“Doctor Who” Question

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Okay, I’m sorry, I have to continue my current “Doctor Who” rant, because there’s something I’ve been thinking about and I can’t figure it out and it’s bothering me. Does the Doctor love River? Does he? I can’t figure out if he does or not. I really can’t. I mean, I get what Moffet was trying for with this storyline, I really do. I’m picking up what he’s putting down. He’s trying for a retelling, or maybe reimagining is more accurate, of “The Time Traveler’s Wife”, which I haven’t read, but I quite enjoyed the movie. So, fine, cool, whatever. Meeting in the wrong order? Fine. It’s a weird and cool way to tell a story, if it’s done in the right way. She knows him more as he knows her less, and vice versa? Really a very cool way to tell a story and show just what it is that makes each of them fall in love with the other, showcasing what each of them finds most attractive in the other, what draws them in, despite everything. It can’t help but be tragic, as there is that short, so short, period of time, where each really knows the other, truly loves the other for all that they are, before they each start to move in opposite directions, each destined for that day when they look into the other’s eyes and see no recognition looking back. Awesome, epic idea- if done right. See, that’s the problem I think. It hasn’t been done right. For that kind of story, you need possibly a stand alone kind of character in a stand alone novel or movie, not something that is so decade- sprawling as “Doctor Who”. This needs to be something where it’s just those two, it will always be those two, with their love blazing away, in defiance of time and space.

I don’t feel like that’s happening here. For starters, I’m not even entirely sure if the Doctor really loves her. She loves him, very clearly, and has, very clearly, from the beginning. Even from her beginning, when you watch her grow up obsessed with the Doctor. Quite rightly obsessed, since she had been brainwashed to kill him. She probably thought about him a lot for most of her life, what with the brainwashing and being best friends with Amy, the girl who waited. So, you put her face to face with him, of course she’s gonna go a bit bonkers, which she did. And then she blew past “a bit” into I don’t even know what. She wants to marry him, then she kills him, then she sacrifices all the rest of her regenerations to save him. That’s… that’s a bit extreme. But, again, to be fair, she was raised to be a psychopath. Then, she crafts the rest of her life around the Doctor. She becomes an archaeologist in order to find him again, she tracks him down, again and again, she breaks Time itself, shatters it, in order to save him. She says that her suffering at having to kill him would be worse than all the suffering of all the billions of people in all the universe. Which is kind of sweet and kind of creepy. I mean, if she had said something like what Rory said way back in the Pandorica episodes, that, to paraphrase, the Doctor was more important than the rest of the universe to her, then I wouldn’t have a problem. But the way she put it? That’s pretty extreme. Like, really extreme. And being more afraid of the day when he wouldn’t recognize her than of his death or hers? We’re entering into fatal attraction territory here. But whatever, I get it, they’re going for a great, epic love. And God knows she has the pedigree for it, it’s in her blood. Her father guarded the Pandorica for about two thousand years, just to keep Amy safe. He would do absolutely anything for her, protect her from anything, fight through anything, do whatever it took, even if it meant giving her up for someone she wanted more. And Amy was willing to die several times to either get back to Rory or stay with him. That is deep, true, epic love. So it’s in her blood. But, I don’t know, it just seems a bit much to me. But I’m a cynic, I’m probably the wrong person to ask.

Then, we have the Doctor. What proof of love do we have on his side? He married her, that’s true. But why did he marry her? See, that’s where the problem comes in for me, because he flat out says “I don’t want to marry you.” And yes, marrying her wasn’t really presented as a condition of her touching him and going back to the beach, so they could fix Time, but I look at it this way: they say earlier in the episode that no one is sure if she is the woman that marries him or the woman that murders him. So, what if he saw it as he had two timelines to choose from? Or if that’s what he thought she thought? What if he thought he had to choose one, marriage or murder, and she wouldn’t accept the second option without shattering the universe. So that left him with one option. He had to marry her. I mean, they argue on top of that pyramid for several minutes before he busts out the bow tie. And the whole thing, to me, didn’t feel very romantic. It was more “end- of- the- worldy” than romantic. But, hell, when you’re over a thousand years old, you can certainly do things for more than one reason. So, maybe he does- a little. Because, recently, when I was spelunking in the internet, to try and figure this out, I read a quote from Stephen Moffet, that said that the Doctor feels very responsible for River (incidentally I would cite that quote but I have no idea now where I read it. But I promise that, unless the website I was reading lied to me, it is true). Responsible. He looks at this woman, crying and loving him with all her heart, just as she has the entire time he’s known her, destroying the entire fabric of the universe in order to save him, and how can he not give her something in return? How can he not give her this thing that she clearly wants, and what he probably knows she had to begin with. What is a Timelord to do? Save the universe and all of time, as well as give her what she wants/needs, not to mention keep him promise to Amy (to take care of her daughter) or to not?

Also, there’s this: in the killing Hitler episode, when he’s in the Tardis talking to the visual interface he asks it to show him someone he actually liked instead of an image of himself. So, let’s examine who it shows him: Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble and then little Amelia Pond. At no point does it show him River. I mean, even if it was working chronologically, wouldn’t River be between Donna and little Amelia? (Incidentally, when I googled this earlier, “Does the Doctor love River”, all I got was people arguing about was who was a better match for him: Rose or River? Not only does this not answer my question, thank you Google, but I maintain that the question doesn’t matter. Not only is Rose in another universe, hopefully living happily ever after with 10A, but he let her go. When 10 is dying he goes back and basically says good- bye to everyone who had been important to him, leaving Rose for last and then he walks away. He is letting her go. He accepts that they can’t be together, he’s accepted that for a while, and no matter how much he loved her, and he loved her a lot, he has to let her go. So he does. And then he regenerated, which really helped that process along. He told everyone goodbye and now he pretty much never references them. So, the whole Rose or River thing isn’t even really a question. He probably still loves Rose, but in that way where you’ll always have feelings for that person, you’ll always care for them and they’ll always be very important to you, but it fades, so that they’re simply special to you, and no longer the sun and the moon. But that’s just my opinion, we’ll find out for sure on the 50th anniversary special, when David Tennant and Billie Piper guest star, which I’m really looking forward to. Ten bucks says he stammers a lot and knocks something over.)

Anyway, there are all sorts of little things they show that says he cares about her, is attracted to her, worries about her and values her, but I can’t say as any of that adds up to “love”. They flirt constantly, he calls her a “bad, bad girl”, and every now and then they kiss but I don’t know if he loves her. Admittedly, the Doctor is pretty famous for playing it close to the chest, in any incarnation. He is a man with secrets and is very reluctant to give any of them up. Nor does he strike me as particularly emotionally aware. He isn’t given to much introspection, unless he’s yelling at himself for something. So, maybe he does love he and just doesn’t show it for some reason. Or maybe he loves her and doesn’t realize it. But then, why would he flirt so much with Clara? The one from the Christmas episode, not modern Clara, though I’m sure that’s coming. More to the point, why would he react like that when she kissed him? At this point, he is in fact a married man, yet when Clara kisses him he looks astonished and confused and maybe a little thrilled, like something confusing but awesome just happened, such as a pretty, smart, fun girl grabbed him and kissed him. Not the look of a man who has been kissed by someone who is not his wife and lady love.

Then there’s a separate question: in the “The Angels Take Manhattan”, at the end, after Rory and Amy went back in time and essentially died, the Doctor asks River to travel with him and she says no. She says she’ll have adventures with him, but she won’t be his companion, after having a pained look on her face. And she comes from his future. And, at some point after that, he finds modern Clara and they start traveling together. So, after they have such great chemistry together and the kissing and the attraction, does something cook up with Clara and River knows it? Is that why she wouldn’t travel with him? Because the reason she gave is just bullshit. “There should only be one psychopath per TARDIS?” What kind of excuse is that? Not any kind. It’s the kind of thing you say when you’re trying to avoid saying the real reason. And since she comes from his future, she would have seen that he has Clara later and, based on the kiss and attraction and her look of pain, there’s something there.

All of this brings me to one very unfortunate conclusion, which I really wish was the opposite: I don’t think the Doctor loves River. I think he cares for her, a lot, that she’s special to him and that he feels a great deal of responsibility for her, not only because she’s his dead best friend’s daughter but because when they first met she sacrificed her life for his and then tried to do it again later. And then again, when she used up all her regeneration for him. Of course he feels responsible for her. She pours so much of herself into him and this relationship that she insists is there and we have seen no real evidence of. He’s not the kind of man to just walk away from that kind of responsibility, that weight. He’ll carry it and take care of her, but I have yet to see real evidence that he loves her. Which, btw, makes this whole story arc they have going, officially one of the most depressing things I’ve ever seen. Here’s hoping that I’m really, really wrong.

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“Dr. Who”!

So I just recently, despite the fact that it’s been on my radar for years, started watching “Dr. Who”, and I know this is a source of serious argument and personal taste, but I love Matt Smith as the The Doctor so much. He is my absolute favorite. I mean, David Tenant and Christopher Eccleston are awesome too, but I freaking love Matt Smith. He has that perfect combination of ancient wisdom and nine- year old on a sugar rush, with a dash of bad ass pacifist warrior (stranger combination of words I have never typed). So I decided to share some of my favorite moments from The Doctor, cuz I like sharing the things that I love.

That’s my favorite episode!

Soo…. I guess what I’m saying here is- I love Matt Smith, though only as The Doctor, don’t know him otherwise, and I want to marry him and have his babies. Matt Smith, if you’re reading this for some reason, sorry if that came across as creepy.

Oh! And I have two weird coincidence stories for you, in case you care. Okay, so a couple weeks ago, when I first started watching “Doctor Who”, someone finally answered my question on the “Libraries in Movies” post I did a while back, where it was obviously a screenshot, but I had no idea from what. Hang on-

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That, it was that. Anyway, so someone finally let me know what it was from, which was “The Silence in the Library” from Season 5. Well, again, this was maybe a week after I started watching the show, who knows how long since I had posted it to begin with, and then the next day I saw that episode on BBC America. It was too weird.

Also, today I was at work, telling my coworker about this show, since I was thinking about it and I can be a tad bit obsessive and while I was telling him about it I was making someone’s drink and they got all excited because it turns out they’re a big Who- fan too. They were even wearing a Bad Wolf Corporation t- shirt at the time. It’s freaking weird how this keeps happening 🙂

“Grimm”

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I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this show on NBC called “Grimm.” It’s pretty cool and, up until this season, I would have called it one of my favorite shows. It’s about.. how do I describe this. Okay, well imagine that all the old fairy tales are real. That the Big Bad Wolf and so on are actually real, it’s just the story got mixed up a little over the years. It’s like that, except the creatures can like shift, sort of. It’s hard to explain. I tracked down this video that sort of, kind of, halfway explains what’s been going on with this show. It’s not the one that I was looking for, but it’ll have to do.
http://www.nbc.com/grimm/video/nick-and-monroe-a-true-bromance/n31290/

Okay, so anyway, on to my rant and my main point now that you have some vague idea of the world I’m talking about. So, Nick, that’s the Grimm’s name btw, in case that wasn’t covered, has this girlfriend, Juliette. Juliette sucks. Like, I have been watching this show for it’s entire season and a half run, from the beginning, and I have yet to see one real redeeming value to this chick. She’s just… blah. Bland. Boring. A little grating for all her boring- ness. She’s useless! Everyone else in the show is running around, getting in fights, helping to save the day and she does nothing!
Now listen, I tried really, really hard to like her the first season. I figured, hey maybe the writers are just having an especially hard time getting into her head or something. Maybe, when she finds out about Nick being a Grimm then all of a sudden she’ll explode with usefullness. I mean, she is a vet, I figured if nothing else she can provide medical care for the wessen (the creatures) that get hurt or sick from time to time. But nope. Not only did she not believe Nick when he told her, which to be fair I don’t blame her for, it certainly sounds like schizophrenia when you just describe it, but she got herself put under a spell and now is being kind of a bitch. She can’t remember Nick, she’s being SUPER annoying about the whole thing and she’s basically cheating on him. Not so much anymore, since they sort of broke up, but still. She’s been making googly eyes at someone else for like all season and I cannot tell you how super annoying this plotline has been. It has moved at the pace of freaking continental drift, and it seems to be demanding a certain empathy and patience with the character that I simply lack and no one else I’ve talked to who watches the show seems to have either. I don’t care if she’s conflicted! I don’t care if she blah blah blah whatever! Fill in blank. The character has been annoying and useless the entire run of the show. I have only put up with her because she is Nick’s girlfriend, his lady love. She hasn’t been funny, or entertaining, or helpful in solving cases, or saving lives, or illuminating about the wessen world that Nick is trying to figure out or anything. She has simply been Nick’s girlfriend. I was really hoping for a Catwoman situation with her, instead I got Lois Lane. And I was resigned to put up with the freaking Lois Lane, except now she’s not even doing that! She has one job to do in the entire freaking show. Her character has one use, one purpose, and that is it. And she’s not even doing that! I sincerely hope that she gets killed off and we get a better heroine. I truly and sincerely do. Because this is some bullshit. Nick is a kickass Grimm, the other characters are awesome and funny, Monroe is one of my favorite characters on tv, Rosalee is awesome, Hank is very cool, the wessen they show are cool and well done, the plotlines (with the exception of this one) are good. It’s just this one blind spot in this freaking show, that Juliette is so freaking annoying and useless and I don’t see how they can possibly fix that one. I don’t even want them to fix that one. Just scrap the whole thing and start over. Kill off the character and introduce and new love interest. A kickass one. Have a female Grimm blow into town and blow Nick’s mind. Have a really cool wessen chick come into the picture, which would be even better because then there would be all sorts of conflict! Just please, NBC if you’re reading this, I’m begging you- get rid of Juliette.
That said, everyone should totally watch this show it’s awesome. And will be even better once this freaking plotline is over. Which, I’m honestly afraid is one of those season- long plotlines. You know what, catch up next season. That would probably be best.

So I’ve Been Thinking

Okay, so I’ve been thinking, as you might have noticed from the title, which I realize is always dangerous for me to do (ba dum bum), but bear with me here. First, I should mention that last semester I took this English class that was like intermediate level and it was introducing all these different ways of analyzing a text, which of course introduced all these different ideas and ways of looking at the world, which is amazingly hard to turn off. I find myself looking at things and thinking “Well, there’s exchange of women”, which isn’t as dirty as it sounds, or “And there’s Orientalization of foreign cultures.” (For the record, exchange of women is the idea that most of the way that men interact and culture itself is based on how men use women. And I’m not just talking about in the olden days, when they would basically sell a woman to cement a treaty, but even nowadays, when guys bond by going out “picking up chicks. Yeah!” And Orientalization of a culture is basically when a country, in this case the U.S. looks at another country or region, like the Middle East, and sees in it all the things it fears about itself, or feminizes it in the worst, most masogynistic way possible. Like, we’re strong and stoic, hardworking and loyal, and they are mysterious, emotional, irrational and untrustworthy. Note that I am not saying that that is what I think, I’m merely explaining the concept, whose originator I cannot remember at the moment but I will likely google later, since I sold back the book. Anyway, there it is, in case anyone at all cared.)
Anyway, moving along. Now, you mix that influx of new ideas with this thing I read and all of a sudden, I’m thinking about something that honestly kind of disturbs me. First, so that you will know what I’m talking about, here is the post in question. It’s from the Ilona Andrew’s blog, whom, if you will remember, I adore.
Gender in YA Books

http://www.ilona-andrews.com/blog/page/6
December 6, 2012 by Ilona ·
Brooke Lago ‏@wonderland449
@ilona_andrews A friend shared this article & as authors w/ strong heroines, I wondered what you would think of it?

The article in question is The Legacy of Katniss, or, Why We Should Stop ‘Protecting’ Manhood and Teach Boys to Embrace the Heroine.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-vail/young-adult-novels_b_2199812.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Brooke also tweeted:

@natasha_lh@justinemusk I shared the article w/ @LKHamilton and@ilona_andrews bc they are two of my fave authors who write strong heroines

I don’t appreciate being put on the spot, because if you ask me something like this, I will answer and that won’t earn me many friends.

This is a giant, giant can of multicolored worms, and I am on a deadline, so I will touch on it only briefly. First of all, saying “strong heroine” is like saying “a free gift.” It’s redundant. Being heroic, by definition, is possessing some strength, most of the time, strength of moral conviction that culminates in you placing yourself in a harm’s way to protect others. Firefighters are heroes. Soldiers are heroes. Heroes are people who have the moral strength to risk or sacrifice themselves for the good of others. It is a gender-neutral occupation.

Heroes can be weak in body, but never in spirit. Otherwise our story ends up being, “He was weak and selfish. The end.”

When we wrote Kate Daniels, I personally didn’t set out to write “a strong woman.” I set out to write a woman whose humanity endures despite her upbringing. With that in mind, let’s try to look at the different worms.

Men and Women Are Different. If a woman comes up to me and says, “I’m a feminist, and men and women are the same,” I will tune out whatever else she has to say, because she is the exact opposite of being a feminist. Being a feminist is understanding the differences between men and women and effectively demonstrating that while differences exist, they shouldn’t dictate unequal treatment.

Women, on average, are physically weaker. We have smaller size, lower bone mass, and less upper body strength. We can compensate for this by training, but we have to work harder than men at achieving the same level of strength. This is a fact.

Men, on average, have higher levels of testosterone. They have greater bone mass. They have greater muscle mass. Some people also attribute increased levels of aggression to testosterone, but I don’t believe a definitive link has been established. We do know that testosterone affects the risk taking level and women are generally more averse to risk. Actually, we didn’t need a study for this. We could just watch World’s Dumbest Daredevils or Most Shocking on TruTV. Ninety nine percent of these clips resulting in bodily harm feature men. Men do things like hit each other in the balls, because they think it’s funny. Can you picture a group of girls punching each other’s breasts and laughing? No, because it hurts.

“Hey, Jane, how about you take off your pants and we’ll stick this firecracker up your butt and light it on fire?”

“What are you, crazy?”

“Hey John, how about that firecracker?”

fireworks

I think we can agree physical differences between men and women exist. Some people link it to evolutionary adaptations. An early male had to take a lot of risk. Here is a sharpened stick. Go poke that mammoth with it. That’s a hell of a risk right there, but somebody had to bring home the mammoth. I’m not super sold on it. The truth is, we don’t quite know why testosterone makes men more reckless.

Society views men and women as different based on their physical differences. When I was a child, I read a nursery rhyme in a Russian book. I was probably seven or so, but it’s stuck in my head because it defined the world. It had a picture of a family on the beach, with muscular dad, a mom in a bikini and two kids. The rhyme said:

The sky is blue

The sea is blue

Dad is strong

Mom is pretty.

That’s the social gender gap in a nutshell. Men are supposed to be strong, women are supposed to be beautiful. Look at the commercials. Men get a “Gain muscle, don’t be a weakling” while women get “Lose weight and paint yourself pretty.” God help you, if you are male and not athletic or female and not beautiful.

The reason why the article affected me so deeply was because even at that age I knew I wasn’t primarily strong or pretty. I was smart. Where the heck do I fit into this family? We’ll come back to this in a minute.

As a society, we extend the physical differences onto how we treat children. In Western society, men are historically the dominant gender. If one analyses this in terms of class-based society structure (USSR education paying off), you can clearly see the dividing lines. The classist theory says that while all class lines are defended, reaching from lower class to higher class is viewed as a lesser wrong. For example, if a girl dresses as a boy, she is imitating men, she’s a tomboy, and it’s cute. If a boy dresses as a girl, it is unacceptable, freaky, and weird. The girl takes a step up, while the boy takes a step down. The dominant societal class must maintain power at all costs. Any downward movement is the surrender of that power.

Women dressed in male clothes are sexy. Men dressed in women clothing are drag queens. A comic featuring scantily clad female superheroes is not lesbian, it appeals to men. A comic featuring scantily clad men is “subtly homoerotic,” because the assumption is only the male audience matters. Women couldn’t possibly be interested in seeing scantily clad men.

scantily clad man

Men are the dominant class, so men are supposed to be providers. It’s a double-edged sword. We, as a society, place crushing burdens on our men and sometimes they fold under pressure and we end up with family annihilators.

Suppose you have a daughter, a sister, or a female friend and she brings her new boyfriend to meet you. You ask him what he plans to do for his living and he says, “I’m planning on finishing high school and then I really just want to be a father. I’d like to be a stay at home dad and putter around.”

OMG, he is some kind of deadbeat.

Suppose it’s a male friend and his girlfriend tells you she wants to be a mother and a homemaker. You may think it’s kind of lame, but most people will likely not think less of her for it. And if you attack her or criticize her on that choice, there will be people who will have a knee jerk reaction to defend her. ”Don’t you dare criticize her choice. Being stay-at-home mom is hard.” So is being a stay-at-home dad! If your daughter wants to be a stay-at-home mom and her boyfriend wants to be a stay-at-home dad, how are they going to feed themselves? Why is it the boy who automatically faces the burden of providing for the family? Is it because the girl is less capable? Is she weaker?

And this is the root of the problem. As long as we tell girls that low expectations are okay, there is no hope of a true equality. None. If my daughters ever date a girl, I expect her to tell me she wants to be a nurse, an astronaut, a teacher, something. I want her to be confident and to have aspirations. There will always be time to stay at home and be a mother, but I hope that at first she has dreams and ambitions. I want her to find something she loves to do and explore it. I want her to be a strong partner for my child.

Just to be clear, before I’m flooded with hate: staying with kids is a perfectly valid, viable choice. I’ve done it and I was a stay at home mom until the kids went to school full time. Our daycare would’ve cost more than what I would’ve earned. But it should be a choice each family makes for themselves and we, as a society, shouldn’t tell boys that they are less male because of it or make the girls feel guilty if they choose to have a career instead.

How does all this relate to YA books?

Remember how I said that smart didn’t fit into the nursery rhyme? It’s because smart is gender-neutral. Kind is also gender-neutral. Being a good friend. Being disciplined. Doing the right thing when it’s difficult, especially when it’s difficult. Having honor and integrity. Those are not the functions of our gender. Those are the functions of our humanity.

So if you want boys to read books with female YA protagonists, stop making getting the boy the point of the book.

But Hunger Games!

Yes. It was brilliant. My kids loved it. What else you’ve got?

By the way, look at the Hunger Games. Look at what happens in the Capital. Katniss is not presented as a warrior to the capital. They present her as a girl and they ask her if there is a special someone. To make her popular, they have to clean the viciousness off and make her more feminine. That’s when the crowd gets fired up – when they know there is a romance. Presence of a boy in her life gives Katniss value in their eyes. It is an exceptionally astute criticism of gender roles.

My girls read Lightning Thief and Harry Potter, not because the protagonists are men but because these books have adventure. They have danger, plot, turns and twists, they have conflict, and they deal with betrayal and love and coming into conflict with adult world.

But girls like to read about romance?

Great. And there are tons of YA books that are about romance and there should be. Some books are meant for a primarily female audience just as some books are aimed at a primarily male audience. But if you are trying to appeal to both, you must accept that women and men view romance from different angles. Boys and girls both fall in love and do desperate things. Romance is exciting and it should be in YA books, because first love is a part of adolescence. But if you want your YA books to have cross-gender appeal, make your books to be more than an exploration of being a girl in love. Make it an exploration of being a human being. You would get more girl readers that way anyway.

Okay, so we have that, which I’ve been meaning to repost anyway, as it’s brilliant, but it got me to thinking about something that I’ve noticed, which is that in tv or movies today, if there is a gay character, it’s always a man. Pretty much always. I mean, there are the exceptions like “The L Word” and whatnot, but those are on paid cable and seem to be kind of niche shows. But broad appeal shows, that are supposedly about the modern world, and embracing differences and whatnot? Always a gay guy. Modern Family, The New Normal, even ones that aren’t about embracing differences, just ridiculous people, like The B in Apartment 23? All gay guys. Not a lesbian among them. At first I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that, since I mean, what does that mean when you don’t have the vocabulary to even really think about it? But you add in what Ilona was saying there and all of a sudden it makes more sense. A male dominated society is trying to come to terms with gay men. It’s trying to assimilate the idea that it’s okay, which is fine. But someone is being left out, someone is being ignored and that is the lesbians. I’m worried that it’s because society, on some level, deems them useless. Because they are not men, and therefore inherently more useful, because of that class system Ilona was talking about, and they can’t be used to solidify male interactions, like in exchange of women, they are being ignored and perhaps shunted to the side. And that’s wrong. You can’t ignore an entire group of people just because they don’t want to have sex with you. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong, but I honestly don’t see any big part that lesbians are playing in our culture or our cultural conversation about.. is gayness that right word? Queerness? Either one sounds bad. Well, you know what I mean. Because, I mean, that is what tv, books and movies are. They are a conversation we are having with ourselves about who we are, who we were and who we intend to be. It’s how we accept new ideas and let go of old ones. It’s how we come to terms with events, national tragedies and changing times, and lesbians are being left out of that. Drag queens get more air than they do, because, I can only assume, they are male. It’s disturbing, and if it’s for the reasons I’m coming to think, then it’s not right. I realize that this whole thing was kind of off topic for me, but, as I said, I’ve been thinking about this. Let me know if you think I’m wrong or not.

“Outlaw Empires” on Discovery Channel

So, I’ve started watching “Outlaw Empires” on the Discovery Channel, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a show that talks about the criminal organizations that flourish under our noses. The Italian mob, the Nuestra Familia, the Hell’s Angels, etc. I have to admit, I find it very disturbing. You see these guys, always ex- members, for obvious reasons, and they, oh so calmly, describe acts of theft, assault and murder. They don’t blink, they don’t look guilty, nothing. I mean, they must feel guilty, they have all, as far as I’ve seen, turned state’s witness so there must be some guilt and they all express guilt, but I look in their eyes and I don’t see guilt. Nor do I see someone who I would peg as a murderer, someone I would peg as violent. I know violent eyes, I’ve spotted them in the past, so it’s disturbing to me that I can’t tell with these violent men. Men who are admitted murderers, who used people and situations in whatever way they needed to get what they want.

And they talk about it so calmly. That’s what gets me. They’re so incredibly calm, like me telling a story about what happened at work that day. Which, I suppose they are, but you know what I mean.

Everyone has secrets and everyone has things to hide, even if it’s only something like “I ate a whole pizza in my underwear last night”, and gang members have even more to hide so it shouldn’t be surprising that they do it so well, but if we can’t spot them, can’t spot the violence, then that’s a pretty serious potential problem.

I don’t know, maybe it’s because they’re all reformed, but it’s still very disturbing. The show is very interesting, but very disturbing.

Shonda Rhimes Must Be Stopped

I just want to start by saying that I do not watch “Grey’s Anatomy”, nor have I for years, but I am vaguely aware of what goes on with it. I have a friend who watches it and there’s a tv blog that I read that discusses it regularly and well… sometimes I’m bored and curious. I want that firmly understood before I say this, because if I, someone who hasn’t watched the show for years and is only vaguely aware of it’s drama, not every little bit, not everything that happens, just sort of aware of it, then surely it’s worse than I know. And surely it must be even more true than I realize when I say: Shonda Rhimes must be stopped. She’s the showrunner for “Grey’s Anatomy” and the things that she has done to Meredith Grey… honestly, if it were real life, I would intervene. It’s abusive. It is full on character abuse. Every time I hear anything about the show, it’s something about Meredith’s life going to crap- again. What does this woman have against her own character? I honestly think that kind of behavior is a form of self hate. Just check out this quote from CliqueClack, that blog I mentioned:

“Since the very beginning of Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith’s luck has been absolutely lousy. Let’s review:

She hooked up with a man she didn’t know was married and watched as he went back to his wife, despite her humiliating pleas for him to pick her. She removed a live bomb from the body of a patient, then stood witness as it blew up the cute bomb squad guy. Her mother, who’d been emotionally abusive to Meredith her entire life, had Alzheimer’s and died as Meredith was being resuscitated after a suicide attempt. Her estranged alcoholic father, who was happy with the new family he’d made after leaving Meredith and her mother, blamed Meredith after his second wife died in a freakish manner while Meredith was her doctor. Her dog got sick and had to be put down. A close friend was hit by a truck and died, while another had stage four cancer, went into remission, then left. The guy for whom she’d long pined “married” her on a Post-It, but then was shot in the chest and nearly died as Meredith, who offered herself up as a sacrifice to the gunman who was killing everybody, miscarried her baby. Meredith then couldn’t get pregnant but when she eventually adopted a baby, her husband left her as punishment for her screwing up a clinical trial. Meredith’s baby was taken away by social services, then returned, and her husband came back, too, only to have the season end with Meredith and her husband involved in a plane crash where Meredith’s sister Lexie was killed. Oh, and it’s possible that Meredith could have Alzheimer’s. Shonda Rhimes probably will give Meredith Alzheimer’s.” (http://cliqueclack.com/tv/2012/05/18/greys-anatomy-season-8-finale-review/)

And that wasn’t even the complete list. I’ll say it again. Shonda Rhimes must be stopped. I realize that Meredith Grey isn’t real, so it will make things difficult, but surely if we all band together, we can work out a way to stage an intervention? A kidnapping? Something, anything, to save this poor girl from her tormentor.