This is my first post from Seattle! I’m in company housing in Kirkland. It’s pretty posh, in a corporate way, but I’m comfortable and adjusting well.
Today’s treat is a little video from Erika Janunger a student at the Konstfack College of Art and Design in Sweden. It’s a little cheesy, nothing you haven’t seen before in music videos etc. But the video is elegantly done and starts to radiate a few ideas.
Before I left and on the plane over here I finished up a few more sci fi books. Blade #1 The Bronze Axe was pretty fun. That and Black Legion of Callisto, both from the 70’s had the same odd (over compensating) take on masculinity… although the idea of the Omnicompetent Man has been in sci fi for quite a while.
I also read a collection of short stories from Frank Herbert. All written in the late fifties and sixties, presumably while he was writing Dune. They all show an obsession with bureaucracy, politics and economics that when done right is like reading an issue of The Economist from the future; and when done wrong is painfully bad. The first story, which is good, is called “The Master Saboteur” and features a multi-bodied, multi-gendered race. It was written in the late sixties… about the same time that Ursula K. le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness was winning the H&N awards.
What’s so exciting to me in these examples is seeing gender-hyperbole being played out in pulp, while gender ambiguity happens in the “mainstream”. (I use quote because this is sci-fi, still.) I realize that this might be news to me only because of my straight male ignorance, but I think it might be evidence of other cultural polarities which can play out in a single genre.