It can feel a bit like fiddling while Rome burns.
The world at large has always been a tumultuous place, particularly with the advent of new online media entities, social media, and the 24-hour news cycle of network news making us more aware than at any other time in history of the shit going down across the globe.
Lately, however, it seems it’s not just greater access to the news that’s making the world seem so untenable, but rather the quality of the news as well.
The world is a terrible place.
It’s hardly worth referencing a specific incident to support this statement. Just turn on your TV. Turn on the radio. Log on to any social media platform. Open your front door. You could spit and it would land on something awful taking place. The reasons why are too numerous to count.
There was an unsuspecting evolution that led to me reading a work of male/male original slash fiction.
It started when an online friend of mine recommended a book to me through Goodreads: Uprooted – a beautifully written, dark fantasy fairytale by Naomi Novik.
My friend I discussed this book extensively via Goodreads as I read it, and when I finished, I suggested we next read the same book simultaneously so we could discuss our reactions to it in real time.
No, this isn’t a post about negative self-talk.
That would be the subject of an entirely different, and if I chose to get all self-psychoanalytical about it, lengthy post.
Rather, it’s about what goes on in my mind whenever it’s not otherwise occupied, and, to me, is the furthest thing from negative.
Image of a Native American man from J.K. Rowling’s History of Magic in North America.
How do I know if I’m appropriating the traditions of another culture in my writing versus creating a respectful adaptation?
Admittedly, this isn’t an issue I’ve devoted much thought to in the past. Of late, however, following the J.K. Rowling #MagicInNorthAmerica controversy, it’s been on my mind a fair bit.
For those not familiar, #MagicInNorthAmerica has to do with a series of fictional monographs discussing the history of magic in the Harry Potter universe. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling recently released these on her Pottermore website to promote the release of the upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
What keeps you up at night?
For some reason, I have a disproportionately large number of friends who are insomniacs.
I’m not talking people who occasionally suffer bouts of sleeplessness like we all sometimes do. Rather, I mean folk who chronically don’t sleep more than a few of hours, every night of their lives.
That must really suck.
The notion of insomnia really came to the fore of my mind due to my recent trip to Australia. From my connection at Los Angeles airport to Melbourne, Australia, the flight was about 15 hours long.
Ghostbusters original cast (1984).
By now, most people have heard about the plan to reboot the movie Ghostbusters with an all-female cast.
Some people are really excited about it.
Others are really upset.
Like really upset, to the point of borderline self-righteousness, with words like “gimmick” and “pandering” receiving a thorough workout.
Maybe I’m just splitting hairs over semantics, but in and of itself, I don’t consider a gimmick to be a negative thing.
All marketing and media uses gimmicks or “hooks” to attract a target audience, in this case the hook being the casting women where previously there’d only been men, ostensibly to attract – at least in part – a target audience of female viewers.
Which right there may well be the real issue.