intertribal: (fuck)
Lessons learned from Season 4 of MTV's "Friendzone":

  • People who have been friends since childhood can't transition into more than that, despite what soft-focus romance novels and black-and-white pictures of children kissing may tell you.

  • The more confident you are that your best friend likes you back, the less likely it is that you are right.

  • Displays of jealousy are not an accurate indicator of the other person's feelings.

  • Do not ever do this in front of a group of people.  Especially if those people are your sorority sisters/fraternity brothers.  No but really.

  • It is uncanny the number of times that the other person responds with "yeah, I've actually... always had a crush on you too."

  • Sometimes, people do change their minds.

  • The worst?  When you tell someone you like them, and they say they have a crush on your best friend.

  • Don't ever try to get out of the Friendzone with someone who is in a relationship.

The "friendzone" is frequently and disparagingly described as such: Person A meets Person B, and instantly is attracted to Person B.  Rather than directly asking out Person B, Person A hangs around them, surreptitiously becoming their friend in the hopes that they will eventually change their minds, out of inertia if nothing else.  Frequently, Person A is described as a guy, and Person B a girl; Person A does good, friendly deeds for Person B with the expectation that Person B should love and fuck them in return.  The xkcd comic is a classic understanding.  The Friend-Zoner vs. the Nice Guy is another.  And I guess that's fair - there are people like that, usually guys who conclude that girls "just don't like nice guys."

But the reality is a lot more complicated, as "Friendzone" the show demonstrates.  Feelings are fluid.  Feelings are multi-faceted.  All of the people on "Friendzone" who are in love with their best friend genuinely and deeply care for both the best friend and their friendship.  They worry about losing the best friend and making the friendship awkward.  In real life, Person A may have approached Person B with interest, Person B declined, and years later, Person B develops feelings for Person A.  In real life, Person B liked Person A all along as well.  In real life, there is not always a hard and fast line between "platonic" and "romantic."  In real life - as long as they did not meet as children - both parties wonder if anything could or should happen with this person they click so well with, but fear is the mind-killer.  Fear that the other person does not feel the same; fear that a prior bad experience with a friends-to-dating transition will repeat itself.  "Friendzone" is more like "Fearzone," really.  And MTV knows all about that.

intertribal: (fuck)
From a classic (2011) n+1 essay on "how we chat now":

And who do we Gchat with, when it counts? Friends, past boyfriends, future boyfriends, other people’s boyfriends... Gchat is for friendship, and affairs. It’s for allowing into the home everyone who isn’t supposed to be there, who’s supposed to be at home in their own bedroom... Might this be a model of commitment: truly felt on both sides, mutually desired, without exclusivity? These conversations don’t occur at the exact same time—if we wanted threesomes, we’d be in Group Chat—but the long view is the one to be taken here, and the beginning of one chat does not mean the end of another.
intertribal: (tongue)
I saw two horror movies back to back recently - Contracted and Alyce Kills (both on Netflix).  They're both like Girls episodes gone bloody, which is always interesting to me since we know how much I like the whole women-in-horror thing.  I told a friend who doesn't like horror movies the plot line of The Descent this evening and she came away saying, "I will never watch that because I can't handle gore, but it sounds intriguing."  Which of course it is!  I have come up with a new crazy theory about how watching and writing horror has made me a stronger person, but I think it needs to be fleshed out before I show it to the world.

Contracted is about sexually transmitted diseases. Alyce Kills is about being obsessed with your best friend, I guess.  The main characters of both movies are lesbians in their 20s living in some L.A.-like city, working as a waitress (Samantha from Contracted) or a menial office worker of some kind (Alyce from Alyce Kills).  Both are surrounded by an infuriating cast of realistically - sometimes absurdly - obnoxious characters.

Neither of the two are especially sympathetic, but both are - at least at first - at the mercy of larger forces, both supernatural and societal.  Samantha is a nail-biting bundle of nerves who's recently broken up with too-cool-for-school Nikki and living with her ridiculous mother, whose inability to accept that Samantha is a lesbian is perfectly mirrored by her inability to see that Samantha has contracted some terrible, terrible illness.  Samantha is not over Nikki and wants desperately to get back with her, but meanwhile she's being harassed by dweeb-leech Riley.  She's sleepwalking (nightmaring, really) through life.  Then she goes to a party and has her drink spiked by a dude no one seems to know named B.J., who we previously saw engaging in necrophilia.  B.J. rapes her.  Samantha thinks she's got a bad cold... then a bad stomach bug... then a bad STD.  But come on, people: her eyes are bleeding, her hair and nails are falling out... Samantha's turning dead, and no one seems to be all that alarmed.  The movie is an allegory about a lot of things, but I came away thinking mostly about invisibility, intense helplessness, and apathy.  Samantha definitely has an external locus of control, and unfortunately the world just doesn't give a shit about her - until, of course, she's become a full-on zombie.

Alyce is different, and in some ways a relief after the excruciating passive weakness of Samantha - except that Alyce has murderous, apocalyptic tendencies.  But Alyce, to her credit, gets shit done.  When she pushes her best friend off a roof - accidentally?  again, Alyce, like Samantha, has been drinking when the great Calamity happens and the horror rabbit-hole opens up - she quickly figures out that she's going to lie to the police about having been on the roof too.  She decides she'll have sex with a drug dealer for the drugs she needs to get the ghostly visage of her best friend out of her head.  She decides she needs to kill her paralyzed best friend (who she loves, and hates, and everything in between) before the best friend can point the finger at her.  She decides to cause a terrible scene at the best friend's funeral.  She decides to start killing people who hurt the best friend.  Etc.  Alyce, if nothing else, is a very active agent in her life.  She also makes terrible - evil, really - decisions with very little regard for others.  Both Samantha and Alyce kill people, but Samantha does so out of a combination of her slow-burning frustration with existence and more importantly, the zombie disease inside her.  Alyce, like her best friend before the fall, is hovering over the precipice and cracking up, probably because she's one of those people who doesn't really consider other people to be "real."

Neither of these are much fun to watch, and neither are beautiful in any way.  My favorite scene in Alyce Kills is one where Alyce takes home a douchey stud-muffin who's been hitting on her and can't resist inflicting minor pains on him - he'll punch her off the bed, and she gets right back up, laughing.  It's perfectly uncomfortable and hysterical in a Hole-ish way.  The equivalent scene in Contracted is horrific, grotesque, and involves maggots ("my body the hand grenade," indeed).  I'm not sure I had a favorite scene in Contracted because the whole experience is so uniformly unpleasant and sad and there's not an ounce of mirth or glory in it.  But Contracted stayed with me for longer.  These are both flawed movies that certainly won't speak to everyone, but they're certainly interesting additions to women-in-horror-the-saga-continues.

On that note, one of my favorite horror-Hole songs:

intertribal: (fuck)
"Relationship questions on this site are littered with the bones of people who believed there was a way to decide how they were going to feel later."

"If someone had figured out a way to turn off unwanted romantic feelings at will they'd be a billionaire and you'd see it sold at pharmacies across the world."

"this is one of those questions where if you have to ask the answer is no."
intertribal: (Default)
I'm back in DC.  Lugged my overweight (by two pounds! but that made it 52 pounds) suitcase through the metro system, including a mistaken early exit at the Archives station - always forget there's a station between L'Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place.  This is how my roommates greeted me:
  • Jordan: hug.
  • Aaron: hiding in my room and jumping out when I walked in, causing me to scream uncontrollably.
  • Byron: nod.
That pretty much sums up my roommates, right there.

My efforts to take a class at Georgetown to avoid taking a class with an unmentionably bad professor at my own university may have been foiled by an over-anxious Georgetown professor who wants to make sure his students (alas!) don't get shut out of their own school's class.  As I try to reconcile myself to taking the class at my home university, I get an email from Lincoln warning me, in all-caps, not to take unmentionably bad professor.  And then I think to myself, wow, this matters so little in the long run, so very very little.  Yet I spend an hour - after watching an episode of Real World: St. Thomas ("Wow, it's amazing how everyone paired up this season," I said, looking at Jordan, "it's so unusual."  And the result of everyone pairing up, incidentally?  Self-harm, alcoholism, and homophobia.) and an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia ("The Gang Gets A New Member," a guy who ends up being too awesome and self-confident for them, essentially, and gets kicked back out) - trying to find a new class, somewhere, anywhere, that has something to do with Asia.

When I went back to my room Idris left me a message on facebook: Dear Nadia, please pick up your phone.  Love, Idris.  So I called him back.  Halfway through our conversation, he says, "You sound absolutely nuts right now."

"Oh yeah?  Yeah, I've been sounding nuts for the past four months.  At least this time I'm not nuts in a bad way, you know, I'm not crying!"

It's dim in my room.  I need to get another lamp.
intertribal: (want me to get you something daddy?)
"Is it possible I'm thinking about you too much?" That's a clown question, bro.
-- from here, by antilamentation
intertribal: (girl you talk too much / shut up)
One of my (three male) roommates back in DC told me once that I was like Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns.  I have never seen Batman Returns.  But this was just posted in [livejournal.com profile] film_stills.

Okay, then.
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