I have way too many thoughts floating around to fit them into one damn blog post, but dagnabbit, I’m going to try.
To begin with, I feel that the Jaime/Brienne scenes are easily some of the best in the series. Jaime seems to be following that arc that I am such a sucker for: the redemptive one. It’s the same arc followed by Rorschach in Watchmen and Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, in which somebody who seems intolerable becomes more and more sympathetic as the story progresses. By the end of the series, am I going to be rooting for Jaime? I’m already halfway there, and let’s not forget that in the first book/season, he not only fucked his sister, but pushed the small child who accidentally found them out out of a window. He was a total piece of shit to everyone who was not a Lannister, and even then, he was not above killing a distant relative to help himself escape from prison. But the scene in the baths with him and Brienne gives me chills. His monologue is taken almost word-for-word from the book, so it’s saying an awful lot that this scene is even more powerful onscreen than it was on the page.
I could go on and on about all of the shit that works about this relationship. There’s that lovely moment when he makes a seemingly homophobic remark about Renly (why couldn’t we have had a hardcore assfucking scene with him and Loras?), then, when she gets angry, explains that he really is in no position to judge others for whom they love. It’s the first time we find him sympathetic. On the other hand, I have no idea what the thinking was behind Theon’s torture scenes. George R.R. Martin left all of that stuff “offscreen” in the book, and for good reason. We just don’t need to see a man being brutally and sadistically broken in by someone who is even creepier than Theon ever was. Theon was not terribly sympathetic to begin with (although he did deliver a moving confession to the man he thought was his rescuer), but he doesn’t deserve this. No, I do not find protracted torture scenes sexy. I hope Asha hurries up and rescues him, because I think we’ve seen quite enough of that.
It’s tangential, but Jaime’s nonchalant attitude towards Renly’s homosexuality got me thinking: Homophobia was never acceptable, was it? There might have been all sorts of religious and cultural reasons to make it taboo in the Middle Ages (on which the Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones universe is, of course, based), but it seems to me that no matter which time and place you visit, you will find people whose response to the sight of two men or two women fucking is, “Who cares?” Homophobia is not a recent invention, nor will it disappear once gays have the right to legally marry and adopt children and donate blood and all that shit in all 50 states. In a sense, what is happening to homophobia is what used to be true about tolerance for gays: it’s going underground. Tchaikovsky was very discreet about his homosexual encounters, but his brother, Modest, lived with a man named Nikolai for many years. Presumably, some of his friends and family knew and were accepting, and that was in 19th-century Russia. So clearly, there were people who figured that love is love even then. All the gay rights movement is doing is taking away people’s excuses not to see that.
Anyone who has 20 minutes to spare should watch this old episode of “Politically Incorrect”. In it, Marilyn Manson calmly and eloquently defends himself against the accusation that his controversial music and stage performances are designed to corrupt our youth. His accuser is so loud and shrill that you can see even Mrs. Brady getting irritated by her. Honestly, the moment at 17:30 where Florence Henderson puts that cunt in her place is so perfect that I want to have it framed in gold.
When I was a kind, adults often told me that I might find myself reexamining my beliefs when I got a mortgage, a car, and a spouse. I doubt that. I’m still relatively new to the whole adult thing, but what consistently amazes me is how little changes as you get older. No, I do not accept that my problems are less valid than yours just because you have three small kids and are working two minimum-wage jobs just to make ends meet. You chose to have kids, didn’t you? Besides, if you want to talk about crappy jobs, believe me, I’ve had a couple. But if you’re raising your kids to be the kind of person who yells at broke, debt-ridden college graduates who just want to do their fucking laundry and go home, you’re doing it wrong.
I guess what I’m really trying to say is that I wholeheartedly reject the notion that children automatically turn into their parents. If I showed you a picture of my family and me, you could probably spot a resemblance between us. But I’m not the spitting image of anyone in my family, immediate or extended. Some people look a lot like their parents. Two of my very good friends are a brother and sister–he looks almost exactly like his father did at his age (acts a bit like him, too), and she takes after her mother in almost every way except career path. I don’t mean that as an insult; on the contrary, I think it’s kind of illuminating. I’m just saying that I don’t see that as being true for me. I am, as this unfocused, rambling blog makes clear, and individualist right to the end. Does anyone wanna date me?