It’s Okay to Have Flaws (Except for You): Steven Universe and Fandom

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Steven Universe’s occasional homages to Revolutionary Girl Utena are starting to feel less like cute nods to a beloved nerd thing and more like an earned, legitimate comparison: both shows feature a patchwork of complicated interpersonal relationships and great care for their very well written characters, deal with complex and emotionally charged thematic issues through heavy use of abstraction and symbolism (never forget Utena aired in a primetime slot), and are unafraid of letting their characters seem unsympathetic in the name of developing them. Continue reading

The Consulting Analyst – Silent Hill Revelation

hell carnival

Few things are more difficult than explaining your love for a bad movie. Which seems like a pretty straight-on indictment of Silent Hill Revelation, but hear me out. I didn’t just watch this movie, I stalked it. For years. I had director Michael J Bassett’s blog on about six different favorites lists, and I coveted every last promising screenshot and bit of news. And it was promising news, is the thing, spoken by a voice that was clearly an avid fan of the search material.

And then the movie itself came out. And well…alright, imagine a small child comes up to you and hands you a portrait they did of you. The picture in question is only vaguely humanoid in shape, and the drawing-you seems to have three feet of forehead and conspicuous stink lines. But the kid’s just looking up at you with such expectant, loving eyes that it’s kind of impossible to get mad. Maybe you find a way to “accidentally” lose the thing later, but you just can’t resent the effort. Plus, it provides us a unique opportunity to examine how good intentions can be eaten by the stifling demands of the mainstream film industry! Continue reading

Invisible Bisexual Boogeymen: How Chasing Amy is Still Ahead of Its Time

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Bisexuals! In a nation that’s still struggling to wrap its societal head around the concept that maybe not everybody’s cisgender and straight and that also those people are real human beings, nothing is scarier than someone not fitting within the shakily established new binary (from “normal” and “freak” to “totes straight” and “the gayest”). As my extremely nervous and closeted high school self felt safe joking, bisexuals do the great service of giving homo and heterosexuals someone to bond over hating (and let us not get into pansexuals or the ace spectrum, individuals so invisible the illuminati take lessons from them).

Whether you view it as a phase, a way of continuing to “pass” in straight society, a sexy fanservice opportunity that can still be hooked up with a heterosexual love interest in the end, a lascivious villain out to draw every wide eyed or stalwart innocent into their life of depravity, or just referring to them as solely gay or straight depending on their partner at the time, there are a whole host of exciting ways to ignore and trivialize non-monosexual people.

That rather weary opener brings us to 1997’s Chasing Amy, Kevin Smith’s finest film and still one of the all-time indie greats. No doubt those familiar with the canon of queer film are raising some significant eyebrows at me right now, because advertising at time of release pretty well pigeonholed this flick as “that one movie where Ben Affleck turns a lesbian.” Not so, my friends! In fact, it’s one of the most sensitive exploration of the grey areas of romantic and sexual desire I can think of.

Continue reading

The Simple Feeling and Beyond – Kirk and Spock’s Place in Queer History

oh you

The modern understanding of queerness and fandom, in all its myriad forms and complexities, owes the lion’s share of thanks to James T. Kirk and Spock. They were the genesis of the phrase “slash fiction” (that’s romantic fanfic between same gendered characters, for those of you who are very sheltered), were featured in zines that formed the basis of modern communal fanfiction and fanart sharing, and were some of the only intimately close male characters not to get paired off with paper-thin female love interests out of panic. Though of course, the last one might’ve been because Gene Roddenberry was fully on board with implying that they were queer.

Sorry, should I maybe explain that a little more? Continue reading