Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My PR dream. Last night I dreamed I was going to Supanova in a journalistic capacity. I have never been to one of these fan conventions so the dream was necessarily quite hazy and abstract and rather more than a little inspired by an academic conference, but anyway, I got there and when I went to get my press pass, I was shouted at by the horrible bitch who was running the publicity for the event.

Really rudely shouted at, along the lines of, "You can't just rock up and expect to get a pass, you had to apply through the correct channels!"
I was like, "But I got the email invitation and it said to come here and get my pass…" but that didn't seem to make any difference. Then she was on my case about how I hadn't filled out the form properly and didn't I know that I had to nominate which cosplay character I was, not just my name.
"Did you notice how nobody else's pass has just their name on it?" she sneered.

I felt absolutely traumatised and rage-filled by this encounter but eventually I left with my pass and went to sit in the audience at a 'session' of some kind. There I ran into some friends of mine who were all dressed up in cosplay outfits. I can't remember who they were now, but in the dream I was immensely relieved to see their friendly faces.

We were all sitting around waiting for whatever cast member of whatever cult sci-fi show to come out and speak, and the bitch publicist came to the mic, pointed directly at me and said, in front of everyone, "You have to leave. Would you please leave before I have to have you escorted from the building?"

I felt so humiliated and began to shuffle my way through the crowd, who were all curiously staring at me. But I decided not to show any kind of shame and instead began doing a loud, Broadway-style rendition of 'All My Loving' by the Beatles. I got to the end of the song just as I got to the door, then I gave a big wave and said, "Good night Australia!"

As I was walking out of the building, I got a text message from one of my friends who'd been there, telling me to come back because it was ridiculous for them to throw me out and if I lay low then nobody would notice me. So I went back inside, where some kind of cosplay disco was in progress, with everyone dancing in their ridiculous outfits.

I was trying to have fun without being noticed, and I was succeeding for a while but then the bitch publicist spotted me and shouted for security. That's when I knew what I had to do. From nowhere the triumphal opening chords of 'Thriller' sounded, and I began to do the 'Thriller' dance.

At first nobody realised what I was doing, but once they worked it out they cleared a big circle for me, and one by one they began to join in the dance in their cosplay outfits, glancing at me to check they were doing it right. We were a massive corps of comic-book and anime characters, and I was their Michael Jackson!

That's where the dream ended, with me thinking happily that no security guards could throw me out of this convention now – not with my evil army of undead cosplay nerds!

Monday, March 23, 2009

"It was as though they were speaking about me!" It is so trite and embarrassing to have the feeling that a song, or a passage of prose, so uncannily echoes your own situation and feelings that it was as though it were written by or about you. But of course it happens. And it looks totally stupid, or stupidly emo, to anyone else.

I have always identified with the depressive stylings of the Young Knives – thanks, 1.0, for transforming my life! – but there is a moment in their song 'Up All Night' that really resonates with me.

At least I smell nice
so come on and breathe me in
what's the point, what's the point, what's the point
what's the point, what's the point, what's the point

I often feel so despairing about my appearance that even trying to look good seems pointless, and smelling good is even more pointless because who cares about that anyway.

Also, I like to read the advice column in Salon, and there was one I read the other day that instantly leapt from the screen as being something I could have written myself:

It's not just crying at little things, it's also not crying at big things, and realizing I am walking along in a bitter fury and not being able to think of a single thing that happened to instigate it.

My basic cognitive processing time has also plummeted. If someone says something to me, like "I had cucumber sandwiches for lunch," I squint in at the words like they are inexplicable ancient artifacts, and by the time I have remembered what a cucumber is they are already on a whole other food group.

But the worst is what happens when I find myself on the verge of any tiny moment of intimacy with someone, like a friend or a family member. When someone gets too close to me (and I seem to have a very low threshold for what constitutes "too close") I feel violent anxiety and the desperate need to get away. I also feel revulsion toward the other person. This hurts like hell, because at the same time as I am panicking, I am thinking, "I know I love the person and I know I probably actually need them."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Part of the reason I haven't been blogging so much.

This is Graham. As you can see, wherever I lay my head, that's his home. He's about five months old now, and I got him about a month ago from the Lost Dogs Home in North Melbourne. I was suffering from serious cat hunger after the loss of Monty. The house was so empty without her.

Lots of people in the inner north seem to know pets can be adopted from the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, but fewer seem to choose the Lost Dogs Home, which in my opinion has a better online interface that tells you more about the pets for adoption. They also gave me a dorky but cute certificate of adoption, featuring the pic of Graham that had me emailing my housemate Dan, "Is this not the cutest little dude?"

My brother Lina sent me a text message saying, "What kind of a name is Graham? I would have called him Rumpelstiltskin or Stilts for short." Admittedly, Graham is not the best name for making up stupid cat songs, but I have already come up with one that pleases me:

Eat Your Cat Food (to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus)

Eat your cat food!
Eat your cat food!
Eat your cat food! Eat your cat food! Eat yoooour cat food!
Eat your cat food, Graham, you must be hungry
(Eat your cat food! Eat your cat food! Eat your cat food! Eat your cat food!)
Cat of cats! (eat your cat food, eat your cat food)
And food of foods! (eat your cat food, eat your cat food)
For he shall eat forever and ever

Friday, March 20, 2009

Idiotic thoughts about fag hags. How much academic research – cultural, historical, psychological, sociological – has been done into the phenomenon of the fag hag: the heterosexual woman who has a close friendship with a gay man? (You could call it a hag-iography.) I found this website, but it's hardly rigorous. Angelfire… c'mon…

The term 'fag hag' comprises words that demean both women and gay men. Wikipedia tells me it originated in gay culture as a way of ridiculing women for preferring the company of gay men. Yet contemporary queer culture seems to regard the presence of these women as inevitable, although I'm not sure how much it actually celebrates them.

What do women get from these relationships? What do men get from them? All I have is the extremely anecdotal evidence of my own friendships with gay men, and those of my friends. One theory holds that the fag/hag relationship is a kind of pair-bonding that isn't based on sex; it's a secure kind of intimacy without the possibility of being 'ruined' by sexual tension.

I'm sure I've read discussions of teen idol fandom in which teenage girls use crushes on unattainable pop stars and actors as 'safe' ways to explore their sexuality, since the possibility of a 'real' relationship with their idol is remote. (I'm using scare-quotes here because these relationships feel no less real to the teen for their one-sidedness, and also because some of them become pathological or stalky, and hence are not especially safe, either.)

Here's a provocative question: are fag hags queer? I've read that the term 'queer' can also encompass non-normative sexual practices such as BDSM, asexuality and polyamory – so what about the intense yet platonic relationship between a fag and his hag… and what about the subset of fag hags who are sexually attracted to gay men?

By this I don't especially mean individuals who are attracted to one another despite their declared sexual orientations, nor the flawed yet 'commonsensical' pop-cultural idea that gay men are more attractive to straight women as a group because they're 'better groomed', 'more fun', 'more cultured' and more 'in touch with their feelings' than heterosexual men. (We could call this the Queer Eye syndrome.)

Instead I'm interested in the idea that some women get turned on by the thought of sex between men, in which these women themselves have no potential role. I have no idea how prevalent this is, but I feel it might be borne out by the fact that much (most?) slash fiction is written by women. Are these women imagining themselves as one of the men, or are they identifying with the overarching sexual scenario?

I wonder if straight men ever genuinely find lesbian sex titillating without imagining themselves in the scene somehow.

These are my idiotic thoughts.

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