Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ice Queen

"It's all right for guys like you and Court to fuck everyone but when I do it I get dumped for innocent little twits like Cecile. God forbid I exude confidence and enjoy sex! Do you think I relish the fact that I have to act like Mary Sunshine 24/7 so that I can be considered a lady? I'm the Marcia fucking Brady of the Upper East Side and sometimes, I want to kill myself. So there's your psychoanalysis, Dr. Freud."

-Sarah Michelle Gellar as Kathryn Merteuil in Cruel Intentions

I think I was 15 years old when I first saw the film Cruel Intentions. I loved it. The decadent visual style, the opulent, colour-soaked sets and the beautiful clothes made me wish I inhabited that world. Ryan Philippe is a gorgeous man, of course, and he played Sebastian must more likeably than Rupert Everett did in the analagous role of Valmont in the French-language version of Dangerous Liasons. Both Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair are painfully irritating in their roles, though. Selma Blair as Cecile is unrealistically naive, although her quirks are amusing, and Reese Witherspoon as Annette is just plain boring. There's nothing about her that I find compelling and I find it hard to believe that Sebastian could become so enamoured of her. I was, however, drawn to Sarah Michelle Gellar in the role of Kathryn.

She's the only strong, confident and interesting woman in the whole film. The rest are mere caricatures. That's why I found myself getting annoyed when I rewatched it recently: why is this strong woman the only character who is universally vilified at the end of the movie? Sure, she is deceitful, she sleeps around, she's fake. But so are the majority of the characters in the film, all of whom get away scot-free in the audience's eyes. Sebastian schemes just as much as Kathryn does, and he's practically a martyr (or a saint?) by the end. The only part of the movie where the writer seems sympathetic to Kathryn is the monologue I quote above. One gets a sense of Kathryn's inner turmoil and the things that drive her. Unfortuanetly, this kind of insight into her motivation is sorely lacking in the rest of the movie.

I think this speaks to the fear some people have of strong, sexually confident women. They somehow need to be marginalized in order for people to feel safe. Kathryn is written as an ice queen and cocaine addict. Others are called sluts, or written off in other ways. It just reminds me that no matter how far society has advanced towards sexual liberation (particularily for women) the more the old sterotypes are still alive and well.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


I have nothing to say, except that I feel remarkably like I did when I posted this, last year. One of the only times I have ever outright lied on this blog, and yet it is also one of the most honest posts I've ever written.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

HNT #8

Nothing particularily sexy or revealing today; just enjoying the feel of sand under my feet.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Beyond This Dark House

Sorry...my creativity is a casualty of my fucked-up head. I'll be letting other people's words speak for me for now. No HNT tonight. Maybe tomorrow.


And I was coming home
these past two weeks,
feeling my way,
letting the pace of walking
ease over barefoot stones.
Moving again
into the rhythms of
summer on the prairie,
rediscovering the steps,
the afternoon languor.

Last night over coffee
someone told me
you were also home.


You've walked beside me,
never knowing,
for six years now.
We've been together
in so many places
as I travelled, under skies
with doubled moons.

Beyond this dark house
a train is running away
into the night plain.
We've all had
dreams break,
fantasies we shaped.


Your restless fingers
in mine. A night lane.
Streetlamps before and behind,
shadows thrown two ways,

you will tell me:
'If I think about walking,
about actually walking,
I find it hard to move my feet.'

Still, a moment,
both of us,
like midsummer
at the centre of all
turning things.

You will raise your hands to my shoulders.
There may or may not be a moon.


The train has long since
followed its tracked path
among the farms.

Far out in the very dark,
summer wheat is rising
from the rich, cared-for soil.

The shortest night wheels
past this window, stars
dropping behind the trees.

Somewhere there are bonfires
for St. John, somewhere
fires for the summer king.


It's so late. For this,
for everything, for being still
awake beside a window.

Sure of very little tonight,
I do know, or remember,
as if from birth,

that here where we've both
returned, the yielded grain
has always been the oracle of the earth.

And so it is that risen wheat
I will try now to invoke,
without any easings of use

to guide me with rounded words
out beyond light
into the swaying fields

where the silos wait.
And lacking not only words
but also an unspinning thought

to thread upon the dark,
I will ask only that
we may each be whole,

together or apart,
in this unstrange place,
under the one moon of this sky.

- Guy Gavriel Kay

(I highly recommend this guy's book: Beyond This Dark House. He writes gorgeous fantasy novels, too, but that volume of poetry is his best work.)