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The Taylor Sheridan Episode – Anyway, That’s All I Got!

Taylor Sheridan

In what is somehow our second longest episode to date, we decided to take a look at the quickly-escalating career of writer/director Taylor Sheridan, in honor of this summer’s controversial new release Sicario: Day of the Soldado. We discuss the themes, politics, and marketing tactics of the new release, as well as our predictions for the planned third installment. We were all surprised to find out how much we geek out over Sheridan’s stories, and we hope that you’ll give it a listen, whether you’ve seen the movies or not. Enjoy!

Hosted by Sam Noland, Jason Read, and Anthony Battaglia!

SHOW NOTES:

Go on…The Taylor Sheridan Episode – Anyway, That’s All I Got!

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How to Make It as a Movie Writer

how to make it as a movie writer

Are you trying to make it as a movie writer? Are you trying to separate the great from the clickbait?

A movie writer, as you can imagine, is someone who writes about movies. Not to be confused with screenwriters, who are actually writing movies.

Anyway, on this special episode of the Now Conspiring podcast, Maria decided to take the reins as host and address what it takes to make it as someone who, well, writes about movies.

We’ll talk about tips, tricks, and little-known secrets to avoiding the most dreaded of article types: clickbait. 

And we’ll also discuss how we’ve gotten to where we are as bloggers, as well as all of the mistakes we’ve made along the way.

Enjoy the show, and feel free to rate and subscribe to our show on iTunes! We super crazy appreciate it.

[SIDE NOTE: The movie for the image above is James Franco playing Allen Ginsberg in 2010’s Howl. For whatever reason, he was the first person I thought of when putting this podcast together. Go figure.]

The Pixar Detective, Chapter 12: “The Agreement”

Hey everyone! Welcome to The Pixar Detective, a serial novel I put together based on the Pixar Theory. The following is a fictional story that explains the theory that all of the Pixar movies are connected and exist within the same universe, using original characters and artwork. The story answers a lot of questions you may have about this theory, but through its own ongoing narrative.

The story originally launched in April, and since then we’ve finished Part 1 and Part 2!

Both are available as iBooks on iTunes, which you can check out here. If you can’t use iBooks, can also download the PDF versions:

Part 1: (PDF version)

Part 2: (PDF version)

Once you’re finished, check back to our Table of Contents, where we’ll be continuing the story through Part 3. A new chapter is released every two weeks on Tuesdays. And please be sure to leave your feedback in the comments for us to read through. Enjoy!

Previously on The Pixar Detective

Stevin Parker and Wallaby Jones are on a mission to find their missing friend, Mary, whose entire house (save for her room) vanished without a trace.

pixar detective

Along the way, they’ve traveled through time and made some new friends, including a monster named Mr. Sumner (who has grown accustomed to Stevin’s shoulders) and a super-powered girl named Sadie.

During their desperate attempt to escape Agent Willem and his team at the Hexagon, the team traveled through a door to a new time, but they had to leave their mentor, Alec, behind.

logan

Meanwhile, a new team is investigating a group of monsters who are kidnapping children. The year is 2001, and the Australia-based group is led by a girl named Cara and her super-powered cousin, Logan. The girls are descendants of powerful supers, including UltraViolet. Along with them are several “unique” monster hunters named Rudy, Cochran and Madus. Together, this unlikely team is setting out to prevent a “2319” — all out war between monsters and humans.

 

Use the prompt on the sidebar to subscribe for updates or just follow me and Kayla on Twitter to stay connected – @JonNegroni – @KaylaTheSavage

Why We Hate Destiny’s Story (And How It Could Have Been Way Better)

If you’re reading this as someone who is looking into buying Destiny, please wait until the end of this article before you let my opinions influence your purchase decision. If you’re reading this as someone trying to make sense of the confusing mess that is Destiny, then I hope this write-up puts your thoughts into coherent words.

The game in question is a recently released sci-fi epic available on Xbox One, PS4 and last-gen consoles. There’s been a lot of hype for this game as being one of the first “true” next-gen games to show off what’s next in gaming.

But if you’ve recently read a review for Destiny, then you’ve likely come across this exact sentiment: “It’s fun, but blah blah, story.”

destiny

I’m doing the same thing with this post, sort of. Except I’m digging deep into the why behind Destiny’s clumsy execution. Especially when you consider how Bungie spent a whopping 5 years putting this thing together (and hundreds of millions of dollars).

Destiny is a fascinating game. What’s even more fascinating is the fact that Destiny’s flaws are just as fascinating as the things that make Destiny a fun game.

But not even all of that fun in this FPS/RPG/MMO (first person shooter/role-playing game/massive multiplayer online) can save it from one thing that no one seems to like: the story.

destiny

This is especially sad for me, because the story of any game is just as important as the gameplay and graphics. Or at least the reason behind what you’re doing in the game.

That said, a good narrative doesn’t have to be the main reason for why I want to play a game.

Take Titanfall for example. In that game, there’s hardly a story, but I still enjoyed it.

But with Destiny? Also not much of a story, but that’s a bigger problem than with Titanfall. Why? Do I hate Bungie? Do people just hate Bungie for no reason?

destiny

That’s an obvious “no.” The Halo franchise is one of the most celebrated sagas in gaming history.

There are a lot of reasons for why Destiny’s story doesn’t work. And those reasons contribute to why everyone is so disappointed with Bungie’s latest outing. I’ll sum it up on word:

Expectations.

One of the main things that makes a story great is surprise. If the person experiencing the story has a hard time predicting the outcome of the story, then that increases the chances of them being pleased by what does happen.

The main way to make your story “surprising” is by being creative. Originality for the sake of originality doesn’t accomplish much. But creativity for the sake of telling a good story does more for your story than clever names for your characters will ever do.

destiny

Destiny tries very hard to create immersion. And they set your expectations very high by creating a world that you want to be immersed in. But ultimately, the writers had it backwards (I don’t know why).

Immersion doesn’t happen unless the story behind your world is compelling.

The world of Destiny, though curiously interesting, is hardly compelling. And Bungie made some rookie errors in that respect.

For example, the removal of a “codex” so that you can pester people into visiting your website is 100% a stupid decision. Specifically, the game will choose not to give you a back story into a certain event or character because you’re expected to stop playing and check it out on Bungie’s website.

destiny

That’s so wrong, it’s Raven. Bungie is essentially asking you to step out of the immersive world they’ve created to increase traffic to their own website. It doesn’t look good for them, and it’s certainly inconvenient for you.

The other problem is that if you don’t want to visit Bungie’s site to get more info on what the heck is going on in Destiny, then good luck figuring out what the heck is going on in Destiny.

These are relatively minor problems, though. Bungie could easily fix them in Destiny 2 or even the next update (not that they will). But there’s a bigger, deeper problem with the story and world of Destiny.

Conceptually, it’s an artistic mess. Let’s break that sentence down.

Conceptually: what makes Destiny, “Destiny.”
Artistic: what makes Destiny interesting and unique.
Mess: mess.

destiny

Destiny is a game full of good story ideas dressed up in overcomplicated flair. It has a cool structure, but to be simple: it tries too hard. It just tries way, way too hard.

The good story ideas come down to the setting and overall plot. Earth in the distant future? Fine. Takes place all over the solar system? Cool. Even the character designs and classes are somewhat new and interesting.

But when you go deeper, you find that everything else about the game is horribly generic. And when you combine generic execution with a creative foundation, you get, well, an artistic mess.

If you’ve played the game, yourself, then you know what I’m talking about.

destiny

The only people around (pretty much at all) in this world are called Guardians. First of all, that’s boring in and of itself. You never meet or talk to anyone who isn’t a fellow darkness-attacker.

I had to ask myself too many times, “Just who am I fighting for in this game? The guy with the mask? Myself? Peter Dinklage?”

And of course, “Guardians” is one of the laziest names they could have used as a classification. What isn’t a “Guardian” anymore these days? It’s a horrendously overused and uninteresting word at this point. Same goes with Hunters. Sure, Titan and Warlock are an improvement, but not by much.

The game is littered with odd naming choices like this. The Crucible (the hub for multiplayer) was “Mass Effected” just a couple of years ago. Sure, that one instance doesn’t ruin the name, but it does for plenty of people who are sick of seeing that word all over their video games and movies (and Arthur Miller novels).

destiny

And if you thought “Guardians” was lazy, then wait until you hear Peter Dinklage go on about “The Darkness.” You know your game’s story has a problem when it reads like a young adult novel by Stephanie Meyer.

And your robots are called “Ghosts?” Bungie (and Activision), we are sick and tired of everything being “ghosts,” especially since Call of Duty named an entire game after the concept a year ago. In Destiny, it doesn’t even make thematic sense that your robot companion is a “Ghost.”

Again, these are all simple problems that, on their own, don’t deserve much scrutiny. But all of these cringe-worthy story elements combined seriously prevent gamers from enjoying what Destiny has to offer in terms of gameplay and beautiful settings (of which I have little complaint, actually. The story is that bad).

destiny

And we haven’t even gotten to the story of the story — what’s driving you from going on those tedious fetch quests that barely vary, if at all. As you can imagine, it’s easily the game’s biggest, most obvious problem.

Because odd choices in your world and aesthetics can easily be forgiven if you have an engaging story with memorable characters.

Destiny doesn’t (really) have characters at all. Don’t get me wrong, it has placeholders. Characters, though? Can’t say I came across one.

The only character we actually get to know and listen to is our Ghost companion, voiced by Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones). His role is essentially “male Cortana.” And that’s about all the thought they put into him.

destiny

[The role of Cortana merged with the design of 343 Guilty Spark, basically]

All he does is direct you on your missions. He lets you know what you’re supposed to be doing, what to look out for, and he provides occasional insights into the ever-elusive backstory of this strange, postapocalyptic world.

The problem? All of these things are the same, essentially. Your missions are astoundingly similar to each other, and the script reads as if it were put together in a matter of minutes.

This is mostly evidenced by Peter Dinklage’s clear boredom as he voices his character. Yes, it’s so tedious that Tyrion himself can’t find much to like about it. Some people want to blame him for the dry performance, but it’s not his fault if he has nothing interesting to talk about.

It’s easy and sort of necessary to compare Destiny to Halo, which is Bungie’s true claim to fame. The “magic” of Halo just doesn’t exist here, even though the games are fairly similar to each other (and not just when it comes to gameplay).

With Halo, you had a simple story set within a fascinating world. Even the aliens were the stars. That’s why Elites, Grunts, Jackals and Hunters would remain memorable figures as Halo aged.

destiny

Destiny, in comparison, is a complicated story set within an even more complicated world (and forgettable enemies). In Halo, my mission was straightforward. I was a powerful soldier (with other soldiers at my side to prove my scale) trying to survive on a mysterious world.

Many good games have this kind of simple story structure to draw you in. Far Cry 3 starts with the imperative that you have to save your friends on an island filled with dangerous pirates. Mass Effect is all about stopping a madman from resurrecting a genocidal race of super aliens. Fallout just comes down to surviving the nuclear wasteland.

But in Destiny, it’s not clear what I’m trying to do or why I’m anywhere the Ghost sends me. There’s no intrigue. No motivation. I’m lifted out of the rubble and told to join some movement, without a second thought (kind of what Destiny expects out of us as gamers).

destiny

I just shoot evil aliens. That’s enough, I suppose, to justify buying it. But it’s nowhere near enough to say that Destiny is a special game.

And a simple explanation for all of these problems is the oft-cited observation that Destiny has a bit of an identity crisis. It tries to be all things to all people, and this lack of focus makes the overall game suffer.

I would add that Destiny is also an example of why a good recipe is more than just combining two things. Because on paper, the game should work pretty well — it has all of the things we like about Halo, Call of Duty, and the best MMOs — but it’s not any better than the sum of its parts.

destiny

And the saddest thing about all of this is that it doesn’t take a professional team of writers to make a better narrative than what we got. My own version, if this project was handed to me, would be as follows:

Centuries after Earth was abandoned for unknown reasons, a coalition of humans and robots returned to the Solar System to recolonize the still resource-rich worlds. But they find that new, feral species have appeared, and they’re organized. Thus begins a war for who will reclaim the Solar System. Will it be the “new” humans? Or this seemingly selfish race of aggressive “aliens” that (Plot twist!) actually inhabited the Solar System long before humans, making them the rightful rulers of Earth and the rest all along?

I came up with that on the fly. Bungie on the other hand had years to churn this out, and the best they could come up with was the same “humanity versus invading alien forces that vaguely look like robots. Again.”

destiny

Here’s just one more take on the Destiny universe:

Centuries in the future, the Solar System is abandoned. No one knows what happened to humans, who were on the brink of faster-than-light travel before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace. New governments and migrating species have since colonized the 8 planets (and Pluto), but a struggle for control ensues when a schism divides the Solar System into two warring factions. You’re a member of an order of scavengers who loot the battle-torn areas of this conflict. But in your pursuit of fortune, your order encounters an even more dangerous secret that could change the galaxy forever. 

Seriously, Bungie. Step it up.

destiny

Overall, Destiny is a mindless game. But while other mindless games get a free pass, Destiny doesn’t because it wants you to think it’s not mindless. By dressing up its world with seemingly creative ideas that fall short of your expectations.

But, and this is a big but, Destiny is still (miraculously) worth playing if you like good shooters with some RPG elements. In those respects, the game excels and is addicting fun. You just have to immerse yourself out of the story to better enjoy it.

What do you think of Destiny?

Thanks for Reading! You can subscribe to this blog by email via the prompt on the sidebar. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@JonNegroni). I’ll follow you back if you say something witty and awesome.

The Pixar Detective, Chapter 11: “2319”

Hey everyone! Welcome to The Pixar Detective, a serial novel I put together based on the Pixar Theory. The following is a fictional story that explains the theory that all of the Pixar movies are connected and exist within the same universe, using original characters and artwork. The story answers a lot of questions you may have about this theory, but through its own ongoing narrative.

The story originally launched in April, and since then we’ve finished Part 1 and Part 2!

Both are available as iBooks on iTunes, which you can check out here. If you can’t use iBooks, can also download the PDF versions:

Part 1: (PDF version)

Part 2: (PDF version)

Once you’re finished, check back to our Table of Contents, where we’ll be continuing the story through Part 3. A new chapter is released every two weeks on Tuesdays. And please be sure to leave your feedback in the comments for us to read through. Enjoy!

chapter 11 pixar detective

 

Previously, on the Pixar Detective

pixar detective part 1 coverIn the year 2014, two kids embarked on a mission to find their missing friend, Mary. The friends, Stevin Parker and Wallaby Jones, teamed up with their mysterious teacher, Alec Azam, who mentored Mary in the arts of magic and traveling through time by use of doors.

Along the way, Stevin and Wallaby gained new allies, including a monster from another world and a girl with dangerous superpowers. Eventually, they were forced through a door that would lead them to the location of their next clue: Sydney, Australia.

 

Use the prompt on the sidebar to subscribe for updates or just follow me and Kayla on Twitter to stay connected – @JonNegroni – @KaylaTheSavage

The Three Steps to Writing Your First Story

For the first time on this site, I’ve opened up a post to someone else. The following is a guest think piece written by Tim Wilkinson, who was gracious enough to lend some of his advice on writing to you guys.

Tim majored in Screenwriting in college and has taken a variety of creative writing classes on the side. He moved to Hollywood and hung out with other writers while doing freelance work on the side. During his time there, he met a lot of great (and not-so-great) writers who have helped shaped his strategy for making what you make, well, great. Enjoy!

 

By Tim Wilkinson.

A strange mistake writers make when they decide to write something is when they think they have to start by crafting a novel. If you were just learning how to sew, you wouldn’t start by making a California King-sized quilt, just like if you started running yesterday, you wouldn’t attempt a marathon this coming weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, I want you to get to wherever it is you want to be (creatively speaking). I just think you’re going to need to start by developing your tools and endurance (yes, writing a novel is an exercise in endurance) before tackling the beast.

Part the First: About Writing Itself

The first mistake that many intrepid young writers make is to think that writing is “easy.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Writing can be fun, rewarding and extremely satisfying, but I’ve never once considered it especially easy. As a result, many new writers tend to dive in and quickly flame out on their project. Or just get lost in the world they were trying to create. Then they stick it in a drawer and never look at it again.

My advice is simple:

Read. As much as you can. You can’t write if you don’t read. Don’t like to read? Guess what? You’re not a writer. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

Reading helps you develop your own voice (likely by first emulating writers you love and then growing from there) and keeps your brain in what I like to call word mode. I read every day on my commute and most nights before bed.

Write. Every. Day. This one is even harder. There are days when you’re not going to want to. Days when the words won’t come. Days when you think everything you’re writing is crap and you’ll be right.

It’s going to suck sometimes, but you’ve just got to muscle through it. All professional writers do it, and they’ll all admit to having days when they want to pull their hair out and scream until they lose their voices. But they still do it.

Study. You need to learn story structure. I’ve heard too many new writers say, “I don’t need to learn story structure because it will mess up my story” or some other line that implies that they are too “artistic” to bow to the traditional guidelines of storytelling.

If you’re one of these people, let me tell you something: you’re just like everyone else who thinks they’re a genius until that moment comes when you discover that your really cool plot twist or story structure was actually done (better) by someone before you were even born.

Writing is extremely humbling if you’re doing it correctly.

So just suck it up and learn story structure. Pick up a copy of Story by Robert McKee (it’s targeted to screenwriters, but the story elements translate to prose fiction as well) and On Writing by Stephen King. Read the crap out of them.

Then grab a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style and learn it by heart. I also recommend The Little Red Writing Book by Brandon Royal. But grammar and spelling are only important if you want other people to read your work.

Find a Community (but don’t get too caught up in it). This is optional and not for everyone. I’m sure that if you’ve started writing something already, you’re a bit annoyed because writing sounds like a lot of hard, lonely work.

It is.

That’s why it’s good to have friends who understand what you’re putting yourself through.

Search for a good local writers group (lots of libraries have them, depending on where you’re located) or even online. Reddit (r/writing) is a nice place to hang out as well. These people will be a tremendous resource for you and will help you find your way—or at least be a support group that your non-writer friends won’t be able to be.

However: Note that there is a fine line between being a writer and playing the writer. People who play the writer want to have all the “perks” of being a writer—the prestige, being able to say you’re a writer to impress people at parties, etc.—without actually writing. So be sure you’re finding an actual writing group that will help you progress.

Okay, now you’ve established the building blocks. Hopefully this means you’ve started kicking out a few pages every day. Awesome. Now we can move on to:

Part the Second: About Writing a Novel

All novels start with one thing: An idea.

You need an idea that is going to keep you interested for at least a year, probably more. The idea that birthed my novel was simple: What if a teenaged boy became obsessed with capturing proof of the giant monster living in the local lake?

(Side note: Don’t be paranoid about not telling people ideas like this—you can’t copyright an idea, and even if they did steal it, their story would be completely different from yours. Just look at vampire and zombie novels if you don’t believe me).

So now that you have your idea, you’ve got to figure out a few things:

  • What genre will my novel be?
  • What is your narrator’s point of view?
  • Will you follow one character or jump around between multiple ones?

I find knowing these few things at the outset to be tremendously helpful. I’ve actually rewritten an entire project because I decided after one draft that past-tense/third person was the wrong way to go and changed it to present-tense/first person.

Now this is where things get tricky. You have to decide if you’re a gardener or architect.

Gardeners plant a story and let it grow organically, often starting at the beginning and then letting it grow as they write.

Architects plot everything out in advance so they know how to build their story.

For example: Stephen King is a gardener; J.K. Rowling is an architect.

I am very much an architect. As such, I’ll walk you through my process.

Start with a deck of 3×5 index cards. Write out each scene in one sentence on the card. If you find you’re adding more than one or two sentences, tear it up and start over.

Your sentences should be simple, like:

Jeff kicks in the door, shoots the guy on the couch and takes the drugs on the table.

Worry about the details of it when you’re actually writing. If you obsess over the details now, you’ll have nothing to keep your interest when you finally start to write.

Write all of your scenes out like this. Now lay them out and read through them. You may start to notice that this scene here would go better there, and so on.

This is why you use index cards and vague-ish scenes. So you can move them around.

Rearrange, add, subtract and generally play with it to your heart’s content. Then, once your satisfied, number them (trust me) and then type them up in a single document.

Viola! Instant outline!

Now you begin to write. Set a daily goal. My current one is 500 words a day because I work full-time and have a pregnant wife. It’s what I can do, but I make sure to do it every single day. And yes, there are plenty of days when I don’t want to at first.

Now write and write and write and write and one day it will be done.

And it will be horrible. Or at least, you’ll hate it. You’ll hate everything about it. You’ll consider self-immolation. You’ll consider taking up an “easier” artistic outlet, like painting with fresh rattlesnake blood that you procured yourself.

In the immortal words of Douglas Adams: Don’t Panic.

This is normal. Calmly put your hard work aside and do not look at it for at least one month. Maybe longer. Fight the urge to tool around with it. Start something new. Go have an adventure. Just don’t touch it. Right now, your manuscript is a wad of dough, and it needs time to breathe and rise. Which brings us to…

Part the Third: Turd Polishing

After enough time has lapsed, go back and read it.

Don’t start rewriting immediately. Read it.

All the way through.

Tough it out. It might hurt in places, but you’ll also notice little pockets of prose that you don’t hate. Feel free to keep a notepad handy, but don’t spend more time writing than you do reading that first time. Re-acquaint yourself. Note any large plot issues, but save the finer stuff for later.

After your read through, it’s time to rewrite.

Start by fixing any gaping plot holes and work down to the smaller details. Take good notes. A good rule of thumb I’ve learned is that your second draft should be 10% shorter than your first draft. Usually, this can be easily achieved by editing out extraneous words.

One thing we should talk about here is grammar, which is literally the last thing you should worry about. Your first draft (as well as everyone else’s) will be a hot, steaming turd. You don’t ever want to polish a fresh turd. Your successive rewrites will act as a coat of varnish on your turd, making it nice, shiny and less horrifying.

Once you’ve applied several coats of Rewrites™ brand varnish, you’ll be able to polish (or, if you prefer, proofread) without getting dirt under your fingernails. Besides, what’s the point of correcting spelling and grammar if you might just rewrite that whole section anyway?

Now it’s just a matter of banging it into shape until you’re happy with it. Once you’re satisfied that your story is absolutely as good as it is going to get, then you can fix your grammar and spelling. Once you’re done, find that one friend of yours who, when asked for story feedback, only ever points out your typos.

“Uh, it was good but you misspelled butt cheek like six times in chapter nine.”

All writers have this one friend, I promise you. Right now, he’s your best friend.

Now you’re finally ready to show your bad boy off. Ask a few trusted friends to read it and give you feedback. This will likely spur another round of revisions—again this is totally normal.

Also, be sure to give a copy of your manuscript to your mother (or whoever loves you unconditionally).

Because who doesn’t occasionally need to hear how great they are? Just don’t expect it from anyone else. You’re going to have to earn it from everyone else.

I really hope you find this piece helpful. If you’re a little freaked out now, that’s good.

If you still want to write a novel, that’s very good.

One final note: Find what you’re comfortable writing on and stick with it. Clive Barker writes his novels longhand and then types them up. I use a program called OmmWriter to do my daily 500 words, then paste it into Scrivener, an amazing (and cheap) writing program that has its own index card system (which I now use instead of actual index cards).

Just find what works for you and do it.

 

Thanks for reading! You can follow @Tim_Wilkinson on Twitter.

Chivalry Isn’t Dead. It Just Looks Different.

Chivalry means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But it certainly isn’t “dead.”

The popularized version might be. That is, if you define the merit of a concept by how it permeates culture. In that sense, many of us (myself included) would concede that the “mainstream” version of chivalry as defined by “knights in shining armor” and a strict code of etiquette is certainly an afterthought for most people.

And if you only define chivalry literally, then I suppose you consider it to have been dead since the days of medieval knights in shining armor.

But that’s not the type of chivalry we’re talking about, and it’s not even close to what our elders would call it.

The widespread view of chivalry comes down to various types of acts that are influenced by a holistic attitude. The acts in question are things like opening doors for others, taking someone out on a nice date and exercising manners.

As I said before, these acts are influenced by an attitude that begs them genuine. The attitude is a layer of sincere respect for the person receiving the kind acts you’ve bestowed upon them.

Put that way, it’s easy to see why chivalry doesn’t have to be constrained to just one gender or even role someone may play.

Chivalry can be an extension of how you treat your parents, friends and neighbors. Not just your lover. But that’s getting out of focus.

Sticking with just the lover thing, chivalry is commonly placed on the shoulders of men, and I believe rightly so. That doesn’t mean men are the only members of society to be chivalrous. It just means that chivalry is expected from men by men.

We set the example, basically, and it’s no one else’s fault when we fall short (no matter what Elite Daily tells you). Women shouldn’t have to tell men that they need to step up their manners, for example. Men should be telling each other.

Now, this is the part where we lament over how men are no longer chivalrous. It’s “dead” or something. But I think you’re talking about something else. The acts we associate with chivalry are falling by the wayside, maybe. Fewer men seem to be willing to evoke the symbol of a “modern” gentleman, whatever that means (because it’s so difficult to easily define what a modern gentleman is or is even supposed to be).

chivalry

The idea of doing things to prove that you’re chivalrous isn’t as popular these days for a lot of reasons. But that attitude of respect and dignity toward the opposite sex? If you pay closer attention, you’ll find that many men and women still exercise this. No one has to tell you that respect is a good thing. It’s something we still expect and appreciate when we see it.

Over time, I think it’s been easier for women to see through the empty, fake chivalry that men use to receive a reward. That is, men who use chivalry as a tool, instead of a lifestyle, to win the woman’s body over her heart.

So men have adjusted. Many aren’t as quick to “fake it” and be a nice guy because they know it’s futile. You either have that attitude of chivalry, or you don’t. If you do have that attitude, you’re still not a perfect gentleman. You’ll still make mistakes. But you’re working toward that role when you default to the idea of being kind, over being reckless.

I see chivalry everywhere. Not as much as I see disrespect, sadly. But I still see it when men ask a girl on a date face to face instead of texting her. I see it when someone opens a door for someone else, regardless of gender. And I see it when men don’t rush intimacy out of respect for the other person and themselves.

And yes, many men exercise “traditional” chivalry honestly and successfully.

Of course, I suspect my standards might not be high enough. If you’re like me, you were raised to always go the extra mile when it comes to respecting others. Not just with your attitude, but with actions that reflect that attitude. I just wouldn’t be so quick to judge one man’s chivalry over another’s. You know, unless it’s terrible.

 

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