Friday, 25 March 2011

Nurse Spanks While My Foot Throbs and the Economy Drops - Or Something Like That!

Once again I am stuck for the weekend at my girlfriends house and thus restricted in time and to using my netbook – or rather I will be a little later. Right now I am sitting in a pub situated in Turnpike Lane, North London nursing a pint and a suspected Lisfranc mid-foot fracture / dislocation of the right foot (for the more medically minded among you). We have a term for that in English... Fu*%ed-foot. Prognosis? Well, we have a word for that too: crap! Depressing, but nothing that a few pints can't make look better – and there is a real ale festival on, spread across the various Wetherspoons branches! Mind you, the chancellor has just put up the duty on a pint of beer by 4 pence (which seems to equate to a increase of 10 pence per pint somehow – I wish I understood economics). This is nothing to do with the United Kingdom's deficit, however (we aint got a king and what's 'united' about it) but rather is supposed to 'save' people like moi from ourselves. Talking of budgets and deficits (which we do a lot over here – when we're not spending our hard-earned cash on bombing the shit out of someone with those nice shiny expensive cruise missiles of ours – good to know they work though!) can any one tell me how practically the whole world can have huge deficits all at the same time? It seems to me that everyone owes everything to everyone else! Are we all in debt to each other or am I missing something? Unless someone, somewhere is trading with an alien planet how the *$%£ can we all be in debt unless someone is raking it in someplace – do the Chinese own the whole planet? I find it just as mystifying as the concept of this constant 'economic growth' we are all supposed to be striving for and that will save us all – apparently. How can every economy grow at the same time in a closed system which - in the absence of the aforementioned little green economy - the 'global economy' is (I presume – but perhaps I have had too much beer).

Talking of nursing (which I did – sort of – above) I found this intriguing little tableau on one of the French language blogs I featured last time. Any one know where they originated and what is going on. The blog author seemed convinced they originated from New Zealand TV – but that is based on a Google French-English translation. Now, I pride myself on always replying to emails sent by those who have read my 'stuff' or blundered across my blog. Well, fairly recently I replied to an emailed comment only to have the email bounce back with the error message; “Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently: message rejected by the recipient domain” or something similar (no I don't know what it means either – some sort of robot talk). Anyway, I hate the idea of someone out there becoming convinced that their opinion has been overlooked or worse, ignored, and left feeling slighted. So to ever it was (it was signed but I can't betray the confidence in case the writer wished anonymity) I thought it prudent to post my reply as a sort of open letter, along with the original email in the hope that the sender might recognize his or her missive and be reassured that his / her comments have indeed been read (see below).

Dear Sir. I have read INSTITUTIONALISED with considerable interests. I find both the premise and many aspect of the execution outstanding. I was especially impressed with the subtle psychological manipulations involved in the process to make a great read. My one [reservation] is that while many of the individual episodes worked really well the flow of the story seemed to be somewhat disjointed. Once you have completed your trilogy you might consider a revision making the tale more chronological and perhaps elimination a few repetitive passages. I can’t help feeling the material would have been even better used in several smaller stories. Of course the story doesn’t exactly hit the sweet spot of my personal kink seems a shame to keep such attractive young women in deliberately ugly and unflattering uniforms to my way of thinking. I understand the psychological control and humiliation aspect (and like it too) but I still think a captured young woman looks best in (preferably locked) heels and corset. Be that is it may I have one suggestion that might make sense in the context of your story: Induced dyslexia. I’m talking about ensuring complete illiteracy by appropriate treatment. It seems to me illiteracy would be a great way to foster helplessness and dependency in a modern setting while restricting unwanted access to information. Not critical while the girl in question is properly institutionalized obviously but it would have a number of obvious advantages but when it comes guarding against excessive independence “in the wild” and. If discreetly introduced in the initial stages of the relationship to a young women targeted for recruitment may serve as a basis for establishing and tightening control. After all you describe quite an extensive operation requiring considerable resources and expertise to run. There must be a considerable [customer] base availing themselves of the services on offer in the field of women-control.

Thanks for a good read...

I Answer

Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you but I have been away from home for the weekend and although I managed a blog entry I had prepared it beforehand and managed to do very little beyond that.

I thank you for your kind comments regarding my book / books. It is particularly gladdening that you found the basic premise behind the story exciting and appreciated the psychological aspects I attempted to weave in. If you have read the earlier entries on my blog your know that from the outset my primary aim when I set out to write was to create a corporal punishment orientated story that stepped outside of the usual margins and limitations of the genre in terms of story and character development and the rest. I also set out to build some sort of at least semi-plausible premise under which to explore explain why the various characters should behave and develop in the way that they do , ie, to come up with circumstances under which a teenage girl in today's world might be expected to submit to the imposition of strict discipline, uniforms, corporal punishment and so on. And in this to some extent, hopefully, I have been successful.

To some extent in striving for this latter aspect of plausibility I made a rod for my own back in that it would have been relatively easy to have set the story in the late Victorian era or at the turn of that century and invoked all sorts of sinister figures such as strict governesses and corrupt church officials running homes for 'wayward girls' and just about anything would have seemed possible or even probable without much in the way of further exploration. Setting such a story in the modern world instantly creates all sorts of problems revolving around 'believability'. The other aim I had in mind, one that only really developed momentum once I started working, was to tie in as many different and yet related fetishes that might fit within such a storyline. Quite a few of these fetishes are not particularly of interest to myself or even to my taste and so in this aspect I'm not sure that I've been quite so successful.

I do understand what you say about the somewhat disjointed overall flow of the tale. Partly I set out to explore the modern trend for novels to chop and change between scenes and involve both flash-forward and flashback - a tendency seen in recent years in such TV series as 'Lost' if you have seen it over there. The real reason though, if I'm to be honest, is that I never actually set out to create a book at all to begin with but rather I started out to write for my own amusement the sort of thing that I couldn't find in other peoples writing or that was missing to some degree or other even in those books I had read that came close yet never quite 'got there'. My very earliest attempts were not even complete vignettes but rather more resembled a story framework or sometimes even consisted of little more than just a list of ideas that I would have liked to have come across incorporated in some story or novel somewhere; these were thrown together and put up on various suitable newsgroups in the hope of stimulating someone somewhere to write the sort of thing that I'd love to read. As time went by and so few of these ideas and bare bones story frameworks were taken up and expanded upon by others as I'd hoped, if any, I more and more became interested in writing pieces for my own amusement that was close as I could get to the sort of thing that side fantasised about stumbling upon on the net or in various bookshops that I've frequented over the years.

Before I knew it I had built up quite a body of work and the basic framework - as the principal of plausibility was and is as important in my imagination is on paper - developed quite naturally after having read various pieces on old psychology experiments such as the so-called 'Stanford experiment' aluded to in the subtitle of the first book. The latter though did demand some reworking of my original ideas as just like so many others I started off myself weaving ideas and fantasies around the Victorian era through to the 1930s and tying in all the usual stereotyped scenarios such as corrupt privately run reform schools, insane asylums and the rest.

It was only much later and having discovered self publishing by such print on demand companies as Lulu that I decided to try to develop what I had into some sort of book form - but even then as much as anything it was for my own entertainment but also in the hope that it might stimulate other far better writers to extend their imaginations beyond the usual envelope. If I had my time over again and assuming that from the start I'd set out to write a book, I'd not have published to this point in time right now and as you suggest I would have put together the story in a simpler more chronologicaly ordered manner. Indeed, in such a form - with the traditional beginning middle and end - the task of writing I am at present wrapped up in would be much simplified and my work made far easier. Once again, you see, I have created a rod for my own back.

The present book mostly focuses on events that happened before one of the characters comes to the institution but also picks up at the point in the second volume when two of the three main characters leave and the life of the third goes on behind bars (I have been a little sketchy there just in case you have not read the second volume) and we watch as she becomes helplessly more more entangled in the clutches of the institution. The trouble is that having set out along the path that I have with the first two volumes I am stuck with a similar approach to the new book with all the complexities of writing that produces - for example some of the writing I have integrated in the new volume dates back well before starting the first book, being based around short sections I originally wrote way back in 2005. Besides anything else my style has matured beyond all recognition since that date requiring extensive rewriting.

I have considered, once the new book (or books - I'm still considering splitting it in two) is published later on reworking the entire tale and shuffling the various chapters from all the books into some sort of chronological order telling the story in the simpler more conventional beginning middle and end form. This is complicated by the fact that many people will of by that point read the first couple of volumes if not the whole lot. A second complication is that the first two volumes are also published as e-books via a publisher with whom I have a relatively long-term contract. None of this precludes me later publishing a revision of the whole story in Lulu in print on demand from, though. There is also work going on behind the scenes on an illustrated version and this might well end up being rejigged to incorporate elements from the whole series in a sort of abridged form.

I love the idea you have about the induction of illiteracy, presumably through psychological mechanisms, and how it would induce dependency in a young lady even in a modern setting. Believe it or not this is an area I have been exploring in fantasy for some time and a certain aspect of it has been included in the new book and has been aluded to - fairly vaguely admittedly - here and there in the first two volumes. I don't want to give too much away but there was an interesting series of behavioral psychology experiments carried out in the 1930s into the genesis of stammering popularly known in the literature as 'The Monster Experiment' which has turned out to be a rich vein of ideas. Primarily they set out to understand the development of stammering by deliberately attempting to induce the condition in their hapless subjects. I'm sure you get the idea.


imreadonly2 said...

I always thought the John Norman Gor Novels had fun with this. A young college educated professional woman or a prissy librarian suddenly finds herself on a strange planet where she is an illiterate barbarian. Unable to even speak the language, the master uses his slave whip to teach her the first word of Gorean she must know: Kajirae, or slave.

Prized and praised for her intellect back on earth, the illiterate barbarian slave girl is shocked to find that she is now good only for manual labor, housekeeping, or sexual service. The cerebral academic is branded, fed out of a trough, and finally sold like the chattel she is at auction. Her illiteracy, of course, is proof of her stupidity, and her slowness to learn. She will quickly learn a few crucial commands, and how to please her master, under the crack of the whip!

One can imagine such scenarios on earth:

During wartime female University students and professors are repatriated to work in an overseas brothel, to a place where they understand nothing of the language or culture.

The Barbary Pirates kidnap beautiful English, European, and French women off of ships. Forbidden from learning to read or write, they are nonetheless allowed to learn a few simple words of Arabic, enough to obey their masters commands, do their chores, and worship Allah in their master's religion.

A female psychiatrist is imprisoned in an asylum by an unethical rival who uses an experimental drug to temporarily strip the beautiful doctor of her power to understand speech.

So many stories, so little time!

Orage said...

1) "the so-called 'Stanford experiment' eluded to in the subtitle of the first book."

2) "a certain aspect of it has been included in the new book and has been eluded to,fairly vaguely admittedly, here and there in the first two volumes."

I suppose that in both cases you meant "alluded".

I was told long ago that stammering was insisted on in British public schools as another way to stand far apart from the hoi-polloi. Is that a fact or mere bullshit?

Anonymous said...

Some great ideas....not only about stammering, but maybe blushing could be induced. A blushing, stammering young woman would soon have her confidence stripped away.


Toyntanen said...

Dear all: The 'alluded' / eluded thing is what comes of being dyslexic and having the 'auo-correct' gizmo switched on. I have never read any of the 'Gor' novels of John Norman though I have heard of them: I would have been put off by the science fiction aspect you see. The induced blushing theme is an interesting one and I wish I had time to explore it further.