Watching Red State right now and have some thoughts on the movie.

While I can appreciate the concept of making a horror movie about a group of religious extremists meant to be a parody of the WBC, portraying them as gun wielding lunatics declaring a violent war is pretty… inaccurate?

Gonna put this in a read more cut just because it’s a little long and mentions about some of the Westboro Baptist Church’s psychological abuses.

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the proposal of “queer characters in fiction that aren’t defined by their sexuality” appears outwardly harmless or even good but is to me codified and toxic in some way I can’t articulate right now… help?

"aren’t defined by their sexuality" is an incredibly different standard when applied to heterosexuality than when applied to homosexuality (and furthermore, entirely different when applied to heterosexual men then to heterosexual women, but that’s another articulation)

to use a fairly explicit genre example, heterosexual male action heroes frequently have heterosexual plotlines, motivations, sex scenes, lines, their behavior and actions and interactions and character history is built not only from all the other components, but from their heterosexuality. for some reason my first example is always demolition man, where Stallone has an entire, uncomfortably lengthy scene about Real Straight Fucking and not this namby-pampy future sex with wires and condoms

for gay men to not be defined by their sexuality is to usually be essentially asexual, maybe in a relationship but it has to be coded off-screen, included in throwaway lines (the “my boyfriend will love this!” bit from Paranorman being constantly praised as a GREAT EXAMPLE when tbqh I found it to be pandering horseshit), but definitely not too sexual, definitely not too “gay” in a way that visibly marks them as so (nevermind that heterosexuality for men is so linked to virility and machismo and ‘natural’ maleness and yet this behavior is never treat as “shoving their heterosexuality in your face”)

Did anybody ever claim that Superbad suffered from making characters who were defined by their sexuality, even though the entire film is about teen male heterosexuality?

Straight men (and to a lesser extent, straight women) get to be as visibly straight as they want to be in as many ways as they want to be but in order for queer characters to not be “defined by their sexuality” they usually have to completely fucking forsake any mention of it that might make audiences uncomfortable for longer than three seconds of screentime.



It doesn’t mean I don’t care anymore. I don’t want to let you down, honest, but… but it just doesn’t hurt so bad anymore. You can understand that, can’t you? Look, I can give money to the city - they can hire more cops. Let someone else take the risk, but it’s different now! 

Please! I need it to be different now. I know I made a promise, but I didn’t see this coming. I didn’t count on being happy.

Please! Tell me that it’s okay…

Okay, so in order for me to talk about this scene, I need you to see the pictures and the words to it. I would have just subtitled it, but apparently my copy doesn’t come with that so we’ll just deal.

Yes, I need to talk about this scene. I absolutely do. I feel like, if you ever want to get Bruce Wayne or his issues, you need to at least see this scene in its full glory and digest it for what it is. 

For those who don’t know what this is from, it’s the movie made for the Batman: The Animated Series. It’s called the Mask of the Phantasm. The story is about a new vigilant called the Phantasm is killing crime bosses in Gotham and framing Batman for it. Meanwhile Andrea Beaumont, Bruce’s old love, returns and the movie details Bruce’s relationship with her and how it lead him to becoming Batman (also, I should note Andrea’s voice actress was also Lois’, so awesome).

The scene above comes about twenty minutes into the movie in a flashback. In it, a young, not yet Batman, Bruce goes to his parents grave in a state of conflict, unable to choose between a happy life with his girlfriend Andrea or the promise he made to his parents as a child. What results is Bruce pleading with their spirits to let him be at peace and have a normal life rather than give it up. 

And this is what should always have been Bruce major character conflict: whether he deserves happiness or not. We like to play pretend that Bruce’s real deal is that he’s always between the line that makes him a costumed monster or a hero, but it’s not. We know that Bruce would never give to impulse and kill a man: doing so would throw out the ideals and promise that was instilled in him upon Martha and Thomas’ deaths. Bruce could not and would not do so, but here we are with so many stories that like to think Bruce issue is that he is dark and violent and trying to not be a monster.

It’s not.

Let’s just put it out there now: Bruce has survivor’s guilt. (Among other things, but that is a post I am so not qualified to make)

Why else act like this, sacrifice himself for a promise no one else is making him keep, and pretty much tear himself into painful little pieces? We know that if Martha and Thomas were even somewhat like Bruce makes them out to be, they would never tell their son to self-destruct and become Batman. Here, Bruce is not begging with his parents so much as he is begging to himself and to fate.

I don’t want to let you down, honest, but… but it just doesn’t hurt so bad anymore." is a particular hard line (and I wish you could all hear it because Kevin Conroy is fucking amazing here; this might be his best). Bruce hates himself for going off his own plan because how dare he be happy. Happiness isn’t for men like him. We laugh at scenes like Bruce saying he hasn’t been happy since he was eight years old or when told he’s happy he says ‘What ever it is, I like it’, but the sad part is that Bruce honestly believes the things he says. 

In scenes like this we see Bruce for what he really feels under all the brooding and anger: he’s shaken with guilt over surviving the attack that killed his parents. Deep inside, Bruce believes he should be dead and by living, he has some how failed. This is nothing new with survivors guilt, especially with children; rationally they know they are not at fault, but the trauma makes them believe they are.

That’s the thing right there: Bruce thinks he should have taken the bullet and died. He didn’t, he let Martha and Thomas die, and now he has to bare an undeserving weight to make up for their deaths.

This is why I get really galled by people who say Bruce needs to shut up, move on, and ‘stop whining’ because he fucking can’t. For one: no one has the right to tell someone how long or how they mourn and if you do, you can go fuck yourself. For two: Bruce can’t move on because he doesn’t think he deserves it. He’s mentally still eight years old in his mind, watching his parents blood pool, hating himself for not being the one on the ground. 

I’m not saying Bruce should be excused for his actions, by the way. Bruce’s inner conflict and how he deals with it is his responsibility and suffer like he does makes him no less of a jackass to the people he hurts. Explaining shit does not excuse the harmful behavior he has later on.

What’s really important here is the kind of angst Bruce has here compared to what’s happening to him currently. This is true sorrow; this defeat. Bruce’s pain is apparent and it’s not violence, it’s through his exhaustion. Bruce is in his twenties and he’s already tired of living like this. So he pleads and he bargains and he gets down on his knees praying that he could have this one thing. We feel empathy for a man who truly wanted to throw himself away but finds love and hates himself for it. This is the Bruce that people care about. An broken down man; not the screaming lunatic who tells people they can not possibly understand his pain and then blames them for their own demise (and every time I see Bruce do that in comic canon, I want to pull my hair out because that SHOULDN’T BE BRUCE AT ALL IT REALLY FUCKING SHOULDN’T BUT IT HAS HAPPENED SO MANY TIMES THAT NOW IT IS AND JUST UUUGGHHHHHH).

This is Bruce’s conflict with Andrea, who was his sign to not be Batman, and it should be his issue with his family in the future. Bruce should not have an issue with them because they do not fit to his standards or can not understand him (which, fucking ha!) or believes that they will only weaken him.

Bruce’s issue with his children should be that they are each his new chance at happiness and he believes that he doesn’t deserve that. The same anguish we see in this scene should be the same one that Bruce feels when he hears Dick and Tim laughing or sees Cass pass by or watches Jason from a distance or has Damian in the Bat mobile being his usual self. They’re all the sign he needs to be happy and he thoroughly believes he shouldn’t have that.

For all the Bruce/Batman bashing I see and head-desk at, this post is a true joy.

Preview of a little Patreon sketch I was working on of what my original idea in my head for Cherry and Aiden.

I’m so amused about Cherry’s evolution as a character. She started off as just a confident, elegant weirdo in a prom dress and feather boa, and through a short series of logical leaps to explain to myself WHY she is so confident and powerful, she suddenly turned into A GODDESS
Humble beginning. 

Preview of a little Patreon sketch I was working on of what my original idea in my head for Cherry and Aiden.

I’m so amused about Cherry’s evolution as a character. She started off as just a confident, elegant weirdo in a prom dress and feather boa, and through a short series of logical leaps to explain to myself WHY she is so confident and powerful, she suddenly turned into A GODDESS

Humble beginning. 


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Thursday’s Long Siesta is alive and well, and nothing dangerous is gonna happen at all

I had such a freaking weird sense of humor back when I was 15 and was obsessed with making horrible choose-your-own-adventure stories online

Someone get Dolly Parton to star in a movie where she plays as the mortician at the Best Li’l Old-Fashioned Country Funeral Home, where she and the girls gossip about her love life and laugh about Jesus while perming the hairs of cadavers with a song in their hearts.