Ok, first off, I am not handing out awards for best body parts... but that would be an award show worth attending. I do think South African rugby union player Patrick Lambie definitely would make the finals in the best legs category.
It was with great interest that I read the outrage over the rape of Sansa Stark on a recent episode of Game Of Thrones. In the episodes final scene, Sansa (Sophie Turner) is sexually assaulted on her wedding night by husband Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) as Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), is forced by Ramsay to stand and watch. Don't get me wrong, the rape was ugly and difficult to watch. As a viewer I was always rooting for Sansa to escape the masculine evil that always seems to surround her. My fascination however is with all of those who all of a sudden found this scene so out of bounds?
Yes, I have read that in George R.R. Martin's books, it was not Sansa who was raped, but a girl posing as Arya Stark who married Ramsay. But someone was raped. Anyone who reads FH on any type of regular basis knows how much I adore cruelty. Physical cruelty, mental and emotional cruelty, sexual or power based cruelty especially. FH is in fact my response to various other blogs and sites whose purpose is only to mock and bring down others. Although I have made the odd swipe at a celebrity or media hypocrisy, I try to keep the blog as positive as possible.
But... Game Of Thrones is rooted in cruelty. Passion and power yes, but much of the power the characters gain come through incredibly violent and cruel acts. I don't understand why this surprises anyone. I love the show, but have had to divert my eyes many times during overtly violent and cruel scenes have graced my television screen. Both men and women have been raped, mutilated, decapitated and bludgeoned in every possible way since the show began. Forgive the term, but the writers have clearly been toying with Sansa as 'rape bait' since season 1. The term is ugly I know, but all through the shows first couple of season, Sansa's virginity was played up and she was always on the verge of being assualted or raped when engaged to Joffery. In fact, Joffery played out his violent fantasy's about Sansa in some particularly violent acts on prostitutes. Then there is Petyr Littlefinger, whose lecherous looks always had me thinking he was the big bad wolf to Sansa's red riding hood.
I did not enjoy the scene of Sansa being raped, but I was also not surprised, the show pretty laid out this was Sansa's fate early in the shows run. It was especially hard to have Theon there given he and Sansa were raised together. But many seem not to be as outraged by how horrible the rape must have also been for Theon. No character on GOT has been through more violence, torture, and sexual humiliation and degradation than Theon (nicknamed Reek by Ramsay). All of this cruelty, not to mention his castration was also at the hands of Sansa's rapist Ramsay.
I am wondering why all of those people calling for a boycott, (including you Sen. Claire McCaskill) were not outraged about all of the acts of violence and sexual sadism Theon has gone through? Was it because Theon was written as a bit of a letch himself in season 1? I trust not, we have all been educated not to blame the victim. I am not sure the response to Sansa's rape says as much about our feelings towards the violence against women, as it does about our acceptance with the epidemic in film and television of violence against men.
It was back in 2011 that I was first introduced to the work of Robert (Studio) James. In my first piece featuring Robert's work, (Home Alone) I was struck by the connection I felt to the Wisconsin photographer's theme of being home alone. Within Robert's images, being alone isn't a bad thing, it's an opportunity.
I have a fairly stressful job, supporting others as they work their way through a time of fear and pain. I love spending time with my friends and family, but I also crave at least a day or two a month to have all to myself. With work taking the bulk of my week and family obligations often dominating my weekends, it is rare to have a full day, let alone a full weekend to do exactly as I please.
Being surrounded by people all day has me craving moments of solitude. I distinctly remember the first few evenings when I first moved out into my own apartment. It was the mid nineties and although computers had been around for awhile, I didn't own my own at that point. A great evening was a pizza, a good VHS choice from Blockbuster, followed by a good book before bed. Before the Internet, books were often the way many of us moved from reality to fantasy. A good book could provide erotic stimulation from a few well constructed sentences. With visuals not readily at hand, one's imagination was the best and only vehicle for getting (off) on-line.
Robert's images of Skyler are not of a man alone, they are of a man enjoying spending time with himself. Surrounded by others at a wedding all day, there is nothing more fantastic to Skyler than getting home, pouring a drink and removing the tuxedo which had constrained him most of the day. He had been looking forward to this moment most of the afternoon and as he gave his toast at the reception, dreamt about getting home and pealing off that tux.
When down to his grey undies, Skyler pics up the novel he had started a few days ago. He is three quarters through the book and the off/on relationship of the novels main characters are finally on with a descriptive three pages of their erotic coming together. Time to put the book down, it has served it's purpose of getting the juices flowing.
Robert is a master storyteller, visually unveiling the story through his images. Robert gives you just enough to get an idea of what the model is feeling, but leaves room for the viewer to use their own fantasy's to fill in the blanks. This was Robert's second shoot with Skyler. Robert had just moved into a new house in the country when Skyler called asking about another shoot. Given he had a brand new home, there were many new locations he wanted to try out.
Robert says that most of his shoots last about 4 or 5 hours, but with all the new locations he wanted to work in, they decided to spend the entire day and do a variety of sets each in a different location. There were two sets of images that stood out to me, this one and another which I am going to share in a couple of days. Although this set of images comes from shooting inside Robert's new home, they also spent a fair bit of time shooting outside.
'Two of the outdoor locations were within 10-15 feet of a county highway. The road is not heavily travelled but approximately every 5 minutes a car would come along and Skyler, having no clothes on, would have to scamper over to some brush and hide behind it till the car passed. We made the day without getting caught. We spent a good twelve hours shooting, moving to the next location and shooting some more. We were both exhausted by the end of the day but Skyler was a trooper and was 100% into each setting.'