I Wanna Be Your Man

Apparently Utah stomped USC last night in the Pac-12 championship game, which throws the college football playoffs into a bit of chaos. At this point I am rooting for chaos, frankly. Since LSU is out of it, I want everyone in the Top 4 to lose today (with apologies to all of their fans) simply because I do want this to be as insane as the entire season has been so far. This has been easily the craziest college football season since 2007, which has made it a lot less predictable and a lot more fun to watch. Do I think LSU has a chance to beat Georgia today? Probably not, but…the last time LSU went to the championship game with three or more losses, they played a one-loss Tennessee team that was ranked second in the country and heading to the national championship game. No one gave LSU a chance–but somehow they won, 31-20, without their starting quarterback or their star running back, going on to trounce Big 10 champion Illinois in the Sugar Bowl. So there’s precedent for it happening again, but as I said, I find it highly unlikely.

I slept late this morning–all the way until eight thirty, a miracle–and it was sound. I got up once during the night to go to the bathroom and immediately went right back to a deep, restful sleep that felt absolutely marvelous. I feel very rested this morning, and feel like if all goes well this could be a highly productive day. I do have to get the mail and probably stop at Fresh Market for a few things, and I also need to order groceries for pick-up tomorrow morning, but other than that I plan on being here, parked in front of my computer, for most of the day. I don’t care much about today’s football games other than who wins, and I can follow that on Twitter (as I did the USC-Utah game last night), so I should be able to get writing work done today as well as some necessary and needed cleaning and filing and organizing.

Last night, Paul and I watched Bros, and I feel like I kind of owe Billy Eichner an apology for not going to see it in the theater. I’ve never much cared for Eichner, in all honesty–the mean-spirited bitchy persona he’s always personified as his schtick is one that I’ve never connected with, and so my reaction to the trailers and press about the movie was always, why would I pay this much money to go see him be an asshole for two hours? And yes, the character he plays is very similar to the comic persona he’s developed over his career–the difference is Bros fleshes him out as the character Bobby (Bobby/Billy; see what I mean?) and makes him three-dimensional and yes, dare I say it? Relatable and likable. Luke McFarlane is also incredibly likable as Aaron, his love interest–and of course the fact that he’s beautiful makes him, I suppose, that much more relatable. Both are emotionally unavailable and have no desire to deal with the drama dating entails, but as they spend more time with each other and keep challenging each other to be better versions of themselves, it actually is a charming, sometimes funny, and all too human romantic comedy–the kind we gays have been begging Hollywood to make for decades. I don’t know if publicly admonishing the audience for not turning up to the theater opening weekend was perhaps the smartest public relations move or not, but I really enjoyed the movie. A lot. It was very smart, had a lot of things to say about being gay or queer in this modern age of hookup apps and computer dating, and I actually felt like I was watching two real gay men fumbling their way towards an actual relationship–and rooting for them to get there. It was a very pleasant surprise, and is one of the best gay romance movies I’ve ever seen.

So, I’ll say it again: I’m sorry, Billy, for not seeing it in the theater on opening weekend. I don’t see many movies in the theater–I think the last one I did see was either Aquaman or Wonder Woman 84, and I probably should have supported Bros. My apologies. There are also some incredibly real moments in the movie that I could actually relate to–the soliloquy on the beach on Provincetown about how being so unmistakably gay as Bobby was altered and changed the trajectory of his life, going so far as to destroy his dreams and force him to reevaluate and come up with new ones. That resonated with me–my experience with the college writing professor is never far from my mind–and it also made me think about how many other gays or queers have had that same experience with an authority figure?

It’s a good movie when it makes you think and reevaluate your own life, you know? So well done, Mr. Eichner, and again, I’m sorry. I enjoyed your movie, think it’s one of the best gay films I’ve ever seen, and you were right to chastise us for not supporting it during it’s theatrical run.

Interestingly enough, I’ve been thinking over this past year that I actually may want to write a gay romance. I’ve been toying with the idea for at least that long, and I know writing a cozy has something to do with that. I also have an idea, I just am not sure how to execute it–but I am going to put it on the list for potential 2023 projects.

And on that note, I am going to get cleaned up and get my day started. Have a lovely Saturday, Constant Reader.

Walk a Thin Line

Tuesday morning with dark pressing against the windows. When does this hateful Daylight Savings Time shit happen this year, anyway? The extra hour of sleep in the fall is always lovely and nice; it’s the paying it back in the spring that totally sucks. Ah, well. I slept well last night and feel fairly wide awake (I actually wrote wild first; wild awake sounds like it should be a thing, really) and am looking forward to another exciting day at work. I recently had my job changed a bit–I got a substantial raise and a new job description, that I have to sign today at the office–and the new stuff goes into effect with the start of the new pay period on Friday. It was very nice–it was the meeting I had yesterday–to have years of dedication to my employer acknowledged and appreciated (I knew I was appreciated, but it’s nice to get financial and employee level recognition as well). It will help me get these bills paid off faster as well, which is kind of nice. I’ve not made enough progress on that front as I would like this year, but it looks like I’ll get further ahead by the end of the year.

I also wrote about 1677 words yesterday; the first work on the Scotty book in weeks, and yes, it was literally along the lines of pulling teeth. The gears had rusted and were most definitely creaking as I tried to get them moving yesterday. It wasn’t easy, but I am hoping that getting started will help grease the wheels somewhat and will help me get more done, bit by bit, day by day, until it is finally finished. I always, every time, forget that things don’t have to be perfect the first time through–even though time is running out already–and I am trying to not to let the impending deadline make me crazy.

We watched a few more episodes of Your Honor last night, which completely changed course and direction in a completely unexpected way in last night’s two episodes; I’m not really sure what is going on with the show–it’s almost like they took on a new show-runner and writers after episode 4. It was a significant change in tone and direction, and a new character was added out of nowhere in a weird transitional method of getting to the new direction/new story. It’s clever enough–although we did have to laugh because (and yes, it’s a New Orleans thing) that he was trying to drop off the extortion/blackmail money during the Red Dress Run, which is always on a Saturday in August which means it’s hellish outside, temperature wise…but on the show, it was clearly a weekday for some reason because he went to the bank first to remove the money, and no one was hot or sweating and it looked kind of chilly out, to be honest. (For the record, I put the Red Dress Run into Garden District Gothic as the opening sequence; Scotty taking Taylor to his first Red Dress Run.) But it’s entertaining enough, and yes, I am aware how snooty we who live here are about shows and movies set and filmed here but not in a bad way; I personally just get amused by the bizarre geography they use for them. But like I said yesterday, it’s about shots that reflect New Orleans to the viewers, and to do that sometimes you have to create a new geography that makes no sense to us, but works for everyone else.

There has been an endless on-going thing on social media over the last few days about Billy Eichner’s tweets about his disappointment in his new film Bros not performing as well at the box office as he had hoped and the studio had projected; basically, it boiled to him saying straight people didn’t show up for a gay movie. I get his frustration as a queer artist; queer authors could all easily say we would be more successful if straight readers bought our books, too; it’s not like a lot of straights show up for us, either. But…I don’t know how true that is. I don’t know who reads my books or who my core audience is; I assume it’s gay men, with a smattering of lesbians and straight women thrown in for good measure, based on social media interactions and responses to my blog posts. (And yes, I know I am being heterophobic in assuming there are very few, if any, straight male readers of my work. I am okay with this completely because I really don’t write with straight men in mind, to be honest.) Again, I get the disappointment–and some people on Twitter do miss the point entirely; Bros was the first major studio film release about gay men starring gay men and employing almost entirely queer people behind the scenes, which does make the movie groundbreaking in some ways (bringing up the success of other gay films from big studios is an apples to oranges thing; since most of those were straight written, straight produced and starred straight people in a queer film targeting to straight people). So, yeah, I get why Billy Eichner is disappointed…I don’t know that I would have taken the disappointment to social media, though. (Oh, I know the answer to that, who am I fooling? You never take disappointment to social media unless you enjoy feeling like a carcass being picked apart by vultures.) I’m not a particular fan of his; as someone whose persona also is drily funny sarcastic bitch, he always seems angry to me, and anger makes me uncomfortable rather than amused. I’ll watch the movie when it’s streaming, but I do think the lower box office than predicted might have to do with people not being comfortable going back to a movie theater just yet; and while I recognize this as an assumption, I feel pretty safe in concluding that the Venn diagram of people who would tend (or be interested potentially) to see a gay rom-com in the theater and those who are still taking COVID precautions seriously is pretty much one big circle, you know? I think Fire Island did really well for Hulu over the summer, and we don’t know that Bros is a flop yet, either. I don’t see the underperformance of Bros as necessarily the death knell of queer cinema from the major studios, either; yes, it won’t help the next film get produced but I don’t think it will stop the next one from being produced. And for the last time, it’s impossible for any queer film to represent every queer experience in the world because every queer person has a different experience. No one film (or television show, for that matter) can adequately represent the entire community, and we need to get past that kind of thinking–was Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? representative of all straight married couples?

I don’t know why we hold queer films (and television series, for that matter) to higher standards than we do straight films and series, but probably because there are fewer of them, and less still that are written, produced and star actual queer people. My usual issues with queer film isn’t that they aren’t representative, but mainly because they just aren’t very good (the few that are good are quite marvelous, actually–I will always hold that the best gay movie is Beautiful Thing)…but that’s a discussion for another time.

And on that note, I am going to head into the spice mines. Have a lovely Tuesday, Constant Reader!