My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

An Old Priest, a Young Priest Groupie Threesome Jokes and Problematica (Mailbox)

We're here to kick ass for the lord
[CN: That link has zombie movie gore.]
What happened to all the threesome jokes? Why don't you remove stuff you admit is problematic?

Wait....not priests. Questions.  An old Question and a Young Question. I always get those two mixed up.

As you can imagine over the last few months (well, years really) of life changes and disrupted posting schedule, I've built up quite a backlog of questions that have gone unanswered. I hate to say it, but we probably passed dozens and are well into the "hundreds" range at this point.

That's why we're not just going to get back into answering questions every week (I'm thinking Thursday right now), but we're actually going to start making it a point to answer two questions. Or two sets of questions in the case of quickies or questions I can bundle together.

Most of the time they'll be two separate posts on Thursdays, but this week we have some dovetail in topic.

Even though my whole spiel isn't on this post, you can send me more questions at chris.brecheen@gmail.com.

Alex writes:

As you go through your reruns on your Facebook Page, I am noticing that you used to REALLY hit the groupie threesome jokes hard, but then they almost completely went away. I know this is a weird question, but did something happen? (Like a bad one or something?) They're still there, but just a lot less common now. Weirdly curious long time fan.

My reply:

[Note: I added the link to the question above.]

Yeah, I kind of put those jokes on the shelf. At the very least, I'm not taking it as a point of pride to work one into every SINGLE post.

Well, sort of. If anyone wants to keep score, I'm still a pervy, pansexual, sex positive, polyamorous guy with a reasonably serious interest in group sex provided I can find at least two other people who are also enthusiastic. And you still get Writing About Writing through a persona (I'm a bit different in person) that kind of turns that wankel rotary engine up to eleven. So I'm never going to be one to shy away from a quality threesome joke.

What I have cut down on is the groupie part.

And it's a lot harder to work a regular ol' threesome joke into posts about writing, lemmie tell ya. It's almost as hard as....hmmmm what would be a very difficult thing to hook up, that almost never really happens, that I could compare to the perfect opportunity to make a threesome joke....

Oh well. It's just not coming to me.

Let me sum up.

No wait, there's plenty of time. Let me explain.

When I started Writing About Writing almost six years ago, one of the explicit Mission Statement's three parts was specifically to create a template (in real time) for a pragmatic career arc from "Unknown Doof Trying His Hand at Blogging™" to well....however far I get, I suppose. (Right now we're six years in, and after writing a post every day for six years, I can pay the rent and for groceries with writing.) I wanted people to be able to see the "behind the scenes" for a writer's life. I wanted them to notice I write a lot of shit (and I mean a LOT. OF. SHIT) that doesn't really stick to the wall. I have done whole concepts that played a lot better in my head than they did in pixel form. (Remember how the Sci Guy used to clone pretentious people to murder them? Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaah. And somewhere around here there's a Muppets song filk.  *shudder*) I want them to see that the fiction is hard to write and takes time. I want them to see my bad days. My stunning failures. My blown deadlines. I want them to see that when you have a kid learn to walk, a loved one with cancer, a break up, two moves, have to work 40 hours of day job, and elect a fascist in a two year time span, it really cuts into your productivity. I want them to see that I don't just sit down and spew unicorn rainbow jizz out my fingers and BAM, it turns into money and book deals through the magical power of Inspiration™.

Anyway, the point is, this is an evolving work. Things have changed in six years. In 2012 I made a hundred dollars for the ENTIRE year and the groupie threesomes joke was....you know......a joke. Because there are no groupie threesomes. That was the whole point. It was like talking about the millions of dollars I was making or the paparazzi following me around or my invitation to the late night talk show circuit. And the idea of fame and fortune are ridiculous reasons to write. Writers don't really get groupies.

Until that sort of started to not always be 100% entirely the case.

I mean it's not like I'm the lead vocalist in an eighties hair band or anything, but it started to become clear that it wasn't all a great big giggle either. A comment here. An offer there. Met someone through my writing and it kind of went somewhere. Got hit on by a stranger because I was "that writer guy." Someone wanted to get to know me because of what they'd seen of me in writing. A standing offer if I want to visit their part of the country. And of course...OG. Understand, this was all happening over the course of years, I'm usually the last person to get the memo when someone is into me, and it's not like it was a switch that flipped one day, but I definitely started to notice it was happening more and more often. And even though a lot of these people got to know me a little (at least online) first, the catalyst for much of it was my writing.

The thing about groupies....even just that word....is there is a power differential there. It might not be as role-based as a therapist and their client or a teacher and their student, but it is something to be aware of ethically as long as I am maintaining some sort of celebrity mystique in a person's mind. (No matter how ridiculous that seems to me, it is becoming a thing.) People project things (good and occasionally bad) onto who they think I am. People can fall in love with something that doesn't even have anything to do with you. And even without the projection, the person they think they know is still a curated public persona. I have to keep my eyes open for people who are being vulnerable because they're in a vulnerable situation because that's not something I want to take advantage of. And being starstruck (as absurd as that seems with a two bit blogger like me) can contribute to not having good boundaries or expressing one's needs.

It isn't just something to protect the other person either–I have to be careful to have boundaries for my own safety and security as well. People can....by which I mean people HAVE projected intense emotions onto me when their love life was in some kind of duress that then evaporated and left me feeling rather rejected once they straightened things up.

There's complexity too. Sometimes the writing just gets me on people's radar in the same way being a debonair life of the party might. Dismissing an autonomous adult's decisions about what they choose to get into can be infantilizing. I've not yet met a single person who wasn't happy to take a moment to get to know me for me. (Not beCAUSE I hang with Leonardo*). I also have some personal hang ups about truly casual sex. Not that I'm opposed to it, but the anxiety of a moment can.....um.....you know maybe we're getting just a little too personal here.

*I don't hang with Leonardo.

And while I might not ignore a room key slipped into my hand from someone I met a few hours earlier at a vampire LARP who really carbonated my hormones, (especially when they say things like "I am for you Chris Brecheen" or something) or generally handle the people doing the coming on on a case-by-case judgement call, given the power dynamics involved when this starts to shift to slightly-less-hypothetical, it's probably not something I need to keep joking about on the regular.

But threesome jokes (sans groupies) are totally still on.


Anonymous asks:

I've been following you for a long time and I've seen that sometimes you stop using words, but leave them in your blog. ("Butthurt" and variations of "douche" spring to mind.)  My question is this: why don’t you just change it if you have decided it's no longer okay. (BTW I agree with most of your decisions.)

My reply:

Confession time.

This wasn't an anonymous question. This was actually a question that was SO old, I forgot where I put it and who wrote it. But I do remember the wording almost exactly.

What the hell was I thinking????
The answer to this is simple: I totally do. All the time. I am constantly finding things I would NEVER write today littered among my old stuff and I just sort of quietly get in there and edit it with a horrified look on my face. There was a dead sex-worker joke one time... And the less said about the original Twizzlefizzlepop the better. Six years is a long time to learn how to be a better person.

Sometimes I even just slip in and change something discreetly when someone sends me an email. ("Hey Chris. That Michelle Rodriguez joke you made is kind of playing into rape culture." And yes it was.)

However, when I get called on something in the comments or on FB or something where there is a public record of it, then I leave it up and make an edit. That way there is accountability on my part (I'm not trying to claim it never happened), and others can see and benefit from the record of the conversation, and perhaps even decide to phase the word or idea out themselves.

I'm not perfect. I fuck up. I'm sure tomorrow I will learn things I did today that could have been less shitty. All any of us can do is be open to those who say we've messed up and try to be better.

1 comment:

  1. I sort of miss the 'groupie threesome' asides, myself. Hmmm. I am not a literal minded person and have no expectation that a joke is anything more than a joke. A joke. Human beings change, they change their standard jokes, their hair styles, their partners -- oh, there we are again. I tried a couple of threesomes in the day -- ho hum. It was like dropping the fig leaf in the presence of God. Ummm --- who does what? Aren't we exposed now? Lots of things sound better in joke form than they are in fact. All that aside, though.. I am available if you can find a willing third. Ha.