GRAHAM DASELER 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 49
PARABLE OF THE BLIND
MARK ANTHONY KAYE
WHY MEN ARE
PERMANENCE IN CHANGE
THE MEANING OF CICADAS
WE ARE AT THEIR MERCY
JE SUIS UN ARTISTE
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Think, for a moment, of the meanest, the scariest, the most intimidating movie villains you can summon to your mind. Have you got them? Now, let me ask you, how many of them are women?
The American Film Institute reckons the ratio is about one woman for every two men. But that can’t be right, can it? Are the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Cruella de Vil from One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) really as scary as Hannibal Lecter and Amon Göth, the concentration commandant in Schindler’s List (1993)? Be your gender what it may, you will certainly have to admit that, when it comes to movie bad guys, the best bad guys are almost all, well, guys.
But why is this? Are men just better at playing villains than women? Or has Hollywood stacked the deck against women? These are some of the questions I tackle in this essay.
I am a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a degree in Film and Digital Media. I live in Paris, France, and work as a film editor and animator. My writing has been published in The Times Literary Supplement, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Film International, Offscreen, Senses of Cinema, The Moving Arts Film Journal, and Bright Lights Film Journal.
2016 seemed like the beginning of the end. When the Orange Overlord was elected, I actually thought that the world would become a nuclear wasteland. I am still holding my breath.
That’s what inspired my poem Mutual Destruction. There’s this continual panic that I feel thinking about living in a country where we allowed this to happen. It makes me wonder if, when the end does come, will it even be worth rebuilding after.
UTE CARSON 34thparallel magazine issue 49
Every family should have a historian to record their stories in order that past generations are not forgotten. What surprised me on my journey through time was the fact that not only stories and pictures remind me of bygone lives but that places hold special importance. Events are etched in stone walls, at a graveside I can imagine the dead rising, and dramas spring to life from castle ruins.
My story of Clara, who ran away with the piano teacher to America, The Wife and the Piano Teacher, was published in the 34thParallel Magazine Issue 22. I have published two novels and my poems have been published in numerous journals and magazines. I live in Austin, Texas.
WENDY RITCHEY 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 49
“They hung my dog. And next to him they hung my daughter.” These are words not easily erased from memory. They are words spoken to me not in fiction but in real life. In my work as a clinical counselor and art therapist I met with people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Many stories from refugees, soldiers, survivors of tortured childhoods, gnaw at my serenity. Confidentiality bars me from repeating such stories except as fiction.
Work in mental health carries with it other stressors, in addition to client’s tragedies. Several years ago I noticed women of a certain age disappearing from the health care organization where I worked. I ran into them in the stairwells carrying their belongings in boxes, escorted to their cars by security. They smiled at me knowingly and nodded. Later, the rumor mills churned out the news. “Did you hear? Joanne, director of nursing resigned.” One after another, those in high positions departed, quietly, until few gray-haired ladies remained in executive offices. I thought little about this, not recognizing that I might be categorized among this group. Then the pressure reached middle management. Subtly insulting and excluding at first, it rapidly grew unbearable, until one day I found myself typing out my own resignation letter.
Traumatized, as I carried my box of photos and notebooks down the back stairway, I considered what to do next. I felt a great kinship with my many clients, thrust into unwanted and disconcerting circumstances against their will.
Eventually, rational optimism replaced anger and self-pity. You’ll do all those things you’ve never had time for. Hiking the two thousand plus miles of the Appalachian Trail had been an impossible dream of mine. Now it became a reality. I had always kept journals and written short stories. Of course, my job as a clinical therapist required client report writing on a regular basis. Working as an art therapist, I kept sketchbooks but rarely had found time to paint.
I now combined these loves and embarked on a year-long project: hiking, writing, and painting. The Meaning of Cicadas comes from my, as yet unpublished, novel Bitch Tale set on the Appalachian Trail. The novel incorporates composite characters drawn from my years of work with traumatized individuals.
I belong to a wonderful writer’s critique group that challenges and supports me in my ongoing quest to become a writer of substance, depth, and beauty. I have one short story, actually flash-fiction, published in an online journal by Kind of a Hurricane Press. The issue was on the theme of tranquillity.
Corporations seem to be taking over every department of health care in doctor offices and hospitals. Too many surgical operations scheduled back-to-back makes the patient the victim of bottom-line profit.
I have published two novels, Blood And Eggs in 2011, and The Wind Whistles Wicked in 2016. My latest project is a historical fiction with a strong slant towards women’s fiction, Broken Legacy.
MARK ANTHONY KAYE
I manage an Irish bar in Lisbon, Portugal, and write in my free time. I worked for the British Labour Party for four years. Disillusioned with politics I left to work for a charity giving advice to people in prisons and support in food banks. These years led to a series of mental health problems. My mental health problems and my time working in British politics and in the welfare system are the main influences on my writing at present.