Thursday, 4 December 2014
Enforced or encourage addiction of any sort can be of interest for its potential to be put to use to further impose and enforce a régime of strict discipline and restriction.
But I'm not too sure about this one , though! Other than the kidnapping theme, this has little to do with the new book I'm writing you may be relieved to know (or maybe not – let me know if it floats your boat; the sentiment behind it does it for me, if not the subject matter; I actually HATE smoking).
I just happened upon the picture, and this is what popped into my addled little head. What more can I say?:
“That's it! Keep watching the film – take a drag on the cigarette, take it deeep down, deeeeep, deeeep down, keep watching the film, listening to my voice... Yes, that's the way – good girl! The taste is so, so delicious, so very, VERY addictive. Tobacco! Hmmm! Yes! You want more and more and more – twenty a day, thirty a day, FORTY a day... Yes, why not FORTY a day? Imagine yourself lighting one after another after another, no guilt, sheer, SHEER pleasure, not able to stop, not WANTING to stop, lighting each from the previous before it goes out – no more worrying about your silly, silly athletics career, all that exhausting ruining and running and running... You're only going to be interested in where the next cigarette is coming from... That's it, finish it up – and then the nice kind nurse is going to put you back in your pyjamas and straitjacket and take you back to your room where you'll hear music playing over and over, the same music as in the film, that you're hearing now, and when you hear the music you'll remember the film, and needing a cigarette, being desperate, so desperate for a cigarette, craving just one more cigarette, craving, craving, craving...
OK – got that all down on tape?”
“Good! AND the pictures, plenty of nice shots?”
“Yep! Those too!”
“Excellent! Perhaps now, when they see what we're doing to their little darling 'golden Girl', they're cave in to our demands a little more readily. OK, get her off to her room, safely under lock and key, and I'll have her back in here later this afternoon for another session... And make sure she stays awake! We'll keep it going as we have done these last few weeks - she can have two hours sleep after her session around mid-afternoon and two hours around midnight; and that's it! Any sign of dissent or disobedience or she tries to sleep, take a cane to her backside. I want her nice and sleepy – she's easier to handle that way.”
Tuesday, 2 December 2014
Sometimes you stumble across a perfectly innocent scenario. Then the little demons that live in the imaginative subconscious kick in. An old background created for by the stalwart of 3D computer art, Angela Fox, (for the long-delayed, still to be completed, INSTITUTIONALISED comic-book project) happens to be at hand, and it just so happens that yours truly - while working on an image for and on behalf of Roger Benson yesterday and last night- had reason to assemble a new speech bubble... And it all just comes together.
I have to admit that like so much I have put out on my blogs of late, this has VERY little to do with the early sections of the - multi--part - book I am working on in its present incarnation, which does not, in its early stages at least, have much to do with any kind of institutional scenario. But it does make one think of what just might be plausible within the context - and under the auspices of - one of those early experimental psychology studies undertaken back in the days before ethics committees had much sway.
The imagery that has imerged also explores an interest I have held for some time within the context of CP / discipline writing, that being the concept of having the subject submit to the strap or the cane in preference to something far worse and yet not necessarily involving PHYSICAL discomfort, and perhaps actually quite subtle, to the point of not even actually being perceived as punishment as such... to begin with! In this case that less-preferable or less-tolerable option is also that self-same factor responsible for the subject buckling under the pressure to conform to the protocols or stipulations surrounding her residency. Here it is simply a well thought out régime of carefully planned boredom, petty rules and tedious rituals – all underlined by scrupulous isolation.
Thursday, 20 November 2014
This was something I knocked up for my Tumblr account recently, but I thought I'd share it here too, since I've no way of knowing the degree of overlap between my readership. It came about when I came across a series of pics based on the same dress but with different apron styles and one without entirely and was struck by the different interpretation one could place on the images. So I created and added in a brown leather riding crop for emphasis - and hey presto!
A blue dress. Just a blue dress. Looks kind of institutional perhaps? Some kind of uniform, then? But what does it say, what does it suggest to you? A different style of apron, and perhaps a hospital nurse. With the style of apron depicted... Well, what would you say? A waitress, a maid perhaps or other servant? Take away the apron altogether and it might even be a simple unsophisticated housewife pressing into service an old work dress or part of some sort of working uniform purchased in the local charity or thrift shop as an overall to do her housework in. Add in the riding crop though and all manner of scenarios spring to mind... Don't ya think?
It is such alternative interpretations as these, often carried out in the mind's eye, which have allowed so many of the ideas which crop (pardon the pun!) up in the novels I write to have often sprung from perfectly innocent images in newspapers, magazines or even women's workwear catalogues (an ex was once involved in the fashion industry and was working on a history of fashion in the workplace or some such thing).
I'd love to know what YOU think? Any examples of this sort of ambiguity of roles based on dress you can think of?
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
The New Serving Class and a Request for Advice: Direct Marketing of the Written Word - Anyone know How To?
"Don’t resist, don’t make a fuss. You’ll be fired, and there are no longer any laws to protect you."
It’s about time SOME advantage was derived from the poor economic climate! I've said for a long time that the time is ripe for the development of a new serving class, the re-emergence of an exploitative culture based on the employment of maids, skivvies and what have you! Forget 'minimum wage' considerations, in today's climate they should be grateful for what they get, even if it IS on the basis of 'room and board only'. Yes, I'd agree there is nothing wrong with a little 'pocket money' - if that is found to aid motivation - but she has to be made to understand such costs as her uniform have to come out of that, there'll be deductions for poor behavior / service and so on, and any shopping trips will be made under strict supervision.
Now the REAL reason for today's post:
An Anonymous reader / contributor recently (Nov 17th) said (as a comment appended to my post of 6th September)...
"What about publishing your own books, and selling them from the blog? I would gamble that you could reduce the cover price that lulu charges and still make more money.
I have bought a couple of your titles from lulu, and both are an excellent read, however I much prefer to buy direct from niche market authors because then I am actually supporting the author directly, and not paying out for corporate taxation, and contributing to the wealth of those that feed on others creative works."
A couple of other people have suggested I do that. The thing is: I don’t know how to go about it, not automatically at least. True, I could place a ‘Buy it Now’ button leading straight to PayPal - just as I have installed a ‘donate’ button, installed within the side bar – and then post a PDF version via email to the purchaser, but this would involve my direct participation in the process and also introduce a delay between the point of purchase and the purchaser receiving his or her copy. I rather suspect many purchases to be so-called impulse buys (I know that to have been true of myself, back in the day when such material came off the top shelf of the local newsagent / tobacconist shop).
My anonymous friend is right, though, about my being able to reduce the cover price and what he says about the slice taken by the middle men. When I first started to use LULU they charged very little for electronic downloads and what they DID charge was a flat fee. But LULU got greedy and the fee went up and up and now is no longer a flat fee but rather is a percentage of the cover price and attracts a rather high (in relative terms) minimum charge. A while back (for a limited period over last Christmas and New Year) I wanted to give away one of my titles free, gratis and for nothing, but to have done so through LULU would have cost ME money!!! In the case of the first six of my books distributed via a publisher, the publisher himself takes 50% - and that’s 50% of the proceeds AFTER the transaction site (whether Amazon or what have you) takes their cut! Of the proceeds coming from the last book I put out - which I self-published on Amazon – Amazon takes 30% and where a copy is downloaded from Amazon’s USA, the American Inland Revenue Service (IRS) takes 30%, even though I don’t earn enough overall to have to pay income tax in the UK.
If I were to market direct from the blog or website I could afford to charge perhaps half the present cover price for any given title as charged on Amazon et al. But does anyone out there know an easy way of doing this? Or would those of you who would consider making a purchase in this way be content if there were, say a day or two's delay in receiving your downloaded PDF? (At the moment I can only foresee providing PDFs in this way - ebooks for Kindle etc would still be available elsewhere, as at present.).
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
I always think corporal punishment and experimental psychology make for such fascinating bedfellows. Don't you?
Very few words of explanation required for this one, I would have thought. Yet again, like so many other things I have posted in recent times it has absolutely nothing to do with the thing I'm currently writing.
The new book centres around kidnap, amongst other themes, and is VERY non-consensual - without of course being 'hard core', at least in any physical way - whereas one might just detect the tiniest hint of the possibility of being able to write in some sort of voluntary aspect into the above image given a little imagination, something more akin to the subject matter explored within the pages of the Institutionalised series. But there is just something about a post-adolescent girl in a sailor suit that gets the inspirational juices flowing. Don't ya think?
Incidentally, I spent a quite bit of time trying to persuade the knickers to take on that translucent quality which polythene has – and simply making the image semi-transparent didn't quite make the grade. The original image was of a pair of rubber medical bloomers which were opaque white... I'd love to hear your comments.
I know! I really should have been spending the time writing. But I had to boot up the photo-manip software to deal with some work I'd received from Roger Benson during the night (the well known 1950s-orintated spanking artist), and the rest is history as they say. Truth is, as I've said before; I just don't have enough self discipline sometimes!
Friday, 7 November 2014
Left: My interpretation of what MIGHT be going on - or what WOULD be going on if it came from the plot of one of my earlier books, such as the INSTITUTIONALISED series. Click to enlarge.
Incidently, the term ‘harassment therapy’ is NOT something made up by yours truly but does actually exist in reality, or has done in the recent past. Google it and see.
Incidently, the term ‘harassment therapy’ is NOT something made up by yours truly but does actually exist in reality, or has done in the recent past. Google it and see.
But now I'd like you to call on you to do a little work yourselves. I want to call on you to imagine a change of scene. It is perhaps sometime later in the day. I'd like you to imagine a girl in her late teens who has done nothing wrong but has found herself incarcerated in an East European psychiatric institute (for now it is better you don't know how or why). She is in a straitjacket. She has just been frogmarched into the institution psychologist's 'consultation room' between two female orderlies, stout middle-aged women in white button-through dresses with leather-belted waists and hats that look like something a chef or cook might wear and more at home in a kitchen or butcher's shop.
The room is bare, stark, and decked out like a police interview room, right down to the two-way mirror lining the top half of one of the whitewashed walls and the the twin-deck cassette recorder arranged to one side of the grey-white Formica-topped table she has been seated in front of. Four large, old-fashioned CCTV cameras stare down accusingly from high up in the corners, each with a red light blinking on and off, presumably recording her every move.
Before retreating outside, one of the women unbuckles her belt and slips it out from around her waist, doubling in it over and leaving the supple, broad, brown leather belt folded on the tabletop alongside the thin rattan cane which was already there. The girl is left alone to stew in her own juices seated on a high-backed hard wooden chair whose seat is somewhat too short, from front to back, to fully accommodate her full bottom. The girl's back is to the door and she faces the deep, comfortable, black leather chair on the other side of the desk on which eventually the 'therapist' will sit once she arrives, sinking back and kicking of her heels, as is her habit. Beyond that is the high-mounted rectangle of thick glass blocks which constitutes the window, deeply inset behind a barrier of thick wire mesh and with the shadowy outline of the bars on its exterior showing through as the only reminder of the outside world.
The silence is near-complete, to the point of feeling almost like pressure on the ears, liking wadding pressing against her eardrums. It is broken only by a slow metronome-like tick, like an old wall clock or a grandfather clock some way off in the distance. It is the only thing that provides any notion of the passage of time – that, and the growing saddle-sore numbness in her behind on account of the hard chair and its seat which is slightly domed towards its centre, increasing the discomfort. But she knows from experience not to fidget, not to look around herself, at her surroundings, but to face forward sitting ramrod straight – there is no way of knowing who is watching through that two-way mirror or is seated before what she imagines to be a bank of television security monitors some place... It eats away at her nerves, eats away at her from inside.
(Right - I couldn't find a picture of a girl in a starightjacket receiving a thrashing with a belt)
She knows when the woman finally comes in she will do so quietly. She may not even hear the door open and close, might only become aware of her presence through the rustle of her clothing, the whisper of her stockings or tights and the soft click of her heels on the lino. But she resists the temptation to peer back over her shoulder, fights back the growing tension in her stomach, tries not to look at the implements of chastisement sitting on the table top in front of her... and slowly but surely, as the worry lines etched across her young brow deepen and the tension mounts, she begins to break herself down, psychologically eating away at herself from the inside. Only when the tears have begun to flow in earnest does she become aware of movement behind her back, then of the woman bustling past, taking her seat, arranging the clipboard she carries and slapping the heavy file down on the table with a heart-stopping dull thud, kicking off her heels under the table.
The therapist wears a white coat and is the only one in the institution who can speak or understand English. She is also the only one who knows the girl's true identity, how she came to be there and – importantly – the reason she is being held; and even the girl herself doesn't fully understand that!
The therapist is combative from the start. Among other things the girl is being accused of promiscuity or promiscuous behaviour and of compulsive masturbation and is being interrogated as much as interviewed. She is being aggressively questioned on all manner of embarrassingly personal things. Sexual history, sex acts with boy friends, masturbatory habits, her most secret fantasies – and her every response is it greeted with the same cynical and derogatory attitude. She has been interviewed in this way many, many times before. Each time copious notes have been taken, her replies recorded and a bulging fat file is continuously refereed to, cross-checked to validate her candidness and truthfulness. Of course the poor harassed thing is as reluctant to take part as she is resentful of her continued incarceration. And so she quickly finds herself being made to lie across the therapist's desk.
The crotch strap of her straitjacket is tugged up out the way - yanked tight between her fulsome bottom cheeks - and like that she is thrashed with the folded leather belt the orderly has so thoughtfully provided, long and hard. She has been positioned facing a mirror propped up against the wall and has to keep her eyes open, watching herself in reflection being strapped. After each strike and before the next the therapist holds out the belt in front of her for her to kiss – she must bring her lips softly to the leather, smile, glance up at the reflection of the therapist in the mirror, make full eye contact and thank her nicely. She is not restrained but rather is obliged to keep in position of her own volition - to do otherwise, to shift position or jump to her feet, is to invite a repeat of the entire punishment from the start... And an additional going-over with the cane as well!
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
I know I have already posted something today, but I just HAD to share these with you - I couldn't wait! These scenes are taken and adapted from the film, "Und alle haben geschwiegen" From the German this translates as 'All Were Silent'. It is about a home for maladjusted girls. There is even a movie clip embedded down below (scroll down to the bottom of this post to view).
Actually, albeit indirectly, you have 'Wringer' to thank for the tasty morsel of a hair cutting scene. He sent me a link to another forced haircut scene entirely and while searching around it I came across this. I loved 'Wringers' suggested clip also, but this one really captured my imagination.
I mean: Oh my god! These scenes could have come straight out of my well known (I'd like to think) 'INSTITUTIONALISED' series, from the medical world staff uniforms and inmates' uniform dresses to the use of numbering to address the inmates by rather than their given names. Yes, I know the plot differs somewhat (I've looked up the film - which incidentally translates as 'All Were Silent'). This is supposed to be based on fact, whereas what I write is total fiction (although inspired by fact). In addition, the events depicted within the story arc of my series come about as the result of an experimental psychology study gone awry and a hapless young thing in danger of being denied her inheritance after being tricked into volunteering to join by her manipulative legal guardian. But the parallels, where they exist, are astounding. I couldn't resist adding the annotation, incidentally, although it pertains to the plot line of my book series rather than the film. Another case of truth stranger than fiction or 'you couldn’t make it up', as I'm rather too fond of saying?
“..It's always worked in the past; one plants the seed, one invites distrust, nurtures its growth – it discourages the formation of alliances, keeps our inmates as isolated individuals within the group... Oh look! She's biting her lip...Yes my dear, you'll find any attempt to 'kick over the traces' will be quickly reported by one of your fellows; that's how we knew you'd make a break for it, why none followed your example; I had them all completely subjugated well before YOU were brought here. And there's no point you looking at me like that, dear. You only have yourself to blame! I didn't ask you to volunteer to come here, it's not my fault if you let yourself be talked into it – you should have been stronger willed... But as for when you leave, well that's not down to me either – you initially signed up for three months, so you DO have a choice not to keep extending your stay; just don't sign the renewal... Don't pout – I KNOW the director's cane can be persuasive...”
Above: The aforementioned haircut scene.
I think they have got the inmate uniform styling about right, incidentally. Not at all what a teenage girl would want to be seen dead in, and yet functional and practical while still incorporating certain features which although seeming to argue against practicality - namely the long sleeves and buttoned cuffs, which could become soiled while floor-scrubbing for example - are undoubtedly there so as to instil, impose and promote discipline and a feeling of being under control. Ugly and depersonalising, the dress is totally unlike anything she'd be likely to wear in the outside world, differing greatly from everyday fashion and style and thus marking out the wearer as an inmate of some kind of institution, which is very much the point. There is also very little she can do potentially to personalise it in any way, which is another important point.
Removing her outdoor clothing and submitting to wearing the uniform dress represents an important psychological cut-off point - sharply delineating her life and personality outside from her new institutional existence - and in that way she should feel totally stifled by it and ashamed wearing it, which in turn is where the menial appearance of the dress is important, something the institution has clearly got very right. Of course the institutional haircutting procedure then backs all this up, further impressing upon her that her old life is no more.
The staff uniforms are important too in helping to present the wearer as a figure of authority, just as much as the inmate uniform encourages a feeling of submission to that authority and it is interesting how rapidly she becomes browbeaten into changing out of her street-clothes and into that uniform, which she does without any form of physical duress whatsoever. It is rather interesting, also, to note how easily she submits to having her hair cut - once again without any form of physical duress or restraint being required – her submission undoubtedly aided by having already tasted defeat, in the form of the institution uniform in which she is now dressed.
And yet, saying all that; if you freeze frame this clip you will see the dress has got pockets, which is one of the two areas where it falls down from a disciplinary standpoint (the other being the lack of some sort of - preferably embroidered - badge with the institution's name and the girl's inmate number).
One - she should not posses nor should own anything she need put in those pockets:
Two - pockets make great hiding places for contraband, even if searched from time to time; though in a well-run institution no form of contraband would be available. Nevertheless it encourages her to perhaps gather some kind of substitute for the personal belongings she no longer owns.
Three; it is tempting for the girl to slip her hands her pockets and slouch - although observant staff and a good dose of the cane would soon discourage THAT habit!
Four: if pockets are required for stylistic purposes - for example a breast pocket whose function is merely to act as a platform for the institution badge and the girl's inmate number - then there is nothing wrong with that, so long as they are NOT functioning pockets but merely stylistic devices.
If I were to make any criticisms as regards the haircutting itself it would that I would like to see the room looking plainer and more clinical, that it should be carried out with the girl being made to face a mirror to maximise the psychological impact and that she should not have to be pulled about so much but rather should be made to sit still, quiet and accepting with her hands resting in her lap and also that she should have been admonished severely when at one point she raises a hand to wipe her face. In fact this would be as good a point as any to introduce her to her first experience of corporal punishment. There would be nothing at all wrong, in my view, about interrupting the proceedings – no matter at what stage - getting her to her feet and making her touch her toes to receive the cane, perhaps, for example, simply wiping her face or, if facing a mirror, closing her eyes or looking away from her reflection; it would make for a salient early lesson in obedience.
Another slight criticism is that it would, again in my view, be totally wrong for her to go straight from her street-clothes into the institutional uniform dress without several intervening steps along the way, these steps – as with her final donning of the inmate uniform – preferably occurring remotely from the site of her initial disrobing and with her gradually moving deeper and deeper into the institution complex or building as she progresses. At the very least these steps should consist of a shower, internal examination and intimate shaving, if not a thorough purging with a strong enema
I'm still working on the new book, and still struggling with how to start it off and make it multi-part without it appearing at first glance as another example of my usual approach – which it very much isn't. Bloody hell! That part of it is turning out to be harder that actually writing the thing – and time is running out; I'm close to having to make greater efforts to seek employment. I know I'll have to eventually – there is not enough cash in writing (my last LULU royalty payment was a stunning £30 for a month, and for some reason I am getting nothing at all from the various affiliate banners I have scattered around) - but I'd like to finish the various projects I have running first... Oh well!