The musings of A.V. Phibes

I'm watching you, culture, and I don't approve.

Why ladies love Severus Snape: A detailed primer. (chock full of spoilers, in case you care)
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avphibes
 All images used were culled from our friend, the internet.

So I was sitting around playing Marry/Fuck/Kill with the Potterverse and was like “I’d totally fuck Snape, obviously.” Then it occurred to me that, among the smorgasbord of cute young boys, why would the “obvious” sexual choice be a gnarly old goth who’s a dick to everyone?


Initially, it doesn’t seem to make much sense, since, in the novels, even though he’s a fairly complex character, there’s not really a drop of sex on him and he’s mostly described as being mean and ugly. In spite of this, HP fandom is bursting at the seams with ladies who are hot and bothered for Snape. Some fervently embrace it, others feel strangely confused about it, but it is nonetheless true that ladies love cool Snape, and-- fear not-- I’m going to tell you why in a convenient 5 point format:


1. Alan Rickman’s Voice
A huge portion of Snape lust can be simply attributed to the casting of Alan Rickman in the movies. While Alan Rickman is an average-looking dude and kinda over-the-hill, it is an anecdotally observed phenomenon that the timbre and tempo of Alan Rickman’s voice triggers some sort of primal mating instinct in females. Reviewers—female ones, that is-- have used all sorts of metaphors for Alan Rickman’s voice: Velvet, silk, chocolate, red wine…basically, stuff that ladies love. Have you ever listened to audio of Alan Rickman reading stories? Well I have, and I cannot tell you a single plot point of any of those stories because all I could think about is having hot sex with Alan Rickman who is old enough to be my father and not at all my type.


Guys don’t get it (which I hypothesize is why he tends to be cast as a villain in guy movies and a romantic object in chick movies). It would seem you have to have a vagina in order to experience the aphrodisiac qualities of Alan Rickman’s voice. It’s almost a rite of passage into womanhood: You get your period, you have your first kiss, and you have the first time you go see a movie with Alan Rickman in it and leave feeling all funny, thinking “wow, that guy is such a… um… good actor.” because Alan Rickman’s voice just totally made sweet dirty love to your ear holes.


So now, thanks to the Harry Potter movie franchise, there is a whole new generation of adolescent girls who hear things like this and then feel all strange and confused about their inappropriate longing to make out with a guy practically old enough to be their grandfather. Fear not, young ladies: You can’t help it. It’s just science.


2. He’s dark and Mysterious
This one is so obvious as to almost be cliché. It the same reason chicks dig vampires. Ladies often respond to strong emotions and fear and confusion can be strong emotions. If you combine this with an initial attraction, a young lady who doesn’t know any better can easily presume that maybe she’s madly in love with a guy just because he’s a little scary and confusing (See also: Twilight).


So let’s look at Snape: Is he dark? Yes. Along with the severe black outfit, he’s got a titillating air of menace and danger. Mysterious? Definitely. Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy? Where do his loyalties lie? Does anyone really know what he’s up to? So many questions! How desperately we ladies want to uncover his secrets! The “scary and confusing” factor, aside from being exciting, can also totally disrupt a ladies sense of control over a situation, which can also be stimulating if attraction is involved (which it obviously is because, duh, Alan Rickman’s voice). Leading us to…


3. The whole S&M vibe
It is not a mere coincidence that the interwebs contain about ten million smutty fanfics about what transpires when Snape keeps students after class for detention. Consult a list of the top ten female sex fantasies and you will see “being dominated” and “teacher/student” sitting right next to each other. The character of Severus Snape is a teacher… A very strict teacher. When he tells you to do something, you do it. These kind of power/control fantasies are pretty common (and hot). Add “dark and mysterious” and the wanton suggestiveness of Alan Rickman’s voice into the mix and you’ve just created a perfect storm of female masturbation material. Under these circumstances, having Snape say lines like “I shall attempt to penetrate your mind and you shall attempt to resist me” is almost too much to deal with.



4. He’s a jerk
We’ve all heard the old saw “Women don’t like nice guys… they like jerks” usually being muttered by some jerk who thinks he’s a nice guy. The truth is that women DO like nice guys, BUT, they also like jerks sometimes. As someone who’s dated my fair share of sociopaths, I’ll try to shed some light on this for you.

One thing to establish is that most women don’t like jerks because they want to be treated badly. Rather, they want the guy who’s a jerk to everyone but them. They’re hoping for the victory of biting through his hard candy shell and getting to his sweet tootsie roll center. Jerks possess the alluring qualities of power and confidence… although usually taken to a dysfunctional level. Since most of us have to be nice most of the time, the jerk can also provide a vicarious, liberating thrill as he brazenly breaks all the rules of social propriety.


So when Snape goes around being an asshole and not taking anyone’s shit, it’s actually kind of a turn-on. (Some women also labor under delusions that they can “reform” the jerk, although this is usually a recipe for disaster. )

If I may, however, give some advice to the youth of America, it’s this: Don’t have relationships with jerks. I’m not saying you can’t have hot flings with the occasional jerk in your experimental youth, because, truthfully, they ARE pretty exciting in the short term, but any guy who’s a jerk to everyone else will eventually be a jerk to you. Trust me. To put it in HP terms: fuck all the Slytherins you want, but if you want to get serious, find a nice Hufflepuff.



5. He’s all tortured and misunderstood and crying on the inside and shit.
Okay, so maybe after a long day of antagonizing Harry Potter, insulting his students and generally sneering and being curt, Snape goes down to his room in the dungeon, turns on The Cure’s “Disintegration,” and cries while hugging his pillow, because deep down inside he’s all wounded and sensitive.

Remember what I said in the last bit about the tootsie roll center? Well Snape’s is a doozy. He came from an abusive, neglectful home, got bullied in school and then watched as his BFF/love of his life kicked him to the curb and married the guy who bullied him. Now she’s dead and he feels responsible, so he’s sworn to save her son’s ass from Voldemort even though he partly hates him because he looks like the dude who pantsed him in high school. Meanwhile, everyone just thinks he’s a dick because of the cold, stoic façade he’s constructed to hide his inner turmoil. But he’s secretly doing good…GOOD, DAMN IT! So much heartache! So much angst! So much wounded inner child desperately needing the right woman to hug his pain away!
 

Chicks often dig romantic fantasies of being the special, insightful one to understand the misunderstood guy, thus breaking through his misanthropic exterior and being rewarded with all of his ardent, pent-up passion. Combined with the Jerk factor, this would seem to present a situation where you could have your hot, rough, pinned-against-the-wall sex and your sweet butterfly kisses, too. In real life, this typically doesn’t result in anything but a dysfunctional relationship, but it seems pretty sexy on paper.
 
 
In Summary:

Okay, so we’ve got a dark and mysterious guy with an air of danger and a dominating personality who’s in a position of authority. He’s a total jerk and doesn’t take anyone’s shit, but it’s only because he’s all emo on the inside. Top that off with a voice that makes EVERY DAMN THING sound erotic and BAM: Ladies love Snape.

And so I hope that this sheds some light on why I would obviously fuck him… although I’m totally marrying Hagrid…and killing Peter Pettigrew. That guy is worthless.

My quest to embrace frivolity
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avphibes
 So here's the thing:  My boyfriend (who is now my fiance, BTW) left town to gallivant around the asian continent in August and isn't coming back until December.  Congruent with this, my brain has decided that my new past time is going to be getting all into "Harry Potter" again (I can't stop it when it picks something... I just have to ride it out).  This will probably result in many HP themed posts, since if there are any three things that go together, it is Harry Potter Fandom, Livejournal and not getting laid.    

Commence l'aventure!

Some videos that I did not make but which involve me in some way.
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avphibes
 So, hey, remember when I wrote that snarky post about Twilight?  Well I found a youtube video of this dude doing a "dynamic reading" of a portion of it.  LOLtastic!



And then my friend Brad wrote a fictional play in which I am a minor character and this scene takes place at one of my parties which is also fictional, because I never have fondue.


O hai livejournal, what's up?
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avphibes
Oh hey guys, how's it going?  I've been pretty slack about posting on here, which is lame since this is one of the only social networking media where anyone actually reads me.  Thank you for reading me...you touch my heart.  

Anyway, I posted some stuffs on my other blog lately, like I say which albums I listened to the most in the 00's, then  I talk shit about a tote bag and get real about photoshop.
I also did a sort of rambly post about being a professional artist that may or may not have any sort of point.  I think I just wrote it in response to people who are like "I hate my job and wish I could make a living off my art" and how I feel like "Jeez, then, JUST DO IT ALREADY" but also feel, on a case-by-case basis that it probably won't work for a lot of people and they shouldn't go betting the farm.

Also I've been on twitter a lot which makes me chuckle sometimes because there are aspects of it that are SOOOO Livejournal circa 2003 with the cool-kid cliques and the drama and people quitting in a huff and then everybody stridently commenting on the drama and huffs.  As a former LJ 'cool kid" I think at first I was like "I HAVE TO BE A COOL KID!" and then I remembered that I have actual things to accomplish in real life and shouldn't be getting involved.

That is all for now.  Have to get back to work.

*throws down smoke bomb and disappears*

We, the content creators of the internet, shall have our day.
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avphibes
 This guy pretty much says everything I've been thinking about the future of publishing.

Digitaltrends.com on book publishing in the next ten years

2009 Year in Review
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avphibes
2009 year in review:

Well, unlike the previous three years, I actually did NOT think that this year sucked ass. As I mentioned in last year's review, I was taking the pursuit of mental health more seriously and, actually, did a good job of it. I felt gradual improvement of my feelings of "weirdness" throughout the year, and then, somewhere toward the end, my crippling self-doubt disappeared as though a gypsy curse had been lifted. I'm not entirely sure why, but I no longer felt like I was being menaced by the world, I felt lucky again, and I felt like I could handle things.

While I could say that I still spent the year "dicking around," I've also realized that it's a pretty dick move for me to discount accomplishments and experiences that other people would be proud of, as that is basically implying to other people "you don't do shit and your life is worthless." So, instead, I would say that the year was swell, although perhaps not as productive as I would have preferred.

For another year, I have failed to win the lotto or make more money. My therapy, however, has taught me not to tie that to my self-worth, so whatever. My life is still a party. I got to be in another awesome off-broadway play and work on some fun projects with fun people that will hopefully pan out into bigger things this year.

So, going over last years goals:

1. Secret!
Okay, so I can fess up now about my secret goals. This goal was to get some of my writing published. I did not accomplish this goal because I decided at a certain point that I didn't feel like trying. I know I'll just sound like I'm a quitter making excuses, but it's partly explained in my post about self-identifying as a writer and my thought that publication might just be a meaningless exercise. I mean, as it stood, I could probably get an article or story published SOMEWHERE, but why? If my goal is to have my work seen, it will be seen by more people on the internet. If my goal is validation, well, the quest for validation from external sources doesn't often lead me to a good place, psychologically. If the goal is money, well, the truth is, I'm afraid of falling into nickel-and-dime writing, since years of nickel-and-dime drawing basically made me despise it. In a sense, I don't want to ruin writing for myself by making into another thing I have to do.

2. Secret!
This goal was to settle my copyright lawsuit with Dreamworks/Paramount for a designated sum of money. While the lawsuit WAS finally settled, the goal was not necessarily achieved and I am not at liberty to discuss it due to confidentiality agreements I had to sign. Nonetheless, I am very glad to have the whole thing resolved as two and a half years of this negative thing hanging over me had a very oppressive effect. In fact, I think the resolution of this conflict might have been the final key to breaking the aforementioned gypsy curse of self-doubt.

3. Secret!
This goal was to pay off all my debt. Due to my income slump and the previously mentioned situation, my debt became quite alarmingly vast. I did not pay it all off, but I paid off about four-fifths.

4. Get in shape and drop my weight back down to 54 kg / 120lbs.
I did, in fact, go from size six pants to size 4 pants, although the holiday food binges are threatening to oust me from them. I also stood on a scale that said I was 120 lbs, but my wii fit says I'm 132. The discovery of spanx this year got me back into several of my old dresses, but it's still not as easy as it used to be to control my weight. I'll call this one MOSTLY accomplished.

5. Read 30 Books
I READ 50 BOOKS BITCHAZ! CAN I GET A WHUT WHUT? Kindle for iphone, you are my salvation.

6. Revamp Evilkid.com
Haha... totally not done...SLACKA!

7. Travel to a continent other than North America and Europe.
Okay, not done, either. I did, however, hit up North America and Europe a little more this year and went to Canada, Mexico, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and the overall west coast of the US as well as the Florida Keys.

Okay, so if we look this over, my goal accomplishment for 2009 was pretty piss poor. I expect the upcoming year to be an improvement, though. And so, moving on:

Goals for 2010!

1. produce a book-length quantity of writing.
I don't know if it will be fiction or non, stories or essays, but I just want to see if I can do it.

2. learn to pop and lock
omg, how rad would I be? Seriously!

3. take better care of my skin
I've already started on this by trying to buy myself the proper products and follow the proper regimens. Now that I'm getting older, I can't fuck around with my skin anymore, I must be ever vigilant!

4. Read 30 books
Best to keep in the groove. Also, I have a stack of "real books" here next to my bed that I need to plow through in my quest to go fully digital.

5. digitize my record collection
Speaking of going fully digital, I got one of those USB record players about a year or so ago and I still haven't digitized my vinyl. This is a project I really want to finish.

6.  Be more socially proactive
I need to quit laying around like a big lazypants and waiting for people to come over.  I need to go do more fun stuff and see more people.

7. accomplish something that will actually make me impress myself
See, here's the deal: I'm basically this jaded asshole who's all been-there-done-that, so I tend to view my own accomplishments like  "meh, whatever. It's not like that's a big deal or anything." So, essentially, I want to actually accomplish something this year that I can genuinely say "Yeah, I'm really proud of that. That was something."

More stuff at theoverexaminedlife.com about pizza and my birthday and Andrew W.K.
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avphibes
I'm getting back into life, but more importantly: Andrew W.K. is a creative force to be reckoned with.

How to transport a pizza on an airplane

Some other stuff:
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avphibes
Some other stuff I posted on theoverexaminedlife.com:

The old Drunken Roommate comics

Some rejected artwork I did recently

directions to the secret chick-fil-a in manhattan


My first and only tattoo or "learn from my mistakes and don't get a tattoo of an obscure dadaist pun
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avphibes
00000825 To this day, I still only have one tattoo. I feel bad saying that I regret it, but...honestly... I often do. This may seem a contradictory thing to say considering how much artwork I've done that's been tattooed on other people. The thing about tattooing, though, is that it requires a certain type of person to pull off successfully. That person being, essentially, one that doesn't change their mind. Trouble is, I'm definitely NOT that person and knowing that now doesn't really help.
I believe it was sometime in early 2000. This was a particular time in my life that was kind of magical: I had just transitioned over to doing art for a living and, because I was freelance, I didn't have to go to a "job" anymore. I had more money and freedom than I'd ever had before. I had also started performing and was still exhilarated by it. I was, in my small way, living the dream I had come to New York to live. The feeling was very emboldening. I felt like I could do anything. I had a sense of surety and power that imbued everything I did.
And so, in this state of mind, I took my first trip to San Francisco. While getting silly with one of my good friends (who had many tattoos) she said "Let's go get tattoos together!" and I said "Yes!" She was surprised and said "do you really mean it?" and when I said "yes" again, she grabbed my by the hand and said, "we have to go do it before you change your mind!"
L.H.O.O.QNow, it wasn't an entirely impromptu decision. For over a year I had in my head the "tattoo that I would get if I ever got a tattoo," and that was what I intended to get. Since I'd thought about it for over a year, I felt like I was making a good decision. What I wanted was the letters L.H.O.O.Q tattooed on my lower back. This was a reference to the art piece by Marcel Duchamp (right), which I thought was significant on multiple levels.
First of all, Marcel Duchamp was a personal hero of mine, so the tattoo would be a tribute to that. Secondly, the piece itself was an insouciant challenge to classical tradition which fit with my own sense of irreverence. And Thirdly, the whole joke of the piece lies in the fact that the phrase "L.H.O.O.Q." if pronounced in french sounds like the phrase "elle a chaud au cul" which means "she's got a hot ass"...and it's above my butt! Haw! So, really, I thought I was making a very sound choice. I had this vision of sexy art history majors seeing it and falling in love with me. It was going to be awesome.
But here we come to the whole "changing my mind" part...
So, it turns out that if you have a tattoo that is not immediately comprehensible (like say, a dragon or a butterfly) people expect you to explain it. And after about the 100th time you explain it, you wish to god you hadn't had it put on your body permanently. During a romantic interlude, when a man would run his fingers over the letters and say "what does that mean?" my mind would heave a sigh: don't make me have to stop and explain this again.
L.H.O.O.Q. tattoo. After a few years, when my shirt would creep up and someone would ask "what's your tattoo mean?" I'd just answer "It means 'don't ever get a tattoo.'"
The unfortunate part is that I didn't stop liking what my tattoo meant--I still love Marcel Duchamp and everything that's implied there--I just got tired of having this public statement that I had to explain.
So, I guess that you have to be not only a person who doesn't change their mind, but a person who doesn't mind engaging with strangers via your body art. Just a heads-up kids... give it some thought before you go under the needle.

Shedding the incognito: trying to come to terms with my own identity.
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avphibes
A.V. PHIBES: THE OLD DAYS.So, For the past two years or so, I've been trying to be "incognito." Now I once again want to be incog-NEATO! (oh god, please make me stop!) But seriously, identity can be a slippery eel that's hard to keep a grip on. I had a dream when I was a young whippersnapper that my life would be interesting and exciting. The price one pays for this is facing a greater number of challenges, both internal and external. When I was younger, my battles always seemed to be external: Me vs. the world and other people. With age, the battles became more internal: me vs. me vs. me. The downside of an "interesting" life is that it has to change all the time and you have to change with it.

Often, when I'm in transition between one "self" and another, I withdraw into a sort of neutral place and re-emerge when I feel like I'm on steady footing. Often the transition involves rejecting the past self. Sometimes I have this visual picture of myself from one year to the next, all the me's standing side by side, then I see all the me's make a 90 degree turn to the right and slap the preceding one upside the head. And so I rejected the past self.
Only problem is: then I started thinking "but wait! my past self DID have so much fun! I STILL WANT THAT!" and so, in the process of rejection, there was a sort of re-integration. Thank god, because this "neutral" phase has gone on for almost three damned years.


Much of my problem stemmed from placing my "self" out there for public consumption. I made myself a "brand;" and not only my social life, but my career was tied to it. I chafe under the pressure of having to behave a certain way and live up to specific expectations and when I perceived the "expectation" as coming from some anonymous consciousness in the outside world, I started hiding inside (if that sounds way neurotic, I assure you...it is!)


Now, being "incognito" has been kind of a lovely learning experience in itself. When I was a kid, I felt like an outsider involuntarily... I was "different" and didn't want to be. When I was a young adult, I decided to be "different" on purpose. It became very important to me to be seen and to express myself in everything I did. Once that became a duty instead of a privilege, it just wasn't as fun anymore. It felt burdensome. I didn't want other people to be telling me who "myself" was. I went from "freedom" meaning being able to express myself to meaning I didn't have to express myself.


00000593These incognito years were my chance to feel what it's like to be "normal." I mean, there's only so "normal" a person can be in New York, but I just tried to be as neutral as possible. I still have a certain "physical expressiveness" (aka: awkward nerdiness) that gives me away, but if I dressed normal, I could get away with it. It was nice not to be pre-judged. It was nice to be able to conceal or reveal myself willfully. It was nice to feel invisible. It was nice to be happy letting other people shine instead of clamoring for the spotlight. It was nice to watch from the outside for awhile.


Now I'm trying to take the timeline of my life and take all the disparate parts and re-assemble them into some integrated whole of who I am now. I'm also trying to balance the negative and the positive. I've always veered between either extreme. Either from the egotistical "I WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW HOW GREAT MY LIFE IS!" to the paranoid: "Oh god...everyone just thinks I'm a name-dropping attention whore! Maybe I'm giving the wrong impression!" And the problem when you "put yourself out there" is that people will confirm both sides. Trouble was, I was at the point where I was like "I CAN'T BE WHAT YOU WANT ME TO BE! I WILL ONLY DISAPPOINT YOU! I CAN'T TAKE THE PRESSURE!"


So, yeah, self-re-assembly. Stay tuned.


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