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This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75017] Tue, 23 October 2018 09:12 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
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The Water Cooler is a tale outside our niche, and one I accepted because it delivers a message I believe to be important. I was reminded today that it was a shock to encounter the message, so I have added a panel at the top to reflect it.

I wonder what you think of the message the story conveys and how that message has been displayed to our target audience?

[Updated on: Tue, 23 October 2018 22:39]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75033 is a reply to message #75017] Sat, 27 October 2018 11:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cm is currently offline  cm   United Kingdom

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Location: Somerset
Registered: May 2017
Messages: 26



Whilst I find the subject matter deeply unappealing, it is, I appreciate, nothing that one cannot find elsewhere on the net. And if it's the working out of a private fantasy then that's fine too. It is the context that concerns me more. IOMFATS' declared purpose is to support teenagers  - particularly unsure ones. Timmy has also written elsewhere that he sees the main purpose of writing stories as offering hope (something I wholeheartedly agree with).

This story seems to me to do neither. It about two men in their twenties who proceed to (virtually) kidnap a work colleague; repeatedly drug him without his knowledge, and then repeatedly rape him, before branding him for life to mark him as 'one of theirs' - as well as taking their sexual exploitation of him into the world of BDSM. They do this without any suggestion that this behaviour might be questionable or out of the ordinary; the behaviour is, indeed, presented as perfectly normal.  The men act without any hint of affection, let alone love. This is the behaviour of psychopaths.

If I was an unsure teen, I'm not sure I would view this with any degree of comfort or reassurance.

I recognise that Timmy has put a caveat on the front of the story, and I also acknowledge that he is the only arbiter of what is appropriate on the site.  I also acknowledge that my take on this probably reflects my own personal morality - which I do not seek to impose on anyone else.  I have talked to Timmy about this, and his view is that the story acts as a warning - a cautionary tale - which I accept as an alternative take on it. I hope that is how it will be read and taken by most readers, but I still have my doubts.
 

[Updated on: Sat, 27 October 2018 11:42]

Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75034 is a reply to message #75033] Sat, 27 October 2018 15:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
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It is my hope that it will be read as a cautionary tale. The danger, as many dangers in real life, creeps up very quietly, very subtly. We are aware that something weird is to happen, but are not quite sure what.

After it has happened we are left wondering, and I suspect it is in precisely the same way that a victim of the danger in real life is left wondering. Our 'What just happened?' is there despite our knowing with precision what transpired.

I appreciate your carefully though out post.  You say very clearly, referring to hope, among other things:

"Quote:"
If I was an unsure teen, I'm not sure I would view this with any degree of comfort or reassurance.


And it is clear that your reaction is correct. Yet that unsure teen may well encounter this situation if he is in some way out of his depth for, in this case, his weekend away.

Yes, the two perpetrators are psychopaths, and apparently sweet and gentle ones(!), and they abuse the victim in more than one manner, one of which is indelible. And, at the end, there is a threat, too. And even with the threat at the tail end they also seem like bizarrely decent people. 

I do not 'like' the tale, but I appreciate it for the message it delivers. It is, I think, wholly comparable to the nastiness in Hansel and Gretel, or Little Red Riding Hood, except that it is set in reality. 

Please look again at the panel at the head. Should I alter this in some manner? It may have changed since you have seen it last

[Updated on: Sat, 27 October 2018 19:59]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75035 is a reply to message #75034] Sat, 27 October 2018 15:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
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I have just taken the opportunity to add a panel to the foot,too.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75037 is a reply to message #75017] Sat, 27 October 2018 21:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
joecasey is currently offline  joecasey   United States

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What a ridiculous, horrible little story; I'm still not sure why it was published on this site, unless IOMFATS is showcasing the worst of the worst from Nifty.
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75038 is a reply to message #75034] Sat, 27 October 2018 21:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cm is currently offline  cm   United Kingdom

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The amended panel is stronger, which I think is a good thing. 

On further reflection, however, I think my principal concern is not that a teen might encounter this situation in the future, but that if he's gay this is what he might become. The implication is that gay = predatory, and that this normal. In a world where (in some countries, at least) too many straight people seem to believe this, anything that reinforces that view from a gay perspective seems to me to be unhelpful to say the least.

Of course, this is just one story among hundreds on the site that give a much more positive perspective, so maybe I'm worrying too much.
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75040 is a reply to message #75037] Sat, 27 October 2018 22:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
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"joecasey wrote on Sat, 27 October 2018 22:00"
What a ridiculous, horrible little story; I'm still not sure why it was published on this site, unless IOMFATS is showcasing the worst of the worst from Nifty.

--
That is an interesting reaction. The "worst of the worst from Nifty" is strongly and deeply unpleasant, and also usually very badly written.

This tale shows a horrible situation, certainly. Ridiculous? I think not. c m has already shown you with his considered posting how it is not ridiculous. Instead he shows how he fears where it might lead someone.

Attacking something that you find to be distasteful is not the most effective method of offering a commentary upon it, nor, I suggest, of getting the webmaster to agree with your thinking



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75041 is a reply to message #75038] Sat, 27 October 2018 22:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13023



"cm wrote on Sat, 27 October 2018 22:50"
The amended panel is stronger, which I think is a good thing. 

On further reflection, however, I think my principal concern is not that a teen might encounter this situation in the future, but that if he's gay this is what he might become. The implication is that gay = predatory, and that this normal. In a world where (in some countries, at least) too many straight people seem to believe this, anything that reinforces that view from a gay perspective seems to me to be unhelpful to say the least.

Of course, this is just one story among hundreds on the site that give a much more positive perspective, so maybe I'm worrying too much.

--

If I may make a generalisim here, I think those who are going to go down that path have all of their building blocks in place already, and have since childhood. The unrepentant psycopaths represented in this tale find this state of mind to be their normality, and see nothing wrong with it. Those people are predatory, in the same manner that (eg) Hollywood and the casting couch is predatory.

What I hope this tale will continue to do is precisley what it is doing, which is horrifying the genuinely good people who read it. THe paradox of this is that it is therefore a good story, perhaps especially because we dislike the content. We are discussing it, but the content, not the writing.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75043 is a reply to message #75041] Sun, 28 October 2018 15:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cm is currently offline  cm   United Kingdom

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Registered: May 2017
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You're probably right; I certainly hope you are.

I guess the only way we'd ever know for sure is if a couple of teens gave us their reactions.....
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75044 is a reply to message #75040] Sun, 28 October 2018 15:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
joecasey is currently offline  joecasey   United States

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My comment was not meant to demean the importance of the subject of protecting youngsters from sexual predation, especially in light of the MeToo movement and people like Bill Cosby.  A well-told tale is one way to do that; I'm not sure that this is that tale.  You have had to qualify the story with editorial comments; is this at the direction of the author, or did you take it upon yourself to add the "trigger" language?  Absent those comments, this reads like a self-indulgent story of two adult gay men drugging, raping, mutliating and blackmailing a third adult colleague ... and this colleague seems none the worse for wear as a result.  He even seems to take it as part and parcel of accepting his newfound sexuality, and the married couple apparently will suffer no consequences as a result of their actions.  Where is the lesson in that?  Instead of insightful and thought-provoking writing, we have dialogue and whole scenes lifted from gay porn.  A pizza boy?  Really?  Even at the end, where it is hinted that the married couple, now parents of two boys, might impress their aberrant sexuality upon these children, the putative protagonist does nothing, preferring instead to engage in more self-indulgent sex with another worker.

Perhaps I'm just not clever enough to pick up what Mr. Fourbois is laying down.
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75045 is a reply to message #75043] Sun, 28 October 2018 15:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
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I have emailed the author to ask him to drop by. I think the discussion will interest him whether he chooses to participate or not. I am interested in his thoughts on the rationale behind the tale, too.

I believe we should embrace difficult stories, by which I mean ones which raise complex challenges, not ones that are written for a cheap thrill. The topic in this one is quite unpleasant, upsetting, but it falls into the class of tales worthy of publication. I chose to step slightly outside our niche of age for this one.





Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75047 is a reply to message #75044] Sun, 28 October 2018 15:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13023



"joecasey wrote on Sun, 28 October 2018 15:47"
My comment was not meant to demean the importance of the subject of protecting youngsters from sexual predation, especially in light of the MeToo movement and people like Bill Cosby.  A well-told tale is one way to do that; I'm not sure that this is that tale.  You have had to qualify the story with editorial comments; is this at the direction of the author, or did you take it upon yourself to add the "trigger" language?  Absent those comments, this reads like a self-indulgent story of two adult gay men drugging, raping, mutliating and blackmailing a third adult colleague ... and this colleague seems none the worse for wear as a result.  He even seems to take it as part and parcel of accepting his newfound sexuality, and the married couple apparently will suffer no consequences as a result of their actions.  Where is the lesson in that?  Instead of insightful and thought-provoking writing, we have dialogue and whole scenes lifted from gay porn.  A pizza boy?  Really?  Even at the end, where it is hinted that the married couple, now parents of two boys, might impress their aberrant sexuality upon these children, the putative protagonist does nothing, preferring instead to engage in more self-indulgent sex with another worker.

Perhaps I'm just not clever enough to pick up what Mr. Fourbois is laying down.

--
Or perhaps he did not lay it down well enough for you to understand it? I hope he will address that himself.

I was asked by another, not the author, about the story. I looked at it with fresh eyes and placed the header and footer banners.


I like the other points you raise. We should develop those, I think?



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75055 is a reply to message #75047] Sun, 28 October 2018 20:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark   United States

Likes it here
Location: Earth
Registered: April 2013
Messages: 176



On one hand, Timmy, I think we all do understand the need to talk about difficult subjects, and that since this site's focus is on all (or at least most) things sex, then of course that is what the main focus of most topics of discussion are going to be on, whether those discussions are light-hearted or that focus on things that are darker.  Certainly we are all aware of the fact that there are sexual predators out there; we've been shown that ample times, from individuals like Jerry Sandusky or Bill Cosby to larger 'groups' like Catholic priests, or those men that were the cause of the #MeToo movement (I've even mentioned before about how it sometimes seems to be more and more difficult over here in the U.S. to follow the news at all without hearing another story about some female school teacher who's been arrested amid allegations of having sex with one - or even more! - underaged male students).  This stuff is going to continue as long as we try to brush it under the carpet.  The only way that we can stop sexual abuse from happening is to make sure that the perpetrators never have the chance to start, or if that can't happen, to at least make sure they are stopped as early as possible and brought to justice for their heinous deeds, and that isn't going to happen if we look the other way.

At the same time, I'm kind of in the same camp as Joecasey on this story.  Yes, there are ways, even in fictional stories, to bring up such topics for discussion, but I'm having a bit of trouble seeing it in this specific case.  The story is also coming off to me as something that seems more like a personal fetish on the author's part, rather than a cautionary tale of any sort.  Someone gets kidnapped, has his kidnappers force themselves on him repeatedly, and gets injected with something that makes other guys want to hop into the sack with him.  And instead of the kidnappers facing any sort of justice, their victim actually comes to realize he kind of likes what's been happening to him.

I'm not against the idea of having bad things happening to good people (just take a look at my stories here if you need any further proof of that), but at the same time I guess am a bit of the mindset of "Disney-ifying" things - yes, bad things happen to good people, but in the end it all works out, with the good guys living Happily Ever After while the bad guys get their just desserts, and that just doesn't seem to be happening here.  It's kind of like Simba ultimately deciding he's all right with all the things Scar did in "The Lion King."

Though of course, perhaps because of the way my brain works, the "The Water Cooler" was laid down in such a way that I just don't "get" it (which I'll be the first to admit is certainly well within the realm of possibility).  I certainly look forward to hearing from the author if he so chooses to provide any comments on the subject.
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75057 is a reply to message #75055] Sun, 28 October 2018 21:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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I hope he joins in, too.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75083 is a reply to message #75017] Sat, 03 November 2018 20:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
William King is currently offline  William King   France

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Registered: October 2016
Messages: 89



I decided to read this to see what it was all about. Perhaps I'm being the odd one out, but the story came across to me as a mild pornographic comedy. I didn't find it had any message or was at all to be taken seriously. It reminded me of Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream, simply a bawdy comedy. Perhaps bringing the date rape drug Rohypnol into the action was a bit off key given it's implications, but that's the only criticism I'd make. Puck uses in love flower, if instead of mentioning the drug by name it was called a sleeping draft, I can't think that eyebrows would be raised. You like it or you don't, it makes you smile or laugh, or doesn't, but it's a comedy. You might even label it a comedy of manners or a satire, it ridicules a certain gay life style.
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75085 is a reply to message #75083] Sat, 03 November 2018 23:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13023



"William King wrote on Sat, 03 November 2018 20:40"
I decided to read this to see what it was all about. Perhaps I'm being the odd one out, but the story came across to me as a mild pornographic comedy. I didn't find it had any message or was at all to be taken seriously. It reminded me of Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream, simply a bawdy comedy. Perhaps bringing the date rape drug Rohypnol into the action was a bit off key given it's implications, but that's the only criticism I'd make. Puck uses in love flower, if instead of mentioning the drug by name it was called a sleeping draft, I can't think that eyebrows would be raised. You like it or you don't, it makes you smile or laugh, or doesn't, but it's a comedy. You might even label it a comedy of manners or a satire, it ridicules a certain gay life style.

--
I think that shows the difference between people. It also reminds me of Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial By Jury with a Love Philtre, now that you mention Puck.

I'm sad that the author has not come here to comment, but that is his right.

I still feel the banner is justified. I think more folk will interpret it as at the head of this thread than using your insight

[Updated on: Sat, 03 November 2018 23:18]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75087 is a reply to message #75085] Sun, 04 November 2018 06:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark   United States

Likes it here
Location: Earth
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Messages: 176



In a way, William's comments are in line with what others are getting out of - or rather, not getting out of - the story.  None of us seems to be seeing it at any sort of serious cautionary tale "of things that can go badly awry" and intended to warn us on how to avoid such situations if they haven't happened to us or on what to do if they have.  Timmy, I'm curious if that particular intent was something you got out of the story, and if you came to that conclusion on your own of if that was something that the author himself told you was the story's intent when he submitted the story here for your consideration for posting to this site.

Of course, I'm still hoping that the author will join this conversation and provide some additional commentary to help clear up the apparent confusion, though I understand that it seems that it's gradually becoming increasingly unlikely to occur.

[Updated on: Sun, 04 November 2018 06:19]

Re: This tale opens a wider topic  [message #75089 is a reply to message #75087] Sun, 04 November 2018 08:05 Go to previous message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13023



"Mark wrote on Sun, 04 November 2018 06:18"
In a way, William's comments are in line with what others are getting out of - or rather, not getting out of - the story.  None of us seems to be seeing it at any sort of serious cautionary tale "of things that can go badly awry" and intended to warn us on how to avoid such situations if they haven't happened to us or on what to do if they have.  Timmy, I'm curious if that particular intent was something you got out of the story, and if you came to that conclusion on your own of if that was something that the author himself told you was the story's intent when he submitted the story here for your consideration for posting to this site.

Of course, I'm still hoping that the author will join this conversation and provide some additional commentary to help clear up the apparent confusion, though I understand that it seems that it's gradually becoming increasingly unlikely to occur.

--
I read so many tales for the site that I am reasonably immune to the distasteful side of things. I was alerted to the issues in the tale and felt then that I needed to raise a flag.

The author has expressed no intent save to write something he felt worthy of publication.

The tale does not warn us how to avoid the predator. It doesn't teach us how to recognise the predator. It doesn't teach us what to do post predation. Instead it portrays a light and whimsical look inside the covers of a much darker world than I wish to live in. It also allows me to recognise that others inhabit that world in a whimsical manner. 

There was rape. There was assault with a permanent outcome. That our hero appears to be carefree still does not remove the two crimes. His is the choice to proceed or not with law enforcement.

[Updated on: Sun, 04 November 2018 08:06]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
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