Saturday, December 31, 2011

Adios, 2011

Don't get me wrong about this. The year had some good moments. There just weren't enough of them to make me look back too fondly on the year. It was leaps above 2010, but still could've been better.

Maybe the fact that New Year's Eve is my birthday makes me feel that the end of the year is a bit more emotional than it might be for the average person (whose birthday isn't New Year's Eve). I still miss my twin and am missing her today. I guess nothing will ever change that. I got a great spanking today from a man I consider a friend. I've known him for years. The day could have been a complete wash otherwise.

Whatever you, my readers, are hoping for, I wish you a New Year filled with health, prosperity, and the joy of friends and family.

It's time to turn the page.

Monday, December 5, 2011

"How Would You Like It If I Spanked You?"

The wonderful question that comprises the title of tonight's entry was spoken in a movie. It wasn't spoken by Cary Grant or James Cagney or Gregory Peck or any of the classic actors who made films back in the days when spanking was more common. No, it was spoken by an English actor named Clive Owen in a 2007 film called "Shoot 'Em Up".
I had seen a few of his films and knew of his reputation. I even knew that "Shoot "Em Up" had a spanking scene. The best thing about this particular spanking scene is that it was done in a completely vanilla context. There was no real hint of kink about it (except that the actress he spanks was reportedly very excited about the prospect of being spanked by Mr. Owen).
The movie centers around a man named Smith who must care for a newborn after its mother is killed. But this is no "The Pacifier" or "Daddy Daycare". This is an unbelievably violent film. In fact, it's so violent that it borders on camp. And, spanking aside, the kinkiest moments in the film involve breast feeding and the use of vegetables as a murder weapon. The spanking scene is almost a throwaway, but very well done. Smith is at a museum and comes upon a mother--one of those professional soccer moms, no doubt--threatening to spank her whining little boy. She's on her knees in front of him, in order to make eye contact, and shakes him a few times. She tells him "If you don't behave, I'm going to spank you!". Before the kid can do anything, she gives him a few age appropriate swats on the butt, still on her knees in front of him. Apparently, this little scenario serves twin purposes for Smith. First of all, he hates parents who hit their kids and second, he needs to create a quick diversion. Smith stomps over to her and grabs her wrist. Then he hauls her to her feet, telling her he hates parents who hit their kids. She tells him "Let go of my arm! I will discipline my son the way I see fit!". He tells her "How would you like it if I spanked you?" Now, to a spanko like me, my first response to Mr. Owen's query would be "I would love it" or maybe, in a brattier moment, "Is this a trick question?" But the lady in the museum is indignant. Before she can respond to his question, he brings his arm back and smacks her on the backside, pretty smartly, too I might add. He taunts her as he continues the spanking, saying "Yeah, it doesn't feel so good now, does it?" All the while, the woman goes hysterical, screaming "Help! Help!" while her son gets a good laugh at her expense. Finally alerted by the woman's screams for help, a security guard comes over and asks Smith what he thinks he's doing. His answer comes in the form of a hard fist to the face.
All in all, a very cute scene. And not bad for a modern film. I will not begin a discourse on whether or not spanking children is good or bad. I will save that for another entry. I would also question whether spanking a total stranger in public (and in front of her child to boot) is advisable. But the film is total fantasy and so the characters are all free to indulge in behavior that would get us in the real world arrested.
The spanking the mother gives her little boy isn't exactly earth shattering. It looks like the kind of public discipline people in my generation got all the time; a few quick swats over clothes followed by a firm promise of more and worse when the scene moved home. It happened all the time in church, in restaurants and, especially, in the grocery store. I guess a museum isn't that far fetched. The boy is whining because he wants to go home. To me, the most amazing part of the spanking scene is how fast this kid goes from heartfelt sobbing to laughing his ass off. Mom got it a lot worse than he did and he's pretty happy about that. There is a scene earlier in the film where someone cuts Smith off in traffic and he totals the guy's car for him. So we're led to believe this character is pretty much a hothead. Grabbing a woman he's never seen before and spanking her is just another day at the office for this guy. And not the most violent act he'll commit in this film by a long shot.
For a spanko, the brief spanking scene might or not be worth sitting through the whole film (with its buckets of blood and gore) for. My only real disappointment with the scene is that Smith didn't have the time or the inclination to put the woman across his knee first and make her humiliation complete. That would have made the scene a Class A spanking scene in my book. And Mr. Owen looks like he knows how spank a woman's bum, too, always a plus.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Playing Ketchup

So...where to begin? For one whole year, I allowed myself to be denied access to my computer and, hence, my blog, my groups, my photos and everything else that connects me to my kinky way of life. Up until three months ago, I had been out of work for almost a year and a half. I had no money and was basically at the mercy of the those I lived with. Needless to say, for someone with my personality, this was an intolerable situation and one that couldn't go on indefinitely. Once I got a job, I began to vaguely think about getting my old computer out of the crawlspace and firing it up. Then, however, a nagging feeling started to creep in. How about just buying a laptop and joining the rest of the world in the 21st century? I began to squirrel away money whenever I could. This past Saturday, I put my plan into action. I went and bought a shiny new laptop. I didn't go top-of-the-line, but I went with the features I felt I needed. Once I got the thing home, I began to read all of the unnecessary warnings (Do not drive nails into the battery pack. This could result in serious injury!) and waited for my brother-in-law to enter the password so I could get online. This guy is a piece of work. He didn't want me to get online in the first place. It was alright for him and everyone else in the house to have a computer, but not me. As soon as I got in the driveway with my shiny new possession, he left. He knew I needed him for the password. Great. Well, at least I could play solitaire and watch DVD's. However, I didn't get this thing so I could watch movies, nice though it is to be able to do that. When he came home, I asked him if he would please enter the password for me and he said "I wouldn't worry about it." What does THAT mean? If he had no intention of putting the password in for me, why did he let me spend two weeks' pay? I did indeed watch a movie ("The Conspirator", which I had purchased months before but had never been able to watch because I wasn't allowed to hook up my DVD player either) and then my brother-in-law said he wanted to look at my computer when I was done with my movie. When I took it in to him, he said he didn't know if he could put the password in. Fine, whatever. At least try. It took all of ten seconds to get the password entered and, voila, here I am online. I think he realized that he couldn't keep me offline anymore.

The first place I went to was Fetlife, where I soon realized that the job of getting caught up was going to be more than I could handle. I left a note letting my Fetlife friends know that I was back online. Of course, they were happy to see that I was back (and not just for a day or so). Something I wasn't expecting happened though. This sad feeling crept into me that things had changed a bit while I was away. My friends had gotten used to not seeing me online anymore. Sure, I could call them when I really needed to talk. But it's like new friendships got made and with people who weren't at the mercy of their family where Internet access was concerned. Now don't get me wrong here. I'm not the kind of person who feels like, if you're friends with me, then you can't be friends with anyone else. It was just a sort of fleeting unhappiness. It was the realization that my nice, shiny new laptop wasn't going to make me happy. It was going to be seeing my friends online again, joining in the merriment and the lighthearted banter that made it so much fun for me in the first place. THAT was where the happiness was going to come from.

I'm still not finished playing ketchup, but I'm getting there.

My blog isn't going to be ignored anymore either. I'm going to post here as often as I have something to say. It really saddens me that I didn't have my laptop after the CM party so I could have posted a report. I had a great time. My Cardinals won the World Series (and I was in Chicago...oh, to sock it to those Cub fans again was sweet!) and I celebrated by getting spanked by a couple of gentlemen who did a more than adequate job of blistering my bottom until it was Cardinal red.

So get used to seeing your intrepid writer back here a lot more often. I feel awful to have been away for so long.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"True Grit"--More Ruminations

It has occured to me now that the previous entry makes it look like many of the scenes from both films do not follow the book. I apologize for this. Of course, in the book, LaBoeuf DOES say "Now we will see what tune you sing!" I called this scene wholly unbelievable, maybe leading some people to believe that the line was only spoken in the movie and not in the book. It was; but I found it then and still find it, wholly unbelievable. Probably because I disliked Glen Campbell as LaBouef and as I read the book after seeing the movie, I could only picture that particular man saying it. Ugh! I'm certainly glad the new version doesn't have that line in it. The new version works much better for me as a spanko. Also, in the book, when he gets her on the ground, he tries to pull her trouser leg up over the top of her boot so he has some bare skin to work with. He tells her "I'm going to strip your leg good!" Matt Damon says something similar in the new version. In those days, a girl (and one of that age to boot) would have received this type of punishment; a stick taken to the baclks of her legs. Of course, he begins by hand spanking her but quickly changes tactics.

Actually, in the book LaBouef tells her "If you do not go back now I am going to whip you!"

Maybe the Coen brothers felt the word "whip" would be far too strong a word and opted to use the word "spank" instead even though "whip" would have been more in keeping with language used at that time.

Many of the words used in both the book and both versions of the film are perplexing. Try fitting words like "hooraw", "waddie", "Texas brush-popper" or "jaybird" into a conversation today. More than likely you would get a look of confusion from the person you were talking to. Language was very different then. If you don't believe me, pick up a volume of Poe or Dickens or Thackery. People simply don't speak this way anymore. It's one of the most lovely things about the new movie--the Victorian language. Everyone uses it. Also you could tell there was attention to detail in almost everything, including the wardrobes of the people, the way the town looked, the warm and geneal atmosphere of the Monarch boarding house and the abandoned mine where the robbers are holed up. I love attention to detail.

OK, so enough about "True Grit" already. It has received 10 Oscar nominations so we'll see if it wins any in this era of computer generated fast action films.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"True Grit"

Well, the new year is upon us and that can mean only one thing: that Cheryl had her birthday. This birthday was special for a couple of reasons. First of all, I turned 50 and second, it was my first birthday without Cigi. Believe me, I felt bad when I awoke on New Year's Eve and realized that, for the first time, she wasn't going to be there to share it with me. But it wasn't a total loss. In fact, I had one of the nicest birthdays in many years due to a spanko friend who invited me out on January 2nd for a day of good spanking, good food and a good movie.

I used to be a huge movie fan (back in the days when Hollywood made movies with acting). I used to love character studies and coming-of-age films the best. One of my favorite movies was "True Grit". I first saw it as an 8-year-old in 1969 with my dad and my sisters. My dad was probably the world's biggest John Wayne fan. As I have mentioned in other entries, he was a Marine and most Marines were John Wayne fans. At the time, the movie was way over my head. The only scene that actually resonated with me was the spanking scene (much, much more on that later!). I first read Charles Portis' excellent novel of the same name when I was, ironically, 14 (the same age as Mattie Ross, the teenage protagonist in the film). My parents were very picky about the kinds of books they let us read, but my dad figured I had already seen the movie so reading the book could do no harm. I expected the book to go the way the movie had and was surprised that it didn't. The book is written from Mattie's point of view and so it's somewhat stilted and pious sounding. The language and unusual syntax was very hard for me to get my 14-year-old brain around. But I read the book until, at last, it fell apart. And I began to wish that Hollywood would come up with a better version of the story.
The original film isn't a bad film, necessarily. It reflects the time in which it was made. After reading the book, I realized that the actress who played Mattie Ross was too old for the part. No way could Kim Darby convincingly pass herself off as a teenager. It was rather like the 17-year-old Judy Garland trying to convincingly play the 12-year-old Dorothy Gale in "The Wizard of Oz". Miss Darby was petite and did try to speak the way the girl in the book did, but her short haircut wasn't appropriate given the era. The girl on the front of my copy of the book had long braids (like Laura on "Little House On the Prairie") and that was what I thought would look better for a newer version of the film. Imagine my surprise when the new version was released! This girl has braids! Braids that would make Wednesday Addams jealous.
The original film looked and sounded (thanks to Elmer Bernstein's score) like a big Hollywood movie. Nothing subtle here. The soundtrack is so totally bombastic that I always end up having to turn down the sound on my TV when I watch it. The soundtrack to the new film features mainly traditional hymns (like "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms") and folk songs. Really haunting and atmospheric.
The characters were also painted somewhat differently. Wayne's Rooster Cogburn is pretty much the same character The Duke played in every movie he ever made. And there's nothing wrong with that. He won an Oscar, for crying out loud. But Glen Campbell as La Bouef? Who's idea was it to cast a singer in the role of the Texas Ranger? I can picture some suit sitting in a conference room, a deadline bearing down on him, saying "Let's get Glen Campbell!" Not exactly a stroke of genius. But for 40 years, that was what we had. As a child, I had instantly disliked his character due to one line early in the film. A man seated at the table with him (at the Monarc boardinghouse) tells him that the chicken and dumplings will hurt his eyes and he calls the man a "squirrel-headed bastard". No need to swear just because the man told a bad joke. In the new movie, when we first see LaBouef, he's sitting on the porch of the boarding house, his feet resting on the porch railing and lighting his pipe. Mattie walks past him, saying nothing, and then learns that he has taken the only available room and she will be doubling up again.
I don't want to give away the movie for those of my readers who haven't seen it yet, but many of the scenes we loved in the original find their way into the new version, including the snake pit scene, the Stonehill scene (where Mattie haggles over the price she will accept for her father's horse), the river crossing, and of course, the spanking scene.
When I heard that a remake was in the works, I automatically assumed that any modern movie director would be much too PC to include it. In old westerns, children (or women) who acted too big for their britches were often taken down a peg or two with a well-applied licking. In the original, when Mattie refuses to turn around and go home, but puts her horse right into the water and fords it without the benefit of a ferry, the marshal and the Texas Ranger ride off, hoping to lose her and discourage her enough to make her turn tail and go home. As she's riding past them, Campbell grabs her off her horse and tosses her on the ground with the unbelievable line "Now we'll see what tune you sing!" He breaks a switch off a nearby shrub and takes it to her until the marshal intervenes by drawing his pistola on him. In the new version, the marshal and the Texas Ranger simply sit there on their horses and watch her cross the river. The marshal looks grim but slightly amused. LaBouef looks furious. He gets off his horse, walks over to her, grabs her off her horse and says it's "time for your spanking!" Then he puts her over his knee and smacks her backside a few times before realizing that a switch would do the job better. I believe he even pushes her coat tail out of the way.
In the original, after the spanking is over, Mattie jumps off the ground and says "This has given me an idea!" In the new one, no such thing happens. Tearfully, she gets back on her horse (which, just as it was in the original, is called Little Blackie) and the trio rides off.
The movie doesn't have the "happy Hollywood ending" as my spanko friend called it. But I won't spoil it for those who haven't caught the film yet (what? there's a spanko who hasn't seen it yet?).
Jeff Bridges does an awesome job with the Cogburn character. He doesn't spend even one second trying to imitate John Wayne. He gives his own interpretation of the character. And Bridges has played some memorable characters. The crusty sea captain in "White Squall" comes to mind. His first words to Mattie when she goes to the courthouse to see him are "What do you want, girl?" He isn't a lovable drunk in this film. He comes off in some scenes as rather pathetic. But when the chips are down, he's there.
Matt Damon's LaBouef is so far above Glen Campbell's that it's like comparing apples to oranges. I admit I was never a Matt Damon fan (although I loved him in "Good Will Hunting" and was happy when he won an Oscar for writing the screenplay) but it was refreshing to see what a professional actor would do with the part of the puffed up Texas Ranger. He spanks Mattie, not because he dislikes her, but because no child would speak to an adult the way she speaks to him and not get something for it. Not in that era, anyway. A young girl was easily disregarded in those days. Even Cogburn tells her to go home as "they'll need help with the churnin'".
As Mattie Ross, first timer Hailee Steinfeld hits the nail on the head. She turns in one of the best performances of the year in her first film. Working with a bunch of A-list actors and two directors would be daunting for anyone. But her portrayal of the tough but vulnerable Mattie Ross is so good and so endearing that I can't picture anyone else ever playing her.
Doing what amounts to a cameo, Josh Brolin as the murderer Tom Chaney, is both dark and somewhat comical. "I know you...little Mattie the bookkeeper!" I waited the whole movie for that line. I wish they had fleshed his character out a little, but Chaney is destined to be a minor character.
Barry Pepper takes the role of Lucky Ned Pepper (played by Robert Duvall in the original) and hits it out of the park. Pepper does great with characters. I loved him as Roger Maris in "61*". And, of course, he was great in "Saving Private Ryan". I hardly recognized the good-looking actor under all the make up they had on him for the role.
So if you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and go. This is one of those "big sky" pictures that deserves to be seen on the big screen. Maybe, just maybe, this will spur Hollywood to start making good westerns again.
And when Oscar time rolls around, don't be surprised if a few actors from "True Grit" walk away with statues.