Tag Archives: doctor who

How to fangirl defend Sherlock season 3

As anyone who cares to have a conversation with me for longer than about 15 minutes knows, I am a tumblr person. Which means that when it comes to things I like, namely films, television and books, I get chatter and news very quickly. It also means that comprehensibly distilled versions of critiques and reviews of said television, films and books find me sooner or later. Recently, I read a few posts on tumblr that has brought this on, other than raging fandom feelings.

One was about how the constant fear about someone who cares about something, anything at all, is that they will start becoming a looped record about it. Every time you talk about it, you are aware of a certain section of people internally groaning – “We KNOW. You’ve talked about this before. In a different context perhaps, and with different conclusions, but why does every discussion have to be about this?”

And speaking as someone who has thought these very things on multiple occasions, and lately been subject to these very thoughts, I have to pint out it’s between a hard place and another phallic, sexual hard thing. Nobody wants people to tire of the things they talk about and consider important. However, perhaps more so with some subjects than another, you can’t rest till you talk about it because the only way to embed a manner of reasoning or thinking into the world around you is if you bring it up as much as you can. And so goes feminism and anything feminism related to film and television.

The problem with talking about feminism is how ingrained the opposite is. Because nobody has ever really ignored the presence of women in human society. In history and sociology and the rest of the liberal arts, perhaps only recently has the contribution and importance of women been studied, but in everyday life, women are always around. They are not ignored in the culture of any society, largely because is “culture” is mostly made by a phallus shaped society interested in where the penis shaped compass of their penis-minds are pointed. Which means that as soon as someone says “but the women…” the immediate response from most people is, “Yes, the women are here. We see them.” The question of how you internalize the personhood of women is often ignored because as soon as you acknowledge their presence, mostly at a phallic level, you stop wondering what other contribution they can have to your life or to your story.

Which brings me, quite fortuitously (not really. I planned this) to the subject of Sherlock. Season three has come and gone, and the results are in – “Amazing as usual, but it is not Sherlock anymore. Sherlock isn’t about how pretty Benedict Cumberbatch’s eyes are, or how much Watson loves his wife. It should be about Sherlock solving crime.” (Apologies to the person to whom this quote can be directly ascribed to. This is not a tirade against you. I have heard too many arguments of the same nature and you were the most articulate)

There is no doubt that this season has been subtly or not so subtly… enhanced for the womenfolk. The opening sequence itself, where all of our vaginas trembled with the knowledge that here, here was the perfect kiss with just the right hand placement and just the right kind of adrenaline rush and the right kind of background lighting, is proof of this. However my question is, is the value of the series itself diminished somehow because it also caters to the red blooded female? I have rarely heard of the value of something like Game of Thrones or Rome or even Spartacus being diminished because it caters to the visual fantasies and priorities of its male viewers. If I have, it comes from a largely female source where the argument is not against such catering, but in its blatant disregard for the female viewer. Take this hilariously significant plea to HBO for instance.

 

In comedy this is an often talked about issue – is women’s comedy different from men’s comedy? This is especially something that is chanted by male comedians for whom a large part of their routine consists of “Men are like…. But women are like….” But for people like Louis C.K. or Patton Oswalt, two older male comedians who have actually engaged with feminist (or rather, just anti-obscene-justifying-rape-joke-ist) critique, there is no such thing as “funny for men” and “funny for women”. Funny is funny. And for Oswalt and Louis, funny is funny because it is not coming at the expense of trivializing actual, real, and horrendous problems, but engages with them in order to cull out hypocrisy and irony and outlandishness of thought that allows for such problems.

This engagement at a less than visceral level is what has always made Sherlock as a show important. A direct adaptation, even one based in the 21st century, of what I remember of the original material would not result in the show as it exists. And it’s a good thing they didn’t go about making that direct adaptation, largely because the world has seen enough interpretations of the “genius solves crime by using his genius and then follows killer into dark alley where they fight and then genius emerges victorious” trope. Any show that wants to break ground while having Sherlock Holmes as its protagonist needs more. You need more than chase sequences and smug omniscience. You need human connection, and very importantly in the digital age, a connection with the consumers.

I don’t know about anyone else, but to me and a lot of people around me, the pivotal point of any Sherlock episode has not been the chase, or the catching of the criminal. It has been about how Sherlock uses his mind to arrive at the solution, to escape, to catch. And more than that, it is about the examination we do of Sherlock’s mind to understand where he stands, and where we stand by comparison. Even Moriarty, who by the way did not have as much a presence in the original works as does the Andrew Scott Moriarty in Sherlock, as much as he is the epitome of the “consigliore of crime” presents such a palpably delicious threat because of how much he wants to sparr with Sherlock. Sherlock the show has always been more interesting because we get to see the socially dysfunctional Sherlock manipulate and work with the real world and with real people and all their “tedious” fights, emotions and conventions.

With Doctor Who, especially in its 10th Doctor heyday, the most adventurous part of the show is never special effects, explosions and chasing aliens, but the manner in which the Doctor with all his resources and intelligence facilitates compromise and diplomacy, more often than not, by creating a team and working positively with other people.

Sherlock, Doctor Who and even Buffy the Vampire Slayer of yore are few of the shows that escape from sticking to the previously adhered to, rather male centric trope of “single savior saves the world” even while there is a titular character. All of them survive because of the team they form around each other, and the team they form around the people who watch the show itself.

This is where fandom has become an unprecedentedly important factor. Sherlock is made by fandom. Even Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are fans of the original work, and are technically writing modern AU fanfiction to use the parlance of the fanfic universe. My question is, does the fact that so many female viewers are enamored by Sherlock’s physicality negate their equally strong enthusiasm for his process? Does the fact that the writers are keeping this female viewership in mind mean that there is nothing for everyone else to enjoy? In fact, isn’t it a good thing that the perspective and imaginations of female viewers are now part of the canon of a show rather than something left to be filled up by female viewers in fanfiction sites?

More importantly one has to consider why female viewers love Sherlock. Despite what a large number of men, including Steven Moffat at times, think it is has as much to do with his personality as his looks, and it is not at a purely romantic level. For many women, Sherlock is not a challenge – someone who appears asexual but who we hope we would be able to change. He is asexual, and for a lot of people including women there is comfort in his asexuality. Sherlock being asexual and as logical as he is means that his lack of manners and general rudeness have nothing to do with the way he thinks about you because you’re a woman. He treats women abhorrently, but he treats men equally abhorrently. He is the man who will not try to leap ahead of you to open the door for you. He will probably let the door smack you on your face. There is safety in him – the guarantee of being treated rottenly on the basis of something that has nothing to do with where he believes your place in life is simply because you are a woman. God knows he seems to have met enough world class criminal women to have no stereotypical understanding of women. In the stand up comedy delivered by Sherlock, if there is any mention at all of the separation of genders or relationships, it will probably go something like “Can you believe you tiny brains have no idea that your significant other is using drugs by the fact that he or she has started polishing their boots?! What a bunch of fucking idiots.”

It may not be the crime procedural that we have been made used to by the rather male dominated western entertainment industry, with the importance it gives to weddings, relationships and so on, but it would be rather punishing to claim that such things should not be part of a show like Sherlock. Further, saying that would imply that men and viewers at large are not interested in such things as marriage or kissing or emotional and psychological basis for human behavior and personalities. You only need to look at who writers of happy fairy tales and romantic comedies have largely been – men.

This is not to say that Steven Moffat couldn’t do with a world of improvement in his portrayals of women – which is more often than not one-dimensional or otherwise problematic, or even of portrayals of relationships. However, Mary Morstan is certainly a step up, not just in the depth of her character and history, but in the relationships she sustains with people – from using them for her own ends (Geniene?) to loving fiercely to inspiring respect and love not just for her ability to love fiercely, but for being a clever and ruthless assassin. In fact, I believe for those interested in such things, it would be thrilling – comparing Sherlock and Mary Morstan; two sociopaths with the ability to love fiercely and unequivocally when it comes to the people they care about.

To imply that Sherlock has always been about solving crimes would be very blind – it has always been about people, especially about Sherlock himself. We are all at some level masturbating intellectually to the thought of this one man’s unprecedented personality and how it interacts with other personalities. And to behave as though the manner in which he and Watson form relationships and friendships is not interesting to you would mean you’re just not interested in stories. The kind of male centered action based television where entertainment is based on one liners and very flimsy grasp of personalities, especially women’s personalities should be on its way out, even if it isn’t actually.

This is not to say that women don’t like action movies with bombs and guns. They would be more interesting if they centered around people more – people being more than just those with dangling genitals. This is of course a problem with Sherlock, and the female viewers deal with it through the mode available to it – fan-fiction and fan art. The amount of material you see on the female characters in Sherlock interacting, their origin stories, their interactions, their survival, their dreams, the realizations or shattering of their hopes, is exponential. Is it really a bad thing if Moffat and Gatiss start paying attention to the many types of viewers who are consuming their show, and allowing for merit in their interests.

This season for instance, we see Molly Hooper having a more assertive personality and overall more presence in the show itself. The fact that this has been inspired by the kind of interest she has generated, even from the corner she was relegated to in the previous seasons is an improvement for more representational and demographically and psychologically realistic television. So is a multi dimensional approach to character.

In conclusion, Benedict Cumberbatch is undeniably a very new and utterly fabulous type of hot, and yes, the show has started banking on that a little more than when it initially came out. It is also a fact that the show has started looking more at other characters as well as the emotional bonds that Sherlock is made of. We can all certainly argue about what kind of Sherlock Holmes we are used to and what we would prefer his personality to be. But assuming that the kind of personality he does have in the show and what dimensions of said personality the show chooses to display somehow makes the show less than its previous seasons is an entirely subjective argument. Even if the intention is to give a certain section of viewers what they want (namely, more Benedict Cumberbatch), that alone should ideally not be the basis of saying that the show has become something else, and certainly not something less than what it was before.

 

–        Billy

 

P.S. – I was going to write more, but something’s gotta give. It is first week back in college and I’m already more busy than I have ever been. So screw writing about fandom and India and all that shit. I’ll do that some other time.

Also, I believe I’m supposed to reveal an embarrassing secret – I once masturbated while there was another person present in the room. That person was not aware of my activities for a number of reasons which I will not be divulging. Ok. Bye.

 

Nearly Dying and Other Excuses

Ok so I’m back. And I know I’ve not been around for a while, but I never said I couldn’t take a break, and there were good reasons for taking a break, followed by lazy reason, and then good reasons again.

Good reason – I had dengue fever.And it became a problem. The kind of third world problem that just reminds me that I am in fact, very much in the third world, even if really I get the privileges of the first world. Although considering the fact that my dengue fever got aggravated by pneumonia that I probably caught while waiting in a crowded disease ridden casualty ward is very telling of the time and place, no? Anyway, I was in a bad way. Had tubes coming out of me and everything.

Apparently there was a point when they were anticipating full organ failure followed by life ending death, but they didn’t bother to tell me. I could have had a spiritual/ moral awakening, but because I wasn’t told I came out of the horrifyingly noisy Intensive Care Unit still the morally lacking, blaspheming atheist I was. I didn’t even feel the need to get emotional with my family or friends later, though I’m told they managed that bit quite well on their own. I feel like I’m not using enough commas in the above sentences, but eh…

Lazy reason – I got out, and didn’t feel like writing much…. And the hospital had made me pretty lazy. It took practically all of my willpower to get back into serious working mode for college. Couldn’t quite manage it for everything else. At least I have my priorities straight this time around with college.

Good reason – All of November is very stressful with assignments and projects, and catching up on lost time… And there were some rather stress inducing presentations that I thought went fairly well, given that I had been tripping on Kurkure out of nervousness. I appear to be smart in this new college and I don’t want to lose my edge there. I also don’t want to becoming an annoying smart person so I’m constantly trying not to say too much, and failing constantly at it.

So there. I don’t think I yall a secret or embarrassing detail for every week. I’ll just make it a big one. OK. While I was in the hospital two things happened that I previously thought would be indicators that I should mercy kill myself. 1. I had a fucking catheter through which I had to pee. This was painful, disgusting, embarrassing and I don’t wish to discuss it. 2. There were diapers involved and I couldn’t really clean up after myself so some poor nurse had to do it.

There are many reasons I didn’t kill myself while I was thus incapacitated with blinding shame about my excretory and digestive systems. I had always imagined I would be old and would have lived well before any of this happened. Also, I didn’t have the energy. Also, I hadn’t watched all the Star Treks or the Classic Who serials like I had always thought I would before I died. Also, I didn’t really know how I could possibly kill myself while I was in the ICU except to sneak a syringe full of into one of the IV tubes, but apparently that is very painful. Also, I had barely started liking my life and where it was all going so I didn’t actually want to end it right then. Finally, I kept wondering if just before going to the hospital I had somehow, inadvertently given my family or my friends the impression that they did not make me happy. I didn’t want to leave with that. I would have preferred to have one of those big elaborate pre-funeral funerals…Now that I think about it, I may be one of the few people around who casually wondered about killing myself without knowing that my body could actually give up any moment. Oh, the irony.

There was one thing I must mention that I found rather funny. The catheter meant that I didn’t actually pee… there was a bag that just filled up with my pee over a few days. So basically, I had a bag of what looked like non-aerated mountain dew hanging off the side of my mechanized hospital bed. Had I been up and about, this would mean I would have had to carry a transparent bag of urine around. Every patient in the ICU had their Bag’o’pee as I started calling it in my head, and somehow they both disturbed and amused me.

Never thought I'd use this picture in a proper context, but given the nature of above mentioned grievances....
Never thought I’d use this picture in a proper context, but given the nature of above mentioned grievances….

 

Anyway, there will be no more this week. I will start afresh with a blog post every week from next week on. This week I can’t because I haven’t thought of anything, what with frantically finishing projects for Critical Theory I and Film Theory I and Evolution of Cinema I and so on and so forth. As much as I would love to wax eloquent about philosophy and critical theory and movies, I don’t think people want to read my academic papers on the same, which is essentially the mode I’m in right now, writing wise.

I need to get back in the usual chirpy, depraved mode I usually am in for blog posts. Hopefully two to three days of writing expletive ridden notes in my writing journal thingy should do the trick.

– Billy

P.S. I livestreamed the 50th anniversary Doctor Who episode. 🙂 !!!

Also… here’s some funny/ awesome that I stole from tumblr and throw at your face.

 

Oh Benedict, why must you probe your way thusly into my heart through my vagina and my funny bone?
Oh Benedict, why must you probe your way thusly into my heart through my vagina and my funny bone?

 

:) Spock's Milkshake.
🙂

God and The World According to Skeptic

I don’t think I have ever really talked about religion on this blog. Largely because once I do talk about religion, I’m afraid its not just the religious who believe me to be soul-less. You see, there is atheism, and then there is skepticism. I don’t know the exact definition of skepticism, and I have literally two and a half hours in which I can write and post this, I’m not about to google it.

What I believe in, is unfortunately nothing. I don’t believe in any abstract concept in the way in which other people believe. I realize this makes me sound like an automaton, and perhaps that would just be a good folder to put me in. But it’s a little more complicated, and in light of recent events, i.e. godman being a real fucking asshole and raping someone, perhaps the question of belief needs to be considered. As I said, it’s a little hard to encapsulate how far my disbelief carries, so bear with me as I try and explain what and why.

I read Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens as much as the next rabid atheist. Well, I don’t read them that much, but I have read two of each of their books and listened to them talk at lectures on youtube and shit. However, I don’t really prescribe to Dawkins’ need to point out that every person who follows a religion may need some lessons in science and the social effects of religion. I think most people are fundamentally not huge dicks and they have people they care about that they don’t want to have ravaged by anything, including religion. And most people are aware of pedophile priests, corrupt mullahs (I say corrupt because I have no idea what nasty thing mullahs are known for doing, though I’m sure there’s something), rapist gurus and so on and so forth. Nobody likes it when they realize someone of their faith used it to justify horrifying acts. To presume that just pointing to these awful incidents would make people question their faith is presumptuous. Having said that, Mr. Dawkins, I still want to meet you so I can fangirl. She says as though Dawkins reads her pathetic hack of a blog.

So what exactly does make someone still follow a religion despite these failings? Well, I’ve tried to ask a few people, but as of now, there haven’t really been any satisfactory answers. And now that I’m in art haven college, I doubt I’ll be meeting many believers. I’ll have to get in touch with some old friends, get drunk with them and proceed to ask questions. I don’t know if I want to put that much effort into anything. Definitely not right now.

But presumably, it has something to do with a sense of community, order and perhaps a connection with a world which people hope is better than this one. Now, whether or not that world involves virgins or another life or whores or endless champagne depends on the person who believes.

The only experience I have with actually believing in any god is related to this very after-life thing. I wanted there to be a heaven and a hell. The heaven would involve a room for myself, with clothes, nice walls, and internet connection, where sexually pleasing men would be sent in any time I wanted them. I didn’t like the idea that I would die and not find out what goes on in the world afterwards. The hell would involve a rape room for people like Hitler and people who had rape rooms on earth. Yes, my perceived heaven was mildly vengeful. The rub came when I had cause to examine why I believed in an almighty power. I realized that a vengeful heaven/hell is a silly reason to believe in anything that is not evident.

And since I deconstructed that methodically, I have systematically understood most other abstract concepts. The only one I’m not entirely sure of is the feeling that parents seem to have for their children. But the fact that many parents exist who are horrid to their children makes me think there is probably a practical reason for that as well.

So, is there such a thing as love? Well, yes, for those who want to see it that way. The way I see it, people are social animals and since self-awareness is our poisoned gift, we can’t all be friends with each other. We can’t all like each other because self awareness, our life experiences and our extremely developed brains give us a personality, which may or may not work well with other personalities. When you find people who have compatible personalities/ characters to yours, you tend to enjoy spending time with them. When you spend enough time with someone, you get used to them and start needing them and wanting them and liking them. And when you need and want and like them a LOT, they become important in your life and they become friends. This intense needing, wanting, liking combination is given the term ‘love’.

As for romantic love, sometimes you go through the above process with someone while simultaneously finding yourself wanting to fuck them. And if the other person wants to fuck you too, and you guys do fuck and find that fucking is really enjoyable with each other; your need/want/like for each other may intensify because you have shared a little bit more with each other. This may make you need and want and like them even more, to the extent that you may feel the need to make an official promise to each other that you will be in each others lives till you are both dead. Some people call this romantic love.

God? Well…. I guess since you don’t how the improperly named Big Bang started, or what the universe was made of before it, or exactly why the laws of physics are as they are, maybe a sentient being is responsible. But you see, that’s the problem – it’s a maybe, and more importantly, the sentient being is, to use a phrase from Neil DeGrasse Tyson, “the god of gaps”. A few hundred years ago, people didn’t know how the sun worked, so god was responsible. Once people figured the sun out, they didn’t know how the universe was expanding, so god became responsible for that. Once that was figured out, people couldn’t figure out the Big Bang…  Science is eventually going to find more and more answers (evolution, topography, physics, brain functions, neurology, anything) and the list of things you don’t know is going to change, which makes your god… a little less godly, and a little more your own creation.

I realize that this highly unromantic (?) and methodical (?) thought process is something only someone with some free time, access to the internet, and a rudimentary interest in physics and biology will be bothered with. I don’t expect everyone to do the same.

However, a healthy amount of skepticism and critical questioning of social “truths” should be part of what we teach children, and not just about gods and godmen, but about people in general. Would it really be that terrible if we taught children that their parents don’t always have it right, that if you think your parents shouldn’t be beating you with a belt or coming into your room at night, you should tell someone and not hide it? That if you start feeling things for someone of the same sex, it doesn’t mean you will go to hell or that your honor is lost or that you are not a man or a woman, and that you shouldn’t blindly believe someone if they say so? That if you don’t want to get married at any point of time, you have the right to defy anyone and everyone because its your life and your body? That if the faith you were taught and that you follow makes you feel bad about any part of your personality that is not actually hurting anyone, you have the right to ignore that aspect of your religion or even to leave it entirely? That if your parents tell you one day that someone is to be respected and revered, and that person turns out to be a shit of the lowest order, you should tell your parents, and if for some godforsaken reason, they don’t believe you, you should be questioning whether your parents deserve the privilege of being part of your life?

Or you know, we could have yearly surprise raids on every religious space/ cult, ban religion altogether, have less corrupt and more efficient law and order, have more sex education and less misogynistic and sexist officials/ political leaders and judges.

Although I don’t believe any of that is actually, realistically possible. I am a skeptic.

–          Billy

 

P.S. – I didn’t post the week before last because it was my birthday week and fuck you guys. No punishment.

 

Also, here’s some stuff for funsies.

 

Angel on top

 

I hate his face. In that I love it. And I don't promise to not use this gif again.
I hate his face. In that I love it. And I don’t promise to not use this gif again.
Hehe. Get it? Like Dick in a Box. It's a song by Justin Timberlake and Lonely Island. Plebians.
Hehe. Get it? Like Dick in a Box. It’s a song by Justin Timberlake and Lonely Island. Plebians.

 

 

 

The First Porno in a Young Girl’s Life and other such concerns.

I can’t think of anything to write about properly despite having met friends and batchmates this week and having plans to meet friends and batchmates again. So maybe we’ll strike a chord with this – Let’s talk about Sex and Love (baby). If they have anything to do with the other, if they matter (Spoilers: Hells Yeah, at least for the sex), if you need one for the other, if you can really love objects, that sort of thing.

Please know, my primary objective here is to educate and inform yall about the various ways in which you can be completely unsafe with your body and emotions, and hence live life to the fullest. For those who want to be wimps, there is this amazingly awesome channel called Sexplanations on YouTube. Hank Green created, of course. It’s hosted, for lack of a better word, by this woman called Lindsey Doe (I know. Wickedly close to Lindsay Dole from The Practice. Oh, Law School days, how you come to mock me with your emotional link to certain TV shows) who’s a professional sexologist and really good at explaining some shit. I recommend it to everyone, especially guys who don’t have a clue (basically, most men). Also, there’s Laci Green.

ME: Watch it. You’re overusing brackets again.

me: Right you are (mumbles under breath) you pompous twit. [I’m watching a lot of British stuff these days. Is it obvious, darlings?]

Let’s begin then, shall we?

 

For any young’uns out there, especially those who read and watch TV and shit, it’s important to remember that your imagination and sex will always have a BDSM relationship, with sex usually telling your imagination to lie there with its twee all swollen while the sex drinks some coffee. Sometimes there’s a role reversal and your imagination will tell sex to try maple syrup, and sex will not like it at all.

ME: This is uselessly gratuitous.

me: it sells.

The first time I imagined sex, it was pretty much the exact scene from the very first Mills and Boon I read. It was called Willing to Wed, written by Cathy Williams. The guy was Irish, rich and called James Kellern. I have often postulated that my love for Irishmen may originate from thence (incorrect grammar?). The girl was called Ellie, short for Elliot. It was my first introduction to an actual sex scene. Before that, I had thought the lifeboat scene from Kane and Abel was the height of pornographic/ adult literature. Regardless, I read that book till it was literally ragged. Back then I used to have a habit of tearing off the sides and corners of pages in books and chewing them up to form spitballs that I’d very rarely spit (now I only do this with notebooks and old newspapers). The sex scene pages from Willing to Wed were the most torn off corners of any of the books I ever read or have read since then. It went missing during one of the many moves my family made during my adolescence. Perhaps my parents noticed the book, its contents and its condition, and decided that it had to be “taken care of” post haste. Either way, I have looked for the book far and wide. There are some sites that speak of its existence, but none that allow me access to it without paying money.

For those who know me now, you must probably imagine some seriously weird shit, ranging from angry slapping and other forms of abuse to absurd experimentation with sexual supplements. Let it be a lesson to one and all who are afraid they’re sexually boring at the beginning of their sexual awakenings (how many times can I use the word “sexual” before some sort of natural internet age-check comes along for viewers?), worry not, because you’ll get there if my example is anything to go by. The book contained the most ‘90’s Mills and Boon-y sex you could imagine. This was the stage of Mills and Boone after they started actually describing sex, and before they knew the meaning of a sexually aware and possibly promiscuous woman, not that they know too much about it now, but it’s a wee bit better. The basic story was the same – man and woman meet, initially don’t take to each other but are also clearly attracted. They eventually give in to their mutual lust only to discover over time, and to the insistence of a beautifully (problematic, I know) possessive/ psychotic guy, that they are actually in love. Then they get married, at which point the book ends.

When I first imagined it, not only was the sex exactly as described in that book, it ended with me getting together with the guy. Of course, my commitment issues were pretty apparent even at the age of twelve in that I always thought of life after marrying James Kellern and would always end up thinking it was boring and desperately trying to find ways to spice it up. When I learnt how to use the internet properly many years later, I spent a lot of time on sites which gave Cosmopolitan-esque advice on how to make my imagined marriage less dull. But the important bit here, lest we lose sight of it, is that I did imagine marriage, and I could think of only the most basic sort of sex – quite a bit of boob play, some cunnilingus, missionary style, break, shower scene, boob play, against the wall sex. There wasn’t even any blow job as far as I can recall, though my memory may be unprecedentedly wrong in this instant.

All of the initial fantasizing based on the sex-and-love-go-together story has given me some pause in the past. I’ve often wondered if at some point in the midst of my utterly colorless teenage love/ sex life I purposely chose to forsake one for the other. That perhaps all the determined sluttishness and lack of concern for my feelings and those of the people with whom I badoinkadoink is some sort of defense mechanism. That would definitely fulfill the premise of a love story better – “I’m not really a slut, I just need someone to really love and understand me, and I’d give up this life of endless orgasms and weirdly satisfying fellatio in a heartbeat.”

I know a lot of people think so, including people who care about me. Almost everyone wants to see everyone they care about settle down, not really because of convention, at least not among us Ivy League-esque young adults, but because we all accept and know at some age that everyone will get married, and everyone will need someone with them in order to cope with the fact that everyone else got married. So I guess it’s natural that people should hope/ maliciously plan for me to one day meet a guy I fall terribly in love with and for whom I feel all the feelings which I have been making faces at and not really understanding and making fun of for all these years.

My school friends, knowing my tendencies, predicted quite incorrectly as it turns out, that I’d be the first one to get married. They longed for that day. The one I actively keep in touch with still waits patiently for lightning to strike me. I recently told her about a ridiculous offer made to me (that to be fair, I considered for half a second while drunk), which she chose to interpret as the offerer (offeror?) being in love with me, but I pointed out was said person being an idiot. She eventually came to see my point. I swear I saw hope dying in her eyes. It was fun.

My college friends used to tell me for the first two or three years they knew me that I’d be the first one to get married. I believe their hopes are also very close to being crushed. Of course after said two or three years they realized that perhaps I wasn’t going to be the lead-role in a romantic comedy. Mine was to be a tragi-comedy where the last scene is probably me dying of an orgasm at the hands of my gigolo at age ninety (fingers crossed).

There have been moments where I myself have wondered if they’re right. The idea never stuck. I can imagine the perfect guy and falling in love with him and I can imagine getting bored and wanting to leave and possibly never getting the guts to do so. Of course I don’t want to imagine meeting the perfect guy and falling in love and being left. Which of course would lead to the inevitable question – do I not care for marriage purely because I’m afraid? That’s never a good reason to do or not do anything.

But what finally settled it was poetically, what started it as well – pornographic literature. I found Ellora’s Cave – a publishing company for erotic literature. And this literature is not really Mills and Boon material. Yes, people get married and all that but this is the porn with orgies and role-play and anal and BDSM and bondage and stops just short of excreta (thank god for that – that would be the point where I use my safe word), not Mills and Boon. I was already introduced to the idea of a healthy yet intense BDSM lifestyle because of Secretary (Before watching that movie I thought James Spader was hottest as Alan Shore. Fuck no.) but that was the first time I actually encountered the graphic sex part of the life. It occurred to me then that while I may not be into orgies or anal or BDSM or the rest of it despite liking the porn, I was definitely not into settling for one person for any considerable length of time.

Maybe I’d be categorized as “oversexed” by most people, and definitely as “HUGE twat of a slut” by others and “always asking for it” by some utter shits. To be fair, what with the rumors of silent judgment surrounding my various exploits (not judgment for the lives they mess up, because I do deserve to be judged for that to some extent, no doubt, but for the exploit itself) I have often been a bit disappointed with myself. Not really because I felt bad for things I did but because I felt like I should ideally feel a bit bad.

Of course those were the days before I just stopped giving a fuck. I suspect that day came when I realized that a lot of people read my blog and were weirdly aware of my sex life. There comes a point when some things about oneself has to be accepted. I’m very far from confident and self-actualized in a lot of departments but I can honestly say that’s not the case when it comes to accepting myself as the sexual person I am. I used to pray for the day that I was certain about any one thing in my life, be it career or love or marriage or anything. I guess its only fair to karma-doesn’t-exist that it had to be sex and sexuality for me.

And what, dear slightly disturbed reader, can you take away from this? Certainly not that you should disregard any inclination you have to be romantic or to not be romantic. Simply to be a bit open to the idea that you may or may not be a total sap or an unforgiving slut, and to figure it out independent of what the haters think about that time you made out with a man twice your age. I may be very certain about a lot of things, but I’m still open to the idea that one day perhaps I’ll go mad and fall in love with someone and it will last long enough for me to settle down. At least I think I am. After all, I still hope that one day I’ll find my way back to that precious Mills and Boon that opened up a magical world for me.

–          Billy

 

P.S. – Seriously, if anyone runs into that book, please buy it for me. Old Mills and Boons cost less than a hundred bucks. Just buy it and I’ll pay you if you want. Willing to Wed by Cathy Williams. I’m really nostalgic about this. It’s not a joke.

 

Also, here’s some fun gifs. If it’s not obvious, I didn’t make any of them and they’re all stolen If you want to find them, join tumblr and you eventually will.

 

This is why we love Rory Gilmore.
This is why we love Rory Gilmore.

 

 

Graceful.
Graceful.

 

This is by Shantidraws on tumblr. I want it on a T-shirt one day.
This is by Shantidraws on tumblr. I want it on a T-shirt one day.

 

Kirrin Islands and Bad Adult Decisions

One of the many magicks of books, apart from what Carl Sagan wrote, and what I will always hope to accomplish, is nostalgia – the great human weakness, second only to the neck. As far as I can see, there are different types of nostalgia books can give you, of which I have managed to experience two. I don’t know if there are any more types, but I’m assuming there are, purely for science reasons.

The first one I experienced is weird, not to mention highly dubious in its categorization as “nostalgia”. Without going the Oxford dictionary route, I assume nostalgia is longing for a bygone experience. The kind I’m talking about here is not really for your own past experience. To get really technical, its longing for the bygone nature of what our collective consciousness tells us we should have experienced. I realized a few years ago that I have reached the age where it is impossible for me to read Enid Blyton’s children’s stories, by which I mean stories like “Ricky the Magic Pixie pays Daisy Bumble an erotic visit” without shuddering at how innocent we all used to be. And this is very likely true for stories like Famous Five and the Five Fine Doubters (hehe) as well. But as soon as I do read them, especially the ones where parents seem to have no concern for their children’s safety, I feel utterly nostalgic.

Which is weird because my parents never let me go off and have adventures with cousins who were rather progressively supportive of my transgender identity. In fact my parents insisted that the world was no place for people below the age of eighteen to go wandering off by themselves in. Assholes. But despite this lack of adventure, I nostalged. I know that’s not a word. And as I discovered with my friends a few months ago, we would always feel that way when we even think about the Fine Doubters (and Dog, actually) or the Adventure kids or the O’Sullivan twins for that matter.

We were in Palolem beach in Goa on vacation and when we went on a boat ride to spot dolphins (we saw their fins but not their bodies. That was enough to cancel out the money-back-if-you-don’t-see-dolphins guarantee) we kept asking the boat guy if he would take us to Kirrin Island. One of our friends, who seemed to have not been brought up right, asked us how we knew the island we had been eyeing was called Kirrin Island. And we all looked at him as if he were an alien. Because in a way he was. It was like he never shared in the experience of knowing what Kirrin Island was, and how we all longed to go there.

None of us got to go to Kirrin Island as kids. But as kids, we were all nostalgic and longing for friendships that would take us to Kirrin Island. I doubt any of us had that. We got a chance to relive, or really just live the Kirrin Island experience, just by mentioning it, with friends, on a trip, without adults. We never really got to Kirrin Island in Goa either. The boat guys were not authorized to stop and let us live precious memories, apparently. I think I would have cried of happiness if they had let us get off and stroll around any of the beaches we saw on the numerous Kirrin Islands we saw on that boat trip.

So that’s one kind of nostalgia that books get you. Where the things you see remind you of books, and somehow it makes you nostalgic for the experience of the book even though you never lived it. This really happens up to a certain point. Till you’re a certain age, or more importantly, till you’re a few experiences short in your life, everything in a book is the first you know of whatever its about. That’s probably the reason there was such sweet magicks in reading at a certain point of time in your life, before you have lived enough of life to start being reminded of yourself in everything you read. Or maybe that’s just because after a certain age, all of us become self-obsessed, which I think is the true goal of post-modernism. But at some point, we get there. You live enough and you will already have experienced things you read in books.

And this applies to everything – love, friendship, success, loss, sex, felony, failure, notoriety – you name it, you’ve felt it. And so when you read it in a book, it either becomes a revealing memory of your own experience, or a disappointingly untruthful rendition of your experience. The latter is extremely true of sex. Sex is very perfect in books and porn. Nothing goes awry and everything works like clockwork for the most part. Sex in real life is not perfect. And it’s a lot more fun than perfect porn sex could ever afford. As for the other experiences, even if you’ve not felt them, you have some inkling of how they work, probably because your friends have felt them.

That’s Type 2 Book/ Movie/ TV Nostalgia – where what you read makes you cry not because its unimaginably beautiful and you’ve never felt it, but because its horrifyingly true and you have felt it. You pick up Judy Blume’s Just As Long As We’re Together and you start crying because your friends seem to have left you, at least you thought they did, and really that was the book, wasn’t it? You watch Dead Poet’s Society and you start thinking about all the ways in which you gave up on the life of your dreams for the sake of safety, or in my case, stubbornness and pride. You watch The Oranges, and you start wondering about all the lives you’ve blown through like a leaf on the wind, wreaking havoc, breaking happiness and doing things you shouldn’t have done. You read Eleven Minutes, and you think about the time you put on the dress and the red light and walked the streets for money…. Raaawwwxanne. You read Summer Sisters and you cry because you have sisters – biological and virtual.

You read The Book Thief, and suddenly you’re twelve years old again, and here’s a book which brings you new experiences, none of which you know, not all of which you want, but you can’t stop reading it because you long so much for a life worth reading about. Or in my case, you long so much to write things worth reading.

Either way, books (and movies and songs and TV shows and really, anything made by pot-smoking writers in dark rooms) leave you wanting more. More of what you didn’t have as a child and will probably never have. And more of what you already lived through, just for the chance of doing it right this time – this time you’ll have the guts to leave the place that makes you unhappy, this time you’ll talk to your friends rather than assume they left you, this time you won’t hurt people, this time you’ll go to the boy who loved you since he knew you and not put on the red dress. And they make you want so much more from life – you want to climb mountains after Paths of Glory, make movies after Hitchcock, live bravely after Doctor Who and keep friends after Harry Potter.

And you would think we’d hate things that make us dream of more without ever telling us that we may not get there, but as the Tenth Doctor said, that’s not how human beings function. It’s not just the mountaineers that want to climb mountains “because it’s there”. It’s all of us that want more – because it’s there, waiting for us to make up things like “love” and “friendship” and “chicken nuggets” and once we make it, we want to grab for it, because it’s there and why shouldn’t we? And then we graduate to bigger things like “happiness” and “failure” and “pizza”, because why not? It’s there, waiting to be made, given definition and to be grabbed.

All of which goes to show that (1) We’re very magpie-like, us lot, aren’t we?; (2) Books and TV and movies are awesome; and (3) I’m really into Doctor Who these days.

–          Billy

ME: This is not very funny. I stopped wanting to read this mid-way.

me: I know. I’ve not gone out of the house for the past two weeks except for essential activities. Very little source material except for books and TV. And I can hardly write, “Did you watch the Office Finale? It made me laugh and cry. It was awesome.”

ME: Shut up. You don’t even have good excuses. You better have something funny and awesome for the next post.

me: You can write the next one. I’m sure the internet doesn’t have enough vitriol in it. I’m sure that’ll be a welcome change for people.

ME: …… Shut up.

Here’s some fun stuff

Abed Batman Poster

Abed, You're a god.

The Office

And for those who don’t know me, and don’t know what more to expect from this blog…

Degeneration of My Mind

Kbai.