June 7, 2015

Gay take on erotic thriller genre reveals mental illness at root of homosexuality

Here are some comments I left at this review of a movie, Stranger by the Lake, that tries to homo-fy the erotic thriller genre. It touches on many aspects of the gay deviance syndrome -- Peter Pan-ism, power and humiliation, extreme negligence of personal health, etc.

The basic plot of the movie is that the main character is so cock-hungry toward a man whom he has secretly witnessed killing a previous lover, that he keeps coming back for more, despite the obvious danger to his own life. The tension arises from him, and us, not knowing whether the next time will be his last.

But the similarities with normal erotic thrillers are only superficial. The gay version is marked by its fundamentally abnormal psychology.

- - - - -

“The film also won the Queer Palm award.[5]”

I see they’ve gone and re-branded the Palm on the Underage Ballsack award. Is nothing sacred anymore?

About it being an erotic thriller — not at all, and its failings reveal the profoundly warped nature of male homosexuality.

In an erotic thriller like Basic Instinct, the tension arises from the male protagonist’s curiosity about a woman who seems as capable of violence as a man, and wanting to square off against her toe-to-toe. Her violent tendencies intrigue him rather than frighten him — it’s not like she’d be able to take on me.

He likes to scratch, she claws his back. He half-rapes his girlfriend, the killer babe ties him up in bed and aggresses against him. Worthy fucking adversary.

That’s the erotic thriller: alpha or usually wannabe alpha male seeks his thrills by competing against the femme fatale, uncertain of which combatant will ultimately one-up the other for good. It’s the guys who get a rush from taunting a girl to “hit me with your best shot, honey”.

The fraidy-cat twink in this queer-directed movie doesn’t play that role at all. He doesn’t see the killer as his equal, nor does he want to get his kicks from jockeying for position, as it were. He’s frightened by him, realizes he could be the next victim, but is so empty and desperate that he’ll pursue a quick fix at any cost, having to block out those rational fears for the couple of minutes it takes for the killer to blow his diseased wad up the sissy’s butt.

So, completely opposite of the contest between equals in the erotic thriller, the gay killer fantasy is based on one of them having total power and the other showing total submission, perhaps to the extreme of being killed by the other.

Dudes fantasizing about sexually wrastlin’ with women is shameful, but it’s not a sign of being severely fucked in the head. Gay fantasies, on the other hand, always reveal profound mental illness. The winner of the Queer Palm award is trying to romanticize what is soulless, and to aestheticize what is disgusting and ugly.

Thus it’s possible for the protag in an erotic thriller to be tragic, his downfall stemming from arrogantly tempting fate by daring the femme fatale to take off the kid gloves and hit him for real. I don’t know of an example that actually tries to make him tragic, let alone succeed at it, but at least it’s possible, and the basic idea comes across in any good erotic thriller, like Basic Instinct.

The victim in the gay killer fantasy flick is not brought down by any kind of hubris, but by an extreme form of negligence. He knows full well how violent the other guy is, how likely he is to wind up as his next victim, but he’s just gotta have his cock fix.

That’s no more tragic than some junkie continuing to shoot up knowing damn well what the substance will ultimately do to him. It’s pathetic, disturbing, and makes a normal person want to lock him up in a supervised facility where he can no longer harm himself.

We don’t respond that way to the arrogant tempter of the femme fatale — arrogance implies a certain degree of maturity, so it’s his own fault that he got killed by the psycho (“I tole you dat bitch crazy”).

But pretending that a real and imminent danger will somehow magically go away, is just infantile. Our reflex is that this person isn’t totally responsible for what’s happened to them, because their mental development has been arrested or retarded.

We don’t get satisfaction from seeing them met their demise — satisfaction in the sense of righteous vindication. Maybe we’re generically sad, maybe we’re just glad the junkie has kicked the bucket and won’t be around to bother us with his self-destruction any longer. Either way, there’s no happy ending to the gay killer movie.

39 comments:

  1. "In an erotic thriller like Basic Instinct, the tension arises from the male protagonist’s curiosity about a woman who seems as capable of violence as a man, and wanting to square off against her toe-to-toe"
    That would leave out ones with a female protagonist, like In the Cut or The Piano Teacher ( neither of which I've actually seen, although I know the former is from the woman who made Top of the Lake) or The Hunger or Bound (although those focus on lesbianism).

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  2. "alpha or usually wannabe alpha male"

    Michael Douglas's character in "Basic Instinct" was an alpha, in a long line of alphas & femme fatales going back to Odysseus and his temptresses. A good example of a wannabe alpha would be the male opposite of Linda Fiorentino in "The Last Seduction."

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  3. "...trying to romanticize what is soulless, and to aestheticize what is disgusting and ugly."

    I haven't seen the film being discussed, but I was caught by the above line because I think it encapsulates an abiding challenge for art. I know that's not how you meant it, but it's fun to think of examples that have pulled it off.

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  4. advancedatheist6/8/15, 10:10 AM

    Progressives of a philosophical turn worry about how the capitalist form of society causes "alienation" in natural human relationships. So why do they defend the alienating, depersonalized sex, often with strangers, that many gay men engage in?

    This defense makes even less sense when you consider how progressives tend to emphasize living in harmony with nature and staying healthy. So why do they demonize drinking sugary sodas, but not ingesting semen in the mouth or anus from strangers?

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  5. "So why do they defend the alienating, depersonalized sex, often with strangers, that many gay men engage in?"

    Most of them aren't even really aware of just how awful the gay "scene" is. People in general in cocooning times have a shallower knowledge and less sincere interest in other people. We're too wrapped up in our own ego and ideas to face what's going on with other people. Thus the glibness, the kabuki faces, the willful ignorance of human nature in all it's forms (especially the deviant kind).

    Bringing up specific stories and even stats won't be persuasive since in this type of period, people already fancy themselves rationalists and hard thinkers. The precise problem is too much reliance on "proof" (which can be explained away, "straight people do that too" or "gays would be healthier if we wore more tolerant"). We need to get reacquainted with a visceral sense of what's right and what's "natural".

    A rationalist cocooner can claim that nature is fluid; a soulful and socially engaged person would have an intuitive understanding that some things are inherently dangerous (like putting a penis in a mouth or ass).

    When "homophobia" peaked in the 80's, nobody felt the need to make long winded homiles about why being a fag was wrong. People just knew it. There was no point in telling people something they already knew. And nobody wondered why they felt that way; it just seemed right. Note how many late 70's and 80's movies didn't explain everything in great detail. The filmakers trusted the audience to use it's intuition to grasp what was going on. Movies were more dimly lit back then, also. Dark and shadowy images were more appealing to people when we weren't so nerdy.

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  6. Isn't it noteworthy that they're made a gay serial killer movie in 2014?

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  7. not only that, but one that was more honest about homosexual behavior. its pretty blatant in the trailer, the guy knows that his crush is a serial killer but pursues

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  8. It's not a mainstream movie. There have been other frank depictions of lurid queers over the past 20 years, but not from Hollywood, and not that have reached mainstream audiences.

    Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia were among the most viewed and talked about in the early '90s. One centers on a tranny serial killer, the other on some guy who caught AIDS from a random butt-encounter with a random guy he met at a random gay porno theater -- not from a drive-by needle attack by a masked figure who is revealed to be Ronald Reagan.

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  9. That's a good point about Philadelphia, which was even a pro-gay movie. Other movies in the 90s - like the Birdcage, or In and Out - still showed gays as strange, even if they were pro-gay. I guess the 90s were more social than now, so you couldn't fool people too much.

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  10. I haven't seen Friedkin's Cruising, but isn't that also about a gay serial killer? More evidence for your thesis. Plus, it wouldn't just be Demme films. I think De Palma also did a film about a tranny serial killer.

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  11. "I think De Palma also did a film about a tranny serial killer."

    Yes, but it was released in 1980, before cocooning.

    "Dressed to Kill"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dressed_to_Kill_%281980_film%29

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  12. "I haven't seen Friedkin's Cruising, but isn't that also about a gay serial killer? More evidence for your thesis."

    I once read that Friedkin donated to Republicans at one point. Maybe, like Spielberg and John Milius, he's a really rare bird. A (relatively) conservative Hollywood Jew.

    That being said, Cruising (which I've heard reviews of but not seen myself) is quite a muddled movie. Reviewers complained about the story being dull and the characters being opaque. There's a rumor that Al Pacino and/or his agent squashed the original ending that "outed" Pacino as a psycho conflicted with his sexual identity. The ending that ended up in the movie kinda confused people.

    The movie caught a lot of flack for focusing on the gritty side of the gay sex scene and for implying that flirting with the gay scene could damage you. None of the critics seemed to care that the premise of an undercover cop searching for a gay killer was based on a real life case. Though in the real case, the cop kept his composure whereas in Cruising they add the drama of Pacino possibly developing a psychosis after seeing the gay underground and too many butchered bodies.

    One inflammatory thing that Friedkin did was splice in gay porn frames into the murder scenes, obviously linking sex and violence. Well adjusted people understand the idea that deviant acts like gay sex, sodomy, and promiscuity are a small jump away from frenzied violence. But hedonists and liberal autistics get defensive for obvious reasons about being told how dangerous "minor" forms of deviancy are.

    I'm not surprised that Friedkin was a successful athlete who likes to cast obviously masculine actors. I think physically adept people tend to be conservative while dorks lean liberal.

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  13. Conservatives certainly put on a big show of believing themselves more physical, yet there are plenty of abstract personalities who identity themselves conservative.

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  14. "That's a good point about Philadelphia, which was even a pro-gay movie. Other movies in the 90s - like the Birdcage, or In and Out - still showed gays as strange, even if they were pro-gay. I guess the 90s were more social than now, so you couldn't fool people too much."

    The 90's were a weird, weird time. In a couple ways, maybe even weirder than now. In movies, lots of blacks, gays, very young smart mouthed kids, and dogs started showing up. Most 80's movies were about white middle class people who were teenagers and older. These days we don't see as many blacks or dogs. Still lots of queers though. It's as though the gay Jew cabal that dominates Hollywood sensed that things were going off the rails in the 90's, so they threw all kinds of slop at us.

    I've noticed lately that a lot of homos got directing gigs in the 90's as well. In interviews, most 80's movie directors strike me as being quite masculine. Funny how movies got so much shitter in the 90's when fag producers/agents/studio execs sensed that Middle America was "ready" and started giving way more gigs to fairies.

    After 9/11, we realized how scummy and nihilistic 90's "alternative" culture was and things got a little better. Also, the 90's were the beginning of cocooning so a lot of the real nasty stuff from that decade (like Metallica putting pee, blood, and semen on album covers) was just sort of a F you to remind us that we were growing apart. After being in cocooning long enough, you don't see quite the same sort of lame-ass attempts at shock (like Madonna's pitiful early 90's "Sex" book, whose interracial and homo stuff would've been career ending in the Reagan era).

    One big problems movies have had over the last oh, 15 years, is that when a movie does try to be more sincere/big hearted, or heroic/rousing, it's liable to fail since so many of the actors are closet cases. When actors were straight in the 80's, these stories were more convincing. Gay (or obnoxious Jew) actors don't hurt as much if we're talking about the sort of wacky or angsty tone that was more popular in the 90's.

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  15. "Conservatives certainly put on a big show of believing themselves more physical, yet there are plenty of abstract personalities who identity themselves conservative."

    There's definitely a link between physical type and politics. Among self styled conservatives, atheist open border libertarians tend to be the dorkiest. Thick necked types tend to focus more on the human costs of materialism and glibness. Nerds, gays, and Jews dominate post '92 culture and it comes as no surprise that we've embraced liberal decadence since more masculine types have been cowed.

    A study found that higher testosterone levels (which correlate with athletic ability) were linked to greater concern for fairness. Dorks make fun of jocks for being violent jerks; in reality dorks are equally aggressive but they're just more cowardly about it.

    The anti-bullying/pro gay/feminist crusade of the last 20 years is just a ruse to disguise the fact that women and especially beta males want to wreak havoc and not be held accountable. We've let the harpies reign since the 90's. Nobody wants to fight the good fight anymore. Not when you'll lose your job or get sued. How many scumbag gentile dorks and Jews (who have an autistic detachment from their bodies and other people by default) have run rampant because alpha gentiles have been neutered since crime fell?

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  16. Friedkin seems like kind of a loon. When casting the role of the little girl in the Exorcist, he asked the tryouts if they had masturbated, and 12-year old Linda blair was the only one who said yes.

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  17. I agree with you in theory Feryl, I'm just pointing out that there are a lot of pseudo-cons these days. The modern average conservative strikes me as being like the modern liberal, except more posturing as a tough guy.

    "The 90's were a weird, weird time. In a couple ways, maybe even weirder than now.

    Agnostic said in a previous comment that the 90s were much more social, and I agree with this, having grown up in the time. A key point is that Internet use didn't really take off until around 1999-2000. Having been 13-14 from '97-'98, I can distinctly remember that the times seemed much different - though obviously, cocooning had already taken off by this point.

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  18. I'd like to understand how the Internet use impacted society, and what other trends it can be tied to, since it does not correlate strictly with cocooning.

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  19. I'm curious, Feryl, what body type are you? I have a feeling it's not the "thick necked" or "physically adept" type you write about, but I could be wrong.

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  20. that's not fair, its a good idea, I just think its not that simple.

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  21. "Agnostic said in a previous comment that the 90s were much more social, and I agree with this, having grown up in the time. A key point is that Internet use didn't really take off until around 1999-2000. Having been 13-14 from '97-'98, I can distinctly remember that the times seemed much different"

    By virtue of following the 80's, people weren't going to get that lame that fast. But though people might've been cooler in the 90's than now, you still saw signs that people were getting tired of putting as much energy into being pro social. As in dressing well, being upbeat, and being helpful. People started to act more and more self-conscious, angsty, or aloof (the 80's were the heyday of "just be yourself), clothes got baggier and really loud ('88-'93) or really drab ('94-'00). Women wore less visible make up and started to straighten hair more and keep it in their face.

    People don't seem as aggro in the last 10-15 years. Gangsta rap and nu-metal were dead by about 2004. Like I've said before, now that people are so comfortable in their cocoons, we don't see quite as much annoying and crass combative attitudes. That being said, yeah, it was easier to reach people back in the 90's. But unlike the 80's, you were more likely to run into a brick wall that people were starting to build around their hearts and psyches. These days for most people, there's no there there. We're lost in our boring little worlds. In the 90's you sometimes hit nasty resistance but you also could find a way around the wall.

    BTW, I was around your age in the 90's. So I don't think either of us really remember the 80's, other than a few memories of the very late 80's (which weren't as cool as '75-'87 anyway). Agnostic had a childhood in the 80's, and according to him people seemed a lot cooler in the 80's based on his own experience. For those of us who were born around '83 and after (Millennials, really) we can only go off of media and the reports of older people. About 90% of the music I listen to was made from '76-'91, so based on that alone I think it's safe to say that things were more exciting back then.

    Alas, for early Millennials, we got
    - slutty 90's Madonna
    - alternative bleating and rap rather than guitar god rock or catchy synth pop
    - goofy 90's acting (rather than sincere 80's acting)
    - politicians going full back stab (NAFTA, read my lips, I didn't inhale, Waco/Ruby Ridge, etc.
    - sports leagues bringing in tons of foreigners while salaries exploded to embarrassing levels (the Greatest Gen would not have accepted and kept such obscene money)
    - blacks divorcing themselves from mainstream culture
    - pro-homo propaganda
    - Russia being looted by the Me Generation

    It's just hard to feel that good about the 90's. The seeds of our downfall were planted in the 70's and especially 80's but things were still fairly positive. Then the 90's happened, crime fell, globalism and multi-culturalism rose, and all hell broke loose.

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  22. So, as individuals who hate cocooning, what can we do to thrive in a cocooning time?

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  23. Heads up. Just saw a preview for the Vacation remake starring, of all people, closet case Ed Helms in the Clark role. Whoa.

    The nerve the gay mafia has. The preview showed a recreation of the Christie Brinkley "drive-by" that was iconic in the original. Classic stuff when done by Chevy Chase and Brinkley in the New Wave era original ('83 I believe). But a sick joke for a sick era, complete with the "lil stinker smirk", when done by faggy Helms in the remake.

    It went by too fast for me to judge the chick in the drive-by role. I doubt she's as sexy as Brinkley was in the original.

    How I long for the much overdue nuking of the liberal/gay/Jew hive at the heart of post 1992 Hollywood.

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  24. "So, as individuals who hate cocooning, what can we do to thrive in a cocooning time?"

    I don't know if there's anything you can do. The phenomonen is all-pervasive - it just promotes the wrong people into position of responsibility and influence, while the normal people become demoralized and isolated.

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  25. "It's just hard to feel that good about the 90's."

    yes, I agree strongly. and yet, they were not nearly as cocooned as current times. there was a different dynamic involved, which had something to do with Internet use, which I'm interested in exploring more.

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  26. Have you seen "Suspicion" with Joan Fontaine, "The Two Mrs. Carrolls" with Barbara Stanwyck, or "Sudden Fear" with Joan Crawford? The suspense is "will he kiss her or kill her?" I haven't seen "Stranger By The Lake" and have absolutely no desire to, but aren't old film noirs like those just heterosexual equlivants of it?

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  27. " there was a different dynamic involved, which had something to do with Internet use, which I'm interested in exploring more. "

    By the 60's, everybody had a TV. By the 70's, most people had color TVs. Yet cocooning declined throughout the 60's and 70's. The expansion of cable and VCR ownership throughout the 80's didn't seem to make any difference.

    I don't really think tech has much to do with social behavior. Cable, with it's endless waves of programming, would seem like an enemy to social and physical activity. Yet, well into the 90's cable was mocked as a wasteland of re-runs, infomercials, public access tedium, and cheapo original programming. Sure, there were the movie channels, but back in the outgoing 80's (to a lesser extent, the 90's) you were supposed to go see an exciting new movie at the theater. Besides, you had to wait months for stuff to reach video/cable. In terms of big hits, it could be almost a year wait.

    The tide had turned by the late 90's. There were more channels, bigger budgets, and even attempts at high brow drama (the Sopranos etc.). This happened because more people were spending more time alone and indoors, so the market responded by making cable bigger and better. So as to make it easier for Joe couch potato to rationalize paying a ridiculous bill (the monopolizing of the industry took off after a '96 bill was passed).

    Also, video waits really began declining by the early 2000's, which I think says a lot about how bad movies got. Since movies were bad, studios no longer had faith that viewers would maintain interest in seeing a movie on video months after a theater run. This is why we now see heavily marketed movies which get dumped onto video immediately. The studios know they're pushing garbage so they create big hype vortexes that will quickly suck up viewers before they have too long of a period to consider how crappy the movie is.

    A parallel in the music industry is the way that post '96 artists have teams of agents, stylists, marketers, producers etc. endlessly hyping and buidling a good looking "artist" whose music is contrived crap. Thus, we get pop princesses (and princes) who can reel off one hit after another in defiance of any standard of taste. In the late 60's-early 90's, the industry usually just pressed records and let the listener think for themselves. People, ya know, actually had lives before the mid 90's so they had better things to do than buy into overhyped pop idols.

    In outgoing periods, we get heart, soul, and aesthetic talent. In cocooning periods, we get shiny product that will not bear the re-evaluation that comes with the advance of time. Thus the extreme emphasis on marketing; when good stuff is being made there isn't the same necessity to "tell" somebody to view it or listen to it. It speaks for itself.

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  28. I know some will say TV and the internet are different. But TV is more poisonous than the internet in some ways. I read something once about how the use of sound and image is effective at basically arresting a person's attention. The writer pointed out that the one sure fire way to disrupt a communal space is turn on a TV and keep the sound up. People have evolved to pay attention to active sentient objects (a friend warning you, an animal on the prowl, whatever); when TV is constantly outputting a stream of sounds and sights how can we not let it infiltrate our consciousness?

    With all the TV (including streaming videos/shows on the internet) being consumed, how could anyone deny how deep into cocooning we are? Some might point to 80's culture being TV friendly, but what did people watch? Music videos and movies from time to time. Not the avalanche of dull reality shows and serialized cocooner porn that has reigned since about '96.

    There's a tendency for contemporary attitudes to infect our understanding of the past. We weren't the same in the 80's, folks. Back then, a person who sat around watching TV for hours on end was a weirdo. Watching the Terminator after a busy day or catching the latest Def Leppard video was fine; but you didn't schedule your life around TV, not when people were doing so many fun things together (playing sports, camping, dancing to fun music at a concert or club, parties of all kinds even block parties with neighbors, etc.)

    You know, I wonder if the cocooning distaste for physical and social activity partly explains why we see so many weirdos running wild during a cocooning period. The dorks get to dork out while more kinesthetic and convivial people end up feeling alienated. You see so much guilt tripping about how "conventional/traditional" society makes geeks/homos/timid girls feel "uncomfortable". The past is hissed at as archaic and beyond redemption. A past which shallow cocooners fail to grasp since they naively feel that modern people are so inherently awesome that it's not even necessary to actually read up on what made people tick in the past. It's always put down as a wilderness from which we've escaped.

    We all end up repressing the energies that we need to have an outlet for, and this is most warping to people who draw strength from their bodies and mouths, rather than just their minds.

    Meanwhile, in the 80's, the poor nerds were actually expected to at least try to put some effort into cultivating a healthy lifestyle and image. And if they refused, nobody had qualms about reminding them of how lame they were. Yep, we once believed in shaming outcasts who wouldn't get with the program.

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  29. "but aren't old film noirs like those just heterosexual equlivants of it?"

    that's an interesting point, because the old film noirs were also made during a time of cocooning(midcentury), so the values were somewhat similar.

    back then, you weren't allowed to portray homosexuality in the media - yet the trend was towards infantilism

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  30. in a film noir, the hero slavishly goes back to a woman who keeps exploiting him, just as in "Stranger by the Lake".

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  31. "and this is most warping to people who draw strength from their bodies and mouths, rather than just their minds."

    maybe, but then again, according to Jon Niednagel at Braintypes.com, the vast majority of Americans are abstract-oriented as opposed to corporeal(he uses the terms "conceptual" vs. "empirical".) Niednagel, who works as a talent scout for the Boston Celtics, and can identify personality based on facial expressions and mannerisms, says even most professional athletes are abstract-oriented now.(the mark of an abstract-oriented personality being a sort of distant, kabuki-like facial expression).

    though, I agree with your point that physically-oriented people do feel really stifled, for most people a lot of the neuroticism is lack of social feedback, and lack of support. when you isolate someone, they start freaking out - "what did I do wrong?". they can become more easily manipulated, and more suggestible to bad ideas or delusional ideas. "Face to Face" posted a previous article about how a porn star, with already large breasts, got even bigger implants because she wasn't getting any feedback about how attractive she was.

    cocooning can wreck otherwise normal people. Bruce Jenner won a friggin' triathlon and then decided he was a crossdresser. Micheal Jackson made some of the best music ever, then destroyed himself with plastic surgery and became reclusive. Jackson was even part of the most social cohort, the Disco Generation(1955-1965).

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  32. I like this blog and the comments though I disagree slightly with some of them. The one thing I noticed about cocooning and movies is I remember hearing 10 or fifteen years ago people saying that they no longer liked going to the movies because of the rowdy, rude audiences. I thought it was odd at the time, because I kind of like seeing a movie with a slightly rowdy audience. Many comedies aren't that funny anyway so let's here what the guy in row 15 has to say(to a point). I think this was the cocooning mindset affecting Hollywood regardless of what they were putting on the screen. I also couldn't relate to it because when I go to a serious film, the crowd is so small and old that rudeness really isn't an issue.
    Yes, we had cable in the 90's but you didn't have a TV in every room, watch you want culture that developed some time later. There was also much less porn. A small house with one TV watching Three's Company is nothing like the TV culture that existed when Tony Soprano showed up.

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  33. "back then, you weren't allowed to portray homosexuality in the media - yet the trend was towards infantilism"

    Ironically, in spite of the popular opinion that the 40's and 50's were suffocatingly conservative, there still were a ton of closeted actors at that time. It's true that openly depicting perversion of any kind was forbidden. Still, the values of the time were rather superficial. In cocooning periods, people become timid and shallow. We don't have a deeply held sense of right and wrong and we aren't as good at reading people. So we accept poofers in leading roles.

    There's also the fact that in cocconing periods, men are less macho and women become uncomfortable with intimacy. With little violence or promiscuity, there's no urgency to get anything done. We're all gonna live for decades, right? Men are discouraged from passion and women become disinterested in guys. We don't want fire in life, why do we want it on screen? So there is less demand for convincing on screen relationships. Thus gays (and crypto lesbians) slip into more roles.

    It's worth noting that most gay actors quietly faded away by the early 70's. Some got B roles or were accepted in more comic roles, but no longer were they permitted to be serious lead actors.

    You're right about the infantile thing. I think being in a non threatening environment paradoxically makes people more timid, nervous, and self-conscious. Why grow up when life will last so long?

    In a wilder period, people cut the crap and just go for stuff without doing so much agonizing. We dive into stuff faster since we think that we might miss out if we procrastinate and focus on trivial stuff.

    Outgoing periods are more sophisticated. Listening to 80's music, it's sort of like all the fat had been trimmed off the styles that first appeared in the 70's. Cocooners are wary of the energy and urgency of 80's culture, so it causes a lot of people to say, "well, they did it in the 70's first and then a bunch of brats ripped it off". Folks, it's not just concept, it's execution. The execution in the 80's was much less pretentious. And usually it was more fun.

    And at least the styles/formulas being used in the 70's/80's were cool. Regardless of how they were executed. By around '96 we had mostly left those styles (catchy dance stuff, melodic rock, mature pop with lush arrangements and heartfelt vocals, technically skilled and energetic metal, etc.) behind.

    It's funny how critics of 80's music don't seem to notice the disappearance of melody, complexity, harmony, "true" energy (sincere enthusiasm, not noisy/boring overkill) and refined technique that started around '90 and got really bad by the late 90's. Most post '96 music is painfully repetitive and simple. It takes more talent and effort to pull off complex structure in instrument patterns and arrangements. Also to pull off melodies and syncopation rather than just dull droning.

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  34. "Ironically, in spite of the popular opinion that the 40's and 50's were suffocatingly conservative, there still were a ton of closeted actors at that time. It's true that openly depicting perversion of any kind was forbidden. Still, the values of the time were rather superficial."

    Yes, that is a good observation. the public's homosexual attitudes correlate more with cocooning than inequality/equality, which correlates with the elites' attitudes. The elites were anti-homosexual in the midcentury, but the public were more pro-homosexual, and the evidence is, as per your observation, they preferred closeted actors in their movies.

    "Face to Face" also made a previous post that there was a huge market in the 50s for lurid tabloids and comics depicting homosexuality and crossdressing.

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  35. " The one thing I noticed about cocooning and movies is I remember hearing 10 or fifteen years ago people saying that they no longer liked going to the movies because of the rowdy, rude audiences"

    I do remember that. The crime rate is said to have risen moderately in the 2000s, causing an outgoing trend, so that may have been why audiences became rowdier, but I'm not sure though.

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  36. "The one thing I noticed about cocooning and movies is I remember hearing 10 or fifteen years ago people saying that they no longer liked going to the movies because of the rowdy, rude audiences. I thought it was odd at the time, because I kind of like seeing a movie with a slightly rowdy audience. Many comedies aren't that funny anyway so let's here what the guy in row 15 has to say(to a point). I think this was the cocooning mindset affecting Hollywood regardless of what they were putting on the screen. I also couldn't relate to it because when I go to a serious film, the crowd is so small and old that rudeness really isn't an issue."

    There's been a real decline not so much in civility, but in terms of willingness to stand up and deal with assholes.

    I'm sure there were assholes haunting theaters in the 80's, but people weren't as shy back then about telling them to shape up. Nowadays, we're more reticent to confront a rude person because we think about all the horror stories of belligerent d-bags attacking someone who had the audacity to tell them to knock it off.

    As Eric Holder would say, we really are a nation of cowards. I think what really grieves us is a feeling of impotence when it comes to dealing with rude people. In a more outgoing period, we get that there's assholes but it's not as big of a deal since we're more willing to take the risk of standing up to them. In a cocooning period, we get paralyzed by over analyzing the risks of everything. So we just sink into our chairs and let the barbarians run amok.

    What's all the more sad and ironic about this is that Millennial teenagers are so non threatening that no one should feel too intimidated to hold them accountable for what they do. Yet people in the 80's were more willing to take action, in spite of Gen X kids being way tougher than current teens.

    I do remember one critic complaining about BO, which does tie into people finding more and more excuses to avoid people in a cocooning era. It seems like starting in the 90's, you saw a lot of BO humor and shaming. When people were friendlier, more forgiving, and more trusting in the 70's and 80's this thing was a lot less common. Agnostic has also done some posts about hygiene OCD going way up in cocooning periods.

    One other theory: mabye rudeness has gone up a bit simply because today's movies are so lousy that they fail to hold the attention of the viewer? Check out running times; When movies were best in the late 70's and early 80's, how many of them were over 2 hours? The majority of action and horror flicks were under 100 minutes. When movies are more exciting, stories are told via good acting and certain lines and images which convey a lot quickly. So movies are shorter. Longer movies also seems to reflect OCD and a lack of creative parsimony on the creator's part (can't decide what to cut, throw it all in) and the audience (got to check all the boxes, don't wanna use my imagination to answer questions that a shorter movie won't provide). Remember Halloween ('78)? Was that the Boogeyman?

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  37. @ agnostic: Even if homosexuality was a mental illness, I'd still rather that than be homophobic like you since illnesses can actually be cured, unlike hatred.

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  38. Naturally you would, the site your name links to is titled:

    "Aspergernauts | The aspergers help, support & advice forum"

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  39. "Thus it’s possible for the protag in an erotic thriller to be tragic, his downfall stemming from arrogantly tempting fate by daring the femme fatale to take off the kid gloves and hit him for real. I don’t know of an example that actually tries to make him tragic, let alone succeed at it, but at least it’s possible, and the basic idea comes across in any good erotic thriller, like Basic Instinct."

    Not an "erotic thriller" in modern terms, but this story was certainly handled in grand fashion by Shakespeare in "Antony and Cleopatra." It has all the elements, including making the protagonist an older male who knows damn well what he's doing and is willing to throw everything away for it. It's also made clear repeatedly that this decision is unmanly and supremely shameful. What makes it work as tragedy is that the stakes are indeed high (partial ownership of "the whole world" - i.e. Rome at its peak) and the safe alternative (exemplified by Octavius) is bloodless and no longer capable of greatness.

    Needless to say, there could never be an "Antony and Antony," except as farce.

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