Do or Do Not.

Archive for August, 2009

Equal Opportunity Snogging

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Thank you, Bryan Safi of That’s Gay, for helping to point out the utter ridiculousness of one the television industry’s long-standing trends, one which has driven me batshit for a decade now: sure as New England snow, sweeps week and season premieres bring out a new round of straight girls kissing other girls for a quick ratings boost. That little ploy has looooong since stopped being especially effective — if it ever was in the first place — and really? It only makes your show seem desperate and kinda sad.

Don’t get me wrong: I like watching women kissing as much as anybody else who enjoys watching that sort of thing. But, to borrow and butcher a phrase from a friend of mine, it’s more that I like watching sexy people kiss as much as anything else, regardless of the genders of the people involved. And I like to see passion and desire in those kisses, not chaste oh-god-can-we-please-get-this-over-with lip-locking, which is what we get more often than not with these crass ratings-grab stunts.

That’s how you know Heroes has officially lost whatever relevance it might have had, by the way: there’s gonna be an “OMG Hayden Panettiere Kissin’ Girlz!!!1!” element to her story this fall. If I thought we were going to see a reasonably well-handled story with actual character development about Claire realizing she has feelings for another woman and how she deals with it, that would be one thing…I mean, that’s how Buffy handled the beginnings of the Willow-Tara relationship. But I think we all know that ain’t gonna be what happens. Instead, we’ll get a slew of ads about why we should watch the shocking! season premiere of Heroes! We won’t believe what! Happens!! Next!!!

This isn’t 1998, TV. C’mon. You want to shock me? Throw some dudes snogging my way. Let’s see you exploit men the way you’ve been exploiting women for years. Yeah, that’s right: I’m not gonna be happy until I see a couple of men kissing on TV. And I mean really kissing, none of this tight-lipped-just-kinda-pressing-our-mouths-together horseshit you pull with your sweeps week temporary lesbians. I want one of your top-tier network shows to feature passionate, open-mouthed tongue wrestling between two hot dudes, and I want you to promote the hell out of it for weeks before the show airs. It’s only fair.

Oh, and I don’t mean gay guys, either — it’s almost always straight women kissing other straight women or, perhaps, women of dubious sexuality, so to be fair I want the same thing for guys. If I want to see gay men enjoying each other, I can see that on cable — that’s not what I’m talking about here. What I want to see is Dr. House and Dr. Wilson succumb to the moment and go at it like horny teenagers. I want to see Sylar sucking some guy’s powers out through his tonsils instead of going through his brain. I want to see Jack and Sawyer having a serious Brokeback moment. I want to see Barney Stinson decide that his life full of chasing women has gotten boring, so he takes up chasing men instead.

C’mon, TV. It’s time. For fuck’s sake, you barely allowed any kissing between men on Will and Grace, a show about gay men. Spend the next few years making a big deal out of dudes smooching the way you have with women for the last ten, and maybe then we can all just get the hell over it and get to the point where people kissing whoever they want isn’t so shocking! anymore.

Written by Allen

August 20th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Posted in Pop Culture,TV

Adult Content

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After a year-and-a-half at Harmonix, I finally had my first real tiff with a co-worker today — worse, one I actually like quite a bit.[1] Well, even the fairly mild “tiff” may be too strong a word; basically, I unknowingly acted kind of like a schmuck, and my friend/co-worker took the “unknowingly” part of that situation away from me.

I don’t like ever feeling like anyone’s upset with me ever. It’s one of my least favorite things in the world. I know it happens, of course: I’m human, I fuck up, I piss people off or hurt their feelings or what have you. But I try very very hard to make sure that happens as infrequently as I can, both because I genuinely don’t want others to feel upset because of something I’ve done and because it makes me feel all icky inside, like my guts have been coated in a spicy self-recrimination salsa and heavily breaded with angst crumbs.

I have to say, though, that I feel like I handled today’s not-quite-a-tiff like an actual, honest-to-Jebus adult. You might think to yourself: “Well, Allen, you’re 38 years old, so you totally should be handling these sorts of things like an adult.” And you’d be right to think I should, yet incredibly wrong to think that I do.

Today, however, I listened to what my friend had to say, and I apologized (even as he said an apology wasn’t necessary — to me, it was: I’d acted like a douche and should, therefore, apologize). I told him I’d try to be better about this sort of thing in the future and asked him to call me on it if I do it again.

Then I made him hug it out with me, because that’s what secure, adult men do after spats.

Now I have to figure out how to apply that same level of calm, coherent listening-and-discussing-without-letting-it-destroy-my-fragile-self-esteem thing to my more personal interactions. Even after twelve years of spending every day together, I still let the tiniest argument with Terry (or most anyone close to me) send me into a flaming spiral of depression and self-flagellation. When Terry’s upset with me — which doesn’t happen incredibly often, but still more often that I’d like, as I seem to be a fairly infuriating person to live with (sorry, Terry!) — I take it as if my entire being is at fault. When I piss her off, it’s as if I’m the universe’s lowest form of bottom-of-sneaker scum. I have exactly one feeling which even remotely compares to that awfulness, and that’s the feeling that I’ve disappointed my daughters. I’m honestly not sure which is worse.

Maybe now that I have more proof that I can handle the disapproval of others and know that it won’t kill me, that I can look it in the face and not shrink from it (at least to some limited degree with people I like and respect), I can put that same be-a-damn-grownup principle to work the next time I make Terry want to chuck a shoe at my head.

I have a feeling I won’t have to wait long to give it a try.

[1] OK, I like 95%+ of my co-workers, so that’s not a surprise.

Written by Allen

August 19th, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Posted in Personal

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An Update of Sorts

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So a month-and-a-half ago or so I decided I wanted to redesign this website in a very public manner, following the Japanese principle of kaizen, or continual incremental improvement. I doubt many of you have stopped by the site during that time, but if you had, you probably noticed that, well, there really wasn’t a lot in the way of improvement going on, incremental or otherwise. I’ve been meaning to work on the design, but have so many other things I’m trying to do that redesigning this site just wasn’t high enough of a priority. I still intend to do so — I actually have a design well underway, just nowhere near ready to start putting together. For now, though, I’m going back to the previous iteration of the site, even if it’s not my design, just so the site doesn’t look quite so damn ugly, even if it was on purpose.

I think, in fact, that the site’s ugliness was one of the reasons I haven’t updated it much lately. Looking at the site and its ugliness, temporary or not, was a reminder of the work I wasn’t doing, so I tended not to look at it and, therefore, not update it. That problem, then, is now solved, and I hope to get back to a more consistent update schedule. Regardless of the other work I’m doing and the quality of that work, I almost always feel better about myself when I’m writing. I have one of those brains that tends not to be quite sure what it thinks about things if I’m not writing my thoughts down somewhere.

I have been doing some writing, of course: during the last month over at Moviegeekz, I’ve posted reviews of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the Ryan Reynolds mindfuck The Nines and the fantastic and underrated Robert Downey Jr./Val Kilmer noir-comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, as well as the old Sandra Bullock romantic comedy While You Were Sleeping, just ’cause I like Sandra Bullock. I’ve got more stuff coming up over there just as soon as I find the chance to finish writing it; soon I’ll cross that magical fifty reviews mark and it’ll start to feel almost like a legitimate movie review site.

That’s it for now — just wanted this site not to feel quite so abandoned. More to come soon!

Written by Allen

August 3rd, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Posted in General