“I always give books. And I always ask for books. I think you should reward people sexually for getting you books. Don’t send a thank-you note, repay them with sexual activity. If the book is rare or by your favorite author or one you didn’t know about, reward them with the most perverted sex act you can think of. Otherwise, you can just make out.”—
As we leave the month marked by rough first drafts and apparently not shaving, we now find ourselves in a time of reflection; where we look back over the first eleven months and sum up the high points. Yes, we’ve reached the time when bloggers’ Best of…
We get this one role. So we’d better hope it’s a good one. Because –
They could make 10 shitty Batman movies, and we’ll always see more Batman movies.
But if Wonder Woman isn’t top of the pops for every second she’s on-screen in Snyder’s film, they’ll burn the character down and salt the earth and the topic won’t come up again for another 30 goddamn years. Wonder Woman will be poison on the lips.
And that’s the danger of putting Wonder Woman in Batman Versus Superman.
“So, yes, for the fucking love of God, movies matter. TV shows matter. Novels matter. They shape the lens through which you see the world. The very fact that you don’t think they matter, that even right now you’re still resisting the idea, is what makes all of this so dangerous to you — you watch movies so you can turn off your brain and let your guard down. But while your guard is down, you’re letting them jack directly into that part of your brain that creates your mythology. If you think about it, it’s an awesome responsibility on the part of the storyteller. And you’re comfortable handing that responsibility over to Michael Bay.”—
“I only want to play human beings. I’ve been around for thirty years and there’s been a lot of cartoons, a lot of craziness going on in life, and I’ve just decided to stick with human beings. I’ve been offered a lot of roles, and I guess I would be further along in my career if I had taken them, but I do have to say the respect of my parents, the respect of my children, is of utmost importance to me, and I try to do roles in which I am portraying human beings with certain characteristics rather than cartoons. There’s a big difference between the gay police captain and the police captain who happens to be gay. Because the gay police captain has to be the butt of the joke, whereas the police captain who happens to be gay is a part of the world, he’s an integral part of the world and so it’s much harder to ostracize, to alienate and to basically demean or be contemptuous to someone who’s, in essence, inside the family.”—Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Andre Braugher (via heisenbergsays)
This is my second run at reviewing “The Blue Blazes” by Chuck Wendig.
The first go-around was right after I finished reading it at a breakneck pace. I gushed a bunch of praise juice all over the Amazon.com review section for the book and I’m not sure that ever does anyone any good, though…
“Look at the difference: In 1977 I bought a small house in Portland Oregon for $24,000. At the time I was earning $5 per hour working at a large auto parts store. I owned a 4 year old Chevy Nova that cost $1,500. Now, 36 years later that same job pays $8 an hour, that same house costs $185,000 and a 4 year old Chevy costs $10,000. Wages haven’t kept up with expenses at all. And, I should point out that that $5 an hour job in 1977 was union and included heath benefits.”—an anonymous online commenter on the current economy. (via han-nara)
I’ve come around to digging what NaNoWriMo does for the penmonkey breed, particularly having seen so many writers who have officially or unofficially ended up with published work based on their efforts during this most scribbly of months.
That being said, and this is something I talked about a bit on Twitter today: National Novel Writing Month takes the art of storytelling and the craft of writing and ladles across it a heavy shellacking of gamification. Which can work, to be clear — folks have found a great deal of value in applying a kind of social game code with attendant rules and conditions to everything from running to cooking to beer drinking.
When it works, it works.
The problem is, writing is a very peculiar, personal, persnickety endeavor — we all have our ways to do it and we further sometimes bind our hearts and minds up so deeply in the briar-tangle of wordsmithy that it becomes difficult to unsnarl our emotions from the whole thing. Which doesn’t lend itself well to to the game language that pervades the whole thing.
And thus enters one of my sole remaining concerns with NaNoWriMo, which is reliance on language like “winning” and “losing” as regards the month long novel-writing adventure. This isn’t a game of Monopoly, after all. It’s not a race in which one competes.
It’s writing a book.
As we round the bend, I’m starting to see people talk about how they’re going to “lose” — and that’s absurdist horseshit. Keep writing. NaNoWriMo is what got you started doing this thing, but it doesn’t have to be — and maybe shouldn’t be — why you finish it.
And so, it’s worth remembering:
If you finish your book on December 1st, or January 3rd or May 15th, you still won. Because HOLY SHIT YOU FINISHED A NOVEL. So few manage this epic feat that it’s worth a freeze-frame fist-bump no matter when you manage to actually stick the landing. The goal is to write a book whether it takes you one month or one year — failing to complete 50,000 words in a month that contains Thanksgiving and the ramp up to Christmas should never be regarded as a loser move.
Don’t worry about winning or losing. If it’s hurting your mindset, reject the gamification aspect. Hell, I could write my name 25,000 times and “win” the event. Or I could write 45,987 words of amazing prose that will one day be part of a bestselling novel and I’d still “lose.”
So, hang tight.
The calendar is not your prison.
NaNoWriMo is good when it helps you.
And when it hurts you, it should be curb-stomped and left for dead.
Your words matter. Whether you wrote 10,000 or 50,000 or 115,000.
The laughter at transgender people’s expense didn’t end there, either. One month after Ace Ventura premiered I saw Naked Gun 33 1/3, the hit comedy in which Anna Nicole Smith’s character does a sexy silhouette striptease that ends up revealing a penis. Once again, her former suitors are appalled. Then there’s the famous Tone Loc frat anthem “Funky Cold Medina,” the second verse of which finds Loc talking about a girl he meets named Sheena. After the two flirt, Loc takes Sheena home, where it’s revealed that she’s transgender. The rapper, who you might remember also co-starred in Ace Ventura, throws Sheena out of his house, saying, “I don’t fool around with no Oscar Mayer wiener.” Even in supposedly queer-friendly movies like 1991’s Soapdish you’ll find characters disgusted by transgender people, like when Robert Downey Jr. gags after having a romantic interlude with a trans woman.
Repugnance is a common theme in the trans-people-as-jokes canon. But more prevalent is the element of deceit. Time and again in both comedic and dramatic films, transgender people are cast as deviant tricksters out to fool innocent victims into sleeping with them. This narrative plays upon two of America’s deepest fears: sexual vulnerability and humiliation. Not only is your sex partner “lying” about their gender, victims who “fall for it” are then forced to grapple with the embarrassment of being had, of being seen as gay. Men “tricked” into sleeping with another man are embarrassed by the threat to their masculinity. So much culture has taught us that transgender people aren’t just sexual aliens, they’re also predatory liars.