In the 3B season finale of Teen Wolf last month, we were treated to one more unpleasant turn of events in a season full of unpleasant events: Danny broke up with Ethan. The moment left me with so many questions—was this just because Charlie Carver already has a new show lined up? Would they have stayed together if C. Carv didn’t get a new job, or was this just where the characters were headed anyway? Was it prejudiced for Danny to not want to date a werewolf? Why do I cry so much about fictional characters? But then I started to think about a more pivotal question: why did they start dating in the first place? It led me to a theory I call Magical Obligatory Queer Dating. Let’s take a closer look.
In popular blogger Victoria Fedden’s independently published memoir Amateur Night at the Bubblegum Kittikat, Victoria was having a tough time. Just when she thought everything was going fine, her long-time fiancé broke up with her, stole her house (yes, apparently that is possible), sued her, and moved in with another girl. Twenty-six, heartbroken, homeless, and swamped with legal fees, she had no choice but to leave Atlanta, Georgia and move in with her eccentric parents.
Unfortunately they live in South Florida; those who read her blog Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds know South Florida is a very… interesting place. Once there, Victoria is pushed by her parents to accept a job as a hostess at the Bubblegum Kittikat, South Florida’s “klassiest” gentlemen’s club. Though somewhat shy, and more than a little nerdy, she decides to go for it, needing both the money and the distraction. There she meets the patrons, the doormen, and the dancers, each with a past and a story.
As a longtime reader of Fedden’s hilariously weird blog Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds, I was both excited and impatient to read her first book. When I heard it was going to be about her time working in a strip club, I just about danced with joy. Like many people, I am fascinated by the darker sides of society. What would make a woman be willing to take of her clothes for money? Is there only one type of body type at these sorts of clubs, and what was it like behind the stage? I was hoping the book would be filled to the brim with weird people; I especially wanted to read more about the people who are just on the fringe of the sex industry. The bouncers, the bartenders, the hostess, the waitresses, the managers, and how they viewed things. In most novels that have strippers, there is actually very little about them, while strippers are portrayed as heartless whores who would do anything for more money, and while at times that was true there was far more to it. They are human after all.
Speaking of human, while her book is about the club, it is still solidly a memoir. Fedden is known as a funny blogger, and in this regard she never fails. However, the book it is not all glitter and crazy stories. While working and shopping to her heart’s content, Victoria is looking for love in all the wrong places and for mostly the wrong reasons, all of which she admits and goes over in painful detail. Throughout the book the reader can feel her frustration and the perfect clarity of hindsight is punishing, but like any good memoir, it has lessons that she learns and the reader learns along with her. She makes mistakes that many women can relate to, if only because the events really happened (and can potentially happen to anyone). Victoria goes on dates with guys who are arrogant, creepy (one had a mullet), and some who seem okay, but turn out to be strange in some fashion or another.
These dates are some of the best parts of the novel and though they often made me cringe, they also often made me laugh the most. As a warning there is some intimate partner abuse, swearing, some premarital sexing, undressing, and other things that people may be offended by, but it is all entertaining and nothing is unnecessarily embellished for the sake of storytelling. Throughout her memoir, I wondered if Fedden would succumb to the seduction of greed and “glamor” and finally get on the pole. Does she dance? You’re going to have to read the book to find out. It is currently available only in the electronic version on Amazon and Barnes & Noble but the printed ones are sure to come soon. So what are you waiting for? Get reading!
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MadameAce: Now the Scarecrow, he’s a Batman villain that has been re-imagined a lot, over and over again. How did you envision him when you first started playing him? I know you talked about the demon in the human body and whatnot, but I’ve just seen so many different versions of him.
Dino Andrade: Being a long-time Batman fan, the first thing that I did was look back at the first, the original Arkham Asylum graphic novel which then I got the script and discovered that the two had absolutely nothing to do with each other. After that, I started looking at darker versions of the Scarecrow. One of my favorite versions of the Scarecrow, although he’s not in it for very long, is in the series Batman: Vampire where Scarecrow has human fingers sewn into his costume and stuff like that. He’s this terrifying character and I really liked that interpretation.
That was kind of my jump off point from there because I knew that Arkham Asylum was going to be much grittier than anything that had been seen or done before on video games or comics and so on because, of course, Chris Nolan’s Batman, which took a grittier tone, was so successful. I believe that was part of the mandate for Arkham Asylum: to go for darker territory than Paul Dini and company were allowed to do in previous television incarnations. That’s why I purposely studied Batman: Vampire which is probably the darkest Batman story there is.