Waiting for a punchline

Nope, still can’t find it.

If I could synthesize my essence into a single phrase, I think it would be “well, this is awkward.”

Irony and authenticity are always tugging my brain in different directions. I’m an excitable, loud-mouthed nerd, who is compelled to temper everything they say with cynicism and just a teaspoon of morbidity.

Just think of me as the dullest Miyazaki film you’ve ever seen.

I’m 26, never lived anywhere but New York City, and have an innate revulsion toward doing things. I’m not very interesting, in other words. …

As some of you have kindly noticed, I recently published my first eBook, Reframing The Screenwriting Process on Kindle!

It’s exciting to feel like I have accomplished such a concrete thing — even if its a short, simple read.

There I go, ready to diminish the accomplishment. My, how quick writers are to do this. No matter what we accomplish, some standard of worth always butts in to tell us how small we are in comparison to some nebulous idea of our potential.

Well, I don’t want any more potential, dammit! …

Yup, it really gets me me down when people pose a threat to my safety. The political correctness of me being able to be who I am without fear of violence or discrimination is not something you can reasonably expect someone to be cool-headed about. You can't logic yourself out of bigotry, you can only fight it.

How Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette affected me

“It took me ten years to understand I was allowed to take up space in the world. But, by then, I’d sealed it off into jokes like it was no big deal.” Image via Netflix.com

I was going through some drafts of stories I had begun writing earlier in the year. Some are several ‘minutes’ long, others are merely a title and subtitle.

One of these stories was four words long:

I’m Back

For Now

Needless to say, I was not “back” from that writing hiatus for long. Certainly not long enough to write the story itself.

I have no idea what the intention of the story was when I wrote those words. And I probably never will, because I never wrote it. …

Gender and Solidarity

**Part two of my series on The Handmaid’s Tale.**

Photo by alesia on Unsplash

At their core, the Sons of Jacob are not a religiously motivated group. They talk a big game, but their religiosity is ultimately a mask. Everyone in their society does what they want with the power that they have.

For every sentiment you see in a religious text, you can find a contradictory one to match it, so let’s investigate the society and see what they really care about.

The first thing that you see is that they are very interested in what women do with their lives, except they are…

Kill me

Leave it to the straights to create the ugliest pride flag in existence.

Since I apparently specialize in befuddled rambling about infuriating, topical trans issues, it is my unfortunate duty to inform you that transphobia is a valid sexual orientation now.

Gott in Himmel.

I had my attention drawn to this *ahem* movement when Her Eminence Queen Contra of the House of Points, quote tweeted the following:

Contrapoints’ response: “that must be super fucking hard for you”

That’s right. They are attracted to the chromosomes. Don’t kink shame them!

In case you cannot tell, I find this claim — that attraction to cisgender people is the basis for a widespread hate-movement against heterosexual…

I wish her well, but we’re not friends

“The transgender princess of TERF Island” is the name of my Harry Potter fanfic

A few months back, I wrote an article about the creator of the YouTube channel Philosophy Tube, then presenting as a cis man, being cancelled on Twitter for making a joke that some perceived as transmisogynistic. Now, as apparently everyone in this quadrant of the galaxy knows, she has come out as a trans woman named Abigail Thorn.

She looks beautiful, and I am delighted to see her looking happy. Obviously.

Not a day after her coming out video was posted to her channel, I received polite and carefully crafted comments about how I probably ought to update the article…

Give Pervis Payne a fighting chance.

Dustin Higgs, a not guilty man murdered by the federal government on 1/15/21

I write this on the evening that Dustin Higgs is to be murdered by the federal government. I only learned his name a few hours ago, and the chill in my blood reminds me that having known it earlier might have made the slightest bit of difference.

According to Twitter, the white vans that signify that the prisoner is being taken to the execution chamber have just started up.

The death of Dustin Higgs signifies a record for the most federal executions committed by a single president in over a hundred years.

This is not a coincidence. Obviously. Like you…

Elliot Page isn’t confused, you’re just a TERF

Yes, I am late to the party. And yes, I still have opinions about this.

When Elliot Page came out as trans a month ago, I felt about two seconds of joy for the person I knew would suddenly be feeling a lot more confident and happy with himself due to the announcement, followed by a prolonged period of dread when I realized I had not yet been on Twitter.

I think it’s wonderful that Page came out publicly, and their statement demonstrated an understanding of the context in which they were coming out.

Though he is AFAB and (seemingly?) white, Elliot Page recognized the extreme callousness with which we regard the lives of trans…

And being passionate about it

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Being a writer is sometimes about compromise.

Most artists in our culture are held up to such unreasonable standards that anything less than constant and tireless dedication to one’s craft is painted as laziness. What people do not seem to get is that loving one’s art does not have to translate into obsessive, borderline destructive, sole attention to that art.

We have lives outside of our art, after all. Aspirations that are not strictly tied to our art but are no less parts of us that need to be served if we are to be happy.

Or even survive.


Shain Slepian

Shain is a screenwriter and screenplay editor. For more content, follow their blog and check out their YouTube channel, TimeCapsule.

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