloquially. 🙂 My last boyfriend used to refer to me as his ‘dark and terrible mistress’. My friends used to tease me by quoting Blackadder at me – ‘Who’s queen?’

I’m queen. I rule.

I don’t get to feel myself (ahem) anywhere near as often as I’d like. When there are strangers around, usually other things get in the way: shyness; fear; insecurity. I’m afraid even now just writing this that everyone who reads it will hate me, because we’re not supposed to like being in charge. (Especially if you’re English – we call it being ‘up yourself’.) But when I feel it, I know it’s me. I feel I’ve lived a thousand lives of responsible rulership, benign dictatorship.

When I’m in that state of mind, I know my own power. I feel my own power. It’s not an ego-trip. There’s no megalomania. I just know I rule. It’s secure, relaxed, natural. And other people respond to it too. They listen when I talk. They naturally just do what I tell them. It’s the most extraordinary thing.

i used to think it was a character flaw; that I was just ‘bossy’. As I say, we’re not supposed to like being in charge. It was some time before I understood that every archetype has both flaws and virtues, weaknesses and strengths.

It’s funny, really, the dark and terrible mistress thing, as at that time I didn’t see myself as remotely dark, rather the opposite, I was always scared of the dark side and tended to stay firmly in the world of the fluffy. Perhaps he saw something I hadn’t seen yet. He was an extremely clever, self-possessed man, my ex, and he had just as much nataural ‘power’ as me, but there was no doubt I was queen in that relationship. He was a mixture of grand vizier, indentured fallen angel, and sworn vassal. I wonder what he’d think now if he knew I was starting to peek (ever so tentatively) out of the vanilla closet. He probably wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest.

Well, that’s not the post I intended to write at all. I think I’ll stop and start again.