Tuesday, 29 June 2010

In Defence of Angry Women Pt 3

And they all think Maryanne is such a bitch. Well gorram but so do I. And its not fair.
Ever since the Middle Ages the gorram christians have been trying to conflate the horned god and Beelzebub, and its just not right. Its not right because its not accurate.
So the nice people that write True Blood and god bless them, really, god bless them – they are up to something. And I am not a cheat enough to fast forward through, watch the rest of Series Two and go “Good grief yes, that's it”. Because I am just human enough to want to work it out.
But right now I'm a might confused. I like chaos. I like the idea of communing with my god in a rampant rutting of confused love, lust. hate and physical violence. And I'm having one hell of a lot of trouble working out what's wrong with that.
Alright. So its a little messed up. But then so is ripping people's throats out for fun and we're not spending too long worrying about the morality of that.
Which is, I would have to say, what I like and do not like about Season Two. I want my amorality without any morality, thank you very much. I like my Eric nasty. And yes I like him vulnerable. But I'd like him vulnerable AND dripping in someone else's blood.
Which beings me back to maenads.
The Greek religion, the ancient Greek religion as opposed to Greek Orthodox Christianity which is its own all kinds of odd – does not have any ghosts or ghoulies. All the ghosts reside happily, or more to the point, not so, in Hades. If you want to talk to them, you have to go there. They don't just appear conveniently beside your bed, or on your ramparts or wherever Anglos prefer to meet their ghosts.
There are monsters, certainly. And very frightening ones. The Chimera - “all lion in front, all snake behind, all goat between”, or Medusa or the Minotaur. But these are not critters with which to scare children to sleep. These are fearful creatures of legend, who heroes fought and heroes slew.
And the things of Greek myth that truly did terrible things to humans, why, those are other people. Agamemnon who sacrificed his own daughter in her bridal robes; the Greek heroes who raped Cassandra at the altar of Apollo; Clytemnestra who murdered her child-killing husband; Medea who put her own children to the sword.
In that world; the world from which we borrow all our most lasting metaphors; our most vibrant images; horror is other people.
Maenads, the real maenads; are indeed the followers of Dionysius. But they are not eternal. They are ordinary Athenian housewives. Women who spent most of their lives confined to the dark upper stories of their homes, weaving and gossiping and wishing they were Penelope because at least maybe at the end of a long ten years not just would they have fended off some handsome suitors but they'd have a man like Odysesus to take to their beds.
These women; bored and frustrated. Women who spent the rest of the year listening to their men in the garden with their dancing girls and their clever chat and their beautiful boy lovers. These women were the ones who took part in the rituals of drinking and dancing. Of drum music and ecstatic performance. Wild on wine and dance they ran through the barren hills above Athens and when they found another living thing they rent it limb from limb – child, man, beast, tree. And after all they'd had to put up with; who can blame them.
That they sometimes ate the raw, dripping flesh – well all the better for them. Stuck in the upper rooms they'd have been lucky to have got some of the fish, let alone the red meat.
So I will not hear a word against maenads. Let them rend and tear; they no more do the devil's work than any others who reach out beyond themselves to touch a world of freedom that is denied them.

Saturday, 26 June 2010


That Twightlight woman? What's her name? Stephanie Meyer? Why doesn't someone just bite her and fuck on the bed while she bleeds out? I mean really...? Wait? Is that a bad thing to say...?
But what she's done is just so wrong. I can't see any other punishment that's fitting.
The thing with vampires; the thing I don't think Stephanie, still living and breathing as I assume she is; doesn't get – is that motherfucker – they're supposed to be bad.
That's why we like them Steph.
And of course that's why Bill Compton, as sexy as the bloodsucking bastard is, is not really sexy. And yes, goddammit, not as sexy as Eric.
There its said now. It can't be taken back.
The vampire has always been most attractive to women. That's what's so great about them. A supernatural creature; a fictional creation; designed especially for the desires of women. Bram Stoker knew what he was up to. At a time when novels were predominantly read by women; bored, middle-class women; he wrote something that would truly excite them. And it still does.
A charming, glamorous creature. A creature of seduction and mystery; and of unbridled violence.
Of course Bram catered for his small, but discerning male audience too. The female vampires; as erotic in his novel as the Francis Ford Coppola ones nearly one hundred years later. No one can resist women who murder children and the scene with the squirming babies in the bag is one of the great ones in the world of the literature of powerful, fearful women.
So why do people; why do women in particular; love a vampire? Or want to be loved by a vampire? Is it as simple as the writers of True Blood would have us believe – that there is something automatically aphrodisiac about being wanted by something so powerful? Bill Clinton syndrome as we more worldly humans might term it?
Is it surrender? The desire to be totally consumed – as one is by a vampire?
The best vampire flick ever made is The Hunger – the ethereal Catherine Deneuve plays the eternal, immortal Miriam. David Bowie, yes THE David Bowie is her turned ex-human lover. Two people so beautiful that gay and straight stop having meaning and the whole realm of human sexual experience opens up. Of course in the film sexual experience ends with your throat being ripped out – but at that point who's asking questions?
Of course nothing this good can last forever. Miriam's human lover's slowly degenerate. She has a basement full of coffins and lost, shrivelled, helpless remmants of souls – still conscious, still wanting, but now, almost devoid of physical form. It is a filmic moment so filled with the pathos of the human experience that its unreality sears.
When Miriam takes the beautiful Sarah (a youthful Susan Sarandon) as her next lover – the ensuing scenes, shrouded in gossamer curtains, are some of the most... engaging... moments of lesbian sex ever put on celluoid.
And its so hot because the violence is so close to the surface, on the surface, those thick cords of arterial blood. And because those lost lovers are just a few feet away in the basement, screaming their torment. Hmmm, sexy.
Of course the vampire has always been a slimly shrouded metaphor. The fear of penetrative sex. Ho hum. The vampire makes sex even above the waist dangerous. A metaphor for AIDS – a disease transferred by blood. A metaphor for everything we hate and fear because we don't understand it.
But who needs the literary critics anyway?
Vampires are sexy because they are all the things we think we should not be. They are amoral, driven by need, more animal than human. And yet they are all the things we want to be; glamorous, clever, powerful, unsatiably needy and desirable.
I don't want to grow fangs. I don't want to meet anyone who has. But they make a nice fantasy and I don't want any uptight mid-westener trying to save me from it.