OK, I’m getting antsy

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I agree with you about the bisexuality, Pookie.  I don’t think Fellowes will go that route, because it just seems to inclusive for him, frankly.  This is a writer who can’t conceive of early 20th C. gay people being happy for any duration under any circumstances; he’s not going to touch bisexuality!

That said, I am concerned that people may read any attempt of Thomas’s to have a sexual relationship with a woman as bisexuality.  As I understand it, sexual identity isn’t about what you do with your body, but what it means to you. If Thomas only wants to be with a woman because it will make him “normal” and he has no real desire for women themselves, he’s just as gay as he ever was.

Agreed, except for this bit:

This is a writer who can’t conceive of early 20th C. gay people being happy for any duration under any circumstances;

Fellowes is a dramatist who tries to do a good job and he is surely not stupid or unimaginative nor do I believe is he unaware that some people actually did manage to have long-term same-sex relationships. But fact remains, that being homosexual was mainly really tough to handle during that time and Thomas having a sweet romance or relationship would be quite blatant romanticizing of the actual issues most gay people had to face.

I think it does their reality way more justice to have Thomas being really conflicted and to have people see what huge toll social vilification and criminalization can take on a person’s life.

Of course some people managed to find a way to live romance and relationships. But why would Fellowes as a writer choose a path that offers way less dramatic possiblities plus really would not be representative of the majority of experiences? I actually think it would be potentially harmful to the perception of the situation of homosexuals during that era. A happily-in-a-relationship Thomas might lead to the conclusion of the less intellectually inclined audience: “Aaah, see, the gays didn’t really have that much of a hard time back then after all.”

A conflicted storyline with lots of suffering offers WAAAAAY more potential to make people think (and develop empathy), to create awareness and a broader spectrum of emotions in the viewer than a straight forward love story.



Via Openculture - The University of California has a bunch of free ebooks up. So far the following seem like they might be vaguely Downton-relavent, in terms of time period and maybe subject:

(There’s a bunch that sound great but are only available to University students and staff, which is fair enough.)


Everyone has six names.

  1. Your real name:
    Not telling. Please use my superhero name (see below)
  2. your detective name (favourite colour and favourite animal):
    Turquoise Horse.
  3. your soap opera name (middle name and street you live on):
    Alex Albani
  4. your star wars name (first three letters of last name, first two of middle, first letter of first): 
  5. superhero name (color of your shirt, first item to your immediate left): Green Cushion (great!)
  6. goth name (black and one of your pets): Black Got No Pet

Alex Albani. What kind of character would that be … smug with a touch of douche? Oooh, I want this to be real now.

Green Cushion is ready!