Hurr hurr hurr, winter is coming.

Hurr hurr hurr, winter is coming.

Let’s get this show on the road, it’s almost 7:00 pm as I write this and I just finished editing this week’s episode of Go Plug Yourself and contemplating, as ever, why I do any of this when I could have just come home and played video games. Especially considering I’m fighting off a cold because there’s nothing more cliché than battling a cold right before your winter holidays. It’s like a very special 9to5 (dot cc) Holiday Special trope or something.

Did I Write This Week?

Yes! I laid out the second to last part of the zombie story, which means I am almost certainly on track to have it completed by the end of the year. Now, I know that I said I was going to start releasing it when I got close to completion. But, if you’re among the 3 people who read this column who actually care about when it gets released, I will reveal to you why that’s not the case.

I want to go back and edit some of the previous parts of the story to make the ending a little more cohesive. Just a few things here and there. I talked about this previously here, the ability to go back and tweak things is a great luxury of someone who’s work isn’t bound permanently in ink. Once the story is “done” I want to kind of go back and revamp the whole thing before releasing the upcoming parts and then finally the ebook that I hope to be able to offer to all of you for free in a few weeks. Basically, I want to make sure that the versions that I’m posting are in fact the final versions so that when I compile the whole thing into that ebook I will finally be able to close the book (ha!) on this little experiment in fiction.

So What’s Up?

With only about 1500 words or so left to write, I find my mind ever wandering more and more towards the eventual “real book” that I’m hoping to write after this is said and done. The zombie story doesn’t contain much in the way of grander themes. Beyond those that normally come with the genre anyways. The real monsters are humans, the folly of mankind being its undoing. Those age old themes that have been part of the living dead mythos since back in the day.

This year,more than almost any other year of my life, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about institutionalized bias. The kind of bias that holds back women, persons of colour, and someone of a non-straight sexual orientation or gender identity. That subversive kind of bias that probably everyone is guilty of, even those of us that are part of one of those repressed groups (ie: a person of colour might have institutionalized bias against someone who is transgender, etc).

A recent article that I read about the backlash that Kimberly Peirce suffered at Reed College got me thinking though. Here’s a lesbian filmmaker who made the film (in 1999 no less) Boys Don’t Cry which told a fictionalized version of the true of a trans man (Brandon Teena) and cast Hilary Swank in the role of Brandon. Basically, the students called Peirce a profiteering bitch for telling her story that way. Obviously they were not fans of the fact that a straight woman was cast as Brandon, and some may have taken issue with the fact that Peirce herself was a cisgender lesbian woman.

I’m not going to get too much into this story (you should give it a read though), but it left me thinking about what would happen if I incorporated any characters of non-binary gender, non-white backgrounds. I don’t want to make a totally white washed cast in the story that I write. But, am I allowed to get into those ideas and themes as a straight white male?

And that’s where I get confused. Basically, as a straight white male I am the institution. That might be a little extreme, but at the very least, I’m the demographic that the institution was designed to benefit the most. The easiest, least controversial answer is “don’t go there.” Leave those stories to that community. But then I get to thinking about the idea that if I don’t take a shot at doing something to reverse it, aren’t I part of it?

Anyways, I really wouldn’t mind a little insight here. How to properly handle this sort of thing without necessarily shying away from it.

I dunno man.

Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

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