I'm taking a lull in my schedule to spend a little time working on my personal project, which I've been neglecting lately as I've been preparing to move. The project is script for a comic book, which I originally thought would fill 10 modestly sized issues, but appears to be growing--probably indicating I'll need to cut it mercilessly when the draft is finished. I had one scene where one of my major protagonists got beat up, and I originally had in mind a light beating, but I realized as I was writing it that this was the low point for the series, and such a mild low point could not work. I had to break my protagonist until he lost his tough-guy facade and was thoroughly humiliated, and that ended up taking almost an entire issue. Now I don't know how long this thing is going to be.
In other news, John C. Wright posts on the Sci Fi Channel's (I admit I can't bring myself to use the new name either) promise to have more sodomitic characters in its future programming.
Wright's comments on the subject are harsher than mine would be, but I will say one thing, one thing that has nothing to do with the morality of the subject (which would take a long time and more skill than I possess at present, which is after two beers, to lay out), but does have a lot to do with personal taste: I was thinking about working a couple of homosexual characters into my comic...and it just didn't happen. I couldn't bring myself to be, so to speak, excited by the idea. That's not to say my comic contains no awkward lovey-dovey stuff; it contains so much that a professional editor I admire and respect has told me repeatedly to tone it down. But can I fit in a couple of dudes confused by their growing feelings for each other? Nyah. I just can't work up the energy to go there. Besides, I'm not interested in gaining my comic the nickname Brokeback Post-Apocalyptic Exotic Temple City, or whatever.
I can thrill to a pulp adventure story as readily as any schoolboy, and I can drool over a cheap love story as readily as any schoolgirl (though I do the latter in private, as it's kinda disgusting), but whenever I'm watching television or reading a book and a character turns out to be homosexual, and it's treated as if that's supposed to be shocking, unexpected, noble, avant garde, fresh, or whatever, my response is always the same: "Oh, is that all? Boooorrrinngg!!" My reaction is not disgust or hatred (I've even lived with a homosexual without experiencing either sensation), but a sense of dreariness.
Maybe society is just so homo-obsessed that the freshness has worn off and the whole thing has grown tiresome to me; after all, nowadays, getting married and having kids the normal way looks weird and avant garde. But I can't help thinking the real reason it's boring is because homosexual romance, however much it may thrill the slash aficionados, is plainly lacking something--the complementarity and fertility, most obviously, but something deeper and harder to define as well. The mysterious and exciting elements of real romance--which probably grow out of that aforementioned complementarity and fertility--are missing, no matter how hard a writer might work to put them in. Good grief, I've even dabbled in slash, but I went back later and took the slash elements out because they didn't fit. After everything else I mucked up in my fan fiction, it was the slash, above all, that was plainly and obviously wrong.
Monogamous marriage is so wholesome, I think it must look too plain and simple to some in the artiste crowd. It's like whole-grain bread: Those who reject it out of hand or have had bad experience with a slice or two may dismiss it as bland and go hunting for more exciting if less nourishing fare, but those of us blessed to have been fed on it from birth know it's toothsome, satisfying, and inexhaustibly interesting (especially if it's got a thick, hard crust you really have to tear at with your teeth, and if you have a block of cheese...mmmm!) In my childhood, I was raised on whole-wheat bread and surrounded by healthy monogamous marriages; I can never grow tired of either.
The ultimate end of the relentless pursuit of perversity is probably something like the world of Charles Stross's Glasshouse, a novel depicting a post-singularity society that must be one of the most miserable and monotonous places I have ever read about. It is a future world in which men are like gods, yet can think of nothing to do with their limitless power except find new ways to masturbate. In this novel, the narrator fondly remembers being in a polygamous, polysexual relationship with several other people, their sexual appetites expanded by the surgical attachment of bonobo endocrine systems. Yet even this wasn't good enough for the narrator, who also had to keep a number of "fuckbuddies" on the side--an inadvertent admission on Stross's part, I think, that perverse relationships really are unsatisfying.
Does that disgust me? Not really. For something like that, I can't even work up the energy for disgust. Boooorrrinngg!!
Give me an old-fashioned love story any day: plain and dull to artistes like Stross, yet to those in the know, endlessly good and satisfying.