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So...I'm still writing that Oz cisswap thing, which now has a title ("Always Tried To Be a Good Girl, But I Can't Really Say That That's True"), and figuring out the mechanics of how everything changes when you change one thing--gender, in this case--is absolutely fascinating to me. I also came across a bunch of fic I've enjoyed the hell out of, particularly from one person (drsquidlove) who remembers not only that Chris Keller is simultaneously a bag of sex and a lying liar who kills for fun, but also everything Tobias Beecher did while in Oz and never got prosecuted for, simply because the authorities just don’t know about it. These things include:

1. Straight-up murdering C.O. Karl Metzger with his sharpened fingernails.
2. Shanking Keller in the lung.
3. Conspiring to bring about Andy Schillinger’s death.
4. Putting a mob hit out on Hank Schillinger, which probably involved him getting money to pay for it with from his Dad and therefore making his Dad potentially culpable in a charge of felony murder.
5. Not telling anyone Keller killed Shemin or Mondo Browne; knowing Keller would be likely to kill anybody he had sex with and having sex with Ronnie Barlog anyways.
6. Selling Adam Guenzel into sexual slavery in return for getting a job in the mail-room so he could see Keller on death row; this later lead to Guenzel’s death, as Beecher was well aware might potentially happen, so I suppose he could also be considered culpable in that.

I mean, I love Toby, but seriously--he's bad fuckin' news, and there's no way he's going to spend the rest of his life being anything like well-adjusted. There is a massive repository of crazy rage inside him, and getting sober actually hasn't helped very much with him learning to process that. Of course, being in Oz really didn't help much either, so possibly it's six of one, a half-dozen of the other.

In the cisswap piece, meanwhile, I'm dealing with a basic difference: male Oz has no negotiation option, especially in terms of the Beecher/Schillinger "relationship," but in female Oz, people negotiate first and escalate later because they're used to being stuck in a position where they're routinely forced to negotiate for what they want. Also, Vern had one primary use for Beecher (sit around in my pod being miserable until I force you to service me), while Verena would have another (give my prison "kids" free legal advice, so they can get out of here and go replace the race). So when Beecher inevitably starts getting free drugs from Rhea O'Reilly, Vee's first reaction isn't "You're my property so stop that because it makes me look bad," so much, as "you're falling down on the job because you're a junkie and junkies fuck up, so I'm going to remove the immediate temptation by just killing that Mick bitch."

And female Beecher would then freak out because she knows it's going to be her fault, just like Kathy Rockwell's death is her fault, and for much the same reason; she decided no one else mattered as much as her getting drunk/high. "I'll do anything, what can I do?" "Learn from this." It then thus becomes a fulcrum moment for both Beecher and O'Reilly in terms of detoxing, but also for Beecher because the deal she cuts is to get punished and be seen to be punished in order to save O'Reilly's life. ("Oh, so I owe you something now?" "Bitch, fuck YOU." [Days later] "Well, I was an asshole about that but I did something for you, so we're square." "You could've just said you were sorry." [Shrugs] "Eh.")

Anyhow, as a result of thinking shit like the above through, I now have over 13,000 words' worth of notes on this bastard, and I still haven't posted anything. Sovay knows what I'm talking about.

My insomnia continues to be fairly consistent and horrifying, so much so that I'm seeing a doctor tomorrow. For example, I tried to turn my clock around twice by staying up through the night, once on Friday and once on Monday. Both times I browned out near the end and threw myself off, though I did get six to eight hours uninterrupted sleep as a result. I slept on the couch on Saturday night, upsetting Steve a lot, and we had a long talk the next day. In other words, it's fucking me up in ways that aren't supportable, and it needs to be fixed.

Otherwise: I saw Logan. Short review is, it's awesome. Longer review: Dafne Keen as Laura/X-23 gave me the same sort of jolt Kirsten Dunst did when she was in Interview With the Vampire; it's a very adult performance, managing to suggest all of James Howlett in sheer concentrated form, yet with an innocence and a willingness to learn and grow emotionally that speaks volumes about how she'll hopefully outstrip him as an integrated human being in the future. Hugh Jackman, meanwhile, does startling work in terms of showing his own and Logan's age (seventeen YEARS he's been playing this role, holy shit!). He plays him slow-poisoned, desperate, despairing; knowing it's the end of everything and yet that he's apparently doomed to keep on surviving, to outlive everyone, to never save anything permanently.

Patrick Stewart is quite brilliant and heartbreaking as old Charles Xavier, whose "megaton mind" has become a weapon he can't control anymore. The near future is horrifyingly likely, post-Trumpish, full of corporate greed and tapped-out resources--Logan is a Western that just happens to have mutants and the "adapted" (half-robot corporate anti-mutant mercenaries, with Boyd Holbrook giving outstanding asshole as Donald Pierce, leader of the Reivers) instead of gunslingers, and it's very much an offshoot of Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven. There's a secret double role I don't want to spoil that's thematically quite appropriate and wonderful.

A great bit of dialogue has Logan waking from a nightmare. "You have those?" He asks Laura, his sort-of daughter, made from his DNA, who we first see bouncing a ball but later exits from a house full of mercenaries carrying a human head; she nods. "Bad people hurt me." "Mine are different. I hurt people." "I hurt people too." "You're gonna have to learn to live with that." "They were bad people." "Even so."

I cried at all the right points, and at the end--when the credits were done--the lights came up and there were a bunch of people my age still left in the theatre, just sort of staring up at the screen. That was interesting. I mean, it was an older audience in general, I guess, since it's very definitely rated R; the violence is genuine and gory, and there's an amazing amount of f-bombs that get dropped, especially in one particular scene. (Charles: "Logan, she's a child!" Logan: "Oh, so she can kill people, but she shouldn't hear a few naughty words?") That said, it really was my generation I was seeing--forty-plus, almost fifty. I think it just hit us harder, because much like Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, this is a movie about getting ready (and willing) to die.

Oh, and I've been watching FX's Legion, which is pretty fascinating--I know the main character, David Haller, is canonically Charles Xavier's son, but are they going to go that way on the show? He's also a guy who's literally so freaking powerful that the only thing that's kept him from doing horrifying damage thus far is him being convinced he has schizophrenia. But with a person that powerful, I kind of think mental illness is part and parcel of the package...it might be better that way, really. Great show, one way or the other, with amazing visuals and a sort of cold, creepy whimsy; Dan Stevens sells the hell out of it. As sovay points out, it's a nicely twisty core concept in that being convinced that his powers are really mental problems keeps him from trying to exercise them, but that can only apply to conscious control, so his world is going to be pretty weird anyway. Plus, it's already become fairly obvious that there's a section of him that's fighting everything else--that he is his own monster. My kinda guy.;)

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