Futamono – An Addition to Hannibal’s Psychopathy

5 Apr

Mads as Lecter




Simply put, another brilliant episode. Not only turning up the narrative several notches, but adding an element that made my gag reflex kick in; a Hannibal Lecter that can believably sleep with a woman. We know from Harris’ last novel that Clarice runs away with him but it anything but a normal relationship. Hannibal has never been presented that way in the past so to say it is unsettling is a giant understatement. But I have to say, this addition to Lecter’s psycopathy actually deepens the mystique surrounding him. It almost makes him a superman in my eyes (see below about Mads’ approach to Lecter), this ability to appear so normal, so reasonable, cultured, musically talented, an athlete, a linguist, a chef, and not above playing chopsticks on his fine harpsichord. There is no one like him. And now he’s presented as a sexual being. Well, Mads Mikkelsen is hotness walking and so you can see why I gag, because no one should find Hannibal Lecter a likely sexual partner. Unless you know nothing about all of his “game on” hijinks, which Alana does not. I wonder what will happen to her psychologically speaking, when she finds out who she slept with. Again, GAG.

I read at the Wiki for Hannibal, Bryan Fuller’s comments about Mads’ take on Lecter: “He talked about the character not so much as ‘Hannibal Lecter the cannibal psychiatrist’, but as Satan – this fallen angel who’s enamoured with mankind and had an affinity for who we are as people, but was definitely not among us – he was other. I thought that was a really cool, interesting approach, because I love science fiction and horror and – not that we’d ever do anything deliberately to suggest this – but having it subtextually play as him being Lucifer felt like a really interesting kink to the series. It was slightly different than anything that’s been done before and it also gives it a slightly more epic quality if you watch the show through the prism of, ‘This is Satan at work, tempting someone with the apple of their psyche’. It appealed to all of those genre things that get me excited about any sort of entertainment.”

I continue to love Raul Esparza as Dr. Chilton; as deceitful, duplicitous and self-serving as I remember Chilton being. As an actor, he is really a superman. Is there nothing he can’t play?

This is the kind of entertainment that makes you question yourself, which, while disturbing, is a really good thing. I can’t wait to see how this season will keep unfolding. Even if it’s sick, I just find this Lecter ‘verse, so very very very compelling.


Remembering the Legacy of Du’a Khalil Aswad

3 Apr








It is that time of year when I post a blog honoring the memory of Du’a Khalil Aswad, a teenager beaten and stoned to death in an honor killing by the men of her village, including several of her own relatives.  The date was April 7, 2007.  My membership with Equality Now began shortly after reading the piece by Joss Whedon, http://whedonesque.com/comments/13271, (Let’s Watch a Girl Get Beaten to Death) at a weblog called WHEDONesque, expressing his heartfelt bewilderment at living in a world that seemingly still believed the female sex, half the population, could be tortured, killed, maimed, repressed, and vilified as second-class humans.

I post the same sort of information, year in, year out, hoping that some will see her story and do what they can for girls and women all over the world who live in fear and without hope.  As Joss says in his piece, Equality Now (http://www.equalitynow.org/), is a place of sanity, whose staff combat ignorance, effect change, and educate on the issues we are facing.  Still.  In the 21st century of mankind:  Honor killings, death sentences for living in the wrong country, female genital mutilation, sex trafficking of abducted victims.  The list goes on.

But is there anything worse than being murdered at the hands of one of your relatives because of a faulty and inexplicably cruel tradition which trashes a woman’s humanity, makes women subhuman in the eyes of men, and even their mothers and sisters who go along to get along?  It is heinous.  It is unthinkable.  And it happens with tragic regularity.

Please consider joining an organization like Equality Now, Avaaz (http://www.avaaz.org/en/), or The International Campaign Against Honor Killings (http://www.wluml.org/contact/wrrc/content/international-campaign-against-honor-killings) or donate to their causes.  It will be the best thing you can do for women in these dire straits.

Here is some information to reflect upon.  Bless you for taking the time to read and watch if you stop by:


The Girl who was Stoned to Death for Falling in Love:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-455400/The-girl-stoned-death-falling-love.html

Memini (a remembrance of the fallen):  http://www.memini.co/

The Horrible Truthful Beauty of The Grove – The Walking Dead

21 Mar

Personally, I like my truth unvarnished; I’m not much of one for fairy tales and yet I do have a romantic side; thus, for example, the fact that Glen and Maggie still want to get married in the face of the daily slog of terror and survival,  The Walking Dead ‘Verse, is truthful, bizarre, and yet life-affirming.  But in the episode The Grove, we get a big heaping of truth about the human condition; particularly, what can happen to people under the most adverse conditions.  You see it in war, in being lost in the wilderness or a deserted island, and you see it in The Grove.  There have been a few other episodes during the life of the show that have been this good, this clear, including, ironically, the episode Clear.

I couldn’t believe how intensely I was drawn into this episode; the kind of Walking Dead episode that is horrifying and fulfilling on just about every human level, the kind of drama, frankly, you live to hope to witness. I was literally yelling at the TV screen when Carol almost spilled she was the killer at the prison to Tyrese out in the yard, afraid of what he might do to her. I’ve read that people are totally put off the violence done to, and perpetrated by, a child. Well, I say to that, thank you Walking Dead and Scott Gimple for not pandering, for NOT making children into little pets who don’t have intellects, feelings and sensibilities, as they clearly do. Horrible things happen to children in real life every single day, and this show is so clear about what can happen in a horrible situation, be it domestic violence or an apocalypse. Children can be fragile, and they can also be tough. The show, in my opinion, has earned its right to verisimilitude time and and time again.

Someone at an Entertainment Weekly article described Carol (in no small part or skill as embodied by Melissa McBride) as “the smartest, toughest character on the show”, having morphed from her Season 1 persona as a meek, battered housewife. I would say yes, but after Rick, who held things together for the group for a long time when no one else could have. But I don’t know that even Rick could have put that poor, deranged kid out of her misery.  Online I’ve seen ridiculing of the scene in which Carol does just that.  I don’t think people really get that isn’t just a similarity to Of Mice and Men, but how very hard it is for Carol to lose another kid, even if wasn’t her Sophia, and by her own hand.  That’s what made it riveting for me; just how much humanity Carol still has, despite everything.

Huge props also to Chad Coleman as Tyrese, who brought the proper tension and compassion in his scenes with Carol and the girls.  Speaking of “the girls” – what great performances from these youngsters. Excellent job of directing, Michael Satrazemis. I thought those young actors were passable before. With the right director and material, they soared.

Dylan Farrow – My Comment on Her Open Letter

2 Feb

First, thank you Nicholas Kristof for publicizing her letter on your NYT Blog.  Edit-okay, you ultimately did publish it but you published other comments long before mine who commented after me, which you’ve done before (Second, screw you NYT for once again not publishing my comment on a topic.  Was it because I used the word “shit”? – that is a very minor pejorative) that had great meaning to me, in favor of so many innocuous, unhelpful ones, like a bunch of men AND women actually answering one of her questions that was not MEANT to be answered in print, but internally, as a barometer of what kind of person you are.  Many failed, miserably.

Here’s what I wrote to Dylan:

I believe you, Dylan. I’ve believed since I read your mom’s autobiography, What Falls Away, back when, and the court’s decision included at the end.  It has the vibration of truth and ever after I have felt uncomfortable watching Allen’s films-I haven’t seen any in quite some time.  I don’t know why people can’t/don’t give you the benefit of the doubt regarding your truth; we know that pedophilia is rampant in this country, in the world.  So many travesties committed against infants, adolescents, teens, and women.  That’s why I’m a member of Equality Now.  And famous men hide behind that fame to get away with so much, be they athletes, actors, writers, priests, Wall Street brokers, politicians … I ask myself why (?) a lot.  Why is Chris Brown still respected, tolerated in music after beating the shit out of Rihanna; why did she go back to him?  Roman Polanski needs to answer for his crime. Old Nazis are hunted down and prosecuted, why cannot he be extradited (yes readers, I know it’s b/c of where he lives, he sure planned that out well) back here to face the music? And why do big-name actors work with Allen knowing his history?  Many people just want to block out what is unpleasant or afraid of backlash.  It is no excuse; you and I (who had a monstrous father-my own grandparents didn’t help me) know this.  I hate that you’re still suffering & support you in spirit as you continue to heal. I’m glad you spoke out. It’s time to block this man out and take back your power.

Novelist Scott B. Smith

23 Nov

Billy Bob Thorton A Simple Plan

So, how many of you are fans of Scott Smith?  I speak of the author of A Simple Plan and The Ruins.  Not a whole lot is know about Scott Smith; there are a few interviews out there, nothing really recent.

I was struck by a notion this morning to visit Amazon and then Google his name to see what came up, mainly, if he has a new novel in the works.  The answer is no, nothing found.  Then I went to Facebook.  The cupboard is pretty bare, with a page that is basically a Wikipedia entry.

Then I was struck by another notion, if you want something, create it yourself, so I did.  A Scott B. Smith official fan page at Facebook.  Please join me there to talk about his work and, if you’re like me, gleefully, impatiently wait for news of his next book release.  Hopefully I’ll still be living when this happens.

See you there:  https://www.facebook.com/ScottBSmithNovelist?ref=hl

An Atlantic Writer Disses Joss Whedon – Why?

8 Nov

These people who go after him, the woman who called him a rapist in a very disturbing blog post (actually, I think it was a series) on Live Journal, you can still Google it, so gross, such a disturbed mind; they seem to be legion, these people who want to tear him down. Is it because he has something they want?  Fame, money, respect?    But even beyond that are the people who take Joss to task for not saying, writing, DOING things the way they think it should have been done.  Most of the criticisms leveled at this writer for The Atlantic are dead accurate.  I mean, he wrote a mean-spirited attack not even knowing or understanding Joss’ audience for the speech, his consistent disgust with the word feminist (http://www.tvguide.com/News/VIDEO-Whedon-Gellar-1003385.aspx), or really, much about Joss or what Equality Now does.     And for the people who think Joss Whedon is egotistical, self-aggrandizing, disingenuous, using his self-deprecatory style of speech making to get off on, earn him friends in high places, and makes everyone who likes him kiss his ass, wrong.

Joss Whedon is but a man with a specific point of view.  I hope he avoids like the plague these masturbatory pieces written to draw attention to the author, not to what the author thinks is wrong with Joss:  “Oh look, I’m controversial, I’ve written a polemic about Joss Whedon.  I’m ready for my ticker tape parade now, Mr. DeMille.”  Norma Desmond, much?

So I write defenses of Joss in the comments section of these towering pieces of artistry (sarcasm? much) a few times a year with no illusions he knows I do this.  I feel that Joss is a friend, comrade, brother, and father stand-in who cares deeply about women and the ongoing state of our non-parity and non-equality in this world, and that most, very very most, of what he has produced has eased the heart and mind of this survivor of child abuse and psychological torment.  Art is a great healer and without Joss’ work, I often wonder what would have happened to me.  My defenses are not knee-jerks because I love him – my defenses are only if I am miffed, or in this case, truly insulted and offended.

Update 11/9/2013 at 2:58pm – Noah Berlatsky uses a different title for his piece on Twitter, in the process referring to Joss Whedon as “ignorant” – so Mr. Bertlatsky really is a disingenuous hack who just wants to attract attention rather than letting his writing stand on its own:

The Atlantic@TheAtlantic 21h

Joss Whedon’s ignorant argument against the world ‘feminist’ http://theatln.tc/1adgCJp  by @hoodedu


The article (Note the title that appears at the page, compared to what’s on Twitter, above):


My comment:


Jesus Christ, Noah. Are you even aware of what Equality Now does? You take someone’s heartfelt speech and then grouse about how he SHOULD have done it and what history SHOULD have been attached. I think Joss knows quite a bit about how, you know, women of color, racism and misogyny intersect, and the history of all that: In honor killings, in female genital mutilation, in human trafficking, most of that in third-world countries where Equality Now has hit the ground fighting these battles for women and children, battles he said in his speech Nov. 4 would never end and that we (he, EN, and members like me) would never stop fighting. Please don’t be on the other side of the line with the hash tag ass clown he mentioned. Do you even know much about Joss Whedon? Here are a few reference points for you:

EN Speech, 2006, Honoring Men on the Front Lines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

His letter is at the bottom of the Huffington Post article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Let’s Watch a Girl Get Beaten to Death – WHEDONesque.com: http://whedonesque.com/comment…

Help me Help Kids Need to Read

5 Nov

I don’t usually do this but I consider iGive to be an exceptional way to give to a charity every time I shop online!

Please consider doing your Christmas and any other special or regular shopping that you normally do by going to the store’s website through iGive.


“Three important details -

Over 1,350 stores participating. Purchases at Amazon count for a donation,
but not towards the new member bonus.
New iGive members only (never joined before).
They must use your special link we’ve provided below to join. And they must use
iGive to visit the store (the Button, the iPhone / iPad apps, or links on our site).
Returns don’t count.

New members must join and shop by 11/12/13. That means they’ll be all set to do their holiday shopping and help Kids need to Read at the same time. Every purchase they make will help, even after the bonus period ends. They’ll feel good, and they’ll do good. And you’re helping, just by letting others know.

The average shopper is raising over $30 a year, and many are raising $100 or $200 a year, at no cost to your cause or to them.”

Thank you for taking a look. If you don’t like my charity, choose your own and help others.



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