Anonymous asked: I was wondering what you thought about the last episode of True Detective, in particular about Maggie.
to me, the most recent episode [“haunted house”] doesn’t contradict what i’ve written previously about the show—for every gesture that deconstructs, subverts or critiques misogyny, there’s another that uncritically replicates it, exploiting its female characters. but i think 1.06 was the weakest episode of true detective i’ve seen.
marty’s involvement with beth, a former child-prostitute, is appalling—not least because the show exploits her as much as he does, so that the broader point about prostitution’s toxicity & trauma is made null. having her shamelessly offer herself, showing her posing half-naked in front of the mirror, followed by gratuitous sex-scenes focused on her nakedness… she’s yet another female object to emphasise marty’s misogyny and corruption and sleaze. [and rust was correct: the $100 marty gave her were a “down payment” after all; and now he’s collected.]
but. for the first time, we’re offered a gaze into the past that isn’t masculine: maggie’s. when she sits in that office in the police station, she’s straight-backed and composed and sharp as a knife, and barely visibly aged—of the three, it’s clear that only maggie hasn’t wasted into a sunken wretched middle-life. and she lies with absolute surety, exploiting the fact that these men will underestimate her, think her incapable of deception or untruth.
maggie’s sexual encounter with rust is about her agency, her purposes. maggie is the instigator, the one who drives their reckless intimacy forward—although she certainly has rust’s full consent and participation. but maggie’s control of the situation is undermined by the camera’s eye: close shots of her naked flesh, which objectify her; we see rust’s only from a distance, and only when he’s seized control. however, the camera shifts to focus upon maggie’s face, maggie’s pleasure. for a moment, rust is irrelevent; merely the incidental instrument maggie has chosen to use. at the end of the scene, it’s made clear that this isn’t about revenge. it’s an extreme act of infidelity that will force marty to leave her—because his misogyny allows him to fuck around with impunity, but renders women “tainted” if they’re touched by another man.
and yet that makes this act all about marty. maggie exists only to shine a light into the black recesses of hois masculinity. we know so little about her, about her life, about what she wants—she never quite becomes “real”.
yes, it’s a show about two men; but i don’t understand why it couldn’t be a three-hander; why maggie couldn’t have been explored in as much depth and detail as rust and marty. there are too many redundant scenes that could have been maggie’s instead. i think that at particular moments true detective critically frames or subverts or critiques misogyny and sexism—but sometimes, it’s just sexist.
— Monica Sjoo, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth (via talisman)
im going to cry
first selfies taken in photo booth since getting my macbook pro running again
Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1969
Rothko’s last work before committing suicide.