Return, and Hannibal
When it comes to blogging and social media in general, I had a weird autumn. No blog posts, fewer tweets than usual, and less Facebook activity. Maybe it was just being busy in general with a few things - Alberta Association of the Deaf (I'm their new Secretary!), finding a new home, work being extra busy - but I stopped blogging and disliked every week that went by without a post. Now I've realized it isn't an issue of not having enough time. I do have the time - I watch Netflix and play Wii U almost every evening! I think it's a simple case of needing a good stretch of time to let my life settle into a new pattern, and that new pattern is starting to emerge in my mind, conveniently as 2015 turns into 2016.
I should thank my boyfriend for bugging me about my blog last week. That's what got me back in gear, and I've made a new habit of simply checking my different social streams without feeling the need to contribute. Instead, all my energies will be focused on this blog and building out an interesting library of posts... as well as figuring out how to customize the look. Right now I love the extreme minimalism, but I'm sure adding a few elements will make it look like "Connor's blog."
To keep it short today, I'd like to talk about Hannibal: the TV show that concluded its third of six planned seasons and then was unceremoniously cancelled. To this day, it doesn't look like anyone will pick up the show - not even Hulu or Netflix seemed interested in taking on a project that had a proven devout fanbase and extremely positive critical reviews. This is such a shame to me because I adore this show in the worst way possible.
If you haven't seen it, let me be very clear: when you think of "Hannibal," you have almost the right idea of what this show is about. Cannibalism. However, the crucial difference between simple cannibalist body horror entertainment and the TV show Hannibal is the sexiness. I'm not kidding when I say that this show is perhaps one of the most dangerous popular media packages out there. By package, I mean a single identifiable source of ideas that can be disseminated in popular culture: TV shows, movies, books, websites, blogs, Twitter accounts, even a family of products that espouse a specific agenda (think female hygiene and the many layers of shame and body-normalization layered within). Hannibal as a popular media package promotes the idea that cannibalism and the involved psychologies and consequences are not merely interesting, they are sexy.
This show frequently portrays a succulent cut of meat seasoned and garnished to perfection before revealing that it is a deceased person's liver, for instance, creating an often unavoidable sensation of desire to consume before associating it with a moral taboo. In another instance, characters will discuss a nuanced philosophical stance in gentle tones while manipulating their wine glasses or silver cutlery moments before someone has a screwdriver jammed into their skull, making them go blind, laugh uncontrollably, and speak incoherently until they die. And a more obvious example just to drive this home: Hannibal Lecter himself is constantly portrayed as impeccably dressed, well-spoken, and mindful in every action during a violent murder and dissection scene. Even his clothing is preserved during bloody moments in a full body plastic suit that itself looks like well-blown glass.
It's portrayals like these that have led critics to acclaim the show Hannibal as "stylish," and there is hardly any condemnation of the messages within. Of course, this can be mostly tallied up to the widespread acceptance of YOU CAN'T EAT THEM, THAT'S WRONG sentiments. But when I looked at myself in certain moments after watching this show, I actually began to worry. Don't get me wrong - I'm not considering cannibalism. But I am certainly inspired by some of the unquestionably classy elements of the show - their homes, their clothes, their mannerisms, the refined meals and drinks they consume. Most of the characters are people that I would love to behave like and be regarded as.
I won't presume to speak for anyone else, but Hannibal more than any other media package has made me wonder whether, if I were in a less stable mental state, I would actually be inclined to emulate Hannibal in full: finger food and all.
Hannibal is dangerous, but it (he?) is also a succulent pleasure.