March. Warming up. Raised bed for squash almost done. Cat doing great. Now that you’re all caught up–
I happened upon Minx, over on HBO.
It’s about a fictional women’s soft porn mag started in the 70’s by a radical feminist and a hardcore porn mag producer. Whacky hijinks ensue! Yep, it goes about how you think it does.
Penises everywhere. Shrill, naive, unpleasant female lead named, seriously, this is her name– Joyce Prigger. I do mean unbearable. Holy shit. Fun, easy-going male lead, named Doug Renatti, who sees ‘something’ in the Matriarchy Rising mag layout of Our Heroine. She pitches her over the top feminist scream to several mag producers in SoCal at this fair. She of course gets nowhere because no one will give her a chance! She’s an editor shopping around her liberated woman ideals and no one will throw her wads of cash and accolades, wah.
I lost any and all sympathy for her about five minutes in. I’ve seen this shit so many times. The unpleasant, uptight female lead, the lead male totally likable and smart, the rest of the cast pretty adorable, sweet, intelligent at times and…ugh. Okay. It’s rom-com time. At least, that’s the take I take away here.
Our Heroine is fresh outta Vassar, working on selling subscriptions for other magazines and generally so stupid about how the world works it’s goddamn painful to watch. She doesn’t know how that to get financed, you have to get big donors with money? She went to fucking Vassar. She didn’t rub up against the children of politicians and even presidents? For fuckety fuck’s sake.
She can’t sit through picking a male model for their debut issue without losing her shit. Joyce is embarrassed and squrimy, tee hee. The college girl hasn’t seen many dicks! Tee hee. She’s not only a shrieking harpy, she’s a prude! Oh goody!
It’s not funny or charming or astonishing. It’s just dumb. She’s a dumb character, a stereotype, a Men’s Rights example of what they think a feminist is. There is no nuance to her. At least not in the episode and a half I made it through before switching over to Youtube animal rescue videos to clear my head of the ‘Why the fuck are they still writing this type of female character? And during the so-called women’s liberation height??? Fuck fuck fuck fuck!’
And then, yeah, I rewrote this series in my head. Because, writer.
What if Our heroine, renamed Linda Lewis, or some other normal name that doesn’t hint a thing, was cool. I mean, with it, on top of her life, ambitious, calculating, willing to take chances. And a force of nature or someone you’d want to hang out with, hear their views. She’s got a sense of humor! She wants to change the world and she’s not asking for permission to do it. Linda can be unsure of herself at times but mostly, she works out what needs to be worked out. She approaches the pornmag producer guy, pitches him her magazine idea and he suggests the nude male centerfold every month. As Linda is mostly okay with her sexuality, she agrees to this, but says she wants to be in charge of the whole enchilada, even the tasteful nudie stuff. They begin a tentative partnership and learn a lot along the way.
I’m so tired of the naive, awful female lead and the cool, with it male lead that makes the female lead look both childish and boringly stupid. See the Ugly Truth, with Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigel. The Proposal, with Sandra Bullock– which, despite her charm and Ryan Reynold’s scowling with his usual charm throughout it–presented a horrible female boss stereotype straight from a Hallmark Christmas collection of Bad Lady Bosses that just need a Good Man to Show Them Some Good Lovin’. Sweet Home Alabama, where Reese Witherspoon went home to shit all over her home town and her parents, yet wound up with her ex-hubbie after…ugh.
So yeah, done with Minx. Boring and irritating, not my cup of anything.
I’m also struggling with Our Flag Means Death. I want to like it more. I just fail at that. I do like Blackbeard. It helps that he’s played by Taika Waititi. I wish this series had centered more around Blackbeard facing the end of his time as the most bad-ass pirate ever. The Stede Bonnet character just repels me so utterly. A guy with a lot of money getting to do whatever he wants. Where in American politics and private blah dee blah have we ever, ever seen this crud?
I need a third to end this TV review rant.
Gilded Age! Now, it’s trashy, but it’s fun, gorgeous trash. I get tired of Marian, the female blond lead who’s so bland she blends into the scenery no matter what she’s wearing. Please, Jesus– let her be ravished by a pack of rabid sailors after that bland and boring lawyer guy sells her to a brothel after her aunt refuses to accept him into High Society. Wheeee!!!!!
And then she’s seen no more when she leaves with the sailors as their new captain. Work it out, writers!
As that would leave far more screen time to the Russels. Not the kids, yuck. Ick. Boring!
No no, Bertha and George Russel are fabulous, arrogant monsters you just love to love. She’s a social-climbing soft-voiced goddess and he’s a fiery, black-bearded robber baron you hope never escapes to run amuck in these here present times. Together they plan to dominate Old Money Manhattan and make it beg for mercy it ever slighted them in the least. Bwhahahahahaha! Yes, please!!
I also love the Peggy Scott character. Upper class black woman, with ambitions to be a writer. Her mom is played by Audra McDonald, of Broadway. The Broadway Audra! If you can’t tell, I love Audra McDonald. But, the show explores the middle class and even upper class POC post-Civil War strata that developed and lead to such things as Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I also find it annoying and eye-rolling when the blond Marian doesn’t seem to notice all the rampant racism all around her. Okay, sure. Ahem. But. We do get a scene with her bringing second-hand shoes to gift Peggy with during an unannounced visit to Peggy’s parent’s home. Dorothy Scott, Peggy’s mom, rightfully embarrasses Marian with how Marian expected the Scott family to be near destitute and grateful for a white lady savior. Ouch.
It’s not Downton Abbey. It’s a colorful, somewhat empty, imitation but it’s enjoyable. Watching the New Money sorts clash with the Old Money sorts, great fun. Watching the Russels plow ahead like a team of shiny Clydesdales, also great fun. The two aunts of Marian, played by Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon, make up for a lot. They remind me of L.M. Montgomery characters, for some reason. I half expected Anne Shirley to pop in for a cup of tea and a saucer of neighborhood gossip.
And there’s servants but nothing so far that grabs the attention or begs for more air time. There’s no Thomas, for instance, slinking about, causing trouble while managing to remain a near tragic figure we have to love. But, maybe in later seasons, the servants will be fleshed out, given actual characters, become part of the stories around them, rather than just set decorations whenever Mrs. Russel stalks by in a red silk dress.
Thomas from Downtown Abbey. Sorry if I lost some of you there.
I wanted to do a fluffy blog post, what with all the horrors here in America and over there in Ukraine. And other places, and other places after that. Oh dear.
Right next door, Ammon Bundy is staging a protest over the state of Idaho stepping in to remove a baby that was being horrifically neglected, as in that baby could have died if something had not been done. This extremist, who’s running for govvie of the state, claims it’s a medical kidnapping and has called for protests and even possible violence if the child isn’t returned to the parents who were abusing it. As these parents seem to be related to Bundy’s campaign manager…it’s a frigging mess in Idaho, in other words, right now.
This bunch of political theatre stunt-makers even shut down a major hospital there in Boise for a bit. The present lieutenant govvie, Janice McGeachin or something like that, attended a white pride rally in the most open and defiant of ways. She’s an elected official. She also wants to be govvie. And she’s batshit insane and a religious nutball. Wheee!! I’m two hours from all this and it sucks. It sucks!
So yeah, I’m watching trashy historical dramas and submitting my writing now and then to the here and there. Spring is around the corner. 2022 already seems a bust. 2023, baby, you gotta give us all some hope, m’kay? Great!
Update– Just saw, in the Idaho Statesman, where the child in question was returned to the parents, more than likely because of Bundy’s threats and bullying. It really can be an awful world at times. I doubt those parents have seen the light. And terrorism wins in Idaho.
Full disclosure– the title of this blog post is from HBO’s Our Flag Means Death. Blackbeard observes that he has been turned into a ‘viking vampire clown’ as he discovers an illustration of himself in a book.
I heard those three words slammed together and went, hey, what can I do with that? Is that a title? A monster of some kind? Some sort of for-me only porn novella?
It’s probably also a sign I need to get out of the house.
So, a short one. The Cherry of Her Lips got an acceptance from Black Hare Press, for their War anthology. I really like this attempt of mine to freshen up the hoary Snow White tale.
I’m also looking at having a fifth book published. The Adventures of Grumpy Odin and Sexy Jesus. It’s fantasy? meets mythology meets religious figures meets humans, Minions, ghosts and outer space monsters. There’s also Batboys or angels.
Basically, God wants Jesus to become the newest Satan, which would put Jesus under God’s thumb. This sets off a chain of events that leads to a strange showdown in Oregon’s Alvord desert.
Yes, I am working on how to plug this one. I have to invent something dazzling, interest-provoking and yet short that doesn’t have me trying to explain the plot in a thousand-word sprawl.
A bit blasphemous? Sure, why not but it does involve other gods, other mythologies and a nod toward the irreverent and sassy. Honestly, it’s not dark or hopeless or dystopian. It’s even funny in spots. I think so. There’s some actual character journeys taking place. Jesus, for one, gets a great big arc.
Now. How to use ‘viking vampire clown’. Isn’t it odd what combo of words can bring you such fulsome, wonderful delight? Happy almost spring!
Spring attempts a coup in my neck of the wilderness. Ukraine yet holds off Russian invaders. Gas prices continue to be used as a political hot button. Even considering adopting renewable energy sources to ween an entire country off fossil fuels brings on mass parades of screamy ‘patriots’ waving bald eagles and drinking oil milkshakes ‘to own the libs’.
I seem to be yet on a winning streak, writing-wise. A tiny one, but still. Cherry of Her Lips just got an acceptance for an anthology put out by Black Hare Press, on the theme of War. Lilith’s Arm got a nod for an anthology, too. Debuting this month will be Blood and Bread, in Toilet Zone 3, the Royal Flush. Seffi and Des will be in Musings of the Muses, a short story collection about the Greek Gods.
There’s also the flood of rejections. Don’t even worry about that, fellow babies.
I just saw an Idaho law that proposes going after librarians if they check out ‘obscene’ materials to kids. HB666. Idaho ledge. I have to think that numbering is a jest, a joke, an attempt at humor but no. And I have to ask…who gets to decide what’s ‘obscene’?
Rep. Skaug: “I would rather my six year old grandson start smoking cigarettes tomorrow” rather than view obscene materials in a library, he said.
What? Huh? Are Idaho librarians letting kids check out The Story of O or somethin’? Is Story of O obscene or artistic? Does it have ‘artistic merit’? Holy fuck, this really is the worst timeline, as wags have opined.
Are we bringing back smoking for kids in Idaho so they can have something to look forward to after working all day instead of going to school? Is that the goal here? Did Skaug give the game away??
Oh? That 666 thingie passed? Of course it did. America, the land of oppression, don’t say gay and targeting librarians, teachers, trans people and women’s reproductive organs, cause freedom eagles Jesus.
But hey, at least we still have ‘freedom’ convoys getting lost and mixed up on the DC Beltway to show them scary libs in Congress a thing or two! If you don’t know what this is, consider yourself a truly blessed and happy person. Remember the Canadian trucker fiasco there in Ottawa? Yeah, a breakaway group decided they would DRIVE ACROSS COUNTRY from California to DC, to protest…things that don’t exist or were never taken seriously, in America. Like mask mandates. Except the American tantrum league began to claim it wasn’t about mask mandates but about. Um. Not becoming robots of the state or something. And why didn’t they just drive into DC, shut down the Beltway, like they promised? Nancy Pelosi set traps and they were not falling for that! Um. Yeah, okay or the Beltway is about the most confusing snarl of roads ever invented by a sadistic pack of civil engineers.
Having lived in Maryland, and having avoided going anywhere near DC because frankly it made me cry to even think of trying to navigate that and get home again, I awaited to hear how the control the Beltway narrative would go. As I knew, deep in my black dead cold heart, it would go badly or not happen at all.
It went as expected. Stalling out, people got lost, people refused to try it at all…yep. No locals to help out, you tantrum-throwing darlings? There has to be locals sympathetic to ‘freedom from tyranny masks trying to turn us into robot sheeple’ sorts there in Maryland. The Old Line State would harbor reb-flag wavin’ collections galore. Some of them with trust funds. Nobody got in touch with the Maryland branch of trucker freedom fighters for eagles and Jesus?
I think this cross-country trek, sucking up gas as much as possible, imaginary joust against imaginary tyranny is America to a T right now. Just my humble opinion. That loud-mouthed, reactionary, emotional punching at made up villains while wasting time, resources, people and ideas. What if these truckers/assorted drivers of other vehicles had driven across country to protest…oh, low wages, vastly expensive bloated health care costs, human rights violations happening on American soil, student loan shackling so many people from having any sort of a future, education being dismantled by religious zealots and those eager to keep Americans stupid and…yeah.
Real stuff, in other words. Real stuff that would matter not only to the trucker bunch waving Trump and QAnon flags but to all Americans. I guess that’s commie shit?
Before I depress myself into a serious bout of eating everything in the house while watching Gilmore Girls for the 666th time, signing off on this storm-laden Tuesday. I will plant some actual seeds today, try to work outside and start a short story about a hidden garden. I will hope Ukraine holds on and Russia runs out of war steam.