I’ve found that members of my generation tend to either be totally obsessed with or else totally loathe the Age of Aquarius. I’m sort of neutral, although I guess I lean favorably. My parents are recovering hippies, for one thing, and I went through a phase when I was maybe thirteen or fourteen in which my BFF at the time and I decided we’d been reincarnated from foolish girls who had died of drug overdoses ca. 1969. (This same friend had a Ouija board, and she claimed never to have moved the pointer thingie, I’m so sure. A hippie ghost once convinced me I should put the moves on the boy I had a crush on in tenth grade. That ended in disaster, but that is a story for another time.) My mom and I saw the recent Hair revival when it premiered in Central Park and had a really great time there together, and I was just arguing with friends last night about how I like the musical even if I don’t think it has much relevance anymore. And also, I went on my very first date at age 14 to see Forrest Gump of all things. So—warm place in my heart, basically.
So sixties nostalgia—I don’t hate it, but I get why it’s annoying. Movies made about the sixties now tend to be colorful schlockfests. Exhibit A is Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe, which, let me save you the money and direct you to the soundtrack, which is fun. It is otherwise every movie about the sixties you’ve ever seen. Not unlike A Walk on the Moon, which I actually do like, though it has the dubious distinction of being both Every Sixties Movie You’ve Ever Seen (there’s a bit about the moon landing AND they go to Woodstock) and being a movie in which Diane Lane cheats on her hot husband with someone arguably hotter. (Liev Schreiber plays her conservative, kinda uptight, electronics repairman husband who is too busy with work to come up to camp in the Catskills. Viggo Mortensen plays the
hippie free spirit she has an affair with.)
Huh, I’ve seen a lot of movies about the sixties.
I’m going to talk about two now, and I want you to keep in mind that I’m not very good at writing about visual media, so this is kind of a cobbled together thing. Go with it. Smile and nod.
I was asked to write an article on m/m romance for my local RWA chapter’s newsletter, so I’m turning over ideas, and the Angela James article mentions the genre with the same old parenthetical it always gets—”(written for and usually by straight women)”—and every time I see that, it annoys me. I think writers write for everyone, or I write for everyone anyway, and sure, the genre has a ton of straight female readers and writers, but it also has readers from all other walks of life (I met a bunch of them at the LGBT book fair I went to in March!), and can we get over the novelty of women being turned on my gay romance?
Furthermore, I think one of the reasons LGBT romance has thrived in the epubs is that there’s an audience for it, a substantial one, but mainstream publishers still aren’t touching it, and professional organizations for romance writers are somewhat conservative. There are plenty of notable exceptions (Suzanne Brockmann comes to mind; she just put out a short in the Troubleshooters series called “When Adam Met Tony,” plus Lambda Literary has gay and lesbian romance categories in their awards every year).
I have lots of side opinions—just because a book exists, it doesn’t mean it’s good, and I read some really terrible LGBT romance novels (as well as some really phenomenal ones), but one of the things I like about the e-publishing movement is that it’s more willing to take risks than the “legacy publishers” (I really hate that term, if the scare quotes don’t make that clear) which I think means good things for publishing generally. (Not just LGBT, but also what has come to be called “multicultural romance” [romance with characters who are not white, basically] and “alternate sexualities” [which mostly means BDSM, from what I can gather] and other sorts of stuff that the traditional publishers still aren’t really touching.)
Okay, I will stop preaching now. :-)
If you move to New York, you’ll inevitably hear that all the cool people live in Brooklyn and that it’s the better borough. So much nicer than Manhattan.
I really hate to think this is true, because I live in Manhattan, and I’m so tired of moving. I prefer to believe people who say this are insecure about their decision to leave Manhattan.
(But what if they are right?!?!)
At least I’m asking important questions.
I don’t mean to start a Brooklyn vs. Manhattan flame war, but having lived in both places, I prefer Brooklyn. BUT! Maybe my perspective is skewed? My Manhattan experience was Upper Manhattan (Inwood), which is SO FAR from everything. And I think sometimes that if I could afford to live anywhere in the city, I’d probably choose the Upper West Side, but I love Park Slope/Prospect Heights, even if it is overrun with babies.