Love Me

Words I hear in Dudley Moore’s voice, of course. As you will doubtless guess I am exhorting you to check out things that I am doing. A rather pointless venture, I know. The only thing people read on social media are the things they have tagged you in. C’est la vie. My head is full of things that must come out. Decades of indifference have left me delusional that you are all pining to hear my latest: don’t wake me up.

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Gutterthon

Those great folks at the Cultural Gutter are raising funds to pay their writers. A novel concept but I hope it catches on and puts the HuffPo out of business. I have contributed to the cause by offering to write the original story for my Deliberately Lost SF Classic ‘Psycho Motorcycle Dolls (1966)’ and you can be one of ten people to see this exclusive story by contributing to the Gutter. There are other fabulous prizes as well.

 

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Letters on Love from The Pigeonhole

Yes, just that gif has made me start twitching just in the time it took to write this but it’s there to get your attention. I think. Sign up for this free multimedia event which takes place both online and on the Southbank and you will be rewarded with many musings about love — including a song by me. That’s right. I am full of surprises. Which brings me to…

How to Be Dull

Admit it, you’d prefer a dull life. So does Basil Morley. Soon he will explain to you how to obtain this nirvana in the hottest self-help book of the season. I can promise you it is a peach and looks extraordinary because that Stephanie Johnson has been whipping the thing into shape. So start following the site and do be DULL.

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Getting Girly with MLP

What I Learned from Cult TV:
Friendship is Magic

Cult TV show My Little Pony

This is about my My Little Pony epiphany. I have sighed my way through a lot of bad entertainment consumption with the Executive Princess, much of it day-glo and glittery. I think the bottom of the barrel might be Barbie’s Life in the Dream House but it could also apply to the endless package openings on YouTube where that woman with the grating voice goes into orgasmic raptures in that sing-song way over every product that she’s paid to drool over.

If you do not know her, be grateful.

So I expected no less of MLP, which originally kicked off in the 80s with a film promoting a toy line (the horror of that 80s animation! If you have seen that travesty, you know of what I speak: believe me, anything that Madeline Kahn cannot rescue is irredeemable). Sure, I had heard of Bronies and other cutesy appropriations as every pony knows, but considering the unearned fanaticism that makes some folks fawn over that saccharine Speilbergian horror, Goonies, I didn’t pay much attention. I figured it was another ‘I love it because I grew up with it’ phenomenon (I grew up with war pictures and Westerns: I do not generally love either). I really didn’t think MLP would be any different from, say, those interminable Strawberry Shortcake episodes (scarring, I assure you).

I certainly never expected to fight off tears watching MLP’s Rainbow Rocks.

Somehow a bunch of things collided in my head last summer while I first got immersed in Ponyville. I was also reading some Megan Abbott (Fever and then later The End of Everything) and also noticing stories like the Slenderman stabbing. They stirred up a lot of the best and worst of girlhood. There’s a darkness in it that no one much likes to admit; it can be a very claustrophobic world.

Girls lives are circumscribed by society. Much as we like to think we are free and liberal (all current evidence to the contrary), the truth remains that girls lives are tightly bound. At the far end of the spectrum, they’re literally locked away until handed over to a husband or some other patriarchal organisation; at the more lenient end, they’re hemmed in by social constructions that breed fear into their very skin. They’re both disparaged and protected. They don’t have a choice. So what happens?

Girls expand to fill the spaces allowed them…

[Click here to read the rest over at Fox Spirit]