Monday, 5 August 2013
I'm Back - Full of New Ideas; A New New Book, A New Direction
Following on from the last posting I made before going off to sun myself on the Greek island of Rhodes a visitor signing himself ‘Vlad’ has pointed out that the pics I pasted are of Czech origin rather than Russian, as I stated. (Hi Vlad! And thanks for your input - much appreciated!).
Because in preparing my response I found I had gone off on a tangent (I’d had a few beers), leading to my using it as an excuse to introduce some of the ideas behind the new book I have been working on, I decided to post the whole response here rather than as a comment.
Yeah, those scenes are indeed taken from one of the 'Stalin' films as ‘Vlad’ suggests - 'Stalin 3', I think (see today's pic for another couple of scenes from the film I've managed to unearth!). But no, I didn't realise Lupus Movies (Lupus Films is something different entirely) and RGE are actually Czech companies; one learns something new every day! I just always assumed they were Russian companies based on the story lines / costumes / settings. One thing's for certain; their films and plots are some of the most imaginative I have come across on the internet. For example the plot of the aforementioned 'Stalin 3' incorporates a psychologist / psychiatrist (a woman, too, I am given to understand - now, where have you come across that before?). It is a pity that the psychologist / psychiatrist is not directly involved in the scenario itself, her involvement being restricted to providing an analysis of the situation as evidence at a later date.
Now, a caning or three is all well and good, but when a psychologist is involved - someone who can really get in to a young woman's head - it introduces a whole different dimension. I mean: for years I have been fascinated by the psychological impact of the imposition of strict discipline, petty rules and restrictions, humiliating and belittling uniforms and all the rest on the female psyche, ever since I read a 'reader's letter' in the pages of Janus magazine in fact. That missive strummed my imagination, made me wonder:: What if a regime were to be tailor-made to maximise that effect, tailored to really get to the individual girl, really get in to her head? And Lupus Movies / RGE seem to have grasped that principle in handfuls – I only wish, as I’ve said before, I hosted them as an affiliates here and on my website, BEYOND THE BARRED WNDOW.
Now; ‘Vlad’ asked whether I planned to ever follow up on the hint he says I left at the end of ‘Alice’ volume one regarding putting the girl’s aunt in diapers as well as the girl herself.. Someone else has mentioned this too. But do you know? I had not really been aware I had made such a hint – I shall have to re-read it and see. How embarrassing? It was certainly not my intention at the time to go down that route; indeed, the ‘turning of the tables’ type of storyline is perhaps my personal least favourite. But having said that: my latest, as yet unpublished, work does indeed incorporate a certain aspect of that sort of topsy-turvy ‘table-turning’ plotline. And it is topsy-turvy in more ways than one!
Without giving too much away, I can tell you this: Given that an individual’s sexuality is not set in stone – a ternate which was fondly adhered to within certain psychotherapy circles in the 1950s – 1960s (the era within which the tale is set) – what happens when a young lad - experiencing certain ‘relationship issues’ with his naïve sheltered young squeeze – falls in to the clutches of a darkly misguided therapist, a naturally overbearing woman possessed of the professional opinion that the seat of all his trials and tribulations is what she sees as his ‘unacknowledged latent homosexuality’? What happens, then, when she decides the way forward with her patient is to ‘encourage’ the reluctant, sheltered, lad to face up to his sexual demons (whether all within her mind or part of his self-denied reality is left up to the reader)?
Anybody who has ever read any of my stuff will know that plausibility is my watchword, is important to me. And that is particularly the case when it comes down to the thorny question of how one might get the average confrontational teenager the bend for the cane. And yet in this tale the cane is never far from the young lad’s toned bottom (an immature young chap, in his late teens or early twenties; his age is deliberately left ambiguous). Now, I personally have had an argumentative girl in her late teens bend, grasping her ankles, for the cane; so I know it can be done; but it requires what I would call ‘leverage’. And ‘leverage’ is what your average ‘spanked for smoking behind the bike shed’ type of tale rarely (or perhaps just barely) has. Basically it comes down to this: Any threat (or consequence) is only as potent as some other, even more dreaded consequence or set of consequences lurking behind it. The alcoholic or the drug addict is thus easily controlled once one has gained control over the source of their dependency.
In terms of mine and my ex-wife’s young charge, Penny, way back in the 1980s, a naïve and sheltered late teen I first encountered in her first employment as a children’s nanny, in the stead of substance addiction one could read dependency on those she saw as ‘in loco parentis’. Put another way, the leverage was the girl’s own insecurity; she could buckle under the disciplinary regime of the household, or she could leave. The choice was always hers… or so she thought! Even when she left us – breaking away, I guess she would have seen it as – it was under our (or rather, my wife’s) terms: My darling wife (oh, what a handful!) had engineered a meeting with a hard-handed middle-aged Suffolk farmer - to whom (in so far as I am aware) the girl is still, to this day, espoused, despite their ever-widening age gap – whose interest in the corporal punishment and discipline of young women of Penny’s age was at the time quite well known… And the rest is history as they say.
Going back to the (entirely fictional) situation involving of the young chap of my tale, one must also remember the historical context. The story is deliberately set in the early 60s, way before the parliamentary act which was to make homosexual acts between consenting adults legal in the United Kingdom (in 1967 I believe). At the time in which the story is set homosexuality could lead to public disgrace, ruin and imprisonment (as it famously had for Oscar Wilde) and so evidence gained of such activity was a common tool of the blackmailer.
The reader is also asked to recall that there were those at the time (as there still are, apparently) – health professionals among them – who were of the opinion that homosexuality was a pathological aberration which therefor could be tackled as might any other form of pathology; i.e. a ‘cure’ might be sought. And so a hotchpotch of ethically dubious clinical trials and studies were flung together with the aim of exploring the various pathways to a ‘cure’, these generally revolving around attempts to modulate or change the subject’s sexuality through some variation or other of Pavlovian classical conditioning.
Now our unfortunate young wretch is most definitely NOT what in the 1960s might have been referred to as a ‘bum boy’ or ‘queer’ or – more delicately – a ‘Mary-Anne’ or ‘Daphne’, quite the contrary in fact. He is decidedly sexually active - and in a very heterosexual manner - albeit generally as a solitary pursuit. He has never so much as entertained even a glimmer of a homoerotic notion in his life; or if he has, he hasn’t recognised it as such at any conscious level. Yes, he has a girlfriend – but he has also had something of a sheltered upbringing; and it is around the girlfriend all his troubles revolve; he can’t ‘make it’ with her, to her satisfaction; if anything he gets TOO excited, basically it all ends too prematurely for his beau. And so he has sought the help of a therapist. But that therapist, a woman who turns out to be a sort of cross between a psychotherapist and a professional dominatrix – Miss Swanley – has certain agenda of her own, agenda which centre on her interest in the driving forces behind the development and evolution of an individual’s sexuality and gender identity.
True, the unfortunate chap may never have considered anything of a homoerotic nature, but that is not to say that evidence to the contrary can’t be dredged up. A diary or confession will do; and the cane can be a potent persuader in the right hands. And once Miss Swanley has sufficient written proof… and taken a few photographs as a bit of extra coercive insurance…