Category Archives: Music/Pop Culture

Confessions of A Reluctent Brony

Little more than a year ago I was talking to a friend about the “Brony” phenomenon, we decided that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic wasn’t the worst show targeted at little girls and that it could be worse.

A little under a week ago I was talking with a different friend about my recent exposure to MLP:FIM and my opinion on the show; it’s good, not worth going out of ones way to watch.  I went home that night and out of sheer boredom I started watching the show, from the beginning, and yesterday I watched the final episode of season two.

I LOVE PONIES!
You should go watch ponies.
It’s a great show!
Go watch it.

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus, Brony.

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“No Homo lolol!”

“No homo” is a phrase I’ve heard and seen after phrases as innocuous as (“I love your shoes”) to the most sapphic (“Your tits look GREAT in that top”) and no matter what precedes it the phrase confounds me.   What about paying someone a complement indicates romantic interest?  And isn’t romantic interest just another complement?   If you understand this phenomenon, feel free to explain it to me but if you are as confused as I am then feel free to share this question with whomever insists that they are “no homo.”

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

STOP THE SHAME!

I recently participated in a conversation that got me thinking about all the shame associated with sex.  One of my friends admitted to exploring sexuality from a young age and another friend admitted to being uncomfortable with the idea of masturbation, both friends were laughed at and teased for being “too sexual” and “not sexual enough” respectively.

Shame doesn’t do anybody any bit of good, what does it matter if someone’s personal buisness isn’t what you think is right?  What you think is right is just right for you.  Don’t force anyone to conform to your ideals no matter how right you think they are and don’t conform to any ideals that are not your own out of shame.

Stop sex shaming
Stop virginity shaming
Stop kink shaming
Stop woman shaming
Stop man shaming
Stop fetish shaming
STOP SHAMING!

I love and accept you as you are, no matter how “different” you may seem.  And remember, there is a place for you somewhere.

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

I have read very few books that manage to cover issues of freedom, gender, sexuality and youth while maintaining an interesting plot, Beauty Queens is one of those rare literary gems.

The book opens with a note from the book’s sponsor, The Corporation, telling us that although the book begins with a plane crash everything will be OK! Then of course is the aforementioned plane crash and we learn that it was a plane full of contestants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant (hosted by The Corporation), the plane crashed onto a seemingly deserted island and we are treated to what seems like the beginning of a Lord of the Flies style survival book. But in Libba Bray’s work things are never exactly as they seem.

I always hesitate to give away TOO much, but I can assure you that even the Corporation ads spaced throughout the book are enthralling, the plot thickens when some sexy British pirates show up on the island and that we are given the gift of queerness on so many levels throughout the book. The audio-book differs slightly from the printed book and is read by Libba Bray herself, very well I might add, and is worth a listen.

GO READ IT!

Yours in Queerness,
Ignis Viperi

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice…

I was talking with some women a few days ago about the expectations of their gender that bothered them most, the unanimous answer seemed to be having their anger belittled. “It’s your time of the month isn’t it?” “Calm down, it’s just PMS.” And other such jokes are the most overt ways that women and girls are told that it’s not ACCEPTABLE for them to be angry, that their anger or annoyance isn’t as IMPORTANT as someone else’s.  It gets subtler and more damaging too; if a little boy hits someone out of anger in play I’ve seen them scolded for violence and told to find better ways to deal with anger, but if a little girl does the same thing she is informed that “it isn’t ladylike to hit” and that she “shouldn’t get so upset about thing.” What is the message there? To me the message is simply that anger is for boys.

The double standard is perpetuated through nursery rhymes such as “ What are little boys made of? Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails. That’s what little boys are made of ! What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice. That’s what little girls are made of!” and the toys given to children, when older kids are roughhousing and misbehaving girls are called “trouble makers” while boys are just “being boys,” and when teens go through angry stages girls are always just hormonal while boys are rebelling and growing up.

Yours in queerness,
Duo Spiritus

Fear

**This post may contain spoilers regarding the book Divergent by Veronica Roth, if that bothers you, skip to the conclusion.**

So I’ve been listening to the audio book of Divergent, and I’ve reached a few conclusions and even more questions, mostly about myself. I’ve concluded that, most likely, the aptitude test would place me in Amity, Erudite or Dauntless (or I’d be Divergent) and that I would choose Dauntless with very little hesitation. I also realized that if I were to be forced to face my innermost fears rather then the fears I allow myself to think about I would most likely be surprised.

**At this point if you want to avoid spoilers you can read again**

I have spent many years of my life finding, facing and/or controlling my fears, the physical ones at least. I once feared heights and so, like Keladry, (Protector of the Small quartet by Tamora Pierce) I forced myself to face heights whenever I could, I rode roller coasters and thrill rides that forced me onto high places and then dropped me from them, I climbed things and jumped down, I went up tall buildings and looked down until the fact my brain told me to be afraid had no effect on my body or my clarity of thought. There was a time I feared fire, I learned everything I could about fire, I played with fire and in time I learned to understand fire until when I saw fire I felt both fear and attraction.

**Spoilers, but mild ones that shouldn’t really spoil anything at all unless you’ve already guessed what will happen next**

Other then Heights and Fire I have not suffered from many fears, not counting those that came from lack of worldly experience, but I knew there had to be things I fear besides those two obvious choices. And then Divergent reminded me of fears outside the physical. I realized how much I fear vulnerability, how much I fear intimacy, how much I fear a lack of intimacy and how much I fear removing the armor I have constructed around my emotions and affections.

**Spoilers are all gone, go ahead and read.**

When I realized those fears I realized that those fears may just be why I have never opened up to someone in a romantic way. Not only did I fear rejection I feared the vulnerability and the weakness that comes with it. But like all my other fears I know that by acknowledging this one I can face it and control it. Well, I hope I can…

I now have an internal debate about how to deal with these fears; one side argues that both physical and emotional intimacy will get easier if I just practice, just get it over with, while the other says that I should ease into it starting emotionally and, eventually, ending physically when the moment is right. Over the weekend at a party the “get it over with like a band-aid” part of me won out for a while and I had my first “kiss,” although I hesitate to call the small collection of three second pecks actual kisses. This was of course while playing two different silly party games; Suck and blow, a game in which you move a card of some sort around a circle of people by first holding it to your mouth by sucking in air and then pass it to your neighbor by them sucking in air while you blow out air, and if you or your neighbor drops the card you have to kiss and then spin the bottle. The unromantic, three second kisses while somebody counts the seconds were awkward to say the least and most of me doesn’t even count any of them as a “first kiss.” But another part of me is glad I didn’t make it to seventeen and never been kissed.

But I’m off topic, and as you can clearly see, the topic is fear. What do you fear? Have you faced it? Controlled it? If not, why? Let me know in the comments below!

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

Hipster? Goth? Punk? Nerd?

When I talk about music with people, or they catch me listening to music in some way they can enjoy with me it is not uncommon for them to try to fit a label to my most… eclectic taste in music, and often tie it in to my dress and mannerisms and shove me into some subculture.  Lately I’m hearing Hipster and Goth more often then any others; Hipster would be because of how little apparent effort I put into my dress and appearance and the fact that the people who label me with hipster never bother to listen to the artists I enjoy and decide it must be hipster music because they, in all their varied cultural experience, (Justin Bieber AND Paramore) have never heard of.  I get Goth from people who know me better who actually try the music I like, this is because they know that I see beauty in dark places and they find the lyrics to the music I enjoy slightly depressing.  I have no idea where punk came from and Nerd is clearly because of the fact I enjoy Broadway of ALL generations,  jazz and classical music as much as the more “modern” tunes.

What I never understood was the NEED to put any label on anyone.  But labels seem to be an inescapable social more,  so I’ll label myself; I’m a Knightly hipster-goth with BAMFy tendencies and a flair for the dramatic.

And here is the music in question, or a small taste of it. While your listening why don’t you figure out how you define yourself and tell it to the world in the comment section below.

This one needs a warning; it’s lyrics, subject matter and video are on the “mature” side of things.

If you watched it and are now upset, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

A Good Series Is Hard To Find.

Mere moments ago I finished Inheritance, the fourth and final book of the Inheritance Cycle, and although the feeling for me was not as intense as when I underwent the same process with first the Harry Potter books and then the films it was the same feeling.

In the past 1,626 Days (232 Weeks and 2 Days or roughly 3 1/2 years) I have experienced the conclusion of an important part of my childhood. Starting with finishing the reading of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, then watching the final film of the same name and just now finishing Inheritance, and while I am not yet an adult with each of the conclusions I feel I have shed a layer of my childhood.  With the completion of this series I complete all the books with which I grew as a person and learned about myself, I no longer will await the next installment eagerly despite the years between books and although I’ll never stop re-reading I say goodbye to all the charterers I loved because I will no longer watch them grow without knowing the outcome.  Although I shall read more books, and no doubt many will touch me deeply, none will mean as much to me as those that helped me grow into myself.

With Eragon I dealt with my anger; anger at being trapped in a body that never did all I asked of it.  With Eragon I learned to protect my mind and myself while still being able to love and trust.

With Saphira I learned that love is not a weakness, I learned to be strong with the iron in my bones and brave with the fire in my belly.  And with Saphira I learned to let go and soar.

With Eragon, Brom, Saphira, Glaidr, Arya, Murtagh, Thorn and even Gallbatorix I learned the importance of names, and began the internal quest for my own true name.

With Harry I learned the importance and strength that lies in love for others, I learned that sacfriface for those you love is no sacrifice at all.

With Ron and Hermione I learned that one can find love in the most unexpected place.

With Hermione I learned “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things — friendship and bravery.”

With Draco I learned that it is never too late to change.

With Snape I learned that bravery comes in all colors, even green.

And with Tom Riddle I learned that Life without human connection, friendhip and love, is no life at all.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Eragon

Eldest

Brisingr

Inheritance

These 11 books have changed my life and made me the person I am today.  A Slytherin and a Dragon Rider.

Yours in Queerness,

Duo Spiritus

What If?

Lyrics:
Here you sit on your high-backed chair
Wonder how the view is from there
I wouldn’t know ’cause I like to sit
Upon the floor, yeah upon the floor
If you like we could play a game
Let’s pretend that we are the same
But you will have to look much closer
Than you do, closer than you do

And I’m far too tired to stay here anymore
And I don’t care what you think anyway
‘Cause I think you were wrong about me
Yeah what if you were, what if you were

And what if I’m a snowstorm burning
What if I’m a world unturning
What if I’m an ocean, far too shallow, much too deep
What if I’m the kindest demon
Something you may not believe in
What if I’m a siren singing gentlemen to sleep

I know you’ve got it figured out
Tell me what I am all about
And I just might learn a thing or two
Hundred about you, maybe about you
I’m the end of your telescope
I don’t change just to suit your vision
‘Cause I am bound by a fraying rope
Around my hands, tied around my hands

And you close your eyes when I say I’m breaking free
And put your hands over both your ears
Because you cannot stand to believe I’m not
The perfect girl you thought
Well what have I got to lose

And what if I’m a weeping willow
Laughing tears upon my pillow
What if I’m a socialite who wants to be alone
What if I’m a toothless leopard
What if I’m a sheepless shepherd
What if I’m an angel without wings to take me home

You don’t know me
Never will, never will
I’m outside your picture frame
And the glass is breaking now
You can’t see me
Never will, never will
If you’re never gonna see

What if I’m a crowded desert
Too much pain with little pleasure
What if I’m the nicest place you never want to go
What if I don’t know who I am
Will that keep us both from trying
To find out and when you have
Be sure to let me know

What if I’m a snowstorm burning
What if I’m a world unturning
What if I’m an ocean, far too shallow, much too deep
What if I’m the kindest demon
Something you may not believe in
What if I’m a siren singing gentlemen to sleep
Sleep…
Sleep…

Risque

Lyrics: (Revamped)
I’ve got birds in my ears
and a devil on my shoulder
and a phone to the other,
and i can’t get a hold of her.
and what’s a crush to do?
what’s a crush to do when ze can’t get through?

medically speaking you’re adorable.
and from what i hear you’re quite affordable.
but i like them pricey.
so exagerate and trick me.
pretty please, just trick me.
pretty please.

I’ve got birds in my ears
and a devil on my shoulder
and a phone to the other,
and i can’t get a hold of him.
and what’s a crush to do?
what’s a crush to do when she can’t get through?

I’m obsessed and stressed with this mess,
i can’t think of things
to write down,
to type down.
and these fingertips are moving faster than these lips.
so you can only imagine how jealous my mouth is.
so you can only imagine how jealous my mouth is.

I got birds in my ears
and a devil on my shoulder
and a phone to the other,
and i can’t get a hold of hir.
and what’s a crush to do?
what’s a crush to do?

I got birds in my ears.
(I got birds in my ears.)
and a devil on my shoulder.
(and a devil on my shoulder.)
what’s a crush
what’s a crush to do?

I turn on a dime, spin me around.
so you can shine, shine right now.
we’ll even have a crowd
we’ll make this purchase count.

medically speaking you’re adorable.
and from what i hear you’re quite affordable.
but i like them pricey
so exagerate and trick me.

I got birds in my ears.
(i gotbirds in my ears.)
and a devil on my shoulder.
(and a devil on my shoulder.)
and what’s a crush to do
what’s a crush to do

I’ve got birds in my ears
(I’ve got birds in my ears)
and a devil on my shoulder
(and a devil on my shoulder)
what’s a crush,
what’s a lush to do?

I’ve got birds in my ears
(I’ve got birds in my ears)
and a devil on my shoulder
(and a devil on my shoulder)
what’s a crush,
what’s a lush to do when he can’t get through?